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.

Monday, January 31, 2005

The WAHM Project - Letting the Cat out of the Bag


Do you find yourself repeating the same statement over and over again? I find I hear that statement over and over again. Well, that and "I just started my own home business! I'm selling XXX!" and the excitement begins! Then a little later I see the same person say..."Okay, I started my own business. Now what?" Sound a little familiar?

Then you start searching for all the tips/tricks and things you need to do to become successful. Long search, wasn't it? I've seen too many moms start up with direct sales companies and quit within a month. I hear..."That company stinks!" and "Once I signed up, my upline disappeared!" (Which I must add...is a very stupid mistake made by too many uplines! Your downline and your customers are your bread and butter!) Even though the last comment makes perfect sense...it's often forgotten.

Okay, so it's time to let the cat out of the bag so to speak! Wanna know what we've been working on? We've decided to decrease our target group and define our niche a little more. As most of you know...we've always focused on helping mother's in business. (Thats just been our thing from the beginning) But, we've found that majority of the work at home moms are in Direct Sales in one way or another. Then we see everyone bombarding you with SEO tactics and ways to increase your online traffic (which ARE Very important and can't be forgotten...don't need that message coming across the wrong way!!) But, the bottom line is. Wahms want to know how to make a successful business with their DS company. Am I right? So, we've decided that the mother's in business that need the most help are those in Direct Sales. Eureka! The birth of The Complete Direct Sales Help for WAHMS! We're using our experiences in Direct Sales along with a few other Specialists in the field ;-) to create all the help you need. Stop by our new site and let us know what you think. While you're there...sign up for our newsletter so you can recieve updates on the new site and recieve free tips to help you succeed in your Direct Sales company!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Overcomming Fear, Choosing Business Partners, & More

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
( Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-64.html )

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Question of The Week
How do you find a trustworthy person to partner with for an online business? Or how do you know if someone is trustworthy and a good fit for a partnership?

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Cara Sonnier

~ Business Article - 10 Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Selling
Ahh. Selling. Sometimes, this is a word that is dreaded and feared by all but the most intrepid business owners. It seems that, even though we all know we need to "sell" our products and services, many of us feel fearful or anxious about actually doing so. These 10 tips are designed to help you shift out of your fear, and into excitement, about sharing your product or service.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - Hey Mom, I'm Bored!
"Hey Mom, I'm Bored!"... How may times have you heard that statement? Today it is very easy to just turn on the TV or pop in a X-Box game but why not teach your kids something fun in the kitchen? They will enjoy the time spent with you while learning a valuable skill.

~ Humor Article - Mommy Brain
How do you know you’ve had a bad week? Do you stumble over your feet more or forget things? A journalist asked me if Mommy Brain really exists. It is a phenomenon which occurs once you have children. Your mind never quite works right again. I had never thought of opening up my noggin to investigate the matter. But if I were to look inside my head, I might find the following things which I either perpetually forget or think I have lost forever:

~ Recipe - Cheesy Crockpot Chicken

Read this week's issue at:


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Change of Plans

Don't worry! Nothing is changing about our big project. No no, that's still moving along quite well and we are crossing our fingers for a release date in February.

What HAS changed is my personal candle business. Some of you may have known that I buy wholesale from another wahm, and have my own website. Well, starting this month my wholeseller has changed her plans and now only selling to a direct sales program. At first I was in a panic. What would I do with my mailing list? What would happen to my site that I've built? Well all those fears were taken care of when I started looking at the direct sales program that was now being offered. Also run by wahms, this program may actually work better. I can still keep my site, and run things similar to what I had been. Actually it might be LESS work that what I had originally been doing. Plus the pay is just about the same, so this makes me very happy.

Nothing is official just yet, but getting there. In the next week or so you will see my candle site undergoing a big change to reflect the new program. In addition to almost the same products, there will now be consultant information. This was lacking on the site before, so the change is actually a positive one since I've had others contact me in the past asking if there was one.

So yes this is actually a move in a good direction. Funny how things work out for the best isn't it? :)

Friday, January 21, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Week 3

As you know being a wahm can sometimes keep you distracted and it's easy to loose your motivation. As a mother, family comes first no matter what. This week has definately been one of those challenging weeks as wahms, what with doctor appointments, children misbehaving, and loss of motivation. Even still we are moving on. We may have lost site of what we were needing to do next, but we didn't loose sight of the finished project. We took some personal days to regroup our thoughts, and to take care of family, so that next week will be a fresh start. We also haven't lost sight of our "Think Big Challenge" over at wahm.com, and will hopefully get back on track next week as well since both our challenges tie right into this project. Anita is still writing while I'm still building our newsletter list. It's still moving slow, but IS moving and that's what counts. ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Free Advertising, Free Publicity, and More

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
( Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue-63.html )

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Sharon B. Smith

~ Business Article - Free Publicity
For many of us, the idea of getting free publicity can be a confusing and daunting task. So why do it? Because free publicity really works and if you are looking for ways to attract new customers to your internet business, free publicity is by far one of the best ways to do it. I am going to share with you five key steps to getting free publicity for your products.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - Family Time
When you pick up any magazine, it’s easy to find an abundance of articles to help you organize your life. Most offer tips for cleaning out the closets, shuffling the papers on the desk, finding ways to organize the kid’s toys. But, here’s a different twist. We’d like to help you organize your time to find some precious, extra moments to spend with your family.

~ Humor Article - Streakin
It took two years, six months and five days. We thought the day would never arrive, but it did. It was the day my children realized they were both here to stay. No, baby brother isn’t leaving. No, big sister isn’t either. Confronted with this inalterable fact, my children changed their tactic.

~ Recipe - Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Supreme
Read this week's issue at:


Monday, January 17, 2005

Free Advertising for Moms

Mom's Ezine is a directory for mom-run publications such as ezine, newsletter, and blogs. We are now accepting free submissions for mothers that wish to be listed. Publications must be family friendly, delivered by email, and a link back is required.

For more information on getting your publication listed, visit: http://www.momsezine.com/submit.html

"The WAHM Project" - Day 11

Somewhat of a slow day, since we are dealing with kids out of school and waiting to hear back from some people about peices of this project. I did some advertising today on the new website we have up (the ezine directory for moms - Mom's Ezine) and will be sending out some articles, but that's about it. Somewhat of a slow day, but tomorrow should be better. :)

Friday, January 14, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Day 10

Well this has been an interesting day. While it seems we've sorta "goofed off" most the day reading and watching some interesting hot topics (see the boards at wahm.com and Anita's previous post), we did manage to get some "real" work done. Actually, I wouldn't even concider the chatting we did today goofing off, since we've been bringing up some topic to think about. I know it's always been around, but for some reason it seems to me that more products like Anita has been talking about have been popping up. It may seem like we are trying to come out with "the latest and greatest money making system" with this project we are working on, but that's not the case. We saw the need for a type of product like this - specifically for the wahm world. Plus we made up our minds early in the game that no matter how much information this package has, it's not going to have a big ticket price on it. Sure we are putting a lot of work into this and should be compensated, but we aren't doing this project to get rich.

That said, today I worked on reformatting a website of ours that we had orignally purchased for our main ezine (Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine). Instead of just our publications listed, it's now a wahm newsletter directory. All wahm newsletters will be listed (except for adult sites), and for free no less! Of course our newsletter is still on the home page, but hey we're paying for the hosting. ;) Seeing the need for wahms to submit their articles to others as well, there's also a section for wahm publications that accept articles (yes I'll personally be sending to a few places myself!). Keep in mind this is BRAND NEW, so there's still just our newsletters listed, BUT please feel free to submit your own! You can see the new site at: Mom's Ezine.

So how is that progress on the project? Well, to be honest I need places to send my articles too, specifically wahm publications. There's no website like this out there right now (that I could see), so I created it. I figured, sure I'll benefit a lot from these resources, but I won't keep it to myself - I'll share it with others for free. :) I think that's what truely separates all of us WAHMs from the rest of the gurus - we don't just take from the community, we give back too! *grin*

Will The Next Real Guru Please Stand Up

There’s whispers in the corners...the instant messengers are going crazy…but still no one says a word. Sorry, I think it’s time to be said.

I’m a firm believer in putting money back into my business. I believe in educating myself to better my business. Most importantly I even believe in working hard to become successful. I know that nothing in life is handed to me for free…but does it really have to cost hundreds of dollars?

Honestly…If I have to read one more “You MUST buy my newest system or you’re gonna die” sales page…I just might scream.

I’m a mom…not an idiot. So, please don’t talk down to me. I don’t like hype. As a matter of fact hype looks a lot like a scam to me. See work at home moms are prey to scammers…I’ve been trained to avoid hype. Your “I guarantee you using my system will triple your sales.” Sounds a lot like “Make thousands of dollars! No selling required!” to me. Oh and you have to love the… “My secret system will show you exactly how to make millions for free.” But, that secret comes with a thousand dollar price tag?!? Yup, that makes perfect sense to me. You don’t need to change your sales page to sell to me…you need to change your price tag. I’m a natural born bargain hunter. I clip coupons and shop for sales.

How do I know which guru or system is right for me and my business? Quite frankly I’m not willing to shell out $197 a clip per system to find out.

Would I like to make millions while sipping Pina Coladas at my summer cottage in the Bahamas? Heck yes I would…I’m not a fool. Well maybe…remember, I am a MOM and my family comes first. Do I really NEED to make millions? No, I’m more than satisfied earning enough to pay the bills and have a little extra spending cash. Which by the way is pretty much exactly the same mindset of most work at home moms. Hmmm…Maybe I should do a poll? Besides, if every new “buy or die” system really did exactly what’s proclaimed…there’d be a whole lot more millionaires sipping right with me.

Now as I stand here on my soapbox…Don’t misunderstand me. I DO believe that there should be a price on valuable information. I’m not in anyway saying that it should be for free. The ‘gurus’ selling these things have done all their homework and research. They’ve put together their system and most certainly deserve to be paid. But, you know what? The average work at home mom doesn’t have that kind of money to spare. So, if you’re not willing to give me a more reasonable price…please kindly go on back over to the big boys table. Please stop telling me the only way I’ll be successful is to pay you…I’ll be just fine.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Day 9

Anita of course was busy today writing more content for the package (and will continue to do so for quite awhile - we weren't kidding when we said this package was going to be just filled with information!), while I spent half the day contacting some newsletter publishers who accept articles.

We also spent some time brainstorming what will go on the sales page of this package, and the solid "why" this package will be useful to those that will think of buying it. To be completely honest, when we started this package we didn't have a price tag in mind, nor did we think "wow we are going to make money doing this". Nope, what we did think is "wow this is something that's needed for this market, this is something that people TRUELY need and can use".

With so much information to buy out there, what will set this apart? Well basically because of the market it's directed to - I have yet to see any kind of information available for this one specific group of people we are putting this package together for. No fluff, and not just general information. Nope this is SPECIFICALLY for this group. Sure there IS some general "all kinds of business" information, but there has to be some. Some topics DO apply to all kinds of businesses, and it's important to touch on them, but for the most part this package will have topics that are specifically for this group and this group only.

So that was our day today. Some "detail" work, but also a lot of brainstorming. When this project is finally finished and released, we should be 100% ready!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Day 8

While Anita spent the day putting together and researching more content for our project, I spend part of the day submitting articles to a brand new list of places to submit to. Some times it gets a little tiring doing the same task over and over, but I managed to get quite a few new and old articles submitted. I also spent some time updating the biline in my articles so that the link to the ezine is now there. The purpose of building the ezine list is to have a larger audience when we are ready to release the project. Not only that but some promotional work on the ezine was well over do.

We also put together a new format for the ezine, which doesn't have too much to do with the new project, but I think made it look much better. Time will tell, we haven't heard any positive or negative feedback from it yet.

Tomorrow will be filled with more research, writing, and reading...exactly what you would expect from doing any kind of major project. :)

Why You Need This Important Business Tool

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
( Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue62.html )

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Nellie Tennant

~ Business Article - Purpose of a Newsletter
Even in direct sales, it's crutial you have a newsletter. No matter what type of a business you are in, or how often you send it, having a list of contacts is important.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article - Parenting Yourself When You Have Small Children
There’s no doubt about it - parenting small children takes a lot of time. So much time that it’s very easy to forget about your child within. Yet you cannot be a really good parent while forgetting about your own feelings, needs and well-being.

~ Humor Article - A Mother Knows She Has Boys Whenj...
As a mom there is life B.B. (before boys) and then there is life A.B. (after boys). I question any mother’s sanity should she decide to continue onward for that junior basketball team of five. I know all too well what it is like to raise boys. I have four and quickly stopped there as I pondered the consequences of my future. Not a pretty picture.

~ Recipe - Crockpot Creamy Red Potatoes

Read this week's issue at:


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Day 7

Some dates were finally set, or at least some mini goals as to where we want to be. We've decided that we want to be ready to release the project on February 15th, or at least have the project completed. It's a bit of a stretch since this package will have so much information packed into it, and there's a lot of research left to do as well as promotion with only about a month to do it. I've decided this week I'm going to continue promotion on the ezine, which will include submitting to directories (finished that part today), submitting to groups, writing articles and "touching up" some of my older articles to submit to new places, as well as doing more networking (I have the ezine link in the signature line in every place I network).

There's also going to be some extra work to do tomorrow, as I'll be making some minor changes to the ezine.

Busy busy, and I've still got work to do on some other websites of mine!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Think Big Challenge

It's that time again! My very good friend Becky has posted another one of her wahm famous "Think Big Challenges". If you haven't been involved in one yet, get involved in this one!

This is not about setting regular goals, but really setting your eyes on something that is a true challenge to you. Something you really have to work hard to get to, not a mark you know you can hit easily. That's why it's called the "Think Big Challenge". ;)

You can read my challenge and post your own at:

"The WAHM Project" - Day 6th

The start of a new week.......I love it. Mondays as a WAHM are great, because there's always that feeling of having a fresh start. However, being a wahm has it challenges as well.

Today didn't feel much like Monday because I didn't feel like I accomplished anything on the project. My partner has taken a "wahm mom day" (meaning her duties as mom have come before business which is COMPLETELY understandable and just part of being a wahm), and so have I somewhat. With another winter storm approaching us, I had to do some errands of my own before being stuck in the house for another few days.

So, even though this was one of those days where we were both just in and out taking care of more important things (family ALWAYS comes before business!), we still snuck in here and there to work on the big project. When I came to work I found a few emails in my inboxs from Anita which tells me she was sneaking in here and there over the weekend. While I wasn't running errands I read some more of the ezine "handbook" that I purchased on Friday. While I didn't have time to put any of it to use, I did manage to jot down some notes that I'll start applying tomorrow. I haven't even gotten to the resource section of this "handbook", but I'm very excited to get there. Decided I needed my ducks in a row before I could start the promotion side of the ezine, which means some reformating and ad writing.

It's almost certain I'll be stuck inside for the next few days, so the project should move forward by leaps and bounds this week. :)

Friday, January 07, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Day 5

More ideas are flying and more help been sought out - well kinda. I made the decision to purchase an informational package (it doesn't have anything to do with the package we are creating, but more on the promotion of it), which took some major thinking before I did due to the large ticket price. After seeing it last night I couldn't get it out of my head, so I did the math. If I purchased this product, how much could I make in return that I may not have been able to make on my own? Since I had already purchased something else from this person and got triple the money back, I jumped on it. I'm happy I did, because now I feel as though the flood gates have been opened for us to promote this package to the fullest. We've also done some more brainstorming as to how this project is going to be promoted when it's finished aside from with the information I just bought.

Aside from promotion talk, we both accomplished more on the package itself, gathering more information from our "helpers" and jotting down our own experiences. As we go, our "plan" has gotten more clear, and each of us has taken on specific "jobs" to finish this project more quickly. I don't know what I would do if it was just me working on this and not both of us!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Talking with a fellow Wahm

No, I don't mean talking in a chat room, on instant messenger, on the boards, or even email. I'm talking good ole fashioned picking up the telephone and really talking (with your mouth...not your keyboard). Have you done that lately or yet, even? Today I had the absolute pleasure of talking with Patty Gale from http://www.pattysprettypaper.com. First of all I gotta say Patty's a really nice gal and I really enjoyed speaking with her. Secondly, it was oh so very nice to really talk with someone about our home businesses. For once I wasn't chatting with a four year old about which monster truck goes faster; Grave Digger or Spiderman (Grave Digger of course!). I wasn't even talking with my husband or mother who honestly don't have a clue as to what I do. No, I was talking with a real live work at home mom who deals with the same things as I do from day to day. Let me tell you...it was sweet! Try it sometime; you'll be impressed!

Invent Your Own Direct Sales Company

How cool would that be? Actually, I think it'd be pretty darn cool and I just may have the opportunity to do so. I'm really excited about this and would love some feedback for all you direct sales representatives out there.

So, first a little background. My FIL has *perfected* the most delicious tasting salad dressings you've ever had. (Okay, so maybe I'm biased BUT, as you'll see I'm not the only one who thinks this, LOL!) There's been lots and lots of people who have had this dressing and has absolutely loved and raved about it. See, they used to have their own restaraunt. (And it was very popular. It's just that they're 'getting a bit older' and it was taking such a toll on them and their lives so they had to give it up :( ) So, anyway...people have told them over and over again that they need to start bottling and selling it. They found a company that will do it for them. I'm not sure on all the details here but, I guess all they have to do is give the company the recipe and they bottle, label and ship them. They decided to look into starting a DS company and if they do follow through...they'd like me to control it.

Okay...now that you have a bit of background...Let's play a *game* Let's say you were able to create your own Direct Sales company. Keep in mind you'd be selling Salad Dressings. What would you like to see in a DS company? Think about those things you wish your DS company offered but don't. AND also I'd love to hear the things you *hate* too.

I think this is gonna be a fun project. I've seen too many DS reps (and have been one myself) that I've always said...If I had my own DS company it'd be the best around because I know how to treat the reps. Well, I guess I'm talking about those few companies that have 'certain rules' that I just don't think is very fair to the reps. Anyway...I could start a whole new post on that thought, LOL!

But, I'm thinking we could actually set up for home parties. (Hmmm...salad making parties??) He already has a few salad dressings and I'm sure he's gonna make more too. Plus he's already thinking of making the dressings he already has lower cal, less carbs and all that stuff. Okay...I'm rambling. Would LOVE to hear your ideas/thoughts!

"The Wahm Project" - Day 3 & 4

Content, Content, Content

Okay, so it's obvious that we're going to have a lot of these days. There's just so much content that's needed for an info product that you can't help but have lots of these days. Days three and four were both dedicated to lots of research and writing of the content. Take special notice of the first part of that research. Research, Research, Research and then when you think you've researched enough...research some more. This is a very important tool. Number one you don't want to be creating something that's already available. That's what Affiliate Marketing is for. Don't re-invent the wheel. If you have an idea for a product and it's already available...become and affiliate and promote it. Number two you want your product to be worth it. You're not going to get many sales if you throw something together that has no real content or information. Make sure you know everything there is about it. Our 'helper's' info is starting to slowly trickle in too so that's been added too.

Till tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Balancing Business & Home

In this week's issue of Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine:
( Can be read at: http://www.momsezine.com/issue61.html )

~ Notes from Anita and Kara

~ Featured Mom of the Week
Dianne Sullivan

~ Business Article - "Tax Deductions for Your Home Business"
The IRS bases your deductions on whether they are a direct expense or indirect expense. A direct expense is an expense that is exclusively business related. These expenses can receive a 100% tax deduction. These include advertising, equipment that is purchased for business use only and business supplies.

~ Latest Message Board Topics

~ Childcare Article
As concerned parents, we want to give our kid's every possible advantage that we didn't necessarily have growing up. We want them to get the best education and then go onto find a great job that will provide our kids with much-needed stability. But have you considered...

~ Humor Article - "A Manic Mom's Pity Party"
I'm having a Manic Mom Pity Party, want to come? Bring your cup of coffee, box of tissues and share your stories of being unable to take a shower without someone asking you to make a grilled cheese or to tell you that so-and-so put the cat in the refrigerator. Locking the bathroom door is useless since the kids discovered how to pick it a year ago.

~ Recipe - Apple Brown Betty

Read this week's issue at:


"The Wahm Project" - Day 2

The infoproduct that we are creating spreads across a very wide spectrum and has quite a few angles to cover. Although we both know alot and have a lot of experience in this business we don't pretend to be experts in every single angle so we've recruited some 'extra help' with this project. I guess I really shouldn't call it 'extra help'...we're just looking for second and third opinions and different things that have worked for other successful women in these types of businesses. Success stories! Who doesn't love to hear the stories of other successful mothers and how they did it? Day 2 consisted of hand-picking and contacting those that we know are successful in what they do and ask them for their imput.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bring It 2005!

Are you ready? We're already a couple of days into the New Year and I do hope that you are prepared to make 2005 your best year yet! Have you made your resolutions and goals? I've been to a lot of message boards lately and seen that everyone is happily posting their goals. I think thats fantastic. To have goals in mind is Extremely important to your business. But, we can't forget that to make those goals happen we also need to make a plan on how we plan to reach these goals. What are you going to do to get more sales? How do you plan to sell more books? How are you going to build your subscriber list? Don't just make a list of goals you want to reach. Make a list of how you plan to accomplish each of those goals too! Setting a business plan is essential! Then make it a regular routine of maybe once a month to review and hold yourself accountable. Make sure you are working towards your goal ;)

Here's to the Success of 2005!

Monday, January 03, 2005

"The WAHM Project" - Day 1

We mentioned this in our newsletter, but Anita and I are secretly working on a new project for a specific group of WAHMs. The purpose of this project is going to be a complete help package for that specific group. Our goal is to make sure we've covered every angle of this type of business for wahms, but to also make sure we have the best information possible.

You are going to start see quite a few posts like this one, because we've decided to map out our progress on the this project. Not only to show those that are going to be interested in the finished product just how much time and effort we are putting into it as well as the time it will save them, but also to help those who are wanting to promote similar products and services.

So on with today's plans. Most of today is being spent brainstorming and working on our "game plan". We're going to be jotting down all the information we are going to be including in this package, as well as gathering our questions for those who we've decided to contact for some extra help (basically second and third opinions on various topics). We've got some marketing plans down as well for when the finished project is done, which makes us even more excited to get this started.

Stay tuned as we go farther tomorrow!