Women Entrepreneurs Inspire Me As a Blogger

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

I’ve told a few people in my life that I’ve always wanted to create something with my own hands and turn it into a way to provide for my family. I never really knew what that was until I started blogging.  I do make a little side income from my blog but nothing to quit my day job over.

There are opportunities I’ve been offered in the past that I really wish I would have been able to take advantage of.  At one point I was asked to sit on a women’s panel in Pittsburgh, PA for a women’s entrepreneur event. As much as I would have loved to I just couldn’t make it happen with having small children and my hubby working 2nd shifts.  I think it would have got my name out there and added something to put on my blogging resume.  On a side note, I do have a fear of public speaking.

It’s amazing that I do have these offers and opportunities though.  I’ve had experiences I never thought I’d have when I started this blog.  I’ve learned so much and have met some awesome people.  It’s totally worth the work, criticism, and deadlines.  I’ve been able to add to our income for a family of 6. When you have 4 kids extra income is always good.

I look at women entrepreneurs like Chrissy Weems, founder of Origami Owl.  The story of how she started her business could be any mother’s story.  When I read stories like hers as a mother of 4 it gives me a renewed sense of motivation. Though we never know the full story behind everyone’s success. All the trials and errors, all the late nights, maybe they had money to be able to start a business, etc.  I have an Origami Owl piece. When I bought it, I never really knew how or why the company started.  With popular companies I have a tendency of thinking of a guy in a suit in some big office building somewhere making plans to mass produce a product.  But a lot of businesses start off small.  Now every time I wear my Origami Owl pendant I’ll think of Chrissy Weems story.  I may even keep that story in the back of my head for my kids.

One thing that’s for sure, no matter what kind of business a person decides to start there’s never any guarantees. It will take hard work and there will be ups and downs.  I have to keep reminding myself of that. Not every day can be a successful day. I also need to stop comparing myself to others and just do my thing.

If you are a small business owner I’d love to hear your stories of how you started your business.  How did you decide what business was right for you?  What resources did you use to help you get started?

 

 


Trying to Grow My Blog in an Ever-Changing Technological World

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own

I’ve been blogging for many years now.  When I first started blogging I really didn’t know much of anything in regard to starting a blog. Everything I learned, I learned from blogger groups, youtube videos, and trial and error.  I still have a lot to learn. With digital media constantly changing, I feel like there is no way to know everything.  Just when I feel like I’ve mastered one social media channel a new one pops up or they add new features or new rules.

With that being said, over the years I still am continually trying to grow this little blog.  I aspire to be like some of the other big blogs and vlogs that can make a living income from their blogs.  But when I think about that I think of the increased need for things like hiring people on, higher security and master data management.

I truly hope someday that I have to think about these things more seriously.  It’s amazing what one can truly do with the right content, the right marketing, the right knowledge, and the will power to do so.  We have beauty vloggers making 100s of 1000s of dollars every year. We have gamers getting paid to play video games. The possibilities are endless.

I’ve met some great blogger friends during my blogging journey. I’ve found out who is willing to help you and who is not. Plug-ins and youtube have become my go-to sources when I get stuck.  Even my youngest son says right now he wants to be a “You-Tuber” when he grows up. That wasn’t even a thing when I was his age.  Maybe some day he’ll be able to help his old mom when she needs some advice.


Thinking of Buying a Home? Prep Now

This post is sponsored by Diamondlinks. Any opinions expressed are my own. 

In my life, I’ve bought 3 homes.  The 1st one was we built, the second one was a starter home and fixer upper for my husband and I. We went through a realtor on that one, the 3rd one is the home we live in now both the seller and the buyers (us) didn’t use a realtor.  My husband and I agreed. We don’t ever want to buy a home again unless it’s a house or a condo on the beach.

The home buying process is stressful! All the red tape, the waiting, the inspections, finding the right place, lining up help to move, the fees. Ugh, yea I remember the stress. But you can help cut down on the stress by doing some of these things.

  1.  Get pre-approved for a mortgage.  This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be approved once you finally find the home you want but it gives you an idea of how much you’re likely to be approved for. This also helps speed up the actual mortgage process when you do find your house.
  2. Compare the different types of loans out there. When we bought our current house a VA loan ended up being the best deal for us since my husband is an army veteran.  With our previous house we used a first time home buyers loan which was better at that time.  There are even bad credit loans for those that are working on their credit. Hey mistake happen in life.
  3. Research the area(s) you are considering.  In our area, where we live the school was the best in the tri-county area, we were close to both mine and my husband’s family, taxes were lower, crime rate was low, and we got more home for our budget than we would have in a neighboring town.
  4.  Research the house you’re going to buy.  If it’s been on the market for quite some time you may be able to negotiate price, having fees taken care or, or things like throwing in the appliances a little easier.  On the other hand if it’s just listed and you know it’s what you want call as soon as possible. The home we’re in now is perfect for us. My husband and I both knew it was what we wanted.  I was the first person to call, we were the first people to tour it. They had 5 more people waiting to tour it. The sellers we eager to sell as they owned several other properties and had issues with a renter they had here. So we put an offer on the house that day and right at the price we wanted.
  5.  Decide what is a MUST for your home and what is optional. For us, my husband needed a garage. We needed more bedrooms since we had our 4th child. We also needed a bigger yard for the kids to actually play outside. We also needed more than one bathroom.  I wanted a bigger kitchen with more storage.  Using that base idea we were able to narrow down our search by searching number of bedrooms and the town we wanted to live in.


Considering a Personal Injury Attorney

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.

Working in a trauma hospital makes one realize that life as we know it, as we live it every day can be changed, dramatically, in an instant.  Many times it’s not our own mistake that causes injury either.  A driver under the influence, improper safety  procedures, work place accidents due to faulty equipment, so many things.  Injuries such as spinal injuries, head injuries, multiple injuries that would cause someone to miss months of work and hospital bills to stack up.  If you’re on vacation in Tampa, Fl and get injured you might consider  Tampa injury attorney but many people hesitate thinking insurances will get them through.

No matter how financially responsible someone is, a nest egg can quickly diminish when you’re not able to work and tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills roll in.  Health insurances just aren’t what the used to be.  Even if you were proactive and have a supplement injury insurance, that only covers until you can’t pay for it anymore.

It can affect loved ones too that may have take time off work to take care of the person injured or take them to multiple appointments.  In the case of an injury caused by someone else it’s never a bad idea to talk with a lawyer who can help you get what you are entitled.

Personal injury attorneys Tampa for instance, can be one such attorney.

 


Getting Started With Blogging

This post is sponsored by Behrman Communications. Any opinions expressed are my own.

I’ve been asked by a number of people throughout the years about how to start blogging.  There’s not really one straight answer.  I often recommend a platform and tell people that you can’t expect to write one blog post every two months and make money.   Being active on social media is another key to getting your blog out there and connecting with brands and PR companies.

Blog about something you’re passionate about. Something you can keep writing about whether it be parenting, shopping, beauty, crafts, sports, whatever you feel is you. There are plenty of groups on facebook and websites for bloggers to connect, ask questions, and connect with companies that want to work with bloggers.  Inspiring stories like Nancy Behrman and her PR company can be great motivation. It gives you an idea of how connections can help your business.  After all, if you’re serious about blogging, it is a business.

Follow companies you’re truly interested in on social media.  Don’t be afraid to put your name out there. I’ve even contacted companies in the past as well.  Be prepared to hear no.  For every 10 pitches you send out, you might get one reply.  Sometimes a brand will contact you because your blog fits with the audience they’re trying to resonate with.  It might be from a PR contact.  So it’s not unusual for a big brand to use a company like Behrman Communications for their blogger recruitment or point of contact.

It’s important to stay active on your blog once you get started.  Frequent, relevant contact is key.  Social media like Twitter, facebook, and YouTube can help add to or amplify your posts.  When you do start getting jobs for your blog, make sure to complete the job on time.  Establishing a good relationship with the company or PR firm you’re working with can lead to a long business relationship and more opportunities down the road.  I’ve had opportunities I never thought I’d have.

Be prepared to work hard.  Writing and rewriting posts, educating yourself on different techniques, creating better content and videos, working on getting the right pictures,  and hitting deadlines are just some of the things you’ll need to work on to be successful.  If you can do this, blogging as a source of income can also be a lot of fun.