Five Reasons to Sign Up With A Direct Sales Company

bcn_fireworks38If you are a Mom, most likely you have been invited to at least one direct sales party in your life. Some of the most popular around where are live are Scentsy, Tupperware, 31 Bags and Perfectly Posh. There seems to be a company for every type of product. I was just invited to one that sells Essential Oils!

If you have been to a party, you know that there is a kit you can buy with each company to because a consultant. The amount of product you might receive is different and the amount you have to pay varies. For example to sign up with Scentsy you would pay $99 (plus tax and shipping.)

You may have wondered if selling for a direct sales company is the right choice for you. You may have debated with yourself about it. You might have wondered if you can truly make money with a company like that.

Here are five reasons to sign up with a direct sales company:

  1. You love the product! Simple right? Don’t even think of signing up for a company where you don’t love the product. That is key. People want to know that you love the product as much as they do. Plus, if you are regularly using the product yourself, you can have a first hand knowledge if anyone has any questions about it.
  2. It’s fun! Parties are fun. Trips are fun. Seeing your customers get excited about the product is always a lot of fun. It isn’t that you don’t take your business seriously, you should. It is that you can make money and have fun at the same time. Which is a great thing.
  3. You can make money doing it. Whether you just make enough to afford soccer for your kids each season or make enough to quit your full-time job, there is money to be made in direct sales. You do have to be careful when you first start out. It can be tempting to want to buy a ton of product for yourself, especially when a new catalog comes out. You also can’t forget about paying taxes on the income you make. Check with a tax adviser for more information on what you have to claim and what you can deduct for your taxes.
  4. You get to be apart of something. I went to the Scentsy Family Reunion back in July and I realized how much I just loved being apart of a business like that. There is so much you can gain from belong to a business like that. It truly is amazing.
  5. You get to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It can be hard to sell products. To talk to other people about them. To find customers and do what you need to do to earn money. But it is not a bad thing to have to leave your comfort zone once in a while. It can be very empowering.

I hope this list can help you make up your mind if you are on the fence about joining a direct sales company.

If you happen to be interested in Scentsy, feel free to contact me about it :)

 

Using Your Smartphone Wisely to Engage On Social Media

Social Media Iphone appsI have had a smartphone now for almost three years. First I had a Droid, now the iphone. I do like the iphone a lot more than I ever liked my Droid.

It took me a while to figure out that I could actually organize my apps in a much better way then just having them on my phone. So a few weeks ago I did just that.

I put all of my Social Media apps into one folder.

This is what I have:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook Pages
  • Google+
  • Tapatalk
  • HootSuite

Having all of the apps in one place makes it so much easier to visit each one during the day.

Although I would find myself on Facebook a lot, I was ignoring the other apps on my phone. By putting them all together I am reminded that they are places I do want to visit on a daily basis. I don’t stay very long, I usually just spend a few minutes at a time. But checking in this way allows me to be more places on a more regular basis. I have been terrible about going to Google+ the last few months.

When you are using a lot of your social media for more than just fun, it is important that you are keeping up with each place.

If I have five minutes while I am waiting for my son to get home from school, I can check Google+ or LinkedIn. If I have a few minutes of downtime in my car during the day, I can check into Hootsuite or Pin a few things on Pinterest.

I also figured out that for some of these places, using it on my phone is easier than going to the website. I can get into the app much faster and can do what I need to do much quicker. I am also not as distracted.

I also don’t have to be on my phone 24/7 to take advantage of these apps. It can easily becoming addicting to always be checking something. If you do have a big problem with that, this method might not be for you. There was a time I was always going on my Facebook on my phone. I was getting mad at myself. Anytime I had some downtime I was there. I took that app off my phone for a while and kinda got over the habit. I tell myself that I don’t always have to be on Facebook, and it really isn’t good for me to do so.

So, figure out your own limits with your phone and find what works for you.

Having all my social media apps together on my iphone has made life a little easier for myself. I hope it can help you do the same.

What Kind of Writer Are You?

7062011-353When I was a little girl I used to write stories. I would put a bunch of paper together, draw pictures and add a few words. As a young college student, I started writing fiction books again. I would work on them whenever I had some downtime. When I got married and then had kids I still tried to do some of that but I could never get back into it like I had before. In the last couple of years I have started the Nanowrimo project. I would always start well. However, after about ten days or so I would give up. The reason why? I realized that while I did enjoy writing fiction sometimes, I would rather spend time reading it. I love books and there are so many stories I want to read. I realized that for two years in a row, I would rather be reading fiction than writing it.

But what about blogging? Blogging is non-fiction writing and I really enjoy that. I like to write about my experiences or what I have learned. I like to share what is going on in my life and my thoughts on different subjects.

I can pretty much say I will never finish a fiction novel. I will never be one of those writers and that is okay.

I like to blog and do that type of writing.

How about you? What kind of writer are you?

 

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Blogging and Making Money Online

So I have been “turking” off and on for 3.5 years now. I took most of 2013 off from it but as a few weeks ago I am back.

zzzzzzz

I have been using a combination of Mturkforum, Reddit and Turk Alert to find out what the best hits are. I was reading in a forum about people making $100-150 a day on there. Can it be done? How much work would that require? Would you have to be glued to your desk from 5am-midnight to do that?

In a perfect world I wouldn’t worry about AMT. I wouldn’t ever go on and use it. In a perfect world, I would make enough online in other places. But I haven’t hit that goal…yet. I will…but not yet. And you can always go on AMT. Wake up at 3am and can’t sleep? It is there. Have an hour break before dinner? It is there. Need something to work on in the early morning hours? It is there. It is always there and you can always make something on it.

I also have found other jobs through AMT. Other more profitable ones. AMT leads to things and opens you up to some other ways to make money online.

 

The most I have ever made is about $25-30 a day doing some writing tasks. Sometimes I would finish before lunch, other times it took me until the night. I wasn’t working the whole time. I have kids and a house to run. But I wonder how much more I could have done had I not had any other responsibilities. Could I make that $100-150 a day that some people could? It is something we are going to test when my husband has some time off in early 2014.

While I am attempting to see how much I can make on AMT, I will also be working on my Scentsy business and my blogging. It won’t do any good to have to spend all my time on AMT and have no time for anything else. Scentsy and my blogging will have to come first. AMT will be there to fill in the gaps.

Besides my own blogs, I am also working on adding more freelance jobs. So far I have been checking the Job board at Pro Blogger and apply to the jobs that might be a good fit.

The last six months I have been solo-parenting and because of that I simply do not have the time to work on everything I would like to work on. That will change soon, and I am motivated to dive back into money making methods I have had to put on hold for the last few months, this blog being one of them. You should be seeing me blog more often and sharing what I have learned about making money online.

With 2014 starting in just a few weeks I am already starting to think about what my goals will be. It will be a big year for us. A lot of changes for our family. A lot of changes for my businesses. I am excited about it.

What have you been working on? Did you start a new blog? Leave the link and I will check it out :)

If you would like to start on AMT yourself you can sign up here. Then read some of my AMT tips I have blogged about in the past.

 

Guidelines for Effective Content Marketing

I am sorry I have not blogged in a while. I will try to be back soon. In the mean time enjoy this guest post about content marketing :)

Guidelines for Effective Content Marketing

Content marketing is becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy for many businesses. More and more companies and individuals are using email newsletters, press releases and social media posts to promote their services and products. Here are some great tips which will help you carry out an effective content marketing campaign.

1. Establish your goals

Before creating any content, you should first establish your business or organizational goals. This way, you will be able to come up with a content marketing strategy which will help you accomplish these goals. Make sure all your goals are specific, measurable and have a deadline attached to them. For instance, you could aim at increasing your email subscribers by 20% by November 30th, 2013.

2. Determine your target audience

Once you have established your goals, take time to identify the target audience. This will involve gathering as much data as possible about them. Find out their ages, gender, geographical location, education background and economic status. In addition, you need to understand what their interests are. What are they discussing on social media? What are they reading? What are they passionate about? Getting conversant with your target audience will enable you to adopt a more effective content marketing strategy.

3. Choose your strategies

When it comes to content marketing, you can choose between short and long form strategies. Short form strategies include Google+ and Facebook status updates as well as tweets. Long form includes longer copy such as press releases and blog posts. For effective content marketing, it would be advisable to use both kinds of strategies.  Whatever strategies you choose, it is very important to encourage sharing and conversation. Take time to reply to comments left by your audience. Encourage them to share any useful information and links with others within their networks.

4. Have an editorial schedule

Having an editorial plan is vital for the success of your content marketing strategy. Decide how many blog posts you will write and schedule dates for publishing. Figure out how many tweets or Facebook updates you want to post every week. Though setting up and sticking to a schedule can be very demanding, it pays off in the long run. To enhance your chances of success, you need to ensure that your content is very unique and helpful. Write great headlines which will draw people to read the rest of the content. However, avoid blatantly selling your product and instead focus on educating your audience. If the demand for content is overwhelming, it would be advisable to hire writers to help out.

5. Be visible

One of the best ways of enhancing your visibility is by including popular keywords which are relevant to your product or industry within your content. You should also ensure that these keywords are added to your tags. Optimizing your posts will enhance your search engine rankings, thus making it easier for people to find you. In addition, you can create more visibility for your content using social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

6. Evaluate

Take time periodically to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. This can be done in different ways. For instance, you can check Google analytics for statistics such as bounce rates and page views. In addition, you could monitor the number of shares, +1s, likes or retweets on your posts. This information will show you whether your strategy is working or not. In case something is not working, figure out how it can be changed for better results.

 

Charles Mburugu is a professional blogger who likes sharing tips for internet marketers and bloggers. Currently, he is writing for techblogke.com.

Multiple Income Streams While Making Money Online

ID-100163046In April I found a really amazing writing job. I could write when I wanted. I could make as much money as I could find the time to write. It was perfect. Then summer happened. Summer with three kids. I didn’t have a lot of time for working.

In June and July I only wrote a little bit. I figured that as soon as school started back up I could write for this job and make a lot of money. I had forgotten one of the most important things about online work. Sometimes it is there, sometimes it isn’t.

Even though there was a ton of work in July, there has not been very much in August. This is frustrating for me because I actually have time for this writing job. I have the time to sit, write and make money. Now I know that tomorrow I could wake up to more work. On the other hand I might have to wait a few weeks for it to happen.

As my husband and I discuss the future and think about him being a SAHD and me making all the money from home, I realize that this is something we really need to think about.

I need to not get too comfortable with any online job that I get. I could wake up the next day and it could be gone. Even if I could make everything I needed though one job, I can’t just sit back and not worry about looking for other jobs. When times are plenty and I am making more money, we need to be smart and save some of it for the times when I am making less. This is all apart of running your own business.

I am thankful that this happened when it did. It was a big reminder that I can’t get too comfortable with online jobs. They come and they go.

I think the key is multiple income streams. Think of all of your income going into a bucket. If you are only using one hose and that gets turned off, you are in trouble. If you have several different hoses you can at least fill in the gaps a little bit while you look for something else.

I think this is what is so stressful to me about making money online. The Internet moves fast and things change. What was a sure thing can be gone before you know it.

I remember in December of 2011 I found a really good requester on Amazon Mechanical Turk. I was making $25/day and only had to work a few hours. It was perfect. But soon into the new year he and his work was gone. He didn’t need as much work done anymore. I was suddenly not making $25/a day anymore.

So as I look ahead in the months to come, I will always be doing what I can to find multiple ways to make money online. I won’t take any job for granted and I plan to be smart with the money I make.

Have you ever run into this? Have you ever had a job you were depending on stop all of a sudden?

Image courtesy of sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Carving Out Downtime And Why It Is Important

ID-10033541Downtime, some might joke, “what is that?” I get it. Life is busy. Super busy. If you are a parent, a stay at home mom, working from home or even working outside the home, life is busy. You are going from one place to the next. You don’t have time for everything you want to do. I get that. I understand how crazy life can be. I get how it seems like you will never be caught up. I understand that you can feel like every minute has to be spent on that list. But I think downtime is important. Put downtime on your to-do list.

To me downtime is anytime I spend where I am not taking care of children, working on my blog or business, cleaning or doing any of the things on my to-do list. It is time just for me to do what I want for fun.  Yes I said it. I take time out everyday to do something fun.

When do I get my downtime? Well, I get it at night. In the hour or two between when the kids go to sleep and I go to sleep. I am trying hard so that my kids will go to bed at such a time so that I get a full two hours of downtime. I need it. I need this time. I need to be able to relax and not have to think very hard when I do it. This is when I do a lot of my reading or when I watch my tv shows. This is when I play silly Facebook games or watch a movie.

Why is downtime important? Because I don’t think it is healthy to work 24/7. I admit there is a lot about blogging I enjoy. Some of it is a lot of fun and doesn’t seem like work. But what happens if I never take time for myself? What happens if I am always “on?” I burn out fast. I am not as productive. I am cranky and I am not a good mom or blogger anymore.

So what do you do if you want downtime and it doesn’t seem like you have time for it? Go over your schedule. Could you change things around to make some time for yourself? Could you get up a little earlier? Could you shut your work down earlier than you have been doing? Can you ask your spouse to take the kids outside to play for an hour each night?

It doesn’t have to be a long period of time. Maybe you just need 30 minutes? Maybe two hours is too long for you and your family.

I think most people get so caught up in everyday life they don’t think they can make time for themselves, but I really think that most people can. Everyone has a different situation and downtime will look different for each person. One might want to watch tv, one might go for a run and another will spend their time just sitting and reflecting. Whatever you do, make time for it everyday. It will be worth it.

Are you able to carve out some downtime for yourself? If not what could you change to make it work?

 

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Blog Commenting Is So Important

Why Blog Commenting Is So ImportantNot doing as much this summer meant I was not commenting on blogs as much as I should have been. I had missed reading what others were writing about and interacting with them. I missed out on that connection. Connection to others in the blogging world which is just so important.

That is why I believe commenting is so important! Yes,  commenting can drive traffic to your site. Yes, it can give you backlinks which helps your ratings. But really, the best part of commenting is the connections you make.

Once you hit publish on a post, it goes out into the Internet world. It will attract some people right away. They will see you posted a new post and head on over to check it out. Others will see it on social media and click your link. Then you have those that see a comment you left on another blog. If you are leaving good comments, people will be more likely to click on your profile to see what your site is about. If the blog you commented on has Comment Luv installed, then it makes it even easier for people to see what you blog about.

I know for myself that when I find a blog post I really like, I look through the comments to see what other people are saying and to see if I can find any new blogs to follow. I figure that if that person has a lot to say about the post I am currently reading, they might have more to say on their own blog. I just love this method of finding new blogs. It is also why it is so important that you leave a good blog comment when responding to others.

Some posts don’t really require an in-depth comment. If you are following a blog and they post a photo of their child on their birthday, it is common to say something like, “How cute!” or “What a sweet kid. Happy Birthday to him.” I think that for those types of posts, those types of comments are expected and are just fine to make. On the other hand, I don’t think they really make someone else want to click on your link. Now if you said something like., “What a sweet boy! I have a son who will be one in a month, and I am very excited about his party too. We are also going to go with a Star Wars theme,” you might get someone clicking on your link. Why? Well not only did you say something nice to the blogger, but you let others know that you are into Star Wars and planning a party like that too. If someone else is interested in Star Wars they will probably click on your link to see if you have anything else about that on your blog.

Other blogging niches require more than a simple comment. In some cases they will not approve your comment if it is just a couple of words. Try hard to think about what you can add to the conversation.

If you are able to consistently add good comments to blogs, you will gain new readers and really become a part of the blogging community for your niche. People will start to notice you and realize who you are. This is why blog commenting is so important. It is the gateway to the blogging community you want to be a part of.

Do you like to leave blog comments?

 

Why You Should Go To Your Direct Sales Annual Conference

In July I was able to go to the Scentsy Family Reunion in Indianapolis. It was amazing. I was so glad that I was able to go. It was the first time I had ever been to anything like that.

There were a few different reasons why I was so thankful that it all worked out for me to go. If you are in direct sales yourself, try to go to your own conference. There are so many wonderful things about attending one.

1) Meet other people doing what you are doing. It was very cool to see so many other people who sold Scentsy like I did. Knowing that they came from other parts of the country and Canada and were coming together was a great feeling. It really inspired me. We also got to hear some consultants speak and their stories were really inspiring too.

2) Meet other people on your team. My sponsor was not able to make it but a lot of her team did. It was really nice to meet them all in person. We all knew each other online but it was great to talk in person and make some friends. I also know that any trip I earn or even next year they will be there and we will get to see each other again.

3) Learn about all the new products in person. In the past I had heard about the new products from people who were at the reunion. This year I got to see them in person and it was amazing. I was going crazy sharing some of the stuff with my team and customers. It was very exciting!

4) Listen to inspiring speakers. We had three really amazing speakers at our reunion.  Mary ChristensenBrené Brown and Daniel H. Pink were our speakers and they all talked about something different yet all three really motivated me. I took a lot of notes and walk away with a lot of great information.

5) Get some of the new products before everyone else. At our reunion they gave each of us $200 in free product. We got to pick what we wanted so we were able to buy some of the new items ahead of time. This is always a lot of fun and I loved that they do this for us. Everything I got there was also able to be directly shipped to my home so I didn’t have to worry about carrying it all back with me.

As you can see, the reunion was a success. I know how hard it is to get to things like this. You need to have the money & if you have children you need to make sure they are taken care of. I would just suggest trying hard to make it to your annual conference if at all possible. You will not regret it and it will really help your business.

Anyone else go to a direct sales conference this summer?

Things I Learned This Summer

IMG_5910Hey everyone,

Remember me? First of all I am so sorry that I have not blogged this whole summer. It was a very hard summer for me for personal reasons. As far as work went I just did what I had to and very little of anything else. I was able to go to the Scentsy Family Reunion which was amazing. I plan to go next year as well. I learned so much and met some amazing people.

But now…boys are back in school…YAY! And now I have a lot more time to write which will be good.

As I look back at June and July I have to say I learned some things about myself and this business.

Here they are…

1) I need to be writing. I have missed writing like I normally do. I need to be doing it. In some way or another I need to be writing.

2) People don’t think you can make money on the Internet. I know this might come as a shock to you my readers, you all believe that it is possible to make money online. Some people don’t think you can. I think this is because they are not familiar with any of the ways it is possible. This summer I have heard, “Can you really make any money writing? You have to do a lot of writing to make that work” and “Can you really support a family on online stuff? I wouldn’t want to risk it.” It is frustrating to me that people have to be negative like that but I know it is because they have not seen what I have seen. They have not experienced any of it. To them, online is where you play, not where you make money.

3) There is a season for everything. This summer was not what I had planned. Things changed and we had to adapt. Now that it is over I can see it was just for a season. If your kids are young, do what you can. I know how hard it is. You can’t get everything done you want to get done. But if you keep at it there will be a time to focus more on your own work. It will be here before you know it.

How was your summer? Did you learn anything new? Are you ready for a successful fall? I know I am :)

PS: What topics would you love for me to write about? Any questions you would like me to answer?