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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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Archive for Home Business Articles

website scrabbleby Trey Donaldson

Have you ever wondered why some seemingly beautiful websites fail and some inexpensive ones flourish? It appears that the amount of money put behind a website does not matter a lot. The success of a website or blog depends on how well engage with the content. Sites fail to live up to expectation because they overlook business objectives. Similarly, measuring online marketing is something modern businesses (big or small) want to do. We all agree that tracking data and numbers, without a dedicated tool, can be one tedious journey. Whatever your business is about, analysis software will always come in handy in getting performance data and stats. Here are a few platforms to consider for an enhanced marketing strategy.

Google Analytics Platform

Google Analytics may be a free tool, but do not think it does not serve the purpose. We have placed it first on this list for a good reason, that it is easy to use, but super effective. Sign up to the site, get a tracking code and get going. There are many ways of using this platform. For instance, you can get about page views, whereby you determine the popularity of individual pages. If you want to get information about different marketing mediums, view the pages by source.   Are you interested in referral traffic information? Google Analytics will give this information too.

It will also provide demographic reports, weighted sort and social referrals. That is why we say you should try out this platform. The platform should be around for a while, considering that it is from Google and that its updates and tweaks are regular.

 

Sumo Content Analytics

Sometimes you want a wide range of tools to add to content analytics, all in one package. Sumo is that kind of platform. Millions are already using this tool, so it is definitely adding value to websites and blogs. Sumo brings loads of benefits including higher website traffic, more social-shares and more subscribers to email list.  

Does it cost to get Sumo? You can still install the tool free, but this only for the branded version. However, cost is likely to increase with increase in traffic. The good thing is that this tool is good value for money, considering it comes with numerous apps, responsive support and timely updates. It is also easy to use.

 

Piwik

Like the previous two tools, Piwik is easy to use so you can download and start using it immediately. When you first use this platform, you will notice many similarities with other top solutions. It is compatible with almost any server you bring, updates data in real time and has numerous user-friendly features. Piwik offers advanced privacy for your data.  Do you want all the information as one package? You will love this platform for its detailed full report and back ups.

There is a pricier version that charges $29 per month, but if you are technically shrewd, you may stick to the free software.  That is why they say the software is sometimes uncomfortable to some people. However, considering the tools ease of setup and installation, flawless performance and richness of data, this platform is definitely recommendable for any website or blog owner.

In conclusion, the good thing with analytics platforms is that using them is usually very simple, yet the meaningfulness of the data provided is unquestionable. Once you get the intelligence and act upon it, there is no reason your website or blog should not improve over time. In an era when online marketing is so challenging, even the slightest improvements are worthwhile. So, get one of these awesome analytics platforms and take your business to the next level.

Aug
14

But I Need To Make Money … Now!

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I often hear from people who are looking to work from home asking me about how to get started making money.  This can be a tricky question because there are simply so many factors to take into account.  Most times I attempt to gently steer them in the right direction, giving them tools that will help them make their way in the work-at-home world.

However, from time to time, I am contacted by someone who is looking to work from home out of sheer desperation.  These emails break my heart, as I sense their need and wish I could do so much more to help them.  Unfortunately, there are few (if any) ways to make money from home without putting in some solid time and effort. Even the people who claim to make “passive income” have often spent years putting those systems into place.

Like so many other areas of life, we must put forth the effort to receive the reward.  A person may be able to push there way into a business and even begin making sales rapidly. However, this, in the end, won’t lead to the lasting peace they are truly seeking.

You see, if I’ve learned anything over the last 17 years of working from home and helping others find ways to work from home, it’s that money isn’t an answer. At least, not a long-term one.

Money might be able to fill in some gaps and pay a few bills, but you can trust in money.

We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Which means that while money CAN be a quick solution, it won’t prevent hard times from coming. Not even the wealthy are immune from things ilke

  • Earthquakes
  • Stock Market Crashs
  • Death of a Loved One

So, what do we do instead? Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-systemsMany years ago, after I graduated from college, I was forced to become a secretary due to the grim job outlook at that time. I rankled at this idea for a long time. Frankly, administrative work is boring to me. I’d much rather be thinking of ideas or creating a product.

But now that I’m a business owner, I realize the importance of having administrative skills. And even more so since my husband just started his business and I am assisting him!

I have discovered that developing systems is the best way to handle administrative work. It not only helps with my sense of boredom, it helps me be more efficient so I have time to do what I really love!

So here are some of the systems that I’ve put in place. Maybe they’ll help you as they have helped me!

Marketing Blueprint. This is by far my most important system. I have outlined different types of marketing activities on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. Sometimes I don’t hit these goals, but it helps me be consistent. Because I keep pressing on and I resume that task the next time it comes around. I never have to wonder, “What am I going to do today?”

Planner. I created my own special planner to help me have laser focus on my time. As a business owner, homeschool mom, and wife to a freelance architect, my time is at a premium. I make sure I take time out to plan rather than be tossed about by urgencies and every whim. My time spent strategizing, praying, and planning is well worth it.

Financial. This is still a work in progress for us, but it is important to have in place financial software to help you run your business smoothly. The Bible urges us to “know well the flock of your herds.” Knowing what’s in your bank account, who owes you money, and if you need a person to sign a contract is very important when you run a business.

Read More→

If you work remotely or manage remote workers, you’re in good company. A Gallup survey found that in 2016, 43 percent of those working in the U.S. worked remotely at least some of the time, up from 39 percent in 2012. This shift is viewed positively by many employers and employees, who say that remote workers are more productive and that the flexibility of remote work attracts more non-traditional employees to the workplace.

However, this same survey found, probably not surprisingly, that while those who work remotely 100 percent are generally happy, they feel less engaged than coworkers in two areas: relationships with other employees and professional development. Both deficit areas stem from the lack of personal interaction with co-workers and management. So if you’re a remote worker or manage a remote team, how can you keep remote work from feeling robotic and disconnected? Here are four technologies that can help humanize the remote work experience.

1. Face-to-face video conferencing software

Face-to-face contact is crucial for successful working relationships and is obviously lacking in most remote working situations. As often as possible, use video conferencing software both for formal and spontaneous meetings. This will help give a human face to remote workers and establish a genuine connection between coworkers. Get a virtual meeting software that allows for spontaneity, agility and true telepresence when needed.

2. Communication app

One of the ways coworkers traditionally bond is through the seemingly unimportant chatter that happens in the hallways or break rooms. To help foster this bond virtually, get a messaging app for your team. The most popular of these apps is Slack, which allows you to organize conversations into channels, share files and prioritize conversations. Many teams will keep one channel open just for ongoing personal chats and encourage remote workers to start each morning there. Read More→

Aug
07

How to Find “Enough”

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When I ask women why they want to work at home, I generally get the same type of answer – something to do with being at home with their family. It may be preparing for a new baby or the desire to come home from a corporate job to be more present and available to their children. However, the answers always seem to have one thing in common – they are always about relationships.

Never – NEVER – has someone said to me, “Jill, I want to work at home so that I can buy more stuff.

So why, once we get home, does being with our kids not feel like enough?

I know for me, I constantly feel as if I’m not doing enough … or maybe it’s that deep down I don’t believe that I AM ENOUGH.

Ouch.

And I wonder – will we know when we hit the “enough” stage? Will a day come when we think to ourselves, “I’m here. I made it. I have enough. Now I can sit back and relax.”

Maybe the problem is that we’re thinking about this backwards. Possibly, a better way to think about it is that “enough” is an attitude that is cultivated. We can choose to look around and simply decide that we have enough.

We can also build actions into our lives to give us reminders that we have (and ARE) enough:

1. Give some of your “stuff” away.
2. Don’t let your pocketbook be the end-all for your business – there are MANY ways to measure success.
3. Be present with your children – find ways to truly enjoy their company. (I know this isn’t always easy!)
4. Be in the Word. God’s Word is full of reminders that we are enough, because HE is enough. <3
5. Cultivate an attitude of contentment in your life. This doesn’t mean that we stop striving for me. It simply means that we ALSO choose to be content where we are in the moment.

What do YOU do to remind yourself that you are enough?

Share in the comments below!

Read More→

Jul
31

Work-cation: A guide for Traveling CWAHMs (Part 2)

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at the beachTraveling with your family is one of the best parts of summer. However, when you run a business, you can’t always drop everything for a week or more at a time. Below are a few more tips to help make your trip a stress-free success.

Be Realistic
Each time we go on a trip as a family, I expect to have extra time to work (where I think this extra time will come from, I’m not sure). So, I tend to take a bundle of work with me in hopes of coming home ahead of the game. And every time, I come home further behind. 🙂

Set realistic expectations and don’t push yourself. Let yourself relax when you can and be okay with getting done as much as you can while you’re traveling.

Plan Worktime
As you might guess, it is important to set aside time to complete any tasks which absolutely need to be completed, especially if you are on a deadline. If you have calls to make, emails to answer, and/or orders to place you’ll want to be sure to find time where you can work in a quiet environment.

I’ve found that late at night – or early in the morning – when everyone else is snoozing away is a great time to work. There have also been times when my husband will take the kids to the pool for an hour or two in order for me to have some work time. We’ve found that this allows me to not only get my work done, but to then be able to focus on my family and relax.

Plan Downtime

Even more imperative is finding time to relax and actually enjoy your time away! Plan in specific times (even if you must do it day-by-day) where you will set aside your work and be truly present with your family. Leave your work in the car or hotel room and head out for a hike or a great meal!

Traveling while running a business that needs your attention can be stressful. However, if you plan ahead you can create a plan that will allow you get any necessary work done while still carving out time for some R&R.

Have a great trip!

Read More→

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Jul
28

Work-cation: A guide for Traveling CWAHMs (Part 1)

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Traveling with your family is one of the best parts of summer. However, when you run a business, you can’t always drop everything for a week or more at a time. Below are a few tips to help make your trip a stress-free success.

Plan Ahead
A week or two before your trip, begin making a list of everything you’ll need for both business and family. Be sure to think big AND small – things like laptop chargers (which are small) make a BIG difference when you’re miles from home and I still seem to forget mine every time!

Also, try to think of things that may cause you trouble or have caused problems for you in the past. For example, if you’ll be in a fairly remote location and a cell signal is hard to find, make arrangements ahead of time for how you’ll handle this.

Pack Well
Now that you’ve thought through everything that you’ll need for your trip, be sure it all gets packed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made lists upon lists, but still missed getting something important INTO my luggage. 🙂

Be sure to pack any business necessities as well as kid necessities in an easy to reach place – in the top of your suitcase or on top of the pile in your trunk. Bring along activities, snacks and other things to keep your children interested.

And what about a notebook, pencils, and anything else that will allow you to work on the go?

Use Travel Time Wisely
I found on our last twiddy beach house vacation that travel time was a great time to get work done if I planned ahead. I would pull out my notebook as my husband drove and jot down ideas for blog posts and articles. It helped pass the time and even my husband got into it, helping me brainstorm ideas. Bonding and business all in one!

If you’re traveling by plane it may seem like you don’t have as much travel time, but think about using the time while you wait in the airport or while flying for reading, checking voicemail or catching up on emails.

Tune in tomorrow Monday more tips!

Read More→

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Jul
07

When The Inspiration Won’t Come – Ideas To Help You Get Going

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Jill Hart - Mixing Faith & Business blogI love those days where I can lie down at night and think back over all I accomplished throughout the day. Unfortunately, those days are pretty few and far between.  Many days I stare at my to-do list feeling completely overwhelmed trying to figure out how I’m going to get something – anything – accomplished.

Not long ago, I got so frustrated with this process that I decided to make a list of things that helped me get my forward momentum back when I feel stuck. Here are a few ideas that I came up with.

Make a New List

We all have a to-do list, but how about making a things-I-love list? Or maybe a things-I’m-grateful-for list? Sometimes just changing our perspective can help kick start our productivity. When I’m looking at a list full of what needs to be done, it can be hard to remember all the good things happening around me. But when I take the time to look beyond my to-do list I am flooded with gratitude for all that God has given me. Those blessings become the inspiration to get back to work and to do the next task on my to-do list … with a better attitude.

Borrow a Brain

When I’m working on something new or trying to come up with a solution to a problem in my business, I often find that I simply can’t do it alone. When times like these hit, I dial up a friend or colleague and schedule a brainstorming session. Whether we meet over coffee, on the phone  or via Skype, I always come away from meetings like these with great new ideas and inspiration. Talking with others when you’re stuck is a great way not only to help solve the problem, but to gain motivation and determination as well.

Glean Excitement

Watching the successes of others has always inspired me. When I began working on weight loss, I often read stories of people who had gone before me and conquered their weight. Not only did I learn how they did it, it also helped motivate me to do the same thing. The same principle holds true for me in business. When I watch videos or read stories of other entrepreneurs and their successes, it makes me want to dream bigger and work harder.

Change Directions

Another way that I “trick” myself into getting to work is to completely ignore what I’m working on. That’s right. I change direction and work on something new. There’s something about changing my focus that helps my mind relax and (sometimes subconsciously) think about the project that I’m stuck on. Sometimes I start a fresh project, other times it’s as simple as checking and answering email. Anything to job my brain in a new direction and get those creative juices flowing.

So, if you find yourself stuck today or simply overwhelmed by your to-do list, try these tips and tricks to get your motivated and inspired!

 

About Jill
Jill is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries (CWAHM.com). She is the author of Do Life Different and co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and speaks to audiences about faith, business and leadership topics.

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Jun
28

The Art of Starting

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Jill Hart - Mixing Faith & Business blogMany times the hardest part of working from home is simply getting started. This is true in the bigger sense of choosing a business, getting everything in place and making that first sale. However, it’s also true in the day-to-day grind of working from home. Some mornings the art of starting is much harder than others.

On those mornings where I’m struggling to get going, I’ve found a few ways to “trick” myself into starting.  One of the first things I do each morning is remind myself why I do what I do. One of my favorite verses has also become a challenge to me to do the work that God has placed before me:

“Be strong and brave, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord God, my God, is with you.”
1 Chronicles 28:20

Once my attitude is on the right track, then I can begin the task portion of my day. Here are a few ideas that I use to get in gear:

Get Organized – I have learned over the years that when it comes to my To-do List, I can’t simply write out big tasks and expect to accomplish them. Those big tasks overwhelm me, so I avoid them. Instead, I write out the steps necessary to complete the big tasks and accomplish those one by one.

For instance, if I need to market my business I don’t simply write on my list “Market Business.” I break it down into manageable tasks such as “Call two referrals” or “Outline new article.” These are things I can do, cross of my list and move on to the next thing without needing to spend an extraordinary amount of time deciding what to do or how to do it.

Challenge Yourself – Within my to-do list each day, there are always a few things that I dread doing. So, I’ve taken up challenging myself to do at least one of these “horrible things” each day.  I’ve also found that doing the hardest thing first sets me up to feel like I’ve accomplished something big, so I can easily handle the other items on my to-do list. It also helps motivate me to keep going, to press on and see how many things I can cross off my list each day. Read More→

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Jun
23

Cool Careers For Super Moms

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If you love spending time with your kids and you think you have a great handle on what it takes to be a brilliant parent, you might want to consider incorporating this into your career. Rather than just working to pay the bills, you can make a difference in the lives of children other than your own. There are lots of careers that provide this possibility, some of which can be completed at home, so let’s start there.

Personal Tutoring

You can work from home as a personal tutor, providing services to children that need a little more than what their school is providing. The benefit of working as a private tutor, of course, is that you can complete it as a little side hustle. Or, you can turn it into a fully fledged career. It’s entirely up to you and will depend on how much time you have.

To do this, you’re going to need to choose what subject you want to tutor in. You should choose a subject that you either have prior experience in or that you excelled at in school and through your studies. Don’t forget that if you have a proper qualification, you will be more attractive to parents who want nothing but the best for their kids.

Teaching

Alternatively, you can work as a teacher, and there are a few differences between this and tutoring. Firstly, you probably won’t be able to complete this career from home. Although, we promise the day is coming when teachers will be on a screen rather than at the front of the class. In fact, in some of the classes in America, this type of teaching method has already been introduced.

Secondly, you’ll be teaching a whole class rather than individuals. This can be more stressful as you need to make sure that each student is getting the level of support that they need. You’ll probably have to develop methods of engaging the class and ensuring that everyone takes part. That said, you will be providing a vital service to the community because most places desperately need more teachers.

Counseling

Of course, it is possible to provide a more personal level of care to students through counseling. To take on this career, you’ll need a school counseling degree. You can study school counseling online, while you’re still working from home, building up your knowledge and skill. Eventually, you will be in the position where you’ll be able to enter real life scenarios, working with students through their issues. It will be up to you to help them with personal issues and combat the problems that they might be having at school.

Coaching

Finally, if you love sports and working with kids, you can combine the two and take the position of a coach for a local team. This is a job that you’ll probably be able to complete in your spare time, and when you’re not at games, you might even be able to work from home.

Any one of these careers would be perfect if you want to spend your day working with kids.  

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