Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

26 September 2017

5 EASY Ways To Earn and/or Save Money As A Blogger

Ok you guys, I'm here today to spill the beans on how easy it is to make a few extra bucks, or save a few extra bucks, as a blogger. Think about it, as a blogger you've got some insanely valuable assets and skills that you've developed over the years. When you're a blogger, you're a one stop shop - you have to do it all yourself. Everything from learning photography, to editing, to SEO, to building a large and engaged following. You name it, you do it as a blogger. So, today, I figured I'd bring you 7 EASY ways to make an extra buck, or save an extra buck just using the skills you've developed from blogging all of these years!

1. #SAVE || Eat and Drink For Free 
Just Don't Forget Cash for a Tip

This sounds far fetched, and it TOTALLY IS NOT. You also do not have to have a localized account, like Dallas Love List, to get these perks, you just have to love food (me, hi, I love food) and taking photos of your food. 

There are these things called MEDIA dinners, right? Basically, restaurants that are either new, or launching new menu items, invite members of the media (aka- bloggers and instagrammers) out to preview the meals. 

Now, yes, at these media dinners it is MOSTLY food bloggers, but certainly not ONLY food bloggers. There's almost always a rogue lifestyle or fashion blogger that has been invited. 

So how do you get yourself on these lists? 

I'm not telling you to only start posting food, but throw some food posts in there a couple of times a month, and be sure to tag #CITYeats #CITYfoodie #CITYdrinks #CITYfood. Your posts will appear in the feeds the PR companies use to build their media invite lists. 

For example, not all food pics, have to be off brand. Edit your food photos just like you would your flatlays.

Here's a photo I'd have no problem posting on VTIM's instagram account, even though it isn't the normal content I share.

Slap on #DallasEats #DallasFoodie #DallasFood and #DallasBlogger and you're on the track to free food and drinks!

A post shared by Dallas Love List (@dallaslovelist) on

While you're at the media dinner, be sure to share on your stories and share your beautiful photography on instagram, post event, to keep getting invited back!


2. #EARN || Food Photography  
How many of us lifestyle bloggers have a DSLR and know how to use it? If you can photograph cocktail recipes for your blog, with that beautiful bokeh blurred background, you can photograph for a small restaurant in your hometown. 

I'm not suggesting that you go knocking down the doors at Chipotle and demand they hire you immediately to photograph the entire menu, but I bet your favorite ice cream shop would love a little help with extra photos for their social media accounts. 

It's worth a pitch to local restaurant brands, some will pay in cash, some will pay in free ice cream. Both are worth it to me! 

I worked with Mesa Restaurant in Grapevine to photograph their menu for their website. They asked if I'd be interested, and I said I would love to, it was something I hadn't even considered before! 

3. #EARN || Sell Your Insta Caption
I'm VERY in to maintaining my feed on Dallas Love List. I think it is the biggest asset Dallas Love List has, so I'm not willing to just throw any old photo in there.  I don't make a lot of money on Dallas Love List, but one way I do, without compromising my feed is by selling out the caption and bio link for 24 hours. 

If a company contacts me to collaborate together, if we aren't able to work out a trade (i.e. food/drink in exchanges for social share), I tell them I'd be willing to sell them my instagram caption and I'll use a relevant photo.

For example, a company that conducts paid research groups contacted me asking how we could collaborate. I suggested they purchase the caption. Turns out, it was a great campaign for them because a bunch of my followers DID signup for the research groups! Bingo-bongo - everyone is happy!

4. #SAVE || Find Flexibility in Monthly Bills

As a blogger, you have months where you are TOTALLY KILLING IT, and then, of course, months where waiting for clients is like watching paint dry. Having a cell phone plan that is flexible is something that is essential for a blogger who doesn't have a consistent income every single month. 

I've partnered with AT&T PREPAID to tell you how easy this plan is to maintain when you need flexibility in your life from month-to-month. There is no annual contract or credit check, and you get unlimited data, talk & text for $60/month with AutoPay. Plus, you're on the AT&T Network, the nation’s best data network, reaching more than 300 million people in North America. Oh, and did I mention you can even BYOD -Bring your own device - INCLUDING the iPhone!

CB and I are on the same plan, and I've been talking him into bringing his small business on a multi-line prepaid plan which can save up to $75 a month.  He could add up to five lines for a consumer account or ten lines for small business and make one easy payment each month.

You can still have a phone at all times, still have access to your instagram and blog at all times and still be connected and working on growing your own personal brand, wihout having to spend a small fortune on your wireless bill. Plus, you'll have the ability to change your plan on months where money is tight!

5. #SAVE || Cover Events

Repeat after me, "As a blogger who has worked so hard to build a following, I should never pay for any events I attend!"

If you want to attend an event, just ask for tickets in exchange for coverage! Promise them a blog post covering the event, or perhaps, instead, a ticket giveaway prior to the event and insta story shares while at the event.

99% of the time, I'm able to find a press contact on the website of the event I'm wanting to attend. Also, I did this long before I started Dallas Love List. Take the Untapped Fort Worth Festival for example, that had nothing to do with Dallas Love List. I got those tickets via Venus Trapped in Mars! All I did was email, ask for something specific (i.e. two GA tickets) and what I'd give in return - a full blog post recapping the event.
A post shared by Sarah Webb / Venus Trapped (@iamsarahwebb) on

Have you found any other, awesome ways to save money as a blogger?
Do tell, do tell!

Thank you to AT&T for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

18 September 2017

Berry Bourbon Smash + How To Choose A Signature Whiskey for Your Bar Cart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Diageo. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CollectiveBias #thewhiskey5

Attending college (the best college in the world, fact) in the South sparked my love for whiskey. Whiskey was served at any party we went to, and certainly the first thing ordered at the bars. After college, I spent 2 years living in Kentucky and was introduced to a slightly different liquor that was king in Kentucky, known as bourbon. I've pretty much been in love with each ever since.

Now, a lot has changed since I was in college, and also since I lived in Kentucky. For starters, I'm an adult with a job (well, technically like 43 jobs if you count this blog and my full time job, and Dallas Love List and occasionally blog designing, and occasionally free-lance writing and and and... you catch my drift). Sure, I had jobs in college and while living in Kentucky, but my salary reflected that of a punk kid just out of college.

Now, at age 30, I can afford to not jump straight to well liquors - and the lovely way they make you feel the next morning. I like to think of a nice liquor as an investment piece for my bar cart. I'm certainly not going to serve it in bulk at a party, and it's there for us to enjoy from time to time.
SO, you want to invest in a nice liquor, but what the heck do you buy???

Enter, You simply select the two flavors that best suit your taste, and use a slider to select intensity of each flavor. I'm no newbie to whiskey, so I fell straight in the bold category. Is it weird to be proud of this? Should I add this to my resume? Asking for a friend...

You'll select between the following flavor profiles: Smooth, Spicy, Bold, Sweet, Smoky, then just hit "Get results" to find your flavor. That simple. It even gives you recipe ideas, or suggests if it would actually be good just solo, on the rocks! CB and I like to have whiskey on the rocks (I personally dig the circular ice molds, they're fantastic) and a splash of water.

Today though, I thought I'd show you a cocktail you can make using one of the bourbons I picked out of the bold category: Bulleit 10 year old. The bold category explores the deeper flavors achieved by generous aging; a remarkable pallet with a mix of oak, dark fruits and charred smokiness and long rich finish.

My absolute favorite bourbon/whiskey cocktail is a smash, with muddled fruits and herbs. So, let's hop to it!

Here is my Berry Bourbon Smash featuring Bulleit Bourbon 10 year old!

|| Instructions Makes 2 || 

4 Strawberries

Small handful of blueberries (I used about 10) 

8 basil leaves

3 oz bourbon

3 oz lemon lime soda

1.5oz lemon juice

1 oz agave or simple syrup

Lemon slices and basil for garnish 

|| Directions || 

Lightly muddle strawberries, blueberries and basil in a cocktail shaker until fragrant. Add bourbon and lemon juice, then fill with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled crushed ice and top with lemon lime soda. Garnish with lemon slice and basil. 

It's so easy to use the site to find your flavor match! Go check out their website, select your two flavor profiles, adjust using the slider and voila! Your new whiskey match appears. They even have a store locator for you to find your whiskey match. While in store, be on the lookout for the following branded display! 

So, are you a whiskey drinker? 
If so, what's your favorite, go-to whiskey?