This post is as continuation of the cross blog conversation that I’m having with Marya Mesa of SunCoastMomma.com. We’re talking about balancing families, our online businesses, illness and everything in between. You can read the first post here.
In the last post, Marya talked about the whole work/life balance situation and how she handles that. Then she asked me:
“Alicia, how are you earning money from your online businesses? I know you have a few things going on. Do you have any helpful advice to women who are beginning to consider how they might be able to work at home?”
This is a two-part question, so I’ll start with the first half. I earn money in my businesses in a couple of different ways. One of the first things I learned when starting out online was to have more than one income stream. Some of mine are a bit more passive and some are things that I constantly put work into.
Here are my income streams:
In my VA business, I provide general transcription and proofreading services to coaches, marketers and those in the health and wellness industry. This one is pretty cut and dry. I provide them with a service and they pay me for it.
Products and Programs
I have created several digital products that are housed at newVAadvice.com, such as ebooks, ecourses, audio trainings, self-study and “live” programs. For most of these, I did the work once, but the products continue to bring in income. I do make time to market these products and revise them to keep them updated.
I offer one-on-one coaching sessions via email and phone, and will most likely be adding a group program in 2015.
The moment I learned about affiliate marketing, I fell in love with it. This is an income stream for me in both of my businesses. I recommend programs, products and resources that I trust to my clients and audience. If they purchase one of these items through the affiliate link that I provide, I receive a commission. I recommend affiliate products on social media, in my blog posts and within my own products and courses.
Those are my main sources of income. Again, I learned to diversify my income streams early on and I highly recommend that to anyone working online. It allows you more freedom when you know income is coming in from different sources.
The second part of the question was about advice for women who were considering working from home. I feel like I could talk about this subject forever! But I’ll keep it to some main points.
Make a list
First and foremost, I always recommend that women make a list of all of their skills, whether they were learned through school, work or life. Out of that list, note the things that you love doing and the ones you don’t really care for.
Focus only on the things that you enjoy doing and research how to turn that into something you could do from home. For example, let’s say that you’re good at bookkeeping, but you don’t enjoy it and numbers drive you a bit crazy. Then don’t consider adding that to a list of services in your service-based business. You won’t enjoy your work and you’ll start to resent your clients.
Watch for scams
Unfortunately, scams are anywhere and everywhere when it comes to researching working from home. If you find a website advertising something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look into every avenue in detail before making your decision and search for reviews on a particular site or product before moving forward with it. Click here, and also here, for good resources on recognizing scams.
Don’t quit your day job
This is something that I talk to women about all the time. If you currently have a full-time job that is a main source of income for you, but you’d love to quit there and work for yourself, don’t do that just yet! Going out on your own is a big risk and it should be done strategically.
Instead, start working on your home business part time and bringing in some income with that before you give your notice at your full-time job. You don’t want to put yourself or your family in a stressful financial situation. With some planning, leaving your full-time job can be possible for you.
Lastly, get support with your new endeavor. Find a mentor or a coach. Search for online and offline groups and communities of like-minded people who know what it’s like to work for themselves. As exciting as it is to think about working for yourself, sometimes it’s downright scary. It’s good to know that you have people you can turn to when you need an encouraging word, a kick in the butt to get moving or an inspirational chat.
Those are my biggest tips if you’re considering working from home. I want to thank Marya for having this cross blog conversation with me. Our goal was to give you a little insight into our work-at-home lives in order to help you along your journey.
Do you have questions or anything to add to the conversation? Leave it in the comments box below!