We all know how important blogging is to business. Not only is it a great way to get yourself out there and create meaningful conversations with your right people, it’s also an ideal venue for offering content marketing and gathering new followers.
But what happens when you’re spending hour after hour creating content and your efforts are falling flat?
Does this sound familiar?
You’ve got great ideas and a drive second to none. Fueled by your favorite latte and a passion second to none, you pour yourself into your blog, and you wait, only to crumple under the weight of underwhelming analytics.
You built it, and they aren’t coming. So, now what?
Here’s a list ofÂ some common blog blunders web writers are committing every day, and how to fix them.
1. Your content is too complex
In this age of ‘too much information‘ it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That holds true for you readers, too. In an effort to avert ‘information overload’ and confusion induced overwhelm, strive to offer one idea and one call to action in each post.
2. Your content is too simple
There’s very little out there that isn’t instantly discoverable with a few keystrokes. But so much of it is the same old generic thing, time and again. Bloggers run into trouble when they start reiterating what others are already saying and doing so ‘safely’. That is, they’re not expounding upon the obvious and offering something insightful and different. If you want to attract a loyal legion of readers, you’ve got to offer something uncommon. Something only you can.
Your readers areÂ there because they want to hear from you. What has your experience taught you about a particular topic, and how it can help them? They want your perspective. Give them something that they can’t get anywhere else, and you’ll grow your readership more quickly than you ever thought possible.
3. You’re writing for everyone
You don’t have to be in sales to have a niche. As a blogger, your readers, those who are excited to see what you’ve got to say, are your right people. Write from the heart and your passion will shine through, making your post much more enjoyable to read. Your audience will be able to follow along and join in your enthusiasm, thereby making the post more resonant.
Quality over quantity is the way to go, even in the blogosphere. Don’t churn out content that feels forced. Stay true to your ideals, your virtues, your convictions, and your voice. Your readers will love you all the more for it.
4. You’reÂ a One-Way Street
When someone lands on your blog, it’s safe to assume they’ve arrived seeking help. Whether it’s information or a solution they seek, they’re there because they want to improve something.
As the author of the blog, it’s great (and important) for your audience to feel comfortable and familiar with you. But, be careful here. You may think if you tell your audience enough about yourself, that you’ll find more and more kindred spirits. Or that your stories will resonate with the right people and they’ll be at the edge of their seat waiting for the next anecdote.
But the reality is, your right people – all people, for that matter – want to know what’s in it for them. So while it’s great (and important) to share a bit about yourself and tell your story, just remember to frame it in such a way that it will resonate with your right people and makes them confident in your abilities. Tell them just enough about yourself to help them understand your storyÂ andÂ your qualifications, and how that allowsÂ you to offer whatÂ others cannot. Then, involve your audience. Engage them. Ask for feedback. Encourage comments. Make them feel like part of the experience.
5.Â You’re advertising
If your blog looks like a billboard, you’re doing it wrong. Do you have to make money to stay afloat? Of course. But you’ve got to be able to show your readersÂ how you can help them before they’ll be willing to part with their precious funds. Show them that you’re in vested in their success by sharing high quality, valuable content. Then, offer a product or service for saleÂ to enhance their experience and you’re golden.
You can also look into creating some passive income streams to help you earn a little extra cash on the side.
Don’t convince them, connect with them. When you can do that, you’ll find people who are excited to give you their money in exchange for your offerings. True story.
6. Your blog isn’t mobile responsive
This is a bad thing for two reasons. First, Google and other search engines have begun to give priority to mobile responsive sites. That means, if your site is not mobile-friendly, you get pushed down in the searches. And second, if your blog isn’t easily viewable on the millions of devices being used to access the web, you’re losing people. No one wants to have to work to read. So, if your site doesn’t format well with their device, you’ve lost them- maybe for good.
Wordpress has some great themes that are pre-programmed to be mobile responsive, so you don’t have to do a thing bring your blog to life across mobile devices everywhere. Check out some ideas on Studiopress and DIY Themes.
7. You’reÂ “Anti-Social”
If you’re counting on blog visitors and newsletter subscribers to keep your numbers afloat, your analytics will remain steady, at best. Your existing readers are already on board. In order to grow your list and your presence, you need to get your information in the hands of new people, and lots of them. The more the merrier.
By publishing your content across a variety of social media platforms, you’ll be able to cast a wider net, reaching exponentially more potential visitors.Â Retweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram shares are priceless. You can also republish some of your writings on Medium. It’s my new favorite digital newspaper (aside from ours, of course!) We’re on there, come follow us!
Too busy for social media? You’re preaching to the choir, sista. In order to avoid the distraction of having to remember to post something to Twitter, Facebook, etc. every day, I turn to social media scheduling tools.Â I usually have my editorial calendar done weeks to months in advance, so I know what’s going to post and when. I’llÂ spend a single sitting scheduling posts across variousÂ social media platforms. They automatically go live when they’re told to-Â on the same day that the new post is released. Buffer, Sprout Social, MeetEdgar, andÂ HootSuite have been invaluable to us in helping with theseÂ (dreaded) tasks.
8. You’re Missing The (Newsletter) Boat
Here at The Mogul Mom, we make it a habit to post at least three times a week; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We know our readers are busy and may not have the time to stop by three times in a given week, so, we make it easy for them by providing a synopsis of the previous week’s posts in ourÂ ‘Weekly Roundup’ email. We recommend: AWeber, Mailchimp, MadMimi, Get Response, and InfusionSoft.
Because statistics show that email newsletters are opened most often on Tuesdays, we send ours out on that day. Surveys we’ve done with our readers indicate overwhelmingly that they prefer a single email per week as opposed to several. And so we oblige. ThisÂ weekly summary lets our readers choose what they want to explore further without a lot of clicking around. It also saves them the time of having to stop by the blog every day searching for new content. Since we started this new format, we’ve seen a boost in both engagement and in new subscribers.
9. You’re trying too hard
Bloggers run into trouble when they leave large gaps of time between posts. It’s the internet, and people are impatient. If you go AWOL, you’re apt to have some reader drop-off. You don’t have to blog every day, but you should definitely keep the fresh content coming. Even when you feel you don’t have something worthwhile to say, pop in with at least once a week with something new.
If you’re finding yourself at a loss for content, you can check out our all new free resource, Write Away.Â It’s a collection ofÂ 52 done-for-you blog post ideas applicable to just about any industry. And they’re not what youÂ mightÂ think.Â Subscribe now right here to get your free copy. You’ll be glad you did.
Finding quality information amid the static can feel impossible. When we do find it, it’s bliss. That’s why it’s so important to make your blog a place worth visiting. Respect your readers limited, valuable time by providing them with all the right stuff, and they’ll return time and again. That’s a promise.
What are you doing to keep your blog as a top-of-mind choice for your right people? Let us know in the comments.
In 2009 a Facebook designer by the name of Jared Morgenstern had an idea:Â the Facebook ‘like’ button. ThisÂ seemingly simple concept has since exploded and become an integral part ofÂ the social media experience.
As the foundersÂ behind the YouTube channel, Generation Y Not, we find funny and interesting ways to get people out of their comfort zones. And that includes ourselves.
When we heard about Jared,Â weÂ came up with a unique idea: to get the guy who invented the ‘like’ button to ‘like’ us.
And it worked.
By continually heeding our own advice and venturing into unchartered waters, we have continued to surprise and astound ourselves.Â Here are our tried and true tips to stepping outside your own comfort zone to achieve new and better results in all aspects of your life and business. It’s how we land our big name guests – and how you can, too.
How to meet anyone
There’s been a study done showing that every person you want to get in touch with is a maximum of six people away. That means if you contact enough people and ask for help, there’s a greater chance they’ll at least hear about you. So, when we aim to meet someone, we find every email we possibly can, and are never afraid to ask for help.
How to make people remember you
Do something with them that they’ve never done before, and/or something that scares them. It’s said that one of the best places to take someone out on a date is to an amusement park. The adrenaline from riding a roller coaster, for example, will make them remember you and the excitement they felt. That’s why we requireÂ everyone who stars in one of our episodes, no matter who they are, to take part in something that makes them uncomfortable. Because we knowÂ they’ll be all Â the better for it.
Never take no for an answer
WhenÂ you start a new, creative project, you’re probably going to need to ask for a lot of help. Whether it is from friends and family members when you ask them if they think you should take a shot at this project, or from investors and customers when you approach them with aÂ prototype, understand up frontÂ that you’re going to get a whole lot of “no’s” for an answer. This is to be expected and isÂ all part of the process.
Being rejected is very difficult at first but it’s ok. The most difficult decision actually comes afterwards: should I give this person (investor, big customer etc.) another shot or should I move on to the next?Â We neverÂ try only once. Persistence pays.
Never accepting a first rejection has proven to be highly beneficial for us and allowed us to make a video with the Montreal Mayor, Trevor Noah, and Jared Morgenstern. When you’re met with a “no”, simply adjust your approach and try again.
Be in love with the process, not the result
Many of our friends look at our channel today and say they’re jealousÂ of our lifestyle. While it may look easy, we work between 12-16 hours a day to makeÂ itÂ all happen. We’re alsoÂ balancing part-time jobs and three of us share a two bedroom apartment to cut rent. It’s not glamorous, but the reality is, that to produce and succeed inÂ yourÂ creative pursuits, you may have to start out livingÂ like a “starving artist”.
The people that eventually become rockstars are the ones that love practicing hours and hours every single day.Â Not the ones that constantly dream about the lifestyle they could have if they were famous. So acknowledge that things mayÂ initially be difficult (for months, and sometimesÂ years), but know that if you persist,the climb will be worth the view.
Your team is everything
Make sure you choose a team with complementary skills that all believe in the same vision.Â We had all met just a few weeks before we launchedÂ our channel, but we all believed in the same core idea: That the excitement behind trying new things and working hard to accomplish things you’ve always wanted to do makes life exciting and fulfilling.
We decided to make videos surroundingÂ this conceptÂ to spread ourÂ message and toÂ reflect on our own experiences, so we learn as go. After creatingÂ 30 videos in 30 days doing 30 things we’ve never done before, we had become the best of friends.
Over time we’ve proven our concept that getting out of your comfort zone can produce amazing results. It worked for us, and it can work for you. Click here to check out the video we produced with Jared.
Trying something newÂ is never easy, but the results are so worth it. How will you step outside your comfort zone today?
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. (Neale Donald Walsch)
The comfort zone is the great enemy of creativity… (Dan Stevens)
Comfort zones are plush lined coffins. When you stay in your plush lined coffins, you die. (Stan Dale)
Great things never came from comfort zones. (Unknown)
Google the words âcomfort zone,â and the vast majority of results are all about getting out, stepping out, and crushing it. Over time, particularly in our Type A, high achieving, go-big-or-go-home culture, the idea of being in oneâs âcomfort zoneâ has been maligned and shamed. Itâs seen as a place of stagnation and sloth. Itâs certainly not a place where highly successful people hang out for very long, if at all.
Forgive my language, but I call BS. Our comfort zone plays a powerful role (especially for introverts) in our sustainability and happiness as entrepreneurs, leaders, colleagues, and friends.
The true definition of comfort zone is âa place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.â For the introvert entrepreneur, our comfort zone is both a soft landing and a launching pad. I see value in honoring our comfort zone from two perspectives: itâs where we recharge, and itâs where we find our footing.
Our Fuel-Up Station
Our comfort zone is our recharging station. Itâs where we replenish our energy. Thereâs space for bold ideas and new connections to take root and grow. Why? Because weâre not over-stimulated by the stress we feel when we are in unfamiliar territory. Thereâs a sense of freedom in our comfort zone. Weâre not on high alert and can be alone with our thoughts, things, people, and places that feel like home. With the energy and ideas that are born in our comfort zone, we can then stretch without breaking.
Your recharging station is anywhere you feel free and relaxed. It might entail walking in the woods, staring at the water, spending time with pets, exercising, meditating, coloring, journaling, daydreaming or even napping. In our go-go-go world, these nourishing activities often take a backseat to being âproductive.â My experience? I come up with my best ideas and amplify my courage when Iâm in my personal comfort zone, minus the distractions, stress, and silly societal pressure to âgo big or go back to bed.â
Our Launching Pad
Itâs where we find our footing and take those baby steps everyone always says are so important. Hereâs an example: you want to start a blog, knowing itâll be a great way to engage with your clients and customers. So many questions, though! What platform to use, how often to post, what topics to write about, where to promote it, how to engage your readers… depending on your strengths, the entire endeavor can be way outside your comfort zone. Itâs easy to become paralyzed by the discomfort and confusion. So the âstart bloggingâ to-do item is recycled week to week, month to month.
This is where the comfort zone is your friend. Without the external âyou should be doing thisâ messaging, thereâs space to ask: what are you most comfortable with?Â Whatâs a reasonable, set-yourself-up-for-success baby step? It might be researching platforms. You could brainstorm a list of topics, without censoring or thinking about the details.
Many people find comfort in structure, so you could set some simple parameters: one post, 300 words, 60 minutes, one main point to make or piece of information to share, write with one person in mind (preferably your ideal reader). Remember: you donât have to tell your life story, cover every possible angle, or write the next Pulitzer Prize-winning article. By stripping the activity down to its essence and temporarily suspending your emotional attachment to an outcome, you can increase comfort enough to break the paralysis.
When it comes toÂ baby steps, I find comfort and inspiration in the words of St. Francis of Assisi: âStart by doing whatâs necessary; then do whatâs possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.âÂ
A New Language
Perhaps if we refer to our comfort zone as âhome base,â âbase camp,â or a ârest stop,â it would remind us of the healthy necessity of spending time there. We would never go on a journey without taking timeouts to rest and refuel, so why do we send out messages that if youâre not âgoing bigâ or âliving on the edgeâ all the time, youâre taking up space?
This does not mean we should avoid any and all situations that bring us fear, stress, or discomfort. The comfort zone should be part of the journey, not the final destination. However, we will experience more success in those stretch situations if weâve first honored our introvert need to recharge and take baby steps within the quiet and friendly confines of our comfort zone.
In the comments, tell us: how do you define your comfort zone?
For more from Beth, check out her new book, The Introvert Entrepreneur.
A practical guide to help introverts harness their natural gifts and entrepreneurial spirit.
Think you have to be loud and brash to be successful in business? Think again. The strengths and traits of the typical introvert lend themselves well to entrepreneurship, as well as âintrapreneurshipâ and a range of business roles. InÂ The Introvert Entrepreneur, professional coach Beth Buelow shows readers how to harness their natural gifts (including curiosity, independence, and a love of research) and counteract their challenges (such as an aversion to networking and self-promotion). She addresses a wide range of topics –from managing fears and expectations and developing a growth mindset to networking, marketing, leadership skills, and community-building–informed by interviews with introverts who have created successful businesses without compromising their core personality.
Filled with fresh insights and actionable advice, this essential guide will support anyone whoâs striving to make a difference in a loud and chaotic world. Check it out, here.
Like the wind and the tides, energy is shifting and moving all of the time.
The sun rotates, planets spin, stars are being born and dying as the Universe itself hurls through space at incomprehensible speeds.
At a micro level, we’re constantly shifting and changing too. We’re generating new cells every day. Various parts of our body are being created anew as other parts die off and are replaced.
You are constantly in a state of shifting and moving to something new. You can’t escape it.
So, if change is such a constant in life, then why are we so uncomfortable with it?
In my work with hundreds of professionals, there is one commonality that keeps good people frozen.
What is it?
It’s a “fear of change”.
Itâs the big hairy elephant in the room that most people want to avoid. There is an epidemic of fear around “new,” “different” and “the unknown”.
I believe we’re afraid of it because all of this change happens beyond the edge of our comfort zone.Â Beyond what we perceive to be the place of “the known,” “the familiar,” “the safe”.
But the truth is, if we weren’t changing, we’d be dead.
I see this all the time in my work with clients (and in myself!), change can be scary.
The “Unknown” is… well, unknown!
And, it takes us beyond the edge of where we can control things and feel “safe.”
And as a busy woman, I know you too are always dodging and weaving with the constant barrage of changes that are always coming at you from left, right, and center.Â This can easily push you well beyond the edge of your comfort zone, leaving you feeling anxious, stressed out, and even overwhelmed.
So how do you navigate the changes without saying yes to too much and overloading your circuits? Â
Here are 4 keys to maintaining your sanity while adapting to change.
Key #1: Notice the conversation you’re having with yourself about the change.
- What about it scares you?
- What makes you nervous?
Write those thoughts down and ask yourself: “Do I really believe that (thought) is actually going to happen?”
If yes, then what steps can I take to shift the outcome in a positive way?
If no, then smile knowing that you were able to see through the thin veil of your fear to the truth.
When youâre able to do this, you build the muscle of knowing that youâre stronger than your fears and can move forward with greater confidence.
Key #2: Identify Whatâs most important to you.
In other words, what are the underlying drivers of your day-to-day decisions? Â These core values consciously and unconsciously guide you on which way to zig or zag on any given day.
Think of them as a compass, helping to guide you along your path. Directing you to see what you need to say Yes to, and No to, in order to move forward in a good way and establish your boundaries for success.
Generally, if a change is in alignment with your values, it will feel âright,â with perhaps some nervous excitement tossed in versus stirring up more anxiety.
Note: if youâre making a big change, it most likely is going to feel uncomfortable in your body. This is when you need to discern between a âgrowing painâ kind of uncomfortable or a âthis isnât really the right path for me to takeâ kind of uncomfortable.
The more in-tune you are with yourself and your values, the more youâll know the difference between the two different kinds of uncomfortable and be able to discern which choice is the best one for you to take.
If youâre not sure what your core values are, here is my Values Assessment tool to help get you started.
Key # 3: Listen to your body and intuition
When change is afoot, your fears can raise their big ugly heads of doubt, worry, and trepidation (just to name a few).Â During times of change, itâs important to tune in to what your body and intuition are trying to tell you.Â Is it fear or that quiet inner voice whispering in your ear?
When you notice that fear is taking over your thinking and spinning you up into a frothy cup of anxiety, then itâs time to pause, notice, and breathe.
Pause,Â and check in with yourself.Â Whatâs going on in your body? Is that fear youâre feeling or your intuition alerting you to something you need to be aware of?
Notice,Â where are you feeling the fear in your body? What shape or color is it? How big is it? When you can identify the fear more clearly, itâs much easier to take back control over it and deal with it effectively.
Breathe. Fear is just an emotion and emotion is just energy. You can breathe that energy right out of your body and into a calmer state of being.
You see change often makes us feel vulnerable, which can feel really unnerving and scary. Truth is, vulnerability is actually an act of courage and is the birthplace of compassion and creativity. So when you can notice the fear and move forward anyways, then youâve won.
Your body has soÂ much more wisdom than we give it credit for! The more tuned into your inner wisdom you are, the easier the journey becomes.
Secret #4: Get grounded
We spend most of our days operating from the head up. When fear of change is trying to take over, then shifting your attention from your head back down into your body is key. Find your feet and breath deeply as you tune into to all the parts of your body, mind, and spirit.
By developing your own daily practice for turning inward, finding your center and connecting with spirit, you can navigate the unexpected changes with greater calm and presence, while expanding the edges of your comfort zone to a new “normal”.
Bottom line: Change is always going to happen.
How you deal with it, is up to you.
Hereâs to going with the flow~
Are you setting yourself up for failure?
Your automatic answer to this question is likely âno!â After all, donât we all yearn for, and go after success? We donât like to fail.
Consciously or not, though, many of us inadvertently create situations that lead to losses rather than wins, failures rather than successes.
See if any of these sound familiar:
You put giant goals on your to-do list rather than breaking them out into smaller tasks. â¨
â Redo website
â Create new program for my clients
â Read Moms Mean Business
All of those are worthy goals but itâs not likely that youâll sit down and do any of them in their entirety. And because of that, we often skip them altogether because what is doable in this moment is checking emails, looking at social media, or grabbing a sandwich.
How about if you make a new rule that anything on your to-do list has to be doable?
For example, one step toward your goal of revamping your website is writing copy for the homepage. Thatâs something you can probably do in an hour or so. If you want to create a new program for your clients, how about asking them what they want as Step #1. Put that on your list, and I bet youâll get it taken care of.
And, while I applaud you for wanting to read a fabulous book, something more fitting for your to-do list would be: Read one chapter in Moms Mean Business. (End of shameless self-promotion.)
You put tasks on your to-do list that you have no intention of ever really doing.
These could be things that you think you should want to accomplish. They could be tasks that someone else wants you to do. Or, they could be things that you want to do but wonât because youâre too [fill in the blank]. These types of tasks get transferred from one to-do list to another and only serve to make you feel badly about yourself.
Take another look at anything on your to-do list thatâs been there awhile.
It likely either falls into the category of âtoo bigâ, in which case, see above. Or, itâs something that you arenât likely to ever really do. Maybe it doesnât relate to your ultimate goals. Maybe it doesnât fit with who you are as a person. Whatever the reason, if you find that itâs something you just wonât do, choose one of the following: adapt it into something you will do, delegate it or, my favorite, delete it. Buh-bye! End of story.
You force yourself to stay at your desk even when you arenât accomplishing anything.
When your mind is wandering or you find yourself aimlessly looking through social media or youâre suddenly shopping for floppy felt hats in the middle of your work day, step away from the computer!
Youâre fooling yourself if you think being at your desk is productive time no matter what.
In fact, youâd be much more productive if you gave yourself a break. Go on a short walk. Call a friend for a quick chat. Or read that magazine article youâve been wanting to get to. Then, when youâve had a bit of time to reset, sit back down and get to work on a specific task from your new and improved to-do list.
You put yourself at the very bottom of your priority list.â¨
Sometimes youâll go through a few days when there just isnât time to think about your welfare. Youâre shoving whatever food you can find into your mouth on the way out the door to a meeting, your kids suddenly need poster board after youâve already been to the store, and you have a big deadline looming. Fine, neglect yourself temporarily. But, as soon as you possibly can, get back on track.
You cannot have a successful business and a happy family life if you are running on empty all the time.
Thatâs just not a sustainable plan. Thereâs no one-size-fits-all prescription here, though, so you need to decide what nurturing yourself looks like.
Hint: Youâll know you arenât hitting the mark when you are short-tempered, rushed, resentful and/or wishing everyone would just leave you the heck alone.
You donât plan for the inevitable.
Like kids expecting dinner. Every night.â¨Yep, your children will be hungry around dinner time. They are also going to want lunch. And breakfast. They will even desire clean clothes, rides to soccer practice, and the aforementioned poster board for their big history project. Ignoring these inevitabilities will not make them go away. What can you do instead? Plan for them.
Make a plan for the week.
Take some time on Sunday to shop for a few meals. Ask your kids every Friday if they need anything special for the next week or create a family list so everyone who needs something specific can write it down in a known place. Have designated laundry nights when you know youâll be around. Or, do whatever works for your family. The point is: if you have a plan, it makes life much more manageable and you end up feeling a lot more in control.
They say failure to plan is aÂ planÂ to fail. That’s definitely one path to failure. Others include settingÂ unachievable goals, setting goals that don’t really fire you up, neglecting yourself, and forcing yourself to be productive when you need a break.
Letâs all agree to say no to those and yes to things that will intentionally bring us closer to success.
What do you do to avoid failures in your work/life balance? Let us know in the comments.
It was night. I stood on the grounds of the college campus our oldest son attends. The dorms all looked the same and I couldnât find him. Disoriented, I couldnât find my way.
It was another night. I wandered, homeless. The whole time, I walked beside a friend. There is some kind of comfort in not going it alone, but exhausting to not be able to find a place to lay my head.
And then, like from all my dreams, I woke up.
I, like many working moms, am proceeding with much on my plate. Also, like many working moms, I am left with both a rich life and a tired body/psyche.
Here is the thing. In my particular story, I have an unrelenting drive to love. It shows up, gloriously imperfectly, in my close relationships, in my therapy, and in my book-writing and illustrating. Such love has a life of its own. It must have its way. Trumping all else, I must follow it.
I have not figured out myÂ work/life balance goal. The thing I do know is that I want to live a life of authenticity and passion, and maybe that is the more helpful goal. I wish to pour my whole heart into my work and life. Furthermore, I want to invite others to do the same. I want to call them out and tell them I see their magnificence and celebrate their full, vibrant expression everywhere. That is what my latest full-color book, âThe Great Green Okayness: A Field Guide to Seeing Your Uncommon Magnificenceâ is about. You can see more about that, here.
As for the cost of surrendering to moving passionately in this brief, precious life, with pockets of disorientation and fatigue, comes the question of self-care. How do I need to become more conscious and deliberate with how I am proceeding? Go down that never ending check-list of how I am doing with nutrition, sleep, exercise, enough stillness, etc. Such a needed back and forth giving to others and giving to self is.
Ebb and flow. We tide like the glorious water we are. And do the best we can.
With so much love,
You can pre-order now through December 4, right here.
We’re all looking for ways to increase our earnings, but there are only so many hours in a day.Â As time strapped entrepreneurs, we don’t have a moment to spare.
Enter, passive income. Passive income can be defined as earnings from sources other than your active (work) and your portfolio (investment) income. It’s designed to bring additional income in the back door as you’re out there earning a living, managing your home, and living the good life.
Why add passive income?
The former financial advisor in me urges you to think of the strategies like a diversified investment portfolio. Youâve always got something going. The idea is, even when things slow down, you still have something coming in.
This sort of a multifold model offers potential across a vast landscape of possibility. Combining your current income with secondary sources will help you reach past the âtime for moneyâ model as you increase your bottom line and your exposure right along with it.â¨ Your earning potential is limited only by your imagination.
The ideas to follow are viable, proven suggestions on how to use capitalize on your creativity and utilize your work to boost your bottom line. Many of these methodologies sell themselves, many with very little time investment from you.
Rules of the Road
There are a few guidelines to follow when setting up your income streams.
Only recommend programs that:
- are relevant to your marketplace
- you’re familiar with
- you rally feelÂ will help enhance people’s experience
- you truly believe in
Ready to get started?
BECOME AN AFFILATE
Becoming an affiliate is an easy way to start earning passive income. You can monetize your website or blog by promoting reputable companies and offerings that you believe will help your right people. Some that I recommend are:
Join the largest affiliate marketing community and training website on the internet, and discover the freedom of making money online.
Become a free member and get:
- Affiliate Marketing QuickStart Guide
- A Downloadable Roadmap To Success
- 120 Video Lessons, yours for the taking
Write An eBook
Contrary to what you may have heard, ePublications are not dead. In fact, they’re still hot sellers for plenty of companies. (Ourselves included!)
eBooks are a fantastic way to help you make money on autopilot as you position yourself as an industry expert and earn high profit margins with a no-risk offering -all with no time or delivery cost to you.
WHen I was starting out, I found this books extraordinarilyÂ helpful:
How To Write andÂ Sell Simple Information For Fun and ProfitÂ by Bob Bly
Resell Other People’s Offerings
No time to create your own digital guides? No problem. You can still make a quick buck promoting ebooks and courses you’ve found helpful along your own path. Lots of companies offer affiliate programs that pay handsomely in return for sales made using your unique referral link.
Simply find a provider, product, program, or service you love and Google the name along with the word ‘affiliate program’. If they offer one,Â it’s likely to show up there. If not, you can check their website and look for words like ‘partner’ or ‘affiliate’ program. Or, just email them and ask.
You can check out ours, here. We’d love to have you on board!
Create and OfferÂ Your Own Affiliate Program
Got existing offerings you’d like to promote? There are plenty of sites to help you create your own affiliate program. The increased exposure you’ll gain by having an army of brand evangelists out there promoting your items for sale will probably shock you.
SomeÂ people feel that they’re giving money away by paying someone else to sell their products and services. But the fact is, that you likely wouldn’t have had the sale in the first place if not for the recommendation. Product sellers will wholesale wares and pay a percentage to a retailer. Same concept. Consider it a form of very targeted advertising.
We useÂ SendOwlÂ to sell all our digital productsÂ because it’s quick, easy, and helps us with our accounting and that pesky VAT Tax reporting.
Become an Affiliate forÂ Amazon
You’ll receive a percentage of everything that sells when someone clicks through using your link. Look into it, here.
Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Membership Site
Monetize your platform by turning your site into a paid membership community. This option is best for those who have a strong following, lots of products or information to offer, and who have had membership community experience- whether as an owner or a member.
WishList Memberâ˘Â is a powerful, yetÂ easy to use plugin turns any WordPress site into a full-blown membership site.Â Just unzip and upload the plugin, and within minutes youâll have your own membership site up and running allowing you to protect members-only content, integrate payment solutions, and manage your members.
MONETIZE YOUR WEBSITE AND BLOG
Pay Per Click
The Business Dictionary defines Pay Per Click Advertising as:Â aÂ cost modelÂ implemented byÂ search enginesÂ or otherÂ websitesÂ toÂ chargeÂ advertisersÂ for each time aÂ userÂ clicks a specificÂ link. When a user clicks a link, the click is registered in aÂ systemÂ and a pre-determined charge is assessed. Many websites that have advertisingÂ opportunitiesÂ have implemented the program to charge their advertisers. One of the most popular pay per clickÂ programsÂ is run by Google and isÂ calledÂ AdWords.
Share Your Spotlight
You can also monetize your blog with sponsored posts and dedicated emails.Â A sponsored post is An advertorial blog post with your link as well as a closing disclosure and attribution. This is a great âevergreenâ option. See an example, here.
A dedicated email is an email sent to your newsletter subscribers tactfully promoting someone’s product or service. See an example, here.
To start, create an advertising page to send people to. This is ours. Next, develop an advertising media kit that details who you are and why someone would want to advertise with you. [I believe it should contain current pricing, though not everyone is in agreement with that philosophy. Do what feels right for you.] Have a peek at our media kit to see how we did this.
Sell Blog Ads
You can also sell direct advertisements on the sidebar of your blog. If you look to the right you’ll see our ads along with some empty ad spaces. If you click them you’ll get the parameters and pricing for those available slots. I’ll admit that the prospect of selling advertising was daunting at first. But I found an amazing plugin that does it all for us in OiO Ad Manager. It’s super simple to use and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
I createdÂ Peripheral Vision, a digital guide fully dedicated to passive income streams and detailed how-tos (with resources and inks) right here. If you get it and love it, you can resell it asÂ a Mogul Mom affiliateÂ and earn 30%+ for every copy sold.
For further support, I recommend the following resources:
The Power MOB- The Mogul Mom’sÂ very own private community Â Click to Join
This Forbes article on How Pat Flynn Made His First $3 Million In Passive Income
You can join his Smart Passive Income Community on Facebook, Â here
A final note:
The FTC requires you let people know you’re an affiliate for a particular program, so don’t forget a disclaimer. Here’s ours:
*Many of the links included in this post are affiliate links for The Mogul Mom. While the information on our site is 100% free to you, itÂ takes us a minimum of 20-30+ hours per week to create. By clicking the links we will earn a small commission on your sale, at absolutely no extra cost to you.Â These affiliate commissions help to offsetÂ the cost of keeping the site up and running by helping to pay for hosting and other fees.Â We appreciate your support in keeping The Mogul Mom free to everyone.
There are literally countless other ways to earn passive income through multiple streams of income. This list was designed to get you motivated and started with someÂ that I, myself, or my clients have had success with.
What methods are you employing to bring in passive income? Let us know in the comments.
For the majority of moms that start businesses, the driving force behind making it happen is freedom. We crave flexible schedules, not having to apologize for having a sick child, and being able to spend quality time with our family.
But juggling motherhood and growing a business is hard. We end up trying to cram everything into our days, dealing with giant to-do lists, and a heaping dose of business or mom guilt, depending on the moment.
The end result? Weâre tired, stressed, and burned out as we try to do it all. Even worse, something always suffers. It may be relationship, your self-care, or even your business as you trying to jam it in the nooks and crannies of your packed mama schedule.
So, how does a busy mama ditch the guilt and create a plan that lets you make the most of your 24 hours in a day?
Kiss the Concept of Balance GoodbyeÂ
Start by letting the concept of balance go. The work/life balance mantra only serves to make most mamas feel bad. Balance is treated as this state of complete calm and control, achieved effortlessly.
The truth is, that as mamas and business owners, weâre engaged in an extreme sport thatâs not for the faint of heart. And balancing requires being 100% present and focused in that moment. I find that Iâm never working harder than when Iâm in balance – because just like if Iâm balancing on one foot, Iâm constantly adjusting to make sure I donât fall.
Instead of balance, go for flowÂ
When you strive for flow, you can create a rhythm to your life and days that doesnât make you feel bad about anything. Some days that means more family time, and others that may mean time for self-care or working on a big project in your business. Flow lets you figure out the priorities and go with it instead of trying to live up to someone elseâs idea of how you should be spending your time.
Get Clear on Your Big RocksÂ
The term âbig rocksâ comes from a story thatâs shared in Stephen Coveyâs Book, First Things First, about how a teacher used a jar to show how if you fill it up with water, sand or pebbles (the metaphorical small stuff of life) first, you donât have room for the big rocks (a.k.a. ‘the most important things’ – health, family, friends, personal growth, career, etc.).
The idea is that you need to put your big rocks in first and let the other things fill in around them.Â If youâve ever struggled to build real momentum in your business, chances are there isnât enough solid time dedicated to those big rocks. Instead, your weeks are filled with sand and pebbly tasks like emails, social media, or administrative tasks.
Your big rocks will be different at different times, but unless youâre very intentional about them, they arenât likely going to happen.
For a lot of moms, their business is important to them but they donât treat it like a big rock so itâs always last on the list. They donât have dedicated time to work. Or maybe they donât have enough support with the other areas of their life (ahem – laundry?). And for your business to actually succeed, you may need to give it more time or space to happen.
Another big one that can easily get overlooked is self-care. You need to take care of yourself first because if youâre stressed out, unhealthy and falling apart, youâre not going to be able to take care of anyone else. It may be making time for a lunch date, or a massage, or even a quick walk by yourself. Radical self-care can work wonders in your life and your business if you turn it into one of your big rocks.
Create Your Model CalendarÂ
This is where the rubber meets the road, because to find flow and prioritize those big rocks, you need a plan, otherwise youâll find yourself caught up in the million zillion things you need to do.
Meet the model calendar, the busy mamaâs BFF.
Not convinced? Youâve got a choice. You can live by design or your can live by default. When youâre living by design, each day has purpose. When youâre living by default, youâre likely always putting out fires and struggling to make it all happen.
The model calendar gives you a starting point for creating a week with time and space for the things that matter from spending time with your family, to working on your business, to things like date night, self-care and volunteer work.
Hereâs how to get started:Â
- Grab a weekly calendar thatâs broken down by hours. Maybe this is a Google Calendar or a paper version. Do whatâs easiest and most accessible for you.
- Block out your personal and family time first. It may seem counterintuitive, but when they are taken care of, the rest gets a lot easier.
- Create your office hours. This lets you get intentional about when youâre working and not just trying to squeeze it in whenever you get a second (trust me – you canât run a business when youâve only got 15 minutes to yourself each day). Having work hours helps create a healthy boundary for you and family. Plus, your family learns that this is a priority that should be taken seriously.
- Map out your work week. Based on your office hours, start prioritizing how you spend that time. Starting with a CEO date each week so you can create a plan for the week based on whatâs most important. From there, break your tasks down using these core categories: marketing, business development, client work, customer service and operations/administration. But these into blocks so you can create forward motion each week. For inspiration, you can check out my model calendar here to see how I keep all my balls in the air with 3 kids under the age of five and a husband who works with me in my business.
Creating a business and a life that you love doesnât have to be a struggle. With the right plan in place you can create a flow where you focus on your priorities and love the life youâve created.
Are you a mom or are you an entrepreneur?
Do we have to pick just one? No.
We are Mompreneurs and we choose both.
The term âMompreneurâ describes a multi-tasking mother who can find some sense of balance with both the stresses of running a home-based business as an entrepreneur, and the time-consuming duties of motherhood.
Mom + Entrepreneur.
As if the two were not challenging enough on their own, why would anyone choose to combine them? The answer is passion. It is drive. It is a dream that needs to be brought to life.
The life of a Mompreneur is not an easy one. Itâs a constant juggling act, ensuring one of the many responsibility balls doesnât come crashing down.
There’s that conference call scheduled right during dinner time when your husband is traveling for work.
You committed to volunteer at your childâs school but your client is only in town for one day.
Is it possible to find balance in the chaos?
Here are 5 ways to make it work:
1. Allow yourself to fail
What? Fail?!Â Yes, failure can often be the key to success.Â We are taught our whole lives that failure is a bad thing and it can be, but sometimes, it is what we need to gain success.
There are simply not enough hours in the day for everything. If you createÂ unrealistic expectationsÂ as either a mom or entrepreneur, you will constantly feel like you are letting others down.Â Including yourself.
When you allow yourself to let one of those balls drop, the pressure comes off and you realize you are human and imperfect like everyone else.
2. Donât over-promise or over-schedule
- Committing to too many endeavors is going to lead to immense stress and the possibility of under-delivering.
- If you are missing deadlines at work, are constantly disappointing your kids, have bills piling up that are now late and are five loads behind in your wash, itâs time to scale back.
- If you are not able to give 100% to one thing, you are not being fair to that one thing.
- You are not valuable to anyone if you are not 100% there.
- You may be able to fake it for a while, but soon your child will notice, your business will suffer and your home responsibilities will become an out of control mess.
- Itâs okay to say no to something, even if you feel guilty about it.
- Why are we so afraid to say ânoâ?
- Claiming the role of the âyesâ person leaves you ragged and everyone ends up happy but you.
- When you start to realize you are only one person and simply cannot do it all, you find that people actually understand and are human just like you.
Prioritize, and neverÂ lose sight of what’s important.
3. Learn from your mistakes
When you do fail, and you will, take advantage of the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.Â If you were a Mommy Disaster today, figure out what went wrong and make changes for tomorrow.Â If you made a bad business decision, do what you can to ensure you donât make that same choiceÂ again in the future.Â If you let someone down in your family, apologize and see to it that you don’t make the same mistake again. Just as we tell our kids, everyone makes mistakes. And mistakes, are simply lessons in disguise.
4. Be prepared for the ride as it gets bumpy
Anything worth having comes in the form of a challenge. Know that with this dual role,Â you will be pulled in a million different directions and find yourself yearning for just a few extra hours, minutes, or even seconds in your day just to get it all done.
Mompreneurs work their butts off and hear a lot of ânoâsâ, yet theyÂ never stop trying. It may seem like you are always working on something, because you are.Â It can get overwhelming pretty fast.Â Find âmeâ time to refresh yourself when necessary.
5. Be a positive Role Model
If you’re lucky enough to gain success as a Mompreneur, embrace it. Share your success stories, and encourage other women to do the same.Â Knowing that others are watching, trying to emulate your accomplishments and drive, will keep you going when you’re ready to quit.Â Even though you may have not slept, have laundry and deadlines piling up, and you’re wondering why you’re continuously torturing yourself by taking too much on- others will see you as their motivation to get started on their own dreams and aspirations.Â Just asÂ someone inspired you, whether your children or another woman, the torch has been passed and itâs now your duty to do the same.
Remember that there is no perfect person or perfect parent. Being a Mompreneur is a tough gig.Â Give yourself a pat on the back once in a while and allow yourself the credit you deserve. Your kids see how hard you work and while you may have bad days, they view you as their hero every day!
How do you find a sense of balance as a Mompreneur? Let us know in the comments.
What to do when a potential client tells you she has been talking to your âcompetitorâ who is offering a better deal?
Are you willing to enter this âprice warâ to get a client at the expense of long-term success, or would you mumble âcheapskateâ under your breath and swear never to have anything to do with this prospect again?
Unless you are the Walmart of your industry â having âlow priceâ as your unique positioning â entering a price war is usually detrimental to a businessâ long-term success.
If you lower your pricing for one client who nickel-and-dimes you, you are not only hurting the finances of your business, but you are also setting a precedent. (Do you think there is only one prospect like that out there?)
â˘ Not being fair to your other clients or customers who are compensating you fairly for your work.
â˘ Likely to be compromising your quality to meet the budget, and risk damaging your reputation.
â˘ Likely to be pressuring your team to deliver an unreasonable amount within a compressed timeframe, which is not a sustainable way to run a business.
â˘ Likely to be subjecting your team and yourself to a âclient from hellâ. Clients who bargain-hunt are usually high-maintenance and like to ask the vendor to âthrow things in.â
So, how do you win a price war when you are asked to âdo something about your price?â
By GETTING OUT OF IT.
Unless you are Walmart, you are not going to win. But you can get out of it without burning bridges.
1. Get To the Core of the Issue
Before you start negotiating the numbers, why not find out if itâs indeed the ânumberâ that is the core of the issue?
Ask your prospect â if the price is not an issue, whose products or services would better meet their needs? Which one can deliver more value to them?
Make this conversation about your prospect, and not whether you or your competition is âbetter.â
You want to guide your prospect to recognize the VALUE they get out of working with you, and the relevance of your products and services to their needs.
This is a win-win situation because they would either realize the value you deliver is higher than your competitor, hence well worth the price and buy from you; or you screen out a client who is not a good match for your products or services.
2. Be Gracious To the Price-Shopper
If the only differentiator is price from the prospectâs perspective, send them off on a high note (maybe you can offer a few pointers on how to get the most out of working with your competition) â you never know when you will cross path again.
You donât want to devalue your products or services because it would be unfair to your other customers and partners.
If you want to position your products as premium solution, you donât want to get bargain hunters in the door. You donât want to be doing business with those who just want to save a few bucks, because typically you get little respect and loyalty in return.
3. Stick To Your Guns
Usually when you are able to articulate how the value you deliver is relevant to your prospect, you have a good chance to turn the conversation around. (see #1)
Even if you lose the deal, not jumping into a price war is often the best way to go.
Good business builds on delivering VALUE â the way you differentiate yourself from competition is by creating unique value, not by being the cheapest gal on the block.
Give your clients the best solution by developing trust, partnership and long-term relationship â which donât come out of some nickel-and-diming negotiation or âdrive-byâ working relationship that doesnât breed loyalty.
When you say ânoâ to price wars, you are doing whatâs best for your business in the long run â you maintain the quality of your work, you get to service great clients who value your solution and send you referrals, and you have a happy team who feel that their efforts are valued.
Your turn â have you been asked to âmatch the priceâ and what did you do? What worked for you, and what didnât? What would you do next time you get a nickel-and-dimer?
People sometimes see happiness as a level to be unlocked, and as a constant state that can be achieved. Unfortunately, there are many things in life that are beyond our control – heartbreak, tragedy, and disappointment come uninvited at times. How is it that someÂ people always seem toÂ manage to stay truly happy most of the time?
Here are seven habits they all share.
They are proactively and consciously thankful. Expressing genuine gratitude toward others, whether it is a partner, a colleague, or a stranger, makes the relationship stronger and more intimate. Focusing on what you have makes you realize how much you have achieved and have to be thankful for, even if you are striving to achieve even bigger things. Being consciously and actively thankful puts you in a positive state of mind, which helps you notice the positive in everything that happens around you.
One great routine to try is to maintain a gratitude journal. Every night, for 5 minutes before bed, open the journal and jot down all that you are grateful for that happened that day. It will put you in a state of inner peace that will also help you prepare yourself for more restful sleep.
They make new relationships, and work hard to make the ones they already have substantial and meaningful. Not everyone needs hundreds of friendships and other relationships to feel happy and fulfilled. For most people, having a few strong friendships sustained over many years and some kind of family life go a long way. More important than the sheer number of relationships, is the strength of those relationships and the openness of the people in them. The more people in a relationship see, interact, and share their feelings with one another, the better.
They get enough sleep. The actual number of hours may vary from person to person, but those who are happy get the sleep their body needs. Richard Branson is perfectly happy sleeping four to five hours a day and waking up in time to watch the sunrise, while others (myself included) need at least eight hours to feel rejuvenated. Sleep quality is very important too â some of the most useful tips I have found include making sure your body gets enough selenium (a banana a day), getting a good air purifier for the bedroom and maintaining a regular sleep schedule.
They understand life through spirituality. Regardless of what religion you believe in, spirituality contributes to happiness. Several studies substantiate the claim that people with some sense of the greater, the spiritual, are generally happier than those who are not. Spiritual people typically find themselves having another strong pillar of support they can turn to in times of adversityâ their faith.
Having some ways to reason and understand the big questions, unknowns and challenges in life can be very comforting and help give life meaning. They are also more likely to be compassionate and charitable, both traits that can be fulfilling and contribute to happiness.
They exercise. Anyone with an active job or pastime will tell you about how much better they feel moving around, using their body to exercise almost every day. Consistency is key, but so is having reasonable expectations. If you don’t run, don’t expect to become a marathoner overnight. But, you can set some concrete goals to achieve on your way.
Start small, with just a light exercise, even if just at home. Do it everyday, if possible. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain. These make you feel good and compel you to keep up your habit. Also, exercise does wonders for image issues, even if you’re not instantly shedding the pounds.
Beyond working out at the gym, here are a few other creative exercise options for those who need more inspiration: barefoot running, Tai Chi, andÂ trampolining.
They care about others. The more you empathize with others the better you will feel about yourself and your impact on others. People who volunteer and reach out to others less fortunate extoll the benefits of helping others. While making a genuine difference in the lives of others, you also enrich yourself and your understanding of the power of simple human interactions, and the power of kindness.
They don’t settle. Living the life you want means setting goals for yourself and achieving them. This is also a key component of happiness. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself now to yourself several years ago. Have you made progress on your personal goals?
By competing against only yourself you get consistent fulfillment as you make greater progress towards your goals. The people who are truly happy feel a sense of purpose. They wake up everyday excited, because they know each day will move them closer towards their goals. They always have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal in mind that inspires and motivates them.
Have you seen other habits in truly happy people you would like to share? Please, leave us a note below.
Successful companies encompass the founderâs values and perspective on life. Â Never was this more clear to me than when my life came to a screeching halt just a couple short years ago.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer and my life was suddenly and frighteningly put into perspective.
I was instantly taught many things but the most important thing I learned was that nothing,Â not a job, company, title, or material item, will matter much to you when you fear for your life. Â The only thing that truly matters is friends and family.Â This may seem obvious, but we can become lost in life and start to give things more merit than they deserve.
When I was diagnosed, I was seven months pregnant with my first child and in the midst of starting up a jewelry company, Sally Jane, with my aunt.Â I can tell you with all honesty that the company was the last thing I thought of when I heard the words âon average you have two years to live.âÂ I was 31 years old, happily married, and for the first time feeling like I was exactly where I was supposed to be in life.
Like the scene of a disaster, everything to do with our company was untouched from that day on, as if people had left in a rush.Â The notes I had written for our story, the samples of charms and chains tucked in the draw of the desk in my guest room, the product-less website displaying our logo and âestablished in 2012,â all hung in the abyss.Â We left everything as it was and began the work of beating the disease.
I went through a year of grueling treatment including four surgeries and eleven rounds of chemotherapy.Â Once I was rid of the disease and feeling stronger, I decided that I wanted to think about working on the company again.Â It was not something I took lightly because anything that took me away from time with my son would often fill me with guilt.Â However, I knew that I had to start living again and that meant fulfilling my life dream of being a jewelry designer as well as a mom.Â
Finding everything to do with the company a year later, exactly how we had left it, remained unfinished and with loose ends was emotional.Â Reconnecting with suppliers and explaining why we had dropped off as we did was painful.Â Perhaps this was because, in a way, it brought me out of the shock I had been living in and forced me to reflect, for the first time, on how much my life had changed.
These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today.Â Our values at Sally Jane have become so much more apparent and powerful because of them.Â I am a much wiser person and feel that so much anxiety and worry about trivial matters has literally been lifted from me.Â I can physically feel that. Yet with that has come extreme fear for my life.Â This continued fear gives me a constant sense of perspective on business.
What could be more scary than the thought I might leave my husband and baby?
It has freed me up to go for things with a confidence I never would have before.Â I wish I knew that it did not truly matter if the company has a setback, or a marketing campaign fails, without having to go through what I did, but I had to.Â This sort of confidence and perspective has had a major impact on the impression I give to people and I believe truly aides in my success.
People react positively to a confident person who knows her values and what is important in life.Â
Cancer never truly leaves you once you have been diagnosed.Â The emotional trauma lingers, Â even when your body has been rid of the disease.Â In order to lead a productive life you have to find ways to manage your fear.Â Yet it also is incredibly liberating.Â If you can approach your work with an attitude of, âwhat do I have to lose?â you can become a force to be reckoned with.
Hopefully others will not have to go through what I did to learn to put their ego to the side. Your work defines only a part of you as a person.Â You are not the product.Â So when someone criticizes your work, or suggests you take a different approach to something, recognize they are not talking about you personally or what you might think of as âyour baby.â Use their advice to advance your goals.
You can check out Sally’s inspirational jewelry lines, at SallyJane.net.