Ultimate guide for businesses for moms

How many blog posts have you read about businesses for moms or stay at home businesses for moms? They all include great lists of businesses you could consider, but let’s be honest, they don’t really share the steps to get started and thrive.

In this blog, I’m specifically looking at a handful of businesses that you can start today as a mom. These businesses include:

Creating a Mom Blog
Starting an Etsy Store
Building a Dropship Store
Jumping into Freelancing as a Mom

My goal isn’t to list off all the businesses you could start as a mom, but to give you the actional advice in this ultimate guide that you can follow to get your business off the ground and running.

Now before I dive in, any business you start should be driven by your passions, expertise, and values.

Why? as a mom, and more specifically, as a mompreneur, you will always face competing priorities. From swim lessons to soccer, homework, meal planning, even corporate jobs, starting a side hustle with the goal to grow it into a thriving business takes time, commitment, and a lot of energy.

Your success will come from wanting to work on your business after a long day or before the day has begun.

Your success will come from knowing your industry or craft like the back of your hand and utilizing tools to help manage those other business processes and technologies.

The mom businesses described below are not hypotheticals. I personally have spent years researching the most effective and efficient ways to start each of these businesses (in addition to an MBA) and have started a mom blog, etsy store, dropship store, and added to my freelancing business all since growing our family.

The guide to mom businesses below covers the exact tips and steps that I recommend to get you off the ground and running towards freedom and flexibility as a mom.

Quick 31 Steps to Launching Your Freelance Business

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Whether your goal is to build a creative outlet or start the foundation for a business empire, I am so excited to learn about you and your vision. As a mompreneur, you are allowing yourself to create exactly the type of business that fits your needs, interests, and goals.

Take a moment to consider your dreams.

  • Are you yearning for a creative outlet beyond children’s crafts?
  • Would you love the flexibility to make your own schedule?
  • Do you hope to contribute financially to your household?
  • Can you not go another day without adult interaction?
  • Are you trying to be the best positive role model for your children?

Moms start on their journey to becoming a mompreneur for a lot of different reasons. I’m here to help provide you with the actionable steps you need to turn your interests into a successful business that can help you fulfill your dreams. From bloggers to Etsy store owners, Amazon dropshippers, freelancers, and more, I’ve worked with individuals who seek to contribute and leave their mark on the world just like you.

With a background in digital marketing (yes, I’ve owned my agency for nearly a decade), my advice focuses on the online aspects of creating, growing, and sustaining your business. My resources aim to help you start strong, scale fast, and sell more while you use your own strengths to create the business of your dreams.

What does it mean to be a Mom Blogger?

Mom bloggers, or really all bloggers, produce content that is published on a website.

Mom Blogging often has the connotation that you need to be writing about parenting tips, home improvement, or recipes, but trust me, there are a LOT more mom blogs out there than just these topics.

Start thinking about your PASSIONS and INTERESTS.

Could you create high quality content every single week or multiple times per week on this topic? Is it something you would grow bored with after a year, or does this interest transcend into all aspects of your life?

To be a Mom Blogger, you need to be diligent about creating high quality content (between 2,000-5,000 words) each week and then sharing this information to gain readers and followers of your blog.

Bloggers typically make money through affiliate commissions, advertisers on their site, and digital products. You also may have the perk of freebies from other folks within your industry.

Is Blogging for You?

Blogging isn’t for everyone. To start a blog and see results fairly quickly you will need to spend about 4 hours per day growing your digital network, creating content, putting together your systems, building an email list and sharing the information you create.

To run a successful blog you can’t sit in a bubble and you should try to view your blog as a way to connect and communicate with others who share your interests.

When you have your systems in place and traffic is coming to your website, you will typically find that running your blog only takes 2 hours per day. From here, your income potential can really skyrocket.

Income Potential

There are many mom bloggers who make $20,000+ each month, but far more who only make a couple hundred dollars per year.

It’s not that these bloggers aren’t working hard, they may be focusing their attention on the wrong avenues or may not be giving their blog the chance to really thrive.

What if you don’t like to write?

That is okay! I’ve worked with a lot of bloggers who start first with video or audio and turn transcripts from these into content for their website.

Starting with video or audio allows you the chance to showcase your expertise and your personality. What better way to grow a blog than have this multimedia on your website.

What to do next as a mom blogger

Brainstorm a list of your interests or passions. Narrow this down to the idea that you would want to write about for years into the future.

  1. Who else is writing about this topic? What are they doing well? What would you improve?
  2. Is there one person in particular who you would like to write for? Who will make up your tribe? Be specific! If you know someone who would be interested in your blog, write down their name.
  3. What are your top 5 values? How can you incorporate these into your Blog’s Brand? What are your brand colors and is there any emotion or feeling you want your blog to elicit?
  4. Create a list of all of the topics you can think of that relate to your blog idea. Think about topics that you can tell stories about from personal experience, topics people likely are going to be searching for on Google, and topics that appear to be getting a lot of traction from blogs on the same or similar topics.
  5. Which other bloggers can you partner with?
  6. Jump into Technology! In order to run a blog, you will need a website and an email account. I won’t go into detail here, but I do have a blog post on this at SocialSpeakNetwork.com.

To jump start your blog, I recommend committing to write a blog every other day for a month. Why? This creates a database of content for your blog that you can then link to and share online.

After the first month, you can slow down to 1 blog per week. Just remember, each blog should be high quality (and at least 1,500 words long).

At the same time you are working on this first set of articles, start reaching out to people you know to see if they would be interested in joining your email list. As a blogger (or any digital business) your Email List is the most important asset to your business.

Wrap up to  Blogging as a Stay At Home Mom

Being a Mom Blogger can be incredible rewarding if you are willing to put in the time and energy. The first thing we think of when we hear bloggers is a website with articles on it, but in reality it is about building a community around your passion or interest.

Even if your goal is not to make money from your blog, being a Mom Blogger can be a rewarding creative outlet that connects you with others who share your passions and interest. Could there be anything better?

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Starting an ETSY Store for Moms

The next topic for mompreneurs is Etsy! I love Etsy both as a seller and as a consumer.

Etsy is a great avenue for converting your hobbies into a business through selling crafts and designs. Just as with any sales channel, you need to think about whom you are selling to and how you can best position your products to sell to them.

Broadly, Etsy is a platform for crafts (wo)men to sell their handmade goods online. Products include everything from greeting cards to knitted hats, digital downloads, screen printed t-shirts, and antique gifts.

I like Etsy as a mompreneur because it is already a portal that your tribe is using to find unique and handmade products.

You don’t need to build a complete ecommerce website and find ways to get traffic to the site, instead you just need to have your products to sell and optimize your titles and descriptions to gain traction.

Is running an Etsy Shop for you?

In order to run an Etsy store, you need to be able to make something handmade or have a collection of goods that others may want to purchase. If you don’t have a craft/hobby (paper crafts, sewing, graphic design, woodworking, etc) or if you don’t have a collection of goods (teacups, antique bread boxes, etc), Etsy may not be for you. Now there is some wiggle room if you don’t necessarily have something handmade to sell, which I’ll describe below.

If you do have a product(s) already, they running an Etsy shop may be a perfect fit. The marketplace is already built, making your shop easy to get up and running, but the most popular stores have at least 15 different products to sell right off the bat.

You’ll need to make sure you have enough of whatever you want to sell in many different designs and variations in order to build your store quickly.

The workaround to Handmade Goods

Okay, so you might be interested in selling on Etsy, but you don’t really have a craft that you could turn into a viable business. This is where you can have a little fun. Let’s say you are a graphic designer or have some Photoshop experience.

You can create designs and then place this design on t-shirts, mugs, dog bowls, bags, etc, using a print on demand service to actually create the products.

This is how I manage my Etsy Store for Yip Yap Woof.

In fact, I have it set up so beside creating the designs and product descriptions, I don’t touch anything when an order comes in.

My silk-screener gets notified of the order automatically and creates my products to be sent out with my branding to customers.

You can set up similar systems for your Etsy shop, too, by using services like Printful* to create the products.

How to get started with Etsy as a Mom

The next steps for Etsy are fairly straight forward and you can get up and running within a few hours! Of course in order to run an Etsy shop that is sustainable you should create an audience and build your email list, just as with blogging, but the first steps are straight forward.

  1. Just as with creating a mom blog, think first about your target market and brand before you set up your Etsy shop. Who will be your core customers? Who else is selling similar products?
  2. Next you can create your Etsy account and start filling in basic information, hold off on uploading your products for the time being.
  3. Creating your store is easiest if you compile all of your information before you get started. This includes:
    1. Keywords to use in your product descriptions
    2. Your product descriptions (make them fun and personal)
    3. Prices and shipping costs (I often just do flat rate shipping or free shipping with the estimated shipping cost built into the product price)
    4. Pictures (At least 3-5 for each product)
  4. After you have your products created and updated, it’s time to build a community around them. Instagram can be a great place to create your community, showcase your products, and post beautiful images.
  5. If you want to take your store to the next level, don’t hesitate to post the product information on Netxdoor App, Craigslist, and Ebay. Additionally, local fairs, markets, and festivals can help you gain local exposure.
  6. Just as with any type of business, your email list can make the long term stability of your new business much more achievable. Start building your list from day 1!

What ideas do you have for your Etsy shop? Can you see yourself growing a community around your crafts and hobbies?

Next up we’ll be chatting about Dropshipping businesses, which are where you resell products from wholesale accounts, but never need to hold an inventory.

This is the second half of my Yip Yap Woof shop where I resell dog beds on Amazon and Ebay and my suppliers ship the orders directly to the customer for me.

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Starting a Dropship Business as a Stay at Home Mom

Stay at home moms often don’t first think of dropshipping as a business solution when they are first getting started.

Why? Even though platforms exist to create your website and easily find products, it can be time consuming to figure out the ins and outs of deciding upon products, branding yourself, and growing your network.

As there Is quite a bit of competition in most industries for drop shipping, it can seem daunting to find a way to stand apart with a limited schedule.

So what can mompreneurs do to help decrease the amount of time needed to grow their online dropship store?

Just as with the other tips and techniques, I recommend first analyzing your passions and interests and formulating a game plan around what types of markets you should approach.

Below I talk about my experience of drop shipping as a mompreneur through first finding a pet product company I could stand behind.

I knew I wanted to help people find the top dog products for their pups, but didn’t exactly know where to get started. At first I listed and tried advertising every product under the sun, but soon found my margins (the amount I made) were WAY too low to:

  1. Cover my advertising costs
  2. Cover my time to actually place the order

Looking back at the drawing board, I realized there were products, specifically dog beds and extremely large dog crates with margins high enough to offer free or reduced shipping and cover extra fees like listing the product on Amazon, for example.

Here is my overview for sales through Amazon for a specific dog bed from 11/20-12/13

(Please note, I’m not trying to say that I’m the poster child for how well through this channel with sales, but it is just a REAL example of a fun side hustle that takes 10-15 minutes every few days)

After Amazon fee’s and the monthly subscription to Amazon, I netted $491.20. Now, this number does go down because I needed to buy the dog beds, ship them, and pay for the company’s dropship fee (their extra fee to pay for sending the package directly to my customer).

Let’s take a look.  

  • Sell for $129, my Cost (including shipping and dropship fee) $83.50. Gross profit: $26.10
  • Sell for $109, my Cost (including shipping and dropship fee) $73.50. Gross Profit: $19.14
  • Total $83.55 in my pocket

This is just for one type of dog bed I sell on Amazon and you see how the profit diminishes drastically when all fees are taken into account.

But hey, that’s another $1,000 in my pocket every year for very limited work and not selling to my network. Imagine if you are listing more products, larger margin products, and products where you’ve already built an audience of interested individuals!

In addition to these beds, I do sell a few other high-end dog bed options, as well as some dog food and health and wellness items via Ebay. All of these are drop shipped, so I never need to worry about moving my own inventory.

I must warn you, however, I just needed to purchase my order from another supplier for a product that sold and my profit was a whopping $0.56! Ha. Talk about cutting it close!

In the following video I provide an overview of drop shipping for stay at home moms as an option to gain more flexibility and freedom.

The next type of business we’ll be discussing is creating a Freelance Business for Mompreneurs! But, if you’d first like to read the dropship business transcript, please click here!

Start a Freelancing Business as a Mom

Starting a freelance business as a mom may be one of the most rewarding ways to get back into the business world and feel connected to adults outside of your family.

Yes, you can forge similar relationships through reaching out to digital business partners, but become a freelancer opens so many more doors!

As a mompreneur you will often find yourself alone with your thoughts and second guessing your ability to run a successful endeavor. Being a freelancer, however, allows you to form lasting relationships with your clients.

Do I sound partial to starting a freelance business? Perhaps. But this stems from the joys I’ve found in connecting with my clients as I work with them.

Please note, I find the same to be true for coaches, counselors, service providers, etc, but if your business is 100% online, it can be difficult for a lot of women to forge the same type of relationship because often communication boils down to Facebook posts, commenting, and emailing.

Unless you are committed to thinking about digital networking the same as face to face or networking on the phone, it is difficult to create real relationships with people you’ve never actually spoken to.

With freelancing, you are given an opportunity to turn one-off projects into recurring revenue streams for your business.

AND, working with your clients month after month creates an avenue for you to grow your new relationships in the business world without having to give up time with your children and family.

You can take on as many new clients as you have the capacity for and scale up and down as needed.

Types of Freelance businesses for Mompreneurs

As you think of your passions and interests, think of how you may be able to help other people and businesses with completing tasks that relate to these interests. In the digital world, some common freelance gigs include:

  • Graphic design
  • Website management
  • Branding
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Website Development
  • Copy Writing
  • Proofreading
  • Process Management
  • Etc

How can you structure your fees?

I recommend freelancers try to steer clear of hourly work, but often that’s what it comes down to. As a mom, however, trying to track your time doing freelance gigs while running to sports practices, cleaning dirty diapers, and figuring out preschool options can be quite the challenge.

Rather than setting an hourly price, do what you can to create monthly packages or retainers. In my marketing agency, we collect fees from:

  • One-off projects (Marketing strategies, website development, etc)
  • Group Coaching (6 month small group coaching on social media and digital marketing)
  • Marketing Management (We become your outsourced marketing department with set tasks we agree to complete each month)
  • Hourly consulting (even I haven’t been able to get away from this after nearly a decade)

How to get started as a Freelancer

Starting your path towards being a successful freelancer can be fairly organic. Some freelancers wish to jump in head first into their new business while others are okay growing their client base at a pace that fits their lifestyle.

As you get started, think about:

  • How quickly you want to grow
  • The hours per week you wish to spend freelancing
  • Your availability for meetings, travel, networking, sales
  • Current commitments during the working day

Depending on how much time you have available to commit to your new freelancing clients, you may find that a slow growth fits your current commitments.

Knowing this can help you identify the steps you wish to take to get your new mom business up and running and to set your goals appropriately.

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Quick 31 Steps to Launching Your Freelance Business

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Steps to kick your freelancing business into high gear

Now that you know your availability, it’s time to get started! Just as with the other mom businesses you can start, it is paramount you first identify your ideal client.

  • Create your client avatar: what industry or business do you want to target, what are their fears, how many employees do they have, what revenue do they have, who makes the buying decision?
  • Build out your service offerings: within your target industry, what services can you offer, what will you charge?
  • Make a list of personal connections that fit your target market or may know someone who would benefit from your services: think about your connections from your pre-kid career, as well as, family, friends, neighbors, etc.
  • Think of complementary services that you could build into referral partners. For example, if you are a copy writer, partnering with website development agencies could lead to immediate work for your business.
  • Create a quick website describing who you are, your services, and providing a glimpse into your expertise.
  • Reach out to your connections and your potential referral partners to introduce them to your new business.
  • Join local networking groups to increase your exposure to local business owners.
  • Sign up for Thumbtack and Nextdoor to browse for folks looking for your services.

Now, you notice I mention only building a quick website at this stage. Contrary to popular belief, though some folks may look at your site, only a handful of referrals actually will.

Your first freelancing clients will most likely be people you know personally.

Additionally, as you talk with prospects and start selling your services you will find that your target market may respond more favorably to one way of describing your services or that the packages you should be offering are slightly different from your initial brainstorm.

You don’t want to spend months making the perfect site when in reality your messaging and offerings are completely off.

Through using BlueHost you can get a website up and running for $3.95/mo with a domain-specific email address and easy 1-click WordPress installation. It’s worked as a great platform for my clients and for my own sites.

With Freelancing as a mompreneur, the best way to get started is to put yourself out there without worrying about not having all the answers.

Top three steps to starting a freelancing business transcript available here.

As I mentioned before, the best way to grow your new business as a mom is really to dive into something that you are passionate about, an expert in, and that aligns with your values. Without this, it is much more difficult to push through and really experience that freedom and flexibility through business ownership as a mom.

If you are interested in learning more about how your values can shape your business, please take a look at the following posts!

Quick 31 Steps to Launching Your Freelance Business

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Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

Ultimate guide to mom businesses, business for moms, stay at home mom, start a business, #sheboss #dropshipping #etsy #freelancing #momblog, start a business as a stay at home mom, earn money as a mom

Starting a Dropship Business as a Mom [Transcript]

Today I am going to discuss with you about dropship businesses. What are drop ship businesses? How do they work? How can they fit into your lifestyle?

Basically, drop shipping is when you have an online storefront. When somebody places in order, you then turn to the wholesaler and they actually ship that order out for you. I run a business, Yip Yap Woof, and amongst other things, we sell dog products. One of our top selling products is a dog bed from a company out of Montana that uses organic cotton and it’s made in the USA.

It’s a great dog bed and we get a lot of sales through Amazon for this, as well as, through our website. So how drop shipping works in this case is somebody places an order through Amazon or through our website (or even through eBay). Now we don’t have an inventory, I don’t have a closet in my house just stocked up with dog beds, but I just quickly jump over to the wholesale website, place an order with my own credit card information, and then they charged me a small fee on top of the typical fee for shipping. Then the customer gets the dog bed. It’s packaged in the West Paw Design packaging and everything, but the package slip does have our information on it. I can offer more discounts and promotions for other products that I offer, as well. And so with each of these orders, yes, I’m not making the full $30 or $50 markup that I would have if I did hold my own inventory and do the shipping myself, however I still do get you know between $10 and $20 dollars per order.  I can the either reinvest this back into the business or enjoy them a nice lunch out.

How to Start a Dropship Business

Starting a dropship business is actually pretty straightforward there are plenty of websites out there that have whole databases or products. Again, taking dog products, there’s a Pet Store USA and Wholesale Pet USA, as well as a bunch of other stores like this where there is a database of different dog products. It also lists whether or not the company dropships the product or if you just get the wholesale account.

Once you find the products that you’re looking for, you can then list them on Amazon, Ebay, or on your own website. If you’re listing these products on Amazon or Ebay, you will find that there are additional fees that you will incur. Amazon’s fees are actually quite a bit, so that $20 margin or markup that that I  would get ends up going down to about five or ten dollars.

You have to pay attention to whether or not you’re actually going to be making money from the product or if it’s all just going away in these fees. It does definitely take some calculations. On Amazon, for example, I won’t sell a product that’s under $100, just because it’s not worth my time and energy to make fifty cents for an order that comes in.

I’d much rather see a thirty dollar kickback rather than just a couple of dollars here and there.

So, setting up that dropship store is quite simple once you have the product that you are going to be selling. You can set it up on Shopify, for example. Shopify is great because it syncs with a lot of these different dropship networks.

If you have an order placed on Shopify, they can actually make it so the order automatically flows through to the wholesale or drop shipping store. This way you don’t even have to touch the order.

You can also make a storefront on WordPress, for example, if you don’t want to have that monthly fee like Shopify. The benefit of Shopify is it’s really easy for you to manage taxes and things like that, but I actually just got rid of my Shopify store and I’m working to just building a more simple blog storefront with WordPress.

The reason is because most of my orders come in through eBay and Amazon rather than through my store itself. I think that that’s just a product of being a newer store, so I haven’t done a lot of work to build up my own audiences.

What I recommend doing is creating a blog for your business where you’re just working to send out valuable content and information. I found the blog to be a great way to gain exposure and also Instagram. Again, I’m just posting pictures of my dog and my daughter. We now have over 1,500 followers on Instagram and so that’s been a great way to get traffic to the Etsy store.

Building up an audience and an email list is should be your number one priority if you are running any type of e-commerce store.

Creating a Dropship Brand

Additionally, you should know who your brand is and you can think of it almost like a real retail store with a storefront. So think about, what’s your brand? What type of customers are you trying to attract? Then post things that these people are interested in and try and grow that network online. This way, when you have the products that you’re going to be selling, you can easily turn them on into it. They already know, like, and trust you.

These individuals have found value from following you, so you can start reaching out to the wholesale companies and organizations.

I always recommend not just listing any old product if you want to make your business more fulfilling. I recommend finding products you have tried and ones where you believe in the company brand of mission. As you’re getting started, try to create a selective group of products that you’ve tested yourself and that you know people are just going to absolutely love. Typically someone is actually searching for these products on Amazon or on eBay, so again, if you’re listed there, you have a better chance of being found.

This is just a quick introduction of what it means to dropship. Dropshipping is definitely very rewarding and easier to set up than businesses where you need to carry an inventory.

 

 

Top Three Tips to Starting a Freelancing Business as a Mom [Transcript]

Today we’re going to be talking about creating a freelance business from your passions and your expertise. Now creating a freelance business is a great way to add be creative, have adult interactions, and to find freedom and flexibility.

Until MK was able to walk, she actually came around to every single meeting with me. We were just coffee shop buddies and bounced around here and there. She’d be sleeping most of the time at meetings, but the flexibility that I had with my clients just to bring her along wherever I went was really quite incredible.

At the time, I was even the president of a local networking group and she came to many of the meetings with me. As long as I didn’t act as though I was distracted by her being there, other people followed suit. Owning a freelance business as a mom really is a great way to kind of have the best of both worlds.

MK recently turned 2 so we are finally looking at daycares and preschools that we can potentially have her attend towards the end of the summer. But, keeping her at home until she was 2 was a big goal for us. The flexibility of running a freelance business created the opportunity for this goal to come true.

Now, the BIMS Team is much more than a Freelance business. But freelancing really did create the foundation for all the work and services we provide today.

Different Types of Freelance Businesses for Moms

What types of freelance businesses are there and you can be a freelancer? There are many different types of Freelance businesses you can jump into including:

  • A graphic designer
  • A website developer
  • A freelance copywriter
  • A social media marketer

There are a lot of different freelancers out there and you might hear some freelancers referring to themselves more as consultants rather than just freelancers.

The big difference here in my mind is who’s doing the work.

Our team provides consulting for a lot of our clients where we are teaching them how to do the marketing themselves, but we have other clients where we are really taking on their voice and managing the marketing on their behalf.

It can be kind of a blurred line whether you call yourself a consultant or a freelancer. Either way, you can go into a lot of different industries.

How to decide on your Freelancing focus

As a mom, you probably have limited time between work (if you are starting freelancing as a side-hustle), children, family, and your own commitments. This makes it incredibly important to make sure you choose freelance projects that you already have the skills to complete.

Think about the areas of expertise or focus that you had in a previous career? Consider your own passions and interests. When you combine these two elements, it won’t even matter to clients that you don’t have a lot of experience working on your own and they will appreciate what your past experience can bring to the table.

If you are worried about lack of experience, that is fine, too. You can even be honest with your first few clients, but position this as a strength because you will be incredibly focused on their business and the work you can do for them.

As a new freelancer, how can you get new clients quickly?

There are a lot of different ways that you can go about getting clients when you are a freelancer. I have three favorite techniques.

Right when you get started, head on over to thumbtack.com. Thumbtack is like Craigslist for freelance jobs. Folks post there from different businesses that need help with X, Y, or Z. You can find local companies or ones that are in other parts of the US.

My husband recently started his own freelance business and I instructed him to go to thumbtack. Sure enough, he quickly was able to reply to a handful of folks requesting exactly his copywriting services. These were job proposals he was sending out the first day of running his own freelance business.

Now my husband had never actually run a copywriting business, and he was the director of software development at his last job, so nothing to do with copywriting, but he was an English major and enjoys writing. On the side he actually had been writing for years for some of our clients, but he never mentioned to his first clients that he was just kicking off his business. He knew he could fulfill his promises.

What about Upwork (formerly Odesk and Elance)

In the past we did utilize Elance for finding projects to bid on, but it is easy to get caught up in pricing and not being able to charge what you are worth.

If you do find yourself on these job sites, I found success submitting bids for Project Based freelancing work, such as creating a marketing plan or a LinkedIn Strategy, and then offering to implement the strategy. We actually are still working with a handful of these businesses 7 years later.

Again, make sure if you are submitting bids you aren’t selling yourself short. I remember one client I got right when I started my freelance business ended up being a $750/mo client, but at $20/hr, I was hardly living the dream.

It’s much easier to manage five freelance accounts with each of them paying $5,000 a month versus 50 accounts with $100 a month.

Attend Networking Events To Grow your Freelance Business and Refine your Messaging

The next place to look for clients is going to networking events to meet local business owners who can benefit from your freelancing services. The strategy typically has a slightly longer turnaround, but is very fruitful and something Amber and I both still do.

Beyond meeting new people and getting that adult interaction as a mompreneur, networking is wonderful because it allows you to refine your message.

When I first started my freelancing business, I thought that I was going to be doing mostly data analytics. In my mind, marketing decisions should be driven by data. I am a math nerd and data analytics geek and trust me, that doesn’t get many other people excited. Some of my favorite clients truly appreciate data, too, but a majority of our clients don’t care about the data behind the scenes.

As I was talking to folks in these networking events, I would just see their eyes glaze over. I realized that people understood they needed someone to help manage their marketing, but would be doing it themselves already if they cared about the solutions.

When you attend networking groups as a freelancer, you will be able to more quickly refine your messaging.

Now networking groups do require you go somewhere in person, so it may not be worthwhile to pay for a babysitter while you attend.

I’d look for groups that meet first thing in the morning (so your significant other can lend a hand before work) or ones that meet later in the day, again, so you can more easily find a helping hand.

These networking events also come in a lot of different forms.

One issue I see over and over is that new freelancers waste too much time attending groups that don’t actually lead to new clients. Don’t just go to the most popular Meetup group or group that meets over happy hour.

I’m an introvert, so I always found myself listening to conversations more than engaging with others in these more open events.

However, I came across BNI about 5 years ago and absolutely LOVE their meetings (and the clients/referrals that come from members).

I’ve since been the president and vice president of the chapter and as a member, you feel like you are actually creating relationships with the folks in your group, who then actually do go out and sell for you.

There are plenty of other more localized groups that follow the same structure as BNI, but BNI is an international organization, so most likely you have a chapter or two (or more) in your area to check out.

Be selective about the networking groups you choose to attend as a freelancing mom.

So, we’ve covered thumbtack, networking groups, and then the third way to grow your freelancing business is through referral partners.

How to use referral partners to get more freelance clients

As you’re going to the networking groups, you will be meeting new partners. You don’t want to just sell to the people in front of you, you want to gain access to their networks. This third piece is taking creating referral partners a step further.

First things first, jump over to LinkedIn and clean up your profile. Then, start researching other professionals and businesses that service your same target market and provide complementary services to your own freelance services.

I had my husband run through this when he was starting his business and within a month he had signed two $5,000 dollar contracts. One of them is still sending clients his way and then the other one actually now is my client and we have my husband do the blog writing.

It all comes down to figuring out who else is servicing your target market.

For my husband, a copywriter, I told him to email social media agencies like mine because I had been sending him business frequently. We also decided on website developers. Now he ended up just emailing the website developers because of the technical side of his background.

After proving himself in an initial blog or writing sample, some of these initial contacts send him any new website build that needs content created.

By creating these relationships with referral partners even if there’s a little bit of overlap in services, there can be short term success landing new freelance clients and provide long-term growth of your freelancing business.

The best thing about tailored and individual email outreach like this is that it takes a whole lot less time than attending 50 networking groups every single week. [Insider Tip: You can also write the emails after your kids go to be and schedule them to send the next morning with the Boomerang App for Gmail).

As long as you’re clear about the expectations with your new referral partners, you shouldn’t have any trouble really diving into those relationships.

So there you have it! The three steps to getting clients as you are starting your freelance business: Use Thumbtack, Join Local Networking Groups, Cold Email Referral Partners

First, immediately respond to those freelance proposal requests on thumbtack or create your profile on Upwork and see what projects are out there.

Secondly, join a local networking group and get to know the business professionals in your area. Again, I recommend finding a group that has structure and that actually shows that it’s passing leads and referrals with each other. I like the structure because I’m an introvert, but you might really thrive if you’re an extrovert with less structure. Still don’t join a group if they aren’t accountable for passing leads.

We see a lot of leads being passed within our group, as do other BNI groups, just as an example.

Lastly, the next item is figuring out who your referral partners could be and reaching out to them.

Now if you notice I’m not focusing on building your website or anything like that.

As you are working through these three steps to starting your freelancing business, you will be learning a lot about the language people are using to describe your specific services.

Just have a home page or landing page to start and then build up more from there.

See how many freelancing clients you can get through the three ways described above and you will be well on your way to a successful freelancing business!

My best advice is to start a business now and give freelancing a shot. Freelancing is incredibly fruitful and it allows for that creative outlet, adult interactions, and again that freedom and flexibility that we all crave as moms.

Thank you so much for tuning in.

Again I’m Caitlin with the Social Speak Network.

Please feel free to subscribe to our channel and head on over to our website. We have a lot of great blogs, videos, and different resources that can help you on your journey to becoming a freelancer.

 

 

Bluehost how to set up hosting get started

In 2018 there are hundreds of different hosts you can turn to for your wordpress website. Some are more difficult to create than others, but we’ve decided after working with many of these hosting companies that Bluehost is the solution you should consider for your small business website in 2018.

This post covers the steps to easily set up your website and hosting on Bluehost.

What is hosting and why does hosting matter?

You can think of hosting as the house for your website files. It is what ensures your site is seen by visitors. Choosing your hosting company wisely can reduce potential headaches as some hosting companies provide more:

  • Customer Service
  • Easy to adjust memory limits
  • Backups
  • Minimal downtime.

After years of working with many different website hosts, we have experienced the best service with Bluehost for small business websites.

Why Bluehost for your WordPress Website?

Bluehost makes each step in your website journey easy. Without hidden fees, you know exactly what to budget and the support is incredible both with chat and phone service. Some additional features we love about Bluehost include:

  • Free SSL Certificate for the main domain in the account
  • Free email that you can set up with a variety of services (or just link it to your gmail account with Imap or POP3).
  • One click install of WordPress files
  • Easy to schedule backups
  • FTP access (which GoDaddy WordPress hosting, for example, does not allow)
  • Only costs $3.95 per month when you sign up for a 36 month hosting plan.

Setting up your Hosting account on Bluehost for WordPress is simple. In fact, you can get everything all set up 5 minutes for only $3.95 per month!

How to set up your Bluehost Hosting Account for Only $3.95 per month

First step first, head on over to Bluehost.com*.

Step 1: Get Started on Bluehost Hosting

Click the Green Button that says “get started now” at Bluehost.com.

Bluehost how to set up hosting get started

You will be redirected to a page where you can select your hosting level. For most small businesses, the Basic Level at $3.95/mo will work to fit all of your needs.

Guide on how to set up bluehost hosting select account

 

I selected the Basic option.

Step 2: Choose your Free Domain

I love how Bluehost allows you to select your free dom

ain, use an existing domain, or even, choose to select a domain in the future. For many hosting companies, you need to select a new domain immediately or else you lose the credit, but with Bluehost, they understand that you may not have found the perfect domain yet.

Bluehost setup guide for 3.95 hosting

If you have already purchased a domain at Network Solutions or GoDaddy, for example, you can tryp your domain name into the “i have a domain name field” and Bluehost will set you up with a temporary domain as your build your website until the domain name has been transferred.

Again, this is super user friendly for website redesigns and if you are just getting started. PLUS, there is no additional fee from Bluehost to transfer a domain into the account.

One downside of using Bluehost to find your domain is that it doesn’t offer selections for similar domains from this page like GoDaddy does with it’s domain selection service. I would recommend checking that your desired domain is available on GoDaddy before trying to purchase it on Bluehost.

Step 3: Purchase your hosting

The first part here is to enter your contact and business details on Bluehost

This includes adding your name, email, business name, address, and phone number into the fields listed.

bluehost create your account today

When you enter your contact information, you can also use Google Single Sign-On if you prefer.

The second part of purchasing your hosting from Bluehost is to review your purchase information

In this part of the page your can select or deselect different add-ons. I honestly unselect all of these except the Domain Privacy Protection. This selection hides your personal/business details from being available online. Especially if your business is located at a home office, this is important to protect your privacy.

bluehost verify your hosting package

As for SiteLock security in your BlueHost account, I’ve found that if you keep your website files up to date, you don’t really need this. Should you get malware installed on your website, go ahead and add it later. If you are worried about site security and not knowing what to do if malware does appear on the site, please keep SiteLock checked.

The same is true for Codeguard.

Lastly, you will enter in your credit card details

Bluehost enter your payment information

Now click “submit” – pretty straightforward, right?

Now, here is actually a tip. You can get hosting on Bluehost for your WordPress website for as low as $2.65/mo!

What!!?!? That’s less than $100 for three years of hosting!

BlueHost special signup offer

Now this doesn’t always work, but if you keep the window open without clicking submit for your credit card information, a new popup will appear with your exclusive discount offer.

Sometimes you don’t need to even enter in any details and the popup will appear with the Bluehost offer for hosting for $2.65/mo.

Again, the trick is to be patient! Don’t click submit right away 🙂

Ultimate guide to setting up Bluehost hosting in 2018, #newwebsite, #website, Create a blog, $2.65 hosting special, hosting coupon for Bluehost

Ultimate guide to setting up Bluehost hosting in 2018, #newwebsite, #website, Create a blog, $2.65 hosting special, hosting coupon for Bluehost

Step 4: Installing WordPress

Guess what, the first prompt you see when you purchase the wordpress hosting is to Install WordPress!

Before you get to building your website, be sure to have a clear understanding of your brand, values, and unique selling proposition (what sets you apart from your competition). To help with this process, we’ve created the Your Business Your Brand Workbook that guides you through your target market, finding brand fonts, colors, and writing the content for your product and services pages. It is the go-to guide for getting your business off the ground.

branding and business workbook

PHP Settings for GoDaddy Wordpress
Hey there techy-friends!
This video goes through how to update your PHP settings if you are experiencing problems on your WordPress website.
 
Recently WordPress made a TON of changes due to security threats and outdated code, which in return caused theme developers to update their code. These updates caused a few issues and this video addresses one of them: old PHP versions aren’t compatible anymore with the new code.
 
In this video, you will see where in GoDaddy to update the PHP Version (for CPanel accounts). BUT, I go a step further and walk through how to update your PHP settings after you upgrade your PHP version.
 
This is helpful information if you:
  • Aren’t able to upload images, PDFs, or files to your WordPress Website
  • Are experiencing time-out issues
  • Are receiving notifications about your Memory Limits being reached.
  • If you’ve read help documents that say to adjust your php.ini files or .htaccess file to increase the file-upload-size or memory-limit.
Before you make any changes to your PHP version or settings (or before you update your wordpress/theme files) please make sure to do a backup of your site and database.

We recently created a few new WordPress websites and saw over and over that either our theme files were too big to be uploaded or the media library would display a HTTP error when we tried to upload images. It turned out that these new WordPress installs had maximum file upload settings set to 2M compared to our preference of 256M.

So what do you do?

Oftentimes articles regarding not being able to load a file or image to WordPress just straight into logging into FTP and updating the php.ini file or .htaccess file. You may see something for example like:

Try increasing the following values in php.ini, for example:

memory_limit = 64M
upload_max_filesize = 256M
post_max_size = 256M

But often this doesn’t seem to do anything. Or you try adding the additional code to your .htaccess file and your site breaks. There is an easier way!

Step 1:

When you log into your hosting account on GoDaddy, proceed to the CPanel.

Step 2:

Then scroll down to the Software section and click Select PHP version.

Step 3:

This will open a new window displaying your current PHP version (heads up, if you are experiencing theme errors after a recent WordPress and Theme update, check out the PHP settings and upgrade to 7.1+. Often old PHP versions are not compatible).

Step 4:

On the right side of the screen, you will see a link that says “Switch to PHP Options”

Step 5:

From here you can adjust the:

  • max_execution_time
  • memory_limit
  • post_max_size
  • upload_max_filesize

Click Save and TADA!

No need to log in through FTP and figure out where the php.ini or .htaccess files are. If you still are unable to upload media to your media library, there may be an issue with file permissions. Or you may want to reinstall the WordPress and Theme files just to make sure they are loaded properly.

How to update your PHP settings in GoDaddy. Step by step video and notes on increasing Max File Upload and Memory Limits in GoDaddy Hosting, Great for WordPress Media Upload Error. #wordpress #phpsettings #websitehelp #website, website errors,

This post is updated from December, 2010.

Social media presents a unique opportunity for anyone to develop a personal or business reputation to build their careers, boost sales and increase relationships. The key is to leverage the tools of the Social Media to effectively build your online reputation. You need to understand what your goals and intentions are in order to be successful.

Here are 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time:

1. Be aware.Continually listen to conversations happening across the Web related to your career or business and learn from the content you read, listen to, or view online. Social media success depends as much on listening as it does on publishing.

2. Be focused.Define your niche and focus the majority of your social media participation on conversations and content related to that area of focus. A focused brand is more powerful than a broad brand. Always lead with your strengths on the social media and be consistent in your content and conversations in order to successfully build your online reputation.

3. Be authentic.Your social media participation is useless if your content and conversations read like corporate rhetoric or a promotional brochure. Instead, be real and be human. Imagine you’re speaking with your audience in person rather than online and adjust your content and tone to match your target audience’s needs and expectations for you based on your brand promise. This is where videos can be a great tool for people to really know who you are.

4. Be trustworthy.Honesty is an essential part of building your online reputation using the tools of the social media. Transparency isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a strategic imperative, which should apply to your social media participation as well as all other aspects of your career or business.

5. Be meaningful.The content you publish on social media must be useful and meaningful to your target audience or there is no reason for them to read it or start a dialogue with you about it. Furthermore, if your content doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives, they won’t talk about it and share it with their own audiences.

6. Be “non-self-promotional.”No one will want to read your content or interact with you on the social media if your content and conversations read like a marketing pitch. Follow the 90-10 rule of marketing and spend 90% or more of your time in social media activities that are not self-promotional and only 10% or less on activities that are self-promotional. When you do want to directly try to get more exposure to build your online reputation, you can do so without annoying other people.

7. Be accessible and responsive.An important part of building your online reputation via social media participation is understanding that it’s not all about you. Instead, you need to spend a great deal of time acknowledging other people on the social media in order to build a relationship with them. In other words, they need to understand that you care about them, too. You need to respond to questions, comments on your blog, tweets, and so on.

8. Be reciprocating.You can’t expect people to reach out to you and share your content on the social media and not return the favor. If someone engages with you on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or another social media destination, then you can’t ignore that person — just as you wouldn’t ignore someone in a face-to-face situation. For example, you also need to leave comments on other people’s blogs, share their content on Twitter and Facebook, and more. You can’t operate in a silo on the social media and expect to be successful.

9. Be uncontrolling.The thought of giving up control and letting your content, conversations and name spread across the Web can be frightening. However, without the sharing of content and interactive dialogue that happens on social media, your online reputation cannot develop. You have to be willing to give up control and let people share and talk about you and your content in order for your online reputation to grow. Don’t worry about negative buzz about you, your brand, or your business. There is always a way to react to negativity on the social media.

10. Be involved.Don’t spend all of your time in one place. While quality is more important than quantity when it comes to building an authentic reputation online, you do need to spread your wings and be social. Focus on other avenues such as a blog, YouTube, Google Buzz, Backlinks, and much more. You need to use all aspects of Internet Marketing in order to see return.

10 ways to build your online reputation: 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time.

This is updated from a post on Oct 26, 2010.

One of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

Well it is a two sided road; I mean we all have to put in our efforts to read other peoples stuff as well. My tip for that is picking your inner circle of people and people you have made a power partner and start by reading their newsletters and/or emails. The same thing goes with our social media posts. We want people reading our post, tweets, events, questions etc. also emailing us wanting to work with us or learn more about what we do. We have to do that with others. The one thing I always say about social media is it brings people, communities, and companies together all over the world.

So how do we do that? It is easy . . . we put together a weekly schedule and then we implement it into our routine just like checking emails, and making calls.

Monday- Using www.Hootsuite.com schedule your posts to go out onto your Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Ping.fm. Using my post before this one to help first create your strategy so you know what you need to post on your social media profiles and when. (Schedule an hour and a half to start)

Tuesday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Wednesday– Spend some time on LinkedIn checking emails and finding people you may know and ask them to connect with you. (Schedule 45 min)

Thursday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Friday – Repeat what you have done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are going to add another step into today, Once you are done adding people on Facebook and Twitter you want to go back to Facebook and go to your page, under your logo you will find a tab that says “Suggest to Friends” Click on that and then click the drop down tab to your list you made once that list pulls up on the top right hand side it will say “Select All” hit that and then send invitations. What this is doing is asking all the people you have been adding as friends to become a fan of your page!

Now this is what I do and share with people you are more than welcome to move it around however it works for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things that have helped you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Putting together a weekly social media schedule: ne of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

We are so excited to launch our second course, which launches June 9: Website in a Weekend!

This course is geared toward the do-it-yourself-er  who is tech savvy, but just doesn’t know how to stylize and create a WordPress Website. We’ll be starting with the basics of purchasing hosting and installing WordPress and the Enfold theme, followed by selecting brand colors and fonts. At this point, I’ll bring your through creating captivating pages, inserting forms, and best practices for your website content.

The Website in a Weekend course includes self-paced lectures, handouts, tutorials, and step by step guides.

Over the course of June 23, 24, 25, I will be working with a select group of solopreneurs, marketing teams, business owners, bloggers, and those with brilliant ideas to create their dream websites. Prior to the weekend, I will host a free welcome webinar (registration below) to help you decide if you are a candidate for the Website in a Weekend course. I simplify the entire website design process, but still require individuals to be motivate and have some knowledge of technology.

For this weekend you will have access to me via the Members Only Facebook Group where I will be answering questions live. There is also the option for additional support that we can add on should you need it beyond this intensive weekend.

What’s Included in Website in a Weekend?

 

Module 1: Setting the Stage

Before you even start building your website, you need to think about your website and business as a whole. Here you will be guided through:

  • Defining your business
  • Researching your competitors
  • Thinking big

Module 2: Branding your Business

Without brand standards, your entire presence can feel disjoint. This is an integral piece to any marketing and can transform your website from blah to a true masterpiece. We will provide a:

  • Values tool to gain clarity on your person (and business) values
  • Font pairing workbook to select your core business fonts
  • Colors overview and step by step how to choose the colors that define your business
  • Overview of images and and overall feeling of your brand

Module 3: Your Website Content

We aren’t quite at setting up your website yet! Before you even create that first page of your site, it works best to know what pages you need and already have the content for those pages. Here you will:

  • Use a workbook to select the must-have pages on your site
  • Begin writing the content for these pages
  • Understand effective calls to action on your pages

You will also receive templates to write:

  • Your  About Page
  • Services Pages
  • Product Pages

Module 4: Website Layout and Wireframe

Finally, let’s think about your website design. Here we will work through:

  • Identifying the elements of other websites that you are drawn to
  • Constructing your page hierarchy (which pages are parent pages  vs subpages)
  • Building a wireframe (or visual layout of your website)

Module 5: Let’s Get to Building

As long as you have a guide and think only one step at a time, the technical side of building your site can actually be a breeze! You’ve already completed the tough stuff. Now we just need to work through putting the elements together. In this module we:

  • Purchase hosting and your domain if you haven’t already
  • Install Worpress and upload the Enfold theme (for $75, I am happy to complete this step for you)
  • Follow our Step by Step guide to checking your WordPress settings from hosting through to final design
  • Complete an overview of widgets on your site
  • Have access to numerous templates for page designs
  • Access to a guide to use additional elements in the Enfold theme

Why Enfold?

We love the Enfold theme and have found it customizes to really any design you desire without needing to add additional plugins or touch the code. From photographers to business consultants, technology companies and chiropracters, this theme does it all!

Module 6: Plugins

Though Enfold does it all, we have a list of plugins that we recommend for all websites to increase the search engine optimization, optimize your lead funnel, and more. This module

  • Walks you through the concept of a Plugin
  • Gives access to the top plugins we use for clients

Blog posts and articles are meant to be reused! Think of a typical blog you write, is there a list or bullets? Do you break the content up into multiple segments? Are there different ways to phrase the blog title? Your blog post can be recycled as social media posts and shared to other networks in its entirety.

Module 7: Forms, Freebies, and Subscribers

Congratulations! You have a beautiful, branded website to which you are empowered to make changes! A website is an ever-morphing project that can continue to grow as you write blog posts, expand your services, and create resources for prospects. The last piece of the puzzle is to set your business up for success using forms, freebies, and subscribers. Here you will:

  • Understand why freebies on your site are more than just giving information away for free
  • Receive step-by-step information on how to create and embed forms on your site using MailChimp
  • A sneak peak into Convert Kit for those looking to take their subscriber list to a new level
  • Templates for creating your own EBooks, Infographics, and more!

Once you complete the Website in a Weekend course, you will continue to have complete access to all the lectures, resources, handouts, and tools. Additionally, you will keep your membership to the Website in a Weekend Facebook Group for additional support from my team and other businesses that have been through the process of designing and building their website!

Website in a Weekend course: This course is geared toward the do-it-yourself-er who is tech savvy, but just doesn’t know how to stylize and create a WordPress Website. We’ll be starting with the basics of purchasing hosting and installing WordPress and the Enfold theme, followed by selecting brand colors and fonts. At this point, I’ll bring your through creating captivating pages, inserting forms, and best practices for your website content.


Next Steps? Join the Free Welcome Webinar on:

June 17, 2017 at 8 am Mountain Time (10 am ET)

On June 17th at 9 AM Mountain Time, join us for a Free Webinar to get started on your website design project. This course is designed for a specific group of people who are motivated and technically savvy enough to build their own website with guidance and over site from a WordPress website specialist. It is for the individual who has the goal of showing off their new site by July 4.

In this Free Webinar, you will have a clear sense of if the Website in a Weekend course is for you. You will also receive the first handouts for:

  • Beginning to organize your content
  • Brainstorming website design elements that you can’t live without
  • and more.

I know you are a busy professional, and taking time away from your business, family, and life two weekends in a row is a lot to ask! Because of this, even in the free June 17 webinar, I’ll be providing an in depth overview of exactly what you need to get started on a website design project.

 


Reserve your Seat Today

Enter your name and email address below to reserve your seat for the Website in a Weekend Welcome Webinar on June 17 at 8 am Mountain Time (10 am ET).


WordPress in a Weekend Pricing

 

Register for June 23, 24, 25 Launch

Lifetime access to all course materials including:

  • Lectures
  • Handouts
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Tutorials
  • Member only Facebook Group
  • Ability to build your site in 3 days

Only $397 




Or 2 Payments of $198.50




Additional Support with Course

Lifetime access to all course materials with additional add-on support:

  • Two 30 minute personal phone calls to work through your individual questions
  • One hour website development to tackle technical troubles including inserting layout elements, uploading theme, changing formatting and CSS.
  • Add-on: $400

Only $797 




Or 2 Payments of $398.50




Website in a Weekend course: This course is geared toward the do-it-yourself-er who is tech savvy, but just doesn’t know how to stylize and create a WordPress Website. We’ll be starting with the basics of purchasing hosting and installing WordPress and the Enfold theme, followed by selecting brand colors and fonts. At this point, I’ll bring your through creating captivating pages, inserting forms, and best practices for your website content.

Website in a Weekend: This course is geared toward the do-it-yourself-er  who is tech savvy, but just doesn't know how to stylize and create a WordPress Website. We'll be starting with the basics of purchasing hosting and installing WordPress and the Enfold theme, followed by selecting brand colors and fonts. At this point, I'll bring your through creating captivating pages, inserting forms, and best practices for your website content.

[This blog post is updated from March 8, 2016]

Optimizing your website properly is crucial to improving your site’s rank in search engines, as well as driving more potential customers to it.

Are you satisfied with your website’s performance? If not, then we urge to you to try these tips for optimizing your website.

Title tags matter

Title tags play an important role in optimizing your site. A title tag tells both the visitors and search engines what the page is all about.

A title that is highly relevant to the page it refers to will provide better usability and optimization for your search engine ranking. People won’t stay on your site if there’s no relevance and you’ll lose ranking in the end. The title tag should also be unique.

Select common-sense keywords

A search engine’s job is to refer users to websites and contents that are relevant to what they are looking for. If you run a chocolate chip cookie business and you want your website on the first page of Google, then you need to write blogs that are related to this topic. Use keywords like chocolate chips, chocolate, sweets, baked goods and desserts. When incorporating keywords into your content, make sure they sound natural to the reader.

Write great content

Dedicate some time to write content that are useful and engaging for humans. As Google’s algorithm become increasingly complex and intelligent, it is no longer sufficient to create content, stuff it with keywords and publish them to your site. If you want to your content to rank in search engines, you need to provide visitors with relevant and well-written content. Remember, content still reigns as the king in the world of search engine optimization.

Continuous testing and measuring

The process of optimization is not a one-time process. It requires tuning, maintenance, as well as constant testing and measuring. Something as simple as testing the layout of your landing page, the wording of your call-to-action or the images you’re using can do wonders for your click-through rates.

 

The other day I was speaking with a new client and she brought up an interesting point . . . have you ever thought of this? Years and years ago we used a “wall” to communicate with the world.

People would write on walls and rocks telling their stories, telling about their journey, what to expect and educating each other. Now millions of years later we have started to use a “wall” on Facebook and Twitter to communicate; sharing our stories now, what we have learned, how we can educate and help people across the world. Obviously our way now is a lot faster and e bit easier. Interesting how things come around.

What’s that saying, “don’t reinvent the wheel”?  Thinking of how a “Wall” has always been a way to communicate across the world to others, back then it took a lot longer and was much more artistic in a way.   Now we have the world at our finger tips and we are only a “wall” post away from communicating with people all over the world.

When I entered the Internet Marketing world it seemed so surreal to me, being able to send emails, instant messaging, pictures, documents, etc so fast and being able to do business with people all over the world.  They did not even have to be in the same city as me as the internet it allows us to do business everywhere! That is the beauty of Internet Marketing, we are able to now grow our businesses nationwide and build those relationships in order to do that.

Internet Marketing can work wonders for your business if you provide a service that you can do from anywhere or have an online store that people can order from anywhere. Have you ever read the book “The 4 hour work week” or “Beach Money”? These books talk about being able to have an online business where you can work from wherever you are and all you need is a computer and internet access.  They talk about setting your business up in such a way where you are earning residual income so you do not have to be sitting in front of the computer 24/7 working. If you set up your Internet Marketing plan correctly,  you can do this with your business as well!

I challenge you this week to take a look at your Internet Marketing strategy and see if it includes the following things:

  • Social Media Plan (Facebook, Facebook Page, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
  • Have a real blog (wordpress or blogger)
  • YouTube Channel
  • Posting Blogs and video blogs at least once a week
  • Using other online tools like; Google Maps, Yelp, Four Square, Plaxo etc.
  • Making sure you have your backlinks set up to your blog ( You can use Squidoo for this)
  • Educating people via your blog posts and social media posts

If you need help figuring out an Internet Marketing plan I would love to assist you. I look forward to seeing more of you online.

Power of the wall

Having a business website offers a lot of advantages. For one, it makes it easier for potential customers to find you. A clean, professional website gives people an impression that your business is doing well. Once you gain their trust, you can easily turn visitors into paying customers.

The problem is that most business owners tend not to consider setting up a business website because they think it is a complicated process and will require a lot of money. Luckily, there are several website builders available in the market that makes the process a lot easier. WordPress is one of them. With WordPress, designing and launching a website is a breeze.

Still not convinced? This blog post will help you make an informed decision on why you should use WordPress to power your website with WordPress.

Grow your site as your business grows

WordPress started out as a blogging platform. Today, it has evolved into a dynamic content management system. You can add unlimited amount of blogs, photos, posts and pages to your site. You can even add some plug-ins to extend and expand the functionality of your site.

Easy to use

For those who are looking for an easy way to set up a business website, WordPress would be a great place to start. It is one of the most popular website builders, and is extremely easy to use. In fact, you can build your website in under an hour. No coding required. Plus, they have thousands and thousands of free themes, which you can use to change the look of your website. Now, all you need to do is to add your content. It’s that simple.

Search engine optimization

Search engine loves WordPress websites. Even before you add plug-ins into your site, WordPress has already done the hardwork to ensure that your website gets crawled. This will give you headstart in ranking your website.

But please don’t expect your website to land on the first page of Google just because you have WordPress website. Of course, you also need to put in some effort to increase your search engine ranking.

Save money

A lot of small business owners are hesitant to build a business website because they think it’s expensive. But the truth is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to set up a website. In fact, you can set up a WordPress website for free. The only real cost is domain and web hosting.

Since WordPress is easy to use, you can easily make simple updates to your site yourself. You no longer have to pay your web designer to add new blog posts or new pages. Thus, allowing you to save money in the long run.

 

Do you know if writing your blogs and sharing them is actually leading to more traffic? Is it helping you reach your business goals?

Maybe not yet, but I wanted to share some help reports through Google Analytics that will help you to see the benefit of the blogs you are writing. We use Google Analytics on nearly all of our client websites because it is free, it is user friendly, and even though some of the data is hidden, it allows us to make clear, actionable changes based on how users are interacting with a website.

Which Google Analytics reports should you run?Top three reports to run on Google Analytics

Report 1: Audience >> Location/Technology/Mobile Reports

BIMS Presentation – Introduction to Google AnalyticsHere take a look at the Location, Technology, and Mobile reports which will tell you:

  • Where your site visitors are coming from. If you are targeting a very specific location, you will want to make sure visitors are actually coming from here. Or, if you run a specialized campaign on Google Adwords for a conference, for example, you’ll be better understanding if these folks actually came to the site.
  • The Technology and Mobile reports allow you to see if folks are using one browser or device over others. This could sway marketing decisions in the future.
    Audience reports google analytics Audience reports google analytics

Report 2: Acquisition >> Source/Medium Report

  • The Source/Medium report shows which sites drive traffic to your blog.
  • Within this report you can dive down to Keyword to see how your blogs are translating to organic traffic.

Acquisition reports google analytics Acquisition reports google analytics Acquisition reports google analytics

Report 3: Behavior >> All Pages

  • The All Pages report will show you which pages people are viewing the most frequently.
  • It can give insights into other topics you should be blogging about.

Behavior reports google analyticsBehavior reports google analytics

Each of these reports can be altered to provide more detail, but these will provide a good start to understanding how visitors get to and interact with your website and blog.