Making the Wahm decision Mothers who work at home (or Wahms) are a growing population of working America. As more and more women want to spend time with their children and need to bring in an income, there has been a boom in the work at home industry. Making the decision to work at home is not always an easy one. Before you decide that being a Wahm is right for you, you need to take a few things into account. You'll need to decide if being a Wahm is right for you and your family. There are many benefits to working out of the home. You can set your own hours, you don't have to commute to work and you can be there for your kids when they need you. However, there are some downsides as well. The isolation of working at home can be an issue for some women. There are also challenges related to juggling work time and family time. You'll also have to look at the impact that working from home will have on your family's financial situation. If you are moving from a high-paying full time job to working part time from home while you care for your child, there will definitely be some financial adjustments. However, whatever your cut in pay will be, you have to weigh that versus the costs of putting your child into daycare full time. Although it may seem like your work at home pay will be minimal compared to your full time out of the home job, you need to consider how much it will cost for daycare. If you can make an equal amount of money or more by working part time from home and taking care of your child yourself, it is well worth it financially to stay at home. However, some women see that raising their child without the use of daycare, whether or not they make a significant income, is the real benefit of being a Wahm. The perks of raising your own child, while still bringing in money for the family, are many. Children are only young once, and being able to stay at home with them is one of the top reasons that women choose a Wahm career. There are also several qualities that make a Wahm successful. Before you start working at home, evaluate whether you have these qualities or can develop them. Working at home normally fits into two different categories. You can either work as an independent contractor for a company or you can work for yourself. Either way, you are going to be in charge of your own schedule. You'll need to be extremely self-motivated and work well without having a supervisory presence in your work environment. Even those who choose to work for a company are responsible for scheduling their own time and meeting deadlines without a lot of input from supervisors. Another important skill to have as a Wahm is time management. When you work out the home, you are confronted with two sets of challenges each day. You'll be faced with the work you need to get done, but you'll also be in the midst of your household, where there are always things that need to be done. If you focus too much on your work, your house will get out of control, and vice versa. Having good time management skills will help you tackle the diverse challenges of being a Wahm. Making the decision to become a Wahm requires a lot of thought and consideration. If you are thinking about working from home because you are having a baby, or because you are tired of sending your children to daycare, take some time to write down the pros and cons of becoming a Wahm. Talk things over with your family to ensure that you are making the right decision for the family unit. There are plenty of resources online for moms who are looking to find out more about the realities of working at home. Once you've considered your position and done the necessary research, you'll be better equipped to make the right decision for you. Organization for Wahms Getting organized is the key to making your life as a work at home mom efficient and, relatively, stress free. If you can get and stay organized, your business and your home life will flourish. Without taking some simple organizational steps you'll be swamped with work and overwhelmed with laundry in no time. One of the most important parts of getting organized as a Wahm is to establish business hours. Setting up specific working times during each day has many benefits. First, you'll be more consistent with your work. Once you've gotten used to starting and stopping at a specific time each day you'll work more efficiently. You'll manage your work time better and reduce distractions like checking your e-mail or watching television. You'll also be less likely to pick up things to do here and there, like laundry or taking time to errands. If you have set working hours, you'll schedule those tasks around your work time so you'll be more focused during your work time. It will help your family and friends understand that you are working while you are at home, and you won't be available during those hours. Next, you need to start delegating tasks to other family members. It may seem easier to do everything yourself, but once you have work duties on top of household duties you'll realize how few hours in the day there actually are. There is nothing wrong with asking your children to fold the laundry, or having your husband cook dinner a few nights a week. By sharing the household duties as a family, you'll have more time to get your work done and feel more rested. The important thing to remember when you delegate is that things won't be done the way that you would do them. However, they are getting done. Planning your work and family activities will make the whole house run smoother. If you don't have a daily planner, then you need to get one. It doesn't matter if it is a paper planner or a computer application. When you use a planner to write down everything that needs to be done, and then plan each activity for a specific time then you'll have the opportunity to manage your time more wisely in and out of your home office. Organizing your home at large will help make your business more organized. While it may take a while to establish some organizational habits in your house, your efforts will be well worth it. Don't try to get organized in a weekend or even several days. Work up to a level of organization. Start small with your desk space. Organize the things in your desk and top of your desk. Make sure that everything that you need has a place, and toss or donate things that you don't need. Then move on to another portion of the house. When something is out of place, it's easy to put it back in its home once you've taken the time to organize your storage spaces around the house. If need be, take a trip to an office supply store or home improvement store and buy items like bins, cabinets and shelves that will help you stay more organized. Getting organized as a Wahm does take some time and effort. Realize that with time your organizational system will get better. Work with your family to make your home run efficiently, and then you'll be able to concentrate on your work when you need to. Dealing with Wahm stereotypes One of the hardest issues to contend with as a Wahm is the perception of others that you aren't working. Many people think that working at home isn't working at all, and that you have all of the free time in the world. Those who have spent any time working at home know that there is a lot of time and energy that goes into effectively working at home. Friends who call in the middle of the day, spouses who expect you to be doing more while home or family members who make offhand comments, can undermine those efforts. Not all stay at home moms work, and if you have friends who don't it can be hard for them to understand that your days aren't free. Calls during your working time, invitations to lunch and uninvited guests can throw a wrench in your work schedule. In order to get your friends to respect your time, it's important to make your working schedule clear to them. If you don't have a clear work schedule, then it is time to make one for yourself. By setting office hours for yourself, you make it clear to everyone around you that you are serious about your work. It will also help set boundaries for your time. Tell your friends that you will be unavailable from a certain time to a certain time, but you'd love to talk before or after those times. You may even go so far as to turn off your phone. If you do answer the phone and someone wants to chat, politely let them know that you are working but can speak after a certain time. Also, schedule things like lunches or visits for one day per week. This way you'll reduce the drop-ins and spontaneous invitations. Spouses can sometimes have difficulty understanding why, if you are home all day, the housework isn't done. This problem can best by solved by familiarizing him with the nature of your business. Show him exactly what you need to do each day, and how long it takes to do each task. Help him understand your work schedule, and how much time you need to work per day. Showing exactly how much money you are making will help him realize the benefits of your work as well. Then ask him to help you come up with solutions for working at home and maintaining the household. Make a list of things that need to be done each week, and assign duties to you, him and the children (if they are old enough). Then taking care of the house becomes a family priority and something that you all share responsibility in. Notify him of any special projects by keeping a work calendar on the wall. That way he can see what is going on with your work schedule, and why you have ordered pizza for dinner three times in the last week! Many Wahms can be hurt over offhand comments about working at home. Family or even friends can say things like "Well you have the time, because you are at home." In situations like these, you have two choices. You can either get upset and offer a flustered defense or you can take their comments with a grain of salt and offer a calm response. Depending on the situation you can say something like "Well, let me check my work schedule. I know I am not available on these days" or "That would be great on Friday afternoon, which is when I leave time in my work schedule for those types of things." Remember, working at home is new territory for many people although the numbers of Wahms are growing. It may take some time for the average person to understand the commitment and scheduling that it takes to effectively work from home. You may never convince some people that you are actually working while at home but establishing respect for your own time is one way to make them see that your work is a priority. Wahm baby sitting tips If you have experience working with kids, or are just an children lover, then starting a work at home baby sitting business may be right for you. baby sitters offer an important role to parents and help keep the one hundred and forty-five million babies in this country healthy and happy. As a baby sitter, you'll offer a valuable service to busy parents who are on vacation or who need someone to take care of their babies during the day. Getting started as a baby sitter is very simple. To begin with, you'll need to decide if this really is a business that you want to pursue. First off, ask yourself if you really love kids? If you are considering baby sitting just because you think it will be an easy job, then it is not right for you. You must enjoy spending time with kids and have at least a little experience in being around them. While most baby sitting jobs involve young children, you may occasionally be asked to care for older kids or teenagers as well. Make sure you are comfortable with teens before accepting assignments involving them. Start your business by becoming legal. Obtaining a business license doesn't cost much and will give you a professional edge when getting new clients. You'll also be able to take advantage of many tax write-offs, including your costs for mileage to and from your customer's homes and any necessary business supplies. Speaking of business supplies, all you'll really need are business cards and an appointment book to keep track of your assignments. Unlike other work at home businesses, the start up necessities for baby sitting are relatively low. Next, you'll need to decide on what services you offer and how much you are going to charge. Play detective and find out the going rate for baby sitting services in your area. Try to stay in the same range. Offering lower prices may seem like a way to beat the competition, but it also makes your services appear less valuable to potential clients. You can print your rates on the back of your business cards, or make up a small flyer with prices listed on it. Getting clients for your baby sitting business may be the most difficult part of running the business. However, with a little effort you can build a client list rather quickly. The best way to get clients and assignments is by word of mouth. Offer to baby sit for neighbors and friends to help build your reputation. Once you've done a good job for them, they'll tell their friends and so on. You can also use a few free and low cost advertising methods to get the word out about your business. You can distribute your cards at local baby shops, or post a flyer on their bulletin boards. Ask your local pediatrician if they would put some of your business cards on their reception desk, or recommend you to other parents. A small ad in your local paper can really help get the ball rolling for your business. Once you have clients calling you for baby sitting appointments, make sure to keep them by treating them with great customer service. Always arrive on time and prepared to watch their babies. Respect their home and their property. If they enjoy your service, they'll be more likely to call you in the future. Child care For Wahm's Many potential Wahms think that starting an at home daycare business will be an easy way to make extra money and stay at home with their children. Owning a childcare business can be rewarding and does have many perks. However, the realities of this type of business are far from the ideal expectations of most people considering childcare. If you have experience in child care or a degree related to the child care field, then opening your own daycare as a Wahm is a natural extension of your our of the home job. However, there are a few important distinctions between working for someone else taking care of children and running your own in-home facility. The first is money. At home childcare businesses can be profitable, but it normally takes six to eighteen months for Wahms to see any substantial income coming in. This may not be a problem for you, and if you are committed to building the quality and size of your business, the start of your profitability can be on the low end of that scale. It takes several months to a year to turn a daycare into a profitable daycare for many reasons. First of all, each state has its own licensed childcare requirements. Getting licensed to have a home daycare means attending classes, passing certification and having your home inspected. While you are going through this process, you can look into doing some unlicensed childcare for a few children to start building your business. Each state has its own rules for unlicensed childcare. You should take the steps, however, to get licensed because it will increase your clout in the eyes of parents and make it easier to get funding for your daycare. It can also take a while to become a profitable daycare because of the start up costs involved. While you do have some baby and child items from your own children, there are many things that you'll need to buy in order to make your home functional as a daycare. You'll want to buy tables and chairs, art supplies, music CDs, games and other activities that the children can use while they are in your home. Finally, it takes time to build up a list of children who attend your daycare. There are many home daycare centers to choose from in every town, and once parents find a good center they normally stay there long term. Finding new clients can be difficult, especially if you don't take care of infants or babies. Getting clients can be easier when you are licensed, but to begin with you need to rely on networking with parenting groups, people at your church, people in your community and friends in order to build your business. Despite the long start up time, many Wahms find that owning their own in home childcare center is a great solution to their work at home problem. There are many benefits to taking care of other people's children. Your children will never be without playmates to entertain them. You'll have access to many fun and exciting programs made especially for daycare business owners, including discounts on supplies. You may even be eligible for federal subsidies for food and diapers for your cares. To find out if owning a home daycare is right for you, read up on the subject. Visit other home daycares and ask how those Wahms are enjoying their business. Find out what your state and local regulations are regarding licensed and unlicensed daycare. Once you've done your homework, you'll know if owning a childcare is right for you. Choosing the right Wahm Business When you are considering working from home, there is a set of decisions that must be made. First, you must decide whether or not working at home is right for you. Next, you need to consider what type of work at home job you will be doing. There are many opportunities for Wahms out there, both offline and off. Having a successful Wahm career starts with evaluating your own skills and requirements in a job and then finding the right match. Sometimes the best place to start with your Wahm career is where your out of the home career ended. Many women find that they can become independent contractors in the field that they previously worked in. You can use your previous work experience as a launching pad for your Wahm career. Some of the ways to use your experience to your advantage are: finding a company that hires people in your field to work from home, using your previous experience to become an "expert" writer in your field or starting a business related to your previous field. However, some women look at their Wahm careers as a way to break out of their old job. If you'd like to try something completely different, there are plenty of opportunities for entry-level work as an independent contractor. Many of these jobs deal with telephone or online customer service. When you work as a customer service agent from your home, you just need a reliable Internet connection and a working phone. Companies also hire medical transcriptionists, data entry professionals and virtual personal assistants to telecommute. If you want to start your own business, the opportunities are very vast. You can start with a direct sales company and sell products from an established brand to friends and neighbors. You'll make commissions through your sales and also off of recruiting other people to sell the products. There are hundreds of direct sales companies that offer everything from aromatherapy products to candles to cooking supplies. Another option for starting your own business is offering a service in your community. Day care center operators, florists, professional organizers and hairdressers all have the option of working at home, among many other professions. Of course, starting a business in your community normally means that you've had some experience in that field. However, there are some small business ideas that can be started without much experience at all. Many women turn to the Internet for a source of at home income. The World Wide Web offers a plethora of job opportunities. You can offer your services online as a freelance web designer, writer or virtual assistant. You can also start an online store that sells products that you make yourself or have the rights to resell. Many Wahms establish their businesses online by using one of the popular auction sites, like eBay. Still others find a home in internet marketing, by directing web traffic to a website and then recommending certain products and services. Decide first what type of job you'd like to do and then work from there. If you are truly a people person and need to get out each day, direct sales or a local service business might be right for you. If you are the type of mom who lives online and is comfortable with the Internet, try finding a job or starting your own business on the web. If you like the comfort of having a weekly paycheck, look into telecommuting positions. Once you've decided what category of job you'd like, do some research on what it takes to be successful at that type of business. If you feel like you are drawn to one particular business or company, then sit on your decision for a week and see how it feels. Imagine what your life will be like as you take on the duties of that job. Most importantly, be realistic with yourself about how much time you can devote to your business. Finding the right match isn't hard when you thoroughly consider your options. Drawbacks to working at home Working at home is one of the fastest growing trends in careers today. However, many people jump on the Wahm bandwagon without considering all of the drawbacks to working at home. While some people are naturally inclined to work at home, others find the transition more difficult to make. There are many benefits to working at home, but the drawbacks need to be considered before you make the choice. The first drawback to looking for a work at home career is that your current career may not easily transfer to a work at home situation. If you work in the medical field or are a police officer, being a Wahm might not be an easy transition unless you are willing to change careers entirely. Sales and administrative positions transfer well, as do creative jobs like design and writing. For those in jobs that can't make the work at home switch, you'll have to think carefully about what you want to do when start working at home and start investigating that field. Cost is another important factor in deciding if working at home is right for you. Although many mothers start working at home to save on childcare, there are added costs to being a Wahm. If you need health insurance, it will have to come out of your pocket instead of being paid by your employers. There are also many taxes that you will have to pay. Your record keeping must be excellent in order to keep track of your income and expenses, and to fill out your income tax return at the end of the year. Working at home with children is not always as easy as it seems. If you have young children that aren't in school yet, it may be difficult to work when they are awake. This can mean lots of busy naptimes and late nights to get your projects done when they are sleeping. Family members can help take care of your children from time to time, but the responsibility of both your children and your job will be firmly in your hands. With older children, it is sometimes easier to work from home. But you will still have to start and maintain a fairly balanced schedule in order to get everything done. Wahms have to be very self-motivated and disciplined in order to get their work done on time and correctly. If you are the type of person that is motivated by outside factors (such as a supervisor), then working at home may not be your cup of tea. When you work at home, there is no one there to look over your shoulder and make sure that you are still working. Distractions like the television, Internet and housework can be hindrances to your work at home success. Isolation is another problem for Wahms. Working at home alone can get frustrating and lonely. Make sure you are comfortable with spending time alone, and that you take steps to combat isolation. If you are especially prone to being depressed, then the isolation that comes with working at home may make you feel withdrawn and sad. Taking steps to combat loneliness is an important part of any Wahm's success. After considering these factors, you may decide that working at home is not right for you. However, thousands of people deal with these drawbacks and still have successful work at home careers. These reasons should not stop you from becoming a Wahm if that is really what you want to do. Just make sure you understand the realities of the work at home lifestyle before you commit to it. Work at Home Scams If you need to make money at home, you've no doubt starting looking for work at home opportunities. Every woman who wants to become a Wahm has traveled down the same path. Unfortunately, that path is littered with scams and traps to take money and time from honest women looking to make money from home. With a little common sense and extra research, you can find legitimate work at home opportunities. The first step is to search for jobs in the right places. Don't simply click on ads to find work. Try to find helpful groups of Wahms who have successful work at home jobs to guide your search. You can try searching on message boards or finding e-mail groups for ideas of where to start your work at home job search. Many of these women can give you insight into which work at home opportunities are actually worth your time. Keep in mind that there are no real ways to get rich quick on the Internet or by working at home. The only people who get rich are those who are scamming others. Never believe an ad or an "employer" who claims that you will get rich instantly. There are also a few red flags to look for when you are searching for Internet jobs. You should never have to pay for work or job lists. There are plenty of free listings available that can provide tons of work at home opportunities. Companies that want to charge you for lists of jobs are just trying to get your money. The lists are often filled with dead job leads, or lists of companies that want to charge you money. Many work at home scams will also require you to pay a start-up fee or cover the cost of "necessary" training. Again, legitimate jobs will never require you to pay them any money for you to work. Another warning sign is if the ad or website tells you to "act now." You should always do research before joining a company and never feel pressured to make a decision right away. Many websites are set up with text that says that the offer will expire on today's date. But if you revisit that website the next day, the ad says that the offer expires on that day. If you are unsure about a company, do some research on the Better Business Bureau website. The BBB has files on all businesses that have had complaints filed against them. You can see what other people have to say about a particular company and be steered away from scams. There are some scams that have been around for years that should be avoided at all costs. These business scams have unfortunately been successful for the scammers, so they continue to take the money and time of hardworking Wahms. If you see an offer for any of the following types of jobs, run the other way. Envelope stuffing is a common scam, although it is being seen less and less these days. These jobs are normally listed as mail service jobs, and then you are asked to pay for a start up kit. After you receive a start up kit, you are given instructions to place your own work at home ads. You basically just sell the start up kit to other people and become a scammer. Craft assembly scams can take many forms. Typically, you receive a set of crafts to complete with instructions. You generally pay for the set and then are told you will be reimbursed for the kits and also paid for their assembly. After working hard at assembling the kits and returning them, you will be told that your work is not up to their quality standards. You will be out the cost of the kits, and they will sell your crafts anyway. There are legitimate jobs out there for Wahms, but you have to do some research on the opportunities first. With a little time and careful analysis you can find a work at home job that will be rewarding and scam free. Writing Wahms Working at home as a writer is one of the largest work at home categories. Being a freelance writer has traditionally been a work at home job, and now that working at home is becoming more popular, there have been more writers in the industry. If you like to write and have a good grasp of the English language, you will never be at a loss for the work at home writing jobs. Starting your career as a work at home writer is as easy as doing some Internet research and applying for a job. There are many ways to break into the writing field, even if you have no previous experience. Online opportunities abound, and there are still many writers who stay exclusively in the print market. While many writers dream of one day writing the great American novel, most writers are realistic in knowing that they are going to have to do some other types of writing to get paid on a consistent basis. Writing for pay is mostly, if not exclusively, done in the non-fiction genre. While occasionally you will find contests for fiction writing or for poetry, these opportunities are few and far between when compared to the non-fiction opportunities. Writing from home as a Wahm requires that you have a reliable Internet connection, good written communication skills and the ability to be a self-starter. As a writer, you will be in charge of your time and your projects. There will always be deadlines to meet and new writing opportunities to try. You will be responsible for balancing your writing with the rest of your life. You must also have the ability to research a wide variety of topics. As you accept assignments, you'll be challenged to learn about and write about topics that you may have little experience in. Freelance writing from home can break down into three specific areas: writing for print, writing for the web and blogging. Although blogging is technically writing for the web, there are many distinctions that make it different from other web writing opportunities. Writing for print is what people generally think of when they hear the term "freelance writer." Wahm writers who write for the print markets need to first build a reputation as reliable and eloquent writer. If you've never written for the print markets before, start with smaller, local publications and then work from there. You'll need to find a list of publications that are accepting "queries." Queries are a combination of a letter of introduction and a pitch for a story idea. Most writers rely on the Writer's Market reference guide for lists of publications. The Writer's Market has comprehensive information on a variety of newsletters, magazines and other publications that are taking queries. Start with topics that you know the most about and try writing a few queries to get yourself going in the print market. The only drawback to writing for print is that the period between when you write and when you get paid can be months long. For many Wahms, this is just not feasible. Writing for the web, however, can meet their income needs and still allow them to write from home. There are many categories of writing for the web. You can be a ghostwriter for e-books or other Internet media. Many people need copywriters to provide content for their sales letters and websites. You can also offer your services to webmasters who need fresh content for their blog or newsletter. The opportunities are endless. Blogging is yet another way to make money as a writing wahm. Blogs are an ever-growing form of Internet media. Blog writers generally provide their own content. You can make money as a wahm by starting your own blog and posting to it daily. If you love to write, you can start several blogs at once and multiply your earnings. Once you become an experienced blogger, you can apply for blogging jobs and post for other people. Wahm pet sitting business If you have experience working with animals, or are just an animal lover, then starting a work at home pet sitting business may be right for you. Pet sitters offer an important role to pet owners and help keep the one hundred and forty-five million pets in this country healthy and happy. As a pet sitter, you'll offer a valuable service to busy pet owners who are on vacation or who need someone to take care of their pets during the day. Getting started as a pet sitter is very simple. To begin with, you'll need to decide if this really is a business that you want to pursue. First off, ask yourself if you really love animals? If you are considering pet sitting just because you think it will be an easy job, then it is not right for you. You must enjoy spending time with animals and have at least a little experience in being around them. While most pet sitting jobs involve dogs and cats, you may occasionally be asked to care for rabbits, birds or reptiles. Make sure you are comfortable with these pets before accepting assignments involving them. Start your business by becoming legal. Obtaining a business license doesn't cost much and will give you a professional edge when getting new clients. You'll also be able to take advantage of many tax write-offs, including your costs for mileage to and from your customer's homes and any necessary business supplies. Speaking of business supplies, all you'll really need are business cards and an appointment book to keep track of your assignments. Unlike other work at home businesses, the start up necessities for pet sitting are relatively low. Next, you'll need to decide on what services you offer and how much you are going to charge. Play detective and find out the going rate for pet sitting services in your area. Try to stay in the same range. Offering lower prices may seem like a way to beat the competition, but it also makes your services appear less valuable to potential clients. You can print your rates on the back of your business cards, or make up a small flyer with prices listed on it. Getting clients for your pet sitting business may be the most difficult part of running the business. However, with a little effort you can build a client list rather quickly. The best way to get clients and assignments is by word of mouth. Offer to pet sit for neighbors and friends to help build your reputation. Once you've done a good job for them, they'll tell their friends and so on. You can also use a few free and low cost advertising methods to get the word out about your business. You can distribute your cards at local pet shops, or post a flyer on their bulletin boards. Ask your vet if they would put some of your business cards on their reception desk, or recommend you to other pet owners. A small ad in your local paper can really help get the ball rolling for your business. Once you have clients calling you for pet sitting appointments, make sure to keep them by treating them with great customer service. Always arrive on time and prepared to watch their pets. Respect their home and their property. If they enjoy your service, they'll be more likely to call you in the future. Wahm Blogs Blogs are here to stay, and many Wahms are taking advantage of the trend. Making money with blogs is a popular choice for many work at home moms. Blogs are simple to set up, and relatively easy to update. This is especially true when you compare blogs to other types of websites. Within just a few minutes, you can set up a professional looking blog for free and start your Wahm blogging business. A blog is an easy to update website that looks sort of like a journal. Entries are made at a minimum of each week, and the newest entries appear at the top. Entries are normally short articles of 200 to 500 words. Readers visit the blog or read the new blog entries through a blog reading program. Readers can also comment on entries and provide links between their own blogs and your blog. With blogs, the opportunities are wide open. Choosing a blog topic is as easy as looking at your own life for inspiration. There are blogs about everything from celebrity news to bathroom cleaning tips. Before you start a blog, do some research on the Internet to see if people are interested in your possible blog topic. Your topic doesn't have to be popular, but it does have to have a dedicated group of people who are interested in the topic. When you pick a topic, make sure to stay within a fairly small "niche." The term niche is used to describe a group of people who have a similar interest. There are big niches -- like working at home -- and small niches -- like tips for training your cat to sit on the toilet. Try to find a happy medium between a popular topic and a niche interest so your blog has plenty of readers. Some topics, like working at home or parenting, are too broad and have too much competition for readers. You can set up your blog through a free blogging platform, like www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com. There are also a half dozen others to choose from. The blogging platform will walk you through making your first entry into your blog. After you've made a few entries into your blog, its time to monetize your blog. This means you'll be making specific changes to your blog in order to make money. One of the most popular ways to gain income from a blog is by using a contextual advertising program, like Google Adsense or Chitika. Contextual advertising pays you for each time a reader clicks on one of the advertising links on your page. The advertising program will scan your blog entries for keywords, and then place advertising on your page that relates to your page content. For example, if you have a blog on children's television and write an article about Sesame Street, the ads appearing next to that article will have to do with that program. They might be links to shopping for Sesame Street items, or an ad for vintage Sesame Street collectables selling on ebay. One thing to note with contextual advertising is that you won't have to worry about placing the ads yourself each day. Once you enter the code on your blog, the program will automatically refresh the advertising when you make a new post. You will be paid several cents for each click. It doesn't seem like a lot per click, but it sure does add up quickly. Contextual advertising is just one way to make money from your Wahm blog. You can also make product recommendations and suggest information products (e-books) to your readers. Each time someone buys a product you recommend, you will get a commission. Many bloggers find that making gentle product recommendations throughout their blogs are a way to garner extra income. Finally, some companies will pay bloggers to create posts that suggest certain products or services. These companies pay a few dollars per post, and are fairly easy to use. The only drawback is that you'll have advertising posts throughout your blog content. However, many bloggers have found a way around this by putting "And now a word from our sponsers" at the beginning of each of their required advertising posts. This helps the advertising appear less intrusive. Virtual Call Centers Many Wahms find work at home opportunities with virtual call centers. These call centers marry two important needs: the needs for women to work out of the home and the need for companies to have polite and professional telephone customer service representatives. Virtual call centers help both the business and the work at home mom. Wahms are hired as customer service agents to inbound callers. They use their own home phone and computer to do their work, and are networked into the company's customer service system. Virtual call centers are growing in popularity. Today there are roughly 100,000 people working at home in the United States, and many of them work for virtual call centers. It is estimated that by 2010 there will be 300,000 work at home individuals. Virtual call centers allow large companies to save money by hiring people to work out of their homes. There is also a low turnover rate for work at home jobs, which makes it beneficial for the company to hire Wahms. Call center Wahms enjoy their jobs because there is a flexibility that they just don't get when working outside of the home. Most call centers allow their customer service agents to schedule their own work hours. This can be a great convenience to a mother who needs to arrange her work times around their child's naps and/or school hours. Getting started as a virtual call center customer service representative is fairly easy. There are currently over 1,000 companies in the U.S. who hire people to work from home, and most of them are virtual call centers. You'll need a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and reliable landline phone. You'll also need a quiet place to work. Beyond those things, there is nothing else that you need to be a successful virtual call center worker. Applying for a call center position normally follows the same method. You visit the company's website and fill out their online application. If your application meets their standards, the company will e-mail you to arrange a phone interview. The phone interview is your chance to show them your assets as a telephone customer service rep. Schedule your phone interview for a time when you know your house will be quiet. Answer your phone in a professional manner and keep a light and friendly tone to your speaking. As a customer service rep, you'll be challenged to sound helpful and agreeable on the phone at all times so this is your chance to display your communication skills. You may also be required to pass a typing, writing and computer skills test on the company's website. This will be used to test your ability to do the basic functions of the job. In some cases, you may also need to pass a drug and background screening as well before you are hired. Once you are hired, the company will have you download a piece of software that will analyze your computer. This analysis will tell you what you need to do to your computer to make it usable in their network. Most of the time, you'll just need to update a few programs and add the virtual call center's website to favorites folder. Typically, your calls will be scripted so you'll never have to worry about what you have to say. The most successful customer service representatives take some time to practice their script so it sounds more conversational and less like they are reading. If you want to succeed in the long term, it's well worth the effort to make your script sound conversational. Think about the worst experience you had with calling a company's customer service department and then do the opposite. Working for a virtual call center is not for everyone. However, the Wahms that are self-starters and have the requirements to work the job enjoy the steady paychecks and flexibility of working as a telephone customer service representative from out of the home.
Virtual Assistant Wahm jobs Starting a virtual assistant business is just one of many ways to be a Work at home mom. If you have experience in an administrative field, or can offer virtual services to business clients, then you are a prime candidate for having a successful virtual assistant business. Getting started as a virtual assistant requires a few simple steps. There is no formal credential process to become a virtual assistant, but there are several companies who offer training and their own credentialing. This is not absolutely necessary to be a successful virtual assistant, but it can be helpful in obtaining jobs as a newcomer. Before you sign up for any program or course, do your due diligence and investigate the company. Get recommendations from other successful virtual assistants and consider finding a mentor who can help you get started. Legally, you'll need a business license in order to become an independent contractor. By obtaining a business license you'll be able to open up a business bank account and keep your business and personal finances separately. Being legal also means you can declare many of your business expenses as tax write offs. Once you've set up your home office, you'll need to establish your virtual office. On the Internet, you'll use a website to advertise yourself as a virtual assistant. Having a website is essential to establishing your presence. If web design is not in your skill set, find someone who can make a website for you. Try to contact other virtual assistants and see if you can barter for the design if it's something that you cannot afford to begin with. On your website you should, at minimum, list your services and who you are. You can also include an hourly rate, although many virtual assistants like to charge by the project instead of by the hour. As far as services go, don't offer services that you don't like to do. If you can make spreadsheets but don't like to do it, then don't offer that service. If you have background in a specific field, for example law, then list this as a specialty. You can also specialize in the type of work that you offer. Many virtual assistants limit their business to writing and editing, web design, data management or planning, but some offer a mixture of all types of services. Remember, this is your business and you can choose what tasks that you want to perform. The best way to get virtual assistant jobs to begin with is to start networking. Your best leads will come through people that you already know, whether they are online or in your hometown. Let people know what you are offering and promote your website address so people can see who you are and what you are doing. Make sure to include up to date contact information on your web page, including a phone number. When you get your first client, its important to have a contract set in place before you start working on a project. You can get many sample contracts online that you can adapt for your needs. Make sure you and the client are both on the same page about the type of work that you will be doing. That way there are no surprises when you deliver the project and your bill. After you have a few projects under your belt, you'll begin to build a reputation. Then your virtual assistant business will grow naturally to include repeat clients and new projects. When you consistently do good work, your reputation will precede you and you may have more projects that you know what to do with in a short period of time. Make sure not to overbook yourself, and collect a network of other virtual assistants who are willing to take overflows for you if the need arises. Getting your virtual assistant business off on the right foot is simple when you follow the basic steps mentioned above. Telecommuting for Wahms Before you try to find a Work from home job on the Internet, consider looking for a telecommuting position within your own company or your own field. Telecommuting is quickly becoming a viable option for office professionals and businesses alike. Telecommuting originated from the need for businesses to reduce expenses, and the need for workers to spend more time at home. In addition, workers receive many other added benefits. Telecommuting normally entails going into the office for a few days a week, and then working from home for the remainder of the time. In some cases, you can even telecommute full time from your home office. All you'll need is reliable telecommunications gear like a PC, high speed Internet, fax and phone line. Telecommuting has several benefits for the employee. First, by becoming a Wahm, you'll have special tax advantages that can save you hundreds of dollars each year. You'll also save on gas costs and wear and tear on your vehicle. Your budget for a work wardrobe will be reduced since you'll be in the office less, or not at all. No more spending money on eating out at lunch since you can make your own meals at home. You'll also benefit health wise. People who work at home tend to have less stress levels because they can work in a relaxed environment. Lower stress means a healthier body and mind. You'll gain more time in each day because you won't have to spend upwards of 5 hours each week on the road. Finally, you won't have to deal with office politics. Many people who telecommute find that they are able to work more efficiently without interruptions from the cubicle next door or the latest office gossip. If you currently work a position that you believe can be done from a home office, then its best to prepare a case to show your supervisors. Asking to telecommute is not something that you should just ask randomly one day. Gather statistics on how much businesses save every year by allowing their employees to telecommute. Find articles that tout the benefits of telecommuting, from the business point of view. There are lots of benefits for you, but your employer will want to hear what is in it for them. You'll also want to provide your supervisor with the specific duties that you expect to complete from home. Show them how the arrangement will work and make the decision very easy for them. If you want to work from a strictly work at home company, then you'll need to get your resume together and start applying for jobs. Keep in mind that there are thousands, if not millions, of other people trying to obtain telecommuting positions. Don't wait to hear back from one position to try applying to another one. Send out your resume to as many companies as you can. Eventually, you'll find the right position for you. Remember, when you start your job search, that legitimate companies will never make you pay to work for them. Unfortunately, since telecommuting is such a hot field right now, there are many scammers out there who try to take advantage of people who want to work from home. Protect yourself by researching an opportunity thoroughly before giving your personal information or any funds. Sewing Wahm business Are you handy with a needle and thread? Do you enjoy sewing clothes for yourself or your children? Are friends and relatives always asking you to make sewing repairs? If so, then you have the perfect beginnings for a work at home sewing business. Sewing is a skill that is coming back into fashion as more people seek to reduce their clothing costs and make the clothes that they have last longer. Many Wahms find profitable businesses in offering their sewing skills to people who don't have the time or the skill to make repairs or alterations on their clothes. There are even several profitable sewing niches, like cloth diapers and slings, which have found interest online. Getting started with your sewing business starts with deciding what you want to do. You can specialize in one type of sewing (bridal party gowns) or you can take a wide variety of jobs. Since it is your business, it is totally up to you how to run it. Some people specialize in children's clothing, alterations/ repairs, women's clothing or formal wear. Although sewing clothing is the most profitable field, many Wahms enjoy offering home decor services and make curtains, slipcovers and other home accents. Before you start advertising, make sure that you have the supplies that you'll need. If you have an older sewing machine that has "bad days" when it doesn't work right, you might want to consider getting a new machine so you can work more efficiently. The cost of a new machine is worth it compared to the time that you'll save. Plus, the new sewing machine is a tax write-off. You probably already have the sewing notions that you'll need to get started. If you need something for a specific project, you'll just buy it at the time. You'll also need to decide on set prices before you begin advertising your services. If you are doing repairs, you can charge a certain price per task. If you are custom sewing clothing, you can either charge a flat fee or charge by the hour. For larger projects, like wedding dresses, charging by the hour can work out to be a better deal for both you and the client. Start your business off on the right foot by getting a business license. You'll want to make sure that everything is legal and that you keep accurate records of your expenses and income. There are also several tax deductions that you can take as a business owner, and you'll have access to wholesale sewing supplies. Make some business cards to distribute to people you know. Also, leave them at certain places around town depending on what type of sewing you are specializing in. For example, if you sew children's clothing, you can arrange to have your cards available at local daycare centers. One of the most powerful ways to advertise your business is through word of mouth. Your friends, family and acquaintances will surely send clients your way once they know you've hung your shingle up for business. Having a sewing business is a great way to do something that you love, help other people and make some money all at the same time. There are many Wahm jobs to choose from, but having a sewing business definitely offers the best deal for those who love to sew. Opening an Online Store Opening your own store as a Wahm is easy when you take your business online. Online shopping is becoming a mainstay of American commerce and more people are comfortable with making purchases from Internet stores. If you have something that you are passionate about selling, consider opening an online store. Before you start an online store, do some research online and check out your potential competition. If you have a business idea in mind, it is worth the time and effort to see what else is being sold in your category of products. If you have no idea what you want to sell, you'll also want to head online to search out what would be most profitable to sell. When you make the selection of what you are going to sell, remember to think "niche." A niche is a small category of products that meet the needs of a specific group of people. Your online store shouldn't have a "Wal-mart" approach where there is a little bit of everything for everyone. Online commerce is all about small categories of interest. There are so many things to choose from, you have more success when you cater to a small and specific group of people. The best place to start with finding a niche is thinking about your own interests. When you sell to a niche that you know well, you are more likely to know what products will be of interest to those people. You can sell to your clientele based on your own experience. Many Wahms start an online store because they have homemade products to offer. One example is handmade baby clothes and cloth diapers. Many Wahms have found success with putting their sewing skills to work and selling their wares online. Other popular handmade online stores include bath and body products, candles and gift baskets. This does not mean that you can't have online store success if you don't make your own products. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of Wahms who have success by opening stores stocked with store-bought inventory. Whatever your choice, whether handmade or store bought, there are many options for hosting your online store. These options depend on how comfortable you are with web design. Many companies, like Yahoo, offer store websites that are very user friendly and simple to set up. They can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 per month for the storefront services. Many Wahms also find success with eBay stores, which allow them to sell in auctions or in a fixed price format. Look at all of your options before you choose your online store hosting. Remember that the quality of your hosting will reflect the quality of your business. The last thing you need is your entire website going down due to cheap hosting. The best choice is to find a reputable host that will provide you with a storefront and hosting for a reasonable price. Don't try to pinch pennies on this aspect of your business. You could end up out of business in no time. Once you've found a place to host your store, you'll need to drive internet traffic to the store. One of the easiest ways is to trade banners with other Wahm online stores. Many Wahms support each other in their online efforts. This form of networking is a great way to introduce your products to customers who already look to support Wahms. You can also advertise using pay per click advertising and work on your website so that it increases in page ranking for certain search terms. Keep your customers coming back with an easy to navigate website, simple ordering techniques and good customer service. Even though most of your business will be done online, it's a good idea to get a business phone line and put that number on your website. This way customers can feel confident in purchasing from you because they know they can speak to a real person if there is a problem with their order. Regardless of what type of online Wahm store you choose to open, following these tips will make your business a success. Online Auctions One of the best, and simplest, ways to start a Wahm business online is to become a seller on one of the several online auction sites. Ebay is the most popular, and most widely recognized. However, sellers are also having success on Yahoo auctions, Overstock auctions and many others. Being an online auction seller has many benefits for a Wahm. You can run your business from your home. You can set up auctions to automatically list at certain times of the day, so you don't always have to be at the computer. Plus, there is guaranteed traffic to the auction website which makes it simple to get new customers. Before you start an online auction business you should decide whether or not you have the skills or willingness to do so. Although there is a lot of money to be made in auctions, there are also a lot of challenges. As a successful auction Wahm, you need to have the tenacity to try different things to increase you sales. You must also have knowledge of what the market wants so you can provide in demand products that will sell. Money management is a must, since selling on an auction is typically a home-based business. You will be in charge of the finances of the business and need to be responsible for keeping your business and personal finances separate. Online auction businesses are very simple to start. To start an ebay business, for example, all you need is a registered account with ebay, and a paypal account. The ebay account will allow you to perform transactions on their website. The paypal account will allow you to accept payment for items that you sell, as well as pay for the ebay fees. Although you can technically take payments through check or money order, using paypal makes the process a whole lot faster and more enjoyable for your customers. The fees involved with running an ebay business are minimal compared to having your own store on a separate website. While hosting for a website can cost upwards of $20 per month, ebay only charges you a small percentage of the items that you sell. There are also some other minimal fees involved, and most sellers work those fees into their listing price. Before you decide to sell on an auction site as a business, try a buying from the auction site first. Understand the process from the buyer's point of view. Take note of how you are treated by the seller and ask yourself what you would do differently. Buying before selling is also a good method because you can build feedback in the auction site system. Feedback is left whether you buy or sell, so building some feedback as a buyer is a good idea. A positive feedback record will make you more appealing as a seller. Finding items to sell is the biggest perceived problem with selling on auction sites. However, you can start with items from around your home. Look in your closets and in your garage for items that can be sold on the auction sites. You will be surprised by what people will buy. Selling from around your home will give you experience with the selling process and will build positive selling feedback. Familiarize yourself with the auction process before you begin selling. Remember to start your business small and let it develop as you become more confident in your auction selling abilities. Mystery shopping Wahms If you're looking for an unconventional Wahm job, then mystery shopping might be for you. The concept of mystery shopping or secret shopping is simple. You get assignments to visit a business place, make a purchase and then fill out a form to evaluate the customer service, quality of your purchase and other things about your experience. Secret shopping is done by ordinary people who provide a company with feedback about their service. Companies hire mystery shopping for a wide variety of reasons. Some want to investigate the quality of their employees. Others may want to find out how their locations do with stocking items. There are many different reasons that a company looks to hire mystery shoppers. Although companies can hire mystery shoppers directly, most of your mystery shopping jobs as a Wahm will come through a secret shopping company. As a mystery shopper, you'll be asked to visit a wide variety of stores and businesses in your area. Sometimes you'll be assigned to purchase clothing from a store in your local mall. Other times you'll have to visit a coffee shop and rate the friendliness of the wait staff. After you gain experience with mystery shopping, you can receive assignments to eat at restaurants and stay at hotels. As a secret shopper, you will not only get the chance to try out products and services for free, but you will also get paid. You can get paid in several different ways depending on the mystery shopping company. You can get paid at flat fee for completing the job, or sometimes you are just paid with the free product or service. Obviously the jobs that are paid a flat fee are more desirable. But when you are first starting out, you may need to take some of the other type of job just for experience. Most mystery shopping companies pay by check on a monthly or biweekly basis. You'll get paid for a shopping assignment when you complete the necessary paperwork on your shopping experience. Your paperwork can normally be filed electronically, although some companies require you to mail in your reviews. This can make the payment process slower. To get started with mystery shopping, you'll need to find a mystery shopping company to work for. Unfortunately, many of the companies that offer mystery shoppers assignments are frauds. Many will ask you to pay them for a list of mystery shopping opportunities. You should never, ever have to pay for someone to hire you and this is no different for mystery shopping. Becoming a mystery shopper is totally free when you find a reputable company. When you start doing assignments, you will be asked to pay for the services or products that you will be trying. Although this may sound like a bad deal, the mystery shopping company will reimburse you for your purchase. The reason that they require you to pay upfront for your purchase is because the mystery shopping company doesn't want to take the chance of your getting a product for free and then not turning in a review. Although being a secret shopper can be rewarding, it's not something that can be relied on for consistent monthly income. You'll never make enough money as a mystery shopper to live on each month. However, you may get enough to pay your phone bill or electricity bill. When you add the perks of getting free meals, products and services, mystery shopping is a nice stream of income for any Wahm looking to make money in their area. Manicure service Wahm A unique and fun Wahm career is to start a manicure service. If you have a license in cosmetology, or are thinking of getting one, you aren't limited to working in a salon. Many women are now looking for a more relaxed manicure experience, and you can provide them that by starting a manicure service in your home or a traveling manicure service. You can go into business for yourself with little start up costs and great rewards. To start with you'll need to get your license to manicure nails, if you don't have one already. You'll need to post your license in your place of business and also have extra copies just in case the original gets lost or damaged. If you decide to offer a travel manicure service, you'll need a copy of your license to put in your bag. You'll also want to have a system for keeping track of money set up before you begin. You can use a computer program like QuickBooks to track your money flow, or do it by hand in a traditional ledger. Appointment books and receipts are also a necessity. Finally, getting a business telephone number is a necessary step in setting yourself up as a professional in your field. The other necessary step is gathering all of your supplies and finding a convenient way to carry them from your home to the client's home. You'll need to bring your polish colors, manicure tools, nail polish remover, appointment book, receipt book and necessary supplies (including extra towels and cotton balls). Traveling to a client's home is not for everyone, but there are many benefits to offering a travel manicure service. From your customer's perspective it is much more enjoyable to have you come to them. One of the biggest drawbacks of getting a manicure out of the home for your client is that she has to drive home and avoid damaging the fresh polish. When you come to your client's home, she won't have to worry about ruining her new manicure. Although you won't technically be a Wahm when you offer a traveling manicure service, you will have many benefits. If you offer manicures in client homes, you'll reduce the number of people coming in and out of your home each day. In addition, you'll be able to use your mileage as a tax write-off (make sure to keep accurate records of how much you drive for your business). Working at home can be isolating, so getting out of the house to do manicures can be a break in your day. Advertising your business can happen in many different ways. You can leave your business cards at local Laundromats, convenience stores, gift shops and daycare centers. You can also put flyers up at bulletin boards around town. Network with people that you already have contact with, like the parents at your children's school, your husband's co-workers and your former co-workers. Tell people that you are starting a business and get excited about it. Share with everyone you can think of. Before you know it, you'll have a list of consistent clients who you manicure each month, or week. Starting a manicure service can be a great way to work at home and do something that you love. Instead of paying high fees for a chair at a salon, start your own business and have the flexibility and income that you deserve. Gift basket Wahm business If you are creative and like to make gifts for others, then a work at home gift basket business might be right for you. Making gift baskets to sell is rewarding and fun. Many people like the idea of giving personalized baskets for holidays, birthdays and special events but don't have the time to put them together. When you start a gift basket business, you'll be supplying them with something they need and getting the opportunity to put your talents to work. Before you start your life as a gift basket Wahm, make sure that this business is something that you really want to do. If you've never made gift baskets, but like the idea, try making one or several for your next gift-giving event. This will also be an opportunity to show off your gift basket making skills to your friends and family. While you are planning and making your gift baskets ask yourself if this is something you can see yourself doing on a regular basis. Making some sample gift baskets will also give you an idea of how much your supplies will cost and how much time it will take you to complete each basket. This will help you gauge pricing when you start your business. However, keep in mind that when you get a business license you will be able to buy craft supplies for wholesale prices. Getting a business license is an important step in making yourself into an official Wahm. The process is simple and there are many tax benefits to becoming a legal businessperson. You will also get your supplies at wholesale and be able to get discounts on other business related expenses. Once you've decided that making gift baskets is right for you, it's time to develop your catalog of basket options and prices. Think up a few prototypes for different situations. Although gift baskets are popular during the holiday season, you can also create them for graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and other events. Create a few different gift basket ideas and then ask your friends and family for their opinions. Make sure your choices of design and gift basket items are popular with many people before you make them part of your catalog. Have your prices ready for both standard baskets and custom baskets, and then make your business cards and start advertising. By now, your friends and family will know about your business and you can tell them to spread the word on your new venture. Network with other local businesses, like nail salons and florist shops, to get your name in front of more people. Targeting businesses that are frequented by women is a good tactic because women are more likely to purchase your baskets. Around the holidays, corporate companies are looking to buy gifts for their clients and suppliers. This can lead to a lucrative seasonal business for you. You should start marketing your corporate gift business in October at the latest. Network with your husband's employers and the employers of your friends and family. Being a gift basket Wahm is a great way to show of your creativity and provide a valuable service at the same time. The rewards are many and with planning and initiative, it can be a very profitable business venture for you. Get paid to programs for Wahms "Get paid to" programs (or GPTs as they are often called) are one of the many ways that Wahms can make money from home. If you've been looking for a work at home job, you've no doubt run across ads that claim that you can make money by reading e-mails, answering surveys and trying free samples. The good news is many Wahms make money doing those exact things. The bad news is that this particular industry is rife with scammers. If you are interested in getting involved with GPT programs, you'll have to do your homework and take special precautions to protect yourself and your computer. It should be noted that very few people make full time income from GPT programs. Like mystery shopping, GPT should be used as a supplemental income source at best. For many Wahms, the GPT programs are a fun and easy way to earn some extra money when they need it. People who have experience with the programs recommend that you never rely on GPT to pay your monthly bills. But they can be a perfect solution to earn money for a special occasion or holiday shopping. Just what are GPT programs? They fall into three basic categories: get paid to read e-mail, get paid to fill out surveys and get paid to try products. Each type has its own pros and cons. Before you start any GPT program, you should take some steps to protect your personal information. You will be required to give your personal information for many of these programs and the less you actually say about yourself the better. To start you should register a separate e-mail address for your GPT purposes. Many programs can result in a lot of spam mail, so you'll want to keep your main e-mail address separate. You can also register with NetZero to get a free voicemail inbox and private phone number. This is helpful in keeping your home phone free of telemarketing calls. Get paid to read e-mail programs will pay you a few cents for receiving e-mail and clicking on links. Normally these e-mails offer special deals on products or encourage you to sign up for programs. Sometimes, depending on the e-mail program, you will get more money or "points" if you try the offer. You are not obligated to try the offers, and will get paid a small amount just for clicking on the link inside of the e-mail. There are many popular paid e-mail companies. Do some research before you sign up for a program to make sure that people are actually getting paid. Try not to sign up for too many programs at once or your GPT e-mail address will be swamped. Getting paid to fill out surveys works in a similar way. You will sign up for a survey program and then fill out some personal information. You will be matched to surveys that are looking for the opinions of people in your income bracket, of your age or one of several different qualification factors. Depending on the company, you will get paid per survey, or completing surveys will earn you points that can later be redeemed. Just as with get paid to read e-mail programs, do research on survey companies before you sign up. There are hundreds out there but only a handful are worth the time and effort. Finally there are get paid to try products programs. These programs pay significantly more than the other GPT programs. However, you will be required to pay anywhere from $1 to $10 to try the products. When you use these kinds of programs, you have to be careful to take complete records of what you will be receiving and when you need to cancel service or return the item. Most of the time you will be registered for recurring billing for a monthly service, which can be cancelled within the initial 7 to 14 days. You can call the companies and cancel the service, yet still be paid for signing up for the GPT program. Remember that GPT programs are a great way to supplement income but are not something to be relied on for monthly bills. Finding Web Writing Jobs If you've decided that working as a Wahm writer is the best work at home job opportunity for you, then you'll need to figure out how to get writing assignments. Fortunately, when you work as a web writer there is no shortage of job opportunities. It all depends on where you look and how much research you are willing to do. Web writing can break down into several different categories. Before you begin looking for work, you'll have to decide whether or not you want to get credit for your writing. If you insist on byline, you may have difficulty finding a lot of paying jobs. Byline jobs are out there if you look. However, the most money to be made is from working as a web ghostwriter. Many Wahms find success with ghostwriting. When you work as a freelance ghostwriter you provide writing services for clients who will then use the work as their own. Ghostwriting as a wahm is a lucrative opportunity, especially when you focus on web writing. For the most part, the Internet is a text and image based platform. Companies and individuals who run websites constantly need text to make their websites attractive to visitors. Since writing is something that a lot of people would rather not do, this leaves plenty of opportunities for people who love to write. Web writing Wahms need only an Internet connection, e-mail address and word processing program to get started. Your own website is not necessary, but it adds a touch of professionalism to your writing business. However, when you are first starting out you can get plenty of work without having a website. There are several different categories of web writing. When you see the term "content writing" you will normally be providing text for an existing or new website. Your writing will have to be engaging and clear for website visitors. Article writers concentrate on providing articles for websites, newsletters and blogs. Generally, articles for the web are between 400 and 800 words each. Any more than that is difficult for readers to sit through while looking at a computer screen. Copywriters are challenged with putting readers in the mood to buy. They write copy for Internet sales letters and marketing sites. Ebook ghostwriters provide clients with full-length books on a variety of topics. Wahms who write need to be professional in their online presence. This means spell-checking all writing, including e-mails to clients. It is also a good idea to get an e-mail address that is specifically used for your writing. A personal e-mail address with a goofy handle will make you appear unprofessional. Your first and last name or a combination thereof is a good choice for your web writing e-mail address. Writing for the Internet has a few differences from writing essays in school or writing for print magazines. Readers online have short attention spans, and you'll need to keep your sentences short and your paragraphs clear. The other difference is the use of "keywords" in certain writing assignments. Keywords are words that have been selected by your client to be used in the article. These words have been selected because they are Internet search terms and your client wants their website to show up for those search terms. Keyword articles will require you to use the word or phrase a certain number of times in the article. Sometimes it can be difficult to use the words without making it sound forced. Experienced web writers have developed ways to make the keywords flow naturally into their articles. Once you've gotten a few web writing assignments under your belt, you can decide what type of web writing suits you best. You can find work on writing message boards, freelance writing job sites and classified ad sites like craigslist. Whenever you apply for a job, make sure to include your contact information and a few well-selected writing samples. Finding inventory for a Wahm auction business If you are interested in becoming an auction Wahm, you might be curious about where to get items to sell on eBay or one of the other popular online auction sites. Actually, there are a wide variety of choices for your auction inventory. Each has different benefits and disadvantages. However, with so many options it is easy to find a method that works well for you and that can help you start a successful Wahm business. The first, and most simple, method of finding things to sell in online auctions is searching the garage sales in your local area. Many people are not comfortable with selling online, or they don't want to take the time to do it. You may find a lot of interesting and valuable treasures that can be sold for a nice profit. The benefit of this method is that your inventory can usually be purchased very cheaply. Try going to yard sales as they are ending and see if you can get a bulk deal to buy whatever the person has left for a flat fee. Sometimes there will be items that will double or even triple your initial investment. You also have the benefit of being able to shop locally. You won't have to travel far to get the items that you need. Another similar option is to look for estate sales and auctions in your area. On the downside, when you purchase inventory from yard sales, you really have to know what you are looking for. Sometimes this method works better if you are focusing on selling a specific category of items, like pottery or children's toys. If you have a category of items that you are familiar with, you'll know how much you can afford to spend. You will also be able to spot deals when you see them. The other downside is that when you purchase items, you need somewhere in your home to store them before you sell them. If you buy a lot of items and have to sort through them, your garage and spare room will fill up in no time. Some people prefer to keep the inventory out of their homes and work with a drop shipper. Drop shipping companies have items that you can sell on auctions. You list the items on the auction site, and then once the auction is complete, you arrange shipment with the drop ship company. You never have to have the product in your home, and don't have to worry about going to the post office a few times a week. As a Wahm, the convenience of working with a drop shipping company can be a huge benefit. However, the profit margins of having the company do the shipping can be very small when compared to some of your other options. When you obtain a business license you can order wholesale products from a company. Light bulk wholesale is the best option for most Wahms. These wholesale packages include from several hundred to a thousand dollars worth of product. Light bulk wholesale can be delivered to your home and won't require excessive amounts of storage space. Selling from a wholesale lot means that you are in charge of setting your prices and can have more profit than you would by drop shipping. You are also not at the mercy of a drop shipping company, who may deliver your items late and put your customer service at risk. On the other hand, stocking your own inventory can be a bit overwhelming unless you are organized. You can easily get bogged down in getting the right items to the right buyers. You will also be responsible for going to the post office several times a week, and packaging the items yourself. However, with a bit of preparation, the most successful auction site Wahms find that buying items in wholesale lots gives them the most control over their business and the best profit margins. If you are just getting started, try one of the other methods first and then work up to buying wholesale lots. Direct Sales Wahm opportunities There are hundreds of direct sales companies that offer Wahms the ability to make money and stay home with their children at the same time. When you work in direct sales you are an independent contractor for a company. You are in charge of selling their products or services, which you then get at a discount. Your income comes from the difference between the price you charge your customers and the price you pay for the items. You can also normally earn money from commissions off of the sales of your recruits. Going with a direct sales company is a great way to start a work at home business. Direct sales companies offer stay at home moms an affordable way to start up their own business. There are very little costs involved. Normally a starter kit can be purchased for $100 to $200. Compare that with opening a regular store that will cost thousands. Some companies even offer the opportunity to earn a starter kit for free. Working a direct sales business also means that you have flexibility in your work schedule and your income. You make all of the decisions on when you hold parties or demonstrations. Your income is directly proportionate to the efforts that you put into your business. The more demonstrations you book and the more new clients you meet, the more you will make. You'll also receive support and encouragement from fellow consultants. Weekly sales meetings help keep you motivated and give you fresh ideas for your business. You will network with other consultants for support and praise. Your up line or recruiter will also provide you with lots of help as you get your business started. To be successful in direct sales, you'll need to have great people skills. The products are really second to your personality. Your presence and your customer service will be what sell your items. You'll also need to be very organized. As an independent sales rep, you'll be in charge of tracking your sales and paying the appropriate taxes. You'll need to schedule your parties, shows or demonstrations and follow up with your customers in a timely manner. Once you've decided that direct sales is right for you, its time to choose while direct sales company you want to work with. It's recommended that you choose a company that offers product that you already like or have experience with. The best salespeople are those who are enthusiastic about their products. Trying to sell something that you don't use yourself or that you aren't that interested in will make you appear insincere to your customers. Think about your direct sales company choice in the long term. This will be your business that you put your name on, and you will invest your time and money in. Research your options thoroughly and make sure that you sign up with a trusted company. Don't feel pressured by a sponsor to sign right away. This is your decision and it is up to you whether or not you want to join. Also, make sure to ask a lot of questions. Know everything that you can about the company before you sign up. Understand the commission structure, how products are sold and if there are any monthly minimums. Make sure you understand how much your starter pack will cost and what the kit includes. Will there be anything else you need to buy immediately? Will you need to buy inventory? Understand how ordering works and how the products get to the customers. If you are really serious about an opportunity, jump online and see what other consultants have to say about the company. Find out what customers are saying about the company. If there is more bad than good being said about a company and its consultants, then that's a huge red flag. Also, visit the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau websites. They can give you information about the trustworthiness of a company. Blogging Tips for Wahms Blogging is one of the best ways to start a Wahm business because it is so easy to get going. However, that does not mean that it is easy to make money from your blog. Don't start a blog and expect to see money rolling in immediately. Blogging is an activity that will take time to build up to a profit level. It's a good thing to start while you are working on other Wahm opportunities to let it build to a profitability level. With time and attention, your blog (or blogs) will grow into a business. When you are blogging for profit, you'll want to pay close attention to how you present yourself in your blog. There are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, and there may be several hundred blogs that are related to your topic. If your readers can't understand your blog and have trouble reading it, they'll just move on to the next one. The following tips can make your blog more user-friendly and help you gain consistent readers. First, pay close attention to the format of your blog. Readers want to understand how your blog works right from the start. Most blogging platforms have similar formats, with links and tags on the left or right margin, and the most recent post on top. Make sure to use the links wisely. Only put links up for blogs or content that is truly related to your blog's topic. The point is to give your readers additional information on your topic. Keep the list short and sweet. There is no reason to overwhelm them with links to other sites. Also, take careful consideration when choosing your blog's background and font color. Although there are a lot of color choices that blogging programs offer, its best to stick with a light background and dark text. Studies have shown that the human brain can process this type of format better than light text on a dark background. Think about this before you commit to a black background and white text. It might look striking, but readers might not want to stay there for long. Also, use a solid background color instead of trying to use a pattern or design. Proofread your entries before you post them to your blog. There is nothing that reduces your authority in the eyes of your readers' more than bad spelling and grammar. The online world is a world of text, so take some time to learn commonly misspelled words and grammatical errors. Keep your blog fresh and interesting by posting at least once per day. With so much information available on the Internet, your readers may go elsewhere if you aren't supplying daily content. If you aren't sure what to write about, try posting a poll, a link to another blog, comment on a news story or post of list of helpful tips. Not every post has to be long and complicated, but you do need to post something everyday. These tips will help keep your blog readable and interesting to your visitors. The more visitors you get, the more your blog will grow in profitability and importance. Just make sure to present yourself in a professional way and keep your readers coming back for more new content each day. In no time, you'll have a profitable blog and then you can move on to create two or three.
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