So you want to be a work at home mom...

I hear from a lot of women who want to transition from Working Moms to Work at Home Moms. And to be honest with you, I am not an expert on this. 

Yes, I do own a business. And I am fortunate to work with some really great clients. And while I am always happy to try to assist other moms in reaching their goals, I always feel like I am not qualified to offer advice. 

I work just a few hours a week. I only work during nap time, weekends or when my kids are in bed. And I by no means earn a fulltime income because at this point I do not want to work full time hours. Being at home with my boys is number one for me. Period. That's where my heart is and that's where I want to be. 

However, I feel blessed to have planted the seed of a business to grow as my boys grow. 

But here are some topics and ideas I give people when they email me and ask me about how and why and when I started my business. 

1. Realize first and foremost that you can't do it alone.  I started with a vague plan, but also the realization that I can't do this without help from God... and my husband. 

2. Find your niche. Sit down with a pen and paper and figure out what you are good at and what you love.

Are you web savvy? There are a lot of businesses out there who need web managers. I have met lots of clients who need someone who works exclusively with Word Press and are looking for people who can keep their web sites running. 

Or maybe you have some graphic design experience. Could you spin that into a money making opportunity for yourself? 

3. Stay focused.  Man, there are a lot of distractions out there. And it is so hard to stay focused on YOUR business. It is so easy to compare yourself and your business to those around you.

Imagine you are an Olympic swimmer. Does it do you any good to look at anyone else while you are swimming? No. Stay in your lane, look at what’s in front of you and keep moving forward. Don’t get distracted by what is going on the other lanes. If you’re trying to work from home with small children you have enough on your plate without worrying about what everyone else is doing.

4. Understand that time management requires a learning curve. Managing a small child or children and a business can be tough! But you can do it because I have done it and I am the most disorganized person in America. 

So tell me, are you a work at home mom? Do you want to be one? What tips would you add to the list?

Can you make money blogging?

Can you make money blogging? How do you make money blogging? Those are the two questions I get the most when I tell people I am a blogger. 

 

The short answer: Yes, you can make money blogging. 

The long answer: It takes a lot of work!

I have been blogging for almost three years now and in that time, yes, I have earned a little bit of an income from it. It's not enough to live off of and it no one is getting rich off my blog profits, but it's been enough to fund things for our family.

I was able to help pay for Issie's birth in 2013 and when the AC in my car broke I was able to pay for that with my blog money. So it's been a blessing to my family. 

So how do you make money blogging?  

There are a few ways to earn some cash through your blog. I will break down the ones that I use. 

1. Affiliate links. Companies will give you an ad to place on your site and then you get a percentage or a flat fee when someone makes a purchase through that link. 

I mainly use the Amazon Affiliate program. Amazon is a company everyone knows, a lot of people use it and I trust the way they do business. When I put a link to a product or an ad on my site and someone makes a purchase through that link I earn a small (very small) percentage of that sale. 

With Amazon you have to meet a certain threshold each month before they will send you a payment, however, they will allow you to earn Amazon gift cards if you don't reach that threshold. This works for me because I buy diapers, toilet paper, laundry detergent and other items through Amazon. 

When using an affiliate link of ANY kind you must have a disclosure agreement. This is something the FTC requires of you, but it's also just ethical. Anytime you are doing anything to earn money you need to do it with integrity. 

You can read my disclosure statement here

2. Join a network and work with brands. This is the way I have earned the most money on this blog. I am a part of two network groups, Sits Girls and The Clever Girl Collective

These networks are geared toward female bloggers and they have been so wonderful. Through these networks I have worked with brands like Home Depot, Unilever and Pinnacle Foods

These companies have sent me products to try and then paid me to talk about those products, giving my honest opinion. I was paid to write those posts. 

Again, you must disclose this to your readers. You always want to be honest and up front with people. Always. 

3. Selling ad space. Good old fashioned ad space is a great way to earn a little bit extra on your blog. I offer ad space for a variety of price ranges and as a blogger this is very easy to maintain. 

However, you have to work for these ads, you have to seek out companies and that can take some (or a LOT) of effort on your part.

You can make money blogging. But like anything it takes hard work and focus and a little hustle. But if it is your goal then I urge you to go for it. It's important to create opportunities for yourself. 

Have you ever considered blogging? Do you blog? Tell me about it in the comments! 

 

My new work at home schedule: Trying to make it all fit

I was sitting at my computer last the week, the very computer I am typing on right now, when my oldest son walked up to me. 

"Mama, do you want to play?" he asked. 

Ry is only 2.5 so it comes out more like pfwaaaayyy than play. 

I did want to play, but I was busy. Or was I? 

You see I had manufactured this busyness. I had decided that I needed to get XYZ done so that I could do ABC later. All while my son tugged on my sleeve. 

When I stepped back and looked at my schedule, I realized a lot of the stuff I was doing either didn't really need to be done, or could be shifted to another time. 

So I came up with a new work schedule that I think might work for me. The problem is the discipline it takes to implement a new schedule, policy or procedure. 

I know have two toddlers. They are literally running in opposite directions when they aren't chasing each other, pulling all the pots and pans out the cabinets and digging through the garbage. I am out numbered. I needed a plan. 

SO here it goes: 

1. When the babies are in full throttle, the computer stays OFF. I started this about two weeks ago, and I have to say that I feel calmer, happier and more focused. I am not pulled to my computer when I see the little email icon pop up. I am not as tempted to check social media accounts, mine or my client's. And I don't get sucked in to reading blog posts or perusing Pinterest. 

This works for me because I only work parttime (in my own business). And my clients know that. I am so fortunate because most of them are moms and all of them are women. 

2. I scheduled my work around down times. I know only take calls from clients during name. Need to reach me? Great, call between 2 pm and 4 pm. Which leads me too...

3. I don't take personal calls during nap time when I am working. Since I have now blocked those hours for communicating with clients, writing or editing I don't take personal calls them. Not because I am "on the clock" but because I can't be pulled away. I want to spend the time my kids are awake playing with them, not catching up on work. 

4. I am now super productive from 8-9 pm. I used to zone out during this time of the day. It was close to bed and I took this time to wind down. But I have forced myself to work after the kid's go to bed. This is usually when Jason is working on the budget, reading or wrapping up his own work. We still find time to talk, chat and joke, so we still connect throughout the week. I just put on my head phones and make myself do things on my to do list. 

5. I have taken advantage of scheduling software. As I wrote in this post, a lot of the work I do centers around social media. I post things for other people as part of my marketing services. I use services like HootSuite and Dynamic Tweets to get ahead. I have even been using them for my own social media accounts. 

SO that's it. Those are the things that have been working for me. 

How do you work from home? 



How to be a WAHM: A Few Resources

So I have given you a lot of talk. Now let's put some actions to it. 

Here are a list of some really great resources to help you as you establish and grow your business. 

The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More! is a 154-page, organized brain dump of everything Lisa Morosky has learned and experienced (and what she wishes someone had told her) over her four years of building, growing, downsizing, and repositioning a business as a virtual assistant.

The eBook includes chapters on creating your business plan (click here to read this chapter FREE), setting up your business offline and online, getting clients, working with and keeping clients, alternative income streams for virtual assistants, and more. It also includes interviews with successful virtual assistants, interviews with clients who utilize a virtual assistant, resources at the end of most chapters, a 30-day reading guide and action plan, and access to The Bootstrap VA Facebook Group where readers can bounce ideas off of each other, ask Lisa questions, and get the support needed no matter where they are in the process of becoming and working as a virtual assistant.

Click here to visit The Bootstrap VA.

Tell Your Time: How To Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free by Amy Lynn Andrews outlines a straightforward, step-by-step approach to controlling your schedule and ensuring the important things don't fall through the cracks. It's short (why are time management books always so long?) and to the point. No fluff or filler.



Blog at Home Mom by Christin Slade is full of wonderful advice and encouragement for mothers who are either running blogs, looking to run blogs or who are writers at heart. 

Christin runs one of the most encouraging blogs out there. It is full of uplifting, spiritual advice that has motivated and inspired many to keep Christ at the center of their days and nights as mothers. 

Her weekly household maintenance schedule is particularly helpful. 

Her book is no less helpful. I was especially struck by the section where Christin talks about being intentional with your time. 

 

This post contains affiliate links. 

How to be a WAHM: Stay Focused

It's easy to become passionate about an idea, but it can quickly fizzle if you a.) don't stay focused or b.) get discouraged.  

Understand you have to start small:

It may take you several years to start to see a full-time income from a business. The average is five years. And it takes a lot of work. But if you love what you’re doing then the time and energy you put into it will be worth it in the end.

Don’t compare yourself and your businesses goals to that of another person.

 It will drive you insane. So if you know another mom whose businesses is running like gangbusters give her a pat on the back and keep chipping away. It’s not a race and it’s not a competition. 

Imagine you are an Olympic swimmer. Does it do you any good to look at anyone else while you are swimming? No. Stay in your lane, look at what’s in front of you and keep moving forward. Don’t get distracted by what is going on the other lanes. If you’re trying to work from home with small children you have enough on your plate without worrying about what everyone else is doing. 

Sometimes you will need to adapt:

I started out writing articles and press releases for my clients. But when they needed more services I learned to adapt. I started handling their email campaigns, business to business marketing and even editing their books for epublishing. What I didn’t know how to do I learned through online tutorials or from checking out books at the library. It was key for me to meet their needs and to constantly expand my portfolio. 

But it is also key for me to meet my child’s needs: It is paramount. So I might start the day with one plan. I have made a to-do list and I have scheduled everything out and it will completely change. Perhaps my son wakes up with an ear infection, doesn’t nap or there is a family crisis or even a client crisis. I might have to completely rework my day. There are things on my to-do list that will not get done. I have learned to be okay with this. 

Monday: Mangaging a Businesses and a Baby

Part 1: Starting Out

Part 2: Know you Can't Do it Alone

Part 3: Finding You Niche 

 

A Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mama

 Originally Posted HERE in June 2012. 

I tried and tried for weeks to get my baby to adhere to a schedule. Then I realized scheduling a baby was like trying to stop a flood with a plastic spoon. It was a sign of my own insanity. So I took three deep breathes and calmed myself right on down. That's when we fell into a routine.

Now that I am working from home more and picking up clients for my and sponsors for this website I have had to find a way to put myself on a schedule.

Here is a rough outline of how our day goes.

5:18 a.m. - I hear an alarm going off. It's Beardface UnStoppable's (that's my nickname for my husband. His real name is Jason). He hits the snooze and I roll back over.

5:30- Beardface gets up. I tell him goodbye but it's muffled by my pillow.

6:15- Someone is hungry. I somehow always know that the baby is awake, even when he isn't crying. I snuggle with him in my bed and feed him, change him and put him back to sleep.

6:45 - I stare longingly at my bed. I decided to make it so I won't get back in it. (Disclosure: Making my bed means pulling up the comforter and walking away.) Sometimes this is the only "housework" I will get done.

There is no time for a shower this morning. I have just picked up a new client and I have an ongoing project with another. I am also putting together an ebook. If I am going to put a dent in all this I need to get started before little man gets up again.

6:50- I am dressed and have a cup of coffee in my hand. Throw a load of laundry in the machine. Dump clean clothes on a chair in the living room. I will walk by those clothes about a dozen times today and swear I will have them folded. I never do.

Spill coffee on the floor. I read my devotional and get to work answering emails and working on projects.

Somewhere around 8:30 Little Bits wakes up. I clean him up, dress him and we sing for a little while. Then I put him in his baby gym to play while I wrap up a few things.

9 a.m. - we both eat breakfast. He is now up to 3 small meals in-between nursing. Today it's oatmeal for everybody.

9:30 a.m. - He plays in his high chair while I do the dishes or get dinner plans together.

10 a.m. - He has to be rocked cuddled before he will go down for a morning nap. I talk to him or read to him. Then I put him in his swing for nap. I dread the day he outgrows it.

Then I get back to work. Today a client needs me to write him a letter. I am also wrapping up a ghost writing project.

11:30- Sweet boy is awake. I change him and feed him.-- at some point here I eat again.

Noon- 2 p.m. Then we play. I keep a notebook near by to jot down ideas and to do lists.

I also use this time to run errands.

2 p.m. Baby boy gets more solids at this point. We listen to music while he eats. I dance. He laughs. It's a sweet time.

3 p.m. It's time for another nap. He usually fights this one hard, but he needs it.

3 - 4:30- He naps if I'm lucky. He will be an ill pill if he doesn't. More work time for me. I think I might get that laundry folded- I don't. 

Between 5-5:45 Daddy is home! Jason feeds the baby. I finish supper. Do more work.

6:30- Jason and I eat.

7:15- bath and story time. I make the coffee for the morning. Lunch gets packed for tomorrow.

8- I think the baby is asleep. Jason puts him to bed.

8:07 - Just kidding! He's awake.

More snuggling, walking, bouncing, shushing.

8:45 - He is asleep this time.

I hang out with Jason, FINALLY fold that load of clothes. Get more clothes together to dump in in the morning.

10:30- We read our devotional and get in the bed.

11 - ??? I lie in the dark and make to do lists in my head.

5:18 a.m.- I hear an alarm going off.

Blog At Home Mom

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of previewing a new book by Christin Slade at Joyful Mothering. 

Blog at Home Mom is full of wonderful advice and encouragement for mothers who are either running blogs, looking to run blogs or who are writers at heart. 

Christin runs one of the most encouraging blogs out there. It is full of uplifting, spiritual advice that has motivated and inspired many to keep Christ at the center of their days and nights as mothers. 

Her weekly household maintenance schedule is particularly helpful. 

Her book is no less helpful. I was especially struck by the section where Christin talks about being intentional with your time. 

Click here to visit Christin Slade.

Christin describes the book like this:

Blog at Home Mom (#BAHM) is a source of practical and encouraging tips to help moms balance their life at home with their blogging ministry or business online. You will find ideas for organizing and prioritizing your blog and writing, as well as setting goals and keeping balance with your home and children.

Blog at Home Mom can be purchased at Amazon or Click here to visit Christin Slade.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Set Goals and Have a Plan
Know what to do and how to get there

Chapter 2: Organize Your Days
Know what to do and when to do it

Chapter 3: Prioritize Your Tasks
Put your most important duties and details in order

Chapter 4: The Power of a Schedule
Make the most of your time by giving it purpose

Chapter 5: Stay Consistent to Keep Balance
Knowing the needs is key to knowing balance

Chapter 6: Make the Most of Your Time
Learn to make the minutes count

Chapter 7: Care for Your Marriage
Be intentional about keeping your man in the loop

Chapter 8: Care for Your Spiritual Walk
Everything flows from this vital point

 

This post contains affiliate links.