Tuesday, March 28, 2006


As you've noticed there has been zero activity here for about a week now.  Yep, the inevitable happened, Mom got sick. 
I have been blessed and had lots of good help to get better but it still makes for a pretty miserable week.
It also gave me lots to think about.  For instance, if I were to be working outside the home I would have had to get up every morning and call in.  I also would have felt guilty for no reason.  I would have wondered if they thought I was faking it to take a week off.  On the other hand if I worked outside the home I might have been on salary and continued to get paid.  Not so bad that...
However since I do work from home I still felt guilty.  I felt like I was letting down a lot of people who expect me to be on here everyday.  I felt like I was letting things slide which would result in lower earnings next month therefore letting my family down.  Most of all, I just felt sick and miserable and tired.  The last part won out over everything else in the end.
The biggest thing I missed out on being sick and working from home was zero health insurance. 
Now if we had health insurance I would have been at the doctor by day three with my $20 co-pay in hand and telling him to make me better already.  No health insurance and the thought of shelling out a couple of hundred dollars for him to tell me I had a cold, drink juice and get rest, kept me and my checkbook safely at home to ride out the storm. 
A week later and I almost feel normal again.  We will get sick, it is a part of life.  We don't however have to feel guilty for being sick.  We also don't have to make do or get by.  If we need medical care we should be able to get it without putting our family in any kind of financial jeopardy. 
Our great friend Gayla has found a great program to help cover your medical, dental, vision and other needs.  You can read about it here:   When You Don't Have Health Insurance
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Work at home signs

On WahmScam today I wrote about all the work at home signs you see whenever you drive around town. 

I felt it was a pretty important article and needed to be shared here as well so I am just going to point you in that direction:


I found this really interesting since I have always wondered what and who is behind all those signs.  If you would just like to skip to the article about the signs itself you can click on the below.

Want to find out what all those signs are really selling?  Follow the link and read the article.  http://www.cockeyed.com/workfromhome/workfromhome_s.html


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Monday, March 20, 2006


One thing you should be aware of if you are considering working from home is that it can be very lonely. 
When you work outside the home you generally have co-workers.  Other people you can talk to when you there is a lull in the workday or people you run into around the water cooler, in the breakroom etc. 
When you work at home you are all by yourself.  Oh you probably have little ones running around but they really don't care how your day is going.  It is tough to share a bad day with a three year old.
It is important that you build a network of support.  Find people you can talk to throughout the day. 
Make time to take a break and call a friend or family member.  It will help relieve the doldrums and it will just make you feel like you are connected to the outside world. 
Take the time to find other moms you can connect with or just get out of the house for a cup of coffee once in awhile.  Invite people over now and then. 
It is also important that you make time for your spouse.  Set aside an evening every couple of days or at least once a week when you can connect and feel like you are part of something other than a keyboard.
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Friday, March 17, 2006

Working at home and planning

Recently I was talking to someone who was complaining about finances.  This is common we all complain about our finances and very few people make as much money as they would like.  The difference here and what struck me the most was that he was complaining he couldn't afford his phone bill which is one of those things that a lot of us consider essential.  The part that got to me was when he later told me that he regularly has a tab at a local bar that is around $200 a month.  Hmmm do you see what is wrong here? 
Regardless of whether you are just starting to work from home or if you have been working from home for awhile it is important that you have a plan for your money.
None of us like to live paycheck to paycheck and we do all like and need to have some fun in our lives but without a plan nothing good can ever happen.
The Holiday season is a notoriously stressful time in our culture.  I love the holidays and don't want to be stressed so I plan for them all year.  I buy really nice gifts throughout the year when they are on sale and I save all my change during the year.  When the holidays come around the only stress I have is what gift to get my husband. 
You must have a plan. You need to know what you are working for and towards.  Are you saving for a new car, a new computer, a Vacation home Orlando or are you working just to pay some bills? 
Once you know what you are working for or towards you will know how to use your money best.  Is it important in your life that you go out every weekend and have a few beers or could you go out and have one beer and put the extra $5 towards your savings for a down payment on a house?  Five dollars might not seem like much at the time but if you save $5 every week it does add up in the end.  Look at other ways to put away just a little bit of money for what you want and you will feel really good about yourself and your efforts.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed and as if we never have enough money for the things we want but with a little planning you can be very content in your life and with your efforts..
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006


If you have built a website or if you are using a blog I would strongly suggest spending an hour or so today at Squidoo.
Squidoo is a cool little place and I hope I can do it justice. You will not make a living with Squidoo at this point and they are the first to tell you that but you can increase your website traffic by using it. It is almost like a blog but not quite. 
It is a place where you can talk about your favorite subject.  You are welcome to set it up however you like with links to your own websites and blogs, your favorite websites and blogs. You favorite books and gadgets or just whatever you can think of.
Instead of a blog at squidoo you have a "lens" this is a one page "report" on a topic.  You are the lensmaster of your lens and you can build as many lenses as you like on as many topics as you like. 
When you first set up your lens it will already have "modules" in it.  A module is where you can set up your own links, use the ones provided.  You can add more modules or delete the ones that are you given.
The modules are what will generate traffic and income for you.  You can set up modules for amazon, ebay, a shopping mall etc. 
In addition each lens shows google adsense ads.  Squidoo has set this place up as a co-op.  This means that you will get a portion of the revenue generated from your lens.  Some goes back to the business, some goes to charity and some gets put into the "pool".  You can see the actual formula in the FAQ's
The biggest reason at this point to join Squidoo is for you to share information and generate traffic to your websites and blogs.  Len's get a lot of respect from the search engine.  This is a great way to increase your pagerank if nothing else.  Join Squidoo
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Your wah workspace

When I started working at home my workspace was HORRID.  I had a little tiny desk that was falling apart with things crammed everywhere:  You can see it in the background here.
It was so bad that the little table the keyboard rests on was broken and would only pull out a little bit so you had to be very careful.  That little table fell off more than once.  However.. it was what I had and you make do with whatever you have.  I do remember though how uncomfortable it was.  If I needed to take notes it was quite comical. Typically I would just go use the kitchen table and run back and forth or just copy and paste whatever I needed into Word and then later forget where I saved my notes. 
Thank goodness my husband bought me a new desk for Christmas! 
Let me tell you!  This made a world of difference!  Not only in my ability to get things done easier and more comfortably but more importantly in my desire to get more done.  It seems like having a good workspace makes me feel more professional even though I am at home.  I suddenly didn't mind working for hours at a time.  I enjoyed it!  I FEEL like I am at work when I have all the little things handy, pens, pencils, my coffee cup, pictures of my kids, etc.
So, I think it is important to have a workspace that you feel good at.  When people walk into my home and ask what I do, I can point to my little area and feel good about it and they no longer look at me like I have lost my mind.   If you feel professional, you are more likely to act professional and more likely to succeed at whatever you are doing. 
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Monday, March 13, 2006

Direct Sales

If you are thinking of starting a work at home business in direct sales there are a few things you should consider before joining any company.
Before you sign up make sure you have a sponser you feel comfortable with or that you are joining a team you feel good about.  You don't have to sign up with the first sponser you run across. 
Talk to different people and different sponsers directly.  Ask questions, how long have they been with the company?  What will they do to help you succeed, how will they help you succeed, will they be there when you need help?
Think about your demographics.  For me I wasn't interested in joining Avon as a business because we have a lot of well established Avon reps in my area.  I didn't feel I would be able to build a good customer base.  There was another plan I thought about joining but I found out they had 12 other reps in my area.  This doesn't mean you can't make a business work if there are a lot of other reps in your area but I wanted something different and unique to bring to the community.
Find out what all the expenses are to you.  Are you required to buy a certain amount of product every month or can you just buy what you need.  Find out if there are hidden costs.  Find out about shipping costs, who pays those?  Are business forms supplied or do you need to purchase them.  Can you copy the forms once you have them?
How long does it take for you to get the products once you order them?
How is advertising handled and what can you do to advertise?
Sit down and pretend you are already with this company.  If you write down everything step by step that you envision in your head you will find more questions you will have and then you can ask those questions as well.  The point is that you don't want to just jump into something.  You will want to make sure you are well informed and know what you are getting into and what is expected from you and from the company you are joining.  
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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Working at home in sales

I was thinking yesterday that most of my life has been spent in one kind of sales position or another.  I used to be in sales for Bose Corp and more recently I was the sales manager for a rental car company and for a low vision aid company.  In both of the last two positions I wrote sales manuals that were very succuessful.
One of the most common types of work at home businesses is direct sales.  This can be for any number of different kinds of companies.  If you want to sell there is a product for you.
However what I was thinking is that a lot of people like the idea of sales but they don't know some of the basic concepts.  I would like to share some of these concepts.
If you are going to have a business out of your home AND you are going to invite customers into your home you will want to make sure they are comfortable.   If you are going to have a waiting room in your home you will want to have Office Room Reception Chairs where your clients will be comfortable.  If they feel uncomfortable while they are waiting they will probably feel uncomfortable with what you are offering. 
In your reception area you should also place brochures about your product.  This is a great opener.  Once you are ready to meet with your client you can simply ask it they looked at the brochures while they were waiting.  This gives you two clues.  If they didn't look at the brochures maybe they aren't really interested.  You will know right away that they will be a hard sell and will need more encouragement.  If they did look at the brochures you can simply ask what they thought about the products.  This gives you a fantastic opportunity to overcome any objections. 
In the next installment I will go over more sales tips in depth.  Take this opportunity to think about what you are selling, how to make your customers more comfortable whether or not they are in your home and think about any objections your customers might have to buying your products.. 
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Friday, March 10, 2006

Blogging for pay

I know this is a topic that has been done to death but recently I have had a number of people asking me if it works and how to do it.  So I thought I would go over a few things.
Yes you can make money money blogging.  In fact there are more ways to make money with a blog than with a website.
I have recently seen a lot of growth in income opportunities and new ways that website owners are using blogs and bloggers.
Two of the newest opportunities I have seen:
Websites offering payment per blog article for bloggers.  Family.com is seeking bloggers to write up to three times a day.  They have huge list of topics they need covered.
Blogitive.com has started an affiliate program that is different than most.  Instead of just placing ads on your blog and waiting for clicks they give you a phrase to use in your blog.  The phrase is your affiliate link.  Instead of paying per click or sale they pay per phrase.  You will get paid as long as your article and the link are approved. 
I have a feeling bloggers are going to see even more opportunities like the above. 
I could spend a few days or weeks writing about exactly how to go about setting up a blog and what you need to do to make money but instead I am going to direct you to a complete series on blogging written by Gayla McCord.  If you are at all interested in blogging this is a MUST read:  
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What will you do to make money part Two

Yesterday we talked about working at home in some shady areas.  Today I want to talk about working at home in some legitimate jobs which are also a little different.
This again goes to what you are willing to do and if you are willing to forgo your ethics and values just to make money.
In the world of work outside the home we have jobs that make some people uncomfortable, stripping, escort services, etc.
In the work at home world we have Sex Texting, phone sex, and a couple of others.
Some people would find these types of jobs degrading and others would say they are good honest work.
It is up to you to decide what you think.  The important thing is to be sure you are not giving up "yourself" just to make money. 
It does you no good to work at home unless you can feel good and positive about yourself and your job.  If you are working in an industry that makes you uncomfortable and deflates your self-esteem, you will not be happy at the end of the day and it will show in your work and in the rest of your life.
There are plenty of single moms who are willing to do whatever it takes to stay off of welfare and provide for their kids and I have the utmost respect for them. 
If these types of jobs don't bother you then you may be one of the people that would love it.  Now you know they are out there!  
For myself I can't imagine being a "phone actress", and trying to explain what I do at 5th grade career day.  ;)
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How will you make money part 1

As I search around for all the different ways people can work from home, one question comes to mind a lot:  "What am I willing to do to make money?"
I know there are ways to make considerable more money from home than what I am currently making but what am I willing to give up to do it?  The answer is "nothing". 
Recently I wrote about affiliate marketing and there was one affiliate program that I mentioned but said I wouldn't talk about because I didn't know much about it.  This was the truth.  I didn't know much about it except that I had signed up with them took a quick look around and didn't see anything that I liked.  This was all over a 5 minute period.   In the meantime I kept hearing other people rave about this program so I felt like I must have missed something and needed to look around more.
A day or so later another wahm who I have a ton of respect for mentioned that she had used this company at one time but felt like a "sleazy used car salesman".  Finally I had validation!  It wasn't just me! 
So this morning I was thinking about all these people who are very happy to sell you an ebook or just access to a webpage and tell you to use this company to place ad's all over the internet.
These are the same people who will also tell you to just write your own ebook and sell it.  Or place ad's on internet classsifieds and sell other people the same information.
You know what?  These people are probably making hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What are you willing to give up to make that kind of money?  Your pride?  Your ethics?  Your value system?
Not me.. I would rather be getting by and feeling good about myself and what I do.  How about you?
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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Remembering why I work from home

Today was a great lesson in why I work at home.  I work at home everyday but on the weekends I also work outside the home.  This morning while I was getting ready to go to work Katie wanted to play ball.  I had to explain that I had to get ready for work.  She burst into tears.  Now this isn't a usual occurance so it kind of surprised me.  She told me she wanted me to stay home forever and not go to work.. I felt so bad but I remembered also the days when we would cuddle for just a few minutes and then I would take her to daycare and I wanted to yell.. NO I want you to stay here forever! 
I also had to remember though that for the most part I LIKE working on weekends.  It really is the only time I get away from the house and have some time for me.  I don't belong to a bowling league or any other kind of league or group so I don't have a regular day or evening that I get away.  My getting away is going to work.  I work at a golf course so I get to see the regulars who are like friends and I get to meet new people too.  It is a nice break from sitting in front of a computer all day or even playing balls or barbies all day. 
Getting away is something we all need to do for ourselves.  Whether it be a regular day that you go to the gym or getting out of the house to go to "work" a couple times a week.

Friday, March 03, 2006

MLM vs Pyramid scheme

Today I am going to refer you to a post on another blog because I think it is very valuable information.   There are a lot of misconceptions in the work at home world about the difference between pyramid schemes and MLM companies.  Before you join any program or company I think it is imperative that you understand the differences.  Most direct sales companies are MLM's and if you need to understand how they work so you can be successful in your business.


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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Affiliate advertising part 7

A little bit more about affiliate advertising and blogs.  You can make money blogging by using affiliate advertising within your blogs.  There are as many ways to do this as there are to use the advertising in your websites and even more reasons.
Blogs tend to get indexed quicker in the search engines which means that your blogs will get traffic pretty quickly if they are interesting and if you are promoting them. 
Since blogs are more personal and updated on a regular basis I think people are more inclined to subscribe and return more often than they do for a static website.  Make your blogs about things that people are interested in.  It can be fun to blog about your goldfish but is he really interesting enough to bring people back every day?  Remember, more visitors means more clicks. 
You will still want to place your affiliate advertisements in spots where they are likely to get noticed. 
The best part of affiliate advertising on blogs is that you will have more choices in the types of ads you place. 
If your blog is about your home life you can advertise for everything from toys to gardening supplies.  If you start a blog about nascar you can advertise performance parts, nascar products, and racing gear. 
Give some thought to why people will be visiting your blog and you will be able to make good choices about the types of advertising you offer.
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Affiliate advertising part 6

Now that you have everything in place you need to start promoting.  If you don't have any traffic you won't get any sales.  Please read my post on website advertising here: 
I believe it is important to do SOMETHING everyday for your business to increase traffic.  If you are using a blog as a business tool it is even more imperative that you update daily.  Some people say at least every other day, others say 6 days a week, still others say at least once a week.  I try for at least 5 days a week.  With websites it can be something as simple as visiting your favorite message board and putting your website address in your signature.  Remember the more YOU do to increase traffic the faster your business will grow.
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Affiliate advertising part 5

Before we get too much deeper into this affiliate stuff I wanted to take a moment to tell you about another way to find affiliate advertising. 
There are a lot of places that use the big affiliate programs like cj.com and linkshare.com but there are a lot of companies who also have their own affiliate programs. 
This is especially helpful to know when you are designing your website.  Most likely while you are designing it you will take a look at similar websites to see what they look like, what they have and how they are using advertising.  Click on some of their advertisements and look around the merchants site.  You will probably find a place either towards the bottom of the page or towards the bottom of the side links that says "affiliates". 
If you click on that link you will be taken to a page where you can find more information on being an affiliate for them and how to sign up.
Personally I think these are some of the best affiliate programs out there and I use quite a few of them. 
They tend to send you information right away on new promotions and they also tend to include the links right in their emails which I love.  It is a lot easier for me to work this way than having to go to cj or linkshare and find out if there are any new promotions and links.
Of course some of the merchants you sign up with through the big programs will also send you emails but it doesn't seem to happen as often for me as it does with the companies that I am directly affiliated with.
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