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, January 31, 2006

Staying with the 2006 Goals

As organized as I'm trying to keep myself, I'm admiting I'm starting to slip off my 2006 goal. That goal was FOCUS. I'm trying, I really am, but my attention is starting to drift elsewhere.

Basically what I wanted to do was add around 500 product reviews to Mom's Market this year. That's coming along pretty well, but I think I may fall short. Oddly enough, I don't think I care. Or at least not right now. Why? Because the income isn't matching up to my plans. It's still far too early to completely be sure, so don't think I'm giving up on that project all together. No way! Regardless, I still want to be adding reviews on a very regular basis for long term reasons. Rebecca White of Support For Moms is now an "official" writer for Mom's Market, which is a HUGE help. That takes much stress off of me. Doing these daily was starting to take it's toll.

There's so much I want to do, so don't mind me as I think out loud here.

- I want to start new projects with Direct Sales Helpers
That site has so much possiblity. I know there's a huge opportunity sitting there, but I'm stumped on what to do. I suppose if I was back in the mind set for that site there are things that could be added, and I know there's notes around here somewhere with ideas for it. If I could find them, we might be in better shape.

- I want to add to Idea Queen
More than ever I want TRAFFIC to it. If I spent some time on it, I probably could get a better traffic flow in. It's just a matter of sitting down and making the plans for it. I've been working on sending out some articles for it, so I hope that helps.

- I want to work with affiliate marketing again
*Sigh* I want back in the affiliate marketing world SO BADLY. I suppose that could work with Idea Queen and I really should put some focus into that. Mom's Market works good with affiliate marketing as well. I want back in! I swear I hear it calling me! *Double sigh*...I'll get back in, I just need a plan.

What else do I want? I swear there was more. For now I suppose this is all enough. I've got a good flow going with the recipe site, adding one new recipe a week, so that is more than taken care of for the time being.

I need a plan - a detailed plan. Something that's going to get me back on track and motivated. Just a few hours to sit and write what I want to do. So there's my "To Do" tomorrow or Thursday - write my plan of action! :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

What to add?

Yesterday I posted about wanting to add more to Idea Queen. Well, I'm stuck. Not that I've been trying to terribly hard today to come up with something, but I still don't know what needs to be added. What I would love is some opinions on what you think would be the most interesting topics on the site. I've tapped out almost all my recipe ideas, and I'm not exactly creative when it comes to thinking up craft ideas. Comments on what you would like to see would be appreciated! :D

Thursday, January 26, 2006

About Time I Posted Again

Since I was spending some time surfing at BlogExplosion, I thought it was about time I updated my own blog. Have you ever noticed how many blogs there are out that say that on a regular basis? (I'm guilty of this as well). "Sorry I haven't posted in awhile" or "Wow I need to post, don't I?". It's funny if you thinking about it, because it's pretty obvious from the date on the current and last post you haven't posted in awhile. Yes Anita, I'm laughing at you too. :P

Anyway, today has been one of those extremely bad days where I just want to crawl back into bed. No, not the normal "what can go wrong will go wrong" days, but rather one of those serious depression and questioning life days. Like, self pitty without anti-depressants. *sigh* Usually on days like this I completly hide, although today I decided to come out of the shadows for a bit. Laying on the couch thinking about the wrong turns I've made doesn't help anyone, and definitly not myself. Although these are the days I know Anita says to herself "oh no, make the negativity go away!". I try to spare her by just shutting of Yahoo IM or my email. (haha)

I've done some thinking and while I'm not about to abandon the goals I've already set, I'm thinking of shifting things around a bit. The response from the product reviews has been fantastic, but my own personal gain (yes I'm saying it - of course I wanted some financial gain from this, that's what business is about after all) has fell flat so far. I haven't really given it a fair amount of time (less than a month), but still I've not seen any results that I was anticipating. While the content will benefit everyone in the long run, the short term benefits aren't just working out well.

My solution is to not give up on it completely and keep plugging away, but I feel like there's something more I need to be doing. Anita is busy setting up some new things for Direct Sales Helpers while I continue to write weekly articles (well, most the time anyway - she's written many of the articles that appear in that newsletter). So while the product reviews continue to trickle in, I believe my focus needs to be on something else. More specifically, Idea Queen. It's a site I keep pulling back to every so often, because it holds many of my own interests. It's my idea dumping ground, but in a good way. All those little hints and tricks I do every day, all in one little place. Thanks to the Google ads, it was a profitable website at one time. Unfortunately, it didn't hold it's rankings for long. The daily visitors have gone from several hundred a day to near nothing. Thank you MSN and Google, thank you so very much.

It's about time that site come back to normal and start getting more visitors, so I'm working on getting the number back up. I'm about to put some new things on the site as well, but not entirely sure what. I have some ideas sitting in the back of my head, it's just a matter of getting them down on paper. One of my favorite hobbies is sewing, and I will probably add some articles on that topic soon.

Enough babbling, back to work. ;)

Implement Good Marketing Ideas

Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine
Issue #114
Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Editor's Rambling:

Note from Anita

This past week I’ve been able to rediscover the true blessing it really is to be a work at home mom. As some of you know I do work outside the home on a very part time basis. I had been asked to fill in full time for a co-worker who was going on vacation and agreed. I must say that I’m only half-way through this week and I’m really ready to go back home! For the past four days I’ve had to get myself and my children up at 4:00 am, take them to the sitter’s house and not pick them back up until 5:00 pm. (I’m missing my kiddos!) Once we return home at about 5:30 pm we now have to rush through the evening routine of homework, dinner and bedtime. Quality family time? We haven’t had it this week, that’s for sure! Once we’ve tucked the children in bed it’s time to start my other “job” online. It’s really been a challenge for me to keep up with a quite busy home business while spending 12 hours a day away from home to say the least. And I know that there are quite a few of you out there who are still forced to do this on a regular basis … my hat’s off to you! Take the time right now and pat yourself on the back because it’s not an easy job. Super-mom has to step up to bat for that … without a doubt!

Till next week...

~Anita DeFrank
Mommy's Helper

Note from Kara

There's not much to say this week, since the product reviews are still a very large part of my daily tasks. More are being added daily, and Mom's Market is now up to 30 product reviews total. If you would like your product included, you can do so here:

I did happen to find a resource yesterday that I have worked into my candle business. It's a gift registery where users can add products from many different stores online. I'm still playing around with it, and there's a few set backs to the set up, but for the most part I'm happy with it. You can check it out here:
My Gift List
(Note: there are two different sides to sign up to - merchant and shopper. You'll need to sign up to them each separately)

The computer problems continue, even though most of it has been taken care of. If you were curious why this was a tad late today, it's because I have been fighting with my computer all morning. Last week I was hit with spyware, and I thought I had everything fixed over the weekend. I was wrong, and the issue has been starting again. Almost time to take it into the shop I'm afraid. :(

See you next week!

~Kara Kelso~
Mom's Market

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Implement Good Marketing Ideas

There are millions of marketing ideas around you everywhere you look and the next good idea is merely just a glance, a thought or brainstorm away. Every successful business has at its core a series of marketing ideas that are used to propel its promotional activities. All of these marketing ideas dovetail into one another and are designed to gain and maintain a loyal customer base who will buy and sell their products.

If you need marketing and promotional ideas, then you can start by brainstorming your thoughts on paper or on the computer. Start by thinking about your product and/ or service and then think about your customers. Then allow these thoughts to lead to others. Remember - one small idea will lead to many others, which then allows you to narrow it down to the most appropriate ones. Alternatively you can do a web search for the specific marketing ideas you are looking for by doing some preliminary research it may well spark some additional ideas that you can implement on a more purpose built level for your specific business.

When devising a marketing plan, you need to include the best marketing ideas, which requires creativity. If you lack the time or talent to be creative, there are marketing agencies that can help you with this. They will build a complete marketing strategy for you from the ground up. Agency staff members have seen hundreds of different campaigns and know what works and what doesn't.

The marketing strategy that you device for your business should be doable. All the ideas that you have come up with to make your marketing plan should be implement able, else they are of no use. While implementing your marketing strategies you may face hurdles like budget constraints, or staff constraints or even lack of skill required to implement the strategy, you have to know how to overcome these hurdles.

While finalizing the marketing strategy you will also have to decide on the tactics and the tools that you will use in any particular campaign. The tools could be to run loyalty programs, or have direct emails sent to the client, or pay attention to the packaging and the promotional material that you will be using. A mix and match of various tools and tactics will make a good and successful marketing strategy.

Scott F. Geld is the Lead Supervisor of Marketing Blaster, a Pay-Per-Click traffic source that repeatedly beats the major search engines in Conversion and ROI Ratios. Visit us online and see for yourself at: www.marketingblaster.com


30 Kids Party Favors for Pennies

Party favors needn't be costly, just a simple remembrance of the good time guests had at your child's party. Each of these party favors cost under $1 per guest, some only pennies apiece. Shop dollar stores and discount outlets to stock up on these clever party favorites. Use individually or mix and match, using your party theme as a guide.

*Craft stick picture frames (decorated by party guests) with a polaroid of the party child with each guest
*Small plastic toy, stickers, stringed beads, coins, etc. inside an inflated balloon
*Glow necklaces and bracelets
*Small pack of crayons with coloring book
*Book matching the party theme
*Bubble liquid
*Sidewalk chalk
*Beach ball
*Hair ornaments
*Watercolor paint set
*Address book
*Tiny Notebook
*Plastic Tiara
*Pez Dispensers
*Seed packets to plant
*Unused fast food toys
*Fast food coupons worth $1
*Homemade modeling clay and a cookie cutter

Make and Take Party Favors:
Kids love to make crafts and these double as party favors when kids get to take them home...

*Personalized and decorated foam sun visor
*Handpainted and decorated sunglasses
*Personalized and decorated bookmark
*Handmade potpourri sachet
*Handmade refrigerator magnet
*Handpainted suncatcher
*Handmade beaded jewelry
*Homemade soap
Party favors should not be so expensive as to rival the gifts given to your child at his or her party! Keep it small, simple, memorable, and easy on your pocketbook.

Patricia B. Jensen is a mother of three and kids party enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of http://www.kids-party-paradise.com - a comprehensive resource for kids party ideas and complete party plans for many popular themes, including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food.

Coffee Break

The Hazards of Working At Home

Moms that choose to stay home with their kids know what they are getting into, namely, a 24/7 job that offers few breaks sans vacation.

That is why I think that moms who choose to run a home-based business are utterly out of their minds. I should know. I am one of those women. Think challenge to the nth degree.

Here’s a list of things you can count on happening, so be prepared.

1) You’ll buy 12 reams of paper for the printer and fax. Yet the very minute you need that paper there’s only one sheet left and a colossal collection of artwork tacked to the dining room wall thanks to the kids.

2) You’ll teach the kids to answer the phone professionally—because you never know who will call. Family, friends and colleagues all remark how well trained your kids are when answering the phone. Then, a key person for the success of your business calls and gets “Yeah, what?” from a child with a mouthful of peanut butter.

3) Yes, you CAN work in your pajamas from home…if you don’t mind being surprised by UPS or FED EX when you’re the least glamorous.

4) When it comes to Word documents save, save, save as you go because the minute you’re pleased with your work somebody’s chubby little fingers are either going to pull the plug or somehow magically erase the entire document that just took you hours to create.

5) The minute a customer needs to fax you is the precise minute you discover the kids have used up all the ink and while trying to fix the matter it ‘blows up,’ singeing your hair and awing the kids who all chant, “Do that again, Mom!” And then UPS shows up….

6) There is no working through lunch or dinner EVEN if the project you are working on needs to be done YESTERDAY. Just ask a brood of kids to wait ‘just a few more minutes’ and you’ll soon feel like the only caribou among a pack of starving wolves.

7) As soon as your toddler has a diaper blow-out and you’re into it with both hands, the phone will ring, your older child will answer promptly and professionally and then hand you the phone. And then UPS shows up….

Your husband won’t understand why you MUST leave the house as soon as he returns from his away-from-home job…but the singed hair, trail of copier paper and smoking diaper should be enough clues for him to figure it out.

9) Be prepared to type with one hand while hugging up a clingy toddler who wants you to look HIM in the eye and not the monitor.

10) Your business cards will make great confetti for toddlers and the perfect ‘tickets’ for the older kids when playing make-believe circus outside...and you'll be running to collect them all right when UPS shows up.

Working at home will be the toughest job you’ll ever have, but quite possibly the one you’ll love the most precisely BECAUSE of the kids.

Are we having fun yet? Send your comments to LisaBarker@jellymom.com

Jelly Mom™ is syndicated through Martin-Ola Press /Parent To Parent. For more information, please contact editor@parenttoparent.com



* 2 (10 oz.) boxes of frozen chopped broccoli
* 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
* 1/4 c. sour cream
* 1/2 lb. Mexican Velveeta cheese
* 1/2 lb. reg. Velveeta cheese
* 1 tbsp. garlic salt

Cook and drain broccoli. Melt cheese in slow cooker/Crock Pot. Mix soups, sour cream, broccoli and garlic salt. Mix into melted cheese. Serve as dip with tortilla chips.

More Recipes At:

Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
Post them at Mommy's Helper Community (www.MommysHelperOnline.com/phpBB2)!
Note: Recipes must be quick, easy, healthy, and original. Nothing from a cookbook or a box please.

Ad swap:

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*Subscribe to this Ezine at:

Monday, January 09, 2006

Important Announcement from Mom's Market

Some of you may have seen a notice sent out to a number of groups about another site offering product reviews. It may have looked as though it was coming from Mom's Market, but this was not the case. The content from our guideline page was copied (word for word). Currently the only partnership we have is with Rebecca White from Support for Moms. The site that copied our information (or any other site offering product reviews) has nothing to do with Mom's Market, and we will not ask you to "contact us" for more information or to send products. All requests for product reviews on Mom's Market are sent to us from our online form, which is found here:

The above link is the only one Mom's Market will ever ask you to visit when sending requests to have product reviews. Any other email address have no connection with us.

We are still accepting review requests, and will be for at least the next year. Much care has been taken to set up this special section on Mom's Market, and plans have been set to make this a very large promotion to everyone involved.

Our reviews aren't just stuffed on a "Product Review" page (although they CAN be seen on that page as well), but rather worked in to the main part of our shopping mall - which was formerly the largest part of Mom's Market. We take pride in our shopping directory, and promote to outside sources that bring us hundreds of shoppers (not just other WAHMs) every day.

In addition to the full reviews being featured on our general Product Review page and under specific categories in the mall, we also offer additional promotion (still at no cost) for those wishing to display a proud, "Recommended by Mom's Market" button on the home page of their site. Additional promotion includes a similar article on their product submitted to article directories, as well as posted on our special blog which is being promoted as we speak. Details on our blog can be found at:

-------->Note to WAHM or "mom related" site owners<--------
For those who have been thinking of adding product reviews to your site to benefit WAHMs, please see our information on free content and using our reviews here:

For those of you wishing to have your products reviewed for extra promotion to your website, please read our guidelines and complete our request form at:

If you have already sent in your request and haven't heard back from us, please feel free to submit again. I have personally contacted each and every individual that has sent a request in, but know sometimes email isn't always 100% reliable. I've already discovered one person that, in fact, never got the first email from us.

If you have any additional questions not addressed on the site above, please do feel free to contact us.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Looking for Products

The response has been wonderful to the new product review section on Mom's Market - I've been getting many requests over the past few days. Even still, there are several items I would like to see reviewed and available on the site. If you're business offers one of these items, please see more information below.

Needed items for reviews:

- Natural or Handmade Soaps
- Natural or Handmade Lotion
- Bread Machine Mixes
- Diaper Cakes
- Baby Shower Items (excluding diaper bag)
- Dip Mixes
- Teas
- Other Foods and Mixes (no coffee please)
- Novelty Candles or Bakery Candles (no soy wax)
- Scrapbooking items
- Party Supplies
- Children's Clothes
- Craft Items
- Children's Products (3-10yrs old)
- Home Decor (check first please)
- Jewelry
- Unique Items

Other items will be accepted, the ones above are just the most needed right now.

The following items we do NOT need:

- Soy Wax Candles
- Diaper Bags
- Coffee or Coffee Blends
- Body Whip/Creams
- Nutritional Suppliments
- Stuff-a-friend or similar items
- Greeting Cakes

We may need those items in the future, but not right now since reviews are currently being done on those types of items.

If your business has items from the first list above, we would love to review them!
Please read our guidelines and send your requests in at:

It's very important you read our guidelines at the above link before submitting. Most questions can be answered on that page, and it's important the basics of our product reviews are understood. I would be more than happy to answer any additional questions not addressed on the information site.

I'm excited to be sending many new customers to all of those involved in this project!