Productivity: Finding Time to Blog

productivityProductivity is key in being a successful mommy blogger.  We are business owners and we are busy.  Very busy.  We have significant others, kids, errands to run, things to do around the house and on top of all that, we must work on our business.  Sometimes it can be really difficult to find the time to be productive and complete business tasks.  Even if you don’t work a 9-5 or work out of your home, it still can be tricky getting those hours in.  What’s a girl to do?

But before I dive deep into my tips, do you have a blog yet?  If not, don’t despair.  I am here to help you though the whole process.  In just 5 minutes you can get your blog up and running.  Check out this blog post where I give step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  So get started on your dream today by clicking HERE to start your blog.

Why is so hard to be productive?  Because your sweetie is calling asking you to do this or that.  You volunteered some time at your kid’s school or you meet a client for lunch at 11 am and the next thing you know, it’s 2 o’clock.  Or you spend a few hours in a mastermind group for business.  All of these activities are valid, but it eats away at your productivity and the actual time that you are working on your business.  Next thing you know, its Friday and you haven’t completed any of the things you said you would for your business.  In order to keep that from happening, here are a few of my suggestions on how to make more time for your business.

WORK AT LEAST 2 HOURS DAILY

I suggest working at least two hours a day.  And when I say two hours a day, I mean every day – seven days a week!  Try to find two hours early in the morning between 5 am and 9am.  Or try to find some time at night between 8 pm to 12 midnight.  Now, some of you might balk at staying up to midnight on a weeknight, but how late did you stay up to watch the Super Bowl?  How much time do you spend watching Netflix daily?  Personally, I watch one or two hours of television with my husband every night.  So, allocating some of that television time for my business is a good thing.  We make time for the things that are important to us.  So make time in your schedule to work on your business.

GET UP EARLY

Also, don’t rule out the weekends.  I know a lot of us are busy on the weekends.  As a mommy, I am busier on the weekends than I am during the week.  Until your business is up and running and making a profit, I would forgo sleeping in late on the weekends.  Get up early just like you would during the week and use those free hours when the house is quiet to get some business work done.  The early bird gets the worm is just so true.  I find that if I get up early and put a few hours of work in, I can get a lot accomplished.  No one else is up to distract or interrupt me.

OR STAY UP LATE

Work when everyone else has gone to bed for the night.  When I was working on my dissertation, nights were the only time I could work for long periods of time uninterrupted.  And so that’s when I got most of my work done.  It was normal for me to be up until 2am or 3am while working on my doctorate.  Right after that, I had my twins.  And since I wasn’t sleeping much during their first year, I was still able to get some business work in.  Now, I’m not saying stay up until 3am daily or stay up all night because you need your rest.  But I am saying use your “night” time wisely and see if you can use down of that couch time for your business.

SET ONE GOAL DAILY

When you begin to work, have a plan or goal in mind.  I recommend having one task to complete each day.  There are several reasons for this because doing something like writing an email newsletter to your subscribers takes a lot longer to finish than you think.  So, allot your two-hour quote to complete it.  If you complete your task in less than two hours, great!  You can move on to the next task.  Better to feel accomplished and moving towards your business goals, rather than aimless or swamped with too much to do.

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Do you work on your business every day?  What do you do to boost your productivity?  In the comments below, let me know and tell me how you are going to make time to get your work done each day.  Also, check back next week because my blog post will be about how to use the television to get work done.  Yes, I wrote that correctly.  I am going to share with you how to use the television to get work done on your business.  I used this trick all throughout graduate school.  Make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so that you’ll be notified when my new blog posts come out.  Cuz you don’t wanna miss the next one!

productivity blogging

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Start a Mom Blog

Start a Mom Blog

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Never in a million years did I think I would be a stay-at-home mom of three amazing girls or run a mom blog.  But here I am doing both and I love it!  I wouldn’t trade my life for the world!  We all know how one becomes a mom (ha ha ha) , but let me share with you my journey of starting a mom blog.  And I’ll also show why YOU should become a mommy blogger.

After finishing up my doctorate (which was a grueling process) and having my first child, my hubby and I wanted to have another baby.  We didn’t see the point in me getting a full-time job. Plus, I wasn’t ready to put my baby in daycare all day.  As fate would have it, I did get pregnant again, with not one but two babies! Yes, we were having twins. Fortunately, I got offered a job teaching graduate courses online. I was ecstatic. I could work and stay at home taking care of my children.  But as I get into more about my personal experience starting a mom blog, I will also give you 3 reasons why you should start a mom blog too.

1. To Stay Current in Your Field, Niche or Industry

My online teaching job was great but it wasn’t full-time. The tenured professors at my university were the only ones that received a full-time salary. I only taught one or two classes a semester. I was worried because I knew that eventually I would go back to work full time. My goal was always to become a computer science professor. However, professor jobs are really hard to come by mainly because there are a limited number of professors in each department. In addition, if a professor is granted tenure he or she can stay at that university until they retire. So you can imagine that the competition for professor jobs is fierce. Moreover, offers for tenured professor jobs normally go to those individuals that are making a big impact in their area of research. Eventually, I wanted a job as a professor but honestly didn’t know if it could become a reality.  At that time, I didn’t realize how blogging could benefit me.  But I was about to find out.

Since I was home with my children, I felt that there wasn’t much I could do to stay current in the field of technology. I felt out of the loop because I wasn’t working day in and day out in my industry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was happy and blessed to stay at home with my babies. I was also fortunate to be able to work out of my house. However, I knew that once I started job-hunting, my resume would not be as strong as someone who worked full-time at a tech company or a university. I needed a way to stay current. I needed an edge. Then one day it came to me.

One day, I was watching an entertainment show and they were talking about fashion week in New York City.  During fashion week, the media is always focused on the celebs sitting in front rows of fashion shows.  But this show focused on how fashion bloggers were sitting front row at all the shows and how their blogs were impacting the fashion industry. Right then and there, a light bulb went off in my head. These fashion blogs were started by people who love and have an interest in fashion. But for some reason or another, they were not able to land a coveted job in fashion. Therefore, they started blogging about fashion to give their opinion on new trends, up and coming fashion models and industry gossip. Many of these fashion bloggers gained huge followings and became experts in the fashion industry. Overnight, fashion bloggers had become the hottest fashion stars.

Right then and there, I decided that I too would use blogging as a way to stay current in my industry.  And the very next day, this blog, marcellawilson.com was born.  But more importantly, I wanted to use blogging as a way to stay current in the technology industry.  Even though I was changing diapers and making bottles during most of the day, I needed a way to stay viable in my industry.  And in the ever-changing job market, it’s important to stay marketable.  As a result, I set out to learn more about how blogging could keep me viable in my industry.

2. Earn Income

But I began to notice something else about these bloggers.  I began to notice that bloggers were getting work. Like real paid jobs. I was really interested then.  I began to look around and saw that bloggers in all types of fields, niches and industries were everywhere!  When I read a magazine, bloggers were writing the editorials. I saw bloggers in commercials and advertisements promoting brands. I turned on my favorite news and talk shows only to see them discussing the seasons latest news and trends. I also saw them as judges on reality competition shows. I was like, what! All this from blogging? I thought to myself, how can I be down with this!?!

Because let’s be honest, it’s expensive raising kids, right?  Formula, pull-ups, gymnastics and shoes ain’t cheap.  Can I get a witness?  The harsh reality was that my household was going from 2 full-time incomes to 1 full-time income and some change.  My husband was not worried but that was kinda scary to me.  So, I really wanted to get this blogging stuff down so I could contribute to the household income.  Is that your reason for starting a mom blog?

Now, of course, I had an advantage because my educational background is in computer science and my graduate research focused on online social networks. Thus, I was familiar with the technical aspect of blogging. However, my education did not focus on blogging as a way to build income or grow a business.  I had no idea how to do that.  So, I set out to learn more about how blogging could build a business and increase my income.   As a result, I spend about two years studying online marketing and business.  I was really trying to figure out how to build an online business and make money online.  Now, I didn’t plan on spending two years learning all of this.  I was hoping to start blogging and in a month or so, watch the money pour in.  But it just doesn’t happen that way. These past few years have been filled with lots of trial and error with up and downs about blogging and business.  But I learned a lot, didn’t give up and am ready to share my knowledge with you.

3. Every Business Needs a Blog

Let me also just say that if you have (or want to have) a business and don’t have a blog you’re already losing money. Why? A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that over 80% of Americans “look for information online first about a service or product they are thinking of buying.”   If you are not online, you cannot be found by these potential customers. Therefore, you are missing out on money that you could be making.   Go where your customers are. Since most people start looking for products and services online, then you need to be online.   Period.

But you might be thinking, okay, well I’ll just get a regular website.  I don’t really have to blog, do I?  Yes, you do and here’s why.  There are 2 types of websites: dynamic and static web sites.  A static web site is one that rarely or never changes.  Google.com is a good example of a static web site.  It always looks the same, maybe with an image change above the search box.  But when you go to Google.com, it basically looks exactly the same.  However, a dynamic web site changes or is updated on a regular basis.  A blog is a dynamic website.  A good example of this is The New York Post online site.  It is a blog and it’s dynamic because new stories and images are added daily.   Each day, the New York Post is completely different.  But what does static and dynamic websites have to do with your business?  Ahhh, just read on…

The #1 Reason Why You Should Start a Mom Blog Today

Google is important to your business because customers go there to search for and research products and services they are interested in.  When someone is searching for your industry, niche or business online, you want to rank as high as possible in Google’s search results.  Google loves blogs because they usually have more up to date information than a regular, static website.  Google knows that blogs are updated more frequently (ie, every day, several times a day or once a week).  Therefore, Google is more likely to return a blog higher in search results than a regular website.  Having a mom blog means you’ll get more traffic and customers to your blog via Google. That’s why you want to have a blog for your business instead of a regular website.  Know that if you don’t have a blog, you are already losing customers and money!

 

Are YOU Ready to Start Your Mom Blog?

I’m going to assume that if you are reading this far into this blog post, that you want to start a mom blog.  Great!  Let me help you get started.  i am here for you and that’s the purpose of this blog – to help mommy bloggers.  As a result, I have written a tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions on how to start a blog in 5 minutes.  Just think, right now, you are only 5 minutes away from having a blog.  Click HERE to get started.  I am excited for you.  Leave me a comment and tell me what your blog is gonna be about.

Toodles!

Dr. Marcella Wilson

starting a mom blog

Valentine’s Day Tips to Get More Readers (& Customers!) to Your Blog

valentine's day

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  Love is in the air! Can you feel it? Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s right around the corner so it’s time to get ready. But I’m not talking about buying flowers, chocolate or jewelry for your boo. Nope! I am talking about using Valentine’s Day to get more readers to your blog and even make a few sales. So depending on where you are in your blog and your business, here are a few love-inspired ideas that you can use.

If you already sell products and services on your blog, then read on…

Create a Gift List!  Since everyone is searching for the perfect Valentine gift, give your readers gift ideas featuring your products and services. Most people buy traditional Valentine’s Day gifts like candy but why not show them that your products and services can make their loved one happy too? They won’t know until you tell them, so show them and (hopefully) make the sale.

Package it Up!  You can even create special packages for the holiday that are only available for Valentine’s Day. Be clear about what products and/or services are being offered in the package and the pricing. If you can, offer several packages at different price points to attract a range of customers. If your products and services aren’t love-themed, try using red or pink packaging instead. I realize these ideas may take more than a week to implement, so be sure to give yourself enough time to give your products and services “the look of love”.

Gift Card, Anyone?  Another great option is to allow customers to buy your products and services as a gift to a loved one. This works for a wide range of products and services. And if all else fails, give your customers a coupon that can only be used on Valentine’s Day. The coupon code can be the word “LOVE” or another holiday-related term. If you have an email list, shoot them out a quick email Valentine’s Day morning letting them know about the special coupon code and see what happens. Hopefully, the sales will start rolling in.

Target Different audiences.  When we think of Valentine’s Day, we think of romantic love, right? And that’s what the holiday is all about. But other people in our life need love too. Show potential customers that your products and services will make great Valentine’s Day gifts for parents, children, co-workers, friends and even pets. Yes, people love their pets and treat them like family members, so why not?

If you are not at the point where you are selling products and services yet,

No worries. I still have some ways you can use Valentine’s Day to pull in more readers to your blog.

If your blog has nothing to do with love or Valentine’s Day, you can still use the holiday to get more readers. For example, if you blog about vintage Ford Mustangs, you can write a blog post called “10 Reasons to Love the Ford Mustang” or “5 Rom-Com Movies that Feature Ford Mustangs”. Take some time over the next few days to think about what you want to write about and try to come up with some cool ways to incorporate Valentine’s Day into your blog.

As a side note, I bought a bright red Ford Mustang when I finished my master’s degree. I sold it when I had my first child because I couldn’t fit my stroller in the trunk of the car. As you can see, I have never quite gotten over that.

It’s Valentine’s Day, spread love on social media

If you plan ahead, here are some lovely things you can do on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Dr. Marcella Wilson on Valentine's Day

Create love-themed posts on social media the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Now be sure to mix it up. Use quotes, funny memes, pictures and even videos hyping up to Valentine’s Day. You can use your posts to advertise Valentine’s Day specials that you are offering or to just send readers to your blog.

Create a Hashtag that brings awareness to Valentine’s Day but also promotes your blog. You can use your hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. But just remember that hashtags are not owned by anyone and can be used by anyone. So it is possible that someone else can use the hashtag you’re using for Valentine’s Day for a something totally different.

Photo Contest – If you are not selling anything, use your hashtag as a photo contest. The way it works is that readers can post pictures on their Instagram or Twitter account using your Valentine-themed hashtag. But only the best photos or top 10 winners will get retweeted on your Instagram or Twitter account. And you’ll be surprised. If you use this method, I bet you’ll get a lot more participation than you anticipate. People don’t always need the promise of winning something to get involved. Just giving someone the opportunity to be recognized and promoted is more than enough motivation for some people. Try it out and see how it works for you.

In closing, use one of these ideas to get your readers in the “mood for love” by showcasing your products and services or reading your blog. The key is to be creative and think outside the box. I know you can come up with something special, thoughtful and fun that your readers will just love.

In the comments, tell me which idea you are going to use this Valentine’s Day on your blog. Or tell me about an idea that I haven’t talked about.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Goals: The One Thing You Must Do to Accomplish Them

goals: the one thing you must do to accomplish your goals this year

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January is the month that everyone is setting goals and making resolutions.   But excuse me.  I did not say, “Happy New Year!”  By now, I think everyone has gotten back to their normal routine.  Hopefully, you had a wonderful holiday season.  I did.  I have taken down all the Christmas decorations, my girls are back to school and I’m prepping for my Spring courses (I’m a professor, remember?)

I’m writing this because I, like you and so many others am looking at myself and figuring out what I want to do and be this year.  The New Year just naturally causes people to look back at the previous year and look ahead and plan for the new year.  Lots of people make resolutions to lose weight, start a business, quit smoking and all sorts of stuff.  Personally, I don’t make resolutions anymore because by January 17th – and most of the time, even sooner than that – I have given up and am back to eating ice cream daily and just resolve to accept the size of my thighs.  But this got me to thinking…  Why do I and so many others fail to accomplish their resolutions?  Why are goals so hard to achieve?

People come to me all the time wanting to me to help them achieve their dream of starting a blog for their business or grow their social media following.  They are so excited, serious and motivated when we first meet up.  But some people fall by the wayside, even before we get started or just when things are starting to take off.  Why is that?  Why are we like that?

The Reason We Fail to Reach Our Goals

I believe it is because we do not take action.  And if we do take action, we stop and do not repeat those actions that lead to progress over and over again until we reach our goal.  After all, it is so easy and comfortable to just keep doing what we are already going.  To get 100,000 or more Instagram followers and be considered a major influence, just doesn’t happen.  To get to the point where brands are paying you big bucks to post a picture of their product on your Instagram feed takes work.  A lot of work.  That just doesn’t happen overnight.  Even to get 1,000 like on your Facebook page takes determination, consistency and hard work.

goals

The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Achieve Your Goals

To reach those dreams and goals that God has planted in us takes time, work and action.  Specific actions on a daily basis that we do over and over again until we reach that goal.  And we can’t let “obstacles” stop us.  Like P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs (or whatever he is calling himself now) says in a lot of his songs, “Can’t stop, won’t stop”.  We must have that attitude in order to succeed.

Expect Difficulties

Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised when we hit roadblocks. We should expect them but not let them deter us from our path.  We should have the mindset that we are going to go around, though, over or under that obstacle to overcome it.  The key is to not to quit or let that obstacle stop you from achieving your goal.  This year, we got this.  Let’s do this!  #achieveyourdreamsin2017

Let Me Help You Achieve Your Goals and Dreams

I help people create their blogs and grow their social media followings (I specialize in Instagram and Facebook).  If you want to learn more and be inspired then join my tribe.  I would love to have you.  Sign up for my email list – and get a FREE cheat sheet, too!  It’s called “5 Rookie Mistakes Instaglammers make on Instagram”  Just click HERE.

BTW, in the comments below, let me know what you want to achieve this year.

 

 

 

5 types of Instagram Pics That Get You More Followers

 

Instagram

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Instagram is a great place for female business owners to find customers and grow a huge following.  Whatever type of business you are in or product or service you offer, your customer is on Instagram.  If you are a photographer or model trying to get noticed in the industry, Instagram is a great place to get seen.  If you are a baker, nail artist, stylist, virtual assistant, web designer or hair dresser trying to get more business, your customer is definitely on Instagram.

Download FREE Cheat Sheet of “5 Rookie Mistakes that Business Owners Make on Instagram”

Instagram has approximately 500 million users – yes, that’s half a billion people – and the numbers are increasing daily.  Instagram is the fastest growing social media app on the planet.  It may seem like everyone is already on instagram and there is no room left for you.  But that’s not true.  I believe that instagram will follow in the footsteps of its owner Facebook and grow to over 1 billion users.  Trust me, now is the time to get on Instagram and harness its power.

Start Posting These 5 Types of Instagram Pics

If you are just starting out on instagram or have been around for a while, here are some tips that can help build up your followers.  Below are 5 types of photos every entrepreneur needs in their repertoire.

    1. #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) – This is probably the most popular type of Instagram post (and hashtag!) instaglammers use on the ‘Gram. Showing off your outfit of the day from head to toe is a must.  People who are just starting out on instagram always ask me if I get sent free clothes and do they have to wear expensive, designer clothes to have an Instagram account.  I say just use what’s in your closet.  That’s what I do.  If you are just starting out, no one is going to send you free clothes and I don’t suggest going out and spending lots of money on clothes for your instagram photos.  Look no further than your own closet, pull together a few looks and get to picture snapping.
    2. Focus – No, I am not talking about that Ariana Grande song (which I happen to love). I am talking about having your picture focus on one special thing that you are trying to highlight.  So Maybe you can do a close-up on an intricately hand-beaded sweater, glitzy belt or funky booties.  Whatever you choose, This type of photo is great if you take a photo that is not so great.  Hey we’ve all been there.  As an instaglammer, you take lots of photos for the ‘Gram on a regular basis.  Some photos will turn out not so great.  In cases like this, I try to focus on one thing in the picture that I can edit and focus on.
    3. Collage – A collage is a photo that shows a combination or collection of things.  In the case of an instaglammer, a collage could show an outfit with the matching accessories and makeup.  Or a collage could show different types of rain boots.  Whatever the case, a collage is a great.  If you are the star of your Instagram feed, using a collage instead actually being in every photo is a great way to take a break and switch things up on your feed but still stay on brand.
    4. Themed Photos (A Holiday, Booties Week, etc.) – If a holiday is coming up, celebrate it on Instagram.  Take a picture in a funny turkey hat for Thanksgiving or an ugly Christmas.   In October, every day wear or show something that is pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  This is really not hard to do.  If you are struggling to come up with ideas of themes you can use, just look around you or at the calendar.  Is it summer?  Try flip flops to flip over week or bikinis for every body week.  Is it winter?  What about doing a week on cozy coats, booties or how to layer.  Also create your own themes and post pictures for a few days or a week to play up that theme.  And last but definitely not least….
    5. Quotes – Everyone loves a good quote. Did you know that on Facebook and Instagram, quotes get the most likes, comments, shares, tags and reposts more than any other type of photo?  Just think about it.  Quotes can be funny, inspirational, sarcastic or motivational sayings.  A quote can also be something interesting a person of note has said or written.  Try posting a quote photo about once a week and I bet you’ll be surprised at the huge response and interaction you get from it.   A great source of quotes is the internet.  Just google “quotes” and it will return a vast array of websites and actual quotes that you can use.

What to Do Next…

Of course this is just a starting point for you.  There are so many other types of fun and interesting posts you can use on Instagram.  The key is to continue posting on a regular basis.  And if you want to learn some important things you don’t want to do on Instagram, click on the button below to learn the 5 Rookie Mistakes I made that you don’t want to make.  Now get out there and be amazing!

Download FREE Cheat Sheet of “5 Rookie Mistakes that Instaglammers Make”

But before you go, let me ask you something, have you used all 5 of these types of photos on your Instagram account?  Was there one type of photo that you have not tried but want to use?  What is your Instagram handle?  Let me know in the comments and I will follow you.  And if you haven’t already, please follow me on Instagram.  Have a great day!

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