Working from home with children – Plan A

Some days ago I wrote a post about how tired and demotivated I have been feeling because it can be really challenging to work from home with children all day there with you.

Of course, it is wonderful to see your little ones grow and be there for them, play together, have each other’s company but work from home, start a project from zero or make different tasks implies almost the same attention as a child and how to manage both of them together? How to grow them together?

These days I have been driven by my emotional motivation instead of following motivation driven by reason (see my post about this subject).

I feel I have been failing to myself, to my commitments and want to change that. Ten years more can pass and things will not change if I do not and I want to make that change with you by my side ( please share your tips, your ways to succeed too. That can help me and other people that come to this blog). So here it is, my plan A.

PLAN A

> Dedicate a maximum of 3 hours to housework daily

Once a lawyer I knew told me “You know, work from home is really good, but if someday you decide to do it never let the housework take your day. There will be always things to do at home. I had to discipline myself, otherwise, instead of studying my cases and help my clients I would pass the day cleaning, ironing, cooking, sewing. You must see what your priorities are and imagine you are in an office instead of your home”.

She told me this eight years ago and only now I can really understand her words. A more elaborated dish that takes two hours to do (I love cooking); the floor that needs to be clean every day; the clothes to wash and iron, the bathroom I want to see bright and clean every day, etc. All this can take me a whole morning, from 7 a.m. to 11h30 p.m.

Then comes lunch time, tidy kitchen, go out with children to take some fresh air and make some interesting activities with them. Around 5 p.m. time to come back home, prepare dinner, tidy kitchen and children’s room with them; prepare children to sleep around 8 p.m. (and then they take another hour to get asleep – clean teeth, pee, drink milk, listen to the story, talk until finally, they get asleep); talk a while with my husband and around 10 p.m. come and write in the blog, read something, study – maximum two hours because I have no more energy.

This has to change.

From today I will not dedicate more than 2 or 3 hours to housework (in the entire day). I will register the time spent since I start the activities, with the help of a clock, to make this change a habit. It is said that repetition makes a habit, right? I will let you know about my progress.

> Take advantage of children playtime to study or work

Something I have tried just a few times but worked somehow was to read or try to write something, while they were playing.

It works especially well when they are in a playground, outside, but sometimes it also works at home,  if I take my computer to their playroom and sit there with them. They feel they have my company and sometimes I have to empathize with their activities but it is precious time. One or two hours won at the end of the day. Just imagine at the end of the month, it would be between 28 to 56 hours won in a month.

So, why didn’t I try it more often? Because I am not being consistent.

> Listen to motivational speeches

I was never a believer of motivational speeches until the day I started to hear some and even if I hear just one in every six months, I noticed it helps my mood and increases emotional motivation, so I will start to listen one of those speeches, once a week. I accept suggestions, in case you have some references you think can be helpful.

> Make a new plan and have discipline and consistency about it

Nowadays, with so many technologies and task managers apps available in the market, you can bring your plan with you everywhere.

I must admit I am still loving the plans made in paper, handwritten, but then I do not put it always in a visible place and at the end, many tasks are forgotten. I need to exercise consistency and discipline.

My husband shared recently with me an app called Things and I recommend you. It has a plain structure and is very easy to use. You can structure your plans efficiently but you must pay for it, what can be a disadvantage.

However, there are many options for free on the internet. Just write “task management apps for free” in your browser and you will find several options.

Time to go, Mums. Please share your tips, experiences, and opinions. They are valuable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The challenge of making a real plan and have discipline – thinking out loud

Mums,

There are days in which stick to the plan I made and find the discipline to make the dream of working from home come true seem huge tasks.

These last weeks flew between moving to a new apartment, put everything in order again, find a nursery to my oldest son, try to put children sleeping at a decent hour and find again a balance. The last two have been my main challenge.

When I want to come and write I feel so exhausted that at the end I just have the energy to turn on the computer, look at it and fall asleep. Then I wake up because my daughter calls me to breastfeed, I turn the computer off and continue sleeping until one of the children calls me again asking for something else, several times during the night.

I need to make another plan, to find a way to get more energy and find the necessary discipline.

Do you have any idea?

 

 

 

 

How to make money with APPS

Hi, Mums! Today I’m going to tell you about making money with apps (applications).

Some weeks ago I was very enthusiastic about the idea of building an APP for toddlers, thinking in my own children, but I had no idea how could I do it, so I  read How to Make Money as a Smartphone APP Software Developer (previous experience not required), from Gerry Marrs and some articles in the internet and now I am still enthusiastic about the idea, but I also understand it will need some investment in terms of time and money that I’m not ready for, at the moment. Maybe you are and this is your timing!

First steps to create an APP

Think about what kind of application you would like to do.

You should preferably create something that does not exist in the market and that has a useful purpose.

If you have a need and there is no application for that, do it. Other people can have the same needs as you do.

Do It!

After thinking about your idea and making a detailed plan about it, you should do it.

Do something that is compatible with different devices (PC, Mac, Android, iPhones, iPads…). It amplifies the number of customers and you can be more successful. Just remember that your customer might require regular upgrades.

If you do not have any skills as a developer, you have three options.

1) Do it yourself using software to help you (no coding required)

2) Pay somebody to do it

You can use freelancers to make your dream come true. Search them on websites like:

  • Freelancer.com
  • Elance.com (expert people)
  • Fiverr.com (low-cost experts)

In the same websites, you can find someone to make a logotype for your project. It gives it a touch of individuality and helps to build a brand.

Important tips if you opt for contracting a freelancer

  • Do not give the full idea of your project, when you are searching. Just tell you are searching for an expert in app development and a web designer. Select the one you think is the best option.
  • Give a limit of time to finish the project and send the file to you.
  • Use Escrow.com to pay. The person will only be paid when the work is finished.
  • Citing Gerry Marrs, do not offer the sky when negotiating work for your business. With the right app, you stand to make plenty of profits.

3) Collaborate with someone

This can be the least expensive way to create an app.  You must work with someone with some experience in web applications design and usually, you give him/her a commission on the sales made.

Where to sell it

After an app is made you should sell it. You have 3 main platforms where you can sell it:

  1. Google Play –  for androids (one-time fee 25 dollars).
  2. Apple store – for iPhones (99 dollars annually).
  3. Amazon – for androids (the first month is for free and after you pay 39,99 dollars monthly plus additional selling fees).
  4. In your own website.

Advertise and sell

You can also advertise your app in forum communities, social media, discussion groups or make a distribution to targeted clients (imagine I make an app for vets, I can try to go directly to some vet shops and try to sell it directly from my website).

Your family and friends can also give you a hand. You can pay them a commission for each application they sell. They earn and you too.

Finally, if you make business cards, t-shirts, bags or pens with your app name and logotype, it can also help to give you visibility and increase your income.

With all these tips, you can now make money with apps. If you are new here, see also my article about ways to make money online faster.

 

 

 

 

 

SEO – how to improve your website ranking

Hi, Mums! As promised in the last post (definition of CEO and SEO), today I am giving you the basics of SEO and how to improve your website ranking.

As I told you in that post, there are two SEO techniques (Black Hat and White Hat). I will only focus in the White Hat techniques, once they are in accordance with the law and the good practices.

White Hat SEO

  1. On-page techniques = related to the website content
  2. Off-page techniques = content marketing and social media

Let’s deepen each one of these techniques.

On-page techniques

These techniques imply that you focus on your content, which includes:

  • keywords
  • a website with a good design
  • valuable and unique content, with quality
  • no grammatical errors
  • no plagiarism

1) Keywords

This is one of the most impactful for ranking improvement.

You should always write your article around a certain keyword. It is a must to use the keywords in the title, in the first paragraph, preferably in the last paragraph and with a density of 0,5 to 2 percent in the whole article (including at least once in the headings).

It means that, if you write an article with 500 words you can use that keyword between 2,5 and 10 times in the whole article. If you use it more times it can be bad for the ranking too.

Always use it in the URL of your article and in the meta description.

2) Website with a good design

This one is very connected with the good user experience you provide your readers

  • not have many ads;
  • easy navigation system;
  • ease of access to all the pages and posts;
  • use a proper font, easy to read like Times New Roman or Arial and with a size not too big neither too small;
  • provide a good reading experience (small paragraphs with 3 to 4 lines maximum)
  • flexible design, easy to read in the several kinds of devices (laptop, tablet, phone);
  • have the main pages that make the website look professional (see my post about this: about me page, disclaimer page, privacy policy page, contact page). If you do not have these pages, it will affect your SEO ranking considerably. You can even be refused for advertisement.
  • Say no to content barriers (pop-ups, overlays, interstitials…)

3) Good content; no grammatical errors; no plagiarism

Content is the king!

  • To be more successful you should write something that is not already available on the Internet. If it is not possible, then find a unique niche, to make it rank higher in search engines.
  • Always write an original article, free of plagiarism.
  • Never write an article with less than 400 words. Is not good for ranking.
  • Write something that provides value to the reader and makes him/her want to read more.
  • The article must inform people, have quality, be genuine (= valuable content).
  • Use internal links (links on a page or website that lead to another page or post on the same website). They not only tell your readers about other posts on your website, which are relevant to the current post but they also transmit search engines that you are providing a rich user experience. Insert the internal link manually, in order to target keywords. Plugins do not target keywords.
  • Write without grammatical errors. In case you are writing in English and it is not your mother tongue, I recommend you Grammarly (I am using it and it is really helpful).

Off-page techniques

It is a way to tell search engines what people think about your website.

It can be divided into Content Media and Social Media.

Social Media

It is the disclosure of your website on social networks like Facebook or Twitter and it has the finality to increase people participation and let them know about you.

If people know about you and start a mouth to mouth disclosure it can increase your traffic considerably.

You can use images, videos, gifs, quotes and other animations that you think can be relevant for your business and let people participate in surveys about that items. Ask questions to people to find clues about what article you can write next. Infographics also work very well.

Content Media

In this option, you divulge your website without a direct participation of people. You will be the actor, advertising your website in different ways, on other websites.

Article directories

It is very powerful to get you some quality backlinks.

In this method, you write an original article in a directory available on the internet (new, with no plagiarism) that brings a connection to one of your articles (example: you write an article in the directory about how important is to be healthy and ways to be healthy and then you make a link to your article “top 10 recipes to lose weight”).

Guest blogging 

It is writing articles on other websites, with the same niche as yours (in my case I am writing for mums who are willing to become entrepreneurs, so I would write in a blog about entrepreneurship or about mothers).

Is good to make some backlinks from websites of the same niche. For that, you must contact admins of other websites and ask them permission for that. Some charge you for that.

Comments

Make comments with quality and honesty on websites from the same niche as yours and put your link in the comments you make.

Social sharing

Share your website with family and friends or colleagues. It does not increase the ranking but has some power concerning the speed your site can crawl and brings visits to your website.

There are more Seo techniques but these are the most basic mentioned in the several books and articles I have been reading.

What is the difference between CEO and SEO?

Do you know the difference between CEO and SEO, Mums?

I must admit some months ago I didn’t. So, in case you have the same questions I had, here is this article for you.

CEO  – What does it mean?

It means Chief Executive Officer.

What does a CEO do?

A CEO manages the global performance of a company and depending on his decisions he/she can lead it to success or to failure.

A CEO must interact with the several sectors of the company, in order that all are in synchrony, with the best work practices.

He also defines the main missions and purposes of the company, intending to optimize strategies, that bring the business visibility and profits.

The CEO takes decisions about the company’s finances, concerning goals to achieve and the best direction to take to raise the capital.

He is also allowed to contract or dismiss people, being a decisive factor in the general surroundings of a company, making it a good or a bad place to work in.

SEO – What does it mean?

It means Search Engine Optimization.

What is it?

It is a step by step technique, which finality is to bring a website high rankings in various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc, in order to get more traffic.

There are two types of SEO:

  1. White Hat SEO – uses legal and safe techniques, with long-lasting results.
  2. Black Hat SEO – uses unsafe techniques, that are not allowed by most search engines in their policy, in order to increase the ranking faster.

In the next post, I will tell you more about SEO and some techniques, once it deserves his own place, due to the extension of the subject.

Hope this information was useful to you and that now you can make the distinction between both.

 

Make money working online – part 1

Mums, there are many ways to earn money working online.

Some give you money faster. Others take more time but can give you more income.

Since I started to read books and articles on this subject, I found that the Internet is definitely a world of opportunities for everyone. You do not need to be a genius. There is a place for everyone to earn money decently on the Internet, you just need motivation and action.

There are so many ways to do it, that I will have to divide this subject into several posts, once some require a more detailed approach. In this first part I will mention:

Faster Ways to Earn Money Online

Answer Surveys

This will not make you rich, but can definitely help you earning some extra income, depending on the number of surveys and the amount of time you dedicate to do it. You just have to ask answers, connected to the chosen survey.

Sites for advertising surveys:

  1. http://www.lightspeedresearch.com/
  2. www.bzzagent.com (this one offers you products, not money)
  3. www.greenfieldonline.com  (in this one, every time you answer surveys, ask and answer questions considered valuable or play games, you earn points. You can receive that rewards in cash – PayPal – or exchange it for gift cards in several shops, depending on the country you are living in).

Sites that require some analytical abilities:

  1. http://www.hbs.edu/cler/
  2. Esearch 
  3. Paidviewpoint (It works better when you give your friend’s contacts to join their website too and make surveys. Then you earn a percentage of what they make).

Join research groups or research studies

  1. Findfocusgroups.com (just for people that lives in USA)

Human Intelligence Tasking

I just updated this post concerning this subject. When trying to apply personally to use Amazon MTurk I found that only U.S. citizens and people from India are allowed to have a bank transfer. Other people is just allowed to transfer the value earned to an Amazon Gift Card.

  1. Amazon  Mechanical Turk  Allows you to make simple or more elaborated tasks, that machines cannot do. Some are well paid, others don’t. If you are an expert in some specific area that is needed, you may have to answer some questions before being accepted. You can earn some good money, if you dedicate time and the most tasks you finish, the more you earn!

Cons – if you are not a citizen from U.S.A. or from India, you cannot be paid with a transfer of money to your account. You can just see that money in an Amazon gift card and you must declare taxes. 

I am not saying you should not pay taxes, but if you receive the money in a gift card it can be somehow unfair, because you are not given the possibility to spend that money where you want.

Write in blogs or make reviews

This implies you have some talent to write articles or analyze products, but there is a world of options to work online with this kind of job. Here are some sites:

  1. Fiverr
  2. Iwriter.com
  3. Medium Partner Program (You can write your own stories and the more popular they are, the more you can earn. However, it is just profitable if you pay a monthly membership that costs 5 dollars).

Other sites that allow you to make money at the moment

  1. https://payperpost.com/
  2. Academic word
  3. Freelancewritinggigs.com

In most of these sites, in order to receive your income, you need a PayPal account (some allow bank transfer) and a minimum of profit (sometimes 10 dollars), once the transactions can have some costs for the ones that are paying.

Hope I have been helpful and that you can start now, enthusiastically, to increase your income or even working full-time from home.

Do not hesitate to contact me, in case you think that some of the information provided can be wrong or that I can add something else to this post.

 

 

 

 

Discipline

Discipline: the main factor to succeed

According to Yokoi Kenji, a motivational lecturer, with Japanese and Colombian nationality, the main factor that makes Japan the third largest economy of the world is DISCIPLINE.

Japan does not have gold, petrol or natural resources that allow them to export and make money easily, but they have had the discipline and the determination to make/put technology working, selling it around the world (Sony, Nintendo, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi are just some examples).

Here is where we come, Mums. If we want to succeed as CEO, if we want to find a way to work from home or build our own business, we need discipline! Plan our projects, achieve knowledge, work hard and never forget discipline!

Another important way of the Japanese way of thinking about business that can perfectly suit us is that a business is like a baby. It has 20 years to grow and be profitable.

The first 10 years are for put it up and study the best ways to grow it.

The “teen” years is when it starts to bring some income.

Adulthood is the at the top, when if well planned, it will bring results that will feed you and all your family.

I am not saying it will take you or me 20 years to be successful, just that we must not give up towards the first obstacles if our business does not give fruits after some months.

Be perseverant and try to understand if you are applying the best technics or methodologies, as you do when you are growing a child.

Remember, “There are no peaks, without valleys”.

What is discipline?

According to Yokoi Kenji, it is necessary to surpass 3 steps in order to achieve discipline:

  1. Tidying
  2. Cleaning
  3. Be punctual

Tidying

We must have our home and our work environment tidied in a way that everything has its own place (the keys are always put in the same place to avoid forget it and lose time; the shoes can be in a furniture near the entrance; the documents must have a specific archive, placed in a specific cage, etc).

In Latin America, they have a saying:” have your house tidied as if it belonged to a blind man”, so you avoid stress and losing time when looking for your belongings. Remember that “time is money”.

2. Cleaning

In Yokoi Kenji point of view, cleaning means not only to remove dust but also throw away things you do not use. Japan apartments are very small, so every 6 months, there is the habit to throw away things you do not use.

Do not attach yourself to objects by the value of esteem or you will end up having too many things, that occupy space and time to clean/tidy.

3. Be punctual

This is the last stage to reach if you want to achieve discipline. You not only need to be tidy and clean, but it is essential to be punctual in every single moment of your life: in meetings, when making plans and so on.

Only then, when surpassing every one of this stages, we will be capable of achieving discipline and, consequently, success.

Related posts: From Mum to CEO-planning the first steps

Building up the blog – part 2: About Me page

Today I went with my toddlers to a playground and that allowed me to read more on Kindle, while they enjoyed the sun. It was an almost epic moment. I could even take some notes.

In the book entitled Make Money Blogging, from T.R.Castle, the author reinforces the importance of an About Me page and some pages forward, when writing about content, mentions the importance of using images to captivate readers.

Joining that two ideas, I thought it could be interesting to have an About Me page with some kind of catchy image, but I needed to transform this vague concept into a defined structure:

  1. It was necessary to make a search to know what are the main subjects in an About Me page.
  2. Put the ideas together and write a text.
  3. Use an appropriate image.

– Oh no!  can you just wait for a second?

… It was not a second, I know. It was around two hours I kept you waiting, Mums. I am really sorry, but I am sure you understand. Do you want to know what came next? I am sure you are probably guessing…

Oh, yes. Lunchtime and all the mess around it. Wash hands, warm food already made in the early morning, sit and eat, talk a while, wash dishes, tidy all, go to the bathroom, wash the hands, clean teeth, play a while together and finally…


Main topics in an About Me page (for bloggers)

  • Tell who you are, what do you do and why are you doing it.
  • Be sincere and unique.
  • Post an image or video that helps to shape more the image of who you are.
  • Share some of your values and/or preferences.
  • If you are selling some product, describe it clearly, telling what makes it special.
  • Know your audience, so they can choose your blog/ product instead of others.
  • Write something that grabs the attention and makes you likeable, pointing out some aspects that can create some empathy with your audience, since the beginning.

Do you want to see how I made my About page, at the end? Just click here: https://mum.ceo/about-me/

 What do you think?

 

Building up the blog:required pages to improve Seo ranking

Hi, Mums!

Hope you started to think about planning your way to success, that we talked about in the last post (Mum.CEO: planning the first step) .

I am still building up the blog and thinking about what pages should I put on it.

According to the author John Slavio, in his book SEO : step-by-step beginners’ guide to dominate the first pages using Google Analytics, Adwords, etc  ( that I read avidly) , if you want to be professional, you must have all the required pages mentioned below, in order to get the attention of Google or other search engines like Bin or Yahoo.

And how can I get to you, if we do not know each other already? I probably should listen to his advice.

Required pages in a website in order to achieve a higher ranking in search engines

•About Page

•Disclaimer Page

•Terms of Service Page

•Privacy Policy Page

•Contact Page

Now, let’s see what is exactly each one of them.

About Page

It is a kind of ID about you and the purpose of your website. It must be honest and also have a minimum of creativity, once it is the second most seen page in a website, according to the statistics.

Disclaimer Page

It defines the limits , protecting the owner or the publisher of the website from any malicious attempt concerning subjects like defamation or copyright infringement.

In case you want to write a Disclaimer but do not know how, there are several Disclaimer generators for free in the web, like disclaimergenerator.net.

Terms of Service Page

It is a page where you define the rules, terms and guidelines of your website.

There are also some generators , like termsandconditiionssimple.com, that save you so much time.

Privacy Policy Page

It lets  the readers know that every information they provide you is protected and will not be exposed or used maliciously.

For more information and tips go to freepricacypolicy.com

Contact Page

As the name suggests is here that you provide your contacts to the reader. Some put that information inside the About Page.

Hope this information was useful to you. It is true that in other blogs you can find this information more detailed, but the intention here is to simplify it and make it “ clear as water”, in order that beginners can understand it.

Please let me know if you think some information is not correct or that it can be improved.

 

Mum.CEO: planning the first step

Mums, this is the first step in our blog.

Before writing the article I had so many questions, especially because I did not know where to start from. Should I tell you about things randomly or with an order? Should I start talking about the blog and the way it was built or let it to another post?

In the end, I took the decision to start from the very beginning: to become a CEO we need motivation, discipline, constancy and we also need a plan, something that allows us to pass from theory to action.

Let’s see each one together.

Motivation

Is the reason behind people’s action and there are two types. The motivation driven by emotions (e.g. you want to win the local marathon and feel very enthusiastic about it) and the motivation driven by the reason ( this one implies that you use your brain, not your feelings, to keep going , through constance and discipline. Following the example done, you  must exercise your body daily and know the rules, in order to have more possibilities to win the marathon).

According to Michael Stawicki, the author of  The Art of Persistence, “ when you depend on emotion to carry you through, you are bound to fail(…)Reason-powered motivation is your internal compass, always pointing you north. It’s the real reason for starting and continuing a discipline” and is the one that can lead you to real results.

Discipline and constancy

Even if they come tied to motivation, they are the bridge between it and the results. The more consistent you are in what you propose yourself to do, the better results you will find. But consistency also implies a big amount of discipline.

For example, I am now starting my blog. I am full of motivation, but if I go sleeping instead of reading books or writing a post every night as I proposed myself, I am not using self-discipline to achieve constancy and, consequently, results.

Make a plan

When I was a teacher, I had to make a long-term planning, a medium-term planning and a short-term planning of the lessons.

In the long-term planning, I had to write what subjects I was going to teach from September until June. In the middle-term, I had to plan it weekly and in the short-term planning, I had to write the daily lessons, with all the subjects and exercises done that day.

It was challenging when starting, but in the end, classes flued in a more natural and organized way.

So, if you want to start a project you need to plan, firstly something more generic. Make a Brainstorm and a draft with the ideas you got.

For example, do you want to make videos on Youtube? What is the main idea for your project? What material will you need to record and edit videos? How much time would you need to start?

After that, make a short-time planning. Following the same example, imagine you are going to make videos teaching how to do crafts for children. You need to plan every single video, write the dialogs, the order of the events in the video if you will add some music or special effects.

Apart from that, if you are a beginner like me, you will need to read a lot, to achieve knowledge.
If you are willing to do it,  I recommend you to read Master Your Time in 10 Minutes a Day, also from Michal Stawicki. It really helped me to give a big step in terms of organizing my time.

Mums, time to go.

Keep reading and send comments, in order we all can improve and follow this path with success and together.