• 25+ Mompreneur gifts that won’t break the bank

    More and more moms are starting their own businesses from home. We like to get a sense that we are contributing to our household, too. On top of that, we’re still doing our “regular” mom duties, too-cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, etc. 

    Working from home can be a very rewarding venture to tackle. With the holidays coming around, you may find yourself wondering, what DO you get an entrepreneur that’s built their own home business? This post will give you some ideas for gifts you can give to that hard-working mompreneur, because we all know she deserves something nice. 

    As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

    gift ideas for the work from home mom

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    Home Office Decor

    • Plants. Plants are a great way to stay zen and add a cute factor! 
    • Signs. Because who doesn’t love a cute little saying on the wall?
    • Relaxation. Sometimes you need something to help you refocus.
    • Wall display & organizer. A modern alternative to a corkboard.

    Desk Decor

    It’s all business

    These products may not be a necessity, but I know as a mom who was just starting my own business, I could have used a lot of help with these start-up costs. 

    social media marketing guide

    Just for Mom

    • Coffee mug. Because every momma runs on coffee (or tea).
    • Bath bomb. At the end of the day, you just need to unwind and destress.
    • Aromatherapy. Essential oils are a great way to ease your mind and keep your environment calm.
    • Meal Planning bundle. Recipes, shopping lists, and more!
    • Cleaning/maid service. Most working moms are working and caring for their kids for most of the day, they don’t have much time to clean.
    • Nanny/babysitter. A great way to give mom a “day off”!
    • Subscription service. Pick one – Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.
    25+ mompreneur gifts

    Personal Development/Business Books

    This list is just a start of some great ideas and stocking stuffers for your favorite mompreneur! Ask her about her business and get her the perfect gift that keeps on giving.

    Did I miss the perfect gift? Leave a comment and tell me what that is!



  • Pinterest advice from a Pinterest Strategist

    I was a fan of Pinterest ever since you had to be invited to use the platform. (Yes this was a thing!) I spent hours in the night scrolling and scrolling. I seriously thought it was the best invention, ever! Then I got a job teaching, and I bet you can guess what happened next! Pinterest was definitely my best friend for the next 4 years. We were INSEPARABLE.

    Fast forward to starting my own VA business. I couldn’t really decide what to do or how to provide my knowledge to people. I saw people specializing in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.. but I didn’t have a desire to. Then I remembered Pinterest and how much I loved it! I didn’t see many people who offered ‘Pinterest’ as a service. So I made it my mission to learn everything about the platform so that I can help others!

    I have studied Pinterest and SEO and have worked hard to get where I am. Currently, I rank #1 in a Pinterest search for Pinterest Manager, and #2 in a Pinterest search for Pinterest strategist!

    pinterest manager
    pinterest strategist

    Pinterest is a very under-utilized marketing platform. It is not just a place to get recipes. Did you know that:

    • 79% of Pinterest users are Female
    • 88% of people have purchased a product they have pinned
    • 49% have purchased 5 or more products they’ve pinned
    • There are more than 300 million Pinterest users every month

    When people hear the words ‘social media marketing’ they don’t usually think of Pinterest first.  But, to tell you the truth, Pinterest is marketing’s best-kept secret!

    pinterest tips and advice from a pinterest strategist

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    What Pinterest is:

    • A visual search engine
    • An organic traffic-driver
    • An excellent place to get ideas, tips, advice
    • A place to make money
    • A great place to advertise your business
    • A long-term marketing ‘investment’

    What Pinterest isn’t:

    • A social media platform
    • A quick-fix 
    • A marketing solution for every business (but can be for most!)

    Learn more about this untapped marketing platform using these resources:

    Blog posts

    Top 5 reasons businesses aren’t marketing on Pinterest – and why they should be

    How to create (or convert to) a Pinterest Business Account

    How Pinterest audits can change your business (for the better)

    SEO tips to optimize Pinterest

    Are you making these 9 Pinterest mistakes? (Fix them for a free Pinterest boost!)

    Almost everything there is to know about Pinterest pins

    Why I’m not worried about my Pinterest views declining

    Freebies

    Pinterest marketing Facebook Group

    SEO tips guide

    Free month of Tailwind (with a Plus subscription)

    Pin templates

    Resources & tools

    Pinterest step-by-step course

    Pin templates

    DIY audit

    Social media marketing guide

    Weekly newsletter

    Services

    Pinterest business profile set-up

    Tailwind set-up

    Pinterest audits

    Pinterest management

    Social media graphics

  • September Income Report

    September was my one-year Blogiversary! EEK. I have been blogging for a whole year. And while it has not been an easy road, it is exciting and I feel like I’m learning so much along the way. I haven’t reached my FULL blogging potential, but I am well on my way. This is my one-year blogiversary income report.

    I’m not a millionaire. Heck, I’m barely paying my bills (some months, I haven’t). However, I can say I’m truly blessed to have a great support system at home, rooting for me to get my business off the ground and to work doing something I love. 

    Related posts: Starting a blog-What I wish I knew in the beginning

    This is the 6th income report I’m sharing with you all, and it is as realistic as an income report can get. When others are trying to build something in a similar fashion as you are, what is the point in leading them in the opposite direction? 

    One thing to remember is, there is a difference between making money and paying yourself. Just because you’ve made tons of money in one month doesn’t mean all of it will end up in your bank account. 

    Read further to see how I did after one year of blogging (inconsistently), and only monetizing after the first 6 months.

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    pinterest for the people

    Income sources

    I have a few streams of income, although they don’t all always bring me money every month. I’ve learned that you should have more than one income stream so that you can basically make money while you sleep! 

    My streams of income include affiliate marketing, eBook sales, Etsy sales, ad sales, and money from services I provide to my clients. 

    Affiliate marketing

    For September, I didn’t make any affiliate sales. 

    Ebook sales

    Another form of passive income for me is my eBook sales. At the beginning of July I compiled all my knowledge of social media marketing into a handy guide. I even included a checklist to follow. 

    The Ultimate Social Media Marketing guide: $16 made from my Amazon book sales

    the ultimate social media guide

    Etsy sales

    When I first started my own business I opened a store on Etsy selling bullet journal charms (I was reeeeeaalllyyyyy into bullet journaling at that time). It was a very slow business and I ended up with inventory that never sold. 

    Eventually, I added printable planners (created by me) to my shop, and that helped sales. Ultimately, I ended up taking the charms off the site and making it strictly digital products. Every once in awhile I make a sale from Etsy (passive income) and I rarely market the listings that are on there. (They get found by search and SEO.)

    In September I made 1 sale totaling $.99, on this listing

    Looking to start your own Etsy shop? Open your store with my link and receive 40 free listings on me! (Regular price is 20c per listing.)

    Ad revenue

    I currently use Fomo ads for my website. They don’t require a minimum of pageviews a month, so they’re perfect for newer bloggers. 

    Fomo ads: $4.55 (for the month of August)

    Services – Pinterest & Facebook

    My main “gig” is Pinterest management. I assist entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in marketing their businesses on Pinterest strategically.

    In August I gave an opportunity to an eCommerce shop that wasn’t on Pinterest yet, to get management services in exchange for a percentage of my prices given in their shop credit. I run this program once every few months and I build Pinterest accounts for newer shops that way. (To inquire about this service, please send me an email at plannerwishesbylori@gmail.com. Please note that not everyone will qualify for this program.)

    Pinterest management services: $149.67

    I am also starting to expand my social media services to include Facebook management. I am currently running the Facebook business page of a local business in my area. 

    Facebook management services: $250

    Total value of incoming monies for August: $421.21

    Total “useable” money for August: $271.54 (money that isn’t shop credit)

    pinterest for the people facebook group

    Expense sources

    Dropbox: $11.99 (cloud storage that I can access via computer, iPad, and phone)

    SendOwl: $9 (houses my eBook and other digital products) *this is my last month, as I’m switching to selling my ebook on other platforms.

    PayPal fees: $7.55

    Etsy fees: $ .28

    Tailwind: $15 (paid using referral credit)

    Pinterest ads: $14

    New domain: $14.63 (side business)

    I added another income stream under my belt this month! I started a party supply and decor store. It is called Diamond Party Express Hawai’i. I’d appreciate it if you’d give it a like/follow!

    Also, I didn’t have to pay for Tailwind as I had the referral credits.

    Total expenses for August (less Tailwind): $57.45

    “Income” for September: $214.09

    Less 30% aside for taxes: $64.23 = $149.86

    Less 50% for savings, future business expenses: $74.93 = $74.93

    Total profit (in my pocket) for September: $74.93 

    my september 2019 income report

    September Stats

    Curious to learn what my social media and email subscribers numbers were for September? 

    Email subscribers: 278 (compared to 243 in August) Current open rate: 25%

    (Note: at the end of every month I clean out all inactive subscribers on my email list.)

    My most popular opt-in freebie is this content calendar, and my Pinterest SEO tips guide.

    My goal for September was to reach 300 subscribers, and I almost got there!

    Blog subscribers: 4 (compared to 3 in August)

    My September goal was to get up to 5 subscribers this month, and I didn’t. 

    Pinterest: 217.57k monthly viewers (182k in August), 11.32k engaged (vs 5.6k), 2,733 followers (vs 2,567). 61% link clicks (v 49%). 

    My September goal was 250k viewers, with over 75% link clicks. So close!

    Facebook business page: 233 likes (vs 215) 

    September goal was 245 likes – almost made it!

    Instagram: I have put IG aside for the time being.

    Pageviews: 1.4k users, 2.2k pageviews, compared to 1.3k users and 2.4k pageviews in August. 

    My goal for September was 2k pageviews and I’m excited to have surpassed it!

    *Most of my referrals come from Pinterest! If you’re not marketing on Pinterest, it’s time to get your business going! It does take about 3 months to get your profile in traction, and with daily consistency, your profile can be one of the biggest drivers of organic traffic! 

    pinterest referrals

    Clients: 3, compared to 3 in August

    Related posts: Top 5 reasons businesses aren’t marketing on Pinterest – and why they should be.

    October goals

    Even though I have my passive income funnels in place, there is still room to market some way, somehow!

    I usually participate in daily threads in my Facebook groups, utilize Pinterest (#1 traffic referral source!), and mention my business whenever/wherever I can. 

    Mid-august I set some business goals to accomplish within a month (August 15th-September 15th). Those goals were:

    1. Make $150 from affiliate sales – didn’t accomplish
    2. Start my Pinterest-based Facebook group and recruit at least 10 members – got 31 members!
    3. Generate at least $500 in income – pretty close! (sort-of)

    By the end of October I hope to have:

    • 300 email subscribers with 35% open rate
    • 5 blog subscribers
    • 250k Pinterest viewers with 75% link clicks
    • 245 Facebook business page likes
    • 40 Facebook group members 
    • 3k pageviews on my website
    • 4 regular clients

    Final thoughts

    And there you have it! This is how I benefit from my business of blogging and Pinterest management.

    I do aspire to give beginner bloggers some hope and reassurance that it might be a slow process, but you can definitely make it if you put your mind to it!

    Let me know in the comments what you thought of my income report, and if it helped you in any way.

    reviews
    reviews
  • How to promote your Etsy shop using Pinterest

    Pinterest is not just for bloggers or recipes. You can use Pinterest to market almost any type of business. 

    Wonder how you can promote and market your Etsy shop on Pinterest? Keep reading!

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    promote your etsy shop using pinterest

    Before I got into Pinterest Management, I owned my own Etsy shop. (I actually still own it. It serves as a spot for digital products.) Back when I started that journey almost 2 years ago, I started from scratch. I went through the site and taught myself how to use it and how to promote it. 

    What is Pinterest?

    First and foremost, Pinterest is not considered a “social media” platform. Pinterest is considered a virtual search engine, similar to Google and Bing.

    So, when someone searches a keyword, they can get their results in picture form (pins). They then can take these “pictures” (pins) and save them (rep-pin) to boards for future reference.

    Why promote your Etsy shop on Pinterest?

    1. Not everyone is using Pinterest for their small shops. 
      1. Even though Etsy is becoming a saturated market, Pinterest isn’t (yet). There is so much room on Pinterest for everyone – it’s scary!
    2. Pinterest can drive organic traffic (traffic not paid for) to your site.
    3. Pinterest can drive engagement on your pins for 120 days or more!
    4. People use Pinterest to find products just like yours.
    5. 300 million people use Pinterest a month.
    6. Buyers are more likely to make a purchase from something they found on Pinterest.
    7. It’s simple and free to set up!

    How to promote your Etsy shop on Pinterest

    A. Start here

    1. Create a business account (see this post to learn how!)
    2. Make sure your account is verified (learn how here)
    3. “Claim” your Etsy and social media accounts (follow these instructions)
    4. Apply for rich pins (do that here)
    5. Create boards that pertain to your niche. Also, join some group boards. (Make sure they all have SEO descriptions! Get more info here.)

         B. Sharing is caring!

    1. Once you create your listing on Etsy, click the “cog” wheel and scroll down to “share”. You will have the option to share to Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. (Don’t forget your SEO description and hashtags!) Your primary photo in your listing will automatically become your pin cover.
    2. Create a new pin on Pinterest, and link it to your listing’s URL. (Don’t forget to create attractive pins, with your products, on Canva!) Get info about pins and get FREE templates here.

        C. Develop a strategy

    1. Don’t just pin, pin with a cause! One way to do that is to check your analytics. What pins is your audience responding to? Do you need to change them up? (You can only see Pinterest analytics on a business profile.)
    2. Ever wonder what times your audience is most active? It’s important to know this so when you pin, you get the maximum amount of impressions. By using a Pinterest scheduler like Tailwind, they can pick and create an optimized pinning schedule for you to use and pin with. (Feel free to use my affiliate link to get a free trial and your 1st month free!)
    3. Share your products or pins in special Facebook promo groups (there are MANY!)
    using pinterest to promote your Etsy shop

    And there you have it! a simple way to promote your Etsy shop on Pinterest! For more Etsy-related tips, be sure to claim your free download!

  • August Income Report – the raw truth (2019)

    August marks my 11th-month blogging and running my business. Eleven whole months. It hasn’t been easy. I’m not a millionaire. Heck, I’m barely paying my bills ( for some months, I kinda haven’t). However, I can say I’m truly blessed to have a great support system at home, rooting for me to get my business off the ground and to work doing something I love. That’s why writing an income report means something to me.

    This is the 5th income report I’m sharing with you all, and it is as realistic as an income report can get. When others are trying to build something in a similar fashion as you are, what is the point in leading them in the opposite direction? 

    I’m not saying I’m a blog monetization pro, but I can say that I am working and building the way I want to. You don’t have to take the same steps. In fact, I encourage you to take many more steps than I ever could!

    Just remember – there is a difference between making money and paying yourself. Just because you’ve made tons of money in one month doesn’t mean all of it will end up in your bank account. 

    Read further to see how I did in August, if I was able to pay my bills AND myself, and my goals for September.

    my income and expenses for my va and blogging business

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    Income sources

    I have a few streams of income, although they don’t always bring me money every month. I’ve learned that you should always have more than one income stream so that you can basically make money while you sleep! 

    My streams of income include affiliate marketing, eBook sales, Etsy sales, ad sales, and money from services I provide to my clients. 

    Affiliate marketing

    My goal for August was to join more affiliate opportunities, and I did! I am now an affiliate for Amazon Associates. (I haven’t made any money from there yet.) For August, this is where I made my affiliate sales:

    Tailwind: 2 credits, or the equivalence of $30. (This does not go into my bank account/pocket, as I recycle my credits to pay for my Tailwind subscription.)

    Ebook sales

    Another form of passive income for me is my eBook sales. At the beginning of July I compiled all my knowledge of social media marketing into a handy guide. I even included a checklist to follow. 

    The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide: $40

    social media tips, tricks, and hacks guide

    Etsy sales

    When I first started my own business I opened a store on Etsy selling bullet journal charms (I was reeeeeaalllyyyyy into bullet journaling at that time). It was a very slow business and I ended up with inventory that never sold. 

    Eventually, I added printable planners (created by me) to my shop, and that helped sales. Ultimately, I ended up taking the charms off the site and making it strictly digital products. Every once in awhile I make a sale from Etsy (passive income) and I rarely market the listings that are on there. (They get found by search and SEO.)

    In August I made 2 sales totaling $13.06, on this listing and this listing

    Looking to start your own Etsy shop? Open your store with my link and receive 40 free listings on me! (Regular price is 20c per listing.)

    open an etsy store

    Ad revenue

    I currently use Fomo ads for my website. They don’t require a minimum of pageviews a month, so they’re perfect for newer bloggers. Less than a week ago I applied for Media.net and am awaiting approval. Hopefully, by my next income report, I’ll have some good news!

    Fomo ads: $5.31 (for the month of July)

    Pinterest services

    My main “gig” is Pinterest management. I assist entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in marketing their businesses on Pinterest strategically.

    In August I gave an opportunity to an eCommerce shop that wasn’t on Pinterest yet, to get management services in exchange for a percentage of my prices given in their shop credit. I run this program once every 6 months and I build Pinterest accounts for newer shops that way. 

    Pinterest management services: $149.67

    Total value of incoming monies for August: $238.04

    Total “useable” money for August: $124.98 (money that isn’t affiliate credit or shop credit)

    Expense sources

    Dropbox: $11.99 (cloud storage that I can access via computer, iPad, and phone)

    SendOwl: $9 (houses my eBook and other digital products)

    PayPal fees: $2.89

    Etsy fees: $ .70

    Tailwind: $15

    Office supplies: $10.46

    Siteground: $158.75/2 years

    Bluchic WordPress theme: $109.75

    My expenses were a little up this month because my hosting was up to be renewed (switched from Bluehost to Siteground – best decision EVER!). I also bought a premium WordPress theme, although it isn’t required for you to have one to have a functioning website. (It was on sale and I’ve been eyeing it since it was released so I splurged!)

    Also, I didn’t have to pay for Tailwind as I had the referral credits.

    Total expenses for August (less Tailwind): $303.54

    As you can clearly see, I am in the red again for August, although I wouldn’t have been without the “extra” expenses (hosting and theme). (-$178.56)

    Clearly, since I am not in the black, I cannot contribute to my taxes (I usually save 30% on the side), nor can I “pay” myself. 

    august income report

    August Stats

    Curious to learn what my social media and email subscribers numbers were for August? 

    Email subscribers: 243 (compared to 197 in July) Current open rate: 25%

    (Note: at the end of every month I clean out all inactive subscribers on my email list.)

    My most popular opt-in freebie is this content calendar, and I added 2 new freebies this month: a blog post outline and 3 free Pinterest templates

    My goal for August was to reach 250 subscribers, and I almost got there!

    Blog subscribers: 3 (compared to 3 in July)

    My August goal was to get up to 5 subscribers this month, and I didn’t. 

    Pinterest: 182k monthly viewers (191k in July), 5.6k engaged (vs 4.4k), 2,567 followers (vs 2,388). 49% link clicks. 

    My August goal was 250k viewers, with over 50% link clicks. I didn’t get the viewers, but I got 67% link clicks!

    august link clicks

    Facebook business page: 215 likes (vs 198) 

    August goal was 220 likes – almost made it!

    Instagram: 1,555 (vs 1,553) There seemed to be A LOT of follow/unfollow in August!

    The goal I set for IG in August was 1,650.

    Note: I think I will be putting my Instagram aside for the moment. I do not know enough about the platform and its algorithm changes to keep up with it. (On a side note, if you are just getting started as an Instagram manager and would like a practice account, contact me and let’s talk!)

    Pageviews: 1.3k users, sessions compared to 1.2k users in August. 

    My goal for August was 2k pageviews. My website was down for about a day or 2 at the end of August due to me switching hosts and trying to switch themes (I honestly didn’t know what I was doing.) I want to believe that is the reason I didn’t get 2k pageviews this month (lol). 

    Most of my referrals come from Pinterest! If you’re not marketing on Pinterest, it’s time to get your business going! It does take about 3 months to get your profile in traction, and with daily consistency, your profile can be one of the biggest drivers of organic traffic! 

    Clients: 3, compared to 1 in July

    My August goal was 3! Yay.

    Related posts: Why I’m not worried about my Pinterest views declining

    Real-life + September goals

    Obviously expenses got paid in August (hellooo credit cards), but my goal is to make money in my business, and not rely on credit.

    Even though I have my passive income funnels in place, there is still room to market some way, somehow!

    I usually participate in daily threads in my Facebook groups, utilize Pinterest (#1 traffic referral source!), and mention my business whenever/wherever I can. 

    Mid-august I set some business goals to accomplish within a month (August 15th-September 15th). Those goals are:

    1. Make $150 from affiliate sales
    2. Start my Pinterest-based Facebook group and recruit at least 10 members
    3. Generate at least $500 in income 

    By the end of September I hope to have:

    • 300 email subscribers with a 35% open rate
    • 5 blog subscribers
    • 250k Pinterest viewers with 75% link clicks
    • 245 Facebook business page likes
    • 30 Facebook group members 
    • 2k pageviews on my website
    • 4 regular clients

    Final thoughts

    And there you have it! This is how I benefit from my business of blogging and Pinterest management. This month (September) will mark 1 year of being in business! 

    I do aspire to give beginner bloggers some hope and reassurance that it might be a slow process, but you can definitely make it if you put your mind to it!

    Let me know in the comments what you thought of my income report, and if it helped you in any way.

  • Almost everything there is to know about Pinterest pins

    Creating pins for Pinterest can be a frustrating task, especially when you don’t see any return from them. (No clicks, no impressions, etc.) It can be hard to figure out exactly what your audience wants to see, especially if you are new to Pinterest and haven’t quite figured out the analytics side of it all yet.

    However, creating pins for Pinterest doesn’t have to be a chore – especially when you have options. 

    Learn [almost] everything there is to know about Pinterest pins in this post. 

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    almost everything you need to know about pinterest pins

    What are pins?

    In the Pinterest world, pins are what you see on Pinterest when you search for a topic. These pins can lead you to a blog post, online store, opt-in, etc. 

    When you use Pinterest on a personal level, think about why a pin causes you to stop and click on it. Does it have a catchy title? A nice picture? Something you can relate to? Or does it just.. “call” out to you?

    What can you do with pins?

    When browsing on Pinterest, you can perform some actions with pins. You can:

    A.) See the pin while scrolling (“impressions”)

    B.) Click the pin to read more (“close-up”) but not click through to the attached URL

    C.) Repin it to a board to save it for later (“saves”)

    D.) Click through the pin to get to what it’s advertising (“link clicks”)

    individual pin stats
    individual pin stats

    Types of pins

    On Pinterest, you can have something called “rich pins”. A rich pin provides more context about what’s on the other side of the pin, right in the pin’s description. They are easily identifiable by the extra information above and below the picture on the pin.

    Anyone can apply for rich pins; just make sure your account is verified first! There are 4 types of rich pins:

    1. Product
    2. Recipe
    3. Article
    4. App

    Product pins

    Product pins allow you to shop directly on Pinterest and adds real-time prices, shows stock availability, etc. These pins are great for eCommerce stores (think Etsy, Shopify, Big Cartel, etc.) and allow for direct [organic] traffic to your online store!

    Recipe pins

    Recipe pins look exactly like they sound – they have a recipe (ingredients, instructions) right on the pin description! I’m sure you’ve seen these types of pins before.

    Article pins

    Article pins are great for those who blog. The pin descriptions include headlines, story descriptions, and author information.

    App pins

    App pins have install buttons right on the pin itself, so people can download them without leaving Pinterest. Currently, it is only available for IOS apps.

    almost everything there is to know about pinterest pins

    Option 1 – Creating pins yourself

    Ah, the exciting part. (Ok, maybe not for everyone, but this is your bread and butter.) I’m not going to lie, creating pins takes quite a bit of practice and some patience. 

    When you are first starting out your Pinterest account and trying to decide what kind of pins to create, you don’t have much to base off of. My advice is to:

    A.) Check out other’s pins. (It’s ok to draw inspiration from other’s pins, but NEVER OKAY to copy or steal them.)

    B.) Think about what draws you to click on a pin, and how you can use transfer that “feeling” to one of your pins.

    C.) Dive in head first and learn as you go! (Some call it trial and error, A/B split testing, etc.)

    The main components your pins should have are: titles (something catchy to real ‘em in!); some kind of photo (stock or one you’ve taken); your branding (fonts, colors, etc.) and your website/logo (to claim ownership of your pin).

    pinterest pin

    One of my first pins.. very boring, no branding, no website, picture could be better/more relevant.

    A re-do of the pin. White space, relevant picture, catchy headline, and website.

    If you had to choose from these two pins to tell you what Pinterest is about, which one would you choose, and why?

    After you have established some time (and stats) on Pinterest (at least 1 month), you can tell from your analytics what type of “look” your audience is drawn to in terms of your pins.

    How do you know a pin is performing “well”?

    I gauge from the click-throughs. If you just go by impressions only, you will learn that, yes, people are seeing your pin, but don’t care to stop and have that pin take them anywhere. A click-through/link clicks will tell you that they were interested enough in your pin to want to learn more about what’s behind it. 

    And if you gauge by “saves”, there is no way of knowing if people actually clicked on your pin, they are just “saving it for later” and may or may not go back to it. 

    My style? Some people suggest keeping your pins branded so you are “recognized” and that people may be drawn to you no matter what you write about. And while I agree to some extent, I create [at minimum] 3 pins per blog post when I first launch it. I have one that is branded, one that is totally opposite of that, and one that is super plain. I do it this way because I want to appeal to more than one type of person and try to hit as many “tastes” as possible. Example:

    “branded”
    “opposite”
    “plain”

    How to create pins

    You can create pins in any graphic design program, but I heavily favor Canva. It’s easy to use and provides you with pin templates and stock photos. (And they have a free version!)

    Pinterest favors pins with a 2:3 ratio. The ones in Canva are set to 735 x 1102 px. Another popular size is 600 x 900 px. Play around with those sizes and see what your audience responds to the most.

    Other popular programs that I’ve seen people use to create pins are PicMonkey, Photoshop, and Over. 

    You created pins.. now what?

    So, what do you do with your pins once you make them? Why, you post them! Posting your pins requires a little bit of strategy for a huge outcome. 

    -Pin from post

    I usually add a few pins to my blog posts, and after I publish them, I go to the post (which is on my website that is optimized with Pinterest pin buttons) and share them directly to Pinterest that way.

    This step can also be done with e-commerce sites (Etsy, Shopify)- once a listing is added, if your browser and Pinterest account is attached and set-up to do so, you can share your pin directly from a listing to Pinterest (or other platform).

    -Create a new pin

    You can go directly to Pinterest and create a new pin and link it back to the URL you want to connect to. (This step I usually do about a week to two weeks after the post has been out, to give it more traction and to look like “fresh” content. This is where the extra pins you made will come in handy.)

    SEO descriptions

    It is VERY IMPORTANT that when you are creating new pins on Pinterest that you add description that has keywords for what you are pinning (but don’t keyword stuff!). Also, adding 1-3 hashtags will definitely help as well! (Learn about Pinterest hashtags here.)

    If you have rich pins set up, once you add the URL to a created pin (or a pin that is pinned directly from your site), then the description will automatically be filled in for you. 

    Why should you create more than one pin per post/product/item?

    I know quite a few bloggers, and even those who offer physical and digital products, say that they have created a (ONE) pin that they love/are satisfied with, so why should they create more? Why can’t they just pin that same pin over and over?

    I’ll let you in on a little secret – PINTEREST LOVES FRESH CONTENT! 

    Yes, the blog post you are sharing for the 8th time isn’t new (heck you wrote it over a year ago, to be exact), BUT the NEW PIN you created is seen as FRESH CONTENT in the eyes of Pinterest. And Pinterest rewards fresh content handsomely. 

    This also gives you more “content” to share on Pinterest, especially if you only have a few posts/products at the moment. 

    I will be the first to tell you that yes, this is tedious, a pain, and repetitious. BUT it is one of the BEST WAYS to get tons of ORGANIC TRAFFIC!

    Don’t have time to create tons of pins, or go back to the 50 (or more!) blog posts you have and create a new pin for each of them? That leads me to your next option….

    pinterest for the people facebook group

    Option 2 – Outsourcing pin creation

    If you feel like you still can’t get the hang of pins, or if it is just a task that you don’t have time for, then an option that you have is to outsource them!

    There are many Pinterest pros that offer pin creation as one (or part) of their services. For me, I offer various pin creation options as part of my monthly management packages, or as one-time/pay-per-set kind of deal (send me an email to claim!). 

    I heard you when you said that you have many posts, and not enough time to create pins, so take advantage of the awesome offers out there! 

    Final thoughts

    Yes, creating pins for Pinterest CAN BE a frustrating task, but once you see the return (a viral pin, more traffic to your site, etc.) you will find that you LOVE creating pins. (And knowing what your audience loves to see and responds to is half the battle!)

    Creating the “perfect pin” is only one part of your Pinterest strategy. Pins don’t have to be the one thing that discourages you from marketing on Pinterest. 

  • The Five Pages Every Small Business Website Must Have – A guest post by Paula Hickey

    Paula Hickey is a Tech Virtual Assistant with a focus on WordPress assistance and website design. She works behind the scenes with busy Mom bloggers and coaches so that they can focus on growing their businesses. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Rex, and their dog, Buffy and cat, Smokey. You can find her at http://www.paulasextonhickey.com/

    It can be overwhelming trying to decide what pages your business website needs. You know that you need a homepage but what else? This is why I want to share with you the five pages every small business website must-have. Over time you may want to add more pages but these five will give your website a solid foundation to build on.

    The Five Pages Every Small Business Website Must Have

    About Page

    Next to your homepage, the about page is often the most visited page on a business website. Think about it, your visitors want to get to know who they’ll be working with.

    Keep in mind your about page isn’t really about you, it’s about your potential client and what you can do for them. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. This book will be a huge help in ensuring that your copy is client-focused.

    Potential clients aren’t the only ones looking at your about page. Google also looks at your about page. This is part of their EAT rating system that they have their researchers look at on each website. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

    Give Google What It’s Looking for On Your About Page:

    First, share any relevant experience that relates to your business offerings. Do you have a degree or certificate? Have you taken any online courses? Be sure to include that info on your about page. (Don’t worry you don’t have to have a degree to rank well with Google but if you do have one it’s good to list it.)

    Something else to mention is how many years of experience you have in your field or with certain programs. For example, if you offer blog management as a service, you can include how many years you’ve been working with WordPress.

    Include features or interviews you’ve had on any high-profile or popular podcasts, magazines, or blog posts. Or if you’ve written pieces that were featured in a publication or website, include links to those too. This is a good way to show your Authoritativeness. One of the most popular ways to showcase this is with an “As Seen In” section that links to relevant pieces.

    By including these mentions, you will show Google that other people in your field recognize you as a leader who knows what they’re talking about.

    The best way to show trustworthiness is with testimonials. This shows Google that you’re a trusted resource in your field.

    If you’re just starting out, you may not have a lot of these yet, and that’s okay. Keep them in mind and start working toward getting them. Make a list of places you want to guest post or podcasts you want to be on and start pitching them. As you gain clients, make it a regular habit to ask for testimonials that you can include on your website.

    Include a Call to Action

    Where do you want your visitor to go next? Whether it’s to your service page or to sign up for your email list include a call to action to that on your about page.

    Service Page

    This page is all about selling your potential clients on your services. Be sure to mention who you work with and when writing your copy, speak to your ideal customer.  You’ll need to list your services in a detailed and organized way.

    Include a little about the process of working with you too. What happens once they schedule their discovery call with you? Break this down for your visitors so they know what to expect.

    Include a couple of testimonials on this page as well. And don’t forget a call to action which will most likely be to book an appointment with you.

    A Blog

    It’s no secret that search engines love fresh content. One of the best ways to create consistent fresh content for your website is with a blog. A blog is also one of the best ways to showcase your expertise to your clients/customers and search engines.

    Having a blog also allows you to use the SEO strategy of topic clustering.

    Take Lori, for example, she offers Pinterest management services for her clients. So that is one topic she can write about and try to rank for. But by using topic clusters, which are subtopics of her main topic, she has the opportunity to rank for thousands of keywords instead of just one.

    Lori does a great job of this as you can see her website has a ton of information about Pinterest. And again this also reinforces that she is a Pinterest expert.

    Contact Page

    Make it as easy as possible for potential clients to contact you. Be sure to include a contact form and your email address on this page. You can also include other ways to contact you including your social media accounts if you like.

    My favorite element to include on the contact page is a “Schedule Your Call” button. This really makes it simple for clients to book an appointment with you. 

    Pro Tip: have this button before your contact form so that if someone wants to book an appointment they will see the button before they see the form. This can cut down on a lot of back and forth about a good time to schedule an appointment. 

    The Five Pages Every Small Business Website Must Have

    Legal Policies Page

    There are at least four sections you need to have on this page, or you can have separate pages for each of these if you feel like one page would be too long. Here’s what you need:

    • Terms and Conditions
    • Disclosure
    • Privacy Policy
    • Cookie Policy

    Let’s look at each a little more closely:

    Terms and Conditions

    This section is basically the “rules” of your website. You’ll want to mention that the content of your website is copyrighted to you and how that content can be used. For example, if you’re a craft blogger, do you allow people to repost your crafts or images of your crafts? If not be sure to mention that.

    A few basic things to mention besides copyright:

    • That the information on your website is for informational purposes only
    • Include a Comment Policy
    • Include a Refund and Payment policy
    • That you’re not responsible for the content of third-party websites you link to
    • A way for visitors to contact you if they have questions

    Disclosure

    This is where you disclose if you’re an affiliate or if you work with sponsors. You’ll need to include that you may make money off of the products or services you recommend on your website. Pro tip: any page or post that includes affiliate links or sponsorships will need a disclosure too. 

    Privacy Policy

    A privacy policy lets your visitors know how you collect their information and what you do with that information. Two ways you’re most likely collecting information from visitors is in your blog comment section and through your email list sign up forms. You may also be taking payments from clients and customers so you’re collecting that information as well.

    You’ll need to list what programs you use to collect the information, what you do with the information, and link to those program’s privacy policies as well.

    If you’re a WordPress user, WordPress has a helpful Privacy Policy template you can use to get started. Go to Settings > Privacy to find it.

    Cookie Policy

    If you’re using Google Analytics or you have ads of any kind on your website you’ll need a cookie policy. List each program that you use that uses cookies and then link to their cookie policies too.

    Your Cookie and Privacy Policy Pages ensure that you are GDPR compliant.

    A legal page can be daunting to think about creating but it’s worth it to protect yourself and your business.

    If you need help, many places sell templates you can use to make the creation of your legal page easier. Remember to do your research before purchasing so you know you’re buying from a reputable source.

    That’s it! These are the five pages every small business website must-have. Just remember you don’t have to get them perfect on the first try. Done is better than perfect and you can always come back and refine your messaging and copy over time. But now you have a framework to get started and that’s the most important step.

    guest post
  • Top 5 reasons businesses aren’t marketing on Pinterest – and why they should be.

    When people hear the words ‘social media marketing’ they don’t usually think of Pinterest first.  But, to tell you the truth, Pinterest is marketing’s best-kept secret!

    What Pinterest is:

    • A visual search engine
    • An organic-traffic driver
    • An excellent place to get ideas, tips, advice
    • A place to make money
    • A great place to advertise your business
    • A long-term marketing ‘investment’

    What Pinterest isn’t:

    • A social media platform
    • A quick-fix 
    • A marketing solution for every business (but can be for most!)

    (Learn more about the above on this blog post, How Pinterest can build your business on autopilot.)

    social media marketing

    Pinterest is a long-term marketing strategy, of which people don’t like to wait to see results for. When you are waiting for a new client or a new order, it’s understandable that you’d like the business sooner rather than later.

    In all honesty, you can utilize Facebook and Instagram (even Twitter!) to get the quick results you crave, and then set Pinterest up to “run” in the background!

    Pinterest is an excellent way to have your products and services always available for people to see (and search for).

    Of course, there are many people (businesses) that aren’t on Pinterest yet, and for various reasons. I took a poll in one of my favorite Facebook business groups on why people weren’t utilizing Pinterest for their business. Shared below are the 5 most common responses, and my take on them. 

    top 5 reasons businesses don't use pinterest

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    Reason number one: Don’t know how/no experience/don’t understand it/don’t know where to start

    Pinterest can truly be confusing, especially if you don’t understand how to use it as a business. 23 (out of about 70) people gave this as their reason for not marketing their business on Pinterest. 

    Although this is a very common reason for not being on Pinterest, it doesn’t have to stop you from utilizing a great marketing network.

    My solution: research! Read up about Pinterest, learn why it works, why it’s beneficial, and why it can help you keep your business alive. There are many avenues to learning about Pinterest.

    When I first started my journey, I consumed every bit of information I could find on the subject (and most of it came from Pinterest itself!) There is no magic wand or spell that can make you automatically learn, you have to work at it (like everything else).

    I have TONS of FREE Pinterest information on my blog (i.e. how to start your business account, what views mean, SEO, and more!), Instagram account, and Facebook Page.  If you need a little more help, I also offer a paid Pinterest course (payment plan available), and monthly Pinterest management.

    You don’t have to miss out on a great, under-utilized marketing platform just because you don’t understand it. Options are available at your fingertips!

    Reason number two: Not sure how it’ll help my business/what do I connect it to?

    The second-popular reason (as stated by 15 people) as to why people don’t utilize Pinterest for their business is that they don’t know HOW it can help them. 3 of those people expressed that they’ve only used Pinterest personally, and never even knew they could use it for marketing their business!

    So, what makes Pinterest different from other marketing platforms? (source)

    • Over 300 million people are on Pinterest every month
    • People come to Pinterest to get inspired and try new things
    • It is an under-utilized platform for marketing
    • It is not a social media platform – so you can market WITHOUT worrying about engagement
    • Pinterest can drive engagement on your pins for 120 days or more
    Half-Life for Posts on Different Social Media Platforms

    Pinterest has proven to be my biggest source of referral traffic for my business thus far!

    referral traffic from google analytics
    Referral traffic from July 19-August 19

    It is a great way to get organic traffic (traffic that is referred from a source that isn’t paid) just from SEO/keywords. Since you already SEO your blog posts, doing the same for your Pinterest profile and pins are the same thing. (Read more about Pinterest SEO.)

    A Pinterest business account also provides analytics, which is a great way to measure your success.

    My solution: Chat with a Pinterest expert and learn exactly how Pinterest can help you specifically. Most have free consults (I do!) and you’ll have a better idea of how Pinterest can work for you. Pinterest may not work for every business out there, but you’ll never know unless you talk with someone and get a better idea of the platform. 

    **Things to remember: Pinterest is NOT social media (no engagement necessary to “work”), nor is it a quick-fix. It takes time to flourish (but so does your business). Let it grow alongside your business, and in no time you’ll see AMAZING results.

    common reasons businesses aren't on pinterest

    Reason number three: I have no time/it’s time-consuming/it’s tedious & a hassle/overwhelming

    Running a business is no easy task! Between your daily tasks, client work, blogging, marketing, and MORE it’s easy to feel like you can’t add another thing to your plate!

    As a business owner myself, I am right in that boat with you. I feel this way about Instagram. I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the innerworkings of it, but I still post each day like I know what I’m doing lol. For me, I wanted to specialize in Pinterest, so it was my main concern.

    My solution: Outsource! The quickest way to utilize another platform (that’ll be beneficial for you) is to hand it over to an expert. Now, I know what you’re saying, ‘Lori, I just started my business, not only do I NOT have time to learn another platform, I don’t have the money to give away, either.’

    I hear ya! Some free or low-cost options:

    • If you’re in a business-related Facebook group, (if it is allowed) offer to barter services with someone. (Trade a service/product you offer with someone who offers a product/service you want)
    • If someone is just starting out and building a portfolio, they may be offering hugely-discounted services in exchange for testimonials
    • Be on the lookout for sales and discounts! (I like to give BOGO free months of my bigger packages!)

    There are awesome ways to get ahead in your business, you just need to know where to look! Some great Facebook groups I’m in where you can find people who offer the above are Virtual Assistant Savvies, Boss-Moms, and Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs.

    Reason number four: No blog/stopped blogging

    It amazes me that people think that Pinterest is JUST for bloggers! But Pinterest is and can be for everyone!

    You can create a pin that can be directed to any (legit) URL. So if you are wanting traffic to a certain area, this is the way to do it.

    Just a few places you can lead pins to:

    • Facebook Group/business page
    • Instagram, Twitter, any social media account
    • Lead pages/opt-ins/freebies
    • Products/services
    • Newsletter/email list
    • Website
    • Blog
    • eCommerce store (Etsy/Shopify, etc.)
    • Sales funnels

    Whether you blog or not, it shouldn’t stop you from utilizing Pinterest for anything! It is a great way to lead people exactly where you want them to go! 

    My suggestion: if you use Pinterest personally, think about how and why you use it. The person/people behind the pins are just like you-entrepreneurs, business owners, bloggers, etc. Look closely at the pin you’re about to click on, the picture, headline, and where it goes. Think about why you’re saving it for later. 

    As you click and save pins, you are giving the author the same things you are looking for-traffic and business. 

    top 5 reasons businesses aren't marketing on pinterest

    Reason number five: I don’t see results/I don’t see the value/it’s not worth it

    This response is one that hurts me quite a bit. 

    Yes, Pinterest is a bit difficult to understand. Yes, it takes a LONG TIME (at least 3 months or more) to see/reap the results from. Yes, it may just be too frustrating to keep up with.

    When businesses inquire about my Pinterest services, one of the first things I tell them that it is not a quick-fix solution for their business. So if they’re looking for immediate gratification, they definitely won’t see it. 

    But, if they are looking for long-term results and steady traffic (without doing much!) then they are in the right place!

    My advice? Things take time to become great! Some of the greatest words of wisdom I’ve heard (and I’m sure you’ve also heard) are: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Fine wine gets better with age. (Some cheeses too.) Slow and steady wins the race. Quality over quantity. Good things come to those who wait.

    You wouldn’t want a half-ass business, so why do you expect your marketing to be? Think about it this way-if you start your Pinterest from the day you start your business, they can grow together and get to where it needs to be in just a few short months! 

    What I see often is that people “start their own business” at a time where they need fast-cash, and not at a time where they can nurture it and build it from the ground up. So, of course, Pinterest will never be an option because Pinterest doesn’t payout by the end of the day.

    Final thoughts

    As you can see, Pinterest is definitely my favorite place to advertise my business/blog. I get so much use out of it, and not only for business purposes. 

    Pinterest has proven itself to me over and over again. And the best part is that you can measure the results, too.

    If you’re not on Pinterest yet, do you fall into any of these categories? Or do you have another reason? Share below!

  • The ultimate list of home office supplies

    Working from home comes with quite a few challenges, one of them being how to “set up” a home office. If you’re like me, you have a hard time staying focused and on-task, especially if you have little ones at home, and you long for a space of your own.

    I am a year deep into my business, and I have learned quite a bit along the way. I have my desk/work area in a corner of my (small) living room, so you can see the dilemma I have of creating a “home office” for myself. I want to share with you the things I have purchased to help create my workspace and make it an ideal place to get my work done.

    The best part of it all is that you can get most of these items on Amazon, which is what I did. After all, who wants to drag two toddlers to the store while you’re deciding what to get? Amiright? #onlineshoppingitis

    As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

    the ultimate list of home office supplies

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    my workspace
    My current set-up in the corner of my living room

    Big scale home office supplies

    These are some of the bigger-ticket items that I needed to start my virtual assistant/blogging business. I didn’t purchase all of these things at once, and definitely not all in the beginning. I started with a desktop (already had it) and a printer, and as I started making money with my business, everything else came shortly after. 

    1. Desk

    The most important thing you’ll need is a desk, your own space to work. I really wanted a desk that could be functional for everything I needed to do. I needed it to house a computer and printer, and also have space to write/do activities.

    2. Office chair

    Every good desk needs a comfortable office chair! Unless you opt for a standing desk (they are trending right now!) a great chair will definitely help when working long hours at your computer. You’ll want something with back support, and possibly armrests.

    3. Printer/scanner/copier

    I like to create printables, as well as, have hard copies of (certain) things. I needed a good printer to do just that. I opted to get a wireless Bluetooth printer because I work from my phone a lot and sometimes need to print something straight away. This all in one machine is great for printing, scanning, and copying. Oh, and don’t forget the ink!

    4. Wall calendar/planner

    I love organization and need to be able to have a calendar to keep track of everything. The product that best fit my needs was a dry-erase wall calendar/bulletin board combo. I also opted to get a Happy Planner so that I can take my calendar on the go!

    5. File cabinet

    This can be entirely optional, however, I like to be sure that I have everything organized and in a safe place. Running a business is a professional job, and since I have my client’s personal information at my fingertips, I like to be sure it is kept in a safe place.

    6. Surge protector/power strip

    This is an important thing to have because you’ll have quite a few things to plug in at once. This also protects your computer/laptop if the power should ever go out.

    7. If needed: a laptop or computer

    I already had a desktop and a laptop, so I didn’t need to purchase one when I started my business. However, if you need to get one, here are a few great options!

    8. Anti-virus (optional, but highly suggested)

    When doing any kind of business, it’s important to make sure your computer is protected. That way, your work is safe, as well as your client’s information. I use (and always have used) McAfee anti-virus.

    9. Microsoft Office (optional)

    I use a Windows computer, so of course I have Microsoft Office. I combine it with using Google docs and other services. I use Publisher the most, as it is a great program to create worksheets and guides.

    the ultimate list of home office supplies

    “Smaller-scale” office supplies

    Office supplies

    ""
    ” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Smaller-scale supplies 

    These are some of the “smaller” home office supplies that I use at some point in my business (a lot of them daily):

    • POST-ITS!!
    • Mouse pad
    • Paperclips
    • Desk organizers (various sizes/uses)
    • Magazine holders
    • Manila folders
    • Hanging file folders
    • Notepads/composition books
    • Pens/pencils
    • Binders
    • Printer paper
    • Correction tape
    • Stapler/staples
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • Arm rest
    • Calculator
    • Highlighters
    • Thumb tacks
    • Page protectors

    The best part of these supplies is that you can find most of them during back to school sales. I usually get a few of each thing at that time because it is offered at a cheaper price. (Of course, don’t forget about Amazon’s Prime Day and Black Friday sales!)

    Fun stuff

    I have always felt that if you love the environment you’re in, you are definitely more productive. A great way to do this is to decorate your area! Listed below are some of the things I have at my desk/office area to make it a warm and inviting environment:

    Optional but useful items

    These items aren’t essential to running a business, however, they are what I use in MY business for efficiency and organization.

    home office supplies

    Optional items I don’t use

    These are some home office items that are available for certain business niches, however, I have not purchased or used any of them in my business.

    • Cell phone stand
    • Microphone
    • Pegboard
    • Whiteboard/chalkboard
    • Lightbox
    • Camera/photography equipment

    Business tools

    A whole ‘nother area of running your own business consists of software, hardware, and business tools. Read this post to learn more about some of the tools you may need to run a smooth business.

    Related posts

    Final thoughts

    This is just a small list of things you can get to make a comfortable (and functional) home office for yourself. The best part of it all is that you can make it match and coordinate to your liking!

    Leave me a comment below of the treasures you’ve found! And let me know if you’re as OBSESSED with Amazon as I am 🙂

  • July 2019 Income Report

    The purpose of me sharing my income reports with you all is not to brag, but to keep me accountable and informed of my business. I also like to give encouragement to new bloggers and show that you can make money with a blog.

    I will be the first to say that May, June, and parts of July of this year I put in minimal effort on my blog. I was in the process of moving and decorating a home (my very first one!) so I put my business on the backburner. (This is why you didn’t see an income report for May & June.)

    I really need to start getting MORE serious about my blog and creating a solid plan. I have a plan that I loosely follow each week, however, if I don’t “feel” like doing something, I [sometimes] allow myself to quit.

    I am going to get 100% honest, real, and raw in this post. I think it’ll serve as my wakeup call as well as resonate with at least ONE person out there.

    Related posts: Jan/Feb Income report March income report April income report

    july 2019 va and blogging income report

    My background

    In my previous income reports, I didn’t go into the fine details of my personal life. However, as I am writing this post, I realize that some background may help explain my “style”.

    I suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Which was made worse after having my daughter. Since her Autism diagnosis, you can imagine that I am a wreck. My anxiety has manifested many a situation where my mind can only focus on anything BUT my work.

    This is my dilemma – I am losing focus on what’s important.

    My move

    When I moved into my new house at the end of May, I took about 2 weeks “off” from my business to take care of the matters at hand. It was the best decision I made, and I actually felt “free” for a bit. 

    However, in doing so it made it really hard to pick back up to the point I was at in my business. I had lost my momentum. It is now August and I still haven’t picked it back up again, and I honestly don’t really know how. 

    Working from home

    Running your own business is very complex, especially if you don’t know exactly what you should be doing. It is easy to get discouraged if you don’t see results right away – which is what’s been happening to me since my slow down. 

    My business had a few “great” runs in the beginning, but after taking time off, it’s been rocky ever since. So instead of working harder (which I know I can), I let my anxiety tell me that what I’m doing isn’t good enough so I should quit because I’m wasting my time. 

    This thing is, I am DAMN good at what I do! I just lack the motivation and confidence. It is my hope that in sharing my story, I can hold myself accountable. It is also my hope that sharing my story can help someone who may be feeling the same way I do – and can motivate them as well!

    So how did I do in July?

    Obviously, I’m not sugar-coating anything. I didn’t make thousands with my blog/VA business. Heck, I didn’t even break $100 or even $10! But, as you can see, the profits you make can definitely coincide with the effort you put into the work. As with any job.

    I did a few new things to try and boost my business in the last 2 months, so I am grateful for that start! I believe that with more nurturing and marketing myself, I can definitely crush and surpass my goals.

    So here is my July 2019 income report from my blogging and Virtual Assistant business.

    This post may contain affiliate links, and while it may not cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own. Thank you in advance for trusting me! Read more here.

    Expenses

    My expenses vary each month, and for July this is what occurred:

    Tailwind $14.98

    SendOwl $9

    PayPal fees: $1.59

    Etsy fees: $1.29

    Pinterest ads: $5.83

    Office supplies: $16

    Business courses: $10

    DropBox: $11.99

    Total expenses for July: $61.68

    Income

    As with any business, incoming income can vary each month. This is what I received in July:

    The ultimate social media marketing eBook: $24 [digital product income]

    Journal You: $2 [affiliate income]

    Etsy sale: $12.99 [passive income]

    Fomo ads: $5.31 [ad revenue]

    Total income for July: $44.30

    Profit for July: -$17.38

    As you can see, I didn’t make any profit for July, and actually ended up in the negative. 

    What worked this month

    I finally released the guide that I have been drafting for a few weeks! I got a really good response at the launch, so I hope that it’ll only get better as I keep marketing it. (It is a social media marketing guide.)

    the ultimate social media guide

    The revenue I made from Fomo ads has been the highest since I started with them (March).

    Revising my current Pinterest strategy.

    What didn’t work this month

    I participated in less Facebook share threads. 

    I didn’t join any new affiliate programs, even though I had planned to.

    I was lazy and didn’t market my business as much as I should have.

    July Stats

    These numbers are my social media numbers, email subscribers, and blog subscribers. 

    Note: At the end of each month, I clean out my email list and unsubscribe those who weren’t active.

    • Email subscribers: Mailerlite 197 compared to 95 in April (thanks mostly to my content calendar opt-in and in part to my SMART goals opt-in)
    • Blog subscribers: 3, compared to 1 in April
    • Pinterest: 191k monthly views, 4.4k engaged, 2,388 followers (from May-July my Pinterest rose to 275k, dropped to 125k, and is now slowly picking back up.)
    • Facebook biz page: 198 likes compared to 147 likes in April
    • Instagram: 1,553 vs 1,524 in April (dipped to 1400 in June/July due to hiatus
    • Twitter: 431 vs 426 in April 
    • Website: 1.2k users/1.5k sessions compared to 1.5k users in April

    I’m not as active on Twitter as I like to be, and probably won’t be. My main focus is Pinterest, then Facebook & Instagram. (Although they could probably use more love.)

    Also, I am comparing everything to April’s numbers, because April was the last time I produced an income report.

    july blogging income report

    August goals

    I hope to really step it up this month. My daughter will be starting school and I’m hoping to have fewer distractions during the day and able to get more done. 

    With that being said, I think I will be making small goals, and go from there. By the end of August I hope to have:

    • 250 email subscribers (just added a new opt-in at the beginning of the month so cross my fingers that it’s popular!)
    • 5 blog subscribers
    • 250k Pinterest monthly viewers, with over 50% link clicks
    • 220 Facebook page likes
    • 1650 Instagram followers
    • I will be taking a break from Twitter
    • 2,000 pageviews on my website

    I also aspire to have 2 management clients and continue with my one blog post a week. I have also started opening my blog up to guest posts so hopefully that’ll help!

    pinterest link clicks
    Pin link clicks for July – 48%

    Final thoughts

    Mid-May through July turned out to be pretty hectic in my personal and work life. I let my business slide, and although I enjoyed the break, it made me a little complacent. 

    Now that it’s a new month, I feel motivated to take my business to a new level. I’m not sure what that will look like, but stay tuned for August’s income report to find out!