How I Made $781.88 In July 2018 Blogging

I can’t believe this is actually real life.Β 

Am I seriously about to write my first blogging income report showing you how I made REAL money from a blog I started last September while being a full-time college student/working as a nanny/having a social life?!!

(Actually, I can believe this is real life because I have worked so dang hard for it.)

I still have a long way to go with By Sophia Lee and am by no means a blogging expert, but the fact that I have already made it this far makes me pretty happy.


First, if you are thinking about starting a blog of your own, I created this tutorial showing you How To Start A Blog today in less than an hour (the same steps I followed when I started this blog!). This post will help you:

  • Decide on a topic for your blog.
  • Shows you how to create a professional-looking website.
  • How to get a website domain (your website name). This usually costs at least $15 dollars!

First things first, why am I even sharing with you how much money I am making from my blog?

I am a full-time college student paying entirely for my school on my own. I also work at least ten hours a week nannying (it’s full-time in the summer) AND like to have a social life.

After looking at how much college costs, I knew that the money I made from nannying was not going to cut it.

I spent my freshman year feeling bad for myself that I was the only one I knew who had to pay for their own college (which I am sure is not true, I was just in a major pity party). By the time sophomore year rolled around (August 2017) I was ready to stop feeling bad myself and figure out a way to pay for this freaking college debt.

However, I quickly learned that finding a job that pays a lot of money AND will work around your college schedule (that changes every semester) is nearly impossible.

What did I do? I took my search to the internet.

After doing major digging I found blogs that were putting out these posts all about how they were making money on their websites.

The majority of them were stay-at-home moms doing blogging on the side and earning over $10,000 dollars A MONTH from their website!!

As a nanny, I know how hard it is to do anything besides watch your kids, so I figured if these moms can do it around their young kids, I sure can do it around my crazy college schedule.

The good news for me – I already had this little secret blog that I started when I was in high school.

Bad news for me – This blog hadn’t been posted too in months, barely got any views, AND was on a Blogspot platform (if you read my post on How To Start a BlogΒ  you will know just how BAD this is!).

I was starting over.Β 

But, I was SO excited and motivated to start. I researched everything I could about making my blog successful and began writing posts that I thought people would like to read.

…and now here I am. Less than a year into blogging, I have almost $800 dollars being deposited into my bank account JUST from money I made from my website.

I am writing this blogging income report because I KNOW I am not the only one struggling to find a way to make money in college.

Anyone can do this, and I am going to show you how you can get the same success I am having.

*I also want to note, I blog anonymously. There is nowhere on my website (unless you do MAJOR digging) where you can find personal information about me or my social media. I know a lot of people are “embarrassed” to have a blog, so just keep this in mind, that it is possible to have a blog that makes money without the world knowing that you’re a blogger :)*

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JULY 2018 BLOG INCOME REPORT (+ TRAFFIC)

(I am only reporting income that has actually been deposited into my bank account. This means all the money that I am showing you today was actually made in April 2018, but most of the programs I am making money from take around 90 days to be deposited into your bank account. In July, I actually made over $3,000 from my blog but that won't be deposited into my bank account until October (I REPEAT, I made over $3,000 on my blog in July!! Holy shi*!!)

Proof of Income:

Breakdown of July 2018 Blog Income - $781.88

In July 2018, I made $781.88 from my blog. Here is the breakdown on where exactly I am getting that money from.

TOTAL: $781.88

The total amount above is for the month of July before any taxes have been taken out. To save my butt when tax season comes around, I put 30% of that money into a bank account just for taxes.

One of the great things about blogging is that it barely costs any money to run your business. I did have two blogging expenses this month which totaled $87.99. That is actually MUCH higher than it usually is but for the amount I made and to only have those expensive that's pretty darn good.

One of the expenses ($40.99) was to get my email subscribers verified. It was a total waste of money and I am STILL mad that I spent that much money on it. (Let's just say that I didn't have a very good experience with the email service I was with. I have now switched it to MailChimp, which is free up to 2,000 subscribers so I am no longer paying any money for email!).

My other expense was completely worth it. I hired Greyson Bell (the famous tech guy in the blogging world) to redirect all my links so they don't have the date in the slug. Slug is a blogging tech word that you don't need to know now but once you get started than you will. I have been putting this off for so long and it needed to be done! It cost me $47.00 and was worth every penny.

My Blogging Stats:

July Traffic: 155,487 page views.

Pinterest Followers: 2,200 Followers (didn't get this exactly on the day the month ended so it is an estimate)

What did I do in July to grow my blog?

*I highly recommend subscribing to my blogging email list. Every Monday, I send out an email that shows exactly what I did the previous week to grow my blog. It is WAY more detailed than I will be able to get in this post!*

Whew! July was busy.

On top of taking two summer classes, nannying full-time, tending to my boyfriend (a full-time job in itself ;), spending time with friends, AND going on a vacation; I had to make time for blogging.

I am currently taking Elite Blog Academy which is a (very expensive but worth every penny) blogging course that shows you exactly the steps to build your blog into a business and make thousands of dollars from it.

I saved up for MONTHS for this course and am so glad I did because two months later (bought the course in March 2018) I have made the money I had paid for it back with money I made from my blog.

Basically, it's an extremely long course that shows you the ins and outs of blogging professionally.

Outside of writing new posts, I am trying to spend all my time on the course. Some people get through it faster, but the majority of people take at least nine months to get through everything (and by the end of the nine months most people are making a full-time income!).

Summary of what I did in July:

  • Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!
  • Updated old posts
  • Affiliate Marketing

This month was all about Pinterest.

Pinterest algorithm changed and my system that used to bring in thousands of viewers was no longer working.

I spent days making new niched down boards and resizing all my old Pinterest images to be 600 x 900 pixels (I do this on Canva! It's free).

I use Tailwind to schedule all my Pinterest pictures (literally a holy grail product in blogging) and had over 2,000 pins put out and scheduled. That was enough pins to last me for almost two months!

(Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduler that allows you to schedule pins in advance so you don't have to spend all day marketing your content on Pinterest. Because of Tailwind, I usually spend only four hours a MONTH on Pinterest and it brings me almost all my traffic. It is a must for all bloggers. Click here to get a free month of Tailwind.)

So, while that took a long time to do, I have barely had to touch Pinterest since.

In July, I started only posting to my own personal boards (and not Groupboards) and my page views have skyrocketed from this approach. I don't have any plans as of now to go back to pinning to group boards.

I also went through all my posts and deleted any I didn't like and rewrote some of them that had potential but weren't good the way they were. This also took me a lot of time.

Lastly, I focused on affiliate marketing. Truthfully, for the number of page views I have been getting, I should be making much more money. I wasn't prepared for all these page views and now I am catching up to really make sure all posts are monetized.

Right now is major college season (which is what I write about most). I knew that if I wrote a post that went over all my favorite dorm essentials with links to where they can be purchased, it would not only be extremely helpful for my viewers but also convert very well for me.

I spent hours writing my post on Dorm Room Essentials for 2018 and it has performed even better than I hoped. Major affiliate marketing win for BSL (By Sophia Lee)!

My plans for my blog and business:
  • I REALLY want to make over $4,000 dollars in August.  I am thinking August will be my highest earning month of the year so if I could make $4,000 that would be HUGE! This is one of those goals that if I don't end up hitting it, I will be okay with it. Just the thought of that makes me so excited though.
  • Edit SEO on all old posts. SEO has been my main focus these days. SEO (search engine optimization...more blogging jargon) is what determines how close to the top the post will rank when someone searches on Google or another search engine. Pinterest is always changing and for me to have all my eggs in Pinterest's basket is not smart. However, SEO is SO hard for me to learn. After I finish Elite Blog Academy, I am definitely investing in a course on SEO. In the meantime, I have been reading dozens of articles on it and have started going through all my published posts and editing them to be able to rank higher on Google. I still have a ton of posts to get through so I hope to have this done by the time school starts (end of August).
  • Email each subscribers list once a week. Maintain an email schedule that I actually follow! I have two subscriber lists so that means two emails a week. I think I can handle that.
  • Batch create posts for the month of September. With school starting up, I really want to try to be a month ahead on all posts. That way if a busy week comes around, I don't have to stress about getting a post written. This comes second in line to getting all the SEO done though.

More on the email list-- I really want to focus on my email subscribers!! I have read over and over that your email list is the only thing you really "own" in blogging and that is is so important to focus on it.

Wellll, I haven't focused on it (like at all). Now is the time. I created a few opt-ins last month to get people onto my email list and I want to create some more this month.

Mostly though, I want to email both my email lists (I have a college email list and a blogging email list) at least once a week.

I started a genius email series for my blogging email list that has been SO fun to do every week.

Every Monday, I give my blogging subscribers an inside look at what exactly I did last week to grow my blog business by taking a picture of my overflowing, jam-packed with information, and real planner. It's an amazing learning tool for anyone looking to earn over $3,000+ a month from their website in less than a year.

Click here to join my blogging email list.

I am having a much harder time coming up with an email idea to send out to my college list weekly. I think for now I will just send them the new post of the week that has a little something extra added to it.

Maybe next month I will have another genius idea to announce, this time for my college email list (crossing my fingers this happens at least)!

Whew! Guys that was A LOT of information for my first blogging income report!

Do you have any questions about what I wrote? Email me at [email protected]bysophialee.com. I would love to help anyone looking to start (or already have) a blog of their own.

Have you thought about starting a blog to make money? Is there anything holding you back? Did you like this income report?

Other Posts You May Like:

-The Secret To Making Your Blog Look Professional

-How To Create A Beautiful Pinterest Pin

-How To Get Thousands of Views On Your Blog

 

College Dorm Room Checklist | The College Checklist Every Freshman Needs To See

This post is about a college dorm room checklist.

ultimate college dorm room checklist for freshmen

With summer quickly coming to an end, it's time to start thinking about what college essentials you need to bring to school.

It can be really overwhelming deciding ALL the things you could possibly need in a year and it's easy to forget something.

This college dorm room checklist goes through everything you would need to bring to college in a way that is simple and easy to check off.

Also, this college dorm room checklist goes over the things you will actually need. I left out all the extras the people say you will use when in reality, it sits in a drawer or your closet the whole year. Believe me, I used a lot of products, so if I didn't use it, you will probably won't either ;).

This post goes over everything you need to have for college in a college dorm room checklist.

(Along with this checklist, I recommend you to check out my Dorm Room Essentials for 2019 post that shows ALL my top things that you should bring to college. It is my most popular post on this website and goes over a lot of dorm room products you would never think of needing).

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COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Bedding Supplies

I loved my college bed.

I know, a lot of people hate their college bed but I can confidently say that my bed at school was SO much comfier than my bed at home. All thanks to my incredible mattress topper.

I also read A LOT that people recommended that you have two sets of sheets. In my opinion, that's a little overboard. When you clean your sheets, make sure you can do it in one day and you will be golden with one set of sheets.

The last tip, if you are planning on bunking your bed I highly recommend you get a small container that you can keep up there for random stuff instead of having them lay all over your bed and fly off. (You can find a picture of how I did this in my dorm room here: 5 Dorm Organizing Secrets Every College Student Should Know)

COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Bathroom Supplies

There are so many things to think about bringing to your college bathroom that it can get really overwhelming!

Promise me, unless you have something really random, you won't need anything extra than on this list.

Biggest tip from me, bring lotion. Dorm rooms are really freakin' dry.

Check out my in-depth post on dorm bathroom supplies here: 6 Dorm Bathroom Essentials All-Freshman Need

  • 2 Body Towels: I only brought one and then had my towel wrap, but a lot of people bring two!
  • Towel Wrap: This is the one thing I recommend the MOST for college. It's the best. You can find the one I have here.
  • Shower Caddy: I recommend a mesh one! I have had a plastic and mess shower caddy and liked the mesh one much more.
  • Makeup Organizer: I use this clear makeup organizer in my desk drawer.
  • Makeup Mirror: I recommend a light up mirror since lighting sucks!
  • Hair Wrap: This towel helps my hair dry MUCH quicker!
  • Basket for hair products: My saving grace for organizing hair products easily in college.
  • 2 hand towels
  • Hair Dryer
  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Makeup Remover
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Loofah
  • Lotion
  • Hairspray
  • Cotton Balls
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail Polish: Only bring your favs... everyone has nail polish and are (usually) willing to share!
  • Makeup
  • Makeup Brushes: Unless you have a sink in your room, I don't recommend bringing a makeup sponge... It's a pain walking to the nearest sink whenever you get ready.
  • Perfume
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Retainer
  • Tweezers
  • Deodorant
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit: Maybe a little overboard. Just make sure you have band-aids.
  • Ibuprofen
  • Allergy Medicine
  • Tums
  • Cold + Flu Medicine
  • Tampons and Pads
COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Electronics

Guys. Seriously, I cannot recommend a sound machine more!! It is the best thing ever for living in a college dorm.

I got mine from Amazon for less than $20 dollars. SO worth it.

  • Laptop + Charger
  • Extension Cord
  • Surge Protector
  • Calculator + Charger
  • Sound Machine- HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! It blocked out all noise so I could even if my roommates were still up and talking. Also, I can only study in quiet spots so this really helped. This is the sound machine I liked.
  • 10FT Phone Charger
  • USB Drive- Especially if you are an art major or majoring in art classes!
dorm room essentials
COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Clothing

I always say that if you're debating bringing a piece of clothes to college, bring it.

I promise you if you don't, you won't stop thinking about how much you want that dang shirt (or whatever you decided to leave behind).

When I went to school, I completely forgot about bringing anything for when it was raining! You can find a post all about this here: What They Don't Tell You To Bring To College: Rainy Day Edition.

  • Bras/Sportbra
  • Tank Tops
  • Shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Jean Jacket
  • Cardigans
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Joggers
  • Socks
  • Dresses
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Rainboots
  • Rain Jacket
  • Scarves
  • Light Jackets
  • Winter Jackets
  • Jewelry
  • Hats
  • Swimsuit
  • Pajamas
COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Cleaning Products

I have an entire post on dorm cleaning supplies here and how I use them to clean my dorm! Check out the post here: 5 Dorm Room Cleaning Supplies I Used To Have The Cleanest Dorm On Campus.

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Downy Wrinkle Remover- A miracle worker.
  • Laundry Bags
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Trash Bags
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Small Vacuum
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Dawn Soap
COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Kitchen Supplies
  • Food Storage
  • Keurig
  • Paper Plates
  • Mugs
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: Decor

Check out my freshman dorm room tour: The College Dorm Tour Every Freshman Needs To See.

  • Bulletin Board
  • Photos
  • Command Hooks
  • Rug
COLLEGE DORM ROOM CHECKLIST: School Supplies
  • Backpack- Only recommend North Face. They are the only backpacks big enough for all the books you'll have in college.
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Pens
  • Binders
  • Notebook- I get a 5 subject notebook so I don't have to carry around five separate notebooks.
  • Tape
  • Binder Dividers
  • Stapler
  • Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Planner: My favorite planner!

It can be so overwhelming picking out everything you need to bring to a dorm room and having a checklist makes it much easier.

If you want to download the PDF version of the checklist, you can get it sent to your email here.

This post gave you a college dorm room checklist that will make sure you don't forget anything when you head off to school.

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The Ultimate College Workout Plan: 10 Workouts You Can Do In Your Dorm

This post is all about a college workout plan.
Image That Shows 10 College Workout Plans

Let's be real, the freshman 15 is no joke. 

You have so many new food, friends, and alcohol by you that it shouldn't be surprising the amount of weight that can be gained.

If you're anything like me, you went a few weeks indulging in all the "new" that college brings you until you started feeling gross. Your face has started to break out, your pants don't fit as well as they used too, and you're craving a good workout that makes you feel better.

When you get to the point of realizing all of that, you've decided you need a college workout plan.

Here are 10 workout routines that you can do in your college dorm or gym that will make up the perfect college workout plan.

My Personal College Workout Plan

College Workout Routine

This is the college workout plan I personally did my freshman year.

When I would get really into it, I would use this every other day and do Kayla Itsines BBG on the other days. I really liked this workout because it hit almost every part of the body.

I also liked it because I could get it done pretty quickly so I could do it in the morning or between my classes.

One huge issue I had was that they had minimal equipment which was so annoying! I came up with this workout because it didn't use a ton of weights. Also, if the weights weren't available I could adjust to not need them.

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college packing list

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Cardio Workout:
Flat Stomach Workout:
Booty Workout:
Slim Waist Workout:
Flat-Abs Workout:
Full-Body Workout:
Do-It-Anywhere Workout: 
Beach Body Workout:

All of these workouts are body weight routines SO there are no weights or equipment you need. Which, makes it perfect for your dorm!

Doing one of these routines every day can make you feel and look better.

I actually lost weight in college, thanks to doing my routine I showed at the top. 

What's your favorite way to workout in college?

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What They Don’t Tell You To Bring To College: Rainy Day Edition

This post is all about college essentials clothes (rainy day edition!).

freshman college tips

When you go to college there are many things you think of bringing... comforter, futon, tv, etc. But, there are some little things that you just don't think twice about (at least I didn't).

For me, I had no idea how much it would rain where I go to school.

I honestly didn't even think about bringing rain stuff. Of course, the first week I was there it rained almost every day. And let me tell you, walking to your class in rain is not fun!

Here are the 4 essentials I recommend bringing to college to help you stay dry in the rain.

1) Rain jacket

Duh! I actually completely forgot about this until the night before I left for college.

I quickly ran to Target just hoping they had something. I ended up getting THIS rain jacket and really love it.. super affordable and actually pretty cute.

(GUYS! While getting the link for that jacket I saw this super cute rain jacket for EIGHT DOLLARS! So good.)

At school though, I would say this rainjacket is definitely the most popular one.

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college packing list

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2) Rain boots

When I came to college I debated not bringing rain boots just because of how bulky they were and how much room they would take up.

While they do take up some room, I wear them all the time (even if it's not raining:/) and love them!

I have this pair of Hunter boots and really do love them. The only bad thing I have to say about them is that my feet literally feel like they freeze off in them but I ended up purchasing the insert for them and it makes them feel so much warmer.

top dorm room essentials

3) Umbrella

...and another thing I forgot to bring! Please tell me I am not the only one that completely forgot some important products!

I ended up running to the closest Walgreens to get one.

It made walking on campus in the rain much more tolerable!

Here's the best-rated (and cheap) umbrella available on Amazon.

4) Waterproof Backpack

I didn't know this before going to college but make sure that if you are renting books, you're backpack doesn't get wet in the rain.

The rental company you get your books from will make you purchase the book if it gets water damage. Annoying, but something to definitely think about.

 I guess last year on the day the books were due, it was raining really bad and a lot of people ended up having to buy them from the school.

This is hands-down the only backpack I recommend for college. You NEED to make sure you get a backpack that is high quality enough and big enough to hold all your books. I actually purchased a "cute" backpack for college and ended up buying this backpack instead because it didn't hold enough books.

Learn from my mistakes and plan on packing rain essentials. It will make rainy days much more tolerable :).

Other Posts You May Like:

-The College Dorm Tour Every Freshman Needs To See

-5 Genius Ways To Organize Your Closet In College

-11 Items Every College Student Should Buy

 

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The College Dorm Room Tour Every Freshman Needs To See

This post shows you a dorm room tour.

college dorm room ideas

Are you looking to find inspiration for how to decorate your freshman year dorm room?

It feels like just yesterday that I was obsessed with designing exactly how I wanted to organize my dorm room and the millions of trips I would take to Target and Home Goods making sure I have everything I could ever need.

Not all girls are as crazy about having a Pinterest perfect dorm room but I will say that I think most want a cute dorm room that they can invite all their new friends too.

I was able to put together my dorm for a pretty reasonable cost and am going to show you exactly how I did it.

I really do love how it turned out and it truly feels like a home away from home. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I was only here for one semester because I got an internship at Nate Berkus Associates and couldn't pass it down. Nonetheless, I loved this dorm while I was there!

This post will give you a dorm room tour from my freshman year and show you how you can decorate yours to perfection.

Dorm Room Tour: The Bed

dorm room bed decor with pictures

The bed is the heart of your dorm room and I wanted to make sure that is was just as much comfy as it was cute.

My bed looked extra nice for this dorm room tour, but honestly, making it every morning started my day off on the right note and one of the biggest (realistic) tips I can give to freshman.

I highly recommend before you even think about the different bedding, pillows, blankets, etc that you purchase an extra-long foam mattress topper. I promise you will easily think that was the best purchase you made for your dorm a few weeks into college! My bed at school is so much more comfortable at home. Here is the one I used and loved (it's also really cheap compared to other mattress toppers!).

My bedding is from Target and was less than $20. Major win! Make sure when looking for bedding that you purchase extra-long versions! Otherwise, it won't cover the end of your bed. Unfortunately, my exact bedding isn't available anymore.

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My pillows were purchased from Home Goods. LOVE HomeGoods for finding pillows. If I were to do my dorm again I would not have used so many pillows... Stick with one large one and one smaller one in front of it and you will be golden. (If the far right pillow is coming up as gray, click the link and it will show you a beautiful pink velvet version! Plus, it's from H&M! Did you know they had a super affordable home section?)


Lastly, the wall behind my bed is filled with my favorite quotes and pictures. I printed out the photos from Walgreens in different sizes. I just taped them to the wall but towards the end of the semester, they started coming off. If you want a really secure hold, I would recommend you purchase command tape strips.

{RELATED POST: 8 Cute Gallery Wall Ideas To Copy For Your College Dorm}

dorm room essentials

Dorm Room Tour: The Futon

college dorm futon with cute pillows

My roommate and I choose to loft our beds due to our dorm room being extremely small (as I am sure a lot of yours is too!). Under my bed was the futon and under her bed was the TV, fridge, and microwave. This setup worked really well for us and was the standard way most students organized their dorm room at my school.

I cannot recommend this futon enough!! It is really reasonably priced and for a futon, looks very nice. It was actually the nicest looking futon I've seen compared to other peoples. This futon is decently comfortable but nothing like you would get in a normal couch. I actually haven't ever sat in a comfy futon, so if you know of one, let me know ;). Here is the link to the futon I have.

(The actual best part of that futon was that it had a secret pocket on the bottom of it perfect for hiding alcohol.... πŸ˜‰ Didn't think you'd learn that from a dorm room tour, did you??)

Once again, here is the link to the futon.

Dorm Room Tour: The Desk Area

college dorm room desk with cute decor

In my dorm, the desk was attached to the wall so there was no moving it. It also came with shelves which I decided to style instead of use for storage. Whenever I did run out of space, I have to admit that I did put them on the shelves. Not as cute as before!

I wanted the desk to be cute, but also extremely functional since I would be doing a lot of my school work there. I hate having stuff crowded around me when I work so I kept the actual desk decor to the back and very minimal.


Unfortunately, I can't find exact links to the pieces but I have been able to find extremely close ones (that are actually better than mine since they are new and improved decorations!).

Here is a similar lamp that you can find at Target (great price). 

The frames are all from HomeGoods...sorry!! Definitely, recommend going to HomeGoods, you will find amazing pieces for your dorm at a low price!

{Related Post: 9 Genius Ways To Decorate Your Dorm Room Walls}

Dorm Room Tour: The Closet

organized college dorm room college

Going down to a closet of this size was tough. Lucky, I figured it out and was able to fit all my clothes.

I am not going to talk about my closet too much because I have a whole post on it HERE.

I will mention that I highly recommend you use velvet hangers! It will save so much space.

You can check out the post on my dorm room closet here.

I hope this dorm tour gave you some inspiration on how you want to decorate your own dorm.

You will be moved into your dorm before you know it so enjoy these planning stages!! They are some of my favorite memories.

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Easy and Cheap Dorm Room Wall Decor DIY

This post shows you a dorm room wall decor DIY.

diy hanging art in a dorm room

I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with planning different dorm room decor DIY's.

 I am constantly on Pinterest looking at some different DIY's I can make that will make my room look so cute but I have been having such a hard time finding ideas that I actually like. They all look so cheap to me!

 I've been thinking about cute ways to cover my dorm walls (they're ugly cinderblock!) and came up with an idea to design a board with some of my favorite quotes.

 I had some free time this weekend and with a little brainstorming/trip to Home Depot, I decided to get ahead of the game and start whipping up some of my dorm room creations I've been thinking about.

 I ended up making three wood boards with painted quotes and I LOVE the way this project turned out. It was so cheap and easy that I knew I had to share it with all of you.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how you can recreate your own cheap and easy dorm room wall decor.

UPDATE: Three years later and I STILL have these hanging in my dorm room. People always ask where I bought them and are shocked to learn I painted them myself. If you are looking to complete this project, do it! It withstands many different phases of trends ;). I updated the majority of these pictures with recent pics from my dorm room so you can see just how cute they look.

Supplies Needed:


1// I picked up the plywood from Home Depot. I ended up going with a lighter colored plywood that had a smooth texture. Home Depot is the best and they cut all my plywood for free. All of the pieces (3 with a small piece left over) cost me $12.


sheets of paper used in this dorm room diy

2// I choose the quotes I wanted by looking through Pinterest to some that stood out to me. Once I had the quotes chosen I decided how I wanted to lay it out, making sure each quote had one word that would be emphasized.

I went into Photoshop and edited the words to be spread out in alignment. If you don't know how to use Photoshop this part can be super confusing. Luckily for you, Canva is the best editing tool and is free.

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wood boards lined up for dorm room diy project

On Canva, put in the exact size of your boards. Then you will be able to put the words the exact size and spacing you want them. If your boards are my size, you will see that the wording will be printed on to multiple pieces of paper. To make it easier for you, I recommend taping those papers together.

white chalk letter outline on dorm room project

3// I then used the tracing paper and traced all the words onto the board. If you did it correctly, you should have a faint white or black outline of all the letters. Since I used white paint, I choose to go with white tracing paper. I wouldn't recommend using graphite transfer paper if you plan on using white paint.

girl painting dorm room wall decor diy project

 4// After tracing, I took a thin paintbrush and painted every single letter. This can take a long time so you might want to have Netflix running in the background while doing this. Try to have straight lines BUT I can promise you that if you have a few mess-ups you really won't be able to tell when it is done.


5// Since you can't use nails in your dorm room, I just used command strips to hold it onto the wall and it worked out great.

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dorm wall wall decor diy hanging in dorm room quotes hanging on dorm room wall close up of dorm room wall decor diy

And that's it!! Isn't this dorm room wall decor DIY so cute?! You need all the motivation and positivity as you can get in college so it really is perfect for a dorm. Plus, this dorm room wall decor DIY is so cheap that you can throw it away at the end of the year (EDIT: ...or be like me and use them for years after you made them πŸ˜‰

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15 Cheap Date Ideas That Will Cost Less Than $10 Dollars

This post gives you 15 cheap date ideas.

fun and creative cheap date ideas that cost less than 10 dollars

Are you looking to go on a really fun date but not spend a lot of money?

Dating can cost you a lot of money but there are hundreds of dates that you can go on and barely spend any more.

My boyfriend and I used to think that if we didn't have a lot of money than we wouldn't be going on date nights and would just sit at one of our houses.

After thinking of some cheap date ideas we realized how stupid we were thinking that we could only go on dates if we had $50+ dollars for the night!

This post shows you 15 cheap date ideas that will cost you less than $10 dollars.

Ride your bike to your local ice cream shop.

Last week, my boyfriend and I decided to bike downtown for the first time in years. It was so much fun.

You can use your own bikes or find a rental bike program. Take the long way to the ice cream place and explore different parts of the city.

Congratulate yourself with a nice cold ice cream.

Go to $5 dollar movie night.

It is extremely standard these days for movie theaters to offer $5 dollar movies one or two days of the week. For my local theater, it is $5 dollar Tuesdays and we even get a free popcorn.

For how expensive theaters are these days, this is a great cheap date idea option to get out there and see some movies you and your boyfriend have been wanting to see without breaking the bank.

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{RELATED POST: 15 Summer Date Ideas That Won't Make You Go Broke}

Go to the grocery store and get your favorite treat. Then eat it under the stars.

Drive to the local grocery store or gas station and pick out some of your favorite treats.

Come back to one of your houses/apartment and set blankets out on the lawn or balcony. Watch the stars while eating your treats and talk about your life with each other.

Go strawberry picking.

Strawberry picking is a summer staple and the best part about its very inexpensive!

You can spend half the day strawberry picking and then go back home and make chocolate covered strawberries. Get fancy with it and add some good toppings. If you want to keep cost down, look for toppings at the dollar store.

Find a local festival.

Go on Facebook and search "events near me". Hundreds of different events will pop up and a lot of them will be free.

Pick some of your favorites that you want to attend. When you are there, you each have $5 dollars to try whatever food you would like.

Go volunteering.

This is such a sweet date idea which makes it one of my favorite cheap date ideas! Why not spend time together while helping people out?

Volunteering is free and gives you something to do while improving someone else's life. After you're done volunteering, go get an ice cream and talk about the people you have helped.

Concert in the park.

Cities around the countries offer concerts in the park and it really is one of the highlights of summers.

My city offers free concerts every Friday and it is one of my favorite date nights.

We like to make ourselves dinner before and bring some of our favorite drinks in a cooler. We get there and eat our dinner, drink our wine, and enjoy the free music.

Go for a picnic.

Find a cheap recipe on Pinterest that looks good to both of you and head to the grocery store for ingredients. Better yet, see what you can make with stuff already in your fridge.

Once the meal is made, pack it up and head to the local park. Enjoy your food with a picnic.


{RELATED POST: 24 Things To Do Together Beside Going Out To Eat}

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Play tennis.

Playing tennis gives you a free activity while working out!

It will really bring out your competitive side and give you memories that will last a long time.

Take a trip to the dollar store.

Take a trip to the dollar store and see if you can make an activity with what you find.

Think about it, you will be able to buy 10 things... that's a lot of things to choose!

Fix something up from Goodwill.

Head to Goodwill and search through their home section.

See if you can find something that you can redo to give it new life again. Not only will you have a fun new piece of decor but you also will have a piece to remember this date from.

Be test subjects at a local beauty school.

Beauty schools are always looking for testers to come in and offer extremely low prices so that their students can get real training.

While I don't know if I would trust them touching my hair, I would enjoy a back massage or a pedicure. BTW, if your guy hasn't tried a pedicure before, he needs one. My boyfriend loves them (and he has no shame πŸ˜‰ ).

Take a trip to the animal shelter.

Go to your local animal shelter and walk around.

You can even go in and play with the dogs and cats. While it is sad to see the animals there, it may inspire you to adopt!

Watch the sunset together.

Head to the local lake or beach and watch the sunset together.

Talk about life, your future, and how much you love each other.

Play miniature golf.

When is the last time you have gone miniature golfing?! It really is such a flashback and will get a little competition going between you two.

TIP: Look on Groupon. They usually have great deals on activities like that!


Aren't those such fun options? It really shows that you do not need a lot of money at all to go on some awesome and memorable dates. 

This post showed you 15 cheap date ideas that would cost you $10 dollars or less.

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