Category Archives: Blogging

Free E-Book Contest


Today I’d like to tell you about the free e-book contest from Surviving Mexico.

Why am I doing this?

I thought this would be fun and it fulfills one of the 31-day writing challenges.

When is the contest?

The contest begins today and will close on July 31.

Who is eligible to enter?

Everyone who completes the 8 questions about Surviving Mexico’s media sites correctly will be entered into the drawing for a free e-book.  Don’t worry!  They aren’t hard and there are links to help you find the answers easily.

What is the prize?

The e-book will be one of your choosing from my book reviews.

How will the winner be notified?

I will contact the winner by email after the drawing to ask which e-book he or she would like.

Where can you enter?

You can find the contest questions by clicking on the link below.

Good luck!



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Filed under Blogging, Book Reviews

Blogging Bucket List

This is my first blogging bucket list.  In fact, I was so unsure what a bucket list was, I looked it up.  For your information, a bucket list is “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying” according to Merriam-Webster.  Not that I plan on dying anytime soon, but I do think there will come a time when my blog dies (as in I won’t be blogging anymore).  So before that happens, here’s a list of things that would be good to do before that happens, so I can at least go out with a blaze of glory.  

Have at least 10 pages and 100 posts with a customized menu bar.  

As of May 10, 2017, I have 23 pages and 399 posts published (with 22 scheduled for publication). My Resources for a life well lived in Mexico page is currently undergoing some changes.  Feel free to drop by and add your two-cents (or submit a resource you think would be of interest to my readers).  I recently redid my menu bar to better organize my topics.

Dress up my theme with customizations.

Since I discovered Canva, I have been having a field day changing my headers and featured images.  I’m far from finished, but I hope that it all is looking a bit more professional.

Pay for a custom domain URL.

When I first started blogging, I went with the free domain name. Now I’m just a .com–moving up in the world!

Win a cheesy blogger award in your niche.


I was nominated for the Brotherhood of the World Award in 2015 and passed the goodness forward (although I never did hear from any of my nominees).

Join a blog hop or carnival to meet new bloggers in your niche.

SOTBS Blog Hop Op1Sq

I am in several blogging groups and have participated in several blog hops and carnivals.  I thought my niche would be homeschooling moms, but it turns out it wasn’t.  My niche is women living in Mexico.  Who’d a thought?  Anyhoo, I participate regularly now with my  South of the Border Bloggers monthly link up.  Are you a woman?  Do you live south of the US border?  Do you blog?  Join us!

Guest post on another blog.

I’ve actually been a guest blogger three times now.  Twice with WritersBra (Failing at your own business–Blogging and Blogging Tips) and once with Inspired livelihood (Failing at your own business (or not)–Saturday School) although it looks like that post has been taken down and lost in cyberspace.  

Have a guest writer on your own blog.


My son WPTF has been a guest blogger on my site.  My artist friend Claudia has been a guest poster on my site with her adventures in San Pancho.  I had 9 brave women tell their stories in the series Modern Day Marias. Recently, I began interviewing authors in a monthly series, Inspirational women writers in Mexico.  The newest guest blogger series is entitled Blogs About Mexico Worth Reading.

Reach 100 Visitors in a Single Day

stats 2017

I average 200 visitors most days, but it certainly wasn’t that way at the beginning.  Although it isn’t a huge amount of traffic, I feel like it’s a solid number.  The next goal is Get to 500 page view hits a day.

Receiving Your First Piece of Fan Mail (Well, Email)

This happened in December of 2016 and was from Judy King, who I later featured in the Inspirational Women Writers in Mexico series.  She had been doing some research on Mexican women in the revolution and came across my post about Marcelina.  We’ve kept up a regular correspondence since.

Getting Your First Negative Comment

Although it wasn’t a positive experience, it certainly was memorable.  One of my email subscribers posted a comment to the effect that my blog was boring and wanted to know how to unsubscribe.  I unsubscribed him and deleted his comment.  Who needs that kind of negativity?

Hitting Your First 100 Email Subscribers

I have 82 email subscribers.  I’m nearly there!

Seeing a Post You Wrote Go Viral

This hasn’t happened yet, but it will be neat when it does.

Getting Mentioned or Followed by an A-list Blogger

I have two OMG experiences.  The first was when Barbara Winters, the author of one of my all-time favorite books Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love, followed my Surviving Mexico page on Facebook.  And the second was when Worldschooling Central featured one of my pictures on Instagram.

Get a custom logo.

I’m not exactly sure what prompted my desire for a personalized logo, but once I set my mind to it, I went out and got it.  Many thanks to Clau Guzes for her patience with me during the designing process.

Monetize your blog through ad networks or affiliates.

Although I have affiliate links throughout my blog, I really only make money with Amazon.  For two years straight, I’ve made enough from the commission to pay for my domain name.  Yeah me!

Set up a Google + page.

I have a Google + page.  I have 3 followers.  It seems that only I can see my posts.  It looks like I’ll have to work on that!  I’m actually thinking I should just delete it. 

Make a go at Tumblr.

I can’t say that Tumblr has been a great success either.  I did recently reach a new level of achievement with 250 posts, but my followers are few and far between.

Turn a year’s worth of blog posts into a book.

I’ll let you know when this happens!

Get 1000 Twitter followers.

twitter stats

I have 108 followers.  I do however have 316 likes.  So that’s something right?  I think I need to work on my Twitter account.

Have a television show contact you.

animal planet

I was contacted March 2017 by Animal Planet.  Apparently, they were looking for off-grid families in Mexico to feature.  Because my son is now a teenager and less apt to do command performances, and because we have fewer animals these days, I regretfully declined.  But it was pretty cool to be considered!

Be featured in a magazine.

We were chosen as one of the Star 2014 Modern Homesteaders sponsored by Mother Earth News. Really!  Check it out!

Start a blogging challenge of some sort and get others to join you.

This would be fun! Any ideas?

Earn a monthly income from blogging of at least $500.00.

Boy, this would be nice.  I’ve begun featuring some of my book reviews on my site which has generated a modest income, but nowhere near $500 per month.

Achieve World Domination


At one time I thought that world domination was what I wanted.  I’ve since decided that would be too much work.  I’m happy with where I am in the blogging world right now, although there are a few more things on my bucket list yet to cross off.

What’s on your blogging bucket list?





Filed under Blogging

On Becoming an Ultimate Bundles Affiliate

eek (3)Back in May, Herbal Academy sent me an email saying that the Herbal Materia Medica Course that I liked so much would be featured in an Ultimate Bundle packet.  If you remember, I LOVED the Herbal Materia Medica Course.  It really helped me focus my interest in local herbs as medicine and inspired several blog posts. (Hibiscus Tea, Cilantro Tea, Tamarindo, Garlic, Matali Tea)

The email from Herbal Academy suggested I sign up for the Ultimate Bundle Affiliate program so that I could feature this bundle on my blog.  So I did. (See Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle).  I thought I’d make the bundle available and be done with it.  

Little did I know that the Ultimate Bundle group offers several of these bundle packages per year.  I soon realized that these would be excellent items to offer my readers!  I did pass on featuring a bundle or two.  They couldn’t really be classified into one of the categories I typically write about.  However, there were some that did fit.  

For instance, I often write about my most recent income generating failure.  Enter The Ultimate Work At Home Bundle.  I also am a proponent of natural alternatives for health issues.  Let me present the Gut Health Super Bundle.  In August, you can bet I’ll be featuring the Parenting Super Bundle.  I aim to be a Super Parent after all!

The best part of this affiliate program is the work I don’t have to do.  I don’t have to find images.  I don’t have to code links. I don’t have to figure out how to add the buy now button.  Why not?  Because it’s done for me. I can pick and choose from a whole slew of banners, buttons, and images for each bundle.  

How about promotion?  Studies say that the average person must be presented with something an average of 7 times before buying.  Well, I post to my blog.  Then my blog posts to Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google + and my email followers.  That’s pretty much all the promotion I do.  I’m not one of those pushy types.  If you want it, great, if not, that’s ok too.  

So how has it been going?  In the two months since I’ve become an affiliate, I’ve made $30 USD.  No, it’s not a lot of money, but it sure is less work than some of my other business ventures recently. (See Failing as an Online Book Reviewer).  I’m not in the business of blogging to get rich.  Really my goal is to cover my blogging expenses like domain names and hosting and if there is a little left over, maybe splurge on something fun. (Failing at your own business-Blogging)  With such modest goals, I’ve found being an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles to be a great fit for me!

Not convinced yet? Here are some more successful Ultimate Bundle affiliates stories for you.

*Become an Ultimate Bundles Affiliate – Earn Money from Your Blog

*Ultimate Bundles: Love or Leave? 2017 Affiliate Program Review



Does it sound like something that would work for you and your blog?  

Sign up to be an affiliate here.

Here are the upcoming bundles for 2017.  Do any work for your niche?

AUGUST 9-14: Parenting Super Bundle

AUGUST 23-28: Ultimate Fitness Bundle

SEPTEMBER 20-25: Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

OCTOBER 4-9: The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit

OCTOBER 16-17: Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Flash Sale

NOVEMBER 1-5: Indie Travel Super Bundle

DECEMBER 27-JANUARY 2: Ultimate Healthy Recipe Bundle

Sign up to be an affiliate here.


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Filed under Blogging, Employment

Blogs about Mexico worth reading–Red Shoes are Better than Bacon

Jennifer Rose keeps it real at Red Shoes are Better than Bacon.

red shoes

What brought you to Mexico?

A Chevrolet Suburban and Carretera Federal 57. And a couple of Cadillacs from time to time. And sometimes jet planes.

What is the name of your blog? What is the story behind that name?

Red Shoes are Better than Bacon

All of about 15 seconds went into naming this blog. I like bacon just as much as the next person, but what I really love are red shoes, particularly Ferragamo Vara flats in red with a stacked, not covered, heel. The Red Shoes fairy tale, The Red Shoes film, The Red Shoes ballet, the pope’s red shoes, and Dorothy’s ruby slippers are all about granting the wearer the power to do what she really wants to do, even if the pope isn’t a she.

What area of Mexico and topics does your blog primarily focus on?

Red Shoes does not limit herself to any particular area or aspect of Mexico. While there usually is some nexus with Mexico, blog posts may reflect upon the serial comma, Kilgore Trout, or shameless self-promotion.

Why do you blog?

I write for me. If others find my blog entertaining, enlightening or educational, that’s a cherry on the cake. I’m not paid to promote Mexico, expatriate living, or even Pingüinos.

What is your favorite blog post?

My favorite’s usually the one I just published, followed by those with the most visitors.

What has been the most difficult for you to blog about?

None of them, really. I do not blog about heart-rending, gut-wrenching issues. Well, I might if my dog died.

What has been the best experience you’ve had in Mexico?

That’s kind of like asking “What’s been the best experience you’ve had on the planet?”

What has been the worst experience you’ve had in Mexico?

That’s kind of like asking “What’s been the worst experience you’ve had on the planet?”

If you are currently in Mexico, how long do you plan on remaining?

My tenure in Mexico doesn’t have an expiration date. For me, Mexico’s not a hotel where I’ve got a checkout date, or a program I’m expected to graduate from, or even some kind of waystation. It’s not a junior year abroad, and it’s not a retirement haven. It’s where I live, it’s where I am, and it’s where I have my citizenship. And I’ve never lived in any one place as long as I’ve lived right here in Morelia, Michoacan.

What advice do you have for those planning to move or travel to Mexico?

Wait a sec. I’m not turismo, and I’m not the Welcome Wagon. Back before blogs were the rage, I used to get email all the time from strangers wanting to move to Mexico, and I was gullible enough to answer their email. And then those same folks would get their knickers in a twist when I would tire of corresponding with them, when I no longer wanted to be their tour guide, and when I would tell them that if I were truly interested in real estate, I’d be in the real estate business, which I’m not.

Not all Mexico-based bloggers are in the advice and evangelism racket. (We’re not all curmudgeons, either.)

All right, here’s the advice. Do your research, and then don’t believe everything you read. Or hear. Think of a map of Mexico superimposed over a map of Europe, and you’ll see that it extends from Ireland clear over to Bulgaria. That’s a lot of territory. What’s par in Benjamin Hill, Sonora, isn’t par for Tlaxcala.

Don’t give me that crap about “I love the Mexican people.” We’re not all cut from the same mold, we don’t all break into dance at the drop of a hat, we’re not all hard workers, we’re not all honest, and smiling is not the national hobby. No, not any more than all blondes and Swedes are dumb or all Jews are good with money. The Mexican people, just like the people from wherever you’re coming from, are all over the map.

Where do you see your blog going? What are your future blogging plans?

I’d settle for blogging more frequently than I do. Plans? Red Shoes are Better than Bacon will likely remain an eleemosynary institution.


Where can you be found?




Red Shoes are Better than Bacon


Filed under Blogging, Blogs about Mexico Worth Reading, Guest Blogger Adventures