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If you're like most of my readers, you're committed to your family and creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you've given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That's why I wrote this special report, The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms, in which I help you design the best business to complement your family's goals. There's only one way to get it—by subscribing to my weekly blog updates here:
 
 

Home Business

Are you ready to achieve what really matters in 2016?

I love this time of year. The busyness of Christmas is over, the guests have gone home, we are still on winter break and snow often drifts down from the sky. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I also love the weeks that follow. I especially like this time because it is a time of reflection and goal setting. I get excited about what the new year will bring and I want to do what I can to achieve what matters and make it my best year yet.

How about you? Are you looking forward to, or dreading, this upcoming year? My hope and prayer for you is that you are getting excited as you look ahead to what 2016 holds in store for you.

I would love to share with you my 4 best strategies for achieving what matters in this brand new year. Continue reading 4 Ways to Achieve What Matters in 2016

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Why affiliate marketing is a great business model for the homeschool mom.

Homeschooling and affiliate marketing is a match made in heaven. Homeschool parents need flexible work hours, they love to tell others about what is working for them, and are often pretty computer savvy. And if they aren’t, their kids are!

With a few simple but powerful strategies, you can succeed as an affiliate.

With a few simple but powerful strategies, you can wildly succeed as an affiliate.

As defined by Wikipedia, Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. You can read more technical details here.

First, I will tell you how it works, in a nutshell, then I will give you 3 sure-fire ways to rock it when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Continue reading 3 Sure-fire Ways to Rock Affiliate Marketing

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Your gifts and unique abilities may be a perfect match for a service-type business.

Service businesses are a great way to offer your skill set to the world and earn a good paying income. With a service, there is usually no overhead costs so you are ready to open up shop as soon as you hang out your shingle letting people know that you are available to serve them.

Two weeks ago, we discussed why an online business is ideal for the homeschool and/or stay-at-home mom, who needs work activities to flex around her family’s priorities. Then we explored 4 ways that any mom can earn an income online to complement her family’s goals.

Below is a list of 9 service business ideas that I have created based on my own needs as a business owner and the needs of others that I network with. I have hired individuals for all of these services and more, so this is a good springboard to get started.

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Continue reading 9 Service Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms

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Earn an income online

And so can you!

Two-thirds of all homeschool, stay-at-home moms want to create an income from home. But they want to design something that complements their lifestyle and maintains their priorities – family first.

Last week, we discussed why an online business beats out a brick and mortar shop every day of the week. While I love my local brick and mortar company, it requires a staff to run it. Otherwise, I would be tied to the facility for 12 or more hours each day. I don’t have that kind of time or freedom to be away from my children for that amount of time.

My online business, however, is flexible. I work the hours I want when I want. I can turn on the product creation and the marketing as I see fit, working around my other priorities and family’s schedule.

Start a business around something you are already good at.

In this post, I would like to introduce you to 4 ways any homeschool mom can earn an income online. I say “introduce” because we’ll go into these at much greater depth in future blog posts. However, there is one thing that every online businesswoman needs so I will mention it now. It is an online presence. This online presence can take the form of a blog, a website, a podcast, a youtube channel or social media platform.

So, get ready to take notes and put on your brainstorming cap, because here we go!

Continue reading 4 Ways Any Homeschool Mom Can Earn an Income Online

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Online business better for homeschool moms

 

And why you should consider starting a business online!

The survey you took last week was very telling!

65% of my regular readers enthusiastically welcome blog content on the topic of creating an online business from home while homeschooling your kids. The remaining 35% were equally split between, “don’t care” and “please don’t.” While I would love to make everyone happy (who doesn’t?), I know that I cannot possibly accomplish that. So, this post marks my official shift in blog content, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t blog about homeschooling and general family life from time to time. 🙂

If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to your family and to creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you’ve given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That’s why I’m shifting the focus of my blog to help home school parents just like you.

Continue reading 4 Reasons Online Business Beats Brick and Mortar

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Do these results surprise you?

Last week, I asked my readers to take a survey about the direction of my blog. Hundreds of you were super helpful by filling out the 3 minute survey questionnaire here.

The answers were very revealing of this community. But in a good way!

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Most of my readers are married (but certainly not all) and are between the ages of 35 and 55. However, we have a good representation of youth and sage among us too.

51% of you have 2 or 3 children, 36% have more than that and 13% have fewer.

While 25% of you have been homeschooling for 3 years or less, 50% have been homeschooling for 8 years or more. That leaves 25% in the middle – homeschooling for 4-7 years. Wow, you all are amazing and dedicated teachers for your kids. Kudos to you! Good job!

Money is super tight for a small percentage of you; moderately tight for most and comfortable for some. It’s a classic bell curve. But if you had more money in the budget, these are the things you would do with it:

Continue reading Here are the Survey Results

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Heads up, homeschool bloggers!

If you find great satisfaction in reviewing and promoting the best, top-notch products in the homeschool marketplace, then you will love what I am about to share with you.

If you blog as a hobby, but also to contribute to your family’s income, even if just for little extras that make the kids (and your husband) smile, then you will really be excited about this.

I want to tell you about a brand new affiliate opportunity that you will not want to miss out on. If you like promoting quality homeschool materials and receiving a hefty commission sum, then you will like this!

Have you heard about the Build Your Bundle sale coming up this summer? It is a unique sale that allows customers to bundle only the items that they really want. The prices are great without being ridiculous. The items included are quality, top-notch, award-winning products. We are thrilled that several of our products are included.

Would you like to get in on the action? While you cannot promote the sale just yet, you can do two EASY things to get ready:

  1. 1. Sign up to become an affiliate, so that you can receive 30% commissions in the summer when you probably need the money the most (for vacations, for next year’s curriculum, for camps, etc.)
  2. 2. Recruit your friends to sign up as an affiliate too. Why would you want to do this? Because you get a 10% commission for every bundle they sell too. SWEET!

Click the image below to get started!

Psst… Jump in now BEFORE everyone knows about this!

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People have been asking me how I get so much done. I would love to tell you!

In the past year, I have written and published a book (A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World), created a new magazine (Quest Magazine) that publishes a brand new issue consistently every month, developed a new site (Map Center) where you can download Map Trek maps by the piece, and am nearly ready to launch a new web application (Map Studio) where you can create exactly the maps you want for your homeschool lesson, workshop, sermon or classroom. Oh, and I am also writing a 4th volume of A Child’s Geography: Explore Medieval Kingdoms.

How in the world can anyone get this much done? I have 5 secret weapons! And they are:

1. I will hire or outsource the stuff that I cannot do, such as coding or editing for example. It just makes good sense. Why should I learn something that will take me hours to learn when someone else already knows how to do it and can do it quickly and hopefully, inexpensively. (Guess what? I also outsource my housecleaning twice a month to a high school girl who works both quickly and at a great price!)

2. I get up early! Yes, I can get more done in 2-3 hours in the wee morning than I can the rest of the day. And staying up late usually doesn’t cut it. Those are your most worn out hours of the day. Get up early and use your freshest hours to accomplish what you really want to accomplish, whether that be writing a book, assembling a digital scrapbook, planning your curriculum, etc.

3. I get away (very occasionally). If you really need to get something done, like you have a looming deadline whether self-imposed or imposed by others, get a hotel room for 24 hours and just get it done. It’s best if you don’t take your spouse along, unless the object of the get-away is to connect with each other. Those are highly valuable times but different from what I am talking about now. I am due for a solo get-away so that I can tackle more of my book. I just need that quiet and interrupted time (on a rare occasion) to get some momentum.

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4. I walk every day. This time not only gets my blood pumping, but it recharges me. It also feeds my creativity. I will usually get some fresh insight while walking that I can use to push my productivity. I also use this time to pray, which is very good for my soul and emotional well-being, not to mention good for those who are being prayed for.

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5. I have an awesome husband that will help me carve out time to get something special accomplished. He really is an amazing man! And, in my work life, I have an incredibly talented administrative assistant, and it’s almost like having another “me”. Wow, what would I do without these two?

While I realize that most people do not have an admin assistant, nor does everyone have a supportive spouse, everyone still has the exact same 24 hours each day. To become more productive, you just need to know how to use those hours to your best advantage. Focus on just points 2, 3 and 4 and you will get more accomplished than you thought you could.

So, go out there and get something done!

Question: What is on your to-do list that you really need to carve some time out to accomplish? For me, it’s writing my book. What’s yours?

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This is post #3 in a blog series on how to tackle writing a book. If you are planning to write a book or are already deep into the process, I invite you to follow along with me.

See Post #2 for help in finding the time to write. This post will help you get started with your research.

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Here’s a little disclaimer: My blog series will be most helpful for those who are writing non-fiction. I’ll be honest, while I love to read fiction, the idea of writing it scares me to death. I’m sure that I will have some nuggets of wisdom for fiction-writers in terms of organization and scheduling, but I cannot help with plot or character development.

A little background…

In August 2012, I began writing my first full length book. In the past 12 years, I have written a handful of short biographies, illustrated an entire book of maps (actually several) and published over 35 titles, so I definitely understand the book creation world. I already knew how to research my subject and tell a story. I also understood the diligence required in completing a large project. But I had never really written a book before. A real, full-length book, from beginning to end. I didn’t really know what that would look like for me.

So, I mapped out a plan and followed it. In that my book was a book on geography, I decided to write about one country a month. I was covering 10 countries, so I expected to finish up in May of the following year. I’m excited to say that I not only stayed on schedule, but finished the first draft a month early.

Now, I’m doing it again. This time, I will be covering 11 countries, so I am giving myself 11 months to complete the first draft of A Child’s Geography: Explore Medieval Kingdoms.

Here are My 5 Top Tips for Starting Your Book:

1. Break down your book idea into chapter subjects. Using sticky notes, write down topics that you want to cover in your book. Begin to organize these ideas by category. You can use a white board or a table to organize your notes by subject. Once you have them clustered by category, you can determine how many chapters you plan to write. I read a book by Dan Poynter years ago called Writing Non-Fiction. This may be very helpful for you in organizing your material.

2. Determine your writing schedule based on your content. If your chapters will be long, then plan a month to write each chapter. If they are shorter, then maybe you can write a chapter every one or two weeks. Make appointments with yourself to write. Mark it on the calendar. Take yourself out for coffee, if that helps. Look forward to these times. I like to write early in the morning snuggled up in a blanket on the couch before anyone else is awake.

3. Pick a chapter to write and begin your research. You do not have to start writing Chapter 1 first. Pick the chapter with the content that you are most excited to dive into. It’s important to gain momentum early and the best way to do this is to write the chapter that looks easier, maybe you have less research to do or maybe you just visited a place that is fresh in your memory to write about. My favorite places to research material are my local library and the internet. Always fact-check by verifying the information on more than one site. Wikipedia, for example, has been known to be riddled with errors. Always double-check your facts.

I just started my research a few days ago. Before diving into Spain, I knew there were certain topics that I wanted to cover in this chapter, such as the historical significance of the Strait of Gibraltar, the UK holding of Gibraltar, the Moor kingdoms, Castile y Leon, Ferdinand and Isabella, Christopher Columbus, Basque Country, travel by train, bullfighting and origins of Spanish dancing. Who knows what I will find, but I am exciting to dive into these topics!

4. Start a Pinterest board. I’m a visual person. I like to see what I am writing and refer back to images often during the writing process. Last year, I started a Pinterest board to capture images of places I was writing about. I have just begun to do the same for this book. Here is my very new Pinterest board for Explore Medieval Kingdoms. I am looking forward to filling it up more.

5. Begin writing. Once you have picked your chapter to write, just start writing. Do not edit while you write. Do that later. The writing and editing processes are conducted from opposite sides of the brain – one function interrupts the other. So don’t do it! Write first, edit later. Don’t worry about grammar and flow until you have a good chunk of words on a page. Tip: One tool that makes writing topics and chapters out of order easier is Scrivener. With this software, you can write in your book at any place you want. It’s brilliant! You can even reorder chapters and keep track of your research links right inside the writing software. Check it out here – http://www.literatureandlatte.com/ – and download a free trial version.

I’ll post next week with my progress on Chapter One… Spain!

Question: Have you started your book? How’s it coming?

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