Get tips and inspiration into the business and blogging life. Tutorials, resources, tools, tips, and a peak into the blogging lifestyle. Work at home life, Mompreneur life, and productivity hacks for work at home moms.
I’ve been a work at home mom for over 11 years now so I’ve learned a few things about productivity hacks!
I know because I’ve raised 3 babies and even homeschooled my two older children for 2 years; all while working from home. I’d like to say I feel like Superwoman, but sleepy from the 7 Dwarfs is probably more accurate most days. But I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and many productivity hacks to keep me working and the kiddos happy and busy.
There have always been early mornings and late nights, but it’s always been worth it. And you won’t find me complaining about it – ever. This life is one that I chose. I can choose to do anything else if I want to – but for now, I’m right where I want to be.
But one issue I struggled with early on was productivity. It’s HARD to be focused on your work or business when you’re raising a little person (or several) who basically need you for EVERYTHING – at least in the beginning. So how do you keep from being ineffective as a mom and business owner?
You learn along the way and take advice and help from others also in the trenches of work-at-home motherhood. So, I’ve decided to put together the ultimate list of all the BEST productivity hacks that I could find from other business moms like myself and share them with you!
Productivity Hack #1 Get up early
Getting up early is essential – since the kids don’t wake up until 6:30 or 7… getting up at 5 allows me to get at least 90 minutes of work completed before everyone’s feet hit the floor. I’ll admit that I find it hard to get up at that time, but it feels so much better to know that I’m ahead of the game before the day even begins.
When you work from the comfort of your home, you can wear anything you want. I often have friends tell me, “I’d love to work at home in my pajamas.” Being clad in flannel may make you comfortable, but it can be detrimental to your productivity. It doesn’t provide the transition that you need to move from sleep and relaxation to getting things done. Getting dressed provides the kick in the pants your brain needs to get into the work groove.
Action step: If you’re still in your pjs, go freshen up and get dressed. You don’t have to wear office attire, but putting on a nice shirt, jeans and shoes will help you feel ready to tackle the day. It’ll also be much less embarrassing to answer the door for the UPS deliveryman. Trust me.
Productivity Hack #3 Work When You’re Most Productive
To do this, you need to be aware of when your high-energy times are and try to schedule time blocks during these times. Then, make sure you’re working on the most important things on your to-do list during these times.
First of all, it’s always so much easier to work on something important — or difficult — when you’re able to think clearly.
Also, if you’re working on stuff when you don’t have a whole lot of energy, you’re more likely to make mistakes. And it’s always more time consuming and costly to fix something later than to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Pro-Tip — I split my to-do list between high and low-energy tasks. This way I always know exactly what to work on during my high-energy times as well as my low-energy times, so I’m not having to go back and fix mistakes the next day.
Productivity Hack #4 Set Your Daily Tasks with Quadrant Planning
My brain is usually going a mile a minute trying to remember all the things I need to get done in a day, in a week, in a month.It helps me to write lists and prioritize how urgent the tasks are.I created a planner page for myself that helped me decide what was important to do and when.I love that I can magnet it to the fridge and when the week is done, I can assess what I finished and what needs to go on next week’s list.
If my phone or computer is beeping at me all day, it’s hard for me not to check out what’s going on. I get distracted, I get nothing done, and then I get stressed because I got nothing done. So I eliminated the blinking and the beeping, and it changed my world.
I hesitated before using the term “self-care” because it’s such a worldly buzzword right now. But the fact is that the need to recharge is real.In fact, God, who made us, also commands us to to rest one day each week. How can we rest? By meditating on His word.
Taking a walk in His creation. Going for a swim in His oceans. Or just sitting with the family He blessed us with and enjoying their company.
When we run ourselves into the ground without taking the time to recuperate and rejuvenate ourselves, we can not live the full lives that we should live as stay-at-home moms. So make rest a priority.
Productivity Hack #7 Create a Routine for Your Kids
Like us moms, kids need routines to feel accomplished, too. An intentional routine can also cut back on the amount of times we hear, “Mom, I’m sooo bored.” By creating a routine for our kids, we are teaching them early about productivity and setting and accomplishing goals.
I suggest creating a monthly calendar that is easily accessible for the whole family. This will hold all of the events that are going on for everyone in the family. Then, create a list of things that need to be completed on a weekly basis. You can break this down into tasks for each day and assign a particular person for each.
It’s also at this time that I plan my stop time. The time in which I will stop work for the day. This is an extremely important habit to have. You need to have a stop time as a work at home mom. Otherwise before you know it, you’ve worked for 16 hours a day for 4 days straight because you forgot to stop working each day.
A sparkling clean house, a successful home-based business, and a five-course dinner on the table every night looks great on Pinterest, but it’s not reality. Trying to do everything yourself — and all at the same time — is a recipe for disaster.
I write a list of everything I still need to get done before Monday and then a separate list of things that can wait until the following week. I also spend some time thinking about how my schedule will be laid out and which tasks I can batch to save time. That way when Monday morning hits I know exactly what I need to be working on. These planning times are so ingrained in my schedule that I don’t even have to think about them! They are a daily and weekly habit that makes my life run so much smoother and really helps with my productivity.
Productivity Hack #11 Create Systems and Processes
This is one of the single most important parts of being productive. You need to be organized and know what needs to be done when. This means starting with creating systems, processes, and workflows. Every part of your business should have a process.
Try your best not to work in front of your kids so when you’re with your kids, you’re fully present. Don’t stick around on your computer or answer emails when you can be outside playing with them. Limit the use of your phone and especially social media which is a time suck and distraction from being present (I myself need to work on this!). Close the office doors and do not go back in until they’re asleep during nap time and at the end of the day.
Productivity Hack #13 Be OK With Not Getting it All Done
Somehow we’ve developed this idea that having it all means having to do it all. Or that it means having it all at once. It doesn’t mean either one of those things! And believing that we have to have it all at once or do it all equally well is just setting ourselves up for epic failure. At any given moment my bathroom vanity is messy, I have a number of unfinished projects around the house, and I still need to get in my 30 minutes of daily exercise. Over time I have learned to be okay with things getting done in their own time. So many of the deadlines and ultimatums we face as working moms are self-imposed. One of the best gifts that we can give ourselves is room to breathe and space to just not get things done.
If there’s not enough time to get everything done, then there’s nothing you can do to change that other than to eliminate things from your schedule and to-do list. Which things on your to-do list feel really important but aren’t actually all that important? It’s okay to do less, and if you really can’t eliminate anything on your to-do list, then it’s time to hire an assistant to help you!
We love our children dearly, but talking to them doesn’t count here. If your kids are the only humans you speak to all day, you might start saying things like “No no” or “that’s mommy’s drink” to a potential client, which could be embarrassing, or possibly even cost you the job.
So call your mom, call your friend, or pick up the phone and call a client instead of shooting them an email. They will appreciate the personal connection, and you get to practice maintaining your social skills. It’s a win-win.
There will be days when you need to be at your most productive and distraction-free. Seek assistance from other stay-at-home moms. If there are a few of you who work at home, consider pooling money together to hire a babysitter to watch all of your kids for a few hours. Having that additional support will mean you can focus your attention on your work knowing your children are being cared for.
There are seasons of life when it is tempting to burn the midnight oil. I always regret those late nights the very next day. It’s so much better for our bodies, minds, and spirits to hit the sack by 10:00 at the latest. That sleep before midnight is the best, so grab it whenever you can. By 6:00 the next morning, you’ll be feeling like a million bucks, and you’ll be able to energetically and enthusiastically accomplish so much more. (And a cup of coffee doesn’t hurt either!)
I’m not about to tell you to avoid doing anything around the house during the workday. Heck, having your work breaks (you need to take a break anyway!) double as time to get chores done is one of the #1 benefits of working from home. The trick is to not become distracted by all that needs to be done around the house. What helps me is to set aside 5-10 minutes every 1-2 hours to take a break from work and then I use that time to take a break from my computer screen and throw in a load of laundry, chop up some veggies for dinner, or tidy up a bit.
Without a designated workspace, I am distracted by the dishes that need to be washed or the dust I glimpse on the television screen or that one little thing that will just take five minutes. Before you know it an hour has gone by. My article still needs to be written, and I haven’t called my source to interview them. Even if it is just a corner, creating a work space signals to your brain that it is now time to work.
Finally, at the end of every day (and there should be an end), feel good about what you were able to accomplish and celebrate. There will always be more work to do so don’t fret about what you weren’t able to complete. Simply clear your desk and prepare for the next day.
Wow! This was an awesome list straight from the mouths and hearts of moms who are in the beautiful trenches of work-at-home motherhood. I hope these tips and tricks helped you in your quest to become even more productive amidst the sounds of little feet running by. 🙂
Please leave a comment below and share your productivity hacks for how you stay on track with your business goals and still rock is as an awesome mom. Let’s keep this list growing and growing in the comments below!
I absolutely love Pinterest! It’s by far my largest source of referral traffic to my website to this day. Not to mention, I just flat-out love the platform. There’s such a wealth of information in one place all wrapped up in beautifully packaged pins.
It’s easy to see why it’s so popular! Since I’ve started using Pinterest to promote my blog, I’ve had many, many Pinterest pinning strategies along the way.
Some worked, others made no change at all, and other pinning strategies flopped completely. I even had to change a portion of this exact post because Board Booster was officially banned by Pinterest and I had to change that part of my strategy.
At the end of the day, it’s necessary to try out what works for you and your blog until you strike Pinterest Gold. And in the last year, I struck gold myself with a Pinterest strategy called manual pinning!
I absolutely love the concept of manual pinning. It’s both effective and has proven to be highly favored with the Pinterest algorithms. And that’s why I stuck with it for so long.
In case you’ve been living under a blogging rock for the past year, you may not have heard about Carly Campbell’s successful ebook – Pinteresting Strategies. Her book is literally the epicenter of the Manual Pinning Strategy.
There’s just one problem I found with this strategy… TIME. Or lack of it, I should say.
In the book, which is now a course, Carly is very upfront with how long this strategy can really take and how cumbersome the tracking of all your pins can be. Kyla from Dishitoutsocialactually streamlined the process a bit so she wrote a book on it – Manual Pinning Simplified.
Honestly, both books are great and highly recommended if you plan to exclusively use the manual pinning strategy.
However, I think it’s important to add that Pinteresting Strategies is a MUST READ for bloggers even if you don’t plan to pin manually. It’s just THAT GOOD! Carly offers a wealth of knowledge and experience that’s essential to understanding the “brain” of Pinterest.
Basically, manual pinning gave me an amazing framework to skyrocket my traffic from Pinterest but I knew there was a way to automate it so I wasn’t stuck having to do everything manually for the long haul.
I first started using Board Booster and it worked great and I actually shared my exact Board Booster process in this exact post. Then things went south shortly after and I needed to find a new way and then update this post, of course.
To give you a very abbreviated glimpse into what happened to Pinterest, there were some pretty massive changes that Pinterest implemented in early 2018. You can read all about them here.
As we all scrambled to figure out the best way to proceed on Pinterest, I knew Tailwind was going to be my trusty Pin scheduler.
If you’d like a FREE Month for a new Tailwind account, click through using my Tailwind link here!
My New Pinning Strategy
I have decided to go back to using Tailwind. And I’m actually quite happy because the issues I didn’t like about using Tailwind before are no longer an issue! Tailwind now mimics BoardBooster looping and campaigns.
McKinzie at Moms Make Cents actually wrote a superb and detailed tutorial post on how to use Tailwind’s new Smart Looping feature, I recommend that you click over and read her post here!
Pinterest’s new looping feature is great and mimic’s easy looping like on Board Booster. There’s just one problem… it’s an added fee on top of Tailwind’s regular pinning package. So after trying it and liking it, I still decided not to buy the smart loop power up… for now.
Maybe I will in the future but that wasn’t what made the difference for me in my Pinterest traffic. It was fully understanding the inner workings of the Pinterest algorithms.
When I was introduced to Jennifer Ledbetter through Carly’s Facebook group I realized she was a genius at figuring things out that I just didn’t have the patience or brain to figure out on my own.
She wrote a book called Pin Signals and this small tweak that I learned in this gem of a book has literally changed my blog’s traffic for the long haul. I went from just over 17,000 visitors to my site in July 2018 to just a hair under 100,000 visitors to my site in November 2018.
I starting using her strategy in the 3rd week of July 2018.
That’s quadrupling my traffic in under 4 months!!
And it was all due to the changes shared in her book. The funny thing is her book is priced very low but I wavered on whether to buy another blogging book.
Knowing what I know now, I would have gladly paid much, much more! Due to this strategy, I’ve started making a steady income from my blog just a month later. I’m honestly, still shocked!
It wouldn’t be ethical for me to share any of her trade secrets here in this post. I highly recommend you purchase your own copy. It’s a very quick read and you can start implementing the changes the same day.
It only took a week or so for me to start seeing a difference!
My Pinterest Pinning Strategy in Detail
Basically, what I learned with Pin Signals was how to properly set up your Pinterest boards. She also goes into detail about group boards. This may sound like a small thing, but it was a game changer!
Though I can’t share her tips on setting up your boards. I can share with you my own strategy for pinning my pins on Pinterest through a combination of scheduling through Tailwind and manual pinning.
This strategy works well for me and it’s understanding Pinterest boards that gave me juice I needed to go the distance. I do want to say that as for an actual pinning strategy, there is no “one perfect way” to do it and see success.
This is just my way. And honestly, this could change tomorrow because of all the crazy changes Pinterest seems to love making all the time!
So let’s dive in on my current Pinterest pinning strategy that I’m still using here in 2019!
How I pin brand new pins
Any time I publish a brand new post, I create at least 2-3 pins for that post. Here’s an example of a few different pin designs for the same post.
Notice that I’m using the same photo in each pin and only a slight variation on the titles used. But each pin is bringing in a wide range of traffic. This is why making multiple pin images is so important!
As tempted as I am to create totally branded pins, I find that doing this doesn’t really benefit me. My goal is to get the click so creating images that are unique and grabs the attention of different people seems to do the trick.
When I publish a new post I pin it first directly from my site using the Pinterest browser extension. You can do this also by sharing your pin to Pinterest from your site using your site’s share buttons too.
I start by sharing my pin to my strongest and most relevant personal board first. What defines strong and relevant is what I learned in Pin Signals. So moving right along!
Then I immediately schedule that Pin to all my niche specific personal boards using Tailwind’s board lists.
I then pin that pin separately to my niche specific group boards. Because of the number of group boards I pin to, that pin will be pinning one day at a time for several weeks. Yes, I still pin to group boards but they simply don’t deliver even close to the amount of traffic as my personal boards.
So if I had to choose, I’d pin to my personal boards all day!
Then as that Pin circulates in Pinterest, I go forward and treat it as an existing Pin and use the following strategy to keep that pin in good circulation going forward.
Let me just add here that some pins just flop on Pinterest no matter what you do. That doesn’t mean your post isn’t great or valuable to your readers. It just means Pinterest doesn’t see it that way… at least for now.
Pinterest can suddenly pick up and older pin and cause it to go viral for many reasons so don’t lose heart! Plus, focusing on good SEO for your blog is a good idea from day one. Check out this tutorial! That’s because a post that may flop on Pinterest may get tons of traffic from Google.
How I Pin Existing Pins
The purpose of pinning existing pins over and over is to keep them fresh with the intention of pushing them into the smart feed. This is where manual pinning comes in.
Every day I start by looking for pins that are doing well. There are several places to look:
Look in your notifications for pins that other pinners are rapidly pinning to their boards. Repin those pins to your highest performing personal boards.
Look in your Pinterest analytics under your profile and look for the pins that are getting the highest clicks. Don’t focus on repins/saves or impressions. Clicks should always be your focus! Repin those pins also to your highest performing personal boards.
Look in Google Analytics for pins that are bringing you the most traffic. You can find those pins by going to Acquisition>Social>Network Referrals. Carly goes into great detail on this process in her Pinteresting Strategies course.
Repin any of my own pins that I see in my own smart feed.
Then I do a couple more things every day to keep my traffic up.
I pin 2 random pins from my site to my personal boards with fresh pin descriptions.
I upload at least 2 pins to my highest performing personal boards. This was my own experiment I tried and it really works. Basically, I upload one of my “already posted” pin designs directly into Pinterest using their upload feature. Even though it’s exactly the same pin design, it seems to trigger Pinterest as a brand new pin and often results in a sharp incline of traffic from that pin!
These things really only take a few minutes a day, tops and make a really big difference!
What I Do When Traffic for a Post Dips
Traffic for any given post will always rise and fall. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your pins closely and look for those that were doing well and then slowly or rapidly drops off.
There are several things I do when I see that one of my pins is dipping in traffic. This also works well for pins that never seem to take off and need a boost.
I do these things in order of the least effort activities first. Efficiency is the name of the game in blogging!
I’ll pin that pin directly from my site with an updated pin description.
I’ll upload the highest performing pin design directly into Pinterest using their upload feature with a new keyworded description.
I’ll create a new pin design for that post.
Final Thoughts on Manual vs. Scheduled Pinning
I believe using a combination of manual and scheduled pinning works best. I find that I can’t beat the precision of manual pinning and I can’t manually duplicate the reach of so many boards without exploding my brain without scheduling.
As Pinterest constantly rolls out new updates and changes, it’s also necessary to note that not practicing “spammy” looking habits is important. Even their new header shows all your latest pins front and center. If you’re pinning the same pin all day… it’s going to look bad. You want your header to look more like this:
You never want to pin the same pin design over and over, back to back. You want to make your boards flow naturally and not appear spammy.
Pinterest is really focused on user experience and any spammy behavior can result in getting flagged as a spammer by Pinterest. This has inadvertently happened to many good pinners so be careful.
Do you have any great Pinterest tips? We’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below!
Are you a mom who’s super busy with life and family, but secretly wants to pursue a passion, talent or business idea?
Maybe you’ve already stepped out to start your Passion Project but quickly got overwhelmed and quit.
No judgment, here. Been there!
Or you’re like me and already have a growing blog and business but still need practical advice on keeping everything balanced.
No matter where you are, pursuing a passion is a really big deal because for most of us – it leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed.
Entering… life outside of good ole’ comfort zone!
The good news is… a life that’s filled with passion and purpose is like getting a cool breeze on a hot summer day! #Winning
It’s also a whole lot of work and dedication if you’re all in, but your Passion Project is all your own and can be extremely satisfying!
So let’s talk about the giant elephant in the room… lack of TIME!
The main hurdle for myself and most moms out there is, “where will I find the time between work and family to follow my dreams?”
The real reason this is such a major issue for moms is that we want to care for our families well and keep them first place on our Life’s Priority List.
Adding new things to an already full plate can be scary, for sure.
Let me show you how chasing your passion just got a whole lot easier!
Bring your Family into Your Passion
Start by letting your passion be known by your spouse and kids… if you haven’t already done this.
Let them know why this thing is your passion and even how you believe it connects to your life’s purpose.
You’d be surprised how supportive your family can be, and how they are sometimes just the perfect people in your life to help you in your passion.
My Passion Project is this blog. I LOVE writing and sharing what I’m learning about raising and family and becoming the best version of myself. FamilyFelicity.com is growing and growing and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
The best part is, it’s really a family project! My husband how’s a genius tech and online marketing Pro helps me with all my tech and advertising stuff. And my oldest daughter who is an AMAZING artist is working on some graphics and products that will be offered in our store later this year.
I’ll be honest, I started this blog a few years ago all on my own. That was my choice and a result of my own insecurities. Once I got out of my feelings, and let other people into my project – things began to soar.
Maybe your husband isn’t supportive of your passion or your children are too little to understand.
In this case, keep a positive mindset and as long as there isn’t any conflict over what you’re doing… keep working at it!
Ruth Soukup and Crystal Paine both tell stories of them stepping out in their passion for blogging. Their husbands both didn’t see how anyone could make money from blogging but they both forged ahead and now make thousands each month from their blogs!
There’s a Grace for Your Passion in Every Season
So what does that look like for the stay-at-home mom of 4 kids under 8 who’s living room constantly looks like a toy factory explosion, or the working mom who has very little margin left at the end of her long day to cook dinner, or the work-at-home mom who’s ready to pull her hair out trying to balance play-dough and business plans at the same time?
Whether you’re in the early stages of motherhood or soon to be an empty-nester, there’s a grace to follow your dreams right now.
That grace isn’t just the ability to “DO” things in this season, but also to “NOT DO” things.
That means, scaling back, delegating, or taking a break depending on where you are! Or better yet, saying no to what doesn’t fit, so you have more time to focus on what does. There’s a grace to fit together creativity the things you’re led to do, and equally the grace to say no to the things you aren’t.
Knowing this takes the pressure off, and allows us to stop waiting for the perfect time to step out. There’s always going to be a little chaos and a whole lot of juggling no matter what.
You can volunteer in your church for a couple hours a week, you can make crafty things and donate them, or you can join a group of like-minded people that align with your passion.
The only thing you MUST do is… Put your Passion On The Calendar!
Schedule Your Passion
Remember Ruth Soukup and Crystal Paine? They both made big sacrifices of their time to make their businesses happen! Crystal Paine ran her very busy blog and homeschooled her kids at the same time.
Ruth confesses spending months and months waking up at 3 am to work on her blog before she ever made a dime! That’s determination and dedication. Do you have that same bull-dog tenacity to keep going even if no one else understands?
The good news is, if you stick it out long enough – your success will be evident to others. Both Crystal and Ruth were able to retire their husbands and they gladly came to work in their new family business!
Carving out a dedicated amount of time every day or every week is extremely important to your success.
First, start by determining your most productive and creative time of day is… midday, early morning, or late night. Then do your best to get creative and carve out at least an hour a day to work. Soon that time will be like a habit and one you’ll guard and protect.
You’ll be amazing what you can accomplish in one hour a day! It’s certainly more impactful than zero.
One more thing, when your kid wakes up with a fever and is sick for a few days or something else unavoidable comes up, drop the work if you can. Mommy is your first priority and everything else comes second. Being the best mom you can be is always the best choice you can make.
When you make the most important choices, things always have a way of working themselves out in the end.
What’s your business or blog idea? How are you staying sane and keeping things semi-balanced? Please share your ideas in the comments below!
Do you struggle to keep your family first while you’re trying to grow a new business? You’re not alone! This is a major challenge with busy moms who bravely enter the entrepreneurial and blogging world.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of business it is – a blog, a brick and mortar store, an online shop, a ministry – the struggle’s all the same.
I know that it’s been hands-down one of my biggest challenges since having children. Probably since I’ve been working for myself since I had my first child. It was a bumpy ride trying to learn how to be my own boss and be a new mom at the same time. I was barely getting through the days back then!
I struggled with the tug of war in my heart and mind where the love for my family AND my business fought for my attention… CONSTANTLY. Relate much?
The battle was downright exhausting! And this mindset (left unchecked) can lead a mom with a life-plate that’s already overflowing… barreling straight into to burnout mode.
And that’s something everyone wants us to avoid… especially our family!
Being a mom in today’s world is tough enough, but living in this mental space where you never feel like you never quite measure up in any area is crazy. And that’s exactly where I lived for so many years.
It took me a few years to figure it out. I know… I’m a little slow.
What Does Family First Really Mean?
To keep my family close, I first had to start by making a quality decision – to keep my family in the first place position no matter what. Once I did that, I was able to create simple ways to help me do just that.
But the decision had to come first. And as crazy as it sounds, that decision didn’t just happen. I had to do some work. I first needed to understand what family first even meant.
Does my family always come before my business?
What if there’s an emergency in the business and I’m needed?
Is there a more balanced approach instead of all or nothing?
Placing your family first means to honor both your spouse and children by placing them inside the vision for my business at the creation stage; deciding upfront how I’ll spend quality time, meet their needs, and include them in my process where ever possible. Regardless of the expectations of others. There will always be those!
Running a family is complicated. You’re not just taking care of people and meeting their physical and emotional needs… you’re also running a home. That means cooking, cleaning, and straightening up a 100 times a day! Um… that last one may be just for toddler moms! 😉
And running a business or blog is complicated too. That’s because when you’re a Mompreneur, your business never closes. Your business will try to stay open 24/7 if you let it… like in your mind while you’re trying to sleep!
So, how do I may it work?
Creating Boundaries is Essential to Having Balance
I have a confession to make, I didn’t necessarily add my family into my business vision at the beginning. I thought I did, but the evidence proved otherwise. And I was running myself ragged.
As a means of survival, I had to set some boundaries and create some rules to live by. This list is what I look to every day to measure how I’m doing and remind me when I need to refocus and course correct.
When things get out of whack, and they do, I go right back to this list.
The funny thing is, I thought there was something wrong with me… like I was the only one struggling with this issue. That’s because I didn’t know too many any women who were doing what I was doing.
I felt very isolated. Until I met a ton of fabulous women like me online in my Business and Blogging Facebook groups and I realized that I wasn’t alone. #Winning
And neither are you!
Let me also be super clear on this, it doesn’t matter if you have a successful business that’s been established for years, you’re just in the infancy stage, or your business in still living in your brain. These feelings are legit and affect us all. So, here are the 4 ways I keep my family a priority while running my business.
4 ways I keep my family a priority while running my business
1 – Decide What You Want Up Front
We all know what goals are and how to use them to achieve what we want in life and our business. But goals are really only manageable pieces to a much bigger plan. This bigger plan is really our organized picture of what we want. AKA – our vision.
In this vision, we need to be super clear on what we want. Are you trying to create a good side income? Do you want to make a positive impact in the lives of others through teaching and sharing your personal story? Do you want to build a brand that’s positioned for world-domination?
Knowing what you want and where you’re going up front is key because once the ball gets rolling it’s easy to get distracted and end up going places and chasing goals that don’t line up with what you really wanted in the first place.
This can cause you to adjust your priorities – having a negative impact on your family life. Making sure your family is smack dab in the middle of your vision first, is key.
2 – Resist Mom-guilt
Mom-guilt is a given… all moms have it. Or least, have it presented to them on a daily basis. It’s up to us whether we take the bait. Guilt is a funny emotion, it’s only purpose is to screw up your day, special moment, life… it doesn’t really seem to care.
Once you’ve established your clear vision and you know exactly where your family is in that vision… you’ve just gotta live it. And when the mom-guilt rises, treat it like the enemy it is and send it packing.
Pro Mom Biz Tip: Build provisions in your plan for unusual circumstances or seasons in your life and business. Every season in your life and business isn’t going to look perfect or will always match up with your vision plan.
So, decide how you’ll handle business emergencies or major “time-sucking events” like launches, in advance. This way you won’t feel guilty while you’re in the midst of some serious crazy!
This one is my favorite! Listen, if you think you can DO IT ALL… think again. You’re only one person and you need help. In your business and your home. Start by making a list of all the things in your business that can be delegated. It doesn’t matter how “difficult” those tasks are (people can be trained) as long as they aren’t part of your creative process. Do the same thing for stuff you do in your home.
Now it’s time to make a strategic plan to find people to help with those tasks. It could be hiring a VA or an intern to help with those tasks, paying your kids to do certain things in your business or home (depending on their age/abilities), or paying for a software that can simply automate certain processes.
This will look different for everyone depending on your budget, especially. I’m still at the bootstrapping phase but I’ve already got a plan I’m working towards. I’m so ready to start x’ing things off my to-do list permanently!
The final way I keep my family a priority is to plan for my family dates in advance. This means putting my dates with my husband and my kids on a calendar. My husband does the same!
Do we always keep these dates? Honestly, no. I wish I could say otherwise, but life gets busy sometimes and things need to be shifted around. But those dates are right there in black and white, and when they do need to be changed – there’s a conscious thought behind that decision. And that makes a huge difference.
Waiting for the perfect time to magically appear is a bad move. It’ll never happen!
If you’re looking for super creative and fun ideas to start your own Family Dates, Grab my FREE Family Dates Checklist HERE – full of date ideas for your family categorized by your children’s ages!
Making your family a priority isn’t hard but it does need to be intentional. How do you keep your family first? Share in the comments below!
If you’re a mom blogger, you know how perfect blogging is for moms! I’m so happy I decided to pursue blogging as a full-time career. It provides me so much flexibility to be home with my kids and available for things like class field trips at school.
But working while at home with the kids can be super crazy-town!
In the beginning, before all my kids were in school, I blogged at home with them while they were babies and toddlers. In fact, I was doing more than blogging because I also had to work for money.
So let’s just say I know a thing or two about working around the needs of my children. And early mornings and nap times were basically my office hours, and they can be yours too!
Every mom knows the beauty of this special time while the kids are asleep – PEACE and QUIET. And time to get stuff done without being pulled on in the process.
So what does a busy mom do during this sanity break? Do random chores, watch the latest episode of This is Us, call a friend and catch up, or take a nap?
Because I’ve always been working from home at the very beginning of my motherhood journey, I’ve needed to be very strategic about how I manage my time.
I just want to quickly note here, I’m not saying those above things are bad. If you can get a nap in or catch up on house chores while your baby sleeps without taking a hit in your business… go for it!
For me, I’ve always needed to treat this time like I’m reporting to work… no matter how tired I am.
If you’re new to blogging or need a real plan to turn your blog into a thriving business check out this post first:
When you’re doing anything inside of a small window of time, planning is your friend. If you sit down to work for an hour and spend 30 minutes thinking up how to best use this time, you’ve just wasted half of your precious time.
And that’s a productivity killer!
If planning isn’t your area of expertise, that’s OK. Just plan out a week at a time. Put the specific to-do items that can be done on each day on a planning sheet or calendar. You don’t need anything fancy. Just write it down. I have an awesome weekly planning sheet in my Passion Project Blueprint shown above.
This way when you start your work, you can actually do just that – work!
I use a tool called Trello to plan out all my calendar, planning, and blog tasks. I keep adding new lists along the way and I love it!
You’ll want to batch your tasks throughout the week so you can hopefully complete a whole project in a week. For example, I have certain days scheduled for my writing-related tasks. I schedule my graphics and other similar tasks for another day.
I also share my blog posts in Facebook Groups on certain days in different share groups. I am very strategic in my promotion schedule so I can keep working on “like” tasks in one sitting as much as possible.
This keeps me much more productive than if I had to keep switching for one random task to another.
5 – Only Do the Tasks That Are Hard to do When My Son’s Awake
Do only the activities that need to be done in the quiet. I don’t recommend doing tasks that you can easily do when your kiddo’s awake. Reserve naptime for those tasks that require your full attention and concentration.
This is when I do ALL my writing. I write and edit my posts, my weekly newsletter, and any other projects I’m working on. And that list always seems to be getting longer!
I’m able to accomplish so much during this time so I can work through my goals quickly.
If you’re wondering when I get all the house stuff done?
My simple answer is, whenever I can fit it in! I also have older kids who help ease the load, and of course my husband.
You’ve chosen to stay home with your precious little ones and sign on to become president and CEO of simultaneously the best and most difficult job you’ll ever do… oh and for NO paycheck EVER! Ouch!
No need to worry mama… I’ve got you covered. In this post, I’m going to share with you how to make money from home even as a stay at home mom. Are you ready to start your side hustle?
Before we get started there are just a couple things we should cover first. The first is having the right mindset. The mindset to make money, that is. Having the mindset to receive money is pretty easy for all of us –pretty much a no-brainer. However, having the mindset and fortitude to get up every day and actually make money is another thing altogether. You are essentially becoming your own boss!
How to Make Money
Making money from home is a skill that needs to be practiced over time just like learning to care for your kids all day from home. If you asked one of your yet childless friends to come fill-in for the day at your house they’d never be able to flow from task to task like a pro the way you do.
It’s not necessary rocket-science but it does take finesse! When I started my stay-at-home mom journey I actually had no choice but to work from home right from the start. It was very challenging to balance a fulltime job and a new baby to say the least. And later came two more little ones and I’m still working from home.
The only difference now is I have over 10 years of practice under my belt and now I’ve got from doing work I hated to doing work I love by starting my own blogand side business.
And the second thing I wanted to share first is that you need to make time for your side hustle. Where, you ask?
Anywhere you can find it! As a stay-at-home mom, your days can be super crazy and exhausting. I’m with you! But here’s my tip to helping you carve out time for your making money ventures… work when your kids are sleeping! I know this sounds cliche but naps are the golden hours for getting any real work done.
Let’s get into the juicy, money making details! I’ve tried my best to categorize these side hustles by areas of skill and interest to make finding your perfect side hustle super easy!
Side Hustles for the Mom Who Loves to Create
1. Sell Your Crafts and Creations on Etsy
If you love making things, crafting, or doing any other handmade creations you can sell your lovely items on sites like Etsy. There are so many wonderful handmade creations on Etsy that you simply can’t find anywhere else.
That alone makes your creations more valuable and in-demand.
2. Sell Your Digital Products
Maybe you’re not so much into the handcrafted arena but you’re a whiz at whipping up amazing social media graphics, eye-catching checklists and other printables, or making unforgettable online videos. Maybe you use these skills for your own business or blog. Did you know other bloggers and business owners will pay you to use your awesome skills to grow their business?
Rebekah Allen loved baking and making sweets for her friends and family. Maybe you do too? She slowly starting transforming her passion for baking into a real business she can run from her home. She wants to show you how in her extremely detailed course – The Complete Digital Cake Business Startup Kit. If you love to bake, this is a must do!
4. Sell Your Own Stock Images
If you have a great DSLR camera and love photography, you can make a real income selling your photos online. Here is a great post to help you get started! Just be sure to store your photos in a secure online storage in case something unthinkable happens with your devices. You can store your photos for free if you are an Amazon Prime Member.
Here’s a great post that compares the various services and companies to work with when selling your photos.
5. Sell Your Art Online
If you’re an artist who paints, draws, or does graphic design you can earn an income selling your work online. Jules of creatingbeautifully teaches artists how to create a totally passive stream of income by selling their art online. You can check out her course here!You can also enter art contests with little to no effort! Check out the latest art contests nationwide here.
Online surveys are an easy way to earn extra cash for giving your honest feedback and answering simple questions. You can even do them while watching TV in bed. #WinWin! Some of the reputable survey companies I’ve used and earned money from are Opinion Outpost, Paidviewpoint, Vindale Research, Harris Poll, and Global Test Market. They are super simple to get started and they will send you surveys right to your email inbox. You won’t get rich on surveys but it’s easy cash on the side!
8. Become a Website Tester
Becoming a website tester works very similar to completing surveys. The major difference is the pay is usually more and you need to complete a special online task as it pertains to a company’s website. Many assignments require you to record your screen and voice as you complete your website assessment. It’s actually fun and not complicated at all. Here are some usability testing sites you can check out today:
Heather Montgomery created a really great course to teach people how to start their own social media manager. I worked as a social media manager for a bit last year, and it’s a really fun way to make money and build a sustainable business. Her course is called Social Side Hustle: 21 Days to Becoming a Social Media Manager. Yes, she said 21 days!
Side Hustles for the Mom Who Loves to Teach
10. Teach English to Kids in China
If you love kids and teaching you’ll fall in love with sites like SayABC and QKids. They connect moms like you (they LOVE moms!) with kids in China to simply teach English online. You can actually earn up to $21 per hour!
This is a real job and in many cases requires a college degree or some equivalent experience. Check out each site for their specific requirements. I can’t think of a cooler way to make extra cash!
11. Sell Teaching Materials to Teachers
If you are a former teacher, a current teacher, or you homeschool your kids, you’ll love Teacherspayteachers. This entire site is focused on connecting classroom material creators with actual teachers and homeschoolers with creative and innovative printables, worksheets, packets, and other classroom materials.
Basically, if you love creating worksheets or fun printable packets for kids of all grade-levels, try selling your materials to teacherspayteachers! I used this site a lot when I was homeschooling my kids a couple years ago. I loved it!
12. Become a Proofreader
If you’re a teacher through and through, you probably love words and are a stickler for proper usage of the written word. I was just generalizing there but if that’s true for you, think about becoming a proofreader or editor for other writers and business owners. In fact, there are a lot of interesting services being offered on sites like Fivver and freelancer.
13. Provide ChildCare
I know you’re busy with your own little ones, but you can get creative with this one if you love caring for children. With sites like urbansitter, you can actually have the children you care for come to you! Obviously, you’d need to follow their guidelines to qualify and pass a background check to get started.
You can also provide care at times when your own kids are already covered, like say when your spouse is home from work or on the weekends. Sittercity also has childcare opportunities for days, evenings for afterschool and date nights, and weekends.
Side Hustles for the Mom Who Loves to Write
14. Start Your Own Blog
I’m a little biased but, I feel like this one should be number one on the list. I LOVE being a blogger! This may sound silly, but I dreamed of blogging for many years but was too scared to take the leap. I love that blogging gives me a creative outlet to use my love of writing to help inspire, encourage, and make a real impact in the lives of people like you!
15. Create Content for Bloggers and Business Owners
If you love to write, then you betta get writing! Business owners and yes, even bloggers who are so busy actually running their business need talented writers to keep cranking out fresh content for their blogs and social media.
If you have a sales background or a knack for persuasion, you can get PAID a serious premium for writing high-converting sales copy for sales pages and online ads. To get connected with these busy business owners, check out sites like Freelancer and Fivver. Simply create a stunning and compelling profile and start applying for jobs. It’s that easy!
16. Start Your Own Freelancing Business
If you get your feet wet in the freelancing arena and love it, you may want to consider going pro. It’s simple to start your own blog to feature and offer your freelancing services and Elna Cain (the freelancing Queen) shows you how to set up your freelancing website in a weekend! Check it out here!
17. Write an Ebook
Everyone is an expert at something! Yeah, I know it sure doesn’t feel like it some days. But the truth is, what’s obvious and plain to us is oftentimes a huge revelation for others. Too often we sell ourselves short on the value of our own experiences and expertise. That’s where writing an ebook comes in. You can invest some time upfront and create yourself a totally passive stream of income later. Pat Flynn shows you how to write your own ebook in his free ebook here. 😉
Side Hustles for the Mom Who Loves to Shop/Sell
18. Use Cash Back Apps When you Shop
Using cash back apps has to be one of my favorite and easiest ways to earn real money on the purchases I’m already making. Apps like ibotta, Checkout51, Ebates, and Swagbucks allow you to scan your receipt after making your purchase and you’ll get paid real cash and gift card rewards on the approved items you bought. Easy money, right?
Let’s face it, we all have a TON of stuff in our homes. It ends up cluttering our rooms, closets, garages, and storage units. And most of it is probably already forgotten until you need to go looking for something. Wouldn’t that old stuff be better served as cold, hard CASH? Yep! Sarah with Early Bird Mom has an amazing course that teaches you the best way to find, organize, and most importantly, maximize your profit from all your stuff. Check out the course here!
20. Shop and Deliver Groceries
Companies like Instacartand Shipt are literally changing the way we all shop for groceries. But they’re also creating new and fun ways for people to make a living with a super flexible schedule! Do you go to the grocery store a thousand times a month to buy food for your family? Good, you’re already qualified!
All you do is go to grocery stores like Target and fill up the requested order and simply deliver those goods to the person’s door. It’s that simple! This is great for when the kids are in school and you get to go spend other people’s money while putting more in your own pocket. That sounds like a win-win!
21. Become a Mystery Shopper
If you already love to shop, mystery shopping could be a perfect side hustle for you. Basically, mystery shopping involves you going into retailers and posing as a real shopper. You usually need to provide the mystery shopping company with a real employee’s name and the details of your shopping experience. The pay for a complete shopping assignment is typically between $7-$20.
Some reputable mystery shopping companies you can check out are:
Many moms are joining some amazing network marketing companies and are sharing AKA selling the products they personally love. I am apart of a direct sales company that I absolutely LOVE – YoungLiving. It’s a health and wellness company that specializes in Essential Oils. These products have helped my family in too many ways to mention here, and so sharing those same products with my circle of influence and getting paid to do it is a no-brainer.
There are other network marketing companies that are also perfect for moms such as Mary Kay, Paparazzi Jewelry, LipSense, and Stella and Dot.
To get even more Side Hustle Ideas, grab your FREE Side Hustle Blueprint and get more side hustles perfect for stay-at-home moms with best practices to earn the most money and a super helpful income tracker to stay on track!
What side hustles have you done that worked? Please share in the comments below!
So you want to Start a blog? Let me tell you starting a blog or any business for that matter is tough. But doing so with babies and toddlers underfoot or working a full-time job can feel downright impossible. But it isn’t, I promise. That’s because so many moms, including myself, are doing it every day!
This post will help you set your blog up for the success it deserves by doing what many bloggers miss – laying the proper foundation from the very start.
If you have a desire to share your ideas, create/sell a product, provide a service, or start a ministry… then it’s time to start your blog today!
And yes, a blog is a business. So don’t be tempted to treat your dream of starting your own blog as a hobby if you want to get the results you desire. You need to treat it like a business right out the gate. And you don’t need a solid eight hours a day to make that happen, either.
But we’ll get to that later!
Let me start off by quickly defining what a blog really is. Your blog is the vehicle for your business. It’s what brings people to your business through your sparkling and unique personality and the valuable content you create and share.
So, then what is your business? Your business is your actual cause, idea, product, or service that you’re offering to your ideal community.
The distinction between blog and business in many cases (as it is with my blog) is a fine line. What’s important is that your mindset is ready for business – no matter what your blogging mission actually is.
How Do You Start a Blog That Thrives?
Your blog will take time to grow… that’s a given. But if you put a solid foundation in place, have a vision that keeps you focused, and develop systems early on in your blog – your success of tons of visitors, subscribers, and customers will happen so much sooner!
Just remember, it’s not as simple as just throwing up a website and getting to work. You must, must, must build a solid foundation and the proper framework for your blog.
***And even if you already have a blog but never took the time to build the proper blog framework, it’s never too late, so this is for you too!***
This post will give you the 4 steps to start your blog the right way. Too many bloggers and business owners get frustrated early on because they didn’t take the time to do what I’m getting ready to walk you through now.
I’m going to warn you, though. This post is extremely long and thorough! I’m not trying to be long-winded for the mere sake of it. I save that for my husband!
But seriously, I worked hard to put together a resource you can return to again and again. So, bookmark this post so it doesn’t get lost… I’ve packed this post full of resources you’re going to want to come back to later!
Are you ready to start your own thriving blog?
Be sure to grab your FREE copy of this amazing Blog Planner and SEO Checklist below to make the process of creating, optimizing, promoting, and monetizing your content a breeze!
1 – Write Your Plan
The first step in the process of starting your blog is to visualize and understand what it is you really want to accomplish with your business. This isn’t always clear in the beginning. It may seem like you’ve got your concept down-pat until someone asks you to explain what you do … and the stuttering begins…
There’s wisdom in writing down the vision for your business and keeping it nice and simple. That means, don’t be tempted to make it super “sophisticated” – which is just code for over-complicated.
Been there… Done that!
Start out with your end desire in mind. Don’t be afraid to really go with the BIG vision in your heart. Still… Big, not complicated; there is a difference.
It may seem over-the-top crazy right now but just go with it. You’ll be in good company with all the crazy dreamers out there who sacrificed to make our lives better. I’m glad they didn’t let fear water down their dream! So don’t let fear cause you to water down YOURS!
As you write out your vision, it’s an absolute MUST to visualize who you’ll be helping. That’s your customer avatar – the person who is waiting for your idea, service, wisdom, product or anything else you’re offering to gift to the real world and not just something taking up space in your head.
We’re all waiting for you, so don’t forget about us in the process of creating your vision.
Ask yourself these questions to help get you started…
Do you have a product that’ll solve a problem?
Who needs your help and how badly do they need this help?
Will your blog be a resource that will make a difference?
Do you plan to provide a service that’s designed to make someone else’s life easier?
Again, who needs this help and how would their life be positively impacted by it?
It’s always a good sign when your customer needs what you have in a major way. Concentrate on how their lives will be positively impacted, changed, and transformed by what you have to offer. Think about where you want to lead them.
This is important… do not be tempted to create a group of people, but create ONE person as your ideal customer, subscriber, reader.
A rookie mistake that I believe ALL bloggers make (including myself) is to see your tribe as a massive group filled with many different personalities, needs, and desires. When, as hard as this may sound, you must really see your audience as one person.
Create your perfect fan and build an “avatar” with a name, face, hopes, and problems; and craft everything you write, offer, and do around that person.
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The more you know about your tribe, the easier it will be to find them with your carefully targeted marketing so you can provide them with the products and/or services they need (books, blog posts, ideas, courses, inventions, etc.) and blow them away!
You also need to become an expert on your tribe. You need to know where they live, hang out, and also where they shop. You need to know what they like, what they love, how they communicate, and what’s important to them.
And here’s a BIG one – know their fears, problems, annoyances, and what keeps them up at night!
Now that you’ve written down your concept (What you’re offering) and Who you’re offering it to – it’s time to focus on How you plan to get it done.
This is the nuts and bolts of your business plan. Oh, I didn’t tell you were writing a business plan?
Oops… Don’t worry you’re doing great.
Don’t stop now!
Know Your Numbers
I didn’t say it earlier because the words “Business Plan” can be intimidating. It was for me. But it’s really not that bad, and look how great you’ve done so far!
All you’re really doing is setting yourself up for success! So, like I said, now you’re going to write down your plan of action. We’ll start with your budget.
No matter how “boring and intimidating” this step may seem, don’t skip it! You need to carefully determine ALL costs associated with starting your business. This will vary tremendously depending on the type of business you’re starting.
Some of the expenses you want to consider for your blog will include the supplies you’ll need, costs for advertising, people who you may need to hire (work you’ll need to outsource), and monthly maintenance expenses for your website and social media.
Don’t let the initial costs of start-up get in the way of starting your dream. The good news is starting a blog isn’t that costly upfront and there are many free or super low-cost options to get you started. That way, you can upgrade as you start making money later.
Here’s a great post from SmartBlogger that goes further into detail on creating a blog budget, and they have a cool budgeting spreadsheet right in the post to help you with your numbers.
Know Your Daily Action Plan
Now that you’ve earned a Ph.D. in understanding your tribe and having numbers your CPA would be proud of, you’re almost done with your business plan.
Believe it or not, business owners pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for the information that you took the time to discover on your own! The only thing left to do is to be clear on the actions you need to take to get your desired results.
You need to be absolutely sure the tasks you’re working on are the “right” actions. It doesn’t make sense to do all this work preparing your business for success if you spend time doing things that aren’t fruitful.
Your daily actions have to line up with the overall vision for your business. If they don’t, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see success in your business.
If you’re not exactly sure what your daily activities should be, go back and review your vision. Look at the end of your vision and reverse engineer what it’s going to take to grow and nurture your blog to that place. You can design and create the life and business you want to have!
For example, do you need to create fabulous content that will establish yourself and brand as an expert? If so, content research and curation should be built into your daily/weekly priorities.
I Only you know your blog and what needs to be done and you’ll learn even more as you keep growing. Just beware of the unrelenting power of resistance which plaques creatives and entrepreneurs alike.
It helped me recognize I’m not alone in my struggle with insecurity, distraction, and self-sabotaging behaviors. This book was a real game-changer for me. And best of all, it’s a super quick read!
Another roadblock for bloggers and business owners is Shiny Object Syndrome. This is when there are so many… too many paths to take and so you either try to take them all or shut down altogether.
Don’t fall for it! Create your plan and stick to it long enough (at least a full 3 months) until you see results. If you see that it’s a bad plan after sufficient time and testing… you’re free to choose another path!
2 – Add Your Blog into Your Real Life
Once you complete your business plan, you need to make a firm decision that you’re a business owner NOW. This step could have been rolled into number one, but I believe this one needs to stand on its own.
Even if your business is becoming a freelance writer or starting a lifestyle blog – you’re a business owner. You have to respect your new decision and integrate it into your life.
This first step to adding your business into your life is making sure your family’s on board.
That’s extremely important! You’ll need your husband and children’s help doing many of the things you used to do before becoming a business owner. And please don’t launch into this new venture thinking you can doing everything you used to AND run a successful business.
You need help, so you don’t crash and burn from pure exhaustion. Your business should enrich your family – not run it into the ground. And a burnt-out momma will do just that! And there can be balance in the Mom Biz life.
Instead, use your family to help you achieve your dreams, and you’ll be a happier, healthier you and your family deserves that, and so do you.
Any new endeavor requires new habits, actions, and daily routines. You can’t expect your business to grow and be successful if you only work it when you feel like it or have a free second. Never decide to work only when you have that stroke of genius.
No… you have to MAKE time – every day.
If you’re a mom or have a full-time job outside the home – your time is slim. But NOT non-existent. You’ll need to be skilled at the art of saying no and scaling back your life, at least in the beginning.
Even if you seriously have only one hour a day to work on your business – you’ll still be successful if you stick to that one hour EVERY day.
Darren Hardy teaches in great detail on the powerful concept of the compound effect in his book – The Compound EffectBasically, he shows readers how small changes made consistently, over even a very short time, will have exponential results. I strongly recommend this book which really gives us all hope that we don’t need a full 8 hours a day to make a BIG impact!
So there, you can stop telling yourself you don’t have enough time! And instead, decide what time you need to work – and do it faithfully.
I personally work every day for at least 2-3 hours before my children get up for school, and when my 23-month-old son takes his afternoon nap for 2 hours. I sometimes will try to catch up on work stuff in the evening, but I’m honestly too tired, so I stick with the early hours instead.
Now, once my son is old enough and all 3 of my kids are in school for 8 hours a day; I won’t need to work at these crazy, early hours. But for right now, I sacrifice so I can be fully available to my family. It was hard in the beginning but only took a few weeks to get used to.
**Update: My son is now in preschool! So, my days are now fully dedicated to work and my evenings are all about my family! It’s working extremely well for my family now. It’s my new season.**
Overall, becoming your own boss is harder than you can imagine. But if you’re pursuing a calling and not just a paycheck, you’re off to a great start.
Now that you’ve laid the foundation, the first thing you want to do is to get your blog up and running. So you need a website which will serve as your home-base. And that’s extremely important to know because through social media is an excellent and widely-used tool for getting your message out – it’s not your platform.
Social media sites are really in charge of EVERYTHING that goes on their platforms, not you. They can change the rules anytime they see fit, and those changes may or may not be beneficial to you.
You want to use those very effective platforms to do ONE thing – drive all your fans and followers straight to your home-base (your website). If you don’t have one, that’s a big, rookie mistake. Don’t be a rookie. And think like a professional.
You’ll need to make 3 choices when setting up your website. And just be aware these are exactly the same regardless of whether your business is a blog, a service-based business, or selling physical or digital products. No matter what you’re offering – you need a place to call home. So, let’s get started.
You need to choose your site’s platform. This basically means the place where you’re going to “house” your site. There are a few platforms to choose from, but one platform has risen above the pack and become the industry leader. (Source)
WordPress is easy to use and best of all – it works really well. They also provide great support to their customers and that’s EXTREMELY important, especially if you’re not tech savvy.
Another awesome benefit is the enormous community of creators who build plug-ins, tools, and themes designed to work directly with your WordPress site. If you’re looking for a great theme, I’ve used Web-Savvy-Marketing themes when creating sites for other business owners and they look awesome.
There are two different types of WordPress sites:
WordPress.com – This version allows you to host your site on WordPress servers, and they allow you access to update content. There is a free option, however, your domain name will include the .wordpress.com (subdomain) and you have very limited storage space and customization options. There are premium options that provide for a little more flexibility that range from $2.99 – $24.92 per month.
WordPress.org – This is the more common version of WordPress that most website owners use. Its what’s called the self-hosted WordPress option that allows you to host your site on the hosting provider of your choice and provides for the most flexibility and customization. This version allows you to host your site on your own server and is highly recommended.
There’s a little more set-up on the front end but you’ll have complete control over the look or your site, how it operates, and how you’re able to make money. This version is the hands-down winner if you want to really operate a business because you need complete control and this is the version that delivers that option.
Choose Your Hosting
If you decide to go with a self-hosted WordPress site (WordPress.org), you’ll need to set up hosting. Hosting is simply a server that houses your site and allows others to find it. So, your hosting is EXTREMELY important. The upside is hosting is very inexpensive across the board. But most of all, you want to be sure your hosting is reliable and has excellent support and customer service.
The clear winner in my experience is BlueHost.com. My husband and I have been customers with BlueHost for many years and have only good things to say. And let’s just say, we’ve made a number of mistakes along the way and needed BlueHost to walk us through the process and sometimes even come to our rescue! And they always delivered. My top-2 favorite things about Bluehost is that 1) They don’t allow pornographic websites, and 2) They are available 24/7!
All you need to do to get started is choose which plan you want by clicking on the image below. If you’re just starting out and you have to be more mindful of your budget, just choose the basic plan. They make it easy to upgrade when you need it at any time.
Choose Your Domain Name
Finally, you need to choose your domain name, which is your website’s “online” address. My domain name is www.familyfelicity.com. You may already have a domain name and if you do that’s great, but if not it’s not difficult to find one.
Just use the simple BlueHost search feature below to see if your desired domain is available. If not, you’ll need to keep trying until you find one. If you don’t already have one, Bluehost will require that you choose one at setup. But the great thing is that it’s absolutely FREE for the first year (included with your hosting package).
Here are some simple tips when trying to come up with your name:
Keep it short and easy to remember
Use keywords for your business niche if possible
Don’t add symbols in the name
Use a .com name if possible
Once your hosting & domain name is set up, Bluehost makes it easy to setup your website with a WordPress 1-Click Install which literally takes about 2-minutes. Simply answer a few questions about the name of your site, and your username and password, and now you’ve got your own legit website!
Now you’re ready to start adding your content. This is the fun part where you get to tell everyone who you are and what you have to offer. I’ve added a video below created by BlueHost to help you navigate through the process and make it a little easier.
The next video helps you to create your first blog posts.
4 – Build Your Email List
Building your email list is something you MUST begin doing from the very start of your blog. In case you didn’t know this already, your email list is your future gold mine. Basically, this group of individuals who liked what you were offering so much that they gave you their email address for your free goodies are now starting on a journey with you.
As a subscriber, they’ve taken action with you. You asked them to sign up for something and they did. This may not seem like a big deal, but I assure you it is. A person is much more likely to purchase something from you later down the road if they’ve already conducted business with you in the past.
Even if you don’t have plans to sell products on your blog, at some point you’ll want your readers to “do” something. And it’s your faithful subscribers that’ll be more likely to do it than the random visitors that come and go to your site.
You offer them something of great value to them for FREE. This is the basic, no-frills way to build your email list. There are many more ways, but it’s too much to discuss in this post. We’re already at 4,000 words here!
You can offer a free guide or book if you’re an expert in a particular subject or industry. You can offer a valuable service for free like a website audit if you help blogs run their social media. Don’t be tempted to offer a “free consultation” though. They’re not as effective.
You also need to create noticeable and convenient places for readers to opt-in to what you’re offering, so make sure they can be found easily like on your sidebar, within blog posts, and even as a pop-up offer.
Once you start to capture these emails, you’ll need an email service that’ll deliver your freebie to your new subscriber. As well as allowing you to communicate with them regularly to stay in contact. This is where your readers get to know you and is the perfect place to offer them great stuff both free and paid to make their lives better.
There are many email service providers doing great work, both free and paid. I used to use Mail Chimp which was free for me because I didn’t have a very big list at all, and is a great start. But there were many things I was having difficulty doing so I later switched to ConvertKit which was created especially for bloggers like us.
I started to notice a huge migration of bloggers running to ConvertKit and I did my research to see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I did, and my email list has been growing ever since!
If you need more step by step instruction on how to build, grow, and nurture your email list you definitely need to invest in Crystal Paine’s Build Your List 101! I personally took this course and she doesn’t leave a single thing out, including the best way to stay in regulation with the new GDPR data collection laws.
If you have a growing list but want more juicy details and step by step instructions on how to nurture those new subscribers and turn them into a highly engaged and ready to buy fans… you NEED Inbox Invitation Course! Sarah does a phenomenal job showing her students how to make email easy and make money through your email list. You can check out her very inexpensive course HERE!
After laying the foundation for your blog, you’ll need to understand how to properly and quickly drive traffic to your site, set up your monetization strategy, and like I said above, grow your email list.
And to do this effectively, you need education, my friend!
In the beginning, I didn’t want to invest ANY money into my blog until I was making money. It took me a few years to realize I wasn’t making any money because I wasn’t investing in my blog!
So, I searched and searched for blogging courses that didn’t require me to get a second job to pay for them, but gave me all the goods I needed to reach my blogging goals. And I found them!!
For courses that teach you how to fully set up your blog and get started beyond what we’ve discussed in this post, check out these amazingly helpful courses.
Building a Framework
This course was created by Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog. I’m sure you’ve heard of her… she’s amazing! This course is EXTREMELY affordable at $97 for all the foundational blog information you get. It’s crazy that’s she’s never raised the price!
This course literally walks you through every step of starting, growing, maintaining, and even monetizing your blog. Yes, the whole kitchen sink is inside this course. If you’re new to blogging or feel like you’ve missed some steps along the way, this course will be your go-to resource!
This course was created by Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com. She has a tremendous amount of expertise about blogging successfully and recently launched a new blog, YourBloggingMentor.com which is a wonderful blogging resource. She has a wealth of courses under her blogging belt and this is the one you need to invest in if you’re brand new to blogging.
If you haven’t launched your blog yet or your blog is extremely new, this is the go-to course for you, plus the price is such a bargain. But don’t let the low price make you think it’s not packed with value. She walks you through every step you need to take to get your blog set up the right way and handle all the tech that’s necessary in the beginning stages.
Blogging courses have been total game-changers for my blog! However, I waited a very long time before deciding to invest real money into my blog and consequently spent too many years trying to bootstrap my blog by scouring the endless list of free blog posts out there… with little success.
The truth is, most of the free content I found had missing pieces and holes I just couldn’t fill in on my own. And in the words of one of my biggest blogging mentors Ruth Soukup straight out of her latest course, “everything can’t be free. Life doesn’t work that way and business certainly doesn’t, either. The sooner you start treating your blog like a business and are willing to begin investing in your future, the sooner you will start seeing results.“
Right between the eyes, right!
But though it can be hard to hear, it’s no less true. When I finally decided that in order to grow my blog, I needed to make an investment in my blog other than the sweat equity I was already doing.
I knew my budget didn’t allow for buying expensive blogging courses… in fact, I secretly cringed at the lower priced ones too. Every time I hit the purchase button, I hoped it would be worth it.
And boy was it! This list is my absolute favorite list of blogging courses… ALL FOR UNDER $100!
But these aren’t just ANY blogging courses! These are the courses that work together to make your blog a thriving business! AKA, making real money. Other than creating your only products to sell, there are three other major contributing factors to making money blogging:
Each of these courses will help you do just that and have personally contributed huge gains to my blogging success in. In each section, I’ll dive into the juicy details and give my honest review of each course.
If your blog isn’t growing the way you know it should be, or if it’s hit a plateau and you’re ready to jump to the next level – you owe it to yourself to check out these courses.
**Please know that I love blogging courses, not just because I love buying courses. But because if it’s a great course (and I do ALL the work) my blog grows by leaps and bounds! And yours can too. I want you to know this post was originally about my top 9 favorite courses but my list of favorites keeps growing and I keep updating this post. And just so you know, I’ve taken a few other courses (many high priced courses) that simply didn’t make the cut and that’s why these are all favorable reviews.**
If you’re very new to blogging or haven’t started your blog yet… you NEED to read this post first. I’ve also included my favorite startup courses in that post. It’s basically EVERYTHING you need to start your blog!
And be sure to grab your FREE copy of this amazing Blog Planner and SEO Checklist below to make the process of creating, optimizing, promoting, and monetizing your content a breeze!
Increase Your Blog Traffic
This course by Lena Gott at WhatMommyDoes is literally the second course I invested in. Once, I got my blog set up correctly and my foundation was in place, I was ready to get traffic to my site. And Traffic Transformation is a treasure trove of goodies and nuggets that you can literally go to again and again! And I really do!
Her step by step instructions in over 21 chapters of content, helps you come up with what feels like endless ways to drive traffic to your site. These were ideas I didn’t find on free blog posts! Your only problem with this course will be picking which strategies to choose first. 😉
But don’t worry, her down to earth approach won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed, but inspired to step outside of your blogging norms and reach new traffic heights!
Take a look at my traffic spike due to the strategies Lena teaches in her course. My traffic soared and stayed up!
I literally can’t say enough about this course from Carly Campbell at MommyonPurpose! This book is literally the reason you can’t stop hearing about manual pinning. She did a phenomenal job of putting manual pinning on the blogging map.
Even if you aren’t considering manual pinning, this book is a MUST READ because she dives deep into understanding your own google analytics. This is information that was mind-blowing. She teaches you how to identify and use your top performing pins and then how to grow them on Pinterest. You can use these strategies with your scheduler to maximize your efforts!
And she goes into so much more!
This is a snapshot of my Pinterest analytics to see how impactful this course was on my traffic coming from Pinterest! That’s a surge of more than 250,000 views in just 30 days!
Yes, you can grow your pins and this strategy helps nudge your pins into viral status. It’s worked for me quite a few times! Manual pinning has created very substantial increases in my Pinterest page views and clicks to my site! See my analytics to prove it!
Let me be clear upfront, this course covers WAY more than Pinterest! In fact, it’s the topics that aren’t Pinterest related that urged me to take the plunge and purchase this course. Did I mention I’m super strict on my minimum blogging budget?
Megan from LoveFamilyHealth really inspired me to reach waaayyy outside my comfort zone and start my own Facebook group and my first 3 Pinterest group boards. Both are growing every day! I’m so thankful for the instruction as well as the inspiration to do the things on my “I’ll do when I feel ready” list.
I finally branded my board lists (she also included cover templates!), optimized my Pinterest profile in ways I’d not heard of previously, and have already seen my blog traffic soaring. But more importantly, her course gave me the confidence to establish myself as an expert in what I already know. I’ve been waiting for the confidence to suddenly appear… who knew I just needed to buy this course! Lol
This course from Elna Cain from TwinsMommy is one that I was on the fence about. Not that I didn’t think it was a great course, but I assumed it was a beginners course. Boy was I wrong! I finally took a closer look at RSBT when I started researching SEO more and using a lot of keyword research. The funny thing is, I kept seeing her posts on the 1st page of google for the keywords I was searching!
I was like… really!? In fact, she was quoted by Neil Patel in one of his blog posts (Crazy!) and I actually saw her outrank him by 2 pages on google for another post I was searching for! That’s legit! So, I decided to not let the jealousy bug bite me and take a closer look at her course.
I quickly stopped researching and bought the course. I can say that I’m impressed and not at all disappointed. She goes deep into the concepts she uses to get quality backlinks and get accepted for guest posts and podcast interviews, and how she consistently gets on page 1 of Google for her many blogs WITHOUT obsessing about keywords, and so much more! And the best part is, Elna has just completly updated this course with more modules on SEO and Pinterest!!
Crystal Paine’s Build Your List 101 gives you the step by step instruction on how to build, grow, and nurture your email list the simple way. Her videos and teaching resources are so easy to understand and simple to follow. She covers how to set up your email list funnels and actually walks you through how to visually map out your funnel. I didn’t know how to do this before seeing it in this course!
You’ll also learn how to create helpful and beautifully designed checklists, printables, and even e-books to offer as freebies to grow your email list. And no, you don’t have to have a ton of skills or talent with design. Everything is super easy!
I personally took this course and she doesn’t leave a single thing out, including the best way to stay in regulation with the new GDPR data collection laws. That part alone was so helpful!
Sarah from EaryBirdMom created Inbox Invitation which was an answer to my prayers… literally! Email was a huge struggle for me.
Are you growing your email list, but now don’t know what the heck to email your list? Are you scared you’ll get no opens, responses, or even tons of unsubscribes?
If so, you need this course! It’s so affordable but way more valuable because she goes into why unsubscribes are a good thing, what to email your list, how often you should email your list, and how to sell to your list without sounding spammy or too salesy.
You can even add on her email swipe file to the course to make it easy and seamless. Never procrastinate on sending your list a value-packed email at least once per week to keep your list happy and engaged!
After using her strategies I gain the courage to email my list more frequently, my open rates increased, I finally got email responses from my subscribers, and best of all I got my first affiliate commission 2 weeks after starting her process!!
If you’re ready to start monetizing your blog, Pin to Profits is a very in-depth course to help you get there quickly! McKinzie at MomsMakeCents walks you through every single detail of how to use Pinterest to make money with affiliate marketing. I personally feel this course is perfect for both beginners of affiliate marketing and seasoned pros who haven’t tapped into using Pinterest to promote their affiliate products.
She teaches on everything from setting up your boards to maximize your pins’ exposure, how to create and brand your pins, how to find and choose the right affiliate networks for you, and how to add the links properly to your pins.
She provides an extensive list of affiliate networks for different niches, product ideas, how to best promote your pins, and even a bonus of pin templates to get started! That’s everything you need to start making money with Pinterest today!
Just note that since I purchased this course, she’s since expanded and added even more courses to add to making money on Pinterest.
This affiliate marketing course by Kaylee Aimee was my first actual course dedicated to affiliate marketing and I was blown away. Honestly, this course is WAY underpriced! I knew a lot about affiliate marketing before I took her course but learned so many techniques that I hadn’t seen before. And that was really impressive.
If you’re new to affiliate marketing and feel like Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (a very popular AF course) is too expensive, you will love this course! Kaylee teaches most of the lessons in a video tutorial format and her personality is very sweet and fun so you won’t get bored during the lessons. And you’ll be excited, motivated, and properly informed to start making money with your blog today!
A Word of Caution BEFORE Buying ANY Blogging Course!
Your blogging success CANNOT be guaranteed by using any blogging course. No matter how big, expensive, or popular the course may be. You must go into each course with a teachable mindset.
That means you take the student position and humble yourself (no matter how much you know now) to learn everything you can from that blogger and their course. In reality, some courses are going to be game-changers (like this list!) and some will be a disappointment.
The key to my success was taking FAST ACTION on ALL the assignments and suggestions made in each course. Like, immediate action!
Even the ones that TERRIFIED me. Sometimes, a course is less about the information and more about the encouragement and inspiration to take a leap! And you’ll be so glad you did.
My advice is to NOT buy ANY courses if you’re not ready and willing to go all-in with the course. If not, it’ll be a complete waste of your time and money.
In the words of Nike… JUST DO IT! 😉
Each of these courses were game-changers for my blog. And the best thing is, they are all unique and met the needs for different areas of my blog. It’s amazing how there was very little knowledge overlap with this courses.
If you’re ready to level up your blog game and spring clean your old blog education for some fresh new courses, these courses are for you. The best part is you’ll spend way less than the cost of a latte per day!
People all over the world, including me, want to leave their day jobs and become their own boss. Moms have the dream of becoming their own boss to be more flexible and available for their children or stay home with them all together.
However, the phrase I want to leave this job so I can be my own boss is one I’ll say for most people is a setup for disaster. The thought of being “self-employed” is very enticing for most people working for someone else.
In fact, most people never actually step out to achieve entrepreneur status for many reasons like not having a winning business concept, little or no start-up money, or they simply don’t have the gumption to start their own business in the first place.
But for the ones who do manage to push past all those obstacles and actually open their business – they’re often met with another obstacle they didn’t expect.
I know all about this obstacle when I started my entrepreneurial journey a decade ago in 2006. I was working in the corporate world with my husband when we found out I was pregnant with our first child. We’d been trying for over 4 years so, to say the least, we were ecstatic!
I started thinking about my life as a mother and what I really wanted. I couldn’t bear the thought of going back to work after giving birth. I wasn’t happy at the company where I worked and wanted to find a way to work from home to raise my sweet baby girl which was something I always wanted to do.
It just so happened my husband (who always had the entrepreneurial itch) had recently opened his own real estate brokerage. He’d been working as a real estate agent for many years and decided it was time to be his own boss. It was this brokerage that gave me the perfect opportunity to make money in real estate working alongside my husband.
We worked hard to prepare the business and both left our jobs a couple of months before the baby was due. Over the years God made a way for me to take care of all three of my children without needing to put them in daycare; which was a personal desire for me. For this, I’m extraordinarily grateful.
But I’ll say the entrepreneurial road has been a bumpy one, full of pot-holes, unlabeled paths, and too many forks in the road to count. To sum it up – it wasn’t easy. Partly because I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t have a plan. For a super simple plan on how to start your own business the right way, read my post: How to Start a Blog and Make it a Thriving Business From Day One.
The other reason I struggled was in large part due to the obstacle I alluded to earlier. And the faster you can identify it in yourself and overcome it – the better off you’ll be.
The fantasy of becoming your own boss
What most people who go into business for themselves really want is to become their own employee, not their own boss.
There’s a vast difference between being a boss and an employee. A boss is in charge and has to make all the important decisions. She must decide when the work gets done and when it’s time to go home.
She has the “luxury” of staying behind when all the employees go home – and then takes more work home. She takes the responsibility for the performance of her team because she’s the one in charge of training them. The job of a boss “looks” like a position of power with all the perks, but it comes with a price.
Employees get paid to show up and do the work they’re told to do. Plain and simple. In most cases, they’re only responsible for their own performance and if they meet the goals set by the boss – they keep their job.
The job of an employee may not have all the perks of the boss, but they don’t typically have nearly the same level of responsibility. They have the perk of clocking out and going home.
Both of these roles in their general sense are pretty clear and easy to understand, but all that changes when you become your own boss. As employees, we’ve all learned to do what we’re told or we lose our livelihood. But something interesting happens when you’re finally sitting in the illustrious boss chair in your own company. You suddenly become a rebellious employee.
Maybe it’s because, as employees, we dreamed of being able to make all the decisions and not be told what to do anymore when we finally own our own business. But we neglected to notice we were the ones who’d be in charge of getting the work done once all the important “decisions” were made.
We like the appearance of being the powerful boss, but don’t always like the responsibility that comes with it.
I struggled with this in the early years of being self-employed. I was able to get the work done that had deadlines attached with big banks and other institutions. But beyond the work I did for other people, I couldn’t manage to produce any of my own ideas and plans.
The Reality of Being your Own Employee
I’m talking about the work no one else was asking for or counting on. I’d plan my ideas and they’d sit. That’s because the “boss” was making the plans and setting the deadlines. But the “employee” didn’t feel like carrying out that plan. Or simply had another “stroke of genius” and wanted to go in another direction for the 100th time this month.
So, my dreams of becoming a true entrepreneur were being sabotaged by one of my own employees – ME. And honestly, this wasn’t an epiphany that hit me overnight. It was a process. I was feeling like a failure because I was still just working for someone else – just at home. Which was fine, but I wanted more.
Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for the opportunity, but I knew it was time for me to do the things in my heart. I just couldn’t figure out how. But I couldn’t figure out how to push through my own sabotages.
I’m sure, there are many hard-wired, natural-born entrepreneurs who’ve never struggled in this area. Who naturally flow in the dual boss/employee role flawlessly. But for most of us, we’re just creatives who want to share their ideas and gifts with the world, but struggle to get out of the mud.
The key to success is learning how to be both the boss and the employee – to yourself. This is no easy task even if you’ve been the boss to other people. It’s another ball game when it’s for you.
5 keys to set you up for mompreneur success
1 – Be a Person of Integrity
We all know what it means to have integrity with other people. You know, don’t lie, cheat, steal, and ultimately do what you say you’re going to do. In other words, be a person of your word. We all know how to do that! But where we tend to struggle is when we lie, cheat, steal, and don’t stand by our word to our own self.
We ALL do this. For example, when you tell yourself you’re not eating fried foods anymore – EVER. But your department at work brings in a giant box of fried chicken for a co-worker’s birthday, and you tell yourself – just this once. Shhh!
Or when you start a new workout routine and this morning you wake up and don’t feel like it, so you pull the covers back over your head. And that rolls into tomorrow and the next. These are everyday examples of us lying to ourselves like it’s no big deal.
But in all reality, lying to ourselves is just as wrong as doing it to someone else.
Hey! We’re people, too!
If you keep lying to someone else and they learn about it – they’ll stop trusting in you.
Sadly, the same exact thing happens to us. Every time we’re dishonest in some way to ourselves – we erode at the trust we have in our self.
This is dangerous because when you’re the boss and give yourself assignments to complete; you’ll have the unhealthy tendency to give yourself the side-eye and think, you can’t do this. It’s like you become your own bad apple in the bunch.
Start practicing being completely honest with yourself. And do what you do for others. For example, don’t rush to commit. Think everything though to be sure your commitment or decision is one that’s reasonable. And when you’re tempted to fall short – push harder. You’ll thank yourself later.
2 – Be a Good Boss
You need to work hard to set yourself up for success. That means doing your research before you launch, creating a business plan, and setting realistic goals. These apply to everyone in every type of business.
Doing your research ensures you’re going into the right business and there’s a real need for what you’re offering. You also need to understand where your customer lives and spends their time. This way you know exactly where to find them with your extraordinary answer to their problem – your business/products.
Writing a business plan, even if it’s one page, will give you direction and focus. It also helps you fill in the blanks you didn’t know you needed, like your financial numbers and your business identity.
And finally, setting realistic goals helps you stay on task and not feel like a failure because your goals are challenging yet attainable. If you don’t do these things upfront, you’ll have a difficult time trying to execute a plan that doesn’t exist.
Once you do a good job of being the boss and setting up your systems for success; you need to be disciplined to do what it takes to get it done. Probably one of the most undesirable part of being in business for yourself is not being able to clock at the end of the day like everyone else.
If you’re a mom who’s running your own business with babies and toddlers underfoot; it’s even more challenging. And certainly the same is true if you still work a full-time job. The hard truth is, if you want your dreams to become reality, you need to dig in and do what you need to do to make it happen.
If that means getting up hours before everyone else or working well into the night you must do whatever it takes. I can promise you this – no one else will do it for you.
The one thing you’ll need to do more than anything else is believe in yourself. That’s because when you’re new at something; you can quickly feel in over your head because of your inexperience.
This is when your inner chatterbox starts chipping away at your confidence by telling you failure is your inevitable end. But you can’t fall for it. You just need to keep moving forward past the discomfort and unfamiliar. It gets easier – I promise.
Instead of listening to your older, more cynical self who’s had one too many failures and disappointments in life. Try listening to your younger, more innocent self. You know, the part of you that believes anything is possible and isn’t afraid of failing yet. Let her run the show!
Remember, there will be times when you’re the only one who can see what you see. You must know that whether or not other people understand or support your pursuit – you need to believe in it stronger than anyone else. You’ll need to lean on this belief in the tough times. And you’ll be happy you did in the good times.
5 – Be Filled with Passion
And finally, you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Being your own boss will never be enough to keep you going when it gets hard. I promise it will. But if what you’re doing is deeply important to you – you’ll make it through those hard moments.
It’s passion that’ll keep you from giving up on your dream so you can make it to the top of your mountain. We all need to make it to our mountain so we can reach down and pull others up.
Your business isn’t simply for you. We’re all called to serve and help those in this world. So, let the passion inside you lead the way!
Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the scariest decisions a person can make. This is a world that can seem like a breeding ground for mistakes and failures. But it also comes with an enormous reward if done the right way. What’s your entrepreneurial story? Did you personally struggle with this obstacle? If so, how did you overcome it?
Share in the comments below, where you are in your entrepreneurial journey. Post your story, question, or idea and let’s help each other! Can’t wait to hear what you’ve got. And don’t forget to share this article with someone you know who could use some encouragement today!
**This post has also been updated in Feb 2018 with even more tools! I’ll keep adding on as I find new automation tools.
Blog automation tools are truly my saving grace as a blogger. I wouldn’t have lasted over 3 years if I had to do everything the long and hard way. But when I first started my blog, I didn’t know what I was doing.
Even though I did tons of research before I launched, I still learned so much through endless trial and error. And totally missed the boat on automation software that could help me grow my blog quickly.
I was really trying to save money so I stayed far away from plug-ins, tools, and other automation software that I thought would make me go broke. But I finally realized that most of them are pretty inexpensive and many and outright FREE!
So in my ignorance, I stuck it out doing everything manually. And I’m not just talking about the new craze of Manual Pinning!
I sent every email out one by one. And I posted all my Pinterest pins and Facebook and Twitter posts one by one. It took up so much of my time. Lack of automation was just one of the pitfalls of blogging, I fell right into.
I finally came to a place where I knew I couldn’t do this anymore. I desperately needed some automation in my life! As my business grew, I was quickly getting out of balance with taking care of my home and busy little toddler.
I set out to try many different blog automation tools and tested which ones worked and which ones didn’t. This was a game changer for me because putting my blog on auto-pilot allowed me to take care of my son and my home while my blog still continued to grow. Crazy, right?
Automating your blog is simply using a tool, software, plugin, app, or even an outsourced person to complete a task on an ongoing basis that requires minimal intervention. For example, if you’re collecting email addresses (which you should be) then you’ll want to create a series of emails set up in an autoresponder that’ll go out automatically when someone opts into your email list.
There’s no way you can personally send out emails every time someone opts in to one of your offers. That would be too much. Or at least it should be! 😉
In short, automating your blog is necessary for allowing you to streamline your processes and save you TONS of time so you can do what you do best – making great stuff and dominating the world!
To bring some balance to the issue of putting your blog on auto-pilot, the “set it and forget it” mentality isn’t recommended. You always want to be connected to your business and your tribe. Therefore, you always want to allow for communication and contact with your readers and subscribers to happen naturally and consistently and always be ready to respond when they reach out.
To help you put these concepts into immediate action, I’ve put together my favorite list of blog automation tools you can use for your blog.
I use Tailwind to share my content on my top performing group boards. I belong to over 50 awesome group boards, so manually pinning to all those boards is a HUGE time suck! Tailwind makes sure that all boards are covered and I don’t miss any days. Plus, it serves up my posts at their optimal time intervals so I don’t ever have to think about it. Then in the evening, I go to town pinning other bloggers’ content to all my relevant personal boards.
The other main feature I love with Tailwind is their analytics and ease of use, overall. They’ve designed a beautiful and equally useful interface that provides you with all the information you need to grow your blog. To get started with a free month to try it out, just click the link below. Enjoy!
SumoMe is a plugin that allows you to get more fans of your awesome stuff to sign up for your offers. Thus growing your greatest asset as a blogger – your email list.
It allows you to add opt-in boxes, pop-ups, and welcome mats all without needing to understand coding. It also displays your blog’s social proof showing how many shares each page receives in social media. As of right now, I no longer use this but it still works great.
I recently purchased the Social Warfare plug-in that worked better for me for showing the social proof of how many times a particular page or post was shared and to which social platform. It also allows me to customize the share bar to my branding colors and is very noticeable – but not in a gaudy way.
On the back end, it allows me to easily upload my Facebook and Pinterest images and meta description, so when my post gets shared – the right information populations in that social post.
Grammarly is technically not auto-pilot in the sense that it’s doing something in the background like some of these other tools, but don’t let that fool you. Grammarly is automatically and seamlessly catching errors in my writing, every time I write ANYTHING on my computer!
Grammarly was something I thought I didn’t need because I had spell check, right? Wrong!! When I finally started using it my writing life changed dramatically. And I saw how many errors I had lingering around in my old posts! Oops. Basically, it’s a tool I don’t have to think about. It’s working constantly every time I write anywhere on my computer. It’s literally amazing.
If you write for business, school, or for any reason at all – you need Grammarly in your life right now!
ConvertKit is the first email auto-responder that was created with bloggers in mind. It allows you to seamlessly and easily create an automated email sequence that will be triggered anytime someone signs up for your newsletter or other offerings.
You can also send broadcast messages anytime to your email list which allows you to still stay active with your tribe on the fly. I no longer use ConvertKit, but I still believe it is a great autoresponder.
I switched my email autoresponder to Active Campaign because of the usability of the platform. It’s a drag and drop setup and works similar to ClickFunnels. The email automation tools are seamless and appear on the screen like an actual flow chart. This makes it super easy to visually see the flow of your email sequences!
The analytics are easy to read and give you great insight on your open rates, click-through, and even why subscribers decided to unsubscribe from your list. These help you learn and continually tweak your processes along the way.
Buffer is what I use to set my social media posts on auto-pilot. I simply sit down once a week and fill up my queue with my posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in very little time. I love this app because it allows me access to analytics to see which posts are doing well and which ones are not.
If I see a post that’s doing well, I can simply repost it with one click. It also gives me the option to use Buffer’s optimal posting times to create a customized schedule based on the activity on my social media accounts. And all this is on my free account!
Your Google Analytics is essential to getting a complete picture of the growth and success of your blog. You can see your traffic numbers and referral sources at a glance, as well as vital information on the demographics of your visitors. Best of all it’s totally FREE! They are also constantly adding new updates to give you even more insight. If you haven’t set up your analytics account yet, what are you waiting for?
JetPack is a plugin for WordPress and it works similarly to Google Analytics in that it gives your site states right in your WordPress dashboard. This gives you an easy to view and understand snapshot of your blog’s traffic and sources. It also provides security for your site and protects your site from attacks.
This free app will show you your blog’s information like your real-time stats right from your phone. By the way, Google Analytics has an app too. But the WordPress App (if you have a WordPress blog) is like your blog on the go. You can see, approve, and respond quickly to new comments. You can even start a quick draft of write and publish new content, though you probably won’t do that much. Overall, it’s a great app to check in on your blog remotely when you need to!
Each of these Blog Automation Tools has helped me grow my blog in some way, and I’m so grateful I found each one. That’s why I wrote this post to share them with you. And please share in the comments below if you have any other automation tools that you love!