Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Photobucket Crash

What to do when your PhotoBucket images are no longer displaying properly, and your own image is now replaced with "Please update your account to enable third party hosting" instead.

photobucket p500


Tons of images all over the web including amazon and e-bay pictures, social media icons (including my own), link party images and lots more are now displaying as:

photobucket third party hosting


Why?

Because Photobucket a previously free image hosting site has begun charging for image hosting. Photobucket which has been in business since 2003 is now charging an annual fee of $399 for image hosting.


And tons of people are upset! And rightfully so. With no previous notice, no email or public statement warning people they are switching over to paid for accounts instead of a free service. Peoples entire Amazon and ebay lines no longer are displaying their products, public forum sites are now filled with broken images and people are losing revenue over it.

My social media icons were all broken last night so I began panicking, nothing like broken images to scream unproffessional at any potential advertiser, sponsors or even readers. I have my social media icons in dropbox as I shared them as a freebie when I initially designed them so I just saved them to my computer from there. And if you don't have a back up of you image (for shame j/k I am not one to point fingers at disorganization or poor planning) you can still download your images from Photbucket onto your computer.

So I began scowering the web for alternative sites as there was no way I was going to shell out $399 for image hosting, so after a few failed attempts, and signing up for companies I couldn't figure out how to use I found ImgBox.

They are super simple to use and you don't even have to register for an account if you don't want to. You just simply upload your image and choose family friendly or adult content, name your gallery (optional) and click start upload.

photobucket alternative


Then you just copy the image source (img src) from the HTML code and paste it over the broken photo bucket image link.

<img height="50" src="https://5-t.imgbox.com/MqGH9qHL.jpg" width="50" />

If that makes sense?

alternative to photobucket

Let me know if you have found any other simple and free Photo bucket alternatives and I will add more to the list as I stumble upon them.

Don't understand anything? Please leave a comment and I will try to answer it as soon as possible.

Three Tools I recommend

I am an extremely frugal person, okay that is an understatement, my friends sometimes laugh at me as I won't shop at second hand clothes stores unless they are having a sale. I think about nearly every purchase I make especially when it comes to my blog. I am one of those individuals who doesn't believe in spending money to make money.

tools for bloggers


Domain Name


I created my blog on a free platform - Blogger and I have just recently decided to invest back into my blog. I began getting higher and steadier traffic to my blog - approximately 2000 views daily

how to increase blog views


and didn't want other people to capitalize on the name I am creating for myself. So I bought the domain name MusingsofanAverageMom.com I also bought the .ca domain as well from NameCheap so it couldn't be purchased either. I created a website for a contracting company several years ago and the .ca domain name was purchased by a different company which could have been capitalizing on misdirected traffic.

Buying a domain is easy

I had a few hours when my blog was completely down which looked unprofessional while I was switching my blog over so if you do have to change your domain name I suggest doing it during your lowest traffic time period even if that's at 4 am .

Also my Google Adsense account no longer made any money as I was only approved for my .blogspot addresse. I added the .com doamin for approval however some Google error prevented it from registering any views as I redirected the traffic so my revenue from Adsense dropped from $5 to $10/daily to zero.

I tried to find a fix for it and eventually found a contact for a Google chat (Google is not easy to get a hold of!) And the initial link I used is no longer valid or I would have shared it with you. After I talked to the Google rep. the issue was fixed within two days.

And a few months later I realized I forgot to reconnect my InfoLinks account to my new addresse.  In hindsight I would have purchased my domain name a lot earlier to save on all the headaches I encountered once it was (somewhat) established.

Tailwind


I purchased Tailwind last month and I definitely don't regret it! It was recommended by other bloggers and I was researching it to see if it was worth it for me to purchase as a small to medium blogger. I tried the 30 day free trial and was impressed by how easy it was to use. I can pin one of my new posts to multiple boards over different times and days with one click.

how to use tailwind


and with Pinterest being my largest source of traffic I decided to make the investment of $99.99 especially when I found a link for $30 off. You can get $15 off Tailwind if you sign up here.

Within days I saw a moderate increase in revenue and made the investment back in a month. Also I don't get distracted by Pinterest for hours on end when trying to add new blog pins and can focus on other things like content.

Tailwind has a lot of other features, statistics and tailwind tribes which I am still learning about but will create a post soon, becuase if I make an investment I want to take advantage of all it's features.


Research


I was looking on line for hours on which affiliate and ad networks would be the best for me as I feel like I have hit a bit of a plateau with my blog income at around $200 to $300 per month. Not a terrible income considering I have a full time job but would love it if eventually blogging could replace my job so I could be a lot more flexible with before and after school daycare, sick days, dentist appointments, summer holidays, etc. etc. being a single mom.

I heard nothing but positive reviews for the Elite Blogging Academy but was hesitant to make the investment of $$? As I know they have an attractive affiliate program around 40% commission so that might promote positive reviews. But I will probably purchase it within the next few months and give you my personal review.

So after looking around I decided to purchase How I made 40k my First Year of Blogging by Chelsea Lords.

how to make money blogging

I finally talked myself into purchasing my first ebook as I figured even if I don't increase my blogging income after I finish reading it, I enjoy reading and will easily spend $20 or more on one of my favourite authors like Jeffery Deaver or Cassandra Clare.

 I am a third of the way through the book which has a step by step guide on how to set up your blog on wordpress and social media accounts which might not be as useful for an established blog but, eventually I will have to migrate over to a wordpress.org platform with hosting so I might refer back to that information in the futures I am just getting in to how she made her income the sole purpose I bought the book in the first place for and will write a review on it shortly.

Please let me know if there is any blogging tools that you can't live without.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Spiderman and the Hulk Craft

So my kids are still on our toilet paper character kick so we made Spiderman and Hulk this week. Dylan kept asking for what sounded like Hawk so I thought he meant Hawk Eye but he kept telling me he has no shirt so he seen him on my computer so we eventually got that figured out

Spiderman craft


So you will need:
- green, black, purple and blue construction paper (we used green felt because I had some in the house)
- scissors, white glue or a glue stick
- two empty toilet paper rolls

Spiderman printables

So here is spiderman, he was really easy to create

spiderman craft for kids

Our first try I just printed out the eyes (and Dylan glued them on) but later decided I wanted the web pattern as well. So you can choose either option; glue the eyes on red construction paper or use the eyes and web pattern and wrap the top of the tube with it.

easy spiderman craft

Here's Hulk, Dylan wanted him to have black hair and purple shorts. I ripped the purple paper edges to give it that frayed looked and cut the bottom of the black paper in a choppy patter. 

hulk craft


Here is the Spiderman and Hulk template we used:

hulk printables
And here are our finished super heroes.

superheroes craft

And you can find all the toilet paper crafts we have created so far here:

toilet paper roll crafts




Sunday, July 16, 2017

2018 Horizontal calendars

I like printing out my calendars early so I can write that 'in 6 month appointment' down as soon as I am told about it because there is no way am I going to keep track of that little card they give for more than a few days. I write everything down on my calendar and use a large magnet to keep it on the fridge so I can refer to it daily.

So here are the 2018 horizontal calendars I have found, and a couple I have created so you can get organized early.

free printable 2018 calendars


You can print this 2018 landscape calendar from Beautifully Tarnished with lines to make it easier to write on

free printable 2018 monthly calendar


2018 printable calendars


Editable custom 2018 printable calendar from Sarah Titus 

2018 free printable calendar

Short Stop Designs created beautiful calendars with different headers for each month.

free 2018 calendars to print


Check out this pretty and colorful free 2018 printable calendar from Shining Mom

free printable calendars 2018


Free pink printable horizontal calendar I designed.

2018 calendar pdf

2018 dated monthly calendar from Scattered Squirrel

2018 dated monthly calendar


And please leave a comment if you have found or created any 2018 calendars and I will add them to the list.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Free printable Emoji Move Thank You Cards

Emoji Movie is on my short list to go watch in the theaters when it comes out next month as my daughter loves emojis. I think I probably have 200 pages of Emoji drawing around the house and don't even feel like that's an exaggeration.

emoji movie party pritnables

I created three different version

emoji movie party supplies

I felt like Meh wasn't very enthusiastic about anything

emoji movie thank you cards

Super Happy - perhaps a little too much enthusiasm there

Emoji Movie birthday party


The above images are just a preview as I saved them to a normal sheet of paper so you can fold them in half and write a personal note inside. Just click on the blue text under the thank you card you want and you can download it from Dropbox and print it.

Emoji Movie birthday ideas


You can also find the matching Emoji Movie invitations

Emoji Movie printables


Emoji Movie birthday



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Toilet Paper Roll Crafts

The kids and I  have been making different characters out of empty toilet paper rolls lately, as its a simple and easy craft that doesn't require any materials we don't have on hand. 


Simple crafts for kids

I created free printables and the instructions so just click on each craft to get the downloads.


toilet paper crafts

And here is the Trolls toilet paper craft

trolls movie crafts for kids


Lego Batman Crafts





Saturday, July 8, 2017

Emoji Movie Cupcake Toppers

My daughters slightly obsessed with Emojis and has already decided her next birthday party which is 10 months away will be Emoji themed.

Emoji movie party

So I decided to create some free printable cupcake toppers to share.

Emoji movie birthday party
Meh

emoji movie party ideas
Super Happy

I saved them 3 to a page for easier printing - and I created 6 different characters.

emoji movie party supplies


emoji movie party printables


And here are the co-ordinating party invitations

emoji movie free party printables

Friday, July 7, 2017

Emoji Movie Invitations

My daughter  Lily loves the Emojis, when I asked her to pick out a pack sack for September she picked Emojis - I don't know what the appeal is but I know we are going to see the Emoji movie in August. 

emoji movie party ideas

Her birthday just passed in May but she has already asked for an emoji birthday next year - and she has the memory of an elephant and never forgets or waivers on her decisions, so I decided to create some free printable Emoji movie invitations.


emoji movie party supplies



emoji movie party printables


emoji mover invitations


emoji movie party printables


I saved them two to a page for easier printing and sizing.

emoji movie party

Hope you enjoy them!

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