How to Choose the Right Work at Home Business

How to choose the perfect work at home business for you
How to choose the right work at home business

How to Choose the Right Work at Home Business for You

Creating a work at home business is a great way to balance your family life with your need to earn money. But, you need to seriously sit down and figure out whether you want a product based business or a service based business.

Both product and service based business sell a product but in one case the product is tangible and in another, it’s a skill. In order to determine that let’s look at some differences between a product based business and a services based business.

Product Based Business

When you sell a product it’s usually a tangible item but with the advent of the Internet and digital products, the lines are being blurred. Today, you can offer digital products, courses, books, blogs, videos and information as your product as well as products you can touch like jewelry, art, and so forth. Don’t get tied up in thinking you must create the products. You can become an affiliate or reseller for the right products. To learn about affiliate companies that will easily accept you when starting out, read my post on affiliate network that will accept a newbie blogger.

Services Based Business

When you deal in services the client puts their faith in you and perhaps your staff to perform the services they hired you to do, depending on your skills and experience. These are things like bookkeeping, architecture, legal services; virtual assistance, graphic design and coaching services are all service based business.

You can combine both a service based business model with a product based business model on the Internet and have the best of all worlds. For example, you can promote a book and a course as a life coach offering your coaching services as your higher priced product over the books and courses.

In order to determine what services and/or products you want to promote in your work at home business take the time to do your due diligence.

-Make a List of Your Skills – It’s important to do an inventory of your skills. The first thing you need to do is to write down a list of what you already know how to do. Do you have computer skills, people skills, and knowledge that you can share with or teach others?

-Determine Who You Want to Work With – Do you love a certain group of people and what they do or what they stand for? For example, perhaps you are currently a paralegal at a law firm and you enjoy working with attorneys and helping clients who are dealing with divorce. You can still do that with your own work at home business. It’s important to identify the exact audience you want to work with whether you’re going to promote products, a service or both.

-Make a List of Things You Can Do for Your Audience – Once you have your skillset and audience determined now you can start figuring out how to solve their problems. Identify their pain points of the audience you chose, narrow it down to two or three pain points and then figure out how you can serve them.

-Match Your Skillset with the Services – A key in choosing products, creating products, and offering services is to match your skill set with what is needed to solve the pain points of your audience. When you take the time to do this you’ll find that your work at home business is going to be more successful.

Finally, once you’ve chosen your audience, and your niche within that audience and whether or not you’ll have a product or service based business (or both) you’ll have some other things to work out too. Ask yourself the following questions.

For more on choosing the right niche, get my Free e-book

How Much Startup Cash Do You Have?

The type of business you choose will be affected a lot by how much cash you have to get started. Service based businesses are a lot less expensive to start, depending on your skill set.

Digital products don’t cost much more to develop either, again depending on your own skills and whether or not you’ll need to outsource some of the work such as website design or product creation.

You can start a work at home business for relatively little money compared to a bricks and mortar business. You don’t have the high rent, utilities and so forth to pay for like a bricks and mortar business. Therefore, your startup costs can be a lot lower, but you still have startup costs.

-Business License Fees – You need to get a business license in most states and counties in the USA to run a business from your home. Usually, the cost is very low, so don’t allow yourself to be afraid of finding out the costs and rules in your area.

-Technology Costs – You may already own a computer and the technology that you need, but you may need to invest in some extra software too. Today you can “rent” software on a monthly basis which makes it a 100 percent write off like other direct expenses. For example, it costs $9.99 a month to rent bookkeeping software through Go Daddy. That is a cost you can write off as an expense.

-Contractor Fees – You may need to hire help such as marketing professionals, virtual assistants, web designers and others to help you get started and maintain your business.

But, there are also deductions you can count on when running a business from your home. If you can set up an exclusive area of your home to be the home office you can get quite a large home office deduction that makes everything even less expensive when starting a home business because these expenses you can deduct won’t go up, such as utilities, electricity, internet and so forth.

Another way of determining how much it will cost you to start up is by writing a one-page business plan. You can read how to go about that in my post: you don’t need a 100-page business plan to start one. In that post, you get a free template you can use to write your plan down.

Divi WordPress Theme

Do You Like Being Upfront or Behind the Scenes?

Some people love the idea of their work at home business being all about them. They name their business with their own name, they are the business. This is common with life coaches, public speakers, and even doctors. They are the expert and the name behind their business. Others prefer to be more behind the scenes and not be a household name.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this. What matters is that you are happy with your choice. Don’t try to push yourself into a position that you don’t like because it will make it hard for you to want to work your business each day. Be honest with your assessments about your tolerance for publicity.

Do not think that if you’re an introvert you can’t create an amazing home based business, you can. The Internet is the perfect place for that. Some very famous introverts are J.K. Rowlings, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. While they didn’t directly start an “internet based” business they all started at home.

How Much Time Do You Have to Devote?

Another important factor is the time it takes to do a business. A service based business essentially trades hours for dollars so you’ll need to have enough hours at a high enough rate to make the money you want to earn. With a product based business, you may be able to earn more without considering the hours as much.

However, with a service based business, you can earn money faster which is why combining a product based business with a service based business is a good option for many who need to start earning faster. For example, you can start with a book, and then offer a service described in the book. This works great with life coaches.

Answering these questions will help you identify what you can realistically do as a work at home business.  Once you identify the niche, your resources, and narrow down what you’ll do to earn money in your work at home business.

In addition to these questions, it’s important to understand what goes into the business you want to start and that you have the skills necessary to do it.

Do Your Due Diligence

It’s important to check your facts before you get your heart set on any one business. Once you’ve matched your skills with your audience and identified their pain points now you need to dig in and do some more research.

-How Many People are In Your Target Audience? – This is an important question to answer because if there aren’t enough people in your niche to be profitable then you may need to choose a different audience. If you need to earn 100K a year, you need to know how many people you need to sell to.

-What Price Point Can Your Audience Afford? – In addition to how many people are in your target audience, you need to know how much they can afford to pay for your potential products and / or services. What is your offering worth to them and can they afford to buy them?

-Can You Earn the Profit You Need? – Based on the numbers can you become profitable? This is such a huge issue when starting any business. You have to perform an analysis, called a S.W.O.T. analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Don’t leave a stone unturned in your research to choose the right work at home business. You need to know the good and the bad of each choice that you make before you even get started with your work at home business. While doing your research, consider making use of my Resource library.

Other Things to Consider When Starting a Work At Home Business

There are so many things to consider when choosing a Work At Home business to start. Because you don’t just want to start, you also want to earn a living at it. Outside of the logical things to consider mentioned above there are some emotional factors to think about.

-Do You Feel Passionate About Your Niche? – When you have your own business you have to be willing to live it and breathe it. If you don’t like it, and don’t have a true love for doing it, whatever it is, you will not be happy doing it and you’ll likely not devote the time and effort needed to make it successful. Ensure that your choices come down to something you feel strongly about enough that you can envision yourself doing it every day 40 or more hours a week, happily.

-Does It Match Your Value System? – You may not realize that you even have a value system. But, when you start thinking about the type of people you’ll work closely with in the new business, and their values and moral code, you’ll soon realize that it does make a huge difference. For example, let’s say you want to start a paralegal business from home. Do you want to work with lawyers who defend criminals or who help people through a divorce? If either of these ideas goes against your value system you won’t feel good about it.

-Is it Viable Long-term? – A huge issue with any business is determining whether or not it’s a short lived fad, or a trend, or whether it can hold up long term. There’s nothing wrong with cashing in on a trend, but you want your main business to stand the test of time and last for the next ten or twenty years.

-What’s Your Exit Strategy? – When you work for someone else, you have an exit strategy built in. You pay into social security and usually a company retirement plan and that’s how you live when you stop working. But, when you have your own business while you do pay into and can collect social security, you’re 100 percent responsible for the payments and setting up your own retirement plan. If you create your work at home business right, you can actually sell it for retirement. It’s a real, viable business and you should think of it that way.

Developing a profitable home based business takes just as much work to start as a bricks and mortar business. You still have to do the work by the numbers, and meet the requirements of the law. Plus you want to actually like what you’re doing in the end. After all, it feels good to go to work if you like it, right?

Otherwise, it’s just going to feel like another job that causes stress in your life and makes you want to run away. If you do the work necessary to choose the right business for you, you’ll love it, feel motivated every single day, and end up happier in the end. You’ll have true time and money freedom with the right work at home business.

To learn how you can make money from your work at home business, subscribe for my Free 5 days training on how to make money from your WordPress Blog

Be Honest About What It Takes

When you start any business it’s important, to be honest with yourself about what it takes to get things done. Keep track of the time, money and resources that you use so that you can project your future needs. Keeping the books balanced will help you keep your business on track.

-Time Freedom – Knowing how much time you’ll really need to spend on your business is important. If you only have 2 hours a day to spend, you’ll need to ensure that you pick the right business to be in.

-Money Freedom – Keeping track with a bookkeeping system is important because if you don’t have money to pay your taxes and expenses you’ll go out of business.

-Personal Freedom – One of the best things about a work at home business is that you can adjust the time you spend on your business so that it works better with your life. However, sometimes you have to put the business first. If you always choose family and friends over your business, your business will fail.

By understanding the myths about working at home, you know – the sitting on the beach with your feet in the sand while your business magically generates millions of dollars is a fantasy.  Now you can set up a more realistic business model that will be successful for you.

Marketing Matters

No matter what type of business you choose to run from home, don’t be shy about it. Once you make the decision, be proud of it. Tell everyone you know about your new business. Teach other people about your working hours so that they respect your time, project the type of professional image that you want people to see you as, and don’t hide. For doubters, show them the money.

-Website – Home based businesses even more than bricks and mortar business need a website. That is your storefront. You need to create an awesome storefront to market your business.

-Business Cards – Make some business cards to help you get the word out in person and locally. You can put business cards on tables, bulletin boards and in the hands of people you meet every day.

-Networking – Don’t forget that you can network online too with social media groups and forums. You don’t have to walk up to someone in person; you can instead engage people online to network.

Running your WAH business can be very satisfying if you go into it with your eyes wide open. Determine the best business for you based on facts, not myths. Craft a plan of action to get your business up and running and be proud that you’re a WAH business. After all, if you plan it right, you’ll have the business of your dreams plus the time to enjoy your life.

If you desire to learn more about different work at home business ideas why not read my post on 5 posts that teach you how to make money online

If you loved this post, please share with your friends and leave a comment below.

What to do when your Blog is Hacked

 

What to do when your Blog is hacked

 

The most heart-wrenching thing that can happen to you as a new blogger is for your site to be hacked. You will virtually break out in cold sweat, I know because that was what happened to me on Mother’s day this year when I checked my page and saw that I had been hacked by some bad guys. I said to myself here am I struggling to get page views and rank well on Google, I don’t get found by people who need me but by hackers.

Before my site was hacked, there was an international Brute force attack taking place then, where people’s computers were been taken over until they paid a ransom before it could be re-opened, I felt it didn’t concern me that much because I just started my blog and what could they want with my tiny Blog. But the world we live in has changed so much that we all need to be extra security conscious. When I started my Blog, I was just interested in churning out posts and promoting them. Trust me, security was the last thing on my mind, but hacking is the one thing that helps reset your priorities.

Not securing your site is like putting your goods in a store without a lock and key, you are virtually saying anyone could walk in and take your goods away.

After going through that experience, here are 7 things to do when your blog is hacked.



Calm Down and Think:

The first time you experience a hacking of your site, all sort of things will be going through your mind, for me, I was wondering does that mean I have to start all over to create all the posts that I lost? because once you are hacked, you can’t see your posts anymore. I can remember the first time I tried logging to see my blog from my phone, a black page just appeared on my Blog with the inscription Slowey kan, I thought it was some kind of advert, I had just implemented ads on my site then. But when I became suspicious was when the page won’t go way, I was like even if it was an ad it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to go away, but there it was staring at me as if you can’t do anything I am here to stay.

I quickly ran to my laptop and logged in to my admin page that was when I saw some ugly script on my admin page that won’t go away. I refreshed my page and it was still there, that was when I literally broke down in cold sweat. My palms clammy, I began writing to my hosting company. When they saw the screen shots I sent, they were the ones that informed me that I had been hacked.

That was when I knew it was hacking that took place, I just kind of began to wonder what now?. How do I fix this? I wrote them asking what I should do, I was then told they will clean up the site and restore all the corrupted posts at no extra cost. I was quite relieved because I had Googled some company who promised to clean up my site at about a 100 dollar or so.

Write your Hosting company:

When you are hacked, the first thing you should do is to write your hosting company, they will give you some instructions to follow after they have cleaned up your site, that’s assuming your Hosting company is the type that offers to clean up your site after it has been hacked. I was glad my hosting company  Jvzoo. went into action immediately to restore my site and within 24 hours they were able to restore my blog back except for 2 posts which came after the last backup they had of my Blog.

They also gave me a host of instructions to help prevent future attacks, I can’t be more thankful as I thought I had lost all my months of hard work and have to start over again. Thankfully I do not have to. If you had like to sign up with my hosting company click here Jvzoo.

I only had to restore 2 posts that came after that. Because I pre-write my posts on Word document which I keep on my computer, I was able to easily restore those posts.



Inform your audience:

My Blog was hacked on a Mother’s day, wahoo, they really got me, just when I had been promoting my Mother’s day post, people will get to my blog and can’t access it. Since I couldn’t possibly work on that Blog for a while, I decided to write to my email list informing them of what happened, I also sent the post directly to their mailbox, I don’t want them missing out on what I had put together for the Mother’s day celebration.

Restore your Plugins:

After your Blog is cleaned up, apart from the posts that have been restored, you will find that your Plugins are absent, your site is as good as brand new, with no plugins whatsoever, so you will have to start all over to add your plugins, the first I added back was my GA ( Google Analytics). Thankfully my page data was restored. The next thing I thought of was my social shares for my older post If I lost that as well, all my posts will have zero shares.  Who wants that? if you are a new blogger, am sure there is a certain amount of satisfaction you get from seeing your share numbers climb, you wouldn’t want to start rebuilding that for any reason. That’s why I recommend using Social warfare for your share buttons. Because I was using them, as soon as I reinstalled my share buttons all my shares were back pronto. If I had changed I bet I would have lost out on the old posts. Click here to  get Social warfare

I did try to use another share button but the functionalities weren’t so cool so I went back to using my Social warfare, I think they have one of the coolest share buttons by the way.

Start your securing your site immediately:

To secure your site here are things that need to be done

1-Scan your computer with the latest and updated antivirus and spyware, make sure its virus free.

2-Reset all passwords, including email passwords, database passwords, Cpanel passwords. Verify your email account from the control panel.

3-Your new password should not be simple, use a password generator to make a new password. Click here to get to a password generator. To ensure the strength is good, click here

4-Do not store your passwords in email client browser and FTP client.

5-Make sure you log off from your control panel after use, do not share your passwords with anyone or write it down anywhere, memorize it.

6-Make sure your computer does not have any keyloggers, click here to check

7-Install only Plugins that have good ratings and are from trusted source, you can read my post on Plugins to see what you should look out for when using a Plugin on your Blog

8-Ensure that all your Plugins and third-party applications are all updated.

9-Change pre-configured passwords to new ones that will be difficult to guess by an outsider.

10-Change your database password to a strong one using the resources mentioned above.

11-Do not re-use passwords, ensure also that you update your changed password on wp-config.php

12-Change your prefix table from wp_ to a new one, hackers often use this to inject their codes which cause malicious damage.

13-Change your admin login page from wp-admin to something else, if you are still using this default, the hacker’s job is made easier because they only need to guess your password.

14-Dont keep unused themes and plugins since hackers often use it as a backdoor to set up access to your site.

15-Change all defaults: Posts, comments, directories names, it’s usually easier when setting up WordPress, if you are already set up then you need to go to settings—Miscellaneous( in your admin controls) to change it.

16-Restrict the amount of Login Attempts anyone with admin access can do on your site, you can use a plugin to do that.

17-install the Plugin disable Xml-rpc on your site, this plugin supports jetpack in securing your website.

18-Do a peremptory scan of your blog once in a while, I recommend using wordfence gravity scan, its free and you can use it to determine the vulnerabilities on your Blog.



Get a Good Security Plugin: 

Another way you can help secure your blog is to get a good security Plugin. I personally recommend Loginizer security Plugin because it has the following features:

-Recaptcha verifier

-Two-factor login verifier

-Passwordless login ability

-Disable xml rpc

-Ability to change your login URL

-Ability to change your wp- prefix

-Limits multiple login attempts

I also recommend Wordfence: Wordfence alerts you anytime there is successful login into your website. It also blocks out targeted attacks on your Blog.

Check for Broken or dead links:

Check all your initial posts especially the ones you have put on Pinterest for dead links. When I restarted my Blog after the hack, I discovered that some of my posts were turning up missing page link, so I repaired the links by editing it on Pinterest to reconnect them to the post on my blog.



 

 

Affiliate Networks that accept a Newbie Blogger

Affiliate Network for Newbie Bloggers

Affiliate incomes are often the easiest way to start earning money on your Blog as a newbie blogger. This is because it is often about promoting other people’s products that you have used before, or you believe in. By promoting these products, you make money by getting a commission once you make a sale. This idea is used by many product creators to get people to market their products, It’s a win-win idea.  For some of the affiliates I mentioned in my checklist, you can make up to 60% of the products price as a commission when you make a sale.

Affiliate marketing is one income avenue you can easily use to start monetizing your blog right from the beginning without creating your own products. if you are good on affiliates, you may even find it earns you a chunk of your Blog income before you start creating your own products.

There is one snag about affiliates though, not all affiliates will accept your application to be an affiliate of their products because they have their own specifications on the type of audience they want and the number of followings you have on social media. While that reason can motivate some people to go work on their numbers, it can also discourage some few people.


VigLink banner

When I started my blogging journey, I thought I will be accepted on every affiliate network I applied to once I had my domain name and a few posts on my blog but it wasn’t so. I wished there was a list that could show me which ones will accept me and which ones will not so I could focus on applying to those ones instead of going through rejects. So I have created a checklist of some affiliate networks that will easily accept a newbie Blogger.

Click here to access it.

Since you are a newbie Blogger, you may want to read my post on the best plugins to use. In that post, I explained the 7 must have Plugins for every new blogger.

 

7 must have plugins for a newbie Blogger.

7 Must have Plugins for a Newbie Blogger

Plugins are essential for the smooth running of a blog. One person likened Plugins to the plumbing’s you need in a house to enable it to have some functionalities that make it better to use.

Officially according to Wikipedia a Plugin is defined as software that adds extra features to an existing computer program thereby enabling customization of that program. For example, when you add a social warfare plugin, you can enable your social media buttons on your page in other for people to share your content.

As a new Blogger, that is just starting out, there are various terms that may seem new to you, one of them is Plugins, when you start out you may wonder if you need them or not, but as you get along the blogging journey you tend to discover that they are a necessity especially if you are not Techie and you don’t want to outsource any part of your blog build up due to lack of funds.

If you are like me, with little funds to spare and you get to realize that you are going to be working daily at this Blog, It is better to learn the necessary things that are required to enable you to run the blog efficiently, hence my adventure into the use of Plugins.

Plugins are like lifesavers, especially if you have been trying to get something fixed and you have wondered how it is done, only to realize that a plugin could easily do it for you without much stress. For example, when I wanted to verify my Pinterest site, I tried uploading my HTML tag but I couldn’t do it. But once I used my Yoast SEO social, it was done instantly. I was so happy the day it happened that I went about smiling all day.

 

Having learned a few things since I started my Blog in March, here are some Plugins that I know you can’t do without.

Akismet: Akismet is a plugin that enables you to protect your Blog from spam attacks, it’s the first thing you must have before you ever launch your Blog. You don’t want to start battling with Spam attacks from day 1, they can mess up your Blog posts especially from the comments section.  Before you can install Akismet, you have to get what they call an API key, consider your API key like a house key which you need to unlock the door to your house. Your API key is gotten after you have registered with the provider of the Plugin. it’s after you key in your API key that Akismet can start working. If you are using the JVzoo Host, you will find that the provider of the WordPress site already comes with the Akismet already pre -installed, you just have to network activate to get it running. To sign up with my hosting company click Here: Sign up now for hosting

The good thing about it is that its free and open source, you don’t have to pay a dime once you have it installed on your system. You only need your updates once in a while and it’s still free.

Google XML sitemap: Wow, this is the second must have Plugin, it helps you index your Blog with most search engines, like Google, Bing, and webmasters. When I started my Blog, I didn’t know much about this plugin, I thought that once you enable the settings through your admin section that authorizes search engines to index your website that was it. But I soon found out I was wrong because when I typed my web address, my blog never came up. So I read up some more on it and I found that I needed to submit my website to various search engines for indexing, I tried to but the process was a bit complicated for me until I discovered this plugin, Google XML sitemap that helps one to do it without all the stress of trying to do it one by one.

To install google XML sitemap follow these directions

  • Go to your Admin section
  • Click on Network activate, then go down to appearance and click on Plugin then click on Add new.
  •  Now go ahead and search for Google XML sitemap and click on Network activate, then you can go ahead and install it on your Blog.

 Key things I look out for when installing a plugin

1- Number of installations it has had

2 The ratings

3 When last the version was updated.

4Compatibility: whether it is compatible with the version of WordPress that I use.

All these factors help me to know how well a plugin will perform. This is because if it has 100’s of thousands of active installs or even in millions, it means, many people trust it and are consistently using it. If its ratings are high, chances are also that it is good. If the plugin is constantly updated, that means it’s much less vulnerable to hackers. Old un Updated Plugins are often used by hackers as a backdoor to your website, beware of using them.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics enables you to track your page views and your sources of traffic. This is a very important data if you want to grow as a Blogger. It’s a popular saying that what you can’t measure you can’t improve on. So it’s important that you have your Google analytics installed from day 1 of your blogging activity as this will allow you see your data trends with time. It will also tell you which countries that most of your traffic is coming from. Under its reports, it will also give you the metrics of where your traffic is coming from and where they terminate. It will give you an idea of how your posts are performing. From your GA, you will get to know which of your Posts high traffic attractors are. In fact running a blog without GA is liking flying a Plane without radar.

Yoast SEO: My encounter with Yoast SEO helped me shape my writing skills to better create a rankable content. Yoast SEO has the analysis that tells you if the content you are going to post has a good SEO and also if the readability is good. These two points are important if you want your Posts to come up during a search. The feedback it gives you allows you put down a better write up. It has some basic features and also a Paid feature. You can start with a basic feature and then upgrade to a paid one as you scale. It’s a very good Plugin because it helps analyze your content before it goes live. It has a very good support network and also offers some training on how to use it.

Loginizer: Loginizer is a security plugin you may want to try, because I was a new blogger, I didn’t take my security so serious until I started having attacks from hackers who were trying to hack my blog I wrote to my host company JVzoo who quickly offered me support and advised on what plugins to use to protect myself from spammers and hackers. I picked up this plugin because I didn’t want to go the route of rewriting my admin login configure. It helped to protect my Blog from brutal force attacks.

It works by blocking IPs that exceed a maximum number of trials to log in, a frequent feature of hackers. It also enables you to blacklist frequent IPS that are always trying to Log into your blog. Loginizer is easy to use because it’s just plugged and play. It has a paid feature though.

Social warfare; When I started my blog, I have often wondered how to get my share buttons on my page to enable people to share my content. When your content gets shared, it enables more traffic to come to your page. I was participating in a Facebook group page when someone got my attention by suggesting this wonderful plugin. Social warfare enables you to activate your social media buttons hence enabling anyone that comes to your page to share your content. Since I installed it, I have been able to keep track of my contents shares on social media, it has helped me know what has worked for my posts and what does not work. That way I am consistently working to improve myself.  While I am not yet perfect yet, it’s a journey I am enjoying. To get this Plugin, click Here Social warfare

 

Ebook store: If you are like most bloggers who want to monetize their blog immediately through the sale of their own EBook, then you should try installing eBook store, it’s a plugin that is integrated with woo commerce to enable you to add a cart to your blog site.  It is a paid plugin meaning that if you want to be able to synchronize it with your PayPal account, then you have to pay their monthly subscription in other to have the features that help you receive payment. EBook store works perfectly well if you are the store owner. Another feature that may work for you if you are selling stuff from your Blog is the Shopify app. it enables you to set up your eCommerce store in a bit.

Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products customize your storefront accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders all with a few clicks of the mouse.

If you found this post helpful, that means you are a newbie blogger, congratulations on starting out on this wonderful journey read this 7 Helpful tips for the home business owner to help get your self-prepared for the journey ahead.

Thanks for reading, Kindly share with your friends.