Why I Want To Be A Full-Time Blogger

blohDream jobs! Everyone has them. As I watch as friends go back to school, get new jobs and work towards what they want, I think about what I want. I did have a dream job when I was younger, “Mommy.” I became one in 2004 and was able to fulfill my dream of being a stay at home mom. Somehow it worked out all these years to be able to stay home with my kids while they were young. I am very thankful for that.

But now it is time to work on my career and what I am going to do “when I grow up” and really? I want to be a full-time blogger. I want to be able to make all my money from my blog. Why though? Why do I want this so badly?

1) I love to write. If I had to give up blogging for something else, I wouldn’t be able to blog as much. I wouldn’t be able to write out my thoughts or hear what others think about things. There wouldn’t be time for it. I want to write, I want to do it full-time and I want to get paid for it.

2) Because working from home is my ideal. It makes the most sense for our family right now. The lifestyle is what we want. It isn’t common but it works for us.

3) Because you get to “meet” people from the comfort of your own home. It’s nice. I can get online and meet someone new, just because of blogging. There are a lot of blogging communities out there and it is great to be able to meet people in that way. To be a part of something. To be able to support people that are doing what you are.

4) Because the money is good. I say this as someone who is not quite at her goals yet but I do believe the money that can be made by blogging is really really good. And I am not just talking about the people who make 10K+ a month. As your blog grows, you make more money. As your blog grows, you get new opportunities. It really can beat the $12-14 an hour you can find at most office jobs. As least that is what they seem to pay around here. I could just be a dreamer but if you can make blogging work, the sky is the limit as far as income goes.

5) Because it is hard to do. Blogging full-time is hard and earning a full-time income is even harder. You always have to work at it. You always have to be thinking about your blog. How you are going to make it better. How it is going to grow and all of that. It can be a stressful job but it is worth it.

Not everyone can be a blogger. Not everyone is cut out for it. Not everyone can make it work with everything else in their lives. But that is my goal, and the closer I get to it, the more I see how possible it is to be a full-time blogger making money online.

Why Are Successful People Successful

How to be successfulI just got back from my direct sales convention and I had a great time! More than that, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about my business but also about successful people. It wasn’t that someone stood up and told me how to be successful, it was that successful people talked about they personally figured it out and how they got to the place they were today. I think we could all learn a lot from them.

This is what I noticed about the most successful people in direct sales. And while this has to do with that line of work, I think it can apply to anyone who wants success with what they are doing.

  • They are positive -Successful people are positive people. This doesn’t mean they are happy 100% of the time but they are positive about most things. They assume the best is going to happen. They don’t just assume things are not going to work out. They wake up in the morning and tell themselves that it is going to be a good day. You have probably heard about the power of positive thinking. I think it is true. The more positive you are, the more likely your life will be the way you are hoping it will be.
  • They don’t give up when it gets hard- Everyone I heard from had more than enough reasons to give up at one point. Reasons that others could understand and even relate to. Some of them had been through things I couldn’t even imagine. But they didn’t let those things stand in their way. They went for it. They knew that they couldn’t let it be a reason they didn’t succeed.
  • They take risks- From starting their own business to putting themselves out there, these successful people took risks. They didn’t worry too much about what people thought. They didn’t care that people might think they were crazy or tell them that what they were thinking wasn’t going to work. They went with it anyway. They worked on their dreams even if they didn’t seem to likely to come true. They came out of their shells and went after what they wanted. I think when it comes to being successful you do have to take risks. You have to do things others don’t want to do. You have to be brave.
  • They are friendly and helpful- This is key. These people were kind people. They were willing to help others when they could. They were not selfish and they went out of their way to put a smile on their face and make someone feel better. I want to be like that. I want to be someone who can cheer someone else up. I think this goes along with being positive. You can’t help but make someone’s day a little better when you smile and are there to listen to them.

 

As you can see, these are the things we can all do to work on our success. What about you? What would you add to the list?

 

 

How To Use Instagram To Help Your Blog Or Business Grow

 

instagram-buttonsIf you are not in Instagram yet and you have a blog or a business, you should be. It can be a great marketing tool and it is also a lot of    fun to use. It is also a wonderful way to find a new customers as well.

Not only do people like looking at photos but they like interacting with you over your photos. It can be a wonderful way to talk to your followers, get to know them and let them know you are a real person. Another way to use Instagram for business is to incorporate your business photos with your personal account. You have some choices when it comes to how you want your Instagram account to look.

Once you have set up your account you might be wondering about what you should share pictures of. There are three different types of photos you can share to help grow your business. Personal photos, photos of your products and screen shots.

When it comes to your personal photos, only post what you feel comfortable with. If sharing photos of your kids is too much, don’t do it. You can still share photos of yourself, where you go or what you are into. Even though it is called Instagram, it is also okay to wait a few hours to post your photos. You might feel more comfortable doing that so you are not sharing the exact spot you are in while you are still there. If something is important to you, take a photo of it and share. Some of your followers will enjoy it too and it will make you seem like a real person, not just a business.

With photos of your product, you can share items you regularly use, share when you get a new product in, share when you are out buying supplies or share teasers of upcoming items. Your fans will want to see it and it will get them excited about what is to come. It can also let people know exactly what it is you are selling and how it might be used.

Screen shots can also be shown on Instagram but you want to make sure that isn’t all you share. You can take screen shots of your blog, your product page or a funny or inspirational saying you have read. Basically, anything that has to do with you or your business.

Another part of using Instagram is to follow people back and like and comment on their photos. Do it naturally, like what you think is amazing and comment when it seems natural to do so. Although you might be using Instagram to help your blog or business, there is no reason why it also can’t be enjoyable for you.

When you share a photo on IG, you can also have it sent out to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can choose to do it on each photo which is nice. So if you don’t want to share a certain photo to Facebook, you don’t have to. It makes it nice and ideal for any blog or business.

How have you used Instagram? Do you enjoy it?

 

A Simple Blogging Guide

Untitled-1If you are new to blogging you might be wondering how to write a blog post. You might be worried that you are forgetting something or you might not be quite sure if you have done everything you should.

The thing about blogging is that there is a lot of room to make it your own. Not all blogs look or feel the same. People write differently so blogs are going to be different.

Here is a very simple blogging guide you can use to write your posts:

  • Title- Every post needs a title and it needs to be creative yet explain what your post is about. You want people to want to click on it when they see it come through on social media. If it isn’t interesting, they won’t want to visit your blog to read it. It might even be easier to come up with the title after you have written the post.
  • Keywords- What keywords will you use in your post? What do you want people to be searching that will lead them to your post? If you are writing a post on the best dog food your keywords might be, “best dog food,” “what should I feed my dog?” and “best dog food to feed my puppy.” You can either come up with your keywords ahead of time or figure them out after you have written the post. Now, you can still write a post without worrying about keywords, I sometimes do this too. But it will be easier for your post to rank in Google if you can figure out what your keywords will be.
  • Intro- This is the part of the post where you are going to introduce the topic to your readers. You will want it to be good enough so that they will continue reading it.
  • Body- This is the meat of the post. You want it to be filled with useful content. Keep writing until you think you have made your point or talked about everything you wanted to talk about. I do try to make my posts between 500-1000 words. This can be a good goal to try to stick to. Of course I really think it does depend on your niche.
  • Conclusion- This is where you wrap up your post. Make sure to ask a question or a call to action to get people to comment. Ask them something about what you just talked about or their thoughts on the topic in general. You can even ask if they agree with you.
  • Spell check & proofread- This is very important. You need to spell check and proofread your post. This isn’t the fun part but it must be done. Even if you have perfect spelling, there could be other errors that need to be fixed before you publish.
  • Add photos- Every post should have at least one photo. Try to use your own or create a button if you can. You want people to be able to pin your post and adding a photo makes that easy.
  • Social Media- After you publish you want to make sure your post gets on social media ASAP. You can set up plugins so that it automaticlly gets sent to your Facebook, Twitter and a few other social media accounts. You should also take the time to pin your post to Pinterest. The quicker you get your stuff out there, the faster people will come to your blog to check it out.

I hope this guide can help you get going on your blog posts!

Yet Another Test Post

Yet another test post

5 Mistakes People Make When Earning Money Online

13949658611841As I look at the last couple of years and what I have accomplished, I get a little frustrated with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I have been able to achieve some really good goals. However, I have been slacking the last year and I can feel it.

Thinking YOU can’t make it work.  I mean, who am I to have an online business? I am not worthy of that. We shouldn’t be thinking like that. Anyone who wants this and will put the time needed into it is worthy of having it.

When I look at some of the most successful people in internet marketing, I see normal people who worked hard and found success. There is no reason why someday I can’t be one of them. Is making money online for everyone? No, of course not, but if you are someone who understands how it can be done, you are already on your way.

Not taking it seriously. Last summer was hard for me. I was solo parenting and dealing with some personal issues. I found it really hard to keep going with everything. I had to let some things go. Looking back I wish I hadn’t done that. Even if I had just told myself to work on it two hours a day it would have made a big difference.

Internet marketing is about balance and making time for what you need to do to be successful. Everyone is different and maybe it just isn’t the right time for you to work hard on your business right now. Maybe it just wasn’t time for me last year either. However, looking ahead I realize if I had worked a little harder I would be closer to my goals right now than I am.

Letting other people have a say. When I started college I wanted to be a paralegal. My first boss at my part time job said it was not a good career and I should not pursue it. I listened to her and stopped going after it. Looking back, why did I listen to her? I am not saying if I had become a paralegal that everything would have been wonderful but to this day I always wonder what would have happened if I had tried it. I wish I hadn’t listened to her.

When I tell people I will write for a living they often look at me strangely and say something like, “You can make enough doing that” or “You really can’t make money online like that.” It can be a blow but this time I am choosing not to listen to them. I know it is possible and I know I can do it. So I really have to tune the negative voices out.

A lot of people still don’t understand how making money online works. It is confusing and they just don’t get it. Don’t let them be the reason you stop. Tune out the negative voices and find people in your life that will support your dreams. It will make all the difference.

Spending too much time on the wrong stuff.  How you spend your time is important. Is what you are doing taking time away from something else that would be more profitable? Are you just spinning wheels doing something that doesn’t work? I am guilty of this a lot with my direct sales business. There is a lot I can do to be “working” on that business but not all of it is worth the time. I have recently made some changes to the way I am working that business and I hope in the future I will be able to achieve more without waiting so much time.

When it comes to Internet marketing tasks, there is a lot you can do that won’t get you anywhere. You can spend your money on items that won’t help you. You can work 12 hour days and not see much success. You have to focus on the right things and sometimes that takes some time to figure out. 

Assuming you will make money right away. There is this idea that when you do make money online, it happens right away. This just isn’t the case. Some methods of making money online can even take years. A lot of times people give up because the cash isn’t flowing right away. I think it is important to stick it out and see what happens. It will be worth it.

Don’t give up if you are not making a lot in the first few months. A lot of making online methods do take time. You might start off making a little bit of money but over time you will see the amount grow. Then you will be glad you stuck it out. 

Have you made any of these mistakes? Did you figure out what you were doing and change the way you were handling things?

Been Away But I Am Back With Some News

becoming a WAHMHi blogging friends. I am so sorry I have been away for so long. I am back with some news.

As of next week, I will be a full-time WAHM! My husband is changing careers and will be the stay at home parent, at least for the summer. We will see how it goes. It will be a BIG change for us. I have been home since 2004 and he has always worked fulltime. He will take over the kids, the house, the dog and being the stay at home parent.

I have my own office in our house and sometimes I will go out to any place that has wireless to work. During the school year it will be easier to work from my house as the kids will be in school.

I have a few goals. To start I will be working a lot of hours but my goal would be to work from about 7:30-3:00pm during the week by the time my youngest goes to kindergarten. This would allow me to not have to work when my kids are not in school. Not sure how summer or breaks would go.

I am nervous because I am not sure how it is going to go. I have never had that much time to work on my business or freelancing or any of that. I think four hours is the biggest block of time I have had and that was only twice a week.

I am feeling the change coming. Often times friends would ask if I could meet up to do this or that and I usually could figure out a way to do it. Now it will be different. I will have to say no a lot and have more boundaries. I know my close friends will understand but I feel a little weird about it all.

I will still need outlets to spend time with friends and my husband will need downtime away from the kids. It is going to be hard at first to balance everything. It might take a while to get on a good schedule.

During the summer I plan to take Sundays and Mondays off so that we can take advantage of our new lifestyle. We can take the kids places on Monday that we normally would go on Saturday. I think that part will be a lot of fun. I know I will need those days off or this is never going to work.

When you work from home it is way too easy to confuse work and home time and I want to try to keep them apart. I need real work hours and days off. I need a plan for vacation and if I get sick. The good thing is we don’t have to worry about healthcare because my husband will be in the National Guard and will be able to get it through that. This takes a huge load off of me because I know that can be an issue for a lot of people who are self-employed.

So what exactly will I be doing from home? Well right now it is a mix of freelance writing, my Scentsy business and my personal blogs. I am also thinking about adding something more with photography but I am not really sure about that yet. I have faith it will all come together, even if it takes a few months to do so.

This is so not the norm for people. It is not normal for a man, who has been a soldier, to become a stay at home Dad. It just isn’t. It isn’t normal for Mom to work from home and support the family, at least not where we live. There are plenty of moms with businesses but most of them use the money for extras. It will be quite a change for us to go from that to making most of the money. A big change. It will take a lot of willpower and dedication.

What makes me think I can do this? Others have. I have been reading about others who have done this and made it work. When I see that I think, why can’t I? Why can’t we do what they do?

So wish me luck as I dive into something new and work towards my dreams :)

 

PS I am also starting a brand new Email list so make sure to sign up for it :)

 

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?