I hope that this discussion in the form of a question-and-answer dialogue will help to dispel some myths and also highlight the challenges and successes of working from home.
Here are some of the questions that I posed to her and her responses are listed below.
What made you decide to work from home?
The radio station I was working for at the time went off the air due to a legal battle over the frequency. Though I could have gone on and worked for the new owners or another station, I decided to stay home because my youngest was only 2 and kept getting sick at daycare.
What was your first work at home job?
I sold Avon when I was a teenager.
What obstacles did you overcome?
Once I decided to be a stay-at-home mom, I knew I wanted to write, share, and blog (though blogging wasn’t even a word back in 2002, I don’t think…lol) – the first obstacle was “how do I make a website?” I had to dig in and teach myself about domains, hosting, web design, and HTML.
How much was your first paycheck and from what company?
My goal in 2002 was to earn $400 a month from home, which was about my take-home pay from the radio station after gas and daycare. My first check was $33 from Google Adsense in 2003.
How long did it take you to earn a steady full-time income from home?
Oh gosh…I’d say three years is easy.
When did you start your work at home blog?
Why did you decide to start your own work at home blog?
I’d been researching work at home and trying to find a way to earn at home that wasn’t a party plan or direct sales. I was finding odd jobs here and there. I was a chat moderator, and photographer- but nothing substantial. Still – I found that many women were wanting to do the same as me. So I decided to share anything I found. It evolved from there.
How much did your blog make in the first 6 months/year?
ZIP. I invested more than I made.
How much does your blog earn in revenue yearly or monthly?
I earn enough to stay home – but I also take on other part-time work-at-home jobs like writing and customer service. So my blog isn’t my only income and isn’t enough to be my only income.
Did you ever think of giving up and if so what helped you to continue?
Over the years it seems EVERYONE and their brother has a mommy blog. Some good, some bad. But competition, search engine changes, and offers to sell my site have given me pause. But no, I love what I do and my visitors do too. They keep me going.
What tips/techniques did you use to get your blog noticed?
In the beginning, it was word of mouth, forums, press releases, and just networking. I was lucky as well that I was interviewed by magazines like Woman’s World, local newspapers, Fox news, etc. But it’s all about social media now.
Please share any personal information about your family, where you reside, how they support you, etc.
I’ve been married since 1992. Two kids. We live in North Carolina. The thing about delving into any business – is you don’t realize the time suck it becomes. It consumes you. I look back and I think I would have spent MORE time with my family if I DIDN’T work at home. Because you can walk out the door of a “regular” job. Having my own business/blog – I am everything…writer, promotion, accountant, designer, maintenance, programmer – 24/7 problem solver. I never learned good “time management” or found balance. Though my family didn’t suffer, and I was here for sick days, vacations, etc – I would do things differently if I did it all over again. Luckily my kids and husband were understanding. My kids are fiercely independent and thriving. My son is an Eagle Scout and in college now. My daughter is in the gifted program at school, a star soccer player, and has straight A’s. So “mom being busy” didn’t hurt them.
Would you have done anything differently or kept it the same?
What advice would you give to other moms about starting their own business or possible blog or website in 2014?
Hmmm…this is hard. Because there is a lot of time and emotional investment put into starting a blog/business. And with the competition that’s out there, just by sheer numbers – it’s not easy. In that vein, you’ve got to be original and unique. You need to have your own spin. Once you know what direction you’re going – you need to stick with it and don’t give up.
What would you do if you weren’t working from home?
I’d hope to write screenplays. But more likely, I’d still be in radio
Thank you so much Kelly for very honest and personal work-at-home experiences.
You can visit Kelly and find her by visiting these sites below.