I'm Kari Sayers. I'm a wife, a mom to twin boys, and an ambitious mompreneur! Balancing motherhood and my business endeavors can get really tricky sometimes, but it's all a part of the learning process I call LIFE. My goal is to inspire other mamas to create flourishing businesses and figure out a way to balance family life in the process.
As a busy mompreneur, trying to find a balance between my work and my family can be pretty tough–even now that I work for myself full-time!
Not long ago, I was working a full-time day job and trying to focus on growing my online business in the evenings but only after I tended to my family (which of course included my two rambunctious toddlers who had no chill or pause button that allowed mommy to get anything done.)
It's an understatement to say that after a long day at work and then family time, I was often short on energy and creativity, and consequently short of productivity. Sound familiar?
I know that as entrepreneurs many of us create these grand schemes in our mind for the amazing products or services that we plan to create and sell. And there's nothing wrong with this–actually, it's great to plan for your success.
However, it can be very disheartening to see your income reports stuck at $0.00 each and every month because you haven't had the time or energy to put into creating your amazing product idea–which of course means you have nothing to sell in order to earn income.
So what's a busy working mama to do?
Give affiliate marketing a try!
Yep! Promoting high-quality affiliate products (aka affiliate marketing) is one fantastic way to start to earn some income from your blog or website while you develop your own brainchild.
Affiliate marketing? Really Kari, Really? **You ask with a wrinkled brow and scrunched -up nose.** YES. REALLY.
Recently, I helped a couple of moms start their own blogs using the same service I use for my own blog. Because I'm signed up as an affiliate partner with that particular company, I received a commission payment of $240 for simply sharing a blog post about a service I use and love.
That's $240 from one product in one month! I didn't spend hours of time and energy on it nor did I spend bucketloads of dollars creating myself. I helped someone to help themselves. Pretty simple, right?
Imagine–What could you do with an extra $240 in your pocket. Now, imagine that amount doubling, then tripling month after month as you help more people to help themselves.
If this small example of mine is not enough to win you over, keep reading sister!
Here are 5 Reasons Mompreneurs Should use Affiliate Marketing
Reason #1 You can make money without creating a website.
You can promote products using an email list, your social media accounts, etc. Your own personal website is NOT MANDATORY–but if you want to create a website you can read my how to start a blog post.
Reason #2 You don't need a huge online following to be successful.
Even I was guilty of believing that I needed hundreds of thousands of social media followers and email subscribers to be successful in selling products, but this is simply not true. Having even a small online following can result in sales, especially if the affiliate product you are offering is very specific to your audience's needs and solves a problem.
Reason #3 You don't have to spend money on product inventory.
Affiliate marketing doesn't require you to make any upfront purchases of products to then have to resale on your own. You're not keeping track of inventory. You're simply sharing a referral link that allows someone to purchase the product directly from the company.
Reason #4 You don't have to spend time creating your own product.
Again, as mompreneurs, we tend to be extremely short on time. Creating your very own digital product is a process that takes time. Why not make some side income promoting products that are already created, especially if it's a product you love and use anyway?
Reason #5 You don't have to worry about paying for shipping or customer service.
Dear God this is a big one! Once you start selling your own products and services, you become responsible and liable for shipping and customer service…which can become a time drain in itself. Affiliate marketing means you are hands-free in those two aspects.
The crazy thing is that it took me a while to really embrace affiliate marketing. I put it off as a primary income source because I was stuck on the notion that I needed MY OWN PRODUCT in order to be super successful.
But I need you to understand that this belief is false. You can start generating income quickly, and the reasons listed above shed light on how this is possible with affiliate marketing.
After reading this post, I hope that you will seriously consider making affiliate marketing a part of your monetization strategy.
Be sure to sign up for my email list. I will be launching a new affiliate marketing income planner very soon and I will let you know when it goes live!
Are you tired of living that 9-5 lifestyle? Have you been searching “legitimate work from home jobs” on your computer just to see what's out here?
Even if you like your day job, earning your income from home — no commute, no hovering boss, and no set schedule — may still be one of your dream goals.
However, when it comes to finding those legitimate work from home jobs, you have some worries like:
Do I have the skills to be successful in a work from home job?
Can I find a work from home job that will actually work? (that's not a scam)
The good news is that to generate an income from home, all it really takes is these two things:
You taking action
If you know and understand this, you are well on your way to making your work-at-home life a reality.
A Work From Home Case Study
Caitlin Pyle is a great example of someone who has cracked the code to success with working from home.
Caitlin runs a booming business that she started from home.
She’s been featured on multiple news publications as a work-from-home expert. But it wasn’t always that way…
Caitlin had great intentions of paying off the debt from her wedding and her career when she landed a “stable” job.
But then the unexpected happened. In August 2011, Caitlin was unexpectedly fired.
Sadly, “stable” jobs are often an illusion because you never know when you might get fired–and in many cases for reasons outside of your control (poor revenues, new management, corporate decisions and refocusing, etc.)
Caitlin didn't go looking for another “stable” corporate job, instead, she assessed the skills she had, took action, and started a side hustle as a proofreader.
Her proofreading side hustle grew into a multimillion-dollar media company she runs from home with the help of 25+ virtual team members.
That business now generates $200,000+ per month.
She started at rock bottom after getting fired. She developed valuable skills independent of a job, then used those skills to meet other people’s needs — and earned money in the process.
My Favorite Resource for Finding Legitimate Work From Home Jobs
Searching for work from home jobs can get really frustrating. It usually means you are on Google sifting through a million pages of scammy-looking job postings.
However, when you know how and where to look for these legitimate work from home jobs, you create an easier path to earning real money.
You deserve the freedom and flexibility to have more time with your family, more time on hobbies… and more time living your life.
I hope this resource helps you to accomplish just that!
Kari Sayers, Mompreneur Money
P.S. If you skipped to the bottom of this post (haha caught you), the abbreviated version is that working from home and earning money can be a reality for you. You can learn more by downloading this free mini-guide.
Deciding on the best platform to host your online course is also a major decision to be made.
I've been pretty vocal on this blog about my love for Teachable (and Thinkific) for course creators. I find that these platforms offer affordable, user-friendly solutions that help create a great user experience.
However, there's a more recent player in the online course platform arena that I believe is worth considering.
That player is CourseCraft.
After hearing from a few of my readers about CourseCraft, I wanted to test the platform out for myself.
I was most interested in seeing the capabilities of the free plan, but I also wanted to see how long it would take to upload a previously recorded course and see if it was aesthetically pleasing to the eye (I hate clunky, ugly-looking course platforms).
Below is a quick tutorial of the steps I took to create an online course on the CourseCraft platform.
Note: This post contains affiliate links to products I trust and love.
7 Steps to Create an Online Course with CourseCraft
Step One: Get Started with CourseCraft
Once you enter your email address on the CourseCraft homepage, you'll be taken to the welcome page where you will be prompted to click the “get started now” button.
Step Two: Create a New Course
Click the “create new course” button and type in the name of your course. (You can wait until later in the process to add a cover photo.) Then click the “create course” button.
Step Three: Add Your Course Details
At this point, you are able to edit your course details including your title, short description, and cover photo (this should be at least 600 pixels wide).
Don't make your course open for enrollment just yet. You will come back to this point once you've uploaded your lessons.
Step Four: Create Your Landing Page
The landing page is what your future students will see when they initially click on your course link. It is here that you can write copy to help readers better understand the benefits of taking your course.
Now it's time to add your lessons. You are able to add text, audio, and video. However, if you want to add a downloadable document such as a workbook or checklist, you will need to upgrade to the basic “club” plan first.
Step Six: Choose Your Pricing
You can choose whatever course price you like. This means you can offer your students the option to take the course for free, pay a one-time fee, pay on a payment plan, or offer them a “pay what you want” option.
You will have to configure your Stripe account or PayPal account for payments.
Step Seven: Publish Your Course!
Go back to your “edit” tab. Find the wording that says “open for enrollment” and click open. This will make your course live.
Comparing the CourseCraft Plans:
Unless you already have a built-in audience that is primed for purchase, I would encourage most people to create an online course by first starting with the free plan.
However, keepp in mind that using a free plan comes with limitations. You cannot:
Have more than 100 students
Offer downloads or upsells
Use your own logo or a customized URL
Upload more than 2 GB
To do any of these things, you will need to upgrade to at least the “Club” level.
Here's a comparison of each plan level:
The promo tab offers a variety of ways to help you promote your course. One feature that I really like is that it creates a short HTML code that allows you to embed an image link/button on your blog. You can see my example below.
You can also offer promotional codes, offer bundled courses and offer an affiliate program if you upgrade your plan.
Final Thoughts and Next Steps
My overall assessment of CourseCraft is that it has a friendly user-interface, it's affordable, and it has many of the same features as the other major players in the course platform arena.
It took me less than an hour to create an online course on the platform, upload my videos, and hit publish.
Of course, I was able to do this because I already had my course content created and ready to upload.
If you can afford to start with the $29 per month plan it might be worth the investment to access the extra features described above. If not, no worries. The free plan is a good start.
But I now realize that in my niche, it's important for me to share helpful resources with other creative entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out a path for their online biz.
So, sharing affiliate products has become a way for me to help them learn about the tools they need while getting paid to promote a product that I love and use.
In this post, I'm going to help you do a little risk management by showing you how to begin diversifying your income by promoting affiliate products/services.
Let's get started.
A Brief Overview
In case you are not familiar with the terminology, affiliate products/services are offerings by other companies or business owners that you promote to your own audience in order to earn a commission on the sale.
You can promote these products and services to your email list, to your Facebook followers, Instagram or Pinterest followers, and so on.
Joining affiliate programs can be a really great option for someone who does not yet have their own product to promote.
It’s a way to generate immediate income without having to wait the weeks or months that it may take you to create your own product to sell.
As a part of my business model, I create and sell information products like ebooks and online courses, rather than physical products (well, other than my paperback books/journals.)
But another source of income for me is from selling affiliate products. Here's the secret…
Promote Affiliate Products You Already Love!
In my opinion, this is key!
I choose to only join affiliate programs for products and services that I have used myself…and love.
Occasionally, I will promote affiliate products that I have not used, but that are from a brand that I follow and trust.
But again, 99% of the time, anything I promote with affiliate links I will have already tried myself.
It’s important for me to protect my readers and my integrity, so I keep this as my general rule of thumb.
If I have personal experience with the product, I can better serve my audience, showing you how I have personally used the particular product and how it can help you and your business.
I encourage you to consider doing the same as you aim to add affiliate products as an income stream.
There are several different ways to go about finding affiliate programs to monetize your blog. Here are the 3 ways I most frequently use.
#1 – Join Affiliate Networks
There are many different online affiliate marketplaces/networks that offer access to a wide variety of affiliate programs from different companies.
You can pretty much become an affiliate for anything you can think of these days!
Below are a few different affiliate networks that you can look into. I have personal experience with the ones listed in blue!
Some of these options, including Awin, will require you to first complete a free application process before you can access their affiliate partners.
For Ultimate Bundles, they actually gather together products from multiple creators and offers them at one affordable “bundled” cost. Yout get a 40% commission on each bundle you sell.
For Clickbank and Shareasale, I scan the list of merchants looking for products or company names that are familiar to me.
I often find products that I have actually used. If I previously had a good experience with that product, I note that listing as a potential product to promote.
Note: On Shareasale you must complete a brief application for any products you are interested in promoting. About 80% of the time, I've been approved as an affiliate for products I apply for.
However, I've also been denied on some for various reasons. Don’t let it discourage you! There are plenty of good products out there for you to promote.
#2 – Research the Company Websites of Products You Use
Another way to quickly search for affiliate programs is to start with products you are currently using.
Search the websites of those products/services. Try looking in the footer area of the homepage for a link that says “affiliate” or “partner program”. Many companies provide information on how to become an affiliate.
The snapshot shows the footer of the company's website and I've circled the “Become an Affiliate” link.
This way of finding affiliate programs is amazing because you already know the products. You bring your personal experience to the table and it makes for a better understanding of why someone else should follow your lead and use the product.
#3 – Google Search for Affiliate Programs
If you can’t find partner program information on a company’s website, another thing you can try is doing a Google search to see if that company has an affiliate program.
For instance, if you were interested in seeing if Bluehost offered an affiliate program, you would type the following into the Google search bar: “Affiliate + Bluehost”. Don’t type the quotation marks. Just use the name of the company + affiliate.
If you can’t seem to find any info at all on a company’s affiliate program, then email their customer service and politely ask if they offer an affiliate program.
Tell them you are a current user and would love to begin promoting the product to your readers.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – Course for Beginners to Intermediate Bloggers
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing in Under 3 Minutes - YouTube
You probably understand that getting started with investing can potentially yield some excellent and worthwhile long-term results.
Results could mean a return in funding and profit, but it could also mean helping you get involved with a market that could potentially do some good for the world, or a certain community.
It might even mean that you ride the wave of a new practical application, helping it gain a solid stance in international markets. Or it might simply be you want to invest in favorable stock options, or even the most unique, such as the best lithium stocks or in practical materials for burgeoning technologies.
However, even the most competent and experienced investor will rely on the personal management tips that they learn in the very beginning of getting started with investing.
Try these profitable beginner tips for getting started with investing.
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
This is a sponsored post.
Investing Tip #1 – Research Is Queen
From investing in specialized company shares to larger investment funds, you will need to enact your research in order to feel comfortable in a stock.
Learning terminology is a good start, and thus you can find a repository of terms here. This should help you read the graphs, and make sense of the numbers that could provide you with some relevance.
Research will help you understand how to read your returns, what exciting investments there are, and moreover the value in keeping things simple.
Lowering your complexity allows you to avoid impeding more harshly on your need for low risk, and that might even help you automate investments from month to month.
Investing Tip #2 – Short & Long Term Goals
Investing can be a patient game, or a game of quickfire investing and selling shares.
Of course, as a beginner, it will always, always be wiser to invest in long-term, stable stocks. Building day to day profitability is something that even the most skilled stockbrokers have to pay dues towards before they can begin.
If you’re doing this as an initial foray into the investing world, you should consider setting short and long-term goals. A short-term goal might not be financially motivated – but instead aim for the knowledge required to understand your market better, or to build connections and gain investing advice within that field.
Your long-term goals might be:
Hoping to make a competent return within two years.
Improving your investment portfolio as a sideline, giving you the strength to build better connections and thus have access to more promising markets.
To one day open up your risk tolerance and invest in less secure fields.
Only you can decide this.
Investing Tip #3 – Consider Your Effect
Might it be that investing could really help small firms out? Might it be that you hope to invest towards the practical planning of a certain field? Your investments aren’t simply an effort of moving money around.
As a company becomes more profitable thanks to selling shares, they, of course, invest that in their operation and potentially turn over higher profits. Those profits do not appear on their own. They come as a result of work in a particular field.
Consider what this field might be. Consider what the business might be involved in. When you do this, you’ll make more ethical and suitable choices for you, giving you a long-term comfort in your investment choices, as well as the financial return as a cherry on top of the cake.
By adopting these simple attitudes as you are getting started with investing, a career of lifelong sideline investing could boost your savings or help you with your long-term income.
Looking for some good books for bloggers to help give you a little inspiration on your blogging journey?
Over the last couple of years, I have devoured books from some of my favorite online entrepreneurs. Why? Because success leaves clues and that's exactly what these entrepreneurs share within their books.
Why not take advantage of these low-cost opportunities to learn from the ropes from successful entrepreneurs?
In the list below, I'm sharing 8 books for bloggers that cover important topics every blogger (and aspiring blogger) should work on including creative confidence, business mindset, blog planning, earning a living online and more!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I love…at no extra cost to you.
11 Super Popular Business Books for Bloggers
1. How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
Ruth is the founder of the highly successful blog Living Well and Spending Less. She started her blog to document her journey as she tried to control her spending habits. Her blog is now one of the most popular personal finance blogs in the world and is a 7-Figure per year business. In addition to publishing books for bloggers, she's also the founder of Elite Blog Academy.
2. The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells by Meera Kothand
Meera specializes in helping online entrepreneurs to grow their blogs with simple marketing strategies. What I love most about Meera's platform is that she is all about digital marketing and sharing step-by-step action plans. Her book is great for those looking to generate content ideas for their blogs.
3. Vlog Like A Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging by Amy Schmittauer
Amy got her start in the online world with her popular blog Savvy Sexy Social (which she has since moved on from) and her YouTube channel teaching women how to start a successful vlog. She is now the co-founder of the video marketing agency AfterMarq. Her book is a wonderful resource for any blogger who wants to learn of ropes of video blogging.
4. How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh
Lilly Singh's story is amazing to me. She makes a fortune by writing, directing, and starring in her YouTube videos. It all started with a short confessional that she posted on YouTube and at one point she was the highest paid women on YouTube. Her book is all about how to love your life, cultivate self-confidence, and be a hustler!
5. Side Hustle: From Ideas to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau
Chris is the best-selling author of the book The $100 Startup–which happens to be one of the first entrepreneurial books to inspire me to pursue my online business goals. In his book Side Hustle, he shares tips and strategies on how to create an additional income stream without giving up the security of your full-time job.
6. How to Make a Living with Your Writing by Joanna Penn
Joanna is the founder of the popular blog The Creative Penn where she makes a living publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. As someone with a hobby for writing fiction, I enjoy reading her content because it shows how she has created a business that revolves around two different passions.
7. Lucky Bitch: A Guide for Exceptional Women to Create Outrageous Success by Denise Duffield Thomas
Denise is a self-made millionaire who got her start in the online world with her wildly popular blog Lucky Bitch where she teaches women how to apply the Law of Attraction to create healthy money mindsets around their businesses. Her first book, Get Rich Lucky Bitch was a best seller. In her new book, she gives instructions on how to create luck in all aspects of your life including money and business.
8. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba
Cara is a former digital advertising director for retail brands turned entrepreneur. She is a best-selling author of numerous self-help and motivational books that offer lifestyle tips, mindset advice, entrepreneurial strategies for women in business. Her books is a must-read for female entrepreneurs!
Highly Recommended Blog and Editorial Planners
If you are looking for a good blog planner, here are three highly-rated ones that you can order on Amazon. The lady bosses who created these planners are some of my favorite online business influencers!
This one-year blog editorial planner helps you create a purposeful and profitable content plan for your blog through a mini blog business plan, ideal reader survey, monthly theme planning, monthly content planning, and standard monthly calendars.
The Badass Blog Planner is the must-have workbook to blog with purpose and grow your online presence like a pro.
I truly hope that these entrepreneurs and their books will inspire you along your business journey as much as much as they have inspired me! If there are other books for bloggers that you would recommend, please let me know in the comments below!
And don't forget to share this post by pinning it, tweeting it, and posting it wherever you think it could be beneficial for other lady bosses! Happy reading!
Did You Enjoy This List of Books For Bloggers? You Might Also Like…
Over the last decade of my life, there have been many times when a good female empowerment book and a prayer were the only things keeping me sane. (Hell, there were times when the only leisure activity I could actually afford to do was to read a good book!)
Needless to say, books have played such an integral part of my female empowerment story over the years.
As I stepped into new roles as wife, mother, and finally entrepreneur, reading remained a way for me to find some balance and equilibrium amidst all the crazy changes that were happening in my life.
I've come a long way from the person I once was to the person I am today. Reading powerful books written by power females who are living their personal legends and kicking ass at life is a constant motivation for me.
I want to share my love of reading with any woman looking–NEEDING–a little bit of inspiration.
Below you will find a curated list of book for some must-read female empowerment books. This list includes books by some of my favorite comedians, motivational speakers, spiritual gurus, and business powerhouses.
I even included one of my own books–because I like to believe that one of the things I do best is to empower the women in my circle to be the best version of themselves that they can!
Simply click on the button that says preview and you will able to read the first few pages of the book right here within the blog post.
If you like what you read, click the buy button and it will take you straight to the purchase page!
For those of you juggling full-time jobs and family life and possibly find it hard to find the time to actually read (trust me, I've been there and it sucks), I suggest giving audio books a try. Listening to audiobooks during my commute to work when I was working a 9-5 was a game-changer. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
20 Must-Read Female Empowerment Books
I hope you enjoyed my curated list of books for female empowerment. I know it's so cliche to say, but knowledge really is power lovelies. To have such easy access to what sometimes seems like an unlimited amount of literature is not something that everyone is privy to.
Take advantage of the knowledge that is right at your fingertips. Learn from those who have paved the path ahead of us. Take what you learn and become a more empowered maker, mover, and shaker!
Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think? How did it make you feel? Any other books suggestions you can offer? Hit reply and share your thoughts!
Did you enjoy this post? You may also want to check these out:
Disclaimer: Mompreneur Money is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Have you been wondering how to make money on Pinterest?
I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is actually possible and that there are a ton of people doing it right now.
When I started this blog a few years ago, I had no clue how to make money on Pinterest and this was in part because I didn't realize that Pinterest could be used as a business marketing tool!
Fast forward to today, and Pinterest is my top traffic referral and is a big contributor to my monthly passive income. I use a combination of manual pinning as well as the Tailwind App to automate my pinning process.
Pinterest is one of the easiest ways for bloggers to drive traffic to their websites.
It doesn't matter if you run a parenting blog, a gardening blog, a fitness blog, a mom blog, a personal development blog, etc. You can tap into the power of Pinterest and start using it to produce an income.
But, you have to be strategic.
The Fastest Way to Earn Money on Pinterest is Through Affiliate Marketing.
Yes, there was a point in the not too distant past when affiliate links were not allowed on Pinterest.
However, Pinterest changed their positioning on this subject and now allows you to monetize your pins with affiliate links (as long as you properly disclose that they are affiliate links–which you should be doing anyway).
This change has made it possible for so many bloggers to start earning income online.
But how exactly do you do it?
The simple answer is to do this:
Sign-up to be an affiliate for products and services you love to use
Create a beautiful pin in Canva or PicMonkey
Start pinning to your Pinterest boards
Again, this is a very high-level description of what you can do to get started. What you really need is a strategic plan for how to make money on Pinterest. Just pinning for the sake of pinning will not do your business any good.
Now, there are a lot of resources online that offer to show you how to make money on Pinterest, but not all resources are created equally.
In the list below, I'm sharing the high-quality, trustable Pinterest resources that I've found that can actually help you learn how to make money on Pinterest.
How to Make Money on Pinterest (7 Trusted Resources):
Note: This post contains affiliate links to products I trust.
Elise runs the blog House of Brazen. In her book, she shares the exact strategy she used to make her first affiliate sale in 24 hours using Pinterest. The book also walks you through how to design your pins and how to leverage group boards for more affiliate sales.
Carly runs the blog Mommy On Purpose. In Pinteresting Strategies she details 21 strategies she used to go from 17k pageviews to over 400k pageviews in 10 months. Her Pinterest ebook is a little different in that it's all about using a manual pinning strategy to boost your blog traffic.
Paul is what I like to call a serial blogger. Her runs multiple successful blogs (including Billionaire Blog Club) which recently earned him over $76,000 in one month alone. He uses Pinterest as a primary traffic source for each one. The Billionaire Blogging Pinterest Manual is 150 pages of straight-forward information to teach you how to win with your Pinterest Marketing.
Jeff is one of the guys that runs the blog Breaking One Percent. He uses Pinterest to help drive traffic to the blog which now generates over $10,000 per month. The course is a combination of video and text-based lessons and it teaches students how to explode their Pinterest Traffic.
You may recognize Michelle as the now well-known personal finance blogger who makes over $50K per month with affiliate marketing. She runs the blog Making Sense of Cents. Her online course is text-based and includes bonuses such as a Pinterest strategy guide, copywriting tips, Facebook ads training, and more.
Remember that all of these resources are from bloggers who really know their stuff. Their strategies show you how to make money on Pinterest based on experience and tested results.
My suggestion is to start with the one that resonates with you the most and is within your budget. But more than anything, just start.
If you don't already know, it's not all rainbows and sunshine when you take the leap into entrepreneurship and pursue your mompreneur business ideas.
In fact, it's probably safe to say that for most of us, starting an online business involves a few bumps, bruises, and “WTF” moments along the way.
Of course, we all want to hear the success stories of our favorite bloggers, mompreneurs, authors, and online entrepreneurs running successful creative businesses. We want to know what makes them so successful, how long it took to get that success, how much money they made, and any other positive details that will inspire us along our own journey!
But what about their failures? What about what DIDN'T work? What about the times they fell flat on their faces with a business idea? You know, the business ideas that completely, and utterly flopped?
I'm always interested in that side of the story, partly because I have my own unique failure stories that have shaped who I am as a mom entrepreneur and how I approach my online business today.
So in this post, I'm going to share some of the dirty little details of how I failed at my first few attempts of running a business as a mompreneur, what I learned, and how it's brought me to where I am now.
The Start of Something GOOD-ish
When I turned 25 (still single and child-free), my entrepreneurial spirit emerged. It was as if someone turned on a faucet, and one idea after another came flowing into my mind.
I self-published my first book that year, which was an amazing accomplishment for me. Then, before I could even get started on the plethora of other “Million Dollar” ideas cramped inside my brain, I found myself married, moving, and expecting two baby boys!
The Business of Love and Motherhood
Instead of continuing in the business of writing and book publishing, I found myself in the business of love and motherhood. In 2010, I embarked on the most fantastic, nerve-wracking journey of my life. On a mild October morning at 11:12 am, I became the mother of a beautiful, 7 lb 1 oz baby boy. Then, two minutes later I became a mother again to a gorgeous 5lb baby boy.
In the span of 120 seconds, our petite family of two had doubled in size! We were instantly no longer responsible for just ourselves. After a 36 week 5 day wait, we were now the proud guardians of two children to call our own.
The change came swiftly, and rather unapologetically to my life.
Nurturing two babies at one time was FAR, FAR harder than I would have imagined. Life was a blur of breast milk, formula, burp cloths, poopie diapers, soaking wet diapers, baby baths, cat naps, and last but not least bills–Bills, Bills, Bills.
That entrepreneurial flame that had sparked inside of me not even two years earlier, flickered in and out as I tried to balance my family and my desire to be a successful writer. Then, in a moment of slight insanity, I decided to launch a new online business despite the chaos that was my life.
Failure to Launch…Actually, Failure to Stay Afloat
Let me start by saying that I have to give myself an A for effort and a pat on the back for having the balls to attempt a brand new business in the midst of caring for two infants.
But on the flip side, what the hell was I thinking? Who would have thought that balancing two newborn babies with a newborn business idea would be as physically and financially draining as it had turned out to be? Definitely not this go-getter, push-it-to-the-limit mommy. NO WAY, JOSE.
You see, I was superwoman, wasn't I? I could do anything and everything I put my mind to, right?
Supposedly, I could have it all–marriage, motherhood, a thriving business, sleep, etc.
I later learned there is a name for this complex; It's called CRAZY.
The truth is, I simply was not prepared for the long-haul with my business, and I most definitely underestimated how completely exhausting motherhood would be.
In the end, my business model was not sustainable, and my online business failed. My hopes of being a work-at-home mom, running my own business, and building independent wealth and security for my family seemed like a distant and unattainable business model.
The Thing About Failure
Failure has a very funny effect on some people. Sometimes it completely shuts us down. We feel exhausted and defeated by it. But in truth, failure is just a stepping stone to success.
Sometimes we have to fail and fail again and fail better before we really know what the hell it is we are doing, where we are going, and who we are meant to be.
As a mother, as a wife, and definitely as an entrepreneur, I am learning the art of failing better over time. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a glutton for punishment or anything like that, but I’ve grown wise enough to realize that there are lessons to be learned in my failures.
A Summary of My Failed Mompreneur Business Ideas (and what I learned)
My first online business (a local health and wellness website) slowly fizzled after a couple of months. This failure taught me the importance of marketing and having a plan for sustainability. I also realized that I didn't want my business revenue to be simply ad-based (local companies paid for me to promote them on my local blog).
After this initial business, there were several entrepreneurial business opportunities that I started. Here are a few:
Wine Consultant (2012) – Hosting wine parties and selling wine and accessories. While I found it quite fun to host wine parties, in the end, I found it hard to sell people expensive bottles of wine with high shipping rates when I was, in fact, more of a “$20 bottle of wine or less” type of gal. Lesson Learned: I need to believe in my product.
Healthy Coffee Consultant (2012)- Selling organic specialty coffee and growing a team of consultants. This was fun until I had a repeated allergic reaction to the coffee. Lesson Learned: It's kind of hard to sell something you are allergic to lol.
Freelance Editing and Writing (2013). I probably can't even count these two things because I actually never launched it to the world. I built a website for an editing business and then a website for what would have been a health and wellness freelance writing business, but it never went any further than that–I lost interest. Lesson Learned: Just because you have experience on a topic, doesn't mean you should start a business around it. For me, it has to be something I'm passionate about.
Positive Thinking Blog (2014). I'm super big on the power of a positive mindset. However, when I launched my positive thinking blog initially I was still working a day job and trying to balance motherhood…unsuccessfully. I decided to change the blog name and add a business aspect to it. Lesson Learned: I love helping to spread positivity in this world. It's a passion and a talent that I have.
Life and Biz Blog (2014). I merged my love for positive thinking with my love for helping people develop their business ideas. For a while, this was great! But soon, I began to miss my love for writing and publishing books. So, I decided to launch another blog and run it simultaneously with my life and biz blog. Lesson Learned: I can't run two businesses at one time as a mompreneur. Two businesses would require a partner or a least a steady virtual assistant for any chance of success.
Self-Publishing Blog (2015). This was actually one of my more successful websites, however, the focus just on book publishing wasn't enough to keep my attention. I wanted to talk about more. Lesson Learned: I had to find a common bond between my passions and create a brand that allowed me to discuss various topics without it feeling disjointed for my audience.
The Rise of Mompreneur Money (formerly TeachandFlourish.co)
What I am doing now as a mompreneur has been years in the making.
Yes, I was afraid of starting yet another business that would run into a dead end. But despite these feeling, I knew in my gut that it was a chance I had to take.
I wanted an online business where I could talk blogging, self-publishing, course creation, mindset tips, and more with an audience that “got me” and where I was coming from.
It's taken several failed mompreneur business ideas, pivots, and a great deal of soul-searching to get to this point in my life.
I know with all my heart that success is nothing but failure turned inside out. Equipped with this belief, I have set myself on a trajectory to accomplish the happy life I desire, and to help those inspired souls around me to do the same.
It's been a process to learn how to balance being a mom who is both active and present in my children's lives, and also be true to myself and pursue my creative passions. And some days, well, I still suck at it. But I'm improving daily.
So What's Next?
For other aspiring mompreneurs out there, my hope is that you can use my story as motivation. Use this website as a resource hub to help you plan out your awesome business and take action.
My mompreneur story is still in the making. There's more to come…maybe more twists and turns…maybe even some failures. But I know how to fail fast now. I know how to pick-up the pieces and create again and again.
What's your story? Have you started several businesses but can't seem to make one stick? I'd love to know where you are in your journey. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email!
Did You enjoy this post? You might also like these:
Learning how to create a money-making online course can seem a little daunting at first. You might even believe it will be expensive to create.
I'm sharing some great tips on how to kick-start the course creation process without emptying your wallet on expensive equipment and software. You can even create a course with $0 in up-front costs–here's how.
Selling Online Courses: How to Create a Money-Making Course on a Budget! - YouTube
Again, when you are just getting started with creating online courses, there are some affordable options for microphones (which you need in order to capture your voice).
Low-Cost/No-Cost Option: If you use a smartphone and have the little earbud headphones with a microphone you can use this to record.
Mid-Range Option: Blue Snowball Microphone – around $49. I personally use the Blue Snowball Microphone and love it–great sound quality and fantastic pricing. It has some great reviews online.
Most people don't realize that you don't have to be ‘on-camera' for an online course. You can use a screen-recording software to capture your voice over a slide presentation.
While there are some more expensive screen-recording software out there like Camtasia for PCs (which I only recently started using) and Screenflow for Macs, I started off using a simply screen-recording tool called Screencast-o-matic.
Screencast-o-matic is a screen recording tool used by a lot of online instructors. There's a free version and a premium version. This tool allows you to record yourself speaking over a slide presentation which can be used as your course lessons.
No need to hire someone to turn your slides into video. You can do this yourself. With the $15 per year version, you can also do some basic editing (like cutting out spots where you messed up or had a blooper.)
As I mentioned above, it is not necessary for you to be in front of the camera for your course. You can be behind the scenes by creating a slide presentation that you then record your voice over.
There are several affordable ways to do this. One option is to simply use PowerPoint (on PCs) or Keynote (on Macs). Most people have this software readily available on their laptops so that means no extra cost.
You can also create a slide presentation using Google Docs. As long as you have a Gmail account (which is free to create), you have access to Google Docs.
Another option is using web-based software like Canva or Visme to create your slide presentation. These websites offer gorgeous, premade presentation templates that allow you to plug-in your content and have an instantly beautiful presentation ready for you to record.
You don't need fancy equipment to make it high quality and value-filled. As you scale up, you will be able to purchase more sophisticated software and equipment to make your offerings even better.
Graphics and Images:
If you are creating your own slide presentations, a great place to find affordable images is Creative Market. This website has thousands of amazing images, graphics, and templates that you can put to use for your online course. They even offer FREE goods on a weekly basis which get pretty addictive to checking because I find useful freebies almost every week!
If you really want to step your game up a notch, get a $10 per month membership with IvoryMix.com and get access to new members-only graphics every single month that you can use on your blog posts, Pinterest pins, and other social media.
You can also find tons of free images on websites like Pixabay.com, PicJumbo.com, and many more!
Hosting Your Course:
Once you have a better understanding of the tools you need to create your course, it's time to start thinking about affordable hosting options.
Just in case you are not familiar with the terminology, by hosting I mean finding a platform where your course videos, slides, and text will be uploaded for access by your students.
There are tons of different options out there for uploading and storing your online course.
Of course, you have your course marketplaces like Skillshare.com, Udemy.com, Amazing.com and more. But while these platforms each have some great perks and good reasons to use them (which I discuss in here), my suggestion is to also choose to self-host your courses on a platform that allows you to control the pricing of your course and names/email addresses of students who sign up.
Teachable offers a $0 starter plan that allows you to upload your course and set your own price.
Here's an idea of what the homepage will look like when you launch your courses with Teachable:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have a website before I create a course?
The truth is that you do not have a build a website before you create your first course. If you build a course using Teachable, you can actually create web pages within the software. This means you can have an About page, a Contact Me page, even write blog posts if you want. Don't let “not having a website yet” stop you from getting started with your first course. IT'S NOT A BARRIER!
Can I really start my first course for $0?
Yes! Here's a scenario:
Use PicJumbo or Pixabay to get free images for your course design and slides.
Then use PowerPoint to create your slides.
Use the FREE version of Screencast-o-matic to record your voice over the slides with the headphones for your smart phone…
Then set-up a $0 account plan with Teachable to upload your videos/audios/PDFs and allow students to sign-up.
Wallah! That's a $0 start-up cost!
Can I sell my course on my own website and on other websites?
Yes! Most of the course marketplaces are ‘non-exclusive'. This means you can create your course once, and then sell it on different websites, including your own website. Most of them simply have a rule that you cannot offer it for FREE on one website and then CHARGE for it on another website. For instance, I have a course that I sell via my website, Skillshare, and Udemy.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Teach what you know.
Creating your first online course does not have to be a cost-prohibitive venture. The tips above will get you started and you could have your first course complete in less than a week!
You can absolutely do all of this on your own! But if you need a little guidance, you will love my self-paced course–Epic Instructor Lab.
Note: This post may include referral links, which means I make a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for the extra love! xoxo