RECOMMENDATIONS

This is a list of my all-time favorite products that I would buy a million times again. Whether you are looking for college or blogging recommendations, these are my holy-grail products and things I recommend to everyone.

My Favorite College Products:

1. Twin XL-Mattress Pad

If you're going to buy anything for your dorm, make it be a mattress pad!!

Seriously, college dorm beds suck and are so uncomfortable. I bought this mattress pad my freshman year of college and am so obsessed with it that I've used it every year since and have even put it on my queen size mattress at home (even though it only covers half the bed).

Best part is that it's one of the cheapest mattress pads on Amazon. Buy it, you won't regret it.

2. Ebates

by sophia lee recommendations

Okay, this is more like a life-hack than anything but I am so obsessed with this.

It's a free website that gives you cash-back when you online shop. I mostly use it when I buy things online at Amazon, Target, and SheIn.

It's saved me $400 dollars so far :/. Best part is that it's free and not sketchy at all! My friend actually recommended it to me because she liked it so much.

Click here to go to Ebates website.

3. Small Dorm Vacuum

I am a major clean freak and having this in my dorm room was the best!

This vacuum is less than $20 and works SO much better than the crappy vacuum they have for you to use in the dorms (believe me, they're terrible and like 80 years old).

Three years later and I still use this all the time in my apartment.

4. Sound Machine

If you are a light sleeper or need it to be silent to study, you NEED this in your life for college.

I am both a light sleeper and can only study in silence (I know, high maintenance) and this took away all noise that was happening around me.

Whenever I was falling asleep and my roommates were up or people were making loud noise in the dorm rooms next to us I would just turn this on and not hear anything.

5. Towel Wrap

I got this as a gift at my graduation party and thought I would never use it...truth be told I wore it every single day even if I wasn't showering!

To know that I didn't have to worry about my towel falling off while I was walking to the community bathroom at the end of the hallway was so nice.

Everyone has these and if you are looking to get your friends or yourself this as a little gift, get it monogrammed! Mines monogrammed and it added the perfect little touch to it.

(PS! This towel wrap comes in all types of colors)

6. Day Designer Planner

I am a major planner and this is by far the best planner I have ever owned.

I love it because it has a to-do section for me to put any homework/exams I have but also has a time-blocking space so I can plan my day out.

There is a more expensive version of the Day Designer that something get but I get the $30 dollar version and it works perfect for me!

When  I was living in the dorms (and now still in my college apartment) I used Amazon Prime ALL the time and would get next-day delivery of stuff to my dorm room.

As a student you get free Amazon prime so I definitely wouldn't not take advantage of that. Plus, you can get your books way faster.

ALSO! With Prime you get access to all of Amazon's movies and TV shows that are so good (mostly talking about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel...so good).

Get your free Amazon Prime student account with this link.

8. Chegg

I always used to see ads to buy your school books off of Chegg but never did until last year.

First off, it was the cheapest play I could find to rent my books. When the books came I opened the box and there was all types of samples in it that came free with the books! I got a full can of Red Bull, Tarte lip gloss, and random other things.

It was such a nice surprise that now I always (unless Amazon has it way cheaper) rent my school books through Chegg.

My Favorite Blogging Products:

1. WordPress

wordpress

My blog is run through a self-hosted WordPress blog and it's the only way I recommend to do it! 

I do not recommend Blogger, Wix, Square Space, etc. Only WordPress! You can find out why I feel so strongly about this on my How To Start A Blog post!

bluehost logo

If you're looking to start a WordPress blog for cheap, Bluehost is the way you do it. When I started my blog, I used Bluehost as my host and paid less than $4 dollars a month. It's rated one of the best hosting companies and I recommend it to all my readers who want to start a blog.

I give you all the details on how to set up your blog with WordPress and Bluehost on this post: How To Start A Blog.

I wouldn't have grown my blog to be making so much money monthly if it wasn't for Bluehost.

17th avenue designs

Eek! I love 17th Avenue Designs! They are who designed my website and they have the best WordPress themes at such good prices.

They have so many options to choose from and I have so many readers who have also used them and have had great experiences.

I paid for them to install my website for me because I was scared I was going to mess something up but you definitely don't have to if you are technology savvy ;).

BTW, my exact theme is called Amelia.

Restored 316 is another WordPress theme website that I stalk all the time because they have the prettiest themes!

I have personally never used them, but they are HUGE in the blogging community and people rave about them. I thought I should add them for anyone starting a blog in case you like these better.

They also have a really cool feature where you can take a quiz to see what theme is best for you! You can take the quiz here.

tailwind

This is the #1 blogging software that I couldn't live without.

Tailwind is a website that can schedule pins to go out on Pinterest. Since one of the largest ways I market my blog posts through is Pinterest, that means that I have over 100 pins going out everyday. 

I would NEVER have time to sit and manually pin those myself everyday so it's awesome to have Pinterest do it for me (it means I only have to be on Pinterest for about 30 minutes a week). 

You can get 100 free pins with this link.

convertkit

ConvertKit is what I currently use to do all my emails.

I spent months debating if I should get ConvertKit because it is a little on the pricey end but finally decided in the end to go with it after having major issues with Mailerlite (do NOT recommend).

All the bloggers that make $50,000+ per month recommend ConvertKit as the leading email provider and say that over half of their income comes just from their email list. Sooo, I have just started focusing on my email list.

I will get back to you in a few months if I do truly believe ConvertKit is working and how well my email list is growing.

As of 1/18/19, I have 2,351 email subscribers. My goal is to get to 15,000 by the end of the year...we'll see ;). 

My Favorite Blogging Courses:

I am a HUGE believer in taking blogging courses. I truly believe the only reason I have found success so quickly is because I have enrolled in blogging courses and followed them exactly from the leaders in the blogging world. 

WITH THAT SAID, every course I have bought I have researched, and researched, and researched to make sure I didn't buy any courses that would teach me nothing and end up wasting my money.

These are the courses I have loved and continue to recommend the most in order of when I purchased them.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

This was the first course I ever purchased!!

I think when I first took this course I only had like three posts written. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is written by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner who is a blogging GENIUS and made over 1,500,000 MILLION on her blog last year (2018). Yeah, you read that right.

She makes majority of her money from affiliate marketing and her course goes over the exact techniques she used to bring her blog to make that much money. 

Do I think this course was worth it? Yes, definitely. I started my blog in September 2017 and by October 2017, I made $300 from affiliate marketing techniques from her course.

Fast forward to this year and in October I earned over $3,400 dollars in one month just from affiliate marketing (Can be seen in the January 2019 income report). About 50% of my blogging income each month comes from affiliate marketing.

by sophia lee recommendations

This is one of the most affordable blogging courses out there and JAM-PACKED with information.

I completely believe that Pinteresting Strategies is the first course EVERY new blogger should buy. It gives you so much information on Pinterest and it will help you sky rocket your blogging success.

Now I want to say, I don't follow everything she teaches. I am a full-time college student and simply do not have time to manually pin everything I put out on Pinterest.

However, she taught me so much just about how Pinterest works that I would buy the course over and over again. It's all about Pinterest SEO, how to properly set up your boards, design your pins, etc. So much information that you need to know to succeed on Pinterest.

Also, Carly (the women who wrote this course) is the actual best and is so real.

If you just started your blog, buy this course! It will help you grow your page views so much.

EBA is my favorite course I have ever taken but it is expensive.

I saved for MONTHS for this course. I mean let's be real, I was a college student who was BROKE. I seriously babysit every weekend and opened a checking account where I could put that money into and save it JUST to buy this course.

But guys, this course is the real deal. It teaches you every single thing you would ever need to know about starting a successful blog.

Majority of people that take the course and actually finish it end up making well above full-time income just from their blog.

I bought this course in March 2018 and am STILL taking it today (Jan 2019) because there is so much information jam-packed in there. The average person takes nine months to finish the course.

I am not even an affiliate for this course because they are extremely strict about who they let be affiliates (hopefully one day I will be one!) I just truly believe that if you are fully committed to starting a successful blog then you should really consider saving for this course.

ALSO, this course only opens up once a year in March for one week. They don't sell it any other time.

List Love Masterclass is the latest course I have purchased and goes over all things email list building!

Okay, I have to tell you how crazy good this girl is and why I bought this course. Jennifer Maker (the women who wrote this course) built a list of over 70,000 subscribers (which is really freakin' good) in less than two years.

BUT WAIT, it gets better. Just this past fall, she made over $25,000 in two days selling a product just to her email list.

I just took this course in December and I will let you know in a few months what I truly think of it...so far, so good!

She has a free mini-course that I would also highly recommend.

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