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Jul 22, 2013 -

The Zinio Digital Magazine Subscription Giveaway!

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Living in an RV where weight is a concern, print magazines are a rare treat that usually get passed on to someone else. But thanks to the iPad, I can enjoy digital issues of magazines and even keep them for future reference. I love having dozens of different magazines on hand for times when I have a long enough wait to need a way to pass the time, but am surrounded by too many distractions to really concentrate on a book.

So I was really excited when zinio.com emailed to ask me to showcase their latest promotions.

Zinio is a virtual newsstand offering digital editions of more than 5,000 popular magazines. These magazines can be read on a number of devices including the Apple iPad, all devices running Android, Windows 8, the Kindle Fire, as well as your computer browser. So if you are reading this blog, you are able to enjoy a Zinio magazine subscription.

As for the Z-Pass service, it’s currently only available to US residents, although international availability is forthcoming. Here’s the scoop:

-You get 3 magazines for $5/month

-Your magazines can change from month to month

-There is no commitment

-You get one month free

Or you might be interested in their limited time 5 issues for $5 promotion, valid until July 26th and available worldwide.

Zinio is giving me a free subscription in exchange for showcasing this new promotion, but even better, I have EIGHT other subscriptions to give away to readers anywhere in the world!

If you are interested in getting an absolutely free digital magazine subscription through Zinio, let me know in the comments. Each comment will be assigned a number based on the order in which the comments are received and then eight numbers will be picked randomly.

The winners will need to provide me with their full name, email address, and the name of the magazine to which they want to subscribe. There are no strings attached and you will not be asked to provide credit card information.

This contest is open for until August 6th and the winners will then have 10 days to send me the required information. Good luck!

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Apr 28, 2013 -

A Matter of Sponsorship

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details of my financial situation and what’s been going on behind the scenes, but I have had a lot of unexpected expenses in the past months and even with expenses being low and hospitality being high, finances are dire. It’s just been a bad patch and I finally had to ask for help.

A few generous sponsors stepped in and put a finger in the dike in a number of different ways (THANK YOU), but the fact is that there is way more going out than coming in right now and that I am heading into a country where my cost of living is fully twice what it is now, no exaggeration. So it’s all a little much.

Truth be told, I had issues like this earlier on in my RVing life and I wouldn’t say anything about it. I’d just get an increase on my credit card or go hungry for a few days or whatever. But it’s getting harder and harder to be that silent on the blog because my readers (and according to Google Analytics, there are 20,000 of you a month!!!) aren’t allowing me to stay quiet for long. I also feel an increasing need to correctly and realistically display what an unstable lifestyle is like with variable income.

There was a time when I was embarrassed to accept donations in any form, feeling that my financial situation is my own responsibility. But I met someone this winter who had a very different perspective.

How many hours do I spend updating this blog and doing research for it, my ebooks, and articles? How many hours do I spend answering emails from folks with questions? RVing is literally a full-time job for me. It’s also my passion and the only thing I want to do.

How much do I earn from it? It’s at best a minimum wage part-time job.

The amount of time I spend being a public RVer and the expectations people have for me is disproportionate to the amount of money I make from it. People don’t seem to realise that every hour I spend working on the blog and doing any other RVing-related activity is an hour that I am not earning income. Just about all the other really well-known RVers out there are retired and people lose sight of the fact that I’m not.

I’d much rather be a professional RVer than do any of the other stuff I do. I love this lifestyle, I love keeping on top of the market and the technical stuff, and I love to educate other people about it. I wish I could live and breathe RVing. I know folks who succeed at doing so. And the reason they do is because they treat it like a job and expect to be compensated for it.

So I no longer accept ‘donations’ because that makes me sound like a charity case. Instead, I accept sponsorships. They can be anonymous or public, and the public ones will be highlighted/advertised on both this blog and the new site I’ll be launching shortly.

Sponsorship doesn’t have to be in the form of a PayPal payment. It can be taking me out for a meal or offering me a driveway. How about sponsorship as an exchange of services? You could notice that I’m going by your cousin’s tire place and that he could use some advertising. So why not ask him to put some new tires on the rig? Cheaper than a billboard and a much wider audience reach. Or maybe you went to a small brake repair shop last year and you let them know that they could get some publicity in exchange for doing maintenance on my truck.

One of the earliest sponsorships I ever got was from someone who used rewards points on her credit card to get me a gift card to a store I frequent. And of course, there’s always my Amazon link. These are ‘free’ ways to sponsor that really help my bottom line.

Sponsorship is a win-win for everyone. I get paid to do the job I love, sponsors get advertising, and my readers get more information.

Something in my life has to give and I’d really rather it not be this lifestyle I love so much. I really am afraid that I will have to downgrade RVing to being a hobby that is last to everything else, especially with my rig getting older and needing more maintenance and repair.

Thank you again to everyone who has sponsored Travels With Miranda, and not just in the last month or so. You all know who you are and you have all made me a firm believer in both karma and the principle of paying things forward. I am so grateful to my tribe.

Here’s the link to the sponsorship page.

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Apr 16, 2013 -

2013 RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar

Late June, I’ll be talking about my trip this winter at the RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar in Kelowna, BC. This is the third time I’ve been invited and I knew if I said no again, I’d never get another chance.

From the topics page:

The presenter will share tips on how to find free or inexpensive places to park your RV, whether it be overnight or for several weeks, by providing examples and resources from her 2012-2013 trip through several states, including Louisiana and Texas.

I’m really excited to attend the seminar as it sounds like a really fun weekend. That said, it has thrown my summer completely off kilter. This is a volunteer gig, so I’m not sure yet how I’ll finance all that time off to prepare and attend the seminar. I am thinking of looking for sponsors, although I have no idea of how to go about doing that.

The RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar is like attending RV College for a long weekend, with lots of things to learn and plenty of opportunities for socializing. If you’re thinking of being in BC this summer, maybe as you’re heading up to Alaska, you might want to squeeze this event into your calendar.

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