Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Feeling good about what you do

Today has been pretty up and down.  I always feel like I have done something good when I can help another person avoid a scam. 
On one particular message board this week I have had to defend the fact that my websites use google adsense.  Well yeah!  My websites are all a part of my business and I generate money through google adsense and some other affiliate links.
Now I am not one of those people who try to push those weird data entry affiliate programs.  My affiliate links are all for things like clubmom, stores, etc.  Yet this one person was having an absolute tizzy fit and claiming that I wasn't being honest or trying to help anyone, I was only trying to make money.
This has really bothered me all week.  Today though, there was who wrote a very nice post using a lot of common sense and agreed that it was okay to make money from your website as long as you were giving honest information and such.  Whew! 
I don't know why I needed this validation but I did.  When I started my website I never even knew you could make money.  I found the affiliate links that fit in perfectly with my website quite by accident.  I also found google adsense by accident.  I started the website to prevent others from losing money on those paid survey lists.  I wanted to give the lists with the right information for surveys, mystery shopping, paid to drive, etc.  I didn't start it as a way to make money but that is what it turned into and I have never compromised my values to do it.  Now I feel pretty good!
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Real work from home

A couple of days ago Audrey posted this on my message board at and it is so true and clear and concise that I wanted to share it with all of you.
"I thought I would share a post I wrote several years ago. I hope you find it helpful. It was written to Melissa, a gal who was going to spend $35 to buy a list:


Save your $35. I'll provide you free of charge in this post, anything that might be in their "book".Let's start with some basics.

There are only TWO things you can do at home, yes, only TWO.You can telecommute or you can run a business. That's it, TWO.

TELECOMMUTING--This means you have been hired by an employer, and that employer is open to having you work at home anywhere from a few hours a week, to full time.Some folks will work mornings in office, afternoons at home. Afternoons at home, allows them to pick up their kids, start dinner etc, all while working also. Some folks work every other day in office. This allows them bring work in, drop work off, be available for meetings etc.You are an employee. You are either paid per hour or per week. The sentence I see most often posted is "I want to work at home, so I have more time with my kids". Find some folks who do telecommute. Their kids are in daycare, as they need to work. They also end up putting in more than 40 hours per week as they want to make sure they put in their 40 hours and make up for those trips to the store, the trips to pick kids up etc.Telecommute positions are very tough to find. Most employers are not willing to have employees working unsupervised. Reason is, just look in office. Truly, how many employees give a job their all? How many work hard even when the boss is away? How many come in a few minutes early and leave a few minutes late on a consistent basis? Now let's compare that to how many make personal calls? How many take a few extra minutes on their lunch? How many stand around the water machine chatting? How many day dream and don't produce as much as they can/should? So, most employers are not willing to allow employees to work at home.Again, speak to some folks who work at home. Ask them point blank what they did to get this job. Most will tell you that they had worked for a long time prior to this arrangement. They will tell you that they know their job inside out. They will tell you that they work over 40 hours per week. They will tell you that they do get "lonely" working all alone. And they'll tell you they do go into the office frequently.

There is no book of companies that allow telecommuting. Those employers who have allowed this have done so with an existing employee. My sister telecommutes for HP. But she had her degree in computer science. She has had tons of company training and she worked there 10 years. So putting HP down in a book and telling you that they hire telecommuters is misleading at best, an out and out lie at worst. And you have to pay for that book.

A BUSINESS--To start there are only TWO things you can sell. You can sell a product or you can sell a service. Look around YOUR town. What do the businesses in YOUR town sell? They all sell either a product or a service. A home business will be no different, you'll sell a product or a service.

If you want to sell a service, look within. What are your skills? Are you proficient with a word processor? If so, you can consider selling your word processing skills. Remember, proficient means near perfect. I can use MS Word, but I could not sell it as a service. Have you done bookkeeping or billing before? If so, this again, is something you can sell as a service. Are your kids older, in school all day? Consider an errand service. Heck, there are many days I feel I live in my car LOL. I always have books with me as I'm forever waiting for someone or something. Do a web search for errand services and view what others are offering and at what fees.

Are you an expert with a sewing machine? If so, offer tailoring and mending as a service. I am only 5'2" and both my kids are 5'. We need everything altered. I would love to bring it to someone's home versus having to go to the dry cleaner, and change in their icky little bathroom, etc.Prefer to sell a product? You have a few choices, yes, only a few. You can make the product yourself. You can purchase from a wholesaler, or you can purchase from a direct sales company. That's it, only those few choices.If you wish to make the products, again, look within. What hobbies do you have? What crafts can you make? Some folks sell hand sewn or hand crocheted items. Some sell homemade soaps and lotions. Some sell homemade jewelry. Are you able to do this?

You can contract with a wholesaler. Look up ________ wholesaler in a search engine. The blank is for whatever product you want to sell. There are wholesalers for just about everything imaginable. Want to contract with a direct sales company? Go to . They have a large database of their members. Their members range from cosmetic companies, to toy companies, to clothing companies and everything in between. You don't need to pay to access this database.The site you listed provides a books of scams. Home assembly is a scam. Now, there are exceptions. Occasionally a factory that makes items will advertise for local employees. You'll go to the factory, fill out the application, meet with them, and get hired. There will NOT be a fee. You'll drop off and pick up finished products. Assembly-at-home jobs found on the internet are SCAMS. Don't believe me? Find me just two people who do this and make money. Just two. From anywhere in the US. Just two ;)

The site you mentioned speaks of transcribing. Do you have experience and training in transcribing? If not, you are not going to be hired. Again, don't believe me, find me two folks with no experience who were hired to transcribe at home.The site you mentioned spoke of US mail. Chain letters are not legal. All those ads for mail-from-home, order process from home etc; are all a variation of the same scam. You pay money. You get directions to place ads like the one you answered. You then receive a percent each time you scam the next person. You TYPE or PROCESS their ORDER. Nice play on words huh?If in fact, typing at home, assembly at home, processing orders at home were legitimate, don't you think we'd read more about folks doing this successfully?I'm sorry for the length of this. I can almost guarantee you would not have gotten this much information had you spent the $35 ;)

Audrey "
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Friday, April 21, 2006


I am looking around my desk right now and I see a stack of magazines I haven't had time to read, a bunch of mail that I haven't had time to go through and a ton of little notes and free stuff that haven't been sorted yet.  I tried to pay the bills today and I can't even find electric bill.
The kitchen table is cluttered, the floor needs vaccumed and there are at least 5 loads of laundry waiting to be done. 
Yes, part of it is the fact that it has been a really tough 6 weeks around here and some things have just been neglected but mostly it is just that I can always find better things to do. 
Just wondering, if you are a work at home parent what does your desk look like?  Is it cluttered or are you very organized and neat and tidy?  Share with us!
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Being Thankful

Recently I have had a great deal of things going on in my life.  I must say I have been very thankful during this time to be a work at home mom. 
I have found that it affords benefits that I wouldn't have if I worked outside the home. 
I have been able to work in the mornings and take the afternoons off to get the things done I need to get done and it hasn't had a profound effect on my income.
This wouldn't be the case unless I was on salary somewhere else.  Plus if I need to get things done in the morning or even all day long I can do that and then work in the evenings.
It has been a true blessing and I just wanted to share that information. 
This is definately something to consider if you want to work from home and it might even give you some motivation to find that perfect source of income for you.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Work at home pessimists

I think one reason so many people can't work at home is because they just don't believe they can.  They start looking for a work at home job and they get hit with all the scams and then give up. 
I see three different kinds of people in the work at home sector.  There are the type who want to work at home and do their homework and find something legitimate and succeed.  There are also the type who are only willing to believe that some money making scheme or program is how you make money at home.  These types usually end up losing a lot of money and failing. 
Finally there are the people who are just plain skeptical and they let that skepticism stop them.  They want to work at home and make some money but they are so positive that everything is a scam that they don't try anything. 
A fair amount of skepticism is a great thing to have if you are looking to work from home.  It can save you a lot of headaches and money but if you have too much you won't ever get anywhere.  At some point you have to give something a try to find out if you can succeed.
Where do you fall in the big scheme of things? 
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Life of a wahm

This whole month so far has been fairly unproductive.  At least I feel it has.  I probably have gotten as much as possible accomplished but I feel like I have only done about half of what I should. 
Between family obligatioins, getting sick and tax time I feel pretty busy but I also feel like I have been slacking off.
I keep reminding myself that I must have my priorities straight and take care of more than just "business" but it sure isn't always easy. 
When I started this business I worked a good 12-14 hours a day and I felt okay with that.  Last week my husband quit his night job so now I am only working 6-8 hours a day which is a normal workday for most people.  I feel better and less stressed when I am not working so much and I am enjoying the time we have together every afternoon and evening now. 
Im sure there is a lesson here but I will let you decide how it applies to your own personal situation.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

New Website

I have been so incredibly busy the past two weeks I just don't know what to tell you about today! 
I will just tell you how things are going on my end. 
For those of you who are regular readers you know that my current goal is to have ten websites up and running by the end of June. 
I currently have the three blogs, two websites and a message board.  My newest website is what has been keeping me so busy! 
My original plan was to have it launched today and then I realized that just wasn't going to happen so I planned to launch it tomorrow.  I don't see that happening either.  So for now I plan to have it up and running early next week.   I have been doing a few pages a day and yesterday I got 15 pages done!  It all sounds like something I should be feeling frustrated with but when you take into account that my original goal was a page a day and I managed to get 15 done yesterday,  I am feeling pretty good about it! 
The new website will be a little bit different avenue for me.  I have done work at home stuff and scrapbooking stuff but this one focuses on free information.
Those of you who know me are aware that one of my biggest pet peeves is people who sell information.  Information especially on the internet was always meant to be free.  This is why I started Katieshugs to begin with.  I hated the fact that people were selling work at home information.  Well lately the commercials about foreclosures and government grants and government auctions where you can by houses and cars for pennies on the dollar are driving me insane.  Again, this is all information that people should not have to pay for.   SO... this is what my new website will be about.  You will be able to access all that same information for FREE... I am pretty excited about it and I hope you will be visiting!
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Finding Your Niche

Finding your niche is crucial to your success.  Anyone can throw up a website or a blog and HOPE to make some money but if you don't have a niche it just won't work.
You need to offer something that people want.  Recently a lot of blogging communities popped up where everyone could write and use their adsense accounts and make money.  What I saw was a lot of people writing about everything and everyone.  These were the same people who complained often that they had been at it 6 months or so and still hadn't made a dime.  They were having fun though and that is pretty important. 
At the same time I saw people putting up blogs on how to blog, blogs on petcare and childcare, blogs on parenting and motorcycles and they all said they were making money.   Do you see the difference?  The people making money had found a niche.  Something they were happy to talk about daily and providing useful information that other people were looking for.
That is all it takes!  Of course with a blog you have to write daily.  With a website you also need a niche, something to focus on and draw people in.  You can't just set up a website with a picture of your new puppy, give a little information on him and put up some advertising and expect to make money.  It must be an area that people want to read about or learn about. 
Give it some thought.  Think about what you really enjoy or something that you are very knowledgeable about.  Is it something you can teach or share?  If so, you have found your niche!
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Choosing wisely

I've probably said this before but I think it bears repeating. 
My biggest pet peeve when it comes to working with people who want to work from home is the people who won't listen to reason. 
It seems like you can talk until you are blue in the face about legitimate opportunities and still you get the naysayers who claim everything is a scam.
Everything is a scam because they are looking at programs that promise to make them hundreds of dollars a day.
What they should be looking at and thinking about are the things that will actually make them money. 
When I started out looking for a home based business I was pretty lucky.  I decided right off the bat that I would not pay for a job.  I would not do anything that cost a penny.   This was my own experiement and I was determined to make it happen.
Now of course I did have to pay my website hosting fees and I had to pay to register my domain name but that was it and these seemed like normal fees and pretty darn low for starting a business.  In my searches for other ways to make money from home I also found some direct sales companies that didn't even charge a start up fee.  This is pretty unusual because most direct sales companies will charge a start up fee but you usually get quite a bit for your money.
These fees are not the same as the fees you see everywhere else.  There are a ton of "programs" that charge a onetime membership fee, and there are companies that charge for information which can be found free and there are companies that charge a processing fee and claim you can make money typing or doing data entry for that fee.  Heck there are even places that are charging to sell you a list of the companies that will charge you a processing fee.  It is all pretty crazy. 
I really wish there were a way to get everyone to listen and quit paying for those processing fees, membership fees, upgrades and lists.  
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Monday, April 10, 2006


Here is what is bugging me today.  If anyone can give me good answers I would love to hear them! 
Melaleuca makes some awesome products.  I love their products and I don't understand why aren't shouting from the rooftops how great they are. 
Instead they have a lot of different teams and these teams advertise everywhere.  You can't visit a wah message board without seeing a thousand advertisements from these teams. 
Here is the catch.  The team members will NOT tell you right up front what company they represent.  You cannot find out this information unless you agree to take a personal phone call.  At one point I agreed to the personal phone call and still couldn't get the lady to tell me what company she was with until I was willing to listen to another conference call.  It just seems very weird to me and I don't like these kinds of business practices.  
Is there anyone who can tell me why they do it this way?  Not just the answer  "we aren't allowed to" but the real reason behind WHY they aren't allowed to disclose the company?
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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Become an expert

I wanted to just mention this briefly.   It doesn't matter if you decide to make money from home by building a website, blogging, going into direct sales or whatever but no matter what you decide to do you need to become an expert at it.
If you are starting your own website and want to make money you need to learn from others what makes a website successful.   You can't just put up a website and hope for the best.  You will need to learn about search engine optimization, you will need to learn the best way to set it up and how to make it look.  You will need to learn how to drive traffic to your site and how to keep it there. 
The same thing goes for blogging, you will need to learn basically the same things.  With either option you will also need to learn how to promote.
If you go into direct sales for any product you will want to become an expert in your area.  You can't just have a party, hand out brochures and hope that people will buy.  You will need to be able to tell them WHY they should buy your product, how it will benefit them and what they can expect. 
So often I see people start a business and just hope that it will all work out.  There is a lot of learning to do but luckily we all have the internet and a ton of experts at our disposal.  Take advantage and read and learn.
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Friday, April 07, 2006

What do I do with the kids?

A frequent question that comes up is "What do I do with the kids while I am working?".  It's kind of funny when you realize that this is a question parents have whether they are working outside the home or inside the home. 
The best answer is you do whatever works for you and your kids.  In my case I am lucky enough to have a much older daughter here a few mornings every week and she is great at entertaining Katie while I get some work done.
The rest of the week isn't as easy.  I take frequent breaks to play catch or a board game.  We just finished playing a quick game of "limbo" simply because she had seen it on tv and wanted to try it. 
Yes, the tv plays a part.  Katie has her favorite cartoons like any other kid and I will let her watch while I get work done.  This is where the frequent breaks come in.  I don't want her to spend hours and hours in front of the television. 
I will also let her get on the other computer and play educational games.  
I also try to plan for the largest part of my work day to be when she is at preschool.  This gives me a guaranteed 3 hours a day that I can get work done.  Don't get me wrong, it is tempting to use that time to run errands or take a nap or just have a few minutes of quiet.  If I do that though I lose a lot of work time and I realize I would have to make up that time by taking away from my time with my daughter. 
One of the best parts of working at home is that you can set your own schedule.  Make time during school hours, during nap time and after bed time and you will find that you can get the same amount of work done in those "off" hours that you could get done in the "on" hours.   You have the chance to be creative with your work hours take advantage of it! 
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Get paid to drive your car

You can find companies that will pay you to drive your car or give you a car and pay you to drive it as well. 
The catch is that you have to put their advertising on your car or drive a car that already has their advertising on it. 
You have probably seen some of these cars in your area.  I have seen cars for Sea World, Red Bull, and a couple of other funny looking ones. 
The trick to getting to do this is that you need to drive a great deal everyday and in an area where lots of people will see the advertising. 
If you are driving on country roads back and forth to work a few miles everyday you probably are not a good candidate for this type of job. 
If you commute a couple of hundred miles everday between two major cities on jam packed roads this might be a good way to make some extra money for you. 
If this sounds like something for you and you want a funny looking car to drive around you can go to:
There is a list of companies that look for drivers.  Just fill out the application and hope you get picked!
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Work at home blogging

One popular way to make money online these days is blogging.  You can make money from your blogs by using affiliate links such as google adsense or you can make money by selling products just like a website.  A new trend seems to be blogging for others. You write a blog and website owners pay you for your time and efforts.  Typically these seem to be online communities and they are looking for people to write a few times a day about a specific topic. 
Our blogging friend Gayla has found some places that are looking for bloggers.  Take a look, pick a topic and get started!
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Monday, April 03, 2006

No Motivation

I don't get it.  I have been sick for two weeks and now I am finally feeling pretty darn good.  However, I STILL have no motivation!  I don't want to really do anything.  I don't want to clean house, I don't want to work, I don't want to do anything but sleep.  I want to curl up in bed with a good book and just rest. 
It is so much easier when you work for someone else.   At least for me it seems like if I have a manager or employees who depend on me I am more inclined to want to be at work even if I don't feel good.  It is easy to let myself down but not easy for me to let others down. 
So here is the lesson:  I think that even if you don't really feel like doing anything you have to do it anyway.  After having two weeks off I have to just force myself to work and let the habit take over again.  Make yourself get off the couch or out of bed and get to work just like if you were going to work somewhere besides home.  Make yourself do the laundry and wash the dishes even if you don't really want to.  Once you are in the habit of doing these things everyday it will just come naturally.   Anyway that is what I am hoping!
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