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.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Where's the Truth?

Yet another "get rich quick" website has appeared. I happend to find this from a press release that was extremly vegue and misleading (must like the website it's attached to). If I sound a bit bitter, it's only because I'm sick of these types of websites popping up on a daily basis. It makes the average wahm's job much harder, since everyone is being fed the dream of making mass amounts of money in a short amount of time.

At first the press release caught my eye, because it sounded like a success story. Something along the lines of a hard working person just about to hit her goal of 100k a year from a home business. Reading further and carefully reading the release again a few times, I realise that wasn't the case. This "new found busniess" she started was Summer 2006. Possibly a few weeks ago at the most.

From zero to 100,000 in just 6 months working "9 minutes per day" as the website suggests? I don't think so. There's not a guru in the world that's ever done that, and it's just flat out NOT POSSIBLE! Business is not a 10 minute a day job, nor is it even 9-5. It takes time, hardwork, and determination to make ANY business work. It's fantastic to dream and have goals, but this is just way out of line. It's no wonder so many quit after only seeing minor results in the first few months. Being told you can make this much money and then seeing you are still in debt after 6 months can be quite a blow to a dream.

Of course you can make 100k a year! But not after working a few minutes a day for 6 months. ;)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Walmart is Rasing Prices

I don't think I'm the only one who notices, either.

Ever since the big Maytag buy out, we've been buying from local stores to help keep our community going. If you didn't know, Maytag was bought out by Whirlpool and thousands in Newton, IA are losing their jobs. It may not have anything to do with you, but Newton is my home town. I've since moved a town away, but still do most of my shopping in Newton and have family there. My dad is one that's caught up in the mess right now, and will be losing his job before the end of next year.

It use to be we only shopped at Walmart because it was easier and prices were lower. However, since we've been shopping at locally owned shops and local chains (like Hy-Vee, Fairway, and SuperValue), we've noticed something. Walmart doesn't have the lowest prices after all.

Items we buy on a regular basis we're finding at a lower cost at other places. Sales are more frequent at these local places too, and we're able to stock up on things while they are on sale. It makes me sick to think we've been supporting a big corporation all this time, when we could have been supporting a local store AND saving money.

So the next time you go shopping, do be sure to check prices. It seems Walmart has replaced "Rolling back prices" with "Jacking up prices" in a very sneaky way.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Are you posting articles?

I think we all know writing articles is a great way to get traffic to your site. There's thousands of article directories out there, some better than others. One article directory which may be missing off of your list could be one of the most important.

Many know Anita and I own many websites. Although did you know we also own wahm-articles.com? If you are a mom in business, this is one of the most important places you could be submitting your article to.

Our goal with WAHM-Articles.com was to offer a place for moms to submit and use family friendly articles. It was sad to see the Family Content site fall by the wayside, and we hope to pick up where they left off.

At WAHM-Articles you'll find submissions from moms focused on topics such as wahm business, direct sales, family topics, kids crafts, and much more which you can use in your publications. Be sure to also submit your own articles!

To submit or use an article, visit: WAHM-Articles.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Recipes for Camping

It's the time of year again - time to go camping!

If you are tired of the same old foods on your camping trips, take a look at this list of easy recipes for camping just added this week at Idea Queen. Included are two different types of recipes - open fire recipes and dutch oven recipes. Most will require a little planning and brining the right ingredients.

See Recipes for Camping at Idea Queen

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Easy Hamburger Ideas

Whenever I go to the store, I make a point to buy several pounds of hamburger. It's the top item on our list, and I usually keep several pounds in the freezer at all time. Hamburger can be made into so many different types of meals.

Around there the most popular is tacos, mostly because of our "Secrete family taco meat recipe". That recipe I can't give out, but I can give several different ideas for meals to make using hamburger.

Just added this week: Easy Hamburger Ideas at Idea Queen


Monday, June 19, 2006

Time Organizing Tips

As work at home moms, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. However, with a good organized schedule, you can accomplish more than you think you can.

The followings tips from Idea Queen are focused on finding a schedule which works for you, and helps you organize your time better.

See Time Organizing Tips by Idea Queen

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Link Exchange Debate

Some may not think twice about exchanging a link. Myself on the other hand, I'm extremely picky about where my link goes. While I don't claim to be a SEO expert (well, at least not anymore because of how much has changed), I do know what I've experienced in the past 3 years.

From my own experience and what I've read from REAL experts, I'm come to the conclusion that a page full of links is completely USELESS. I will not waste my time emailing hundreds of webmasters and sticking their link on an endless page of links. It give my visitors no real value (have YOU ever sifted through a page full of links? I'd rather take my chances searching on Yahoo....), and Google find much value in it either.

I'm not saying link exchanges are a bad thing. I'm just saying unorganized link PAGES aren't good. Let me put it this way...

Remember in school when you had to write reports with foot notes and quotes? The references were listed either right on the page or in the back of the report, numbered. Now imagin if instead of using numbers next to the quotes or noting references right on the page, you had one page in the back of the report that said "here some stuff I used and is kinda relevant". Think you would have gotten an "A" on that paper? I don't think so.

I know there are so many absolutely programed to do link exchanges. I was too, but I'm changing my habits. I no longer accept general link exchanges, but rather REAL PAGE link exchages. At the bottom of pages and main sections, I list resources that go directly to what my page is about.

For example, a few weeks ago I finished up the recipe section on Idea Queen. Instead of stuffing a link page with recipe sites and having them stuff the home page of Idea Queen on their link page, I did a MAIN PAGE exchange. On the main recipe idea page, I listed pages which were relevant under "additional resources". Now doesn't that look better and give more quality? Visitors are given another place to go after they leave my site, and vise versa. Google sees the links as higher quality because they are highly relevent to the page they sit on. EVERYONE wins here.

Now I know sometimes there will be a need for a link page (or as I like to call them, RESOURCE pages). That's fine! However, I prefer to spend my time exchanging links that REALLY count! ;)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Vegetable Garden Tips & Ideas

I love to make meals and snacks with vegetables I've grown myself. This year I've got the normal tomatoes, green pepers, and jalapenos for my salsa. But I've also added green beans, cherry tomatoes for the kids, and even watermellon!

The first year I had a garden in my new home, I quickly got overwhelmed. Learn from my mistakes and pick up some tips for your first vegetable garden.
See: Vegetable Garden Tips by Idea Queen

Wanting your own salsa garden? I have a page for that too!

See: Salsa Garden Ideas

Monday, June 12, 2006

Birthday Party Ideas

Not just for children! Although, most of the pages are focused on throwing parties for kids of all ages. This section on Idea Queen features lists, birthday party themes, and lots of ideas for kids and adults.

See ideas at: Birthdaly Party Ideas by Idea Queen

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thank God for Laundry!

What did she say? Thank God for laundry??

Yep, that's exactly what I said ... and I'll say it again, lol!

I've been working so hard on the "Mommy's Helper Makeover" that I HAD to walk away from the computer. The kiddos were well-entertained playing outside with the hose. The house is clean (okay, clean enough). It wasn't quite time to start dinner. The dishes were all washed ...

Knowing that all this was already done and knowing that I still have literally hundreds and hundreds of pages that need optimized, I couldn't not take advantage of the kid-free work time. And then it hit me ... I still have laundry that needs washed!

Ahhhh, thank God for laundry cause I so needed a break!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Reality of a WAHM

When we are just starting out, many of us have huge dreams of working at home and spending all the time in the world with our children. The fact is, to get a business off the ground takes more long hours than a 9-5 job.

This article I found talking about what it's really like to own a business has a lot of truth to it. It's a real wake up call to some. About the only thing I really don't agree with is the mention of working all day, from morning to night. This can be a very dangerous practice, and not productive either.

When I first started, I worked those long hours. From 8am until midnight, or sometimes even up to 2am. You would think with that many hours I would be extrememly successful. WRONG! I was lacking sleep, energy, and productivity. It wasn't until I pushed myself to the very max, working with a slight headache that turned into a massive migrane (the first I had EVER had - I have zero history of bad headaches), that I realized I needed to slow down.

After being sick for a few days, I decided to set businesses hours. The results were amazing. I felt better, I slept better, and I am MUCH more productive. The work I use to do in 16 hours magically turned into 8 or less. It wasn't until I set business hours that my income started to climb.

I believe in the theory "you get more done when you have less time to do it". It really is true! When I set certain goals for myself to accomplish in a set time period, I work faster. I want time with my family, and time to myself as well. I'm not saying it's easy by any means, but my life is much better than it was 3 years ago.

Working at home definitely isn't easy. I know most wouldn't trade it for a thing in the world though. ;)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Weekend Craftshow

Summer is officially here, and let the craft shows begin! This weekend we're headed to an event called South Skunk River Festival, which will be in a small town near by. Two very full days we'll be set up and selling candles. It's an outdoor event, so my fingers are crossed that it doesn't rain.

I made sure we had plenty of vanilla candles in stock, since it's our best seller. It sells so well I even made a separate site for nothing but Vanilla Candles. Because of the way candles tend to sell by scent preferences, I may just decide to set my table up differently than I usually do. Normally I group types of candles together by container, but this time I think I'll group them by scent just to see how it goes. Possibly keep a similar layout, but change it slightly.

While I've never been to this particular event, I did talk to someone last night that has been there. He said they always do have a pretty good turn out, so I'm really looking forward to this event!

Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Five Home Business Profiles Done

Moving right along with Mommy's Helper's Makeover...

I'm still working on my Start Your Own Home Business pages. I've managed to get the following five profiles up:

Start Your Own Bed and Breakfast
Start Your Own Catering Business
Become a Professional Organizer
Start Your Own Daycare Center
Start Your Own Cleaning Business

Take note to how each page is ONLY ONE TOPIC (or niche). And you'll also notice how much better my Adsense ads match my content ;-)

Off to more pages....

Flower Garden Ideas

I love to work in my garden in the summer. While the kids are playing in their pool or on their swingset, I usually head to the flowers to pull weeds or do other work. For some ideas on what to do with your empty spaces in the yard, see this page:

Flower Garden Ideas by Idea Queen