Monday, June 28, 2010

Reward yourself!

In my post the other day, I posed a question for the work at home parents- what would you do if you were kid free for a week or even a few hours?

Funny, but yesterday I got 4-5 hours ALONE! For the first time in I-don't-know-how-long! My daughter went to an aunt's to go swimming and tubing, Ron was off helping a friend fix up an old bus, and the boys were somewhere or another.

I started out on the computer, but then thought about all the yard sale stuff boxed up in my living room. It was driving me crazy. Knowing I wouldn't have a chance to set up again for a couple of weeks, I transfered everything to the shed.

Then I started in on some housework.

It was getting pretty hot out and I started sweating.

So I did something that I see others do all the time, but I rarely do.

I turned on the TV and stretched out on the couch. I ended up watching a couple of episodes of Animal Planet's Last Chance Highway. If you are a dog lover, you'll love that show.

Then I proceeded to take a nap- yay! I do that maybe 4-5 times a year...I needed that!

All that rest and relaxation got me thinking of how I could reward myself when I reach a goal I have set.

Here are a few ideas- some cost money, some are FREE:

Go to lunch with a friend- Imagine that!

Buy something I've been wanting - let me think....

Get a professional massage - never done that!

Get a pedicure - never done that either but my mom swears by it

Get a manicure- although there's not much hope with these nails!

Buy a great book and go to the park or lake and hang out reading

Buy one of those super tender, super juicy, super expensive steaks- the ones that I normally can't envision myself spending our hard earned money on.....

Grill it up- No wait! Have SOMEONE ELSE grill it up...and dig in!

Take a long bubble bath - don't forget the music and a glass of wine!

And for those REALLY, REALLY big goals- get a big reward!

Buy a new toy! Go on vacation!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Question for the work at home parents....

In a couple of weeks, I am going to be kid free! Ok, semi-kid free. My 12 year old is visiting my sister in another state. My son and step-son will still be here, but they are 19 and 20 and pretty much self-sufficient (notice the pretty much  :-).

There is still the chance that my 2 yr.old grandson (stepson's child) will come over during that time, but truthfully, he's not my responsibility.

So my question to all is this:

If you had a week with no kids, what would you do?

My answer would be work, of course - at least part of the time.

I also have my son's graduation party the day after my daughter gets home. I will have a lot of loose ends to tie up that week.

We are in the process of priming and painting the laundry room and hallway, then it's on to remodel the bathroom. If we're not done by my daughters departure date, that get's added to my list.

I want to paint/redecorate her bedroom while she's gone- her birthday is a week after coming back.

Sounds like my vacation isn't going to be any fun....

The good news is, she wants to go to camp for a week (if there is still an opening left).

THEN I'll take a vacation, I swear!

Ok I know some of you couldn't even imagine having a childless week!

So how about this?

What if you knew you were kid free for 4-5 hours?

Would you work, shop, blog, treat yourself to an outing, clean the house? Do tell!

I would have to say if I had several hours alone, I would probably be on the Internet trying to learn something new or figure out something that has been stumping me.  I would probably clean a little too- or maybe shop ALONE!

I sometimes find it hard to just relax while I can........

I mean, shouldn't I be out having coffee with a friend or something?

So what about you- what would YOU do?

Just wanted to know......

Create an out door oasis The Ultimate Garden Center


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

They just don't get it :-)

Don't you just love the family, friends and other people that call you multiple times a day to chat, ask you to volunteer for everything under the sun or even assume you can babysit their kids- all because you work at home?

After all, aren't we all sitting around eating bon-bons and watching soap opera's all day while our computers are making us 6-figure themselves?

I really have to laugh at them.

I recently had someone say something to the effect that I had a lot of time on my hands while THEY worked all day.

Excuse me?

Wouldn't you love to just freak out on them one day?

If I freaked out, some things I would mention...........

#1- When you work at home, you are (usually) a one-man show. Yes you may have an Upline, a Downline or whatever...

But when it comes right down to it, you are the owner, the secretary, the advertisement department and more.

If you have technical problems, your upline or downline isn't going to come to your house and fix it for you.

You also don't have a tech support team at hand, just waiting for your phone call.....

#2- If you are ill, there is no calling in sick, no one to fill in for you. You either work sick, or you don't work.

#3- If you have kids, it is challenging to get anything done......

Yes, you work at home to be with your kids. Unlike our friends who work outside of the home, our kids are not at a babysitters or daycare....they are HERE. So we work around them.

This means we don't necessarily work when everyone else may be a little here, a little there.

Early mornings and late nights, when the kids are sleeping. Between dishes, laundry, sweeping floors and more...

Which brings me to #4

#4- When you work at home, you are going to have MORE housework than someone who works outside of the home.

You and/or your children are bound to use dishes, paper and pencils, toys and other things that normally would not be used if you were working.

This means more dishes and more cleaning. More laundry if the kids get dirty or go swimming during the day.

I'm sure there's a lot more I could mention......

How about you?

Anything you would like to say to these people?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Why affiliate marketing may be for you!

Do you do any affiliate marketing? If not, why not?

I would have to say affiliate marketing is one of my fave ways to make money.

Several years ago, before I even knew what the heck I was doing on the Internet, I tried to start a writing business. It all started with a Letters from Santa kit I purchased online.

I created a website and somewhere along the line I discovered affiliate marketing. I went with one of the major players and off I went.

I created a separate page on my website for a bunch of affiliate banners and links.

One of the big cell phone companies had a great deal going on- get a prepaid phone for $19.99- it even came with like 200 minutes or something!

My commission everytime someone bought one?

A whopping $30.00!

What did my 4 sons and one of their GF get for Christmas that year?

You got it- cell phones.....

It was perfect- my kids wanted one anyway, and I made $10.00 a pop.

4 sons & 1 GF x $10.00 = $50.00 in momma's pocket.

My biz was a no-go and I quit it all.

A year or so later, I started looking into making money on the 'net again.

Once I was established in my home biz and could start some new ventures, I started doing a little affiliate marketing.

It's little bits of money here, some over there........but it adds up.

For example, Thursday I joined the affiliate program for a coupon company:

I put a banner on my mom blog Friday, and this morning I had an email stating I had made $10.00!


I helped someone because now they can save $$$ on groceries and household items.

And if they wish to, they can also join the affiliate program and make money.

This one definately is going on my new page on my blogging website which gives people a list of affiliate marketing sites to try.

If you have a website or blog, you may want to try affiliate marketing- it's FREE and takes very little time to market. Throw a banner on your site, and go do what you normally do.

And there are affiliate opportunities for everyone!

Like golf- they got affiliate programs for it!

Sports? Got them!

Books? Those too!

Check it out!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Keywords, Labels, tags and other blog tools

If you do any kind of online marketing, you know that keywords play an important part in the ranking of your blog or website within the search engines.

When you conduct a keyword research, your ultimate goal is to learn how your prospective customer is using the search engines to find the information or products that they are seeking.

For best results, use keywords within all of your content, especially the first paragraph and preferably in the first sentence.

Of course, beware of overusing them. There's nothing I hate more than going on a site where every other word is a keyword.

Duh- overkill!

If you're not sure what keywords you should be using, there are many free online sources that can help you out.

One I like is:

On the prompt : “Enter a web page URL to find keywords related to the content on the page” type in your blog url and click on “Get Keyword Ideas”.

You will see different keywords and which are the most popular.

Now you can choose which words to add to your content.

Equally important are labels, tags and categories.

With Blogger, you can add labels at the bottom of every post. If you check this post, it will have words such as work at home, keywords,labels,tags,categories and more...

You can add that list to your sidebar in the form of a list or "cloud". If you don't wish to have them taking up space on your side bar, it is available on the "edit posts" page.

When you are ready to publish a post, make sure you have as many labels as you can- a least as many as Blogger allows..

In  the past I didn't use the label option as much as I should have.

For example, just this morning, on my "mom blog", I was looking for a certain post.

My son is graduating soon and we wanted some pics to put on his invitation. I knew when he turned 18 yrs old,  I did a post about that and it had a pic of his 1st day of school on there.

I searched my site for Golden Child, his "name" on my blog. No results.....

I tried the word "son"- No results....

Duh... I tried birthday- BINGO! Found it.

If I had put all 3 words, I would have found it faster.

Granted, I could have dug around until I came up with the date of the post, but a search is faster IF you have the right labels!

Labels can also assist you in finding old posts that you want to link to.

In WordPress, you have the options to add categories and tags.

Each post can be put in a category as well as have "tags" assigned to it, much like labels in Blogger.

Tags can link to a generated page that lists all of the posts on your site related to that specific tag.

Categories are the "subjects" that you talk about.

Whats the difference?

Generally, categories can have longer names, while tags are only a word or two.

Categories don’t help search engines find information, while Tags help search engines and tag directories catalog your site.

So which should you use?

Since they each have a specific function, I would say- use them all!

Just be careful you don't overdo!

Did you know?

There have been 133,000,000  blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002 !

There are over 900,000 –  blog posts published in a 24 hour period

With numbers like that, you need to use all the tools available to you.

Until next time.....

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Is it time to get out of Dodge?

Are you involved in a homebased business or acting as an Independent Agent for a company? If you work on a commission bases, you probably know it takes time to build up a customer or member base. But how much time is TOO much time? When is it time to "Get out of Dodge"?

Much of it boils down to how long you can afford to work full time making only a part time paycheck. You've probably heard the adage, "Give it 2-4'll be making multiple 6-figure incomes!"

Ok, maybe not that much, but longevity is definately the key here. If you have been working your opportunity for less than 2 years and you're not making the money you feel you should be, you may want to think twice before quitting and moving to a different opportunity.

Success in ANY venture boils down to a few things:

Do you love what you do and believe in the product or service?

You can't really sell something if you don't use it , love it and believe in the company!

Are you plugged into a good marketing system? A system provides a path to follow, that will ultimately lead to success.

Despite what you may have been told by your upline , success doesn't happen just because you signed on the dotted line and ordered a kit. It takes marketing- LOTS of it!

If your upline doesn't have a PROVEN, Duplicatable system that can be done by the masses, you're doomed.

It's time to find one yourself or get out of Dodge!

If you've been treading water for 2-4 years and still not as successful as you would like to be...

Congratulations, you've stuck it out like you were told!

The question is, were you continuing to learn, working on self-development? Maybe your upline is still marketing like they did before the Social Networking boom. Times have changed, you need to change with it.

I found a great quote recently:

If You Don't Change Directions Soon, You'll Get Where You're Going

Sometimes it's one simple thing....

I love to write, so blogging and article writing were something I  naturally gravitated to on the Internet.

Instead of running 100's of ads a day to promote my biz, I discreetly advertise my biz on my home biz pages on my blogs, and at times write about it.

Believe it or not, that one simple thing, that I love, has brought me MORE business than all the ads...

AND led to another business...........having to do with blogging.

And affiliate marketing.....

Ok, so you've all seen the highlighted links here for Attraction Marketing.

I try not to blatantly say to anyone, "Join this NOW!

But this helped me so much!

If you are struggling in business, you may want to check into it. There are several free newsletters- I make nothing off of you opting into them.

Just so you know....

You can join as a professional, which comes with a monthly fee (yes, I get a few cents for that :-) , but let me tell you...

...they have articles, videos, teleconferences, etc....I mean TONS of them in the professional section.

Everything you ever wanted to know about using SEO, Facebook, article writing, creating websites, blogging, squidoo, coaching, youtube, autoresponders and more...

And they are done by many different people, not just one person.

They even have a 1/2 hour free business coaching session with every one of the coaches. Then if you wish, you can choose the one you like and schedule a follow up with them.

If you are into affiliate marketing, you can refer this service to others, and they have tons of affiliate marketing links that you can put on your blog or website.

This in itself, if you took atvantage of everything and promoted it, could be a biz in itself!

I have been using this system since maybe January and I've barely scratched the surface of the information there!

But this information has really helped me find my niche (writing) - I just can't express how much I have learned in such a short while....

So before you saddle up and "get out of Dodge" maybe you should try one more time......

Hope you all have a happy, safe and prosperous weekend!

P.S. Mitch & Anita...I am FINALLY going the self-hosting route.....just been having too much going on with life and computer problems to deal with more issues...

My website is almost done, then on to the blogs :-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are doing reviews killing your blog?

There is something that has been bugging me for a while - blogs that are nothing but reviews, reviews, reviews. There is no great content to read, sometimes not even a profile. A reader has no idea if they can trust the authors opinion, because they don't even know the author.

People buy from people.....

People know I like making money on the Internet through blogging, writing, affiliate marketing and even a home business....

They know I like to help others.

If they read my other blog/s they know me even more personally.

Based on what people know of me, they can decide if they will follow my blog, go to websites or marketing systems I recommend, or even purchase products or services from me.

So I was going to write about about all that, but then found a blog post that pretty much covered that subject. The comments are quite varied and even a little heated.......

A Cowboys Wife really hit a nerve here, but I feel the same way she does.

Reviewing products, especially family related products should be on a "mom or pop" blog, as there will be many readers who are parents.

If you review "business items" such as electronics, marketing systems, books, etc...a straight forward blog is ok, but I still feel people have to get to know a little bit about the author.

What do you think?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Alternative work spaces

How many of you have a home office? Those of you who do are pretty lucky indeed. One space to put everything job related. a place to hide from the world and concentrate on what needs to be done.

But have you ever tried working in another space? Right now I'm on my back porch, writing as I listen to the birds tweeting (Not on Twitter!). I am watching my ducks float on the pond I am digging, which happens to be full of water because of our lovely Central New York weather the last two days.

I have a great outdoor space amongst my gardens out front. That is what I call my outdoor office. I have created an oasis of sorts- an area "fenced in" by lattice, with a small pond and several small flower gardens. It's very nice....a little noisy now and then with traffic, but it is hidden behind trees so pretty private. My wireless Internet reaches that far and I have my cell phone. I sit in my lounge chair and get working!

The only problem- AGAIN  is Central New York (or NY in general) -  you only have a few weeks of nice weather (if that) before the mosquito's come to suck every drop of blood from you that they can. It is especially bad in wooded areas, which this area is.

So I enjoy working there for a few weeks in the spring/summer and a few weeks in the fall. We go out there almost daily, but don't hang too long.

Here's a pic or two:

The corner of the garden/work space area a few years ago before completed (wait- is a garden ever completed?)

Some of the flowers.

I know I have several pics of the front pond, but can't seem to locate them at the moment...

I love working somewhere besides my office now and then. It renews the spirit and when I move out of my office, I am moving closer to the family.

And family is why I chose to work at home, right?

So tell me...

Do you have an alternative workspace?

Tell us about it and send me a pic. I'll post all the pics, along with your name and website.

Let's have some fun here! - The Ultimate Garden Center

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gaining and keeping momentum

I'm getting ready to have a lawn sale and was going through some old books of mine.

I found the book: Fast Track: How to Gain and Keep Momentum by Roger Fritz

I had purchased the book way back in the day...when I was testing out a different network marketing opportunity.

I happened to take a peek inside to determine if this is a book worthy of keeping.

I opened to page 111, where it is headlined: Get the wind at your back

It  speaks about continued learning, choosing friends wisely, volunteering and working at something you love.

Great advice and the rest of the book looks like it's worth another read.

But then again, the new version looks twice as big, with even more info.

So maybe I'll sell this copy and get a copy of the newest version.

I found it online here:
Fast Track: How to Gain and Keep Momentum

You can never read a good book too many times!