MIH055:Mompreneur Balance Hacks for Blogging While Raising Kids

I get it-it’s not easy balancing a full-time blogging lifestyle while tending to family full-time as well. But guess what, Mompreneur? If you want this, you can do it!

Listen in on the podcast!

On this post and podcast episode (yay for another podcast this week!) I want to share with you 5 mompreneur balance hacks that will help you with your blogging while raising kids.

I have two daughters – and although they are now on the older side- both a teen and a preteen, I have been blogging with them in tow since they were both toddlers. I understand the complexities of a stay-at-home and work-at-home lifestyle and what that means for mom bloggers.

Mostly it means, we have to learn how to balance, or juggle our responsibilities, so that we can at least attempt to get it all done.

Rest assured that although you won’t likely get it all done, that you will at least have made some headway in accomplishing your goals.

What are the hacks I used for the past 14 years to help me balance mom life (and mompreneur life) while blogging?

Make a flex schedule.

Mom life wouldn’t be the same without a flex schedule. We have to give ourselves time to get it all done (or most of it anyway) and that requires a lot of freedom to move things around in a day (or week).

The way I do it is, although I have a set time to work (my block schedule), I give myself the option to move that block of time around wherever and however necessary.

So let’s say I typically work from 1- 4 pm on weekdays, but I have a dentist appointment scheduled on Wednesday at 2 pm out of town. I would simply just take that 1-4 pm I would normally work on Wednesday and move it back to 5-8 am so that I get the same amount of time and work accomplished, all before my kid wake up.

(Check out my podcast on time management tips for mompreneurs).

Sometimes I have to move my work blocks to the late evening and sometimes to a weekend. I might even have to break up my 3 or 4 hours into 1-hour chunks spread throughout the week.

For the most part, however, I like to keep my amount of time blogging the same per week. Currently I am working at an almost-full-time pace, breaking up my hours throughout the week as needed.

Cut out filler activities.

This is a big one for me because Netflix gets me every time. But if you can cut out extraenneous activities while working you’ll be much more productive.

One thing I’ve learned to do is to only focus on my writing and nothing else. If I’m blogging, that is exactly what I’m doing. Crafting my posts- and not checking social media.

Staying completely focused on one task at a time and not going down rabbit trails – like checking email, for example- can help tremendously in productivity.

Pre-plan your posts.

I love to know what I’m going to write about before I fire up my laptop. The way I handle this is to make sure I have already pre-written a few outlines so that when I’m ready to start blogging, all I have to do is begin.

Writing my post ideas out and creating outlines for them speeds up my productivity to double the time than if I were to research a post, then write it up- one post at a time.

I like to batch my work, getting all the research and topics out of the way in one setting, then going back to create outlines for them in another sitting.

Eventually, when it’s time to write my posts, I already have a road map before me and I can just plug in and start writing.

Check out my Facebook Live video about creating my blogging roadmap while on the road! 🙂

It’s so much easier this way! As a busy mompreneur, you need all the shortcuts you can in order to make the blogging life easier and more fulfilling.

Only write, nothing else.

It’s like I mentioned earlier- focus on only the task at hand. If I’m writing, I’m not checking social media, but neither am I creating a podcast. I’m only writing.

Batching out my activities makes things so much easier. For example, if I’m creating a blog post image for one blog, why not for several? I’m already in Canva, so I may as well create several images at once.

If I’m only focused on writing- which is the bulk of my blogging activities- then I can crank out several posts within an hour’s time.

Focusing on one task at a time truly improves speed and productivity.

Factor in fun.

One of the best things you can do as a mompreneur is make sure you’re getting taken care of.

What does fun mean to you? Factor that into your life on a regular basis and take care of yourself.

I often like to get away for a walk and have coffee. It’s too much fun to live downtown where walking to a coffee shop only takes 2 minutes!

On my way to coffee on my blogging lunch break!

I love an occasional gourmet coffee at a fancy coffee shop (or just my local one), so I might go out with another mompreneur friend some weekends.

I celebrate small achievements by rewarding myself with special treats that mean a lot to me.

(I like to share my fave coffee drinks on Facebook!)

I also like to motivate myself with a daily calendar check-off just to keep me motivated, and this is all part of my fun.

Mostly, I just try to remember that the mompreneur life is not all about work, work, work and no play. We need to pay our bills, but it’s also nice to put aside some money to spend for pleasure– and to do so regularly to keep our spirits up.

What does factoring in fun mean for you?

Going out to celebrate with girlfriends? Saving up for a cruise for your family? Taking your kids to Disney? Taking yourself to a spa?

Figure out what fun is for you, and reach towards it!

Did you enjoy this post and podcast? (I hope you didn’t forget to press play- just scroll to the top!)

Let me know what you think, and be sure to listen in on recent podcasts:

MIH054:How I went from stay at home mom to full time blogger

Are you a mom who has been thinking about becoming a full time blogger?

Listen in to the podcast here.

(This blog contains affiliate links which help to support this podcast and blog. I stand by all the products I recommend.)

Today’s blog post (and podcast) are for you to get encouragement as a stay at home mom as you consider becoming a full time blogger.

When I first began blogging in 2005 I did it for fun, and not to be a full time blogger. Two years later, I blogged because I’d just had a baby and I wanted to share a few sneak peeks into my world as a new mom. I loved writing and this was a great outlet for me.

I was already working at home as a web design and social media consultant back then, so I naturally saw how great blogging would be for small businesses. I made sure to include blogging in my clients’ strategies- always. Blogging worked so well back then that websites with an accompanying blog attached always ranked higher in Google.

But for me? I just blogged for fun initially. I wasn’t even thinking about using it in any other way except for my first few podcasts (I share about that here if you want to find out more about me.)

Then it hit me: if this blogging strategy stuff really works for my clients, why not apply it to my own business? How about taking this blogging game up a notch and see if I can make this a full -time income with it?

If my clients could see their websites top ranking in Google for keywords all because of blogging and the marketing strategy we were developing together, why wasn’t I applying this to my own strategy?

That’s when I started taking blogging even more seriously.

Sure, I’d just had a baby and just started homeschooling my oldest- so my life was beginning to feel a bit overwhelming. (Just a little bit!) But I could do this.

I knew I could do it. I had already begun writing for local magazines around town and had started pitching bigger magazines, so I was serious about writing. Why not blog?

It took a few years and a cross-country move to California before I finally settled into my new home and a new blog and podcast all about homeschooling.

It took me an entire year to get my first 1,000 email subscribers, but at the end of that first year of blogging I’d also gotten my first 500 YouTube subs, and I was happy with my 800 pageviews. This was in 2012.

It may not seem like much compared to other bloggers who make it to 100,000 pageviews within a year, but I was happy with those numbers because:

  1. I was homeschooling, and that took a lot of my energy reserves. I gave myself a lot of grace during that season.
  2. I had a toddler-turned-preschooler. I chased her around constantly and watched her chase butterflies. This was my life and sometimes that meant shutting down the computer rather than blogging.
  3. I valued flexibility more than a devoted blogging schedule and routine at the time. After my second move within 6 months, and then a third move 3 years later, I learned quickly how to maintain a life of flexibility. This meant, blogging oftentimes took a back seat.

I am so nostalgic about those days and I am glad I did things the way I felt best at the time. I got the best of both worlds: blogging part-time while raising my beautiful girls.

Today, seven years later, I have worked myself into a full time blogger role as my children are able to handle a lot more responsibilities on their own.

I no longer have to worry so much about how to get things done: I have more help. My teen and tween daughters chip in with chores around the house and we have at-home systems that work for us while we homeschool, and I work. So far, it is working out well for us.

If you are a stay at home mom and thinking of becoming a full time blogger, here are some key things to keep in mind when it comes to balance and getting it all done.

Work around schedules and naps.

If you are a mom of littles, being a full time blogger will require that you schedule your writing times around your baby’s schedule.

I remember those days- how life centers around baby. Usually when baby naps, you nap, or when baby is hungry, you eat together.

But as a full time blogger, you’ll need to think about how to fit your blogging times into your day. This means when baby naps, that might be a great time to write your blog posts.

When their nap times change and they become toddlers, you’ll start chasing them around and everything else will change along with it! This includes your blogging routines.

My best advice is to take it one stage at a time with your little ones, observe their routines, and fit your blogging around this.

Work on time blocks.

Time blocks are so important. As I mentioned earlier, when baby sleeps, you can blog.

Suzi from Start a Mom Blog tells how that she gets up earlier than the rest of her family, doing whatever it takes, to take her blogging seriously. Today she makes a 6-figure income from her blogs, all while raising three kids as a stay at home mom.

Choose a nice block of time and be as generous with yourself as possible. (If you know it will take you two hours to write a quality blog post, count on taking a two-hour, uninterrupted time block.)

This might mean that you have to wake up earlier or go to bed later.  When your family is asleep, maybe you can spare a few hours in the early AM to get in an extra two hours of writing. Or maybe you go to be a little later than everyone else.

Perhaps you cut back on Netflix binging (that’s me!) 🙋‍♀️

Being productive means you have to give up something in order to gain something. Rearranging your schedule will be part of the business of finding success with becoming a full time blogger.

Have an immediate plan of action.

Okay, here’s a tip that really helped me with getting things done faster:

👉🏿Do all of your thinking and strategizing before you sit down at the computer.

This way, when you sit down to actually write your posts, the outlines and general research have already been accomplished. Do you see how easy this makes things for you?

I used to write for several companies as a freelance writer a few years ago, and this is one of the key strategies I used to write up to five, well-researched, 1000-word articles per day.

I knew that writing this much content would  require some type of time management strategy, and this was the best way to manage it: research first, write last.

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

You won’t get it all done by yourself. This has been the hardest lesson for me. I have been blogging for 14 years, and I have done nearly all the work on my own, until recently.

When I say all the work, I mean everything: from my blogging and writing work, podcasting and audio, video editing, graphics, email list, SEO, and social media management.

Did it keep my costs down by doing everything myself? Sure it did. I saved tons of money. I was super frugal and I kept my costs low to run my business.

Did I save time? Absolutely not. This is why it has taken me so long to grow my blogs. Without help you just grow really, really slowly. If you’re not in a hurry, then it’s okay. But if you want to see quicker or more immediate growth, you will need to get help.

Check out places like Fiverr for reasonably-priced helps, hire a VA on a project basis, and don’t get caught up in the tech if that’s just not your thing. Let someone help you past the blocks that keep you from moving forward to enjoy the parts of blogging you love.

Hopefully you do enjoy writing, though!🤣

Accept and enjoy your journey.

The main lesson I’ve learned in becoming a full time blogger is to enjoy my journey. I won’t always be a mom of littles. Today, I am a mom of a teen and a tween. I have a driver-in-training and a tween who is shockingly as tall as I am. No more littles for me. This means my blogging life has changed drastically.

What I couldn’t do seven years ago, suddenly becomes a cinch. I took my kids with me everywhere years ago. Today, I can walk out of the house to run an errand and not bat an eye as I know my kids are able to hold down their responsibilities at home. This means I have more free time to work on my blog that I didn’t have before.

Okay…maybe not “free” time. I am, after all, still responsible for their education which is a hefty job (as all homeschool moms can attest to.) But my season of life is different today than it was during the years I needed to keep one eye open at night listening out for my daughter’s cries.

Those were sweet years and I appreciate them, but they are over and I am in a different season. I have learned to embrace each season with all of its difficulties.

Today’s season is difficult in its own way- raising teen daughters with values in today’s society– but with each stage and season, as I accept it I appreciate it and I can deal with whatever is in front of me for that day.

So be encouraged, mama! You can do this. You can be a full time blogger and a stay at home mom. It’s a lot of work, but with the proper strategies in place, one step at a time, you can make an income with your blog while enjoying your kids.

Has this post and podcast been helpful to you? Check out the following posts to help you with your blogging:

Mentioned on the podcast

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How To Create Blogging Goals You Can Keep!

It’s a new year and it’s time for new goals! I’m so excited about what this year has in store. How about you?

How to create blogging goals you can keep

So this post was actually my very first one to this blog, and it’s also my first podcast episode. When I first wrote this in 2014 I was super jazzed to finally see my vision realized through this blog. It has been an incredible journey, although not without its hiccups. However, I want to enter the new year with goals I can actually keep and follow through with.

I decided to come back five years later and spruce things up a bit on this post and give a fresh outlook on what it means to keep blogging goals. I’ve learned a lot over the years…a lot of what not to do, and I found out what things are actually working. I’ve learned that it’s easy to give up and not so easy to remain consistent. I’ve learned that creating goals doesn’t mean I will keep them. And I’ve learned that having too much on my plate means I can’t be successful at the one thing.

So, let’s make this a year to remember together. Here are some ways to create blogging goals you can actually keep this year. (And also, here’s a video to go along with the post.)

Refresh your goals list.

Time to cross off old goals and bring in the new. What are your blogging goals this year?

I personally made a decision to turn this blog around to not just focus on helping mompreneurs to balance entrepreneurship. Being a mompreneur is difficult at times, yes. But there is so much that is exciting about this journey- namely, blogging. I decided to focus my blog on teaching blogging strategies and tips this year. So, this means new goals for me.

What are your goals this year? Are there any old goals you need to cross off your list?

Pick up your free goal planning worksheet for 2019!

Make your goals visible.

What does your wall space look like? This year I’ll be setting up inspirational quotes on my wall to keep me motivated.

You can do a number of things to make your goals visible to you. Use post it notes.  Try using the Evernote app. Google drive and calendar are also great ways to put your goals in front of you visually.

One of my favorite tools today is Trello. This app keeps me in tune with my daily, weekly, and monthly goals.

Share your goals and gain accountability.

A few years ago I used a voice recorder almost daily. There was just something about speaking my goals into a voice recorder and playing it back to myself that made my goals a reality.

This year I’ll be mostly making good use of Trello and my blog updates to you guys for accountability and motivation. I’ll also be sharing my goals with my husband who is my business and life partner. I trust him to give me the truth, not sugarcoated, and he is just the motivation I need to push me forward with my goals.

Find a friend or an accountability partner and share your blogging goals with them. This can help tremendously in making your goals a reality.

Assess your progress.

Have a meeting with yourself and check your results. After about 30 days of blogging, check in to see if you’ve been meeting your goals.

  • Have you written the number of blog posts you wanted to write?
  • Have you shared your posts in social media?
  • Have you created a funnel system to gain new subscribers and customers?

Check in again a month later. Do this every month. Give yourself a 3-month check up and then a 6-month tuneup if you need it. The key is to check in with your progress periodically and constantly.

How else will you know if you’re meeting your goals unless you keep tabs on your progress?

Are you meeting your goals?  

Let’s make 2019 a year of moving forward into taking those small action steps which lead to greater rewards.

I’d love to hear from you.  Tell me what you think. What topics would you like to hear about in future podcasts and posts?  I have some great show ideas lined up for you, but I would still love to hear your thoughts.

To your web success!

3 Steps to Becoming an Online Entrepreneur

Hi, Mompreneurs! I was feeling pretty adventurous this week and realized I wanted to pop in to my Facebook page and do a live video. My topic was 3 steps to becoming an online entrepreneur- and I hope to do more of these.

Here’s an overview of some of my tips that morning:

3 steps to becoming an online entrepreneur

Discover your passion, then work it!

It’s all about finding what you love, then building a business around that.  Once you know your area of expertise, build on it.  You don’t need an awful lot to get started…sometimes you can just hop on Facebook Live (like I’m doing right now!) and start working your platform right where you are!
Find out what you love, then build on your expertise.

Overcoming business fears.

I get it- there can be a lot of fears associated with business, especially when you’re just starting off. When I was in the beginning stages of building my first online business in web design it was pretty scary.

I had to overcome fears of marketing (what would people think? would I appear to sales-y?)

I needed to overcome anxiety about whether or not I would actually make any real money.  Would I do well?  Would I waste time building something that wasn’t successful?  In a nutshell, that was probably my biggest fear.

I also had to overcome fear of placing myself in front of thousands of unknown audiences.  When I decided to start a YouTube channel and begin podcasting I knew that I would have to step out of my comfort zone, but it was something I needed to do as part of my marketing system.  Through social media and digital media platforms that allow me to share my content in a number of ways, I’ve been able to connect with so many awesome people who became my clients.

So, it was definitely worth it!  I had to overcome my fears.  If I can do it, you can.

For more action-based steps to overcoming business fears, read this post.

Get into action

Probably the hardest part of anything you do in business is to put your plans and goals into action.  Yes, you should be organized and have goals, then use reverse engineering to get yourself where you want to be.

But if you don’t place those goals into action, nothing will happen.

Sometimes you just have to act in faith- not really knowing what’s around the corner.  Building your business means that there will be some variables you won’t be able to control sometimes. There will definitely be some business challenges. You don’t know what’s around the corner exactly and you sometimes don’t feel like you’re on the safe zone, but you know you’re doing the right thing (especially if you surround yourself with positive-thinking people and coaches.)

So, you’re only option is to move forward, and keep moving forward.  As your business momentum builds, you’ll feel so free! Get into action.

So, I want to know how you’re feeling.

 Have you taken the necessary steps to get started in online business?  Are you ready to truly become an online entrepreneur?

 

Setting your goals into motion

How should you go about setting your goals into motion?

You already have that tremendously gorgeous business idea and you can’t wait to see it hoppin’…but one problem: when do you find the time?  

How do you do it all?

Where do you start?

Since the beginning of 2014 I have been busy behind the scenes, working furiously at catching up on the two-year (plus) hiatus I took away from working my solo business so that I could raise my young children.  When I first started my web business coaching and consulting in 2004 I created  goals for my business that with time shifted into a different set of goals each year as my business transitioned.

One of the most important things I learned is that regardless of how you go about doing it, you absolutely need to create and set business goals for yourself. This is what I’m doing for myself now- with each passing year.

Creating your business goals is one thing, but sometimes- I tell ya- setting them into motion is a whole different ball game.

Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years to remain consistent with my goals.

Here’s how you can go about setting your goals into motion.

Plan goals that are in tandem with your business vision for the year.

Look at your business for the scope of the entire year and make a note of what you’d like to accomplish throughout the course of the year.

  • Which projects would you like to complete? (books to write, services to offer, products to produce and introduce)
  • How would you like to connect with your blog readers? (blog topics to discuss, giveaways, social media, newsletters)
  • How do you plan to keep your client connection and client work happening while maintaining your own business?

These are all important questions to think about, and will help you solidify your goals.

Answer the above questions, then move on to setting them into motion.

Find tools, resources, and support networks that will help you get the job done.

When setting your goals into motion, you’ll absolutely need to uncover your own goldmine of resources that can help you accomplish your goals.  You can see my list of favorite tools here.

But mostly, you’re going to need a dose of “roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-busy”.  There’s just no getting around it.

Once you’ve found your favorite tools and resources, and you surround yourself with like-minded people, it’s time to put your goals into action.  

Here’s what I do:

  • Write down my random thoughts in a notebook or journal.
  • Organize these thoughts in Google Drive/Docs.
  • Create my vision board- again in Google Drive/Docs.  This is also where I visualize the kind of business I want to see happening for me one year from now.
  • Develop my mission statement, core values, and determine my specific vision- making sure it falls into alignment with my personal and spiritual values and is the right timing for not only myself but the important people in my life (my family).
  • Write down the projects I want to offer my clients as a result of my mission/vision and projected dates to have these rolled out.
  • Create long-term (year at a glance), then short -term (monthly/weekly/daily) goals that I should accomplish throughout the year.  This is where my Google Calendar is my best friend.
  • Stay consistent.

Do you need specific helps with goal-setting and planning your business? If you do, don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of help to you.

Until then- what are some ways you’ve been able to set your goals into motion this year?  Have you been successful at it?  If not, what is holding you back? Leave me a comment!

 

Stepping Into a New Year

It’s a brand new year! Can you believe it?  Are you excited?  Are you jazzed??

I am!!

How are you going to make this year different than last- in business, in health, in spirituality, in family?  What will you do to ensure that your life is taking the right trajectory toward complete wholeness- or what I like to call true success?

Here are just a few tips to help you launch your new year of business with purpose and excitement.  You can do this!

Take spiritual inventory.

No matter your faith (and even if you don’t claim to have one), your spirituality, which is deeply personal to you, affects your life in every way.  Your worldview and the way you perceive circumstances in life will have a huge impact on whether you achieve success this year or not.

In my life as a devout Christian, I find that reading scripture and meditating daily on them is helpful to my well-being overall and makes me a more confident person.  This confidence exudes into my business life.  I really can’t separate them!

I’m planning to take some major spiritual inventory this year- digging up some weeds and planting new seeds in the garden of my soul- so that I can achieve in all areas in my life God wants me to.  This is a process and something I can’t achieve overnight, but I’m working on it.

Set goals and stick with them.

I have SO many goals, you don’t even want to know about them.  Seriously.  My goals list can reach close to a hundred pretty quickly, because that’s just how much I want to get out of life.  I want to accomplish everything.

But, alas, that’s impossible.

So, my job at this point is to narrow down my goals to specific ones that are achievable for this year only, and stick with them.

Sticking with goals, means that I constantly review my goals each month to make sure I’m still on track.  And if I feel that I’m getting off kilter, all I have to do is pull out my handy dandy Google docs, and there are all of my wonderful business and life goals all typed out.

Step into the new year with confidence!

There are so many reasons to doubt ourselves.  After all, as moms we’re super busy putting out the fires everywhere, pleasing everyone, and taking care of business both at home and for others.  There are a gazillion reasons why we might be tempted to lose our confidence that we can do this online blogging business thing.

But we can!

Don’t give up if it takes longer than everyone else to get your blog going.  Your blog might not reach 1,000 page views for months.  But don’t let that discourage you.

You keep your focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and find the joy in it that will keep you fueled and energized. Be confident in your offerings to the world, and don’t look to the right or to the left.

It doesn’t matter how much traffic another mom blogger is receiving, or how many of her pins went viral when yours are stagnant.  If you don’t watch everyone else you won’t have time to worry about their successes.  Because you need to be happily busy with your own successes.  And you will have plenty of them if you’re patient.

So be confident!  You can do this!

Have I encouraged you? I sure hope so.

Happy New Year to you!

 

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