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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Business Plans, Chore Charts, and More

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
(Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-60.html)

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Karen Garner

~ Business Article - "The Simplest Business Plan Ever"
If you’re a solo professional like I am, you know how tough it is to find any time at all to do any business planning. Doing a full business plan is a must if you’re planning to seek financing or investors, but most solo professionals don’t need anything that complicated. Don’t get me wrong, business planning is one of the most important things you need to do to succeed in your one man or woman show. Without planning you’ll drift aimlessly from one crisis to the next and one idea to the next, never really getting anything done. So, what’s a solo pro to do? Here’s what I do in my own business:

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Chore Chart Success"
We started the Dime-a-chore system as taught by our pastor many years ago. I had tried several other systems over the years and none has worked as well as this one. I hope it works well for you too.

~ Humor Article - "The Loyalty Card Shuffle"
“Do you have a loyalty card?” the doe-eyed cashier asked me. It was hot in the department store, and I had been there entirely too long. My palms were sweaty, and the shopping bags at my sides were heavier than my three-year-old son soaking wet.

~ Recipe - French Onion Soup

Read this week's issue at:


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Free Traffic Invitations - Limited Amount Left

If anyone is interested in some very easy, very free website traffic, I've still got a handful of InstantBuzz invitations left.

What is InstantBuzz? I feel the need to clear this up because I've been hearing some false statements about it from non-members that didn't take the time to read what it was about and immediately judged it. InstantBuzz is NOT a traffic exchange program, and you do NOT sit "clicking for hits". It's a toolbar (that does not have spyware - where that idea came from I'll never know) that sits on your browser just as your Yahoo, Google, or MSN toolbar would. The tool bar desplays a one line ad on it, from another InstantBuzz member. As you do your normal everyday surfing, that ad changes. The more surfing you do the more credits you earn for your own ads on the toolbar(not surfing ads either - I mean just surfing like you normally do already).

So you see, there's really zero time required to use this toolbar, and it really does bring you visitors (I've been checking stats, and I'm please to see what I have seen with the little work I've put into this). If it wasn't enough to see some extra traffic, there's a great community board with some very helpful and knowledgeble people. Highly recommend checking it out!

If you would like an invitation, just email me at contact@momsmarketonline.com :)

Monday, December 27, 2004

50% off After Christmas Sale

To celebrate the end of 2005, we are having a 50% off sale on our ebook, "Step by Step Guide to Starting Your First Website". This is a limited time offer - only good through January 3rd so you will want to act fast!

The best way to start out the New Year and reach those new income goals is to have your own website. You might say to yourself "But I'm with a direct sales company that GIVES me my own website - I don't need my own". The fact is, if you want to stay ahead of all those other direct sales reps in your industry while saving time and money, a personal website is the way to go!

Here's a few reasons why it's so important you have your own website:

* Ability to catch newsletter subscribers and increase sales with your own list.

* Never waist time or money again by not knowing what forms of advertising are working - have the ability to add a stat tracker.

* No longer look like "just another rep website" - customize and personalize your site, making YOU unique!

CLICK HERE for information on how to get started with your own website

Don't know anything about building a website or even where to start? No problem! Our ebook, "Step by Step Guide on Starting Your First Website" shows you all the step needed to get a professional, unique, and personal website started. No previous experience required - this ebook was written especially for those that are new to building and maintaining websites.

We'll show you how to decide on hosting, where to buy your domain name, and even basic HTML so you can get started right away building your own website that will earn you MORE SALES than you would have with your rep site!

Just for one week only, the ebook "Step by Step Guide to Starting Your First Website" is available for 50% off. At midnight on January 3rd, the price will go back up and your competition will have the edge, so you don't want to miss out on this special offer!

CLICK HERE to get started earning more in 2005!

To your success!

Monday, December 20, 2004

It's that time of year again...

Hey all! I just wanted to let you know that I may be a little MIA for a few days. I will be popping in and out checking on the boards and checking my email but, I won't be around as much as usual. We have a Christmas Play at Church, one at my daughter's school and Oh, that pile of gifts just won't wrap themselves. (As much as I've begged and pleaded...they just sit there?!?) Come to think of it...I've begged the house to clean itself too...guess thats not gonna happen either! I'm sure everyone else is just as busy as I so remember to enjoy this time too!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2004

4 Days Only To Sign Up!

You may have heard people talking about "Instant Buzz" over the
last few weeks. I've been using it myself and the results have
been fantastic (I've seen quite a few visitors comming from InstantBuzz)

Normally participation is by invitation only (I was lucky enough
to get an invitation), but they're opening it up to the public
from the 17th to the 20th of December:


It's important that you check this out before they change it back
to invitation-only. You'll regret it if you don't.

Anyway, check out the above link for details. That will explain
the system better than I can.

All I can say is that the results for me so far have been superb.

Looking forward to talking to you via the community they have set up once
you're inside!

More New Recipes & New Advertising Options

In addition to the following new recipes just added this week on RecipesForMom.com, advertising is now being sold for very low cost. Currently there site receives about 100-200 visitors a day, with more expected within the next few weeks (due to new pages being indexed in the search engines). Advertising rates can be found at:

New recipes added just this week:

Crab Meat Recipes
Fish Recipes
Shrimp Recipes
Famous Restaurant Recipes
Smoothie Recipes


Thursday, December 16, 2004

After Christmas Promotion - Are You Ready?

I know I've been a little quiet here lately, but the truth is I've been quietly working quickly on some last minute touches befor Christmas, and making plans for the big days to come after Christmas. I believe this is something we fail to remember, that there IS life after Christmas, and it's surprising how many are doing "after Christmas shopping". I'm guilty of not having my after Christmas sales ready just yet, but I do have plans to do it next week (and when I make plans, there's a very good chance it WILL be done!).

I also stumbled on an excellent resource I highly recommend checking out. The "Ezine Queen" has several ebooks and audio courses on running your business. On in particular caught my eye, which was on email promotion. I've only read a few pages in and plan on using it for my after Christmas promotions, but this information is pure gold to me and worth every penny I spent on it. With the tips I've picked up I know I'll be able to easily earn 3 times as much as I paid for the book with the promotions I send out. So anyway, if you don't know anything about the Ezine Queen or her products, check it out immediately!

Aside from after Christmas promotions, I've been seeing a lot about setting goals for 2005. Since I jumped in and started reading "Think and Grow Rich", I've already started on my 2005 goals. I've made plans for what I'm doing with my websites for the rest of the year, what's getting worked on, and also what I'll start working on in the first of the year. You don't always have to waite for the calander to start working on a big project - sometimes it's best to just start it right now! Like I mentioned before, there's going to be a lot of sales to grab after Christmas, so waiting until 2005 to start on something new might just be too late!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

December Marketing for New Year Success

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
(Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-59.html)

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Stacie Mahoe

~ Business Article - "December’s Marketing Magic for New Year Success"
Can you believe it’s December already? The holidays are here and then the start of a new year will be upon us. Now is a perfect time to reflect on your business and see if it is all that it can be. Is it running at full speed and do you have all the clients that you need?

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Classic Salt Dough Holiday Ornaments"
Spend a little extra time with the kiddies this holiday season. What a better way to spend some quality time than with a special craft that will become keepsake memories for years to come. Make Classic Salt Dough Holiday Ornaments with this quick and easy recipe.

~ Humor Article - "The Annual Picking of the Tree"
It's that time of year again. And, no, I don't mean for shopping or putting up lights up or breaking out the good snow boots. Nooooooo. I mean it's time for an annual ritual so stressful and confusing that chances are, afterwards, you will be found tucked under the ottoman humming and braiding your hair. I'm talking about The-Picking-of-the-Tree.

~ Recipe - Healthy Fruit Smoothie

Read this week's issue at:


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Can Your Customers Contact You?

Today I spent a large part of my day updating a lot of 'old things' on my websites and I had to contact a lot of website owners about information for different things. The part that took the absolute longest was finding email addresses?!? I couldn't help but, think What if I were a customer wanting some information? How much time would I take to find contact info?

Some of the things I came across...

1) No email address. This one really shocked me. They had their mailing address and phone number listed but no email. I don't understand why you would have an online business and not list an email. Wouldn't it be so much easier if the person is already online? Not to mention some folks don't feel comfortable on the phone and well, we all know how long mailing takes. They don't call it snail mail for nothing.

2) No contact info at all. I guess the only way you could contact this person would be to order from them. Nope, don't think I'd be doing much business there.

3) Information is there but it's basically hidden. One site I was on they had a link to the 'Contact Page' and only had a phone number listed. I almost gave up but, did manage to find it listed way at the bottom of their "About Me" page.

4) Contact form. Well, this I guess is better than nothing but some of the contact forms were only found on pages to become consultants or reps. My question I had for them had nothing to do with that. I just felt uncomfortable using the form.

I can't express how important it is to make sure your customers can reach any way, any time. Always, Always, Always make sure you have a "Contact Us" page. The best thing to do would be to make sure your Contact Us page is accessible from every single page of your website. It would also be good to list your Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number and Email Address. This makes it easier for the customer/client to choose which method they prefer. I know some don't like to list their mailing address. If you really feel that uncomfortable; rent a PO Box. Just make it easier on your Customers. Don't loose out on a possible sale just because someone couldn't find your email address to ask a simple question. The FAQ just doesn't always cut it.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Cutting it close...

Late Friday afternoon I thought up a what I thought was a neat little Holiday Promotion. Problem is I'm cutting it real close to deadline! I really wish I had thought about it earlier but, eh...I still have some time left and the response rate has been unbelievable considering how little promotion I've done so far.

I came across the idea while I was updating my Wahm Resource Directory. Kara had mentioned the fact that Yahoo! doesn't like dead links. (So, there's your free tip for the day!) I thought it was about time to make sure all my links were in working order. I really pride myself in that directory. It really is one of THE largest Wahm Directories around.

The Holiday Promotion I had come up with is perfect because I manage to hit lots of things at once. First, I guess I ought to tell you what the promotion is! For each Directory Listing Purchased for in my Wahm Resource Directory I'll be sending out a FREE Letter from Santa to their child. :)

Why is this so perfect for me?

Well, for starters, I'll be honest. I could definitely use a little extra spending money for Christmas. (Who couldn't? Don't you ever wish there really was that big guy in the red suit...you know the one who seems to get all the credit?!? LOL!)

These listings are only $10, they are Lifetime Memberships and the buyer has the choice of 2 categories to be listed under. Directory listings are one of the best paid advertising you can buy. Why? Because they're considered as backlinks. More backlinks equals better Search Engine Results. So, these listings already sell themselves without too much effort.

Next reason is I have to put on a deadline. You know...Limited time offer. Offering a limited time offers are nice because you're letting your clients know that they have to act fast or else they'll miss out. This solves the 'I'll think about it...and forget it' problem. I mean think about it...I'm sure Wal-Mart has it right when they offer special prices on a limited amount of goods for only a few short hours on one day a year?!? How's that for Limited? (Have you ever been to Wal-Mart at 6:00 in the morning on black Friday? I have been for many years...and let me tell you...It's Insane! LOL!)

Now for what I think is the very best reason for me to do this. First of all...It's fun for me. I like 'playing Santa' and sending out these letters. Next, as a lot of you already know my daughter and I were going to set up her own personalized letters site quite a while back ago. This project unfortunately got set on the back burner and since school has started, it's really gotten set back. So, now I'll be able to get a Real feel of how she feels about it. Because, I'll have her doing a lot of the letters (with pay of course). I'm not sure who's more excited about it. Her or I? She's only 8 and she has the entrepreneur brain of a genius (Nah, I'm not biased at all! LOL!) But, on a serious note...I think this is really going to be good for her and I'm really looking forward to getting them all set up with her.

I'll be adding another feature today for mother's to purchase additional letters for a small fee. I'm not looking to make any extra off the letters themselves so, I'm thinking just making the additional ones about $3. This will cover the cost of the paper, ink, postage and of course fees for my daughter. There's a lot of families with more than one child so, I thought this option would be a nice additive.

Oh, and I almost forgot...Click here if you wanna see about getting a FREE Santa Letter sent to your child!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

New Recipes Added

It's been a long week, and nearly 80 recipes in 7 catagories have been added to RecipesForMom.com. The catagories are:

Amish Recipes
Cheesecake Recipes
Crockpot Recipes
Ice Cream Recipes
Pie Recipes
Popcorn Recipes
Soup Recipes

More recipes to come within the next few weeks!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Recommended Free Promotional Tools

There's been several forms of advertising and promotion I've been using lately, all that have gotten a big "thumbs up" from me. Four in particular - InstantBuzz, BlogExplosion, Contests, and SEO.

While I don't normally care for traffic exchange programs (due to poor quality of sites and horrible conversion rates), there are 2 that have actually caught my eye.

Instant Buzz
InstantBuzz, which is not really a traffic exchange program, but an "ad exchange". Members are required to have a tool bar at the top of their windows, where a one line ad is displayed. Some ads have caught my eye, and I've clicked to check them out. When you open a new window, the ad changes and earns you credit. This is truely a "lazy man's promotion" that actually works. I've been promoting Mom's Ezine (our website that displays all our newsletters of interest to mothers) and have seen some visitors and subscribers.

Currently Instant Buzz is by invitation only, so if you are interested in checking out this tool please send me an email ( contact@momsmarketonline.com ). I only have a limited number of invites so if you are interested, act now! Oh and did I mention this was free?

Blog Explosion
This is another that's similar to a traffic exchange program, but instead of websites you are clicking through it's blogs. Quality blogs at that - no ad only blogs or blogs that have little interest to anyone. Sure you come accross some that don't have any interest to you personally, but they are to mass groups. I've been working with Blog Explosion for a few months now and I have to say I really like it. I love to read other blogs no matter what type they are (ok, not so much the political blogs, but that's just me!). You can sign up to BlogExplosion by clicking here.

Very simple yet effective means of advertising. I'm creeping up on 500 subscribers to my candle website newsletter after just over a month, and have gotten over 30 new subscribers so far to my recipe newsletter after one day. Running a contest on your site can be very easy and used to gain massive amounts of newsletter subscribers for a very low cost. Don't have a newsletter? Well what in the heck are you waiting for? Building a double opt-in newsletter for your website is the best way to keep your visitors comming back - and buying!

If you already have your newsletter set up and want to run a contest, check the post I made in November about where to submit your contest. In the month of November I added 300 new subscribers (starting from NOTHING) just from running a contest. ;)

Short for "search engine optimization", and something I learned well over a year ago. What a valuable resource that class turned out to be! Unfortunately there is a lot of mis-information on SEO and no straight forward answers to much of it. My suggestion - read as much CURRENT information as you can on optimizing your websites for the search engines. Everytime I build a new page to any website, I always optimize it for the search engines.

So that's it - those are the main things I've been working with for the past month and it's unreal how many sales and visitors each have brough me! Of course there are a few other methods I use, but those 4 are the big ones and take such little time. Perfect for those who have more important tasks!

Best wishes :)

Drawing for Free Chocolate Lovers Cookbook

The contest has officially started - you can now enter to win a free Chocolate Lovers Recipes E-Cookbook! Enter by signing up to our newsletter at:

In addition to the new drawing, several new pages have been added: Amish Recipes, CheeseCake Recipes, and Popcorn Recipes (including popcorn balls and caramel popcorn!). If you love to cook, stop by and take a look!

Promotional Freebie Tips & More

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
(Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-58.html)

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Claire Berard

~ Business Article - "Promotional Freebies"
What's a promotional freebie? A promotional freebie is something you can give to your customers, visitors or subscribers. Giving away "freebies" is an excellent marketing tool. Who doesn't love freebies? Having something to offer your visitors or ezine/newsletter subscribers for free can be very helpful. Often giving away freebies will increase your website/ezine numbers.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - "Help Your Children to Love Reading"
It is so important to create an environment that promotes the love of reading. Not only is reading necessary for survival in today’s world, it is educational, it sparks imagination, it is a stress reliever, provides entertainment and enjoyment, the list goes on.

~ Humor Article - "The Dawn of a Work at Home Mom – Translation…HELP!"
The sun rises in the east and thus begins a new day. So they tell me, anyway. I am hardly ever up to see it and on the few occasions I am conscious, I couldn’t tell you east from west or north from Kansas! All this will soon change. I have a feeling I am going to be up into the wee small hours of the morning. I am about to embark on a new venture in my professional and personal life. No, I am not getting my house ready for feng shui. I am about to become a mother. Not just any mother, mind you, a special breed of mother. A work at home mother.

~ Recipe - Amish Meatloaf

Read this week's issue at:


Monday, December 06, 2004

Think and Grow Rich

If you just read Anita's post, then you already know what I've been up to. Last week I got a free copy of the popular business book "Think and Grow Rich". It's been on my "To Read" list for a year or two now, and I'm so proud of myself for actually getting around to reading. Well, of course it was a stroke of luck I got the chance to download it for free.

If you have never read the book, or never even heard the name, I suggest you run out now and pick up a copy. Check the library, check the net, or even stop in at Amazon and grab one. This book is amazing, and I'm not one that usually raves this much about books. Heck it's not even that often I even READ a book. Bad me I know, and that's all about to change I can just see it now.

I don't want to give too much away about this book, because really the importance of it comes from reading and studying each and every page. At the begining of the book, it suggest you read just one chapter every night and put every lesson learned into action. That's the real key, and one bit of direction I needed. I've gotten in the bad habit in the past of reading half a book, then never getting back to it for some reason or another. This book on the other hand, I can't put down. As much as I want to read the next chapter on some nights, I know better to waite until the next.

Another thing I should mention about this book is you won't see the true benefits and beauty of it unless you are READY for the information and lesson they give. I admit, I'm the type that will maybe look at a few things in a book and say "blah, I'll just skip that, it's not worth my time". This book stresses not to do that, but to really give each task and lesson everything you've got. You know what? I have been! Yes me, the "skipper".

Before I run off to read my chapter of this book for tonight, let me just give you an example of what this book has done for me so far. Last night I made my "To Do" list as usual, but with more direction than I've had in a very long time. I've been seeing more motivation in myself for the past few days and it's been great! But that's not my example or my proof - my "proof" was that today's "To Do" list was completely done - and it only took the morning! In the afternoon I moved right on to what I had planned on doing tomorrow, and got half of THAT done! How's that for motivation? *Grin*

If you can't find a free copy, Think and Grow Rich is available at Amazon for under $10!

I'm Baaack!

As some of you might have noticed I've been sort of MIA for a little over a week now. I took an unplanned, unannounced vacation last week with my husband. His company had off the entire week and the kiddos had some time off school so I decided to join them. We had a blast doing nothing but, we also did a lot of those things that have gone undone due to not enough time. I really think this extra time we had together was good for all of us. I have to admit I was a little sad when I woke up this morning and my husband had left to go back to work. We really had a great time.

Now, it's time to dive right back in! I think I've been a little in slow mode lately and need something to pick myself back up. I've been in a bit of a slump and just not sure where to go. I've decided to dig into an ebook that was passed on by Andre Chaperon and Highly recommended by Kara called Think and Grow Rich. Kara has been raving about this for a few days now and I'm hoping I'll be able to find my motivation there. I've been trying to focus on new ways to earn some quick extra spending money for the holidays. That Christmas list just doesn't seem to get any smaller no matter how much I buy. We'll see where this book takes me. I'll be sure to keep you updated!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Mom's Ezine

I took some time yesterday, and revamped a website we originally planned to use just for our main ezine, Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine. Instead I've changed the home page to reflect all our newsletters and mailing lists so it fits in with the general "Ezine for Moms" idea. I realise not every mother is a work at home mother with a business, so we also have a list of our non-business mailings lists as well.

The following newsletters, mailing lists, and ezines are included on Mom's Ezine now:

- Mommy's Helper ~ Mom's Market Ezine (MHMM Ezine)
- A Tale of 2 WAHMs (mailing list for new posts here)
- Affiliate News
- WAHM Blog News
- Freebie Central
- Mom's Market Shops ~ News & Specials
- Nickelodeon News ~ New Products & Specials
- Soy Wax Candles ~ News & Specials
- RecipesForMom ~ Weekly Recipes & News

You can sign up for any of these mailing lists by visiting:

Thursday, December 02, 2004

New Promotional Tool

While it works similar to a traffic exchange program, it requires absolutely zero of your time. It's called Instant Buzz, and is a toolbar that sits along with your other tool bars. Now you may think "like a need another tool bar!", but this one is special. No it doesn't have search capabilities, no you can't check your mail from it. What it does have is headline ads that change every time you open a new window. Those ads you see earn you credits for your own ad to be seen (similar to a traffic exchange program). In addition this program also has a community to participate in, that's easily accessed from the tool bar.

Currently this program is available by invitation only, and I only have 29 left to give. If you are interested in increasing your traffic by using just a few minutes of your time and willing to add this tool bar, please email me at contact@momsmarketonline.com to request an invitation!

New Month, New Goals

I must admit I'm a little bit disapointed in myself that I didn't make a more clear goal for last month for Soy Wax Candles. Of course I didnt' meet my goal of one sale a day mostly because I didn't believe in it enough. It was an odd goal to begin with and just not specific enough. One goal I did set was to see 300 new subscribers to the mailing list for that site, and that I almost accomplished. I was short by 2. That's all, just two! I'll be setting the same goal for the candle newsletter which is another 300 subscribers this month. I could set it higher, but I don't because of a few reasons. One is because it's December, and tomorrow is the last day I can take sales for Christmas. For two, I have other sites that need my attention more, and have a better chance of grabbing more Christmas sales. So it's not that I'm ignoring the candle site now, it's just I'm focusing my attention on what's going to be most profitable for this point in time.

As for other goals, I'll be focusing on two sites (one at a time) for the next several weeks.

The first being Hello Kitty Merchandise. All I can do with that site for the time being with the time I still have before Christmas is update the site, then send out an email to the mailing list. I already did a small test with this by updating 2 pages then mailing the list with those updates. It produced several sales over a few days so I was happy to see that. There's still several pages left to update which I'll be doing today and tomorrow, then mailing the list again. This I feel will produce more last minute Christmas sales but still leave enough time for shipping.

The second site I'll be working on starting next week is Recipes for Mom. There are so many recipes left to be added to that site, and I'll be adding clear up until Christmas. The reason I've chosen this webite to work on up until Christmas is because of the income potential reaches past the "cut off date" for Christmas sales. How? With Google Ads of course! What I'll be doing is optimizing each page I'll be adding for the seach engines, then begin work on building the mailing list. I believe this site will have the capability of bringing in visitors even on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and exspecially with Google Ads visitors=income. To build the mailing list I'll be using the same idea as I did with the candle website, which was to run a contest. I have a few ebooks that I can give away as a "prize", and the cost is nothing more than my time. My time is worth money yes, but I believe this was a good use of my time. The ebooks that have already been made also serve as an advertisement, since I created each so pages could be easily printed from the book, and a link for the website would be at the bottom.

It should be a very busy month, most definately!