Friday, July 31, 2009

Is Becoming a Virtual Assistant for Me?

Most of the posts I've been writing on this blog have been for people who already have a home based business and want to be more successful at it. But what if you haven't decided on the type of home based business you want to start?

Well, there are many options out there but you have to decide what's best for you. So, with that I've made it one of my goals (don't you you just love that word?:-) to also try and help those who are still deciding on what type of business (products or services) they want to run from home.

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to "Becoming a Virtual Assistant"

What does a Virtual Assistant do you wonder? What doesn't she do (or he)! A virtual assistant in lamens terms is an administrative assistant that performs an array of jobs for large and small companies. The difference is the flexibility to work from home and rather than work for someone else's company directly, you are a contractor.

Virtual assistant responsibilities may include managing emails, handling client inquiries, maintaining schedules, transcribing, typing, creating presentations accounting and even setting up profiles and accounts on social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Linked In.

How Do You Know That Becoming a Virtual Assistant is right for you?

Well you can start by asking yourself a few questions:

1- Do I like performing secretarial/administrative tasks?
2- Do I have access to a computer, fax machine, phone, and internet access?
3- Do I have strong office and business administration skills? If not, do I want to learn them?

The demand for Virtual Assistants has skyrocketed in the last few years. Companies can hire a virtual assistant to take care of a number of jobs without having to provide a desk or even health insurance. Virtual assistants can save companies lots of money but they can make lots of money as well. I don't know about you but if I had the choice of working in an office for someone making what they determine I should make vs. working from home so I can be near my family and setting my own rates based on what IIII determine I should make, I'll take the latter.

image courtesy of
Michelle Howard Smith is President of Reviyve LLC, a n online based personal care products business and she's on a mission to help others fulfill their dream of working from home. To subscribe to one of Michelle's monthly newsletters, click Subscribe to Stress Less Newsletter OR Subscribe to Skin Naturale Newsletter

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making Money With Article Marketing

So by now you guys (and gals) should know me. I absolutely looooove to share information and resources with my fellow work from home enthusiasts!

Well, this is a great one and it isn't going to cost you much but it will cost you something...a little time and a little money. But hey it's worth it and nothing worth achieving is completely free.

It's all about article writing to increase your presence on the web. When you increase your web presence and begin to trust you, they are easier to convert into customers. One way to do this is with article marketing. Now, I've written quite a few articles but I don't yet have the level of traffic I want but I'm getting there. That's when I discovered Articology.

I recently read an e-book by Lisa Angelettie (Author of - the #1 Advice and counseling site online) about Article Marketing that has made me realize that I may not be doing my article marketing correctly ...or at the very least maybe I'm leaving some strategies out.

Lisa has an Articology Article Marketing Training Program that I subscribed to and I suggest all my home business owners with websites do the same. When you sign up for the program, you will learn the following:
  • How To continuously generate content ideas that people want to read!
  • Article submission secrets
  • How To Creating weekly articles in 30 minutes or less!
  • How to optimize your articles with keywords for the search engines!
  • How to re-purpose your articles into MANY income revenue streams!
  • How to test and track your articles and learn what to write more articles!
  • Tricks and techniques for eliminating common article marketing mistakes
Subscribe to the Articology Article Marketing Training Program here

Visit Lisa at

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daily Marketing Plan

Over the last few days ago I've really been thinking about ways to get my home business to the next level. I know that My Father God blesses everything I set my hands to but I have to ask myself, "Is what I'm setting my hand to being done in the most effective way?" By that I mean, "Do I have any direction?" Well, I discovered that I'm usually all over the place. I do a little of this and a little of that....Go on Twitter for a few minutes a week, no specific day; write an article or two once in a while; constantly changing the look and feel of my websites without really tracking them. Boy, I haven't even checked my Adwords and Adsense account in God knows when.

This behavior is not productive and I've discovered that while I am a full time working mom, I can build more success with my internet marketing business if I develop some consistency and a plan....a daily marketing plan that is.

Building a successful online business is a lot of work. There are so many things that MUST be done on a consistent basis in order to maintain traction in the online world. So, now that I'm working from a daily schedule, here are the things I focus on:
  • Spending specific time reading articles and commenting on Linked In
  • Spending regular time interacting with folks on Twitter, participating in discussions related to my business and sharing information
  • Writing 2 articles per week (1 for each of my sites) and submitting them to article directories like
  • Bookmarking my articles on social bookmark sites like, stumble upon and reddit
  • Checking my ppc ad accounts once a week to check my ad performance
  • Writing 1 Squidoo lens weekly to share information about topics and products related to my business and then bookmarking those lenses
  • Working on my company newsletters once a week so I can have completed content by the first of each month
  • Checking the stats for each of my websites and tracking changes
  • Emailing my list specials on a weekly basis tailored just for their needs
  • Blogging on my 3 blogs twice weekly (sometimes scheduling posts when I get a ton of stuff to say all in a short period of time) - 2 of my blogs Fresh Radiant Skin and Stress & Alternative Pain Relief are for me displaying my knowledge in my fields of natural skin care and alternative pain relief & stress management. My 3rd blog, the one you are now reading is for me to give back to the online community. I believe in helping others succeed one because no one ever just "arrives." We all have help along the way. Another reason is because I will also be helping pave my own way to success. In each of my blogs I like to display my personality so that you all can get to know me. I'm pretty transparent really. I like to joke around, exhibit a little sarcasm and even get a little serious when I'm sharing the latest news in the industries. However, I also love to write and converse with others in general which is why I hope my readership will pick up. How quickly you all will discover how much I have to say!
So, I have a set amount of time for myself each day to complete these tasks and I highly recommend the habit of working from a schedule to anyone building a home based business, especially an internet marketing business. When scheduling time for yourself to complete tasks, it's important to remember that discipline is essential. Don't do other things like check your email first or you may never get to your "assigned" tasks. Check your email after you've completed your To Do scheduled items. This will keep you on track as well as help with your time management.

Finally, remember that Rome was not built in a day. Don't get discouraged. Hard work barely fails to pay off. You can be successful and I hope that we can be on this journey together. I will share my learnings while building my business and I hope you will share yours.

God Bless and Here's to Fruitfulness in Business!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tupperware and Watkins Home Business Feature

Featured: Suzanne Laukka
Tupperware & Watkins Home Business Entrepreneur
Bio: Suzanne has been married to Danny Laukka for 27 years. They have 3 sons and reside in the North Georgia Mountains. Suzanne has owned a pet shop for 16 years, has been a Tupperware Consultant for a year and a half and an independent Watkins associate for 3 years. In her spare
time, Suzanne enjoys reading and watching television.

1. So Suzanne, you appear to be a jack of all trades, creating streams of income from a variety of multi-level marketing sources. Please share those sources and tell my readers what’s working best for you

When I started looking for a home business to help with the family finances, I wanted to make sure that the company had been around for a while so I wouldn't be so worried about being scammed. My sister reminded me of all the years my Mom and Grandma used Watkins products and she saw an ad for The Summit Group and how to become an Independent Watkins Associate. I took the tour through the site and I just knew this was the business for me when introducing my Independent Watkins Business to a friend from one of my groups, she began telling me about her Tupperware business. I love Tupperware and to help her out, signed up underneath her so she would profit off of my own personal sales. Being around for years, Watkins and Tupperware products pretty much sell themselves. I do very well with both of my home businesses.

2. What influenced your decision to offer the products you are selling?

That Watkins has been around for over 140 years and has good quality products and that Tupperware is still going strong after 60 plus years. I have used the products myself and to me they are definitely better than the store bought products.

3. What do you find are your most responsive channels of marketing?

I do a lot of internet advertising, ads in newspapers, fliers, etc.... I seem to get the most response from people after they get to know me a little bit and realize that I am a real person that believes in my businesses and their products.

4. How do you manage to work out of the home as well as promote your home business?

It's not as hard as most people think it is. During my day at work, in between customers, paperwork, inventory, etc... I stamp fliers, talk to people about Watkins and Tupperware, make phone calls. Before and after work I drop off orders and when at home in between supper, laundry and housecleaning, I work on my advertising and meeting new people on my groups. I give out catalogs when I pay my bills, my kids functions, and other times when I am out and about.

5. Do you conduct parties? If so, how do you get folks interested in your products at those parties?

I do an occasional party and its a lot of fun to show people the quality of the products. I bring in some of the Watkins products to taste test also. The products sell themselves.

6. In your personal opinion, what would you say has been your biggest personal success?

I think it would be making a decent living with my 3 businesses and still be able to raise a happy and healthy family.

7. Your biggest failure (bear in mind that this is your perception and may not be
considered a failure by others)?

I can be a procrastinator and I am very unorganized. I am constantly looking for things I have misplaced and put off many things on my to do list until I am frantically trying to get it all done at once. Unfortunately, I have passed this on to my kids. That really bothers me. (You and I are a lot alike here! There's always room for improvement)

8. What are your plans for the future?

I hope to be able to sell my Pet Shop and pay off my house with the money. That way I can go farther with my businesses and be here when my kids get home from school. I also have an elderly Father that I would like to spend more time with instead of just lunch on Sundays.

9. What advice would you give to those who are interested in joining a multi-level
marketing company?

Keep in mind that you don't make millions over night. It takes work to make it a success. Believe in your products and yourself and don't quit. You can do it!

10. Where can people find you online to purchase your products and to network with you?

I belong to many ning groups. Also you can reach me through my sites. I'd love to meet you and get to know you. My Tupperware site is click on the contact me link or Put in your name and e-mail and I will contact you. Thank you Michelle for this opportunity to let everyone get to know me a little bit. Looking forward to hearing from everyone.

Visit Suzanne's sites for a much wider selection of products.... You'll find just the right product for your home.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Remaining Productive Working From Home

I'm a true believer in sharing information to help others be successful. There's enough room in this world for us all to succeed at what God has planted in our hearts to do. Regardless of if your goal is to build a multi-million dollar company or to just be a work at home mom, knowledge and wisdom is needed for success...oh and a little bit of favor but we'll save that for another discussion.

I discovered this article that I wanted to share with all my readers. I could have posted it here but why reinvent the wheel so to speak. Read the article here: Top 10 Tips for remaining productive while working from home. I think you will gain valuable insight from this article and may find additional help on this site (ecademy)

Enjoy and feel free to comment on the article.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TDN Creations - Handcrafted Jewelry

My new "Feature A Home Based Business Owner" will be kicked off with entrepreneur and home business owner is Trang Dai Nguyen of TDN Creations.

Bio: Trang Dai has been crafting for as long as she can remember. She "discovered" wire working several years ago, and a passion was born. Trang Dai then decided to take metalsmith classes to bring her creations to the next level. She's been working with many different materials, from felt to silk, to polymer clay and crystals. But her favorite of all is silver. Especially silver wire. Most of Trang Dai's work includes wire because it is so versatile. "You can twist it, weave it, crochet it, knit it, make jump rings and chainmaille with it... So many possibilities that she wants to explore thoroughly. Trang Dai also likes pure lines and simple designs. Because the simple things in life are often the best..."

1- Trang Dai, what inspired you to start your own jewelry making business?

Several years ago, I bought a box of polymer clay in a craft store and started making whimsical creatures with the clay. When I brought them to my workplace, some people asked me if I would sell them. I thought about it and started selling them to be able to buy more supplies. Then, I became an active member of several polymer clay forums and started experimenting with many techniques that I learned from more experienced polymer artists. Many of them were making beads and jewelry, so I tried that too.

One day, a fellow PC artist showed me a wonderful website that was teaching how to make wire jewelry. All the projects were beautiful and I just couldn’t resist trying all of them. Friends and colleagues started to buy my wire and crystal jewelry and that’s when I seriously considered starting a business. After several months, I was looking at some beautiful pieces of jewelry on the internet and was thinking to myself “if only I could make something like that!”. But I couldn’t do that with wire only. So I starting looking for a school, because I didn’t believe that I could learn metalwork all by myself, readings books and looking at videos on the internet. I needed a real teacher! Fortunately for me, I found 2 schools in Montreal that would teach jewelry making and metalwork. I chose the one that concentrated mainly on techniques and was very happy with my choice. Now that I have finished school, I can concentrate on my jewelry making business.

2- What are the goals and aspirations you have set for your business?

I would like to grow my business to have my handcrafted jewelry pieces exposed in well-known art galleries around the world and be able to participate in international juried shows.

3- What inspires your creations?

Ancient civilizations inspire me most. Jewelry making has been around for centuries and I am always amazed at what jewelers from these old times could do. The complexity of their work is unbelievable and the techniques they used are surprising. Nature is another of my inspiration. I like to look at flowers, leaves and animals and make my own interpretation in my designs. Finally, I have always been inspired by geometry. I like simple lines: circles, squares, ovals... There are so many possible combinations that make clean, simple but striking designs.

4 - Do you also work out of the home? If so, how do you manage your schedule to work on your jewelry making business?

I have a studio at home where I work on jewelry pieces that do not require soldering and heavy equipment, such as wire wrapping and wax modeling. But I also rent a space in a larger artists’ studio with other jewelers. We share our equipment, support and teach each other. Most of the time, I would start my working day making jewelry. At break and lunch time, I’d check my various email accounts and answer any important requests. It’s only at the end of the day that I would take care of the rest of the business side: listing new items, working on my website, supplies shopping list, accounting, promotion, etc...

5- Besides your online stores, what other means do you use to display,advertise or introduce your jewelry to potential customers?

I have a Facebook page where fans get special promotions and sales and enjoy sneak peeks. I also promote my work on Twitter at Offline, I organize home parties and plan on exhibiting at local craft shows starting this fall.

6- What have you learned as a home business owner?

Being your own boss is not always easy, especially when you have to deal with all aspects of the business, some of which you are not always familiar with. Time management is also a big challenge. But in the end, it is very rewarding because what you do, you do it for yourself.

7- Please share one resource with my readers that will help them to be successful working from home.

Internet is definitively a great resource. You can find any kind of information on all business related topics; you can network with other crafters, get support from fellow artisans on craft or business questions....

8- Why did you choose this resource?

Internet is the resource I use the most. It is available 24/7 and allows you to reach the world while sitting in front of your screen.

9- What words of advice do you have for others who may want to start their own handcrafting business?

Be persistent and trust your instinct. If you don’t know much about business, you can always take courses or even delegate. Have someone else build your website, take your pictures, do your accounting or even sell your items... As long as you have a passion for your craft, the rest can always be worked out.

10- Please provide my readers with ways they can contact you and/or purchase some of your pieces?

You can visit my Etsy shop at and contact me through the “conversation” system or visit my website at and send me an email at contact [at] tdncreations [dot] com for more information.

Below is a sampling of some of the beautiful pieces you can obtain from TDN Creations:

Again, here's where you can find more TDN Creations:

Etsy shop:
Facebook page:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Branding Your Business

Happy Wednesday! I have a special guest posting here today. I've asked this very special lady to share some information with my readers that can greatly help those seeking to build a brand for their home business. This lady really knows her way around the branding business. Her name is Michelle D'Avella and here's what she has to share:

"As a graphic designer, I encounter so many business owners who underestimate the importance, not only of branding a business, but most importantly their logo. Your logo is the face of your business. It is the stamp and mark of your product or service. A good logo stands apart from the rest and speaks true to your brand. Many business owners are put off by the cost of a logo or a brand identity, but it's important to understand how essential these elements are to the success of your business. You may have a great idea or a fantastic product- but are your customers taking you seriously? If your company does not LOOK professional how can a customer THINK you are professional? Consumers need to feel they can trust you. Your first impression is the look of your company- the logo, the corporate identity package. After that is established then the customer deals with your business. So, a first impression is important. Before you embark on your journey with a graphic designer take the time to really figure out what look your company needs to become successful. Notice, I said your company needs- not you. Many times business owners confuse what they like and want with what is best for the business, and most often that is not the case. Do your research- look at other quality logos. Find a designer who cares about what you're doing and wants to contribute to the success of it.

I co-own a clothing line called Vintage Blue. My partner and I spent a long time determining what our brand was and who it spoke to before I began the design process. But, when you look at it throughout all elements there is a consistent look and feel that represents the brand. Take a look at the website at as well as the business cards and letterhead at to get a feel for what I'm talking about."

Good luck in your business endeavors!

Bio: Michelle D'Avella is a freelance graphic designer working with companies in various industries from clothing lines and baking companies to energy drinks and salons. She has experience in print, web, and t-shirt design. She is the co-owner of Vintage Blue, an eco friendly clothing line which holds the exclusive license to The All American Girls Professional Baseball League from the film A League of their own. She also owned a denim boutique in 2006 called Denim Society where she spearheaded the design and marketing department. Take a look at Michelle's portfolio at and follow her blog at

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Blog Feature

In an effort to help individuals build their home based businesses, I will be adding a new feature to the blog. Every Sunday I will feature an entrepreneur or small business owner who is building or has built a successful home based business. This will help by providing encouragement along with helpful advice for those who have a home based business.... Stay Tuned for my first featured entrepreneur TDN Creations:

If you are interested in being featured, please visit: for complete details.

To Your Success!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sample Presentation is Everything

Have you ever received a sample of products to be utterly turned off by it? I know I have. Regardless to what your home business model is, if you are going to distribute any sort of samples or marketing material to promote your business, how you present it is very important.

Let's say you make your own custom printed handkerchiefs and wanted to hand out samples to some of the local shops in your area. Would you grab a handful of hankys and just throw them in a bag and hand them to the shop owner? Of course not! Or at least I hope you wouldn't.

Taking the time to invest in nice packaging materials can make all the difference in if a potential customer becomes interested in visiting your website (if you have one...and you should) to see what else you have to offer or just sampling your item and then quickly forgetting about your business. . . or even worst chucking what you have given!

Spend a few dollars on quality sample boxes or sample bags that may appear a bit different from what others are using. Put a label with the name of your business (include the website address) on the package and don't forget to enclose your business card. You never know who will wind up with your samples.
Here are a few providers of items you can use for your sample packaging needs (note: organza bags and cello bags are very popular):

Bayley's Boxes - Wholesale Gift Boxes and Retail Gift Packaging
Associated Bag - Packaging Supplies,Shipping Supplies,Plastic Bags,Poly Bags,Boxes
Wrapsacks - Planet Friendly Gift Wrap Bags & Totes

*Check out two of the Very Tastefully Packaged Samplers I've had the privilege of participating in:

Gabbriella's Sampler (packaged in the beautiful pink box above)
Snowberry Creek Sampler Boxes

Monday, July 6, 2009

Protect Your Information

McAfee, Inc

When working from home has become your choice and your way of living, it's important to safeguard your information. Information security is a big deal in corporate circles but should be just as big a deal for those with work at home businesses considering the fact that intrusion upon your data could be detrimental to your business. The security of your information is critical to your success and I've discovered that McAfee provides top of the line products for preventing computer viruses and information intrusion.

Check out one or more of the following money saving offers available for your home business as well as for the protection of your personal computer files and other data:

McAfee, Inc

McAfee, Inc

McAfee, Inc

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Computer for Everyone has a TON of computers on sale at dirt cheap prices. If you are just starting your home business or just need to replace the slow running clunker you've got, then you just may find a super deal at

You'll find Dell, HP and Toshiba computers (desktops AND laptops) ranging in price from about $259 to $409.

Happy Computing!
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