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12 Must-Have Tools for Successful Blogging

Welcome to the #WAHMhop event! I’ve partnered with a bunch of my favorite bloggers to share tips and tricks to help anyone out there who’s interested in starting their own business, or making money from home, get a jump start to success!

So, I’m not an expert, but I’ve been blogging for over 4 years, and have been pretty successful. So, I want to share my tips with you guys, in the hopes they may help you too!

12 Must-Have Tools for Successful Blogging

1. Business Plan: Every business must have a plan. Because if you don’t know where you want to be, how will you know how to get there? I have seen many friends start small businesses, of many kinds, that failed. Not because they didn’t have amazing ideas, talent, or work ethic – but because they didn’t have a plan. There’s a great article I refer to each year from Problogger – How to Make a Blogging Business Plan. It has some great questions to consider. Myself personally, here’s what I do: Answer these questions, each year, because your focus does sometimes change. Think about where you want to be in a year. Make 3 big goals. Then break those down into one goal per month. Then each month I write down 3 steps to reach that goal. It makes it all more doable, helps you focus your energy and time, and keeps you on track. This is how I reached a full time income within one year of blogging. You CAN do it, if you plan wisely :) [Read more…]


How I Quadrupled My Blog Traffic in 2013

“I don’t want to go viral – I want to set hearts on fire!” – Coco J. Ginger When working on the web, having something you’ve created “go viral” is kind of like winning the lottery – most of it is luck, but you have more chances at getting lucky the more you play. And in 2013, I got lucky – An old post I’d written over a year before, explaining how I used the web to earn money from home after losing my job, went viral on Pinterest. {See it here: 10 Ways to Earn Money from Home.} I had no idea how powerful Pinterest could be until then, and have no idea still who pinned it to make it take off so well. But, while after 7 months of consistent pageviews, it’s settled back down again, it definitely showed me why it’s important to create good content – you never know what someone will find in your archives and fall in love with! So, as we roll into 2014, I took a hard look at my statistics in Google Analytics, to determine just what worked well this year, what didn’t, and how to hopefully double my traffic again in this new year!

How I quadrupled my blog pageviews this year! [Read more…]


Bloggertunities: Good Reads & Resources to Rock Your Blog

This post contains some affiliate links that help to support this site. But I only share and recommend things I use myself and love. Pinky promise.

Blogging Opportunities and Resources

I’ve got a new list of goodies for you ladies – tips and tricks, good reads and resources, opps and networks, and more. Hope you find some helpful stuff – if so, be sure to pin it to refer to later, and share it with your other bloggy buddies. Sharing is caring, right? :) And if you have any events of your own you’re looking for help with – giveaways to join, linkys looking for more linkers, opps you’re looking for more applicants to – feel free to leave the info in the comments section. I try to tweet those out all week for you guys too. Have a great week! [Read more…]


The Pain of Working from Home

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Osteopathic Association for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Being able to have a job that I love, that also allows me to be here at home every day with my little girl, is an amazing thing. I woudn’t trade it for the world. But, there are a lot of “pains” that come along with the awesome parts….

The Pain of Working from Home

Some of the pains I deal with are due to the unpredictability of working online – things like an income that varies greatly from month to month, changes in social media or search results that can impact my traffic, and just keeping up with the ever-changing world of the web. There is also the pain of trying to balance both of my important jobs each day – the job of running and growing my online businesses, and the job of being a mom. But, there’s one pain that some of you probably share with me – the type of chronic pain that stops you from being able to live your life the way you’d like to. [Read more…]


7 Time Management Tips for Busy Moms

time management

“You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.” – Doc Childre

Ah…. Time management. It is one of the biggest challenges to mothers everywhere – and it is especially challenging when you’re a work at home mom. Balancing work tasks, home tasks, and time spent with your family {because that was the whole point of working from home right? Spending more time with your family?} – It’s a difficult balancing act. With a million different things to do and places to be – but only ONE you, and still only 24 hours in each day, you’ve got to grab a hold of your time, and make it work for you! So, here are a few great tips, tools, and resources – gathered up from some of my favorite mom bloggers – to help YOU simplify life and save time each day:

  1. 5 Ways to Better Manage My Time: These are awesome tips – some of the same things that I’ve been working on myself. My favorite is #5 – so important, but it’s something most of us neglect to do.
  2. How $3.64 Makes Me A Better Blogger…And A Better Mom: Learn how spending this small amount on a simple tool has seriously boosted this moms productivity levels!
  3. Time Management Tool Shows You Where Your Time Really Goes: I love this tool – it’s free, super simple to use, and then gives you a really awesome graphic that shows you exactly where all of your time goes each day. You might be really surprised when you see it all added up!
  4. WAHM – How do you organize: This has some awesome tips on using online tools to stay organized – I love it! {Totally and completely love the spreadsheet she offers too – get it free!}
  5. WorkFlowy, the Key to getting Organized, for a Blogger or Forgetful Women over 45 or Anyone: I’ve been wanting to learn how this site works – and love her simple explanation for getting started – Looks really cool!
  6. How gCal Helps You Stay on Track: I love how this tool makes it super easy to sync everyone’s schedules – whether it’s family, or business teams. You can access it from any device – laptop, work computer, smart phone…. This is super helpful for me!
  7. Printable Planners: While I totally rely on my online tools and calendar, I also totally need paper and pen style organizing. I use a binder system for most of my organizing – I have one for homemaking, bills and financials, and my blog. You can find a big resource of my favorite printables for organizing here.

Do you have a great post that shares YOUR favorite time management tips? If so, leave a link in the comments so I can check it out too – I’m always looking for new tips to help me simplify and stay on track. Find a new favorite on this list? Let me know which post you liked best!

My Time Management Crisis in Poorly Drawn Graphics…. This explains my problem perfectly, lol.


Mom Entrepreneurs Rock: Get the Best Guide to Being Your Own Boss

The barefoot executive, book, business book,

“The only thing that ever sat its way to success was a hen.” – Sarah Brown

Love that quote. And I love this book. If you’ve never heard of Carrie Wilkerson before, let me tell you – she is not a hen. This woman is a total firecracker. And it’s amazing how well she puts her personality and high energy into written words on the pages of this book. It’s so easy to read – and you feel totally motivated every time you get through another chapter. This is rockstar stuff here, ladies.

“None of us can change our yesterdays but all of us can change our tomorrows.” – Colin Powell

I would have loved to have come across Carrie’s book a year ago, when I was making my big life changes. Most of you know my story of how I went from a high-paid position in Retail Management to an unemployed new mom – It was pretty stressful stuff. I had no job, it was a totally crummy economy, I was a totally unprepared new momma, and still a full-time online student. Those factors all combined to make finding a new job really difficult. Plus – I had unexpectedly lost a great job that I loved just a few years before that too. It was a new branch of a fast-growing online sales company, and I was one of the companies top sales people. Then one day they said – “Grab your purses and coats, and you can come back in two days to get a box with the things from your desk. We’re closing the site immediately.” And just like that, I was unemployed. Total shock. So now that this was my second unexpected job loss in less than 5 years, I realized that having a “safe” job just wasn’t really all that safe anymore. It was time for me to find a new plan….

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen R. Covey

I realized that just like Carrie talks about in her book – now that I was a mom, my priorities had shifted dramatically. It no longer seemed so important to be putting in those long hours, hoping for that next advancement – store manager, then regional, and more… No, what mattered most to me now – more than money, or titles, or recognition – was flexibility. I wanted the ability to raise my baby myself, and stop worrying about finding a safe and reliable daycare facility. I wanted to be a part of family functions again. I didn’t want to miss the birthdays, and holidays, and school events that I’d been missing due to always having to work. I had no tech knowledge, but was studying for a Marketing Degree – so I decided to jump into the world of blogging, freelance writing, and social media, and see what I could do. If you’re in that same early stage, this book will save you countless hours  – The Barefoot Executive is packed with amazing steps to help you figure it all out. If you’ve already started your journey, and are in the process of building a business of any type for yourself, this book will help YOU too!

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that. The really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

Carrie’s spark and enthusiasm for helping others achieve their dreams comes though loud and clear in her book. One of my favorite sayings in business has always been – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – and it’s so true! Over 30% of new businesses fail before they reach their second year, and most of that is not because they didn’t have a great idea, or because they didn’t work hard enough – it’s because they didn’t have a plan! It’s the whole, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” idea – and Carrie is going to walk you through the steps on how to do that as you read through this book. She covers the basics in a really powerful way –

  1. Who: Are you? What are you good at? What skills, education, and experience do you have? {Never worked? Doesn’t matter. As a best friend, a sister, a daughter, a mother, or a wife – you’ve gained skills. This book helps you figure out what YOU can do better than anyone else.}
  2. What: Best suits you? What types of work are you most successful with? Detail or number oriented? People person? She’ll help you figure out what you do best.
  3. Why: Do are you doing it? Why is this important to you? Why is this your passion? You’ll need to hang on tight to that when your working so many hours, to remember what your building towards.
  4. Where: Do you want to go? What goals do you want to reach? What does your ideal future look like?

How are you going to get to your dreams if you don’t have a clear picture of what they are and why you want them, right?

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann von Goethe

This is more than just a motivating book – although it will leave you feelin’ pumped. This is more than a self-help book – although it will help you realize so many new things about yourself. Where this book really gets set apart from all the other books I’ve read to help me build my business, is that it includes action. Once Carrie does more than just help you figure out who you are and what you want – She also helps you get there. She gives you tips on how to stay focused and ignore distractions. How to find support. She breaks it into actionable steps for you – Why to start a business. How to start it. And how to make it work for YOU.

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” – Spanish Proverb

Don’t put it off until you “have time” – We’re all incredibly busy women, and none of us is ever going to get “more time”, lol. Get this book today. Order it right now, and when it arrives on your doorstep, take it out and get started. You will be so glad that you did. Get Carrie’s book on – The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom. It is going to knock your socks off ladies. Guaranteed.

Want More: Connect with Carrie on Facebook and Twitter, or check out some video clips of her speaking events on her site too!

{Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from – so that I could share an honest opinion of it with you great ladies. All opinions, & overuse of exclamation points, are 100% my own – this book rocks.}