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My Baby Turns One, Plus Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!


The baby being the blog and yes, this will be the mother of all mega rants! You see, by this point 95 percent of bloggers either give up or post sporadically. Yet another proof that it’s not as easy as it looks. But I am stubborn and was determined to beat the statistic.

It’s funny, in high school I debated on whether to become a journalist, a lawyer, mathematician or a writer. I ended up doing none of those things… till I started blogging.

It really does take a special type of chutzpah to come in at the peak of blog saturation in the industry, start a site  named “Miles for Family” (yawn), have no IT skills and overabundance of commas, yet expect people to read my rants.

Well, I’m full of it! Chutzpah, that is.

My goal all along was to alienate 99 percent of bloggers in the industry in 18 months. Well, I am happy to report that I’ve  achieved it well ahead of schedule. What? Are you telling me that networking plays a huge part in a success of a blog? Why didn’t someone tell me that before I started my calling-out campaign? 🙂

Do you remember Golden Globes a few years back, where Ricky Gervais was the host and insulted everyone in the audience.

When Robert Downey Jr. got up on stage to present one of the trophies, he quipped: “Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn’t you?”

In all honesty, I would like to apologize to anyone whose feelings I’ve hurt. It was never my intention. Nothing in my posts was meant to be a personal insult, though I certainly could have handled it better in many cases. There were some very dumb posts, no question.

I wish I could go back and do some things differently, but alas, life doesn’t work that way. This is where I break out into a song, since  my blog is a bit like a musical. Coldplay’s lyrics from “Scientist” :

“I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart…

…Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start.”

I do want to thank all the fellow bloggers who retweeted my posts, linked to my site, commented etc. I won’t name names since I’m afraid I’ll forget someone, but I am so glad you are one-percenters… for now.

For many in the industry, my blog is a big joke and a nuisance. To them I say: I totally get it and I’m not here to try to change your mind. I’ll be   the first to admit that 99 percent of people in this hobby will get absolutely nothing out of my posts. I’m here to reach the 1 percent.

Of course, a huge thanks to Daraius from Million Mile Secrets for creating this little monster!  If he had a  time machine, would he still  have interviewed me? I wonder if he even knows the answer to that question. It has truly been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I suddenly had  people wanting to read my rants. A curse because I suddenly had people wanting to read my rants.

How could I forget my favorite reader Ramsey (Dave Ramsey?), “Miles for Family” fan club president. A very small, yet  exclusive establishment. He once said I was a sassy broad. Guilty as charged!

Readers, I hope you found my content useful because I’ve worked extremely hard at it. Thank you so very much for sticking around.  At some point I might close up shop and go home, but I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

No, “Miles and points for an average family” is not a very sexy niche, but it’s the one that is  lacking coverage. It’s also the one that can make the most impact.  For many  in this hobby, sign-up bonuses are just the icing on the cake. They can afford travel regardless. For regular families, credit card bonuses can mean the difference between taking that dream Europe trip and not taking it. I want you to take it.

My traffic numbers certainly aren’t impressive, especially now that my star post on Chase Sapphire Preferred  has inexplicably dropped like a rock in Google ranking.  Plus, most families just don’t search for this topic online. And when they do, they find a 100 other blogs before stumbling upon mine.

But where I lack in quantity, I seem to make up for in quality. I sure do have some dedicated readers, and for that I’m grateful. I’ll take a handful of YOU over thousands of Google surfers any day.

At some point in the  future, I will focus on updates and specific reader requests. I want my site to solve real problems and not just fill in the space in this industry.

So, let’s start today. I would like you to give me a topic you want me to write about, as well as deals you would like me cover in the future. If you have benefited from my blog in a specific way, please, let me know. I would love to hear from you.

If you are fed up with me and my site and just want both of us to go away, here is your chance to speak up. It will make you feel better, I promise! You might even win a $35 Amazon gift card. How sweet would that be? Last chance to comment and be eligible for  a prize will be on Friday at 9 PM Eastern time.

So, friends, enemies, frenemies, haters and trolls. Come on out, don’t be shy!

P.S.  For the main dish, check out my guest post on Club Thrifty blog after you comment here. How Small Business Saturday Made Me Feel Like a Jerk.”

If you liked my post, please, subscribe to receive free blog updates through email and recommend me to your family and friends. You can also follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook  and download my e-book   on Amazon



Picture credit goes to



Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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32 thoughts on “My Baby Turns One, Plus Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

  1. First let me proudly describe myself as a 1%’er to reading your blog posts!

    I’d like to see bloggers talk more about Manufactured Spending (MS) and define the multitude of acronyms & abbreviations they use for the newbies. I don’t have time to wade through thousands of posts on flyer talk. That is why I like the blogs and use their affliate links because they summarize the main points.

    Here’s a good example of a Barclays Arrival card MS posting from yesterday:

    I’d like to see more of that.

    Thanks! #$35AmazonGiftCardGiveaway. ?

    • BB, thanks for commenting! I don’t focus on M/S too much in my blog because I don’t believe it applies to most regular families, and those are my target readers. Plus, I don’t do it myself. That’s why I defer to experts. Pointchaser is probably the best blog on m/s and breaks down this activity in simple steps that are easy to follow. I will try to look out for good posts on the subject, so I can link to them, and occasionally do one myself.

  2. Congrats on reaching the one year mark! I would like to see posts about deals for back to school shopping, since we will be starting our search soon.

  3. Let me give you some advice. Forget everyone and what they think. Be nice to people. Be yourself. But don’t try to hard to cater to the masses or other bloggers. Some people will read what you write and like it, and that’s great. Others will hate it. People who find success in blogging are those who are authentic.

    • Holly, I absolutely agree with you on not trying to cater to other bloggers. I think my blog is a proof of that! 🙂 I’ve also learned that there is no way of pleasing everyone, so kind of gave up on that one. In the past a critical comment totally ruined my day, but not anymore. Agree with you on trying to be a nice person in blogging and life in general. I think I failed in that department somewhat during my last year.

  4. I agree with BB. Perhaps you could explain some terms and acronyms us newbies don’t know. I will reveal my level of ignorance and admit I don’t know what avios are. Maybe explain the different currency of points and why some are better than others. Congrats on making it a year!

    • Jennifer, I will try to make it more simple. It’s hard to balance my content because most of my readers aren’t newbies. As far as Avios, it is simply the name of British Airways miles currency. They made it confusing, for sure! BA partners with American, Alaska Air, Air Berlin and Aer Lingus. So many times you can redeem Avios on those partners at a very lucrative rate

  5. I get your posts emailed to me, and I am not fed up. I was so glad to find a site that talked about families and trying to travel with more than just 1 or 2 people. Your site is definitely the most applicable in family situations, so thanks for helping us out!

    • Brandi, I am thrilled that you are not fed up with me or my blog! I hope it stays that way. I do try to think of what info would be the most beneficial to normal family. Perhaps, some of my posts are too dry, as in too many numbers and boring stuff. I try to make it somewhat interesting, but you have to enjoy math in order to tolerate my blog.

    • @ Tripwithtykes Thank you so much! Wow, 2 years for you. That’s a cause for celebration, for sure. I don’t know if I’ll hit that mark, we’ll see. As much as I enjoy this blog, it takes a lot out of me on many levels. But for now I have things to say, so might as well keep on chugging along, right?

    • @ The Wealth gospel Thanks for checking out my crazy site! I also like to beat down the establishment. As far as my controversial posts, it’s a can of worms I don’t feel like opening. 🙂 Mostly has to do with conflicts of interest in the industry heavily dependent on credit cards affiliate commission. Now you have an incentive to start from the beginning!

  6. Congratulations on one year of blogging! That’s a milestone to celebrate:) I like the beginner’s guide you have posted. Useful info for those wishing to get started in this hobby.

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I absolutely love your blog! Nobody tells it like it is the way that you do and I wholeheartedly appreciate you taking the time to analyze what cards and bonuses are worth it for those of us in the middle class. Here’s to another year of great reviews and recommendations. rock!

  8. Congrats on one year!

    You’ve already helped me get my family of 5 to Hawaii (we’re going next March!) Selfishly, I’d like to see posts on other popular destinations and different strategies to get there. For example, how to get enough miles to fly a family of 4 (or 5) to Europe within 2 years. Thanks!

    • @Shoesinks Thank you so much for your kind words! You have been incredibly supportive to me from the start. Thanks for sticking around. And no, it’s not selfish at all to ask for specific topics! That’s the whole point of my blog. You’ve probably read my post on how I booked us tickets to Europe for next summer.
      Family of five can be tough, especially if you only want economy. If you are willing to purchase that last seat, things would be easier. I will be doing a post on my return tickets from Europe, and will try to add some suggestions on bonuses and different programs. Look for it within next few weeks.

  9. Just found your site from Club Thrifty. I’ll have to go back to the beginning and check it out. I always like to read about international hotels that let you book family rooms with points. Congrats on the first year!

    • @Kimateyesonthedollar Thank you so much for stopping by! It was very nice of Holly to let me do a guest post, so glad you have found me that way. I have written about some hotel redemptions in the Caribbean. That’s a good idea for some future posts, perhaps some Europe hotels for families.

  10. You know I love the blog! How about a post on best hotels for a family of five? Having three kids I used to stay almost exclusively at Springhill suites, but now discovered Holliday Inn Express can be just as good most of the time, so there may be other point-earning hotels I am missing (Hyatt? Starwood?)

    • @Stretchingittortravel Thank you so much! I have been to your site as well, and enjoy your writing. We don’t travel much, but that describes most normal families. I hope to provide the tools to help ordinary families travel close to free, whether through everyday spending or bonuses.

  11. I have been reading ever since the MMS interview and I do really enjoy your blog. I would agree with the reader above about MS, but I do think it could easily apply to your target audience. I myself have just dabbled in MS, but thing like Evolve Payments are really quite simple and can mean a big chunk of miles for spending on power bills, mortgages, car payments, and other payments that most average families already pay. Keep up the good work!

    • @TravelerinVA Thanks so much for your feedback! I absolutely agree with you about Evolve, and have mentioned it several times and linked to a post that outlines the steps on the payment process. It really is a low hanging fruit for families, and doesn’t violate the rules in any way. I’ll try to do another post that highlights easy MS strategies within a month or so. Thanks again!

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