Online Business

My Goals for 2016 as an Amazon Author, Blogger, & Work at Home Mom

Waking up at 4:30am and publishing another book are just some of my goals for 2016 as an Amazon author, blogger, and work at home mom.

Interested in starting a blog and making money from home? I earned my first $200 within 3 months of starting Frugal on the Prairie then went on to earn a full-time income from home about 6 months later! If you're ready to get started, I have a step-by-step tutorial for setting up your domain and hosting here, which can be a headache to figure out by yourself if you've never done it before! I also highly recommend and use Bluehost for my hosting! (<---That's an affiliate link but girl, I never recommend something I don't love or use ;) 


Here are my goals for 2016, just in time for...February? Perhaps I'm a little late in getting these up but trust me, I'm already working hard on them. Goal setting is such a key step in accomplishing your most important projects of the year. Listing them in your mind just isn't enough. I wrote about plenty of reasons people never reach their goals but I'm determined to make sure they don't apply to me this year. Putting them on a public blog for everyone to hold me accountable will help me stay focused and on track to success.

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Let's make 2016 awesome!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclaimer for more information. 

My Amazon Author Goals for 2016

Publish another book by August 1, 2016 I am beyond relieved and ecstatic about the results from my first book, The Beginner's Guide to Budgeting. But my friends, I am not done!

I have caught the serious author bug and will be working on another project this year. And yes, I'm aware that August 1 is more than enough time to get a book published on Amazon but my family and I are having an insane year of travel and work schedules in 2016. Publishing by August means I can enjoy my year without getting too overwhelmed.

Read Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker So I read this some time ago when my friend Emily (My Love for Words blog) suggested it. I feel like I need to go over it again in preparation for my book.

My Blogger Goals for 2016

Post 3 times/week, every single week Last year's schedule got out of hand with my ebook and impromptu family trips getting in the way of posting. This year I intend to be more consistent on the blog. 

Schedules post at least 2 weeks in advanceMy family and I are traveling a ton this year and I really need to work ahead so I don't let you wonderful readers down. :)

Interlink all posts I want to make it easier for my readers to find related posts to their favorite content. I've interlinked maybe 50% of my posts so this shouldn't take me too long.

Increase page views by 30% What would my goals be if I didn't add some percentages in there? Page views aren't everything but it tells me that my content is reaching even more people and that means a lot to me. 

Increase subscriber and social media by 30% A good social media following certainly helps when you're publishing books and trying to build an at-home business. 

My Work at Home Mom Goals for 2016

Ban electronics during certain hours of the day Staying connected is important for my business but I need to take a break from my electronics on a personal level. If I have certain hours of the day that I'm "allowed" to check my phone or get on my laptop, I know I'll really look at the things that interest me and pay less attention to all the "noise." Am I the only one who feels over-connected all the time?

Wake up at 4:30am every weekday morning Right now I get up at 5 and that used to work wonders! But my son just keeps getting up earlier and earlier and I need to squeeze in more work time if I'm ever going to accomplish my goals.

What are your 2016 goals? I'd love to hear them! 

The Stay at Home Mom's Guide to Working That Side Hustle

Ready to juggle parenting, housework, and working at home? I've got some tips to help all you stay at home mom's rock that side hustle!

Interested in starting a blog and making money from home? I earned my first $200 within 3 months of starting Frugal on the Prairie then went on to earn a full-time income from home about 6 months later! If you're ready to get started, I have a step-by-step tutorial for setting up your domain and hosting here, which can be a headache to figure out by yourself if you've never done it before! I also highly recommend and use Bluehost for my hosting! (<---That's an affiliate link but girl, I never recommend something I don't love or use ;) 


It's no secret that the daily life of a stay at home mom is hard yet incredibly beautiful. We change more diapers that we ever thought we would, but are also able to do what we love by staying home with our littles. Whether you stay at home, work full time, are married, single, dating, have children, or don't have children, there are learning curves to every monumental  change in life. Making the transition from working full time outside of the home to staying at home certainly has its learning curve. This post is no judgment or statement on what you should or shouldn't be doing. I'm a firm believer that you should always do what feels right for you!

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I've been working since I was 15 and as odd as it may sound, I just love work! I'm constantly thinking of ways I can learn, grow my business, and financially contribute to my family.

When my son was born, we were blessed with the opportunity for me to stay at home with him. He is my absolute, number one priority. But once I got a handle on my daily SAHM schedule, I started to miss working and decided to try some money making ideas on the side.

Over time, I've had a lot of success with these ventures. It takes some hard work and mistakes, but here are the ways I've survived and thrived at side hustling.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Tips for SAHM's Working a Side Hustle

Take Care of Yourself

First and foremost, you need to make sure you're ready to take on the task of working a side hustle in addition to all of the other duties of being a stay at home mom. Are you finding enough time to eat a proper meal? Shower? Clean your home? Workout? Have some "me" time?

Take care of you before you take care of your side hustling or you'll burn out.

Wake Up Early

For the record, I was not born an early bird. I was a night owl for many years, but as a parent I just didn't have any energy left at the end of the day to put my best work-foot forward.

If you really want to rock your side hustle, you need to make time a priority! There's a meme floating around Instagram that says, "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce." This always makes me laugh but it's true!

I wake up no later than 5am every single morning and I've seen significant growth in my business productivity. I stay at home for a reason and I like to spend as much time away from the computer and bonding withmy son. This means I need to be working long before he wakes up for the day.

If you're looking for inspirational stories and advice, I highly recommend Hal Elrod's The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) and Laura Vanderkam's What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.

Brainstorm and Start Hustling!

What do you love? What are you good at? What kind of side hustle do you want to start?

I highly, highly recommend Ultimate Resource Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Mystery Shopping and Other Side Hustlesby Kristin Larsen if you're really interested in mystery shopping, panel studies, analytical studies (providing your internet search history for research) or cell phone app surveys.

She goes into detail about different types of side hustles, how you can get started, and who you should contact! That is a major bonus because there are so many questionable sites out there.

Kristin has over 15 years of experience as a mystery shopper and has also worked with many other types of side hustles. She spills all her secrets in her book and I can't stop going on about how great it is! She's a good friend of mine and was kind enough to share a FREE CHAPTER for all of you. You can download it here and then hop on over to buy it here.

Honestly, there are so many side hustle options.

 

Personally I started my side hustle experience on Elance (now known as Upwork) working assignments like ghost writer, social media manager, virtual assistant, and many others. If the job felt right and the price was enough, I applied! Once I gained more experience I started applying for higher paying positions and eventually started my own freelance business as a virtual assistant.

Protect Your Personal Information

There are some fantastic opportunities out there to really kick up some dust with your side hustle. And then there are other, riskier opportunities.

For example, are you working with someone who requires some form of tax identification? Are you comfortable handing out your social security number?

If you're just starting your side hustle ventures, you can apply for an Employer's Identification Number (EIN) to hand out to anyone who requires tax identification. This number can be used to file your taxes. You can read more about it here.

A quick note about taxes: Depending on the country you live in and how much you make in a year, you will need to keep track of your income to see if you need to file taxes. For example, here in the U.S. you need to file taxes if your net earnings were $400 or more. You may not expect to make that much but you should always plan for success!

*I am not an accountant so please consult with a professional concerning your side hustle/tax concerns.

Open a Separate Account for Your Income

Open a bank account for all of your side hustle income before you receive a penny. It doesn't have to be a fancy account with any bells or whistles. Using a free checking account with your personal name will work just fine.

It's hard to tell what will happen in the future and I hope you never have to be audited. But if you are, having your personal and business cash flows separate will certainly make things a little more organized.

Ways to Get Your Name Out There

The secret (or not so secret) about working a side hustle is that the work does not come to you. You are essentially running your own small business and you need to go out there to find work. That is the beauty and the irritating thing about this kind of job. There is no 9-5 boss with a list of to-do's for you and a check at the end of the month. Your success or failure is directly related to the hard work you put into it.

Here are some of the ways, you can spread the word.

  • Word of mouth
  • Facebook mom groups
  • Facebook posts on your personal page (Be careful about becoming spammy though!)
  • Bumper sticker
  • For writers/virtual assistants: Offer free services to other successful bloggers/businesses for a trial period. Impress them with your incredible talents and ask them to refer you to others or even hire you at the end!
  • Hand out business cards or flyers to your local businesses or public libraries
  • Cold call/email anyone you know may be interested in your services

Keep Track of EVERYTHING

Side hustles can involve a surprising amount of money. Perhaps it's thriving much more than you anticipated. If there's one thing you should take away from this post it's that you need to record every single penny. If you earn $10 from a small job, record it. If you spend $3 on office supplies (used exclusively for your work, of course), record it.

Your side hustle may turn into a large undertaking and you don't want to let a single cent slip through the cracks. My very first check from a side hustle was less than $30. Fast forward to now- I just recently publishedThe Beginner's Guide to Budgeting and it became an Amazon Bestseller! You never know where this path is going to take you.

Don't Forget Your Taxes

I started my little side hustles thinking I would bring in a small handful of "fun money" every month. One opportunity led to another and eventually I needed to take taxes into consideration. Don't let April sneak up on you with a large tax bill. A good idea is to start by setting aside 30% of your earnings per month.

Conclusion

Last, but not least, side hustling can be a lot of fun but it can also be a little draining. Be sure to constantly reevaluate if your current jobs or opportunities are stressing you out or helping you thrive.

Plans may or may not work out and that's okay. Just remember to always pursue the passions that work best for you and your family!

Kindle Book Launch Success Story: Downloads Report

"The Beginner's Guide to Budgeting" was a success and I'm sharing my Kindle Book Launch Success Story & Downloads Report on the blog today!

Interested in starting a blog and making money from home? I earned my first $200 within 3 months of starting Frugal on the Prairie then went on to earn a full-time income from home about 6 months later! If you're ready to get started, I have a step-by-step tutorial for setting up your domain and hosting here, which can be a headache to figure out by yourself if you've never done it before! I also highly recommend and use Bluehost for my hosting! (<---That's an affiliate link but girl, I never recommend something I don't love or use ;) 


I just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your support during the Kindle Free Download promotion for my book, The Beginner's Guide to Budgeting! (BTW, I would love to see your review here if you downloaded it!) This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclaimer for more information. 

Kindle Free Promotion Downloads Report

If you missed it, my official Book Launch was December 30, 2015 and I ran a Free Kindle Download Promotion from December 30-January 3. The success far outweighed my expectations and I am on Cloud 9. To recap, the book became:

  • #1 in Budgeting - Business & Money (!!!!!!!)
  • #1 in Education & Reference - Kindle Short Reads
  • #1 in Finance - Education & Teaching
  • #1 in Funding - Education & Teaching
  • #2 in Business & Money - Kindle Short Reads
  • #80 in the ENTIRE Free section in the Kindle Store (It jumped from #2,202 to 80. Wow!)
"The Beginner's Guide to Budgeting" was a success and I'm sharing my Kindle Book Launch Success Story & Downloads Report on the blog today!

My goal was to see 100 downloads on the first day and your support made that number skyrocket:

  • 1,369 downloads on Day 1
  • 1,724 - Day 2
  • 999 - Day 3
  • 1,601 - Day 4
  • 1,358 - Day 5

THAT'S 7,051 TOTAL DOWNLOADS!!!!

"The Beginner's Guide to Budgeting" was a success and I'm sharing my Kindle Book Launch Success Story & Downloads Report on the blog today!

This could not have happened without your support! Each download helped my book climb to the top and I am forever grateful. Thank you for making my dream come true!

Note: I took a Udemy course by Nick Loper called Kindle Launch Plan: $1400 in 30 Days & an Amazon Bestsellerand followed his instructions closelyI HIGHLY recommend it if you've never published on Amazon before, or even if you've published but are looking for a better strategy. I'm not affiliated with Udemy in any way and don't receive any compensation for saying this.