Believe me, it is much better to work at home, being your own boss, than to earn a salary as an employee, working to build someone else’s empire. When you work at home, and you’re not required to clock in and out at a particular time every single day, you’re totally accountable for your own time and administration.
However, we often get asked for advice about setting up as a work from home mom, such as: Where and when should I work? How much time should I dedicate to it? Will it cost me anything? and What equipment will I need?… to name just a few. So we’ve put together a short guide to help you get answers to those common ‘getting started’ questions.
Get a room!
One of the most common questions we get asked is where in the house should I set myself up? If you want to have a home based business, you’ll need to establish a room in your house that is purely for working on your business. This could be a spare bedroom or an unused outbuilding. We even know of people that have converted their loft spaces and turned them into offices. Whatever your preference, you need to make it a dedicated space. Somewhere that you can switch on and switch off that ‘work’ mode as you enter or leave the room.
What work options are there for work from home moms?
The key to enjoying your work from home life, is to select the sort of work you enjoy. It is true that if you are tied to your home because of children, for example, then the options can be somewhat limited. However, all is not lost. Now, with the power of the internet, working online is becoming an ever more popular career choice for parents wanting to work from home. The most popular and flexible of these options is affiliate marketing – essentially writing reviews about products or services, and then recommending them, through special affiliate links, to your readers. If they click through and purchase, you’ll get a commission for the transaction – typically between 10% and 75%.
The beauty about this option is that you can review and promote anything you like. There are literally millions of vendors across the world all willing to pay you a commission for helping them sell their products. As a result, you can choose a niche that is your passion – such as baby clothes, or knitting patterns maybe, or even weight loss programs. That’s just three examples… there are millions more. If you have an interest, hobby or passion, then you can almost guarantee that there is an affiliate program wanting you to promote their programs.
Want an example? Well, online giant Amazon have an affiliate program. So you could write a review about, for example, a book sold there that’s associated with your interest. If your reader clicks through and buys that book, then you’ll get paid a commission by Amazon – it really is as simple as that. If affiliate marketing has stimulated your interest, why not check out our Wealthy Affiliate review. Wealthy Affiliate is a great FREE program that helps those who are completely new to affiliate marketing, get started… and more. Their online University will teach you everything you need to know. What’s more, they can help you with getting a site put together – no coding skills required -, they’ll help you create your website content, host your site, give you a free website address, help you promote it, and so much more. And all at zero cost!
For more ideas about other work from home careers, check out our “10 Great Work From Home Careers” blog post.
Whatever you choose to do, you can rest assured knowing that there are some good working from home careers that will not only money for you money, but will also be lots of fun too! Making the choice to stay home is clearly a significant one and should always be considered thoroughly. However, the choice to stay home with your children or baby is a very personal one and only you will know whether it is truly right for you.
If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
If a company tells you know that you’ll be rich in no time at all, steer well clear of them. The truth is, there are no ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes, and the ones that claim to be, rarely or never are. As the old adage goes, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
As with most businesses, home based or otherwise, to be a success it takes commitment, passion and dedication. I worked four hours a day, every day, on my very first affiliate marketing business – so not huge hours. Working this way it then took four weeks for my site to get found by Google and another 8 weeks to start generating an income. And there are very few instances where I have seen any show results quicker than this. Yes, if I was to put 8 hours a day in, then maybe that may have been a little faster, but not by much – perhaps a week or two at the very most.
Do I need a plan?
In short, yes! Without a plan or directed schedule for your company, nothing will truly get accomplished. So always create a calendar or time schedule of what you plan to do and by when. Base this around how much time you can commit each week to your business, and include a time for initial learning, a launch date, blog post topics – highlighting what days they will be published.
What equipment will I need?
Depending on what kind of business you decide to go into, the need for equipment will vary. For example, if your business is online based – such as an affiliate marketer – then you will need very little… just a PC or laptop computer, and access to a good internet connection. As an affiliate marketer, you’ll hold no stock and won’t even have to get involved with shipping or returns – that’s all taken care of by your vendors.
However, if you plan to sell products, then clearly space will be required for this. You’ll also need stationary, a good printer, a telephone and probably some capital to buy your goods. You’ll also need business insurance – requirements for this will of course vary from country to country. Your local insurance adviser will be able to help you here.
Are there employed working from home alternatives?
In this digital age, many companies do offer a work from home option. This will largely depend on the job in question, but generally if the role is computer or telephone based then your chances of working from home are much increased. Jobs that are often based from home are often sales or customer support based – jobs where just a telephone and/or PC are required.
If you are already in employment and don’t want to leave your existing job, you can perhaps speak with your manager or supervisor and see whether they are prepared to permit you to ‘telecommute’.
Again, depending on where you live, you may need to consider insurance. You also may be entitled to certain tax benefits. Your company’s HR or legal department should be able to help here.
Should I outsource some of my work?
There are pros and cons to outsourcing your work. On the plus side, you can save a lot of time by pushing more menial tasks out to a freelancer, allowing you to get on with more important jobs. However, outsourcers cost money, and many can produce less than favorable work. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. Farming out jobs such as copywriting to someone on Fiverr.com then chances are the quality is going to be questionable. Put it out to somewhere like PeoplePerHour or iWriter, then the results will be a lot better. However, the latter two options are of course more expensive.
The choice is ultimately yours. Do the jobs yourself, you’ll of course save money and know that it’s done well. On the flip side though, the cost of paying someone to do it will eat into your profit margins, and in the early days they won’t necessarily be great.
How do I promote myself?
That is a huge question which will differ from one business to another. However, in the early days there are a number of free or very low cost options available.
The first is the use of social media. Posting your blogs and reviews on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can be highly beneficial and can be a great source of traffic for your business website. The key with most social platforms is to post regularly, share information from your site that is of interest to your target audience, use hashtags (where appropriate) and always engage with other people that either show an interest in your posts or who are relevant to your chosen niche or business sector.
Another key source of free promotion is through the use of search engine optimization. This is a practice that ensures that every page and post on your website is set up in a way that search engines like Google can firstly find your site and then rank your pages well for certain keywords and phrases. There are various things that can be done to help in this respect – too many to list here. However, the training offered by Weaalthy Affiliate covers every aspect of the practice of search engine optimization. To find out more, click here.
As a new or prospective work from home mom, I hope this post has helped answer some of your questions about getting started. If there are any points that you feel have been missed, please do add them to the comments below and I’ll get right back to you with an answer.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post.