CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
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jill-new14blogBlogging is a favorite for small business marketers, mainly because of the amazing results they received when they blog consistently. And publicity isn’t the only benefit to blogging. There are many ways that blogging can add merit to your business. In fact, The Wall Street Journal once featured CWAHM in an article on how blogging can help small businesses create a buzz for their products and services. The results from this were amazing and prove that blogging truly works.

Here are ten ways to use blogs to increase your business revenue:

1. Ad Revenue — Offering paid advertising on your blog is one of the easiest ways to see tangible evidence of the benefits of blogging.

2. Link Swaps – Swapping links with other like-minded bloggers increases your standing with search engines. One of the biggest blogs available,, recently completed a survey in an attempt to find where bloggers get the most traffic. The overwhelming response? Google at 46%. This shows us how important search engine rankings are. Link swaps are just one way to improve yours.

3. Reviews — Another growing trend online is that of the customer review. People appreciate reading the thoughts of others before they purchase a product. It doesn’t seem to matter how big or small the product, either. Posting reviews of books you’ve read, CDs you love, etc, is a great way to generate traffic for your blog.

4. Free Offers — Who doesn’t love a freebie? There are many ways of using freebies to your advantage.You can offer a free e-book when someone signs up for your newsletter is an easy way to build your subscriber base. Many blogs also offer contests for those who post comments or interact in other ways on the blog.

5. Social Media — Having a strong social media presence is one of the best ways to promote your business. You can make this a bit easier on yourself by connecting your blog to automatically feed posts to just about every major social media site out there. You can also add links to easily allow your blog readers to share you content, making this a great free way to gain visibility.

6. Networking — It goes without saying that building relationships with people is one of the oldest ways of gaining long-time, loyal customers (or in this case, readers). Taking part in the comments discussion on blogs and social media sites is a great way to do this. The key, though, is to be authentic. Don’t simply blast places with the link to your blog; take part in the discussion and provide useful information — not just your business pitch.

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jill-new14mgyUUaeStarting down a new career path can be both exciting and terrifying, especially if your chosen “career path” is being an entrepreneur and running a home-based business. Below are five questions to ask yourself to help you determine what type of business might be right for you.

1. What is your passion?

Answer this question with the first thing that comes to mind: If money were no object and you could do anything, what would you do? You might have answered “be a writer”, “speak at conferences,” “bring my product idea to life” or any number of things. Whatever your answer, this most likely is your passion. I challenge you to take the time to ponder this and see if there is a way to bring your dream to fruition.

2. What types of things did you like to do as a child?

Many times the toys and games we loved as children give us a glimpse into who we have become as adults. If you loved climbing trees, you may now be an “outdoorsy” type of person. Think about how this might be incorporated into your business. For instance, you might enjoy setting up outdoor birthday parties for children or selling herbs from your backyard garden.

3. What type of products would you be interested in representing?

If you’re looking in the direction of direct sales, whether that be your own product or an established home-based business option, you need to think through what types of products you’d be comfortable presenting to your customers. Take the time to do some research and find a product that truly excites you. Your customers will see your sincerity and that can sell a product just as easily as a fancy presentation.

4. What skills and experience do you bring to the table?

If you’ve left the corporate world in favor of working at home, you’ve undoubtedly brought with you a set of skills. There may be a way to market those skills in a new way and turn them into a profitable business. For instance, if you were an executive assistant you may be able to type 80 words or more per minute. You could set up shop as a Virtual Assistant and help other business owners in processing orders, transcribing documents and much more.

5. Are you thinking outside of the box?

Most of us have a fear of the unknown. We many times assume that if we haven’t done something before it is simply out of reach. This carries over to the business world as well. We take our products or services and market them in the same way that we see other business owners using. However, it can be much more effective to find new and innovative ways to market. One home-based business owner I know sells stuffable toy kits. Instead of using the usual home parties and birthday party events, she works almost exclusively with children’s hospitals doing fundraisers. She makes a great living and helps not only the hospitals, but the children as well. She is a great example of unique marketing and overcoming the mundane marketing methods that so many business owners resign themselves to.

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Achieving a Better Work Life Balance When You Work From Home

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Working from home has many advantages that can really bless your life and that of your family. But because you work from home, it can feel hard to switch off, as your home is your office, and your office is your home. In other careers where they work out of the home, people walk in the door and know that they’re home and their mind will switch off from work. But when you work from home you don’t get that same thing, as you could be tempted to just check your emails or log on your computer once the children are in bed.

With a family and working from home, it can be hard to get a good work and life balance. So here are some of the things that you could start to do, to make sure that you are able to achieve and switch off. When you’re able to do, you can really enjoy the time at home, and be more productive when you’re at work. Would you add anything else to the list?


Drop Habits That Drain Time

There can be so many things that can drain our time, both at home and at work. So it is a hard lesson, but learning to drop some of those habits or things that waste our time on can really make a difference in our work and life balance. Things like scrolling on Facebook or TV shows that we just watch for the sake of it, are all things that could be ditched so that we are able to use our time more wisely.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Why the Correct Software is Essential for Every Job

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Woman with laptop.In the modern world as we know it, the need for software is an important aspect for the daily operation of most workplaces. It could be argued that a large proportion of employees are now reliant on software to perform their roles with efficiency. It goes without saying that software has certainly changed the way in which businesses are managed, to the point where it has become an essential aspect of most job roles.

Software is now used in a great deal of industries throughout the world, but here are a few key sectors in which it has become a real game-changer:

1. Education

The scope of technology in the education sector is widening, but there is still large potential as to the way in which software can be used in schools. Education software is considered to be of huge benefit to teachers, pupils and other staff members; whether that be due to improved visibility of student data, an easier circulation of content or a streamlined collaboration between staff members. It may also be used for distributing content to students, communicating with parents and coordinating data into a single program which can be accessed with ease. While many schools are yet to make major progressions in using software as part of the learning process, it could certainly be argued that it has become an essential for school management in recent years.

2. Engineering

While engineering has always been deemed as manual labor, the use of software has truly changed up the industry from its traditional form. Design engineers for example, now rely solely on specialized software to create and develop new products, create blueprints for machines and collaborate with other engineers on projects. The correct software should allow engineers to fulfill their job with ease. Altium present an innovative PCB tool which gives designers the opportunity to get creative on a shared workspace with its easy-to-use interface and customizable workflow. It also offers an impressive 350,000 components in the CircuitStudio content library.

3. Retail

Whether it be a physical store or online company, retail businesses now depend on on software to control their operations with proficiency. Major chain stores use software that divides stock into categories for easy searching, aswell as monitoring how well products are selling. The correct computer systems may also provide tools to re-order products via smart replenishment and keep a close inspection of the products that have been sold.

4. Business

Businesses in general use different software to assist with the day-to-day upkeep of the overall management. Choosing the correct types of software can dramatically improve the productivity and organization of the business as a whole. For example, handling finances can be managed via accounting software, which will oversee any incomings and outgoings; invoice tracking software which can manage client transactions and payroll software which is used to take charge of employee’s wages. There is also the likes of word processing programs and desktop publishing programs that could also be of benefit, dependent on the business sector.

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Things You Will Never Regret in Life

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Mother & Daughter Enjoying Time TogetherIt is very easy to get hung up on the one hurtful thing we said that one time. Or, perhaps the time that we snapped, even when it goes directly against our better nature. The moments we question everything. And, there are plenty of things in life that will catch us off-guard, and we will have to make peace with. So you should. You should make peace with everything that you can and ask for forgiveness for those you can’t make right. But, what next? Well, the time spent feeling guilty or having on to regrets are of course much better spend enjoying things – something we could all do more. For every moment we spend beating ourselves up or holding on to negative emotions and feelings, we could be spending those with love and positivity. No one is perfect by any means but, spreading some good moments and appreciating them more? We can all get on board with that.


Laughing. We will never regret enjoying a good belly laugh with our most loved family and friends. Sitting around, eating popcorn (salted or sweet? Maybe toffee!) watching a movie. Blankets on the couch, warm thick socks, comfortable pillows and the rest of the house silent. The joy in laughing with family and friends is second to none. Some of the best times that we recall when we were children involves moments just like this. So go ahead and book in movie night with the kids. You will never regret these moments.


Learning. We have been gifted with these beautiful learning abilities. You might already have a few qualifications and are looking to upgrade them a bit, it might be time for a change. You might be pushed for time, like so many people, trying to fit in life, a full-time job and maybe even freelance work too. Luckily many online portals can help you tackle that time issue. Everything from journalism to rn to bsn online programs are available, so nothing is holding you back. You will never regret learning more than you know now.


Cooking. Admittedly we can’t all be brilliant home cooks, some of us are likely getting by with simple meals, but you know what? Simple meals are something to be loved. Many a tale is told by children who enjoyed the simplest meals the most. If you think you could do with working on your recipe base a bit more, then hit the internet hard, create a Pinterest profile and get a board ready for all the fantastic things you’re going to cook for you and your family (or friends). Try and get a few ‘fancier’ meals in there too. Think about slow cooker roasts, curries and rice dishes. Warm and cooked with love. You’ll never regret watching someone enjoy something you’ve cooked for them.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Five Tips For Landing a Legitimate Work-at-Home Job

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According to the latest American Community Survey data, there are approximately 2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers, who consider home their primary place of work. The struggling American economy has created the need for companies to cut back as much as possible. This has created growth in the work-at-home industry as it allows companies to save on expenses like office space, equipment and insurance costs.

However, the telecommuting world can be a hard place to get your foot in the door. Linda Dickerhoof, Public Relations Director at VIPDesk, one of the leading virtual concierge and virtual customer service providers in the United States, reports that they receive as many as two hundred resumes a day. With that kind of competition, it’s imperative that you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when applying for telecommuting employment.

1. Do Your Research – This is, by far, the most crucial aspect of your work-at-home job search. There are many legitimate companies that hire at-home employees. However, in order to weed out at-home job scams, you need to know what “red flags” to look for.  A legitimate work-at-home opportunity won’t ask you for any sort of “affiliation fee,” nor will they send you any type of list of employers to contact.

A legitimate opportunity will also not offer an unrealistic salary. The ads that you see offering $5k/wk with no experience usually are just what they sound – too good to be true. Avoid work-at-home opportunities advertised via infomercials, signs taped to a lamp-post, stop signs or via spam e-mail. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of reputation the company you are considering has, then follow up with an Internet search to see what is being said about the company in blogs, on twitter, and in the mainstream media.

2. Resume Success  – Applying for a working-at-home position should be treated just like any other job application process. The company may allow you to work from home, but they will not tolerate an unprofessional attitude. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that your resume will be selected if it’s anything less than top-notch.

In order to get ahead, put together a professional resume outlining your job experience and highlighting any special skills or training applicable to the position you’re applying for. Keep your resume to one page, if possible.

3. Interviews Are Important – The interview process is more critical than usual in the work-at-home world because the interviewer will not be meeting you face to face. Most at-home employers have a strenuous screening process to filter out applicants who do not fit the professional standards required.

Prepare ahead of time for questions not only about your employment background, but also about what your home work environment will be like (they do not want to hear animals or children in the background). Interviewers will be listening intently to how you present yourself over the phone, so be as prepared and professional as possible.

4. Know What To Expect – One of the best ways to succeed in any career is to know what your employer expects of you. Before your interview, put together a list of questions that will help you understand what to expect from the employer, and what they expect from you. Ask about things like training, support offered during work hours, and specific job expectations.

5. Get Set Up – Once you’ve begun the process of searching and applying for telecommuting positions, it’s time to make sure your home workspace is appropriate. Most employers will be looking for you to have a noise-free home office that includes: a landline phone, a computer (most companies will have specific computer requirements that will need to be met),  and high speed internet.

If possible, do your research ahead of time to ensure that your home office set up will work for a telecommuting opportunity. There are some employers who provide the necessary equipment, but most will require you to have these items in place.

Telecommuting can be one of the most rewarding career decisions available today. It provides flexibility and scheduling that many other types of employment are unable to offer. Prepare yourself to stand out from the job applicant crowd and you’ll find yourself with a remarkable new job in no time.


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Mompreneurs: Grow Your Business With These Smart Tips

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Are you a mompreneur that wants your business to expand and be as successful as possible but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry you are not alone. Luckily,  you can get a rundown on the five most effective actions to take when you want your business to get bigger and better. Read on to find out more.


Expand into different markets

One way that mompreneurs can grow their business is to expand into markets that are different from the current demographic that they are pursuing. What this means is that through market research you identify another group of people that would find the product that you are offering useful or valuable and then directly market it to them. Something that means you grow the number of potential customers you will have to convert.

There are two main ways of expanding to consider as well. One is by expanding geographically which means that you look for a similar demographic to the one you already market to but in another country.

The other is by tweaking your product, so it appeals to a different domestic market. This may include replacing it, so it attracts men as well as women, to a different age range, or even marketing your product for an additional purpose to the one you initially set out for it.


Develop a new product

Next, if you are looking for a way to expand and grow your business why not consider developing a new product? After all, sometimes your fortune doesn’t lie within the first item that you come up with, especially in today’s volatile market that is often defined by fast-moving trends.

Of course, product development isn’t often a cheap activity to pursue, and unless you are willing to accept the speculate to accumulate mentality, it can seem daunting. In fact, sometimes business or individual with poor credit can have problems sourcing the finance they need to get a new product idea past the concept stage.

Luckily, it is still possible to get a short term loan with bad credit from some providers. A solution that can help you get your new idea up and running and that may lead to a profitable expansion of your business.


Improve your online presence

Also, don’t forget that power of the world wide web when it comes to growing your business. In fact, by increasing your online presence, you can build your brand, trust, engagement, and interaction with your customers. All things which can have a positive knock-on effect on your sales.

To do this, there are all sorts of tactics you can use, the first being to run a blog from your business website. In fact, having a well written and interesting blog can help your business grow for many reasons.

The first is SEO because having a blog provides you with the perfect opportunity to create backlinks to other pages on your site. Something that can help direct potential customers straight to offers, and ways of purchasing, as well as boost your visibility in the search engine results.

Also by including a well-written blog, you increase the chance that other blog will link to you via external backlinks, something that is known as offsite SEO. This once again boosts your SEO and provides an opportunity for interested parties to be taken directly to a landing page on your site.

Apart from blogs, upping your presence on social media, especially the platform that most directly appeals to your demographic can help your business grow.

In particular, the strength of social media is the opportunity for interaction between potential or current customer and your business. What this does it humanise your brand, and allows customers to see that you aren’t just another faceless corporation trying to separate them from their money.

It also provides a chance for them to get involved and feel a sense of community with others. All under the banner of your brand and product, something that can be hugely valve for growing your business.

Lastly, there’s value in the potential for customer interaction on social media whether before, or after purchase, because this can help reassure those that are on the fence about buying. Also, it can help to nip any potentially dangerous problems and disgruntled and problematic customers in the bud. While also showing other customers that you care about each individual and will do your best to resolve any grievances promptly and professionally.


Reward customer loyalty

Loyalty is a big thing in today’s commercial market, and it’s definitely something that you can harness to help grow your business.

You may wish to take a leaf out of many of the large supermarket chains books and offer a loyalty card system. On an essential level, purchases are rewarded with points which can then be exchanged for money off future purchases or specific reward items.

Although, it’s always worth considering offering extra benefits with such a card to ensure even more customer loyalty. These may include things such as a percentage discounts several times a year, and even collaborations with other brands that allow points to be used there.

Oh, and if you are wondering just how loyalty can help you grow your business, remember if that it will ensure that customers regularly return to shop with you, something that can increase your revenue stream. It will also mean that they will talk about their positive experience with your brand, something that is hugely valuable as this can lead to word of mouth refers to family and friends!



Apart from a loyalty card or reward scheme, it can also be beneficial in growing your business to develop a super fan following. A superfan is not just someone that likes or buys your products but is a person that essentially obsessed with them.

Superfans are highly useful because not only can they make up a large part of your regular customer base, but also act as excellent ambassadors for your brand. Introducing it to people that were previously unaware, and also demonstrating more credibility that someone that is working directly from your company.

Of course, to develop a superfan following can be quite tough, but you can start small with a VIP email list and a private Facebook group. Then start to introduce meetups, special offers, and even workshops and webinars to grow the group further.


Build an email list

Lastly, if you want to expand your business as a mompreneur, do not forget the value of building an active email list for marketing. To collect such a list you can use things like cookies on your website, as well as asking customers to sign up for particular special offers, benefits, and newsletters.

You may even ask them to exchange their email address for free content that has value in terms of information or entertainment, and your previous customers’ emails should also be added to list this as they are proven to warm leads.

Of course, such a list won’t help you grow your business unless you do the right things with it. This is why getting a handle on effective email marketing is so crucial if you genuinely want your company to expand.

Luckily, there is a lot of help with this online that you can research. Although a good place to start is focusing on the basics such as creating subject lines that hook customers in and get them to open the mail. You can also try highlighting the benefits of your product clearly, and making sure that there are plenty of links to the landing page that you want them to reach; embedded within the mail, you send. All thing that can help you make the best use of your email list, and in turn should help any mompreneurs grow their business successfully.

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Is Your Business Offering the Right Value to Customers?

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Customers always want to get the most value, and that value means both money and time. The more value that you offer your customers, the more likely they will be to purchase from you. It truly is that simple. However, achieving the right level of value provision is a challenge that will need a robust and proactive strategy. Providing the right kind of value is essential, but it will depend on your sector and your branding. If you’re not focusing your strategy on those areas, then the chances are that what you are currently providing is minimal, and that will reflect clearly on your bottom line. If you want to offer the right value, then these key areas should be your starting point.


Becoming an authority

The more that your customers see you as an authority in your field, the more trust they will place on your business. Look at your sector, and consider the reasons why someone might come to visit your website. If they come looking for answers to a question and you don’t have the answer to that question, then they have received no value and will seek it elsewhere.


Boost authority
There are several ways to do this, with content marketing the proven key to authority establishment. If your current marketing strategy is not working as well as you hoped, it may be time to focus on value by making use of professional experts. The experts at companies such as Click Intelligence are able to fine-tune your marketing goals and provide a clearly focused strategy that adds real value. Look at ways to improve your authority, and your value will grow organically.


Understanding consumer needs

The more that you know about what your customers want from you, the better you will be able to provide them with value. Any business that has not yet carried out an exhaustive market research campaign in order to understand the basics of their current customer base is going to be working with incomplete data. Make it a priority to understand who your customers are, as well as their habits and ways of using the internet. Look at your social media platforms and only prioritize those that you know your audience is using. You should know what devices they are using, what times of day they are most likely to be online, and most importantly, what they are looking for from your business. The more that you know, the more that you will be able to target your growth more accurately.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Interview with Kim Vogel Sawyer, Author of Ours for a Season

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Tell us about your new novel, Ours for a Season.

Ours for a Season probably combines the most incompatible list of themes I’ve ever tried to meld into a single story: infertility, marital discord; questioning one’s faith; life-long friendship; homelessness; a serious health challenge; rebuilding a ghost town… But if I were to encapsulate it all into one thematic idea, I would say this is a story about starting anew. There’s a wonderful old hymn with the phrase, “Morning by morning new mercies I see…” That is what this story is about: God’s mercies blooming fresh in people’s lives.


Most of the book takes place in a Kansas ghost town. Being from Kansas yourself, are there any real places that remind you of the ghost town?

Several years ago, my critique partners and I visited a nearly abandoned Kansas town called Elgin. The crumbling buildings in the business district made my heart ache. One could imagine the once-thriving community and the pride the owners must have taken in operating their stores. One of my critique members commented that it was too bad we didn’t have the money to bring everything back to life, and the idea of restoring the historical structures sort of got tangled with the idea of rebuilding broken spirits and emerged in this story.


The book touches on human trafficking. How did you become interested in this topic?

I’ve always had a soft spot for people who suffer from abuse, especially sexual abuse. The subject of trafficking became personal to me when the young teen daughter of one my daughter’s neighbors was missing for several months and eventually rescued from the man who was pimping her out (such an ugly thought). If a child from small-town Kansas can get caught up in this net, it’s far too prevalent. The effects of being used in such a vile way by people who claim to care about you are deep and agonizing, and we all—every single person—need to take a stand and do what we can to put this soul-stealing industry out of business.


The book is in memory of your dear writing friend and author Diann Hunt. Can you tell us more about how she inspired this story?

Diann died in December of 2013 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. Although the cancer ravaged her body, it never stole her faith or her infectious love for life. She wrote on Facebook on a day when she was feeling particularly low physically, “Stop! Right where you are. What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Hear? Root yourself in this very moment. Memorize it. Life is made up of these. Don’t be so consumed by the past or with the future that you are blinded to your moment. Right now. The one you’re given by Almighty God to make a difference. Go out and live for Jesus today, my friends! I mean REALLY live!! You can do it! Start now. Ready. Set. Go!” She so loved Jesus (she glowed Jesus) and she so loved laughter (you couldn’t help but laugh when in her presence) and so loved life… She’s been gone now for several years, but she lives in the hearts and memories of her family members and many who had the pleasure of calling her friend. Brooke and Marty were to each other what Diann was to many of us—steadfast, encouraging, and ever loving. She wanted to make a difference, just as Brooke wanted to make a difference. Brooke did, and so did Diann.


What can you tell us about what you’re working on next?

Next out of the chute is a historical story set at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1895. Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children and expected to stay home and “take care of Mama,” becomes a silkworm weaver at the exposition in hopes of snagging a beau wealthy enough to support both her and her mother so she can have her own home and family while still honoring her siblings’ expectations. Of course, what we want isn’t always what God deems best for us. The story is called A Silken Thread and will release in early April of next year.


Where can readers find more information about Ours for a Season?
Please visit the WaterBrook website or my website:

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Organizing Your Home Office

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It can be a real challenge as a work at home parent to maintain an organized home office. Many times, the office or desktop is the last of our worries as we strive to raise our children, support our spouses and run our home-based business. However, keeping up with the clutter and chaos of your office may be just what you need to get you in a working mindset and help you to be more efficient while working.

There a few simple things that you can do on a regular basis that will help to de-stress organizing process:


  • Address your home office/desktop chaos in blocks of time. You may need to set aside just a few hours, or you may need an entire day. Decide what will work for you and stick to it. If it’s not possible for you to set aside a block of time, consider using a headset while you are on the phone and be de-cluttering, too!
  • Have the necessities on hand: a trash can, pen, file folders, mail baskets and other organization items that will enable you to sort, throw out and find a place for each item. Envision your goal and purchase the supplies necessary to create that environment.
  • Clear the space you want to organize (the desk surface, one of the drawers, etc.). Then make a pile of all the paper. Begin to evaluate each piece of paper, sorting it by importance. Throw out as much as possible and find a place for each of the other items.
  • If you start to feel stressed, take a break. Make a goal of how far you’d like to get during the time you have available and set an incentive for yourself if you reach your goal. It’s always easier to complete a task when you know you’ll be rewarded.

Once you’ve organized your office, it’s important to take small steps everyday to keep the room clean and tidy. It’s very easy to fall back into the routine of piling things on your desktop and around the room. There are five simple tasks that you can do daily to help maintain your organized space:

1. Clean out your “Inbox”. In today’s world this can apply to postal mail or email. Create a special basket for postal mail that needs to be taken care of right away, and another for items that can wait a day or two.

To keep your email inbox under control, create folders within your email program. Keep what needs to be done immediately in your inbox and distributed the rest into your folders. You can also use “rules” to help separate email and make it easier to manage.

2. Make sure all notes are transferred to your calendar, palm pilot or day planner. It is very easy to pile up a desktop full of paper by writing every note on a Post-it. You can also create an “Idea Book” to catalog all of your business ideas for future reference.

3. Remove all mail, catalogs & magazines from your desk. Put them in their proper place as you receive them. This will considerably cut down the amount of clutter on your desktop.

4. File as you go. This is the most basic and most important tip of all. If you file as you go your records will be in order, your desktop will be clear and you will feel like a professional.

5. Clean off your desktop each evening. There’s nothing better than sitting down at a clean workspace each morning. It helps to keep your mind focused on your business and makes finding important documents a snap.

By following these easy guidelines you will have a clean and organized home office in no time. Having a clutter-free workspace is the first step in creating an organized and professional home-based business.


Jill Hart is the author of several books and the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries,

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