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How to Care for Yourself While Running a Startup

how to care for yourself while running a startup

As business owners, it’s easy to put the needs of others above our own. There is always somebody essential that wants or needs something – whether employees, clients, or even the dozens of emails waiting in your inbox. However, just because you have a demanding schedule, you don’t have to neglect self-care.

If you don’t make time for activities away from work, your mental and physical health will suffer – and so will your business. The healthier you feel inside and out, the more effectively you will be able to handle work responsibilities. Here are six ways to care for yourself while running a startup.

1. Schedule Me Time

The only way to stay consistent with self-care is to purposefully incorporate it into your daily schedule. Make it a priority to schedule some me time every day, even if it’s just fifteen minutes before you start work. Use this time to do anything that will make you happy and relaxed, whether that be journaling, doing yoga, practicing meditation, or just enjoying a good book. Keep this up every day, and you’ll spend more of your waking hours in a state of calm, as opposed to stressed and anxious.

2. Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is known to be one of the best stress relievers – helping to ease tension, improve your sleep quality, and boost your mood. But you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or tons of money at the gym to reap the benefits of exercise. Doing small chunks of physical activity throughout the week is enough. During the work day, use your breaks to get moving outside, even it’s just to take the dog for a walk. Commit to a fun outdoor activity that you love on the weekends – this will give you the balance you need between work life and your personal time.

3. Plan Your Meals

The foods you consume impact your cognitive thinking. A busy schedule, however, can make maintaining a healthy diet a challenge – sometimes it’s easier to just grab fast-food or order takeout. To avoid making poor food choices, prioritize planning your meals ahead of time. Having healthy meals prepared for the week will save you time during your busy workday.

4. Take a Break from Technology

We are all guilty of spending too much time with technology. Startup business owners find it especially hard to get away from technology when you have constant emails, demands, requests, and messages coming in. This is why it’s so important to set boundaries around the times when you will respond.

When you’re taking a break, the best thing to do is put your phone and computer out of sight so that you aren’t tempted to look at work messages. This will make it less tempting to think about your business 24/7 and give you a much-needed break from technology screens.

how to care for yourself while running a startup

5. Spend Time in Nature

Nature has a calming effect on the mind. The beauty and serenity of the outdoor world create a sense of peace you obviously don’t get in a working environment. Just getting outside during the week will rejuvenate your mind and help to relieve stress and mental fatigue. For additional benefit, try going barefoot – this has been shown to build muscle strength and reduce feelings of anxiety.

6. Plan a Weekend Getaway

Running a startup can be physically and mentally exhausting. If you can manage, make plans for a weekend getaway. Taking a few days to away in a new place will do wonders for your mindset and overall health. If you feel hesitant to take time off – keep in mind that it will be better for your business in the long run.

So, there you have them; six ways to care for yourself while running a startup.  Do you practice any other methods for your own self-care?  If so, please share them in the comment section below.

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10 Epic Reasons You Should Start a Business in Your 40s

Start a Business in Your 40s

One evening a close friend and I were enjoying margaritas. We talked about how at midlife, we feel like we’re not doing what we’re truly meant to do. We
still have a lot left to contribute to society. My friend has a couple of decades of experience building successful business partnerships and I have about the same amount of experience developing compelling content and marketing
programs.

Then a light bulb went off. We wondered if other women in their
late 40s, early 50s, felt the same way. After talking with a lot of our
colleagues and friends, they also agreed they feel like there’s something
else they should be doing.

And I’m proud to say that at 50-something, we’ve launched our baby, Bon
Faire. We help women over 40 use the skills they’ve accumulated either at a job or raising a family to take the leap into something new: taking an idea or passion and turning it into a business with the intent of doing good for society.

Some of our family and friends think we’re crazy. Why the heck would we
want to do start a business at our age? It’s hard work. There’s no guarantee.
What if we fail? We’re doing it for all those reasons because we’re not done…
we’re just getting started. We have valuable insights and wisdom to share,
and there are a lot of women who need our help. There’s no better time to start a business in your 40s or 50s…especially with the state of the world the way it is today.

What if every woman at this stage of life tapped into her power to do good? What if these ladies used their skills, experience, and know-how to launch a business with a social purpose in mind? Wouldn’t that be exactly what the world needs now?

If you’ve had an idea that’s been vying for your attention, here are 10 reasons why you should take action and start a business in your 40s or 50s:

1. You Have Life Experience

The mere fact that you’ve been on this planet for 40+ years means you’ve
experienced a lot in life. Just because you aren’t a billionaire or
have an alphabet soup of credentials following your name doesn’t
mean that you don’t have something of value to share with the world.
Because you do.

2. You’ve Already Done Hard Things

Whether you’ve been at a job for the past 25+ years or you’ve been
raising a family, you’ve learned how to navigate through the pitfalls
and trials that life throws your way. It’s a challenge to start a business in your 40s or 50s but we’re pretty sure you’ve made it through some tough times in your life.
This kind of character and tenacity is exactly what you need to make a
company work.

3. You Know a Lot of People

If you sat down and wrote a list of all the people you know, you’d be shocked at how long that list would be. These people are your network, which will be critical for you to leverage as you get started. Don’t be afraid to tap into this network because somewhere down the line, you’ll be able to help them too. Business is successful when people help each other.

4. You Know What You Want—and What You Don’t 

A key to success in business is clarity and focus. When you’re tuned into what you want, and what you don’t, you won’t be spreading yourself too thin by saying “yes” to everything you think will help you reach your goals. You’ll know what is right for you because you’ve “been there, done that” and likely don’t want to go through it again.

5. You’ve Failed Before

By the time you’ve reached your late 40s, you’ve made some mistakes. You’ve learned some hard-won lessons. And you also know you can’t stop. The willingness to try and fail is a critical characteristic you’ll need as an entrepreneur, but you’ve got that covered because you’ve been doing it your whole life.

6. You’ve Got More Money Now

To start a business in your 40s or 50s, you’ll need some capital. Luckily, you won’t need much if you start an online venture. You’re in a better place financially now since you’re likely not juggling the cost of starting a company with other major life investments like repaying student loans, buying a home or raising kids, though you may have some in college.

7. You Don’t Care What Other People Think 

This is probably the most liberating part of midlife: you don’t give a rat’s patootie what other people think of you. This freedom gives you the courage to take your passion and turn it into profit…even if that passion is painting ceramic frogs. When you were younger, you’d worry about what your parents or friends would say but now you simply don’t care, you’re ready to take the leap.

8. You Know How to Take Responsibility

You may have had to care for children, a friend, family members, or yourself. You know what you have to do to pay the bills so you’re not averse to doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Taking responsibility and ownership will be an important skill you’ll need to ensure success.

9. Your Options Are Limitless 

Because of your network, knowledge, experience, and skills, you can start any kind of business you want. This is more challenging when you’re younger because you haven’t earned a lot of money, developed a set up transferable skills, or experience. At this stage of your life, you have more options on the path to entrepreneurship. You can start from where you are now and move forward freely.

Related Reading: 5 Innovative Franchises Under 100K

10. Your Time is Limited 

This is a good thing, especially if you procrastinate or are easily distracted by that shiny new object. You no longer have the luxury of the “someday syndrome.” Your time on this Earth is more limited than it was 20 years ago. You have an idea, a passion, a purpose and it’s just waiting to happen. All you need to do is take that first step.

Maybe we’re crazy. But we think you’re crazy if you allow society to tell you what midlife should look like, and if you believe that since you’re over a certain age you’re just supposed to sit back and fade away. You’ve got skills and value to contribute. And there’s still work to be done. Now, let’s get to it! Visit Bon Faire and take our quiz to see what kind of Bon Faire woman you are.

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It’s Never Too Late for a Startup!

Never too late for a startup

Let Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Flourish

One of the most exciting things about the world of entrepreneurship is that initiatives are not bound by a retirement age. Business owners are often stereotypically seen as young twenty-somethings straight out of college (or dropouts in some cases), however, the spirit of entrepreneurship should not be limited by this perception. It can be argued that late-life entrepreneurship might be better than starting early since individuals can learn from their work and life experiences to make much more innovative and critical decisions of problem-solving.

So whether you want to start your own brand management or compete with marketing companies, know that it is never too late for a startup and here’s why:

1. Aspirations Do Not Have an Expiration Date

Shun the traditional ageist view that only the young can have aspirations of their own. The bottom line is that hopes, dreams, and aspirations do not expire and you should not let societal expectations hold you back.

Entrepreneurship provides you with an opportunity to give back something of value to your next generations – be a role model for your children and grandchildren. Contribute as much as you can while you can! Moreover, startups at later age also allow you to act as a mentor for the young people you will involve in your initiative, a chance to train those who will respect you for your wisdom and experience.

2. There Are Examples of Midlife Success

You are never too old to seek a new venture and the following people are prime examples of this statement. From the exemplary founders of Starbucks and McDonalds who were both in their 50s to Harland Sanders who founded KFC when he was 62 and Charles Flint who started IBM when he was 61. There are countless examples of success stories; people who did not let their age hold them back and polished their ideas to successfully launch businesses.

startup

3. In Today’s Era, There Are Endless Opportunities

Technology has penetrated the traditional framework behind startups in such a way that it is now easier than ever to take an initiative with a solid business idea. In today’s business environment, there are a variety of ways to enter the realm of entrepreneurship as long as you are taking up a relevant challenge and giving solutions for the needs of your consumers.

There are a plethora of options available for your startup venture, aided by the increasing involvement of digital technologies. The virtual world is inextricably linked to the business world and has emphatically altered the way we used to view entrepreneurship by reducing the bounds of time and space as well as organizational agility.

Things can be done, plans can be made and implementations can be carried out, all from the comfort of your home now. This can be even more effective if you plan to initiate an online business. The opportunities are truly endless.

Related Reading: How to Care for Yourself While Running a Startup

You can take it easy and enjoy a more leisurely routine. But if you envision something different for yourself as you enter midlife and beyond, know that the only thing holding you back is your will. All that is required is for you to have a clear vision of what you want to do and combined with initiative, it can take you a long way toward your own successful startup business!

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7 Expert Strategies for Using Share Buttons

share buttons

Do you ever get frustrated trying to locate social media share buttons in an article or on a web page that you enjoy?  I know I do.  Then, of course, I quickly give up the search and move on with my day.  Honestly, it’s too bad.  That business or publisher lost out on some free exposure all because there were no readily visible icons on their content.

Believe it or not, though, there is some debate amongst experts as to whether sites should even bother with share buttons.  Some argue that readers rarely use them on desktop and even less frequently on mobile.  It all depends on what type of product or content you produce and whether or not you know how to use share buttons properly.

As a blogger, I can’t imagine marketing my posts without them.  However, we all should learn to utilize sharing icons effectively.  But what are the best practices?  After much research, I discovered 7 expert strategies for using share buttons.

  1. According to Coschedule, the upper left-hand corner of your page is the optimum location for placement.  This is because people scan pages in a pattern starting in the upper left area.  Buttons should appear ‘above the fold’ when someone clicks on your page or post.  Let me explain that; they should be visible immediately without a reader scrolling down first.

  2. As reported in research conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, low numbers offer users negative social proof.  Meaning nominal sharing counts may suggest to readers your content is poor quality or weak.  Some social sharing tools can hide the number of times a post has been shared until a minimum number is reached.  I set my site so the counts aren’t displayed until my posts have been shared at least ten times.

  3. Don’t clutter the screen with too many buttons and overwhelm your viewers.  Many big-name blogs and online magazine like Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Social Media Examiner, for example, offer four to six buttons at most.  And I’m guessing they’ve done their research on this topic!

  4. Share This recommends you display buttons in order of importance to your target audience.  What social channels do your customers prefer?  Do they like Twitter more than LinkedIn?  If so, put them in that order.  And it doesn’t matter if you have an active presence on a particular platform or not.  If your clients like it, give them the opportunity to share your content where they want to!

  5. Use standard buttons instead of custom buttons that match the colors and fonts of your website’s theme.  This can be difficult for some entrepreneurs to accept because they put a great deal of money and time into branding their business.  Then, naturally, they want everything on their site to match.  But if buttons blend in with page design, they will become invisible, and readers won’t see or click them.  As marketing expert Jeff Bullas states, “Use standard buttons that work.”

  6. Consider adding call-to-action text to your icons.  Some social sharing tools allow you to add words to your buttons.  Wordstream suggests you merely ask for what you want.  Saying, “Pin This” or “Share on Twitter” might be a great way of increasing social metrics.  You can try this method and test which strategy works best for your site.

  7. Using a floating share bar makes it easy for readers to click on their favorite icon at any time.  Floating buttons scroll with you down the page while you read.  The folks at Sprout Social believe this is why floating bars have become so popular.  I use them on the left-hand side on desktop and at the bottom of the page on mobile devices.

Related Reading: How to Use Hashtracking & Other Hashtag Lookup Tools

There is an abundance of choices for entrepreneurs regarding the use and placement of social share buttons on their web pages and blog posts.  Hopefully, you will implement a few of the expert tips offered here and grow your business as a result.  What do you think?  Should your share buttons stand out or blend in with your design?  Feel free to comment below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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5 Hottest Franchise Opportunities for Successful Women

hottest franchise opportunities

In my practice, I work with women who express the desire to have more control and flexibility in their work hours and want to build something for themselves. I hear it over and over again, and it’s some iteration of this: “I work hard. If I’m going to continue to work my butt off, I want it to benefit my bottom line and not someone else’s.”

In a recent survey conducted by Franchise Business Review, (the leading surveyor on franchisee satisfaction) 90% of female franchisees surveyed said they enjoy operating their business. So, here are 5 of the hottest franchise opportunities for you to consider that cover the spectrum of industries and investment ranges:

1. Blo Blow Dry Bar

Blo is North America’s original blow dry bar. They launched the original ‘no cuts, no color’ concept. Their distinctive hot pink branding and cute slogans like “you’re not cheating on your hairdresser” and “so you say you want a blo?” attracts rabid fans. This is a hot beauty category that continues to attract customers with convenient and affordable blowouts. Additional revenue streams are provided by makeup and some other retail offerings.

The investment range is reasonable at around $300K “all in” for one location. It’s easily scaled, and as you add locations to your budding empire, you will begin to work less and oversee the managers. A super fun business to run if you don’t mind a staff of young artists.

2. Huntington Learning Centers

With a 40-year track record, Huntington knows what works. This tutoring center offers test preparation and subject tutoring.  The company boasts that utilizing their system, students improve over two grade levels in reading and math in just three months and an average of four ACT points or one hundred ninety SAT points.

The centers are accredited by the same organizations that accredit local schools, a recognition of excellence that few other tutoring companies earn. With a claim that their centers earn 63% more than their next closest competitor, this is an obvious must-see for anyone interested in giving back to their community and helping students achieve. The overall investment range is $125K to $225K, depending on your location and buildout.

 3. Just Between Friends

This is the dominant brand in the rapidly growing consignment sales event industry and the leading pop-up consignment sales event franchise in North America.

Franchise owners collect sellable items from consignors and hold at least two large (VERY large – like 20K square feet large!) consignment events a year. People seeking bargains purchase the items, and the owner makes a percentage of every item sold.  It’s a great win for all parties involved. Consignors can earn money back on unused baby clothes and gear, maternity items, and kid’s clothes in great condition, as well as children’s toys and games.

Investment in a Just Between Friends franchise starts at $14,900, making it very affordable. Franchisees hold a minimum of two events a year, which makes for an easy-to-manage, flexible business. It is excellent for anyone looking for supplemental income, and a good choice for the stay-at-home parents who want to generate more money – or even someone currently working and looking for a way to own his/her own company. This is a more or less ‘part-time work for supplemental income’ type of business.

4. Oasis Senior Advisors

Oasis Senior Advisors provides a free resource to seniors and their families to help them find senior living communities, whether that be an assisted living, memory care, or independent living community. The communities pay a referral fee (to the franchisee) that is typically 70%-75% of a community’s monthly bed fee.

Oasis franchisees focus on the model’s three simple components: Build an inventory of communities, then develop referral partners (social workers, hospital discharge nurses, geriatric professionals), and help families. This is a business you run from home, typically by yourself with no employees to start.  You are helping seniors and their families by providing an extremely valuable service during a time of extreme stress in their lives.

With a low investment of just $60-$80K, it’s one of the hottest franchise opportunities for someone wanting to work from home with no employees. I recently profiled a successful owner in my “She Owns It” series. You can find Connie’s story here.

5. Showhomes

Showhomes is America’s largest home staging provider with a unique five streams of revenue approach. It’s not your mother’s staging business anymore! Showhomes began in 1986 with the concept of transforming unappealing, vacant houses into fully-furnished, inviting, valued Showhomes. Now in their third decade of service to homeowners and their realtors, they’ve become America’s premier home staging service coast-to-coast.

Every major national media outlet in the U.S. has praised the work of Showhomes, and the company’s work has also been featured on The Today Show, HGTV, and the Travel Channel.

Related Reading: How to Write an Elevator Speech That Rocks

With an “all in” investment under $80K, this work from home model appeals to anyone who loves homes, looking at homes and improving the appearance of homes. You are required to have at least one employee to attend training as one of you will be sales and the other admin. You should also be prepared to network with realtors and home builders in your area. The homes you service will be the very cream of the crop in your market (the top 20%).

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Chrometophobia; How the Fear of Spending is Hurting Your Business

chrometophobia-fear-of-spending-hurting-your-business

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart.  The reality of inconsistent sales and paychecks should scare the hell out of anyone with a brain.  Yet, according to the most recent U.S. Census data, over 450,000 Americans dive headlong into the dark, unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship annually.  About half of them sink within four years.  Why?  It is almost always due to a lack of planning or funding or both.  A thorough business plan will adequately address the former, but the latter is not as easily overcome.

Financing a successful startup consists not only of your access to money but your psychological relationship with it.  Do you hoard cash or spend it too freely?  Are you willing to or capable of investing extra capital when it is needed?  Do you suffer from a slight case of chrometophobia; the fear of spending or managing money?  If so, it could cause your endeavor to go under or keep it treading water.  You could be setting yourself up to fail by:

  • Limiting your exposure on social media channels without an advertising budget

  • Not spending money on the development of new products or services to sell

  • Not learning or improving skills through courses or coaching

  • Appearing unprofessional with low-end branding, photos or website

  • Not investing in software and programs to eliminate unnecessary tasks

Let’s face it.  Our financial situations cause many of us a substantial amount of stress and anxiety each month.  The pressures that come with handling money affect our personal and business decisions every day.  Saying you can’t afford ‘x’ for your business while planning a vacation or trekking to Starbucks every day is nonsensical.  Yet, we can all make strange choices like these and then have the audacity to justify them.  Are you guilty of this?  I know I am from time to time.

 

Making a mental shift is scary and often necessary to grow your startup and prosper.  But what if you’re not in a position that will allow you to change your financial strategy immediately?  If you can’t actually afford to increase the support of your fledgling business, then maybe it needs to become or remain a side hustle.  There is no shame in that.  That is a decision only you can make after a bit of soul-searching.

Related Reading: Overworked and Underpaid? 9 Free Apps to the Rescue

However, if you want to succeed and prosper, you’ll need to find a way to overcome your chrometophobia and make some room in your budget for your dream, your baby, your business.  Is it time to make some fiscal changes and a commitment to yourself?

Personally, I need to increase my advertising budget. I have understood this fact for a while but have resisted the change until now.  The decision means something in my private spending will have to be cut.  So be it.  My business is worth the sacrifice and I am ready to flourish.

What are you willing to give up in your personal life to succeed professionally?  Tell me about it in the comment section.  If you know a business owner who is struggling with this issue, please share this post with them on social media.  Life is better when we lift each other up.

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How to Use Hashtracking and Other Hashtag Lookup Tools

how-to-use-hashtracking-hashtag-lookup-tools

I no longer look at the # symbol and say, “that’s the pound sign.”  I suppose the repetitiveness of social media has beaten that response out of me.  It did take several months to make that mental shift, though.  I remember a few years back when I didn’t understand what a hashtag was or why a company would need to use one.  Times have certainly changed for business owners.

It’s not enough to start and maintain accounts on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the rest.  Your complete understanding of each platform is vital to your success.  You probably already know that users of Twitter and Instagram often include hashtags in their posts to gain more exposure for their products and services.  Some businesses are better at this tactic than others.  But, how do the successful people do it?  They know how to use Hashtracking and other hashtag lookup tools to boost their social media traffic.

Hashtracking

I have to say; I recommend this tool for medium to large businesses or blogs because it’s a pricey subscription product meant to help you with both Instagram and Twitter.  However, you can get a free trial.  Hashtracking gives you a wealth of information about your own branded, unique hashtag or any generic one.  Discover peak use times, engagement, participation, sources, comments, likes, reach, and more.  The analytics are extremely impressive.

Tailwind

Tailwind has recently introduced a hashtag finder for Instagram.  Up until now, there have not been many Instagram hashtag tools on the market that are affordable and helpful.  This tool suggests the best hashtags for your posts as you type your Instagram captions.  You can include up to thirty tags per post, so Tailwind allows you to save groups of them in their Hashtag Lists feature. You can then access and use that group on any future post you want.  Tailwind claims that users grow their Instagram likes five times faster than non-users.

 

HashtagifyMe

The free version of Hashtagify provides you with their Compact Hashtags Encyclopedia (Twitter only) including ten related hashtags, six top influencers for your chosen tag and some introductory course material on hashtags.  The upgraded package gives you more information and courses plus access to their Hashtags Lab for Instagram.  I utilize the free program to find the popularity of a tag and then to discover the top ten related hashtags.

TagDef

TagDef is the most straightforward resource for hashtags I’ve seen.  When you don’t know the meaning of a particular tag, just type it in and ta-dah!  You will have an instant definition.  For example, #oomf means ‘one of my friends’ or ‘one of my followers.’  Pssst, you could use this helpful site to decipher your kid’s texts or tweets.  It’s a thought.

RiteTag

RiteTag is probably my favorite free Twitter tool.  Although, Hashtagify is a close second.  The site tells you if you should use a hashtag or not.  Type in your query and the program will categorize it as either green (use this # to get seen now) or blue (use this # to get seen over time) or gray (do not use this # because of low traffic) or red (do not use this # because it’s overused).  You will also be given related tags when you search by topic.  I wrote a list post of 700+ hashtags for businesswomen and bloggers.  Click here to check it out.

Related Reading: 8 Essential Social Media Podcasts for Women Who Love Business

I have heard a few experts say that you’re not supposed to use more than two or three tags per tweet, or the rate of retweets and interaction goes down.  Additionally, you should no longer put “please rt” or “please share” in any posts on most platforms.  I don’t know if that applies to the hashtags #rt or #share.  Use those at your own risk.  You may be pushed down the feed or ‘shadowbanned’ or voted off the island or whatever it’s called today.

Now that you know how to use Hashtracking and other hashtag lookup tools, you will be able to increase your social media engagement.  These resources will also cut down on the amount of time you spend on your Twitter and Instagram marketing.

If you found this post helpful, please share it so other business owners and bloggers can benefit.  Do you have any suggestions for effective social media tools?  Don’t keep them secret.  Let us know in the comment section.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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30 High Paying Side Hustles for Bloggers and Freelancers

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.

I know several bloggers who use freelance writing to supplement their income.  It certainly isn’t passive income and can be labor intensive, but the earnings generated can get you by in lean months.  The exposure received is also beneficial to your brand and business.  Occasionally submitting work to editors helps improve your writing skills as well.  Heaven knows we can all use a little constructive criticism from time to time.

Whether you’re looking for a feather in your cap or some moolah in your pocket, Writer’s Market annual guide is an excellent resource to help you find paying assignments.  I cannot stress enough how important this book is to the freelancer trying to get paid for her work.  Every year, a new addition is published with tips and tutorials on how to submit your work in a professional and efficient manner.  The best part is, the guide reveals who is accepting articles, where to send submissions, how long it takes to get approved, and the pay rate.

Writer’s Market is divided into categories like Child Care and Parental Guidance, Food and Drink, Health and Fitness, Beauty and Salon, Hobby and Craft, Travel and Camping, Business and Finance.  If you want to save yourself hours of legwork, buy the book!  You can pay for an annual subscription of $40 to WritersMarket.com or purchase the book for considerably less online.  I choose to order the physical copy every year.

Take a peek at my 30 high paying side hustles for bloggers and freelancers.  Several sites were found in the book.  I’ve separated the list into categories depending upon your niche.  But first, here’s a helpful video by Maggie Linders for those of you who have little or no experience with this type of writing.

Mommy and Parenting

StorkGuide is the hub for pregnant women and new moms. This site accepts how-to’s, guides, and tips about mothering small children.  You’ll be paid $50 for posts 700 words or more.  Additionally, you’ll have a byline with a link to your website.

Parent.co publishes posts about parenting and life as a mom or dad. Compensation starts at $50 for up to 1,200 words.  There is also a bonus program for social shares that pays between $50-300.

Red Tricycle is geared (no pun intended) toward busy parents who want helpful articles that will inform and entertain them.  Your submission of 800 words gets you a 2-3 sentence bio and a backlink.  When your post reaches 25,000 page views, you earn $50.  They will occasionally take articles you have already published.

Fitness and Health (Physical and Mental)

Whole Life Times prints stories about natural health, alternative healing, green living, and sustainable food.  WLT pays $100-175 for articles 800-1,100 words and $35-150 for shorter posts.

American College of Healthcare Sciences invites experts to submit posts of 600-1,000 words on topics related to holistic health and wellness.  For your effort, you’ll receive $50.  Also, you will gain exposure with a photo, short bio, and a link to your personal blog or business website.

Anxiety Foundation is interested in those who would like to share their experience, knowledge or tips about mental health.  Posts should be unique and a minimum of 550 words.  Expect payment of $50, a biography, and a link to your website.  Nice!

Money Making/Saving and Personal Finance

The Dollar Stretcher is a group of publications providing readers with ways to assist them in saving time and money.  They want articles with practical tips that people can use to help them stretch their dollars.  Your posts should be 500-700 words and will earn $50-70.

Doctor of Credit accepts posts on consumer credit/finance topics including money making opportunities, bank sign up bonuses, and credit sign up promotions.  You can make $50 per post (they suggest 600+ words) including a short bio with no links.  Another option is to write an article for no compensation.  You’ll be allowed a bio and two promotional links to your website or an affiliate program you want to promote.  Excellent!

FundsForWriters is all about earning a living as a writer.  Duh, right?  They want articles with pointers, success stories, and profitable business practices related to freelancing and blogging.  Short and sweet posts of 500-600 words will earn you $50 for original content and $15 for reprints.

“If you are a writer, ask to be paid for your work. If you are asking a writer to appear, pay them.” – Hope Clark, Editor, FundsForWriters 

Hobby and Craft

Knitty accepts patterns and tutorials on, you guessed it, knitting.  Check out the site to find examples of what this publication desires.  Compensation is $120-200 plus a link to your website.

IndieMade needs original posts related to the marketing of creative companies involved in crafts, music, writing, photography, clothing design, and jewelry production.  The site only pays about $25 for a 500-word article, but you can make $60 for a 2 minute, edited video post.

Bead and Button is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to the designs, materials, and techniques needed to make beaded jewelry.  Articles range from 1,000-1,200 words and earn $75-300.

Travel

Cultures and Cuisines is a site dedicated to traveling and food.   Posts can be about exotic locations or places near your home turf.  Pay is a non-negotiable $200 for articles 800-3,000 words.

DesertUSA is a regional publication that focuses on the North American Desert.  Subject matter should emphasize natural history, adventure, and local culture.  Posts range from 1,000-1,500 words with 3-5 photos and earn $50.

Viator Travel Blog publishes travel advice, things to do, and places to go. You must agree to write a batch of 2-5 posts on a particular area or region.  Word counts range from 300-500 and pay is $45 per article.  Not bad!

Great Escape Publishing needs 300-600 word articles for its newsletter, The Right Way to Travel.  The site pays $50-200 each.  Please Note: They only respond to unsolicited articles on an as needed basis.  You may want to send an email first.

Business, Marketing, and Work at Home Mom

Freelance Mom is a blog about the topics close to the working mom’s heart.  Posts should be 900-1,500 words and earn $75-100.  If your article is the most shared that month, you’ll receive a bonus of $150.  That’s a real incentive to assist with the promotion of your article.

Women In Business is a bimonthly magazine covering issues affecting working women.  Topics include business trends, self-improvement, retirement issues, and small business ownership.  Article length should be 500-1,000 words.  They compensate with $100 per 500 words.  Good work if you can get it!

Home Business Magazine covers home office, marketing, sales, technology, networking and everything else related to home-based businesses.  This publication will pay $40-200 for articles 200-1,000 words if they are assignments.  They only offer a byline for unsolicited articles, so it might be a good idea to send a query via email first.

Tech, Website, Computer, and Internet

WPHub focuses on the WordPress development community.  Submission topics range from coding, themes, plugins, and design trends.  Your post should be 800-1,200 words and contain visuals.  Rates offered are $100-200.

A List Apart produces features, articles, and mini-articles on the design and development of web content. Posts should be 500-2,500 words.  Compensation ranges from $50-200.

WorldStart will pay $35 for an 800-word post. They look for articles about Windows, internet and e-mail tips.  Submissions should have at least one image.

HostPresto will pay you to write tutorials about web hosting, web development, and web software.  Articles should be 1,500-3,000 words.  You will earn between $75-150 for your efforts.

Related Reading: Trailblazing Sitcom Writer Talks Sex, Career, & Stars

Christian/Religion

Thriving Family focuses on parenting and marriage from the biblical perspective.  Posts of 50-200 words pay $50 while posts of 450 words receive 25 cents per word or about $110.  That is an outstanding rate.

Tablet is a daily online magazine consisting of Jewish news, ideas, and culture.  You’ll need to negotiate per-post pay as no rates or word minimums are listed on their submission page.  Rumor on the internet is that the site pays $400 for 1,000-1,500 word articles.

Providence publishes posts from 500-1,000 words on topics related to Christian faith, theology, foreign policy, international relations, and political theory.  The website offers $100 per job but pays $500-1,000 for longer essays and features.

Answers In Genesis is an evangelistic, educational ministry that produces a magazine dedicated to a creation-based worldview.  Article lengths vary between 500-2,000 words and pay from $75-400.

General Topics

Listverse is a quirky, funny site that publishes lists.  I know, not a surprise, given the name.  Here’s the premise; you write an unusual, entertaining post of at least ten items composed of one paragraph each.  Submissions should be about 1,800 words, including the introduction.  If accepted, you’ll get $100.

Women on Writing accepts articles related to the craft of writing and publishing.  Articles range anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words and earn $50-75.

LoveToKnow offers advice to women on the topics of beauty, health, technology, home and garden, money, lifestyle, and travel.  This gig is freelance, but you would be under contract.  They require at least one year of professional writing experience and offer $25-100 per post.

Well, that’s my complete list of 30 high paying side hustles for bloggers and freelancers.  It is intended for fledgling writers or seasoned authors who need to pad their resume and pay off a few expenses.  If you need additional ideas on how to generate cash, read my post about paying off debt here.

I hope you found the information valuable.  If so, please share it with others so they can get paid what they are worth.  Do you know of other sites that offer fair compensation to writers?  Give us the low down in the comment section below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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7 Innovative Sites to Help You Crush It in Business

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.

I love shopping.  Not for clothes, handbags, makeup, shoes or jewelry, but for products that make me more efficient.  Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate a quality outfit.  However, nothing relieves my stress more than finding a tool that boosts my productivity.  Okay, maybe yoga and wine are also on my list for anxiety relief, but I’ll keep my focus on organizational tools for now.  After all, time is our most precious commodity.  If there’s a system or technique that will help me manage my work and avoid anxiety, I’m all over it.  In my never-ending search for the latest and greatest, I’ve found 7 innovative sites to help you crush it in business from this day forward.

  • Grammarly – I’m telling you, this tool saves my bacon.  I started using it when I wrote my first article and have been relying on it ever since.  The basic features are free, but I paid the nominal annual subscription rate for the upgraded version.  Grammarly checks for spelling and grammar errors as well as correct sentence structure in my blog posts, emails, social media messages, and Word documents.  I also use the browser extension when I surf the web.  This impressive platform can also be used for cover letters, term papers, business proposals and works within Microsoft Office.

  •  DialMyCalls.com – This business began in 1999 as one of the internet’s first wake-up call services and evolved into a mass online notification company with over 80,000 clients including Fortune 500 companies, schools, and government agencies.  With this service, you can send voice or text messages and emails to groups of customers, coworkers or family members.  You can send a 30-second message to up to 25 contacts once per week at no charge.  Beyond that, you can use a pay-as-you-go package or subscribe to the economical and unlimited monthly plan.  DialMyCalls is available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

  •  WorkFrom  – I recently started using this site because I was tired of working from the same old haunts I had been visiting for months.  I desperately needed a change of scenery and some better amenities.  If you are a remote worker and long for unique, new spaces with available wi-fi, then WorkFrom is for you.  After you create your free account, you’ll gain access to the listing of public and private spots that will allow you to get stuff done more efficiently.  Each location is rated by you and other Workfrom community members for high-speed internet connections, comfort, access to outlets, and other details important to digital nomads.  You can access the website or use the iOS or Android app.

  • TimeAndDate You don’t want to miss an important client call or phone meeting with a colleague rooted in another time zone.  I was recently attempting to schedule an interview with a podcaster who was located thousands of miles from me.  For some reason, it was difficult to correctly calculate the time difference and schedule a time that would work for me.  Fortunately, I managed the task, but the experience took longer than it should have.  I vowed to correct that problem and found TimeAndDate.  It’s free, but you will need to open an account to get access to most of the site’s offerings.  This powerful tool helps calculate more than the hours between time zones.  It boasts features that lookup international dialing codes, print and manage calendars, find worldwide weather forecasts, plan national and international meetings and more.  The app is available on iOS and Android devices.

Related Reading: 15 Motivational Podcasts for Women Who Love Business 

  • CamCard – This site and app are more than just a business card management system and scanner.  After you take a photo of a card, it auto-populates text fields and creates a contact for you to save and share with your email and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs.  CamCard can also export this information into Microsoft Office programs.  The technology is perfect for networking events, conferences, and client meetings as you can exchange e-cards with each other.  How eco-friendly can you get?  The stripped-down, free versions are available on Android and iOs as well as the paid, upgraded apps.

  • Gboard – This is an app rather than an actual website. As a new user of this third-party iPhone or Android keyboard, I appreciate that it’s increased my texting speed.  I’m probably the slowest smartphone keyboard user on planet Earth!  Gboard offers glide typing and built-in search.  This means you can be in the process of texting someone and look up an address or any other information you need and paste it in the conversation without opening your browser.  Just tap the Google button to search.  Easy as pie!  Use Slash Keyboard as an alternative if you are an avid Android user.

  •  TripIt – I used to equate travel with stress.  That was before I began utilizing this wonderful travel organizer. Now I can’t imagine booking a recreation or business junket without this handy tool.  TripIt consolidates the confirmations and emails from hotels, airlines, and car rental companies into a master itinerary on my phone or computer.  No more flipping between apps or emails!  If a flight is delayed, canceled or a gate number changes, I get a quick update that saves me time and aggravation.  The platform’s basic features are free to use, but you can upgrade to the annual plan or TripIt Pro that keeps track of reward program points, finds alternate flights with open seats, and shares itineraries with others. 

I hope you utilize this list of 7 innovative sites to help you crush it in business.  If you found these resources valuable, please share it with coworkers, family members, and friends and let me know which is your favorite tool and why.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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Overworked and Underpaid? 9 Free Apps to the Rescue

overworked-and -underpaid

Are you overwhelmed and routinely pulled under by day-to-day tasks?  Perhaps you are drowning in a sea of expenses too.  Well then, you have come to the right place.  Most of us can certainly identify with these struggles.  Let me throw you a life preserver of sorts by revealing a few of the tools I’ve found to reduce chaos and keep my budget afloat.  Stop feeling overworked and underpaid.  Here are 9 free apps to the rescue:

 

Hey, Money Bags – Earning & Saving

1. Wagespot – Salary Searcher, Wage Calculator, Job Finder

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android

Maybe it’s time to cast a wider net and bring home a bigger catch.  This real-time app allows users to anonymously or publicly share their salary and compensation package for their current position. The data provided will empower you to negotiate a fair wage or ask for a raise.  No more wondering what you’re worth or if you’re undervalued as an employee.  The newest feature offers lists of job openings to browse and analyze.

 

2. Money Lover – Money Manager, Bill Reminder, Budget App

Compatible with: iOS, iPone, iPad, Android

You won’t go belly up if you utilize this expense tracker to manage your personal finances.  Easily customize spending categories and generate reports to get the big picture.  The bill reminder feature will keep your payments up to date and on time.  Upgrade to Money Lover Plus for $4.99 to obtain access to premium options.  Control your money.  Don’t let it control you.

 

3. RetailMeNot – Coupons, Discounts, Deals

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android

After you have organized or created a budget, you’ll want to cut expenses where possible.  I use this app every time I head out shopping.  It has saved me hundreds of dollars.  Offers and deals are available from over 50,000 retailers and food chains.  No more clipping or forgetting coupons or digging through your purse to find them.  It’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Business As Usual – Productivity

4. Wunderlist: To-Do Lists, Reminders, Errands

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows

Do you have the sinking feeling you are forgetting something?  This amazing app will put your mind at ease as you create a shareable list or organize your work projects.  Set reminders, assign tasks or delegate household chores to family members.  You can access Wunderlist from anywhere, as the app syncs between your computer, tablet, and phone.

 

5. Forest App – Improve Focus, Avoid Distraction, Increase Productivity

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android, Chrome, Firefox

This nifty little program puts me back on course and allows me to work uninterrupted for twenty-five minute periods.  I set a timer and the app plants a virtual seed.  If I manage to work on my assignment for the entire time, the plant will grow into a tree.  If I leave my task, the tree will wither and die.  The goal is to create a larger forest each week.  It may sound silly, but it works.  The phone app is $1.99, but I use the browser extension on my laptop for free.

 

6. Waze: GPS Navigation, Maps, Traffic Alerts

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android

When I forget to open this tool during my commute, I usually regret it by waiting impatiently in a sea of cars.  Waze is a real-time traffic and navigation app that provides the best routes with community-edited maps.  You can avoid construction, speed traps, accidents, red light cameras and other obstacles as you journey around town.  Also, as a Waze driver, you’ll save money on gas by navigating to the cheapest pumps reported on your route.

The Daily Grind – Errands & Honey-Dos

7. Big Oven: Recipes, Grocery Lists, Menus

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android, web

Do you hear the theme song from Jaws when your family members start to circle the kitchen and ask, “What’s for dinner?”  This fantastic app is packed with over 350,000 recipes from which to choose.  Save your favorites, make grocery lists, and create meal planners too.  The paid version allows you to follow friends and your favorite food bloggers as well.

Related Reading: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Tech Savviness

 

8. Daily Workouts: Exercise Routines, Instructional Videos

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows

Daily Workouts is stuffed to the gills with full-body and targeted exercise routines. Instructional videos guide you through unfamiliar moves as you tone, tighten, and break a sweat.  Now you have the convenience of your own personal trainer wherever you go.  The upgraded version offers a greater variety of exercises and is ad-free.

 

9. TaskRabbit: Chores, Cleaning, Home Repair

Compatible with: iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android, web

You probably have a tsunami-sized lineup of improvements, repairs, and household duties to be done.  If you can spare the money, use TaskRabbit to lighten the load.  Hire a pre-screened Tasker to walk your dog, mount a TV, deliver a package or anything else you desire.  There’s no need for cash because you pay through the app when the assignment is complete.

 

What do you think of my list of tools to rescue the overworked and underpaid?  I know you have a few helping to keep your chin above water.  Don’t keep those programs a secret.  Share them with the rest of us below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.