A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

We Made Christmas Ornaments!

Between all the parties, the goals, the shopping, and all the Christmas celebrations online and offline, I set aside some time this weekend. Both kids had a BLAST making Christmas Ornaments on Friday and Sunday.

Friday we rolled out the dough, and used cookie cutters to make the shapes. They got to choose which ones to do and took turns cutting them out. Of course I watched over to make sure each had one of everything.....I knew a fight would break out later if I didn't.

Sunday once everything was cooled and hard we painted them. Yes both kids - 2 yrs and 4 yrs. It was messy, but both did a great job getting more pain on the ornaments then the table. I was proud! Even the 2 year old understood and did a really good job painting. Although she was not happy when I said we were done. :( When the paint was dry we got out the glue and I asked where they wanted to put it so we could add glitter to their creations. Yes I did help with the glue part, I figured I probably better. They got to sprinkle the glitter over the ornaments though, so that made them happy. Again when I said we were done the 2 year old threw a fit, but she was due for a nap so that didn't help matters.

Over all we had a GREAT time and I know once we finally get our tree up they are going to love seeing their creations decorating the tree. We had such a good time I belive we might do this again and make gifts for the grandparents and other relatives. :)

If you want to make ornaments, there is a list of recipes at: http://www.momsmarketonline.com/christmas-ornaments.html

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Craft Recipes for Kids

Between catching up from the Christmas party, hosting my own parties this week, and handling sick children, I still managed to keep on track. Craft Recipes for Kids is now up! Granted I still need to make a few last minute touches, but I'm just happy it was finished by the time the newsletter went out today, AND that I had an article of my own to contribute that went along with that new section. I'm just crossing my fingers I can keep the motivation going and add even more to this new section. I would like to add some gift ideas that kids can make on their own, and actually have quite a few saved on my computer. It's just a matter of getting them up on the site!

Aside from the Craft Recipes, I also managed to mail out my "specials" list with all the great offers I've been getting from my affiliate program merchants. Tis the season for shopping, no doubt about that!

Feels good to have so much done before noon on a Wednesday afternoon - too bad we have a holiday in the way or who knows what I could accomplish this week!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll make today's post short, sweet and to the point. Things are crazy busy around here preparing for tomorrow's festivities as I'm sure tis the same in your home. The next few weeks are the busiest weeks of the year for most of us. Both at home and in business. Unfortunately, business tends to fall on the wayside because we're too busy planning and getting ready for the holidays. Make sure you try to give equal parts of your time to planning, business and of course you can't forget the family. Make this holiday season your most successful yet!

Oh! And while you're getting ready (or already started) working on those Christmas lists; don't forget to stop by Mommy's Helper and print out your FREE Coupons at http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/holiday-coupons.html offered by your fellow work at home moms! Each year I try my best to support other wahms in my Christmas shopping and I do hope you do to. With these coupons you'll be able not only support a fellow wahm but also save $ money $ (And I'm not sure there's a single person out there that doesn't like to do that!)

So, enough rambling for today, I promised to be short. I just want to wish you and your families a very Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Christmas Promotion and Crafts

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Fern Bourrie

~ Business Article - "Eight Simple Ways To Use Promotional Products Online"
With the increase competition on the Internet, it can be hard to find ways to make your company seem different from everyone else. One thing I believe Internet marketers are failing to utilize correctly is promotional products.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Making Christmas Ornaments"

As the holidays approach, what better way to spend time with your children than to make Chrismtas ornaments? It can be a simple and fun activity to get you both in the Christmas spirit.

~ Humor Article - "Cleanliness is Next to Impossible"
Fact: You cannot simultaneously keep a clean house and be an attentive parent. Housekeeping while on baby duty is limited to things you can do with one hand while balancing a squirming 25 pounds with the other. You can't do the really tough cleaning jobs while caring for a baby since these jobs require you to be on your hands and knees in restricted spaces for extended periods of time. Any infant in his right mind will protest, and any parent who hates to scrub toilets and showers will heed.

~ Recipe - Chocolate Mint Coffee

Read this week's issue at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-56.html

Friday, November 19, 2004

Christmas Party on today

The big Mommy's Helper/Mom's Market Christmas party will be kicked off at Noon EST and will last until 10pm EST (or until the last guest leaves!). We've got a full day of parties, games, and prizes planned to celebrate not only Christmas, but the anniversary of Mommy's Helper (1 year old) and Mom's Market (2 years old). We are hoping for a big turn out of WAHM supporters today!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Double Hostess Party Tonight - Free Games & Prizes

Join us tonight for more games, prizes, and shopping with hostesses Kara from Soy Wax Candles and Jennifer from Southern Living at Home. Free gift to all who order at the party tonight, so you don't want to miss out!

8pm EST (7pm CST, 6pm MST, 5pm PST)


See you there!

Marketing Tips & Homemade Crafts

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
(Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-55.html)

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Kathleen Rolloff

~ Business Article - "The Power of Viral Marketing"
Viral marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing on the Internet. Viral Marketing is giving something away for free and allowing people to pass it on to others. The concept of free has fueled the imagination and the success of the Internet itself. And, although the free business model has been greatly scaled back in the post-bust Internet days, it is difficult to argue with the viral marketing success achieved by the early pioneers of free email, free web sites, free autoresponders, etc.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Homemade Bath Time Soap Crayons For The Kiddies!"
Inexpensive fun craft. Make a bunch for an inexpensive gift!

~ Humor Article - "Thankful for Thanksgiving Leftovers"
Let's face it. The most distinguishable trait about Thanksgiving isn't the football game, the parade, or the quality time you get to spend with your relatives. It's the leftovers.

~ Recipe - Banana-nut bread

Read this week's issue at:


Monday, November 15, 2004

Goals, goals, and more goals

Even though it's a week late, I finally hit my goal of 200 subscribers for my candle mailing list. I'm hoping with the work I've done with that mailing list I'll see at least 300 if not more by the end of the month. The possiblities of this has me very excited, and curious as to what else I can accomplish in such a short period of time.

That's where my next goal comes in. I realised that the daily sale goal was a little odd, and sales aren't going to be good in December since all orders have to be several weeks before Christmas. So I've set a goal for the rest of this month to earn (meaning profit) $200 with the candle business alone. To be able to hit that goal, I'm going to have to see 100 sales in the next 15 days. 100 sales, 15 days. Lucky for me I've already got much of this set up to run with. Online parties scheduled, an online mailing list, flyers going out today to my offline mailing list....I've accomplished quite a bit in the past few weeks. However, I know that what I've got started isn't enough to make that many sales in such a short time period, so I've got to work hard at the parties I have scheduled to set up more parties and make the sales I need. I've done the math, and I'll have to have 7 sales a day to even come close to this goal - 10 would be even better! It may mean working some weekends, and that's alright. The only reason I say it's fine is because it's so close to Christmas and I plan on taking my annual week's vacation to regroup and work on my next idea.

Aside from working hard at these parties, I also have to work hard at the promotion. It might require a little extra advertising than I normally do. I'm starting to notice how saturated the online party market is getting, so I really am trying my best to reach outside the wahm world. I would have to say I've done a good job so far, since my mailing list is made up completely of non-wahms. Just "candle lovers" that love to play games and win prizes - I'm thinking this will be a very responsive group, at least for the attending the parties.

Also in the back of my head is ideas for what I'll be doing next once the deadline is here for the Christmas orders. I realise that sales are going to slow down a LOT, so I do need to get another project rolling to fill up the gaps. I'm thinking about doing some work on another website of mine that's been sitting for over a year and needs some serious attention. For that website, it might be best to use mostly Google Ads as a source of income, but I'm not sure. We will see once I get working on it. I also have another website which has a growing email list that I haven't touched in months that could also pick up some last minute Christmas sales without much work. I might work on that until it gets just too late to do anything Christmas related. Either way I know I can stay busy!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Friday already!?

I can't believe it's the end of the week already - seems like I should have another few days to accomplish a few more things. I never feel satisfied unless I can look back over the week and really see all the things I managed to get done. Looking back over this week I just can't see anything of major importance that I did other than build a mailing list and get a few parties scheduled. Well I did get the Christmas party all ready to go as well as write a few press releases, so I suppose it wasn't that bad of a week after all.

As far as my goals go, I'm still not happy with where I'm sitting at the moment. The online list goal was to hit 200 in just a few days, and after a week the list is only at 180. I never did finish submitting to the rest of the contest lists, and really wish I could have. Just not enough hours in the day. :( I hate using that excuse....

The offline mailing list is now up to 100, which I'm very happy with that number. I did have to make a change to the catalog request form - because I was getting so many requests and spending so much I had to start charging a $1 for catalogs, but including a $2 off coupon per request. Since making the change I have yet to receive a request, so that troubles me a bit. I'm hoping that will change though.

I am happy that I have 4 events are scheduled so far, but a bit disappointed they are parties that I've scheduled and not with hostesses. I suppose it's a start though, and hopefully I'll be able to schedule some hostess parties from these I have scheduled. I realise that once I just get the first few scheduled that more will follow. It would be nice to see at least 2 or 3 a week, and may be my next mini goal. With 2-3 parties a week I'm thinking my goal of one sale a day should be no problem. That and of course in combination with my offline and online mailing lists. ;)

More ideas yet to come, all of which I'll be posting here. There's nothing as exciting to me than watching a site grow from nothing to a profit producing project. :)

Win Free Candles

Here's your chance to win more free candles!

Soy Wax Candles is now holding regular online parties where we will be playing games and giving away prizes. An up to date schedule can be found at:

Next Event:

Date: Monday, November 15th, 2004
Soy Wax Candles & Heartfelt Gifts and Gourmet.
Time: 9pm EST (8pm CST, 7pm MST, 6pm PST)
Grab a cup of tea and settle in for an evening of chatting, games, prizes, and fun with Kara from Soy Wax Candles and Kate from Heartfelt Gifts and Gourmet.
Location: http://www.soy-wax-candles.com/heartfelt-party.html

Full schedule can be found at:

Would you like to earn free candles by being a hostesses?
More information can be found at:

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Mom's Christmas Celebration - next week

The pages are done and vendors all set for the big Mommy's Helper/Mom's Market Chrstmas party on November 19th. The party starts at Noon EST, and will end at 10pm EST (or when the last guest leaves!). We'll be playing games and handing out prizes all day long, so no matter what time you are there or how long you stay you will have a chance to play and possibly win! Be sure to stop by Mom's Christmas Celebration to see all the great Vendors, Prizes, and Specials we'll have the day of the party.

Hope to see you there!

Is your business ready for Christmas?

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
(Can be read at: http://www.momsmarketonline.com/issue-54.html)

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Sonya Herford

~ Business Article - "How to Nurture Your Home Business During the Holiday Season"
Every business owner needs a holiday plan in placed by the end of October/beginning of November to position the business for holiday sales. Here are suggestions for getting your business ready.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Family Meetings 101"
Family meetings provide opportunities for feelings to be aired and validated. They also allow younger children to feel they are an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to family vacations and other major and minor family functions.

~ Humor Article - "Night Moves"
As interesting as these things may be, I think we have spent far too much time contemplating occurrences that obviously took place long ago and/or out of our sight. What I would like is for someone, scientist or psychic, doctor or detective, shrink or shaman to figure out and explain to me the phenomenon of what happens in my bed when one of my children has had a bad dream.

~ Recipe - Gourmet Shrimp and Pasta

Read this week's issue at:


Monday, November 08, 2004

Newsletter Goal - SO CLOSE!

I'm a little dissapointed in myself, but at the same time I'm satisfied because I know I did everything I could in a limited amount of time. I didn't break my "no working on the weekend" rule, and I used all work time to do every task I could. I know there is more I can do, so I need to continue working on building my subscriber list. By the way, the current count is over 120. Original goal was 200, and I managed to gain 120 in just a few days so I should be proud of that I think. ;)

Also another reason why the goal wasn't met today was because I had to work on the Christmas Party which is comming up very quickly (November 19th). I'm happy to say I've gotten all pages built and set up - now I'm just waiting for a few details from a few vendors. I feel much better knowing the main part of setting up the event is done. :)

One thing still on my "To Do" list that I'm not happy about is the press release I've been meaning to do since last week. I'm going to have to take an hour or two out of my day tomorrow to get it done. While I'm at it, I might as well do a press release for the Christmas party as well, then set it to be released next Monday.

I should also mention the work I did gaining catalog requests is still benefiting me. We are still seeing several requests a day! Not quite as many that was comming in when I first started, but they are still comming in regardless. All requests comming in this week I'm holding off on sending them out because on Monday I have plans to mail out flyer to the entire mailing list announcing the new gift packages, as well as some Christmas related info (Christmas scents, last day to order for Christmas delivery, etc).

I can't waite until Christmas is here just so I can take a break!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Freebie Blog

Have I mentioned lately that I'm addicted to blogs? Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE freebies?? Well, yup...you guessed it. I joined two of my passions into one! Stop on by my new blog Freebie Central

Hope you enjoy!

Contests and Lists

I decided to make a new goal. Well, not a new goal really just an additional goal. A mini-goal of sorts. My main goal for Soy Wax Candles is to see at least one sale a day. To hit this goal I've realised there's certain things I need before I can reach it. Last week I worked on building up an offline mailing list, which has continued to grow all this week (up to over 60, which I think is extremely good for being this new!). I've also realised I need to build up an online mailing list as well, and also have some parties and catalog shows (which I posted about earlier).

The online party and catalog show idea would be much easier to work on if I had my list first, correct? Ok, so yesterday I set a mini goal - 200 subscribers on a new mailing list by Monday (November 8th). One way to build a mailing list fast is to hold a contest, which I've had success with that idea before. So I set up a contest - all new subscribers this month get entered in a drawing for a free candle. Most likely I will do this same idea next month, but also give current subscribers a separate drawing or contest. Using a list started quite awhile ago at Internet Based Moms, I sent my contest details out to various contest sites. I started yesterday with 4 large sites, then continued today with another 12 today. I've still got a few left on my list and will probably hit some spam groups on Monday. So far I've gotten almost 50 subscribers. I was hoping for more after a full day, but I suppose it's not a too bad of a start. I'm hoping to hit my goal of 200 by Monday and I won't rest until I do!

As for the list, please feel free to copy the sites I've submitted to for your own contests:


That should keep you busy at least for a day or two. ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Online Parties and Catalog Shows

I'm getting back into the swing of things, and finally starting to book online parties and catalog shows again. I tweeked my hostess information page, so now the benefits of hosting an online party or booking a catalog show are more appealing. I'll be pushing the point of earning free candles, because let's face it - who wouldn't want free candles? Well, I should say what candle-lover wouldn't want free candles. I thinking giving the option of either doing it online or by catalog gets away from the traditional thinking of "oh great, a home party". Maybe that's just the way I think, I don't know. I find there's less pressure at online parties even when the sales can be just as much if not more.

The benefits I've listed for booking an online party or catalog show are the following:

* 10% in free candles from the party's total orders *
(For example, if you sell $100 at your party you receive $10 in free candles)

* 15% off your order at the party *

* FREE Food & Beverage Candle if one of your guests book their own party *

I've posted a form on the page where these benefits are listed for those that wish to receive more info: http://www.soy-wax-candles.com/free-candles.html.

Now for promoting this page. To be honest, right at this very minute I'm stumped. I could do the spam ad thing, but I don't thing I would get a very good response. Reason being these are business owners I would be spamming to, and they already have their own products to sell. I do have a large list of non-business owners that I think I'll be sending a notice out to. Even still, the reponse from that list I don't think will be good enough (my current goal is to book 15 within the next 2 weeks). Then of course there is my "snail mail" mailing list, which I'll certaintly be hitting up but not for another week and a half (I'll be mailing out some Christmas promotional stuff with a note that tells when the last day to order for christmas delivery is).

I suppose I shouldn't be so quick to assume that some of the wahm spam lists wouldn't be interested. Never know I suppose, so it's worth a shot. I should also add it to my signature line to grab some interested people that way as well. I also know that once I work up a list of so many potential hostesses, I'll be able to ask them again at later dates to host parties again. It's just a matter of getting that list started and going from there. ;)

Oh and a quick update on the catalog requests - I've now gotten over 50 in just over a week. Not bad, not bad at all. :)

WAHM Business & Home Tips

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
(Can be read at: http://www.momsmarketonline.com/issue-53.html)

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Susan Christensen

~ Business Article - "Increase Online Traffic with Directory Listings"
Some of the best advertising available online would be getting listed in directories. This doesn't mean submitting to search engines. If you write quality ad copies and build a quality site; the important search engines will find you. What I am talking about is directories that you pay to be listed in.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Creative Container Gardens"
Container gardens are so much fun, because the possibilities are endless, and the entire family can participate. You don't have to commit a lot of time to plant: Create one new potted plant each day until your garden is complete! Just about anything that will hold soil can be used. GROWN-UPS: It's your job to drill a few drainage holes into containers that don't already have them. Here are a few neat ideas to get you started

~ Humor Article - "In the Heat of Combat"
In my estimation, parenting is like watching a movie with subtitles - only the dialogue is about 10 seconds behind the action. Oh sure, I've read the books and magazines. I absorb data like beige wall-to-wall carpeting absorbs grape juice. Like any good solider, in calm moments I can tell you what I'm supposed to say to my kids, what my kids are supposed to eat, and what a "good" parent is supposed to provide in terms of entertainment. Put me into combat, however, and all that training goes out the window.

~ Recipe - Chicken Cacciatore

Read this week's issue at:


Wahm Meetup

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with 2 other work at home moms in my local area for our first wahm meetup. We had a great time and have made plans for future meetups and ideas on how to hopefully get a few others involved too.

For our first meeting and knowing that there was only going to be a few of us we gathered at a local pizza restaurant. It was really nice meeting other in person who deal with the same things I do from day to day.

For our next meeting we're planning on sending out a Press Release to local newspapers to hopefully gain some more interest. (Think of the promotional benefits of that!) We're also planning on meeting at one of the local libraries with a larger room for us. Yeah, we're hoping to pick up a few more members in the meantime!

If you're wanting to plan a meetup in your area there is a website set up just for this. This is where I started organizing ours. You have your own little 'section' on the website including your own message boards for your group. They send out neat little reminders and even include some promotional items for you to print out. My opinion it's a great site and has wonderful potential! You can check the site out at http://wahm.meetup.com

By the way...if you do decide to plan your own meetup...feel free to tell me about it!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Breaking My Own Rules

Here it is, 6pm and I'm still here. I was here yesterday just before supper too, plus I was here over the weekend. How is this breaking my own rules? Well, last summer I set a rule for myself that when it was time to make supper I was done with work, and I wouldn't even think of anything work related on the weekends. You would think I would have learned my lesson last summer, and even Sunday night when I gave myself a migrane. Nope, here I sit, comming up with excuses like "well since I was gone for part of the day......." and "just this one thing and I'll be done...". Amusing that I'm making excuse to work instead of not working haha.

At least all my "bad" behavor and over-working is amounting to something. I'm just a little closer to reaching my main goal of seeing at least one sale a day with Soy Wax Candles. So far I've gotten over 40 catalog requests (just about comming in faster than I can print them!), and gained 3 new customers - all in the past week. Still waiting to see a customer from mailing out the catalogs, but I'm definately not worried I haven't seen any just yet. It hasn't even been a week yet since I mailed out the first one!

Today while I didn't quite make it to the message boards to do my daily networking (I was busy putting together catalogs most of the day!), I did manage to get 2 new sections up on Soy Wax Candles. One was set up just for Christmas and the other will be a perminate link (a temporary has been put up on the main page).

The Christmas page was more a benefit for the search engines since most can be found on other pages, although it has benefit for my normal visitors as well. There is one product that can only be found on this page, and that's a Christmas scent sampler pack which has 9 tin candles (one for each holiday scent on the site).

The other page, titled Gift Packages, features products in special packages. Included in the packages are some bath and body products, not just candles. There are currently only 4 packages set up on the page right now, but I have plans to make up more in the near future. Tomorrow I'll be sending out another press release announcing this new feature, and in about 2 weeks I'll be sending out a flyer to my snail mailing list with an order form.

Whew, it's been an extremely busy week with very few breaks. I see a nice week or two Christmas vacation for me again this year. :)

Monday, November 01, 2004

Article Writing and Submitting

I spent majority of the day writing, fixing and submitting my articles. I thought I'd post a few things and reminders here about article writing.

--->First of all, if you're not already writing articles. Start doing it! I can speak from personal experience that I've seen remarkable results from writing and submitting my articles to various places. Writing articles establishes you as an 'expert' in your field and make customers/clients feel more comfortable working/buying from you.

--->If you use affiliate links in your articles try to hide them. One thing that I've come across is publishers either taking out my affiliate link completely OR replacing it with their own. (That really bugs me because they're getting the content for free, the least they can do is keep the affiliate link there). A couple of things you can do to 'hide' the affiliate link is put in a redirect (or refresh code), use TinyURL.com or use Affiliate Link Cloaker. Click here for a more 'in depth' review of this very issue.

--->There are tons of places online that you can submit your articles to for free. There are also tons of people out there searching for free content. It's a win-win situation. They get the content and you get the exposure. I've created a list of places to submit your articles to located at http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/submit-articles-for-free.html

--->Be sure to include a bio at the end of the article. Include your Web site URL in the bio. Make it a condition for free publication that the article appears with bio and business link. A bio is a short paragraph about you, your business and of course a link to your website. Here is an example of one of the bios that I use:

Anita DeFrank is a busy work at home mom who specializes in helping others become successful home business owners. Visit her site Affiliate News http://affiliate-news.blogspot.com to find how you can become a Super Affiliate too!

Now, go start writing those articles!!