Hey party people! It’s Friday. [cue Montell Jordan, stat!] I had a lovely lady email me a few days ago saying that my How My Blog Changed My Life series inspired her to start her blog. Très cool, right? I asked her to send me her blog once it’s up and running and so she did.

She’s in a boatload of debt like me, working hard to find her way out. In the time it would take you to comment on this post, will you pay her a visit and give her a warm welcome to the PF world? We all know how supportive and awesome this community is, so let’s show her! I remember first starting out and having no readers (ok, sorry mom, you count) and feeling so scared, nervous, and confused.

So stop by and say hello to Brandy at Busted Budget and follow her on Twitter.

Lastly, I have some juicy end of month updates that will have to wait until next week as I’m currently freelancing all over the place — writing, brand ambassadoring, etc. You know. The hustle.

Keep it real and have a lovely weekend!

Hey there folks! Gather ’round for the latest dear debt letter, hot off the press! Err, interwebz? Anyways, I’m so excited to feature Free to Pursue, who is writing a dear debt letter AFTER becoming debt free. People in debt like me need to read these stories. Some days it just feels like I will never be debt free and I need to mentally and emotionally know that it is possible. In short, I’m super grateful for her perspective. I also had a chance to meet her at the WDS FinCon meetup here in Portland! I love meeting other bloggers and readers.

More about her: F2P was able to leave a demanding position in the corporate world a year and a half ago, free to pursue various interests, including writing, blogging, reading, lifestyle coaching and travel (the latest trip was to attend WDS). Along with that list of pursuits, she spends her days walking her dog, spending time with friends and family, practicing a few sports (currently working on olympic lifting) and dreaming up how to get the next item crossed off her bucket list (next up: An African Safari).

Dear Debt,
I can’t believe it’s already been five years since we parted ways. Time sure does fly when I’m living it on my terms and not yours.
Despite your constant pleas for us to be reunited, I have to tell you that I don’t have any interest in rekindling the relationship now or at any point in the foreseeable future. To be blunt, you are dead to me. I’ve turned to my positive net worth for comfort instead. The security it provides me feels like a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold winter’s night. It gives me a soft place to land anytime I encounter expenses that I didn’t anticipate or life-enhancing opportunities that I don’t feel I should pass up.
Please don’t ever try to be a part of my life again. Because I don’t miss:
  • You looming over me as I slept at night.
  • The sinking feeling I would get when I would think about the potential need to refinance the mortgage.
  • Having to answer to you and to a boss. There should only be one “Man” in my life after all, right?
  • Your constant reminders that I was not free by using words such as obligation, minimum payment, terms and conditions and the like.
  • Reading the fine print with the expectation that you’ve hidden some clause that will come back to bite me in the future.
My life feels completely different now. I enjoy:
  • Knowing that I have the freedom to do anything I want…just not everything I want. But that’s enough for me.
  • Feeling like the master of my own destiny.
  • The comfort of living in and using a home, a car and other day-to-day things that are entirely mine (ok, and my husband’s too).
  • Looking at my savings and investments totals increase almost every month.
  • Being fulfilled by life itself and not left wanting the next iGadget or any other status symbol you might have taunted me with in the past with mouth-watering terms and conditions such as 0% & no payments for one year.
  • Saving on home insurance because of the discount I receive by being free of you.
So, you see, there’s no room for you anymore. Go find someone else to latch on to. There’s no hope for you here because I’m taking care of myself and I feel good with what I have.
 
I’ve moved on and am not including a forwarding address. 
 
Forever not yours,
Free To Pursue

 

 

I don’t know about you but I hate buying things with lots of chemicals in it. For this reason, I generally steer clear of beauty and cleaning products.

In the past few years I’ve found some natural remedies for things that I need. Here are 5 uncommon uses for common household products.

Salt to Remove Blood Stains

A few years ago, I was at a friend’s house and stepped on a piece of glass with my bare foot. We took out the piece of glass, but I was gushing blood on her light-colored couch. Instead of focusing on my pain, I was mortified. I didn’t want my blood to stain her couch! My friend got a wet washcloth and some salt. She put some salt on the stain and started rubbing. To my amazement the blood was coming right out! I was so relieved. The key is to act fast and get water and rub a nice amount of salt on the affected area. And voila!

Coffee Grounds for Cellulite

If you are looking to exfoliate and tighten up your thighs, try using used coffee grounds. Cellulite is essentially pockets of water between fat (I think) and the caffeine helps dehydrate the area and make it look more firm. I usually do this treatment once a week and exfoliate my thighs. Yes, it’s a bit messy, but it works. It is temporary though, it’s not a permanent solution. Exercise and healthy eating should help. :)

Baking Soda for Cleaning

You can add water to baking soda and use it as a scrub for cleaning. Easy to make and use, without all the smell.

Olive Oil for Dry Skin

In the winter, my face was perpetually dry. I tried moisturizer and face cream but my skin still looked parched and flaky. I decided to try some olive oil after hearing about the benefits. It did wonders for my skin and made it luminous! If your prone to acne, keep it light. It’s also good for hands and the bottom of your feet.

Turmeric for Teeth Whitening

This one totally blew my mind. I read that turmeric was a great natural teeth whitener. I thought “no way!” How could something so yellow and something that stains nearly everything in sight remove stains from your teeth? I decided to try it. I took a dash of turmeric on my finger and put a little water on it. I applied it to my teeth for 2 minutes. At this point I was freaking out. My teeth were bright yellow. This shit better work, I thought. And it did! My teeth looked whiter and it had removed superficial coffee and wine stains (items I practically live off of). You can do this with a toothbrush instead of your finger but it will stain it!

These are household items I already have in my house so I spent no additional money. I love finding new ways to use things you already have.

What’s your favorite natural remedy?

The personal finance world is chock full of helpful advice, money tips and a ton of expert knowledge. Much of this knowledge comes from bloggers and what I call personal finance deities. If you have any sort of penchant for personal finance, I am sure you have heard of Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. Both of these personal finance experts have built an empire educating people on becoming debt free, saving money and taking financial control of one’s life.

On the other end of the spectrum, bloggers like me often write experientially about these things. Most of us don’t have any fancy certifications nor would we call ourselves experts. As someone who has followed personal finance blogs for several years, I love following the journey and hearing from real people. But as I said, we are not the experts, just people with a financial story to tell.

Read more at VOSA.com

Hi friends! I’m excited to feature Kathleen from Frugal Portland on How My Blog Changed My Life. This series highlights the many ways that blogging can change your life and open up opportunities you never thought possible. This is extra special for me as Kathleen was the one who encouraged me to start my blog and without her guidance I might not be here today.

kathleen o'malley

More about her: Kathleen O’Malley is the owner of Frugal Portland and For Profit Blogging. By day, she’s the blog manager for The Center for Sales Strategy, and helps companies determine their best business blogging strategies. When she can be pulled away from her computer, she enjoys spending time with her fiance Brent (though wedding planning is not her strong suit!) and their dog Stanley.

In Kathleen’s words…

Hi, I’m Kathleen. Melanie and I became friends when she asked if she could take me out to dinner one stormy night a year and a half ago. Her enthusiasm was magnetic and her dissatisfaction with her student loan debt consumed her. Since then, she’s been part of our little ragtag group of Portland bloggers, and if I’m lucky, I see her around once a month. Relationships like this wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the power of the written word online.

The Inspiration for Starting my Blog

I woke up on my 30th birthday, still in credit card debt. I’d made a series of bad decisions, and was tired of being broke. So I started reading personal finance blogs. At that time, there was a glitch in the Google universe and the people who were reporting their blog incomes were reporting 20 and 30 thousand dollar income streams every month. Shoot, I thought. I have a debt story, and I can write. I want a piece of that!

So, Frugal Portland was born. My blog grew traction just as Google was fixing that glitch, so I never saw that kind of money, but a funny thing happened. I started making friends with the voices inside my computer (and yes, in case you’re wondering, that is how crazy starts). Turns out, an excellent subsection of humanity exists online!

The Most Challenging Part of Having a Blog

What’s funny, I don’t think of having a blog as a challenge. I suppose it is, in that I picked a hobby that completely sucked me in and there’s no way out. I could have learned French, become an excellent tennis player, or gotten at least a green belt in karate given the amount of time I’ve put into blogging, but it doesn’t feel like a choice anymore. It’s a responsibility now. A way of life, even.

My Life Has Changed in Very Real Ways

I mentioned the happy hour group we have — those friends wouldn’t have existed without blogging. I have friends all over North America. In addition, I started writing for Babble as a freelancer — something I never thought I’d be able to do, and an opportunity that I would have never heard about, were it not for my home on the internet. My day job now is a direct result of starting a blog! I’m a blog manager for a company. It astounds me that I work in an industry that didn’t even exist when I was born. I’m learning all kinds of cool things, and I get to work from home!

I’m still not making $30,000 a month, and I’m not sure I ever will. That’s not my goal anymore. My goal initially was to publicly announce my get-out-of-debt plan. Once I got there, I danced around in my living room, then got to work on the next thing. Now, we talk about real ways to save money, minimalism, frugality, and fun things to do in Portland, Oregon. I started a new blog to help people understand how to make money on the internet. It’s called For Profit Blogging, and it’s aimed toward people who need a little help. I believe that anyone can make money with their story, and I’m teaching tools for foundations, tricks with fun plugins, and more. If you’re making money, any amount of money, on the internet, please contact me and I’ll feature you!

Top 5 Things I Learned from Blogging

  1. People who write blogs are very friendly, and almost none of them think they’re better than you when you’re just starting out.
  2. Blog conferences are excellent, and provide inspiration.
  3. Hanging out with other bloggers rarely involves talking about blogging.
  4. If you compare yourself to others, you’ll go crazy. People don’t share mediocre stats online. They only share the really impressive numbers.
  5. I struggled with confidence early on, and for most of the first year of blogging. I was “just starting out” or I was “just a little blog” and those statements are both self-fulfilling prophecies and limiting. Fake confidence until you are actually confident. Tell yourself every day that you are a writer, or a blogger, or whatever title you want to give yourself that sounds silly. You’ll get there.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, I have seven pieces of advice (other than to read every post of For Profit Blogging!):

  1. Start. Learn by doing. Get up in the morning and write, every single day. You don’t have to publish every day, and I don’t think you should. But start your day writing.
  2. Make sure you pick a topic that sparks something inside you. You’re in this for the long haul, so make sure you can write about your topic 2-3 times a week for life. I tried to start a Paleo blog, but holy smokes did I not care enough about the Paleo lifestyle that it just withered on the vine.
  3. Don’t worry about covering the same topic as someone else. Everything has already been written, right?
  4. Find a group of people you can ask your questions to. There are groups in the personal finance world (such as Yakezie) and there are approximately one bajillion Facebook groups.
  5. RESPOND to your commenters. Trust that there are humans behind those avatars, and that many avatars are actual representations of what those humans look like!
  6. Don’t be afraid to reach out to bloggers you admire, but be specific when you reach out. And be human. Do you want to meet for coffee? Great. Do you have a specific question about blogging? Ask away! Make sure you’re not simply asking someone to “take a look” at your blog.
  7. This one’s just for Melanie: don’t be anonymous! :) Connecting with people is more fun when they have a name, a face, and a Facebook profile that can be invited to happy hour. Melanie’s note: So glad I’m not anonymous anymore!

Trust me, you can do this! :)

xoxo,

Kathleen

Have you ever stopped and thought about how much money goes in and out of the vice economy, all in cold hard cash? I’m thinking the standard vices: sex and drugs.

The illicit nature of these industries makes it even more mysterious for outsiders, but it attracts a lot of cash on the inside. Cash, so it’s not traceable.

I often think we are fully funded by the vice economy and that is really what is keeping everything together. People will pay for a cheap thrill and a good time, by any means necessary.

All of these “hustles” are not being tracked as jobs or income producing endeavors yet they are a huge part of what keeps money flowing in this world.

A few weeks ago, I read this article about the economics of stripping. Really fascinating stuff here.

Although strippers can make good money, looking good and being titillating ain’t cheap. I was so intrigued to take a glimpse into this world. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having wandering thoughts about it.

What if I just strip for a year and pay off all my debt? I have no qualms with nudity, but then again you aren’t really selling nudity. You are selling sex. You are selling an illusion of something you can’t offer. I always convince myself that it’s a bad idea. My boyfriend agrees.

In this article, it’s clear that some women are feeling short-changed by the whole set-up. Who really is getting the money? At what cost? I learned a lot from this little article in the local paper (p.s. did you know Portland has the most strip clubs per capita in the U.S.?)

On the other hand, some strippers blatantly disagreed with the tone of the article and talked up the merits of the vice economy.

“I am a Portland stripper. My employers have all of my pertinent information. I appreciate not signing a W-9 form. I file my own taxes and I pay 1/3 of what I should. I pay 10-40% of my income to the club and its staff every single shift. I worked full-time for three years and made $1600-$2200 a week. I worked my ass off. I do my own hair, nails and teeth whitening. I worked/work in clubs that have no say in regards to my heels, make-up or the tan that I maintain. I save my money, in CDs, an IRA and two savings accounts. I have excellent credit. This job is a tool that can be put to good use. I would love to see an article written by someone with more insight into this industry.”

And this golden nugget:

“As a stripper, this was sort of a sad read. I know that one girl’s experience is not another’s and I would hate to be generalized in a lot of statements. She may work at an “upscale club” but some of Portland’s most reputable and steady earning clubs are actually home-grown with talent and personality, who support their own business and not just trying to make a buck off their dancers, who they know, in fact, do not walk out with what one girl called, “the sky is the limit.” I never ask any of the people who I see in their place of employment how much they make, I never ask them about their business expenses, and if at all applicable, I tip and I tip well. We have jobs that move money around, from big pockets to little pockets, but still how much I make is most people’s way of justifying how much they dislike my job and “how little” I do. I agree, this can be an extremely shallow industry, and by the interviews, it comes off as extremely naive as well.. But Portland is full of smart, educated women who DO own cars, and DO own homes, and DO pay their taxes.. In fact, a lot of women strip as a SECOND income. If Portland could stop generalizing with simple experiences and the “woe is me” route, and take the time to get a **real story** going, our jobs would seem less of a novelty and more of what it is, women getting paid for their time. I’m not walking home with pockets full of cash when every tom, dick, and harry is only throwing up $1 bill because of the ongoing media stigmatization of my job and industry. I don’t need pity, I need to pay my bills like everyone else.”

Hot damn, you go girl. Shake your moneymaker and make it rain!

Anyways, I think the way people make money is fascinating and when you add the lascivious nature of vice and underground dealings it gets extra juicy.

What do you think about the vice economy? Do you know someone who has made money in these industries?

 

Hi friends! I have another awesome edition of How My Blog Changed My Life. This time featuring MY GIRL Tonya from My Fab Finance. I met her a while ago on Twitter. I saw she lived in Brooklyn. As some of you know, I used to live there. So I thought I’d check out her site — I fell immediately in love with her site and her story. She is an inspiration and has been on quite a journey. Now she rocks the house by helping people turn their finances from drab to fab. We have connected in so many ways and I can’t wait to be friends with her “in real life” at FinCon! More about her:

BrooklynBlock

Tonya Rapley is the founder and editor of My Fab Finance. She is your guide to becoming financially fabulous. After improving her credit score by 120 points in 18 months, she fell in love with personal finance. My Fab Finance promotes financial freedom by supporting financial behavioral change and offering relatable information that increases financial literacy. Tonya is a Certified Financial Educator and possesses a master’s degree in Urban Policy.

1. What was the inspiration for starting your blog?

I started my blog so that it could be my accountability partner during my journey to financial respectability. The site turned out to be a hit with my peers and I realized that they wanted to find out how I was improving my finances. A year and a half later I am now a Certified Financial Educator and looking to do My Fab Finance full-time by next year.

2. What has been the most challenging part of having a blog?

Well up until May I was also in graduate school. Plus I work full-time. So growing a blog with a regular blogging schedule while working full-time and attending grad school full-time was extremely tough. Managing my time was difficult and continues to be.

Also I am a Gemini and focusing isn’t really our thing. I’ve learned to focus on the mission of my blog but I have to constantly remind myself of something my mentor told me, she said “be a tree, not a bush.” Don’t try to do everything with your site. Do what you do well, become known for that, and then grow.

3. In what ways, direct or indirect, has your life changed because of your blog?

I found my purpose in my blog. I always knew I wanted to change people’s lives, which is why both of my degrees are public service oriented, but I was not prepared for how clear this blog would make everything. I have never loved any endeavor I have embarked on as much as I do My Fab Finance. It sounds crazy but it’s my baby. I’m protective of its brand and integrity and think about it every waking hour (do I sound obsessed?)

I have met so many amazing people that I never would have met otherwise. I’ve learned how to effectively collaborate with others and see people in my field as assets not competition. My blog has also taught me about completion. Prior to My Fab Finance I was the type of person who talked about what they were going to do. Now, I do what I say I’m going to do. I have learned how powerful I am and have gained confidence in myself and my ability to achieve my goals. My Fab Finance has given me the opportunity to let my life speak.

4. What have you learned from blogging?

I have learned that consistency is essential and can overshadow talent. I have learned that relationships matter. I have learned how to use Photoshop a lot better. I have learned what type of person I don’t want to be. I’ve also learned how to share.

5. What advice would you give to new bloggers who are thinking of starting a blog?

Make sure it’s something you reallllyyy want to write about. After that first year that topic you thought you had so much to say about starts to look a little skimpy. Also write write write. I have a stockpile of articles I write when I’m in that zone to pull from when I’m not in the zone.

Lastly, readers do not come overnight, it takes work to get them to the site, be patient and make sure you have good content to bring them back.

Thank you so much, Tonya!

We all know those people who respond to something cool you are doing by saying, “I could never do that!”

That has happened to me several times. I would talk about paying over 50% of my income to debt while earning a nonprofit salary; leaving security behind in Los Angeles to attend grad school in New York City, and relocating to Portland without a job, all in the name of love.

I’d hear it over and over again, “I could never do that!”

I’ve been guilty of saying it myself as well. When people talk about significantly increasing their incomes, or learning a difficult technical skill, I find myself on the other side of the coin. I think, “I could never do that!”

But here’s the thing: you could if you really wanted to.

Read more at VOSA.com

I have a confession to make. I used to be a terrible writer. In English, my native language no less. Now, I would like to preface this by saying that by making such a statement I am not saying that I am a great writer. But I’m a good enough writer to get paid for it from time to time and I’ve dramatically improved from my younger years.

In High School when writing essays started to be really important, I would consistently get Cs and Bs. I was almost a straight A student, and to have English as the one class holding me back really bothered me.

I would get my papers back and they would be covered in red ink. I didn’t have a firm grasp on principles of grammar and I wasn’t clear in my writing; it wasn’t engaging.

I started learning Spanish, which really helped me understand English. I started to better understand how verbs work, grammar, adjectives, etc. Starting from scratch and learning the basic principles of language really helped me with understanding English. It made sense as I have been speaking English my whole life, before I even knew what an adjective or past participle was.

I slowly started to become a better writer. I graduated high school and moved on to college, where my writing skills would be put to the test.

Initially, I was a Philosophy minor, which required me to write nothing but essays as my homework. I also had to pass a Freshman writing test to prove I was “good enough” to move on to be a Sophomore. In my Philosophy classes, I would get so excited talking about ideas, thinking about reality and perception and more. But my writing issues still remained. My writing sounded like a book report. It was stale and bland, each word dying on the page.

After being frustrated and realizing that if I wanted to master Philosophy, I was going to have to be an engaging writer and a clear communicator. I started meeting one-on-one with my professors each week to receive feedback. I started going to the Writing Center for tutoring.

I remember how happy I was when I got my first A on an essay. It was so rewarding for me. I passed the Freshman English exam and was able to improve my writing throughout college.

I wish I could say that I had a natural-born talent at writing and that I’ve always been good at it. I’m often envious of people who are good at something without much effort. But that’s not the case.

However, my writing has improved because of perseverance. My writing has improved because I learned another language, I started reading more, and really cared about improving.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think it’s amazing that 10 years ago I would receive papers covered in red, looking at the editing bloodshed. I was embarrassed and felt like a failure.

Now, I get paid to write. Not a lot, but I still get paid to express my thoughts in a creative way. I sew words together to make them sound pretty. I re-arrange them to make them shift their meaning. I create copy that sells in a friendly, unobtrusive way.

I still have so much to learn too and that is the exciting part. As any type of creative, your work is never really “done.” I still make stupid mistakes, or have major bouts of insecurity, or even have epic fails. This week I received my first big writing rejection. I tried my best and worked really hard at it, and it still wasn’t good enough. The sting of rejection is always painful, but it’s something that I am getting better at dealing with.

I put my big girl panties on and kept working on other projects. I looked back on how far I’ve come and was simply amazed that I AM a writer. Writing used to cause me so much distress. Now it is fun, pleasurable and intense.

So, why is this important? Because wherever you are in your life, whatever struggle you are dealing with, it can get better. If your financial situation sucks, or you feel like you can’t do something, don’t give up. Just keep going and commit yourself to learning and getting better.

You can learn something and improve, even if your mind is telling you, “I’m just not good at that.” Don’t confuse talent with skill. You can learn skills, talent is just a predisposition or an aptitude for something. Hard work does pay off (eventually).

So whatever stumbling blocks you are going through, know that you can overcome it. Work at it. Every day. If you are feeling comfortable, work harder. Do something that scares you. Remember the people you admire are just people. They are not more or less special than you.

So get out there and start doing. Start creating. Start improving. Change things around in big or small leaps. Do what you want because there is only one life. Stop self-sabotaging yourself by saying, “I’m not good at that,” or “I can’t.” Say, “I’m still learning.”

You can do it. I believe in you.

Melanie’s Notes: Check out my other writing around the web.

How Much is Your Job Costing You?

The Cost of Convenience

15 Awesome Inexpensive Date Ideas

Also, if you find value in my content and you like what I do, would you consider nominating me for Best Debt blog for the Plutus Awards, starting August 1st? It would mean a lot to me.

workinginthepark

As you guys know, I love side hustling and making extra money. I’m always looking for new avenues of income and one such way of doing that is by starting an online store. Managing an online store can allow you to have the income of your dreams without ever leaving the house.

The issue that many people run into when starting an online business is a lack of understanding about the rules they have to abide by and the tools available to assist in managing an online store.

The good news? You can learn from the professionals to understand exactly what you need to do to have the most effective and profitable online store possible. Here are a few suggestions to help you in managing your online store and to start making more money right now.

Have the Right License

All businesses need to be licensed as legal entities. If you run an unlicensed business, you can get in trouble with the government, and this includes online businesses. I’m still doing research on all this, as I’m fairly new to making money online.

License’s should be attained before you create online store components of any kind. The licenses differ from one location to another, so you need to get in touch with your local government to learn what the laws are that govern your business. Remember that because you’re establishing a store online, the rules that apply to you will be slightly different from the rules that apply to a traditional brick and mortar store. Make sure to specify in detail the kind of business you have so you’re getting the most accurate information; this will help prevent any problems down the line. Stay organized and on top of paperwork! Thanks to the Internet, you can generally handle the license registration online, in a short time!

Let Someone Else Handle the Shipping

You’ve got enough to handle without worrying about shipping as well. However, your products need to get out to the clients once they have been ordered, so shipping is something you need to consider.

One of the best ways you can handle shipping, after you create online store pages for all of your products, is to work with a drop shipper. The great thing about drop shippers is that they will literally handle every aspect of the shipping process. The only thing that is required of you is to transmit each order to the drop shipper for them to handle. As soon as the drop shipper receives the order, they’ll start packaging the products immediately and ship them out to your customers. The customer will have the impression the box is coming from you because it will be marked with your branding and address. Drop shippers handle warehousing, so send along a bulk shipment of products that can be shipped out as soon as an order comes in. This way, you can concentrate on managing your online store.

Make it Easy for Customers

Online shoppers, after selecting their purchases, always have that moment when they have to decide whether to cancel the sale entirely or enter the information needed to pay for the purchases. To avoid this, make it easy on your customers! This is why you should have easy-to-use sales features available to them. Have a better shopping cart, provide lots of information and have good references.

Make sure that the solutions in place provide ample information to your customers as they go through the process of ordering their products, to ensure they follow through.

Use Open Source Tools

Starting an online store doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Just because you manage an online store this doesn’t mean you want to spend all your money on the tools that will bring you success. One of the great ways to get the tools you need without breaking the budget, is to use open source tools. These are created by the public, and shared with the public. They are generally created by a community of programming professionals to help those in need of better technology, but without the ability to purchase expensive software from the big companies.

These companies generally accept donations to help fund their processes. If you can afford to give something to the people who developed the software, it’s a good idea to do so to pay it forward. It’s not required, but it’s one of the best ways to make sure these kinds of tools will continue to be available for years to come. Shop around, as you can find many tools to help you manage your online store in creative ways you only dreamed were possible.

Do you have an online store? What tips do you have to get started?