How to easily create a 90 day editorial calendar.

How to easily create a 90 day editorial calendar.

 

There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a post and having no idea what to write. Or having too many ideas that they all get jumbled and you don’t know what to choose. This is where having an editorial calendar comes in super handy!

Today in Week 3 of the Build Your Blog Foundation series we’re going to make sure that you never get stuck in this predicament!

So far we’ve discussed all the steps needed to build a strong foundation and how to choose a niche. If you want to catch up you can read the posts here:

Week 1: What you need to build a strong blog foundation

Week 2: How to choose a profitable blog topic

After all, you have wonderful ideas and lessons within you. And we want to get them out of your mind and heart and out into the world!

So let’s create some content!

Ideally, you create your content in a strategic way: aka – an editorial calendar!

I’ll be the first to admit, when I started I had no strategy. I had an idea of what I wanted to teach and whom I could help, but my ideas seem to come all at once. Ideas fly into my mind and I need to quickly catch them and write them down or else they’ll fly right out again. Whenever an idea comes to me, I throw it onto a Trello board. As a result, I have a large list of post ideas. And when it was time to write a post, I’d randomly pick from that list.

The result – inconsistency. With both my posts and the frequency on which I posted.

Not good.

I needed a plan.

And the truth is, I know how to plan. I’m a teacher after all.

Then I thought about how I prepare my lessons for school

  1. I look at the curriculum to see the major topics or big ideas that my students have to learn that year.
  2. Then I figure out when I’m going to teach each topic
  3. I look at the curriculum again to see what they need to learn in each topic and find lessons that will teach to each outcome

You can do the same for your content but you get to create the curriculum and the lessons!

  1. Figure out big ideas within your topic of what people want to learn
  2. Decide the order and months of when you’re going to teach
  3. Create lessons (aka content) that teach to each theme.

But before we figure out the big ideas, we need to create a simple curriculum… aka the learning journey.

Creating The Journey

Have you ever looked at your child’s curriculum? They are massive documents. You can google it and find your local curriculum easily.

Now, there’s absolutely no need to create a curriculum as detailed as a government issued one. But they are important because they clearly lay out the learning journey that the student is supposed to take in a year. You as a blogger/online teacher can do the same to have an epic content calendar. You should do the same process for your course.

Here are the steps:

1. KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE TEACHING AND TO WHOM

You need to know who your readers are. You need to know where they’re starting from and what outcome they desire.

Questions to ask:

  • Who is my reader
  • Why are they coming to my site?
  • What is there problem and what do they need to learn to solve it?

Example time!!

Say you want to teach healthy eating for people who want to lose weight. I’ve made up an avatar named Patricia for this example.

“Patricia really wants to lose weight. She’s started but isn’t finding success and is hungry all the time. She thinks losing weight is only about calories. So she eats 1000 calories a day of highly processed foods and she’s wondering why she isn’t losing weight.”

2. WHAT DOES SHE NEED TO LEARN?

Help her out! She’s coming to your site to learn how to lose weight. List out all the big ideas she needs to know to get from fluffy and frustrated to trim and lean.

What does she need to learn to get to her desired outcome?

Patricia needs to learn:

  • about processed foods and why she should avoid them
  • about meal prep
  • about her own thinking towards food
  • what healthy foods are
  • easy, healthy ways to cook for herself and her family
  • about positive mindset
  • how to feel good now

Each of the above ideas are big ideas. Each big idea requires a handful of lessons to fully understand the concept. Generally speaking, you can devote a month to each big idea.

3. BREAK IT DOWN 

Within each big idea choose 3-4 lessons that are all geared towards teaching to that big idea you’ve chosen for the month. These are your weekly posts. Ta da!!

Example: Monthly theme – mindset

  • How to find motivation
  • How to feel good in your body right now
  • The stories you’re telling yourself are keeping you fat
  • How to eat healthy when you really just want to stuff your face.

And then you can create filler posts to help your readers get to know you and your brand better.

Some additional posts you can create are:

  • Curate – find other people’s content that you can share
  • Document your journey
  • Round up post
  • Interview post
  • Reviews
  • List posts

BONUS TIP:

If you have something to sell, like a course or a 1:1, create a series of posts that lead up to your offer.

4. BATCH  & SCHEDULE IT!

The marketing gurus out there say that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it. But if you’re a mama and this biz is a side hustle, time is not on your side.

I don’t know about you, but it takes me a while to create content. But this is where batching will help you out!

Take your calendar and (virtual or real, whatever works best for you) and plug in the monthly themes.

Going back to our example:

  • March – mindset
  • April – Nutrition 101
  • May – Meal prep

And then the last week of each month get your lessons ready

  • Monday – Blog and content upgrade outline
  • Tuesday/Wednesday – first draft
  • Thursday – edit
  • Friday – images
  • Saturday – format and schedule

Repeat the last week of every month so you have a new month ready to go.

And now you have an awesome editorial calendar for at least the next 90 days ready and raring to go!

What are is your first monthly theme going to be? I’d love to hear about them!

 

Written by: Alessandra Johnston

Written by: Alessandra Johnston

Alessandra is a mother, wife and avid learner who teaches others how to start and grow an online business by teaching online. She believes that a mother shouldn’t have to choose between her work and her kids. That you really can have it all – You can stay home and build a business. Kids and a Biz is a place to learn how to effectively teach online, create an online presence, manage work from home with littles and how to tame the inner gremlins that so often stop us from moving ahead.

How to Choose A Profitable Blog Topic

How to Choose A Profitable Blog Topic

If you’re wanting to build a personal brand, a girl boss empire or a just a super successful profitable blog – then you need to choose the right topic.

But it’s more than just a topic…you need to teach something.

“I just want to write” you may say.

But here’s the thing…I have seen countless new bloggers come into the online world and they want to start a blog because they love to write and they want to share what’s happening in their life. Totally understandable and sharing is a good thing as we all have a need to be seen and accepted. But the problem is they just talk about themselves and their day.

That’s a journal, not a blog.

You may love to write, but you want people to read it, right? So you need to write for yourself AND others.

You need to enjoy the work (cause it will get very tiresome if you don’t) and you need to think of your audience…or potential audience if you’re just starting out.

Think of your blog like a magazine. Sure there are personal stories, but the stories tie into the overall theme of the magazine. And many magazines teach – whether it’s tips, hacks or how to’s,

The ultimate purpose of a blog is to show and share your expertise and knowledge in a particular subject area.

So the burning question is figuring out exactly what you can teach and make some money teaching. And this is exactly what we’ll be covering in part 2 of this month’s series on building a strong blog foundation.

If this is your first visit to Kids and a Biz, come on over to my Week 1 blog post to learn more about the series.

You need to combine what you want to teach with what people want to learn:

 

 

1. WHAT YOU CAN TEACH

The best question to ask yourself is ‘what do I want to teach?’

If you know the answer to that question then you’re golden! Move on down to the next step to determine if others want to learn what you know.

If you’re still unsure, ask yourself the following:

  •  What are my skills or talents?
  • What do I know lots about?
  • What am I naturally good at?
  • What do I currently get paid to do?
  • What would I love to get paid to do?
  • If I had all the money in the world, what would I spend my time doing?
  • What topics of magazines, books, and blogs am I drawn to?
  • What questions do I get asked all the time?
  • What do I love to talk about?
  • What do I think about?
  • How would I love to help someone?

 

I HAVE LOTS OF INTERESTS AND TALENTS – HOW DO I CHOOSE?

You may be like me and consider yourself to be a jack of all trades. You have many talents and many interests. Lucky you! You have a lot to choose from.

Narrow the topic down to a few choices, quiet your mind and let your intuition tell you which route to go. Or figure out a way to combine your interests.  {Related post – The Ultimate Guide to Nail Your Niche}

Ugh, I really want to do this but I still don’t know what I can teach

You may believe that you have no talent or nothing to give. I know that’s not true. Each of us has a light within us that holds our talents and gifts. You may just not be aware of it.

Here’s a list of some talents that you may or may not be aware that you have.

  • Public Speaking
  • Self Management
  • Networking (person to person)
  • Networking (in the virtual world)
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Research
  • Relaxation

This is just a random assortment of ideas. But if you don’t see yourself in that list or you want to see more, I’ve put together a list of talents in the workbook that you can get fo’ free!  Click the image below to grab your copy of What Can I Teach? A Clarity Workbook.

 

 2. FIGURE OUT WHAT people want to learn

Search around on the internet and see what people are willing to learn and more importantly willing to pay to learn. This is important because there needs to be an interest if you’re going to find students.

Most people are looking for ways to improve one of the following:

  1. Their health (physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual)
  2. Their finances
  3. Their time
  4. Their relationships

Do some research to see if people are already paying others to learn what you want to teach….

  • Are there blogs on the topic?
  • Are there books or magazines?
  • Are there courses – both in person and online?
  • Are people asking for help on the topic in forums, groups and online discussions?

If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, then you have a marketable topic that others are interested in learning. If not, you might have to dig a little further to see if there is an interest.

3. FIND STUDENTS

Once you choose your topic and you set up everything {related post – what you need to build a strong foundation}

Then you need to start teaching… for free.

Why for free? Because no one is going to buy from a random person they just find online. They need to get to you before they make a purchase from you. And you build that likeability and trust factor by letting your light shine and show them what you got!! Share your knowledge freely while being yourself and your peeps will be drawn to you.

But first, you need to choose a platform from which you will teach – and that will be either in writing, audio or video. Ideally, you find the time to create a combo of all 3.

You can create:

  • Blog posts
  • Live streams
  • Webinars
  • Interviews
  • Videos
  • Podcasting
  • Social media posts
  • Any combination above

Keep in mind that the quickest way to get someone to KLT (know, like, trust) you through is through video.

I’ve heard that 1 video is = to 12 blog posts in terms of the trust factor. Because when people see your face, see your mannerisms, hear your voice and feel your energy – people will automatically like your or not.

Plus it shows what kind of teacher you are.

However, I do understand that getting on video is frightening for some, including myself (which is why I’m here writing…. I’m working up my courage for video. I will get there soon!!!)

Which platform should I choose?

The best way to choose is to determine which way you feel most comfortable communicating.

I wish I could say that I’m a highly eloquent speaker. But the truth is, it’s much easier for me to write. The ideas flow much more naturally compared to when I speak. Which is why I’m currently writing to share my teachings. As I said…eventually, you will get to see my face on video. It’s a major fear that I will overcome in the near future!

How often should I share?

This comes down to how much time you can commit to creating amazing, beneficial content. You want to do your best to be as consistent as possible. Creating and delivering lessons takes up a lot of time and is a lot of work. The best way to combat this is to come up with a content plan.

(coming next week: creating an editorial calendar that your readers will gush over)

how can I get paid to teach?

There are a few ways… I wrote a post about it – check it out here. 

Still unsure? Make sure to grab your copy of What Can I Teach Online? It’s a super simple workbook with prompts, questions, and lists that will help get your creative juices flowing and help you find something to teach others. Just click on the image below.

 

I’d love to hear what you teach on your blog! If you don’t have a blog but want to start, what are you going to teach? Share in the comments below

 

 

Written by: Alessandra Johnston

Written by: Alessandra Johnston

Alessandra Johnston is a mother, wife and avid learner who teaches others how to start and grow an online business by teaching online. She believes that a mother shouldn’t have to choose between her work and her kids. That you really can have it all – You can stay home and build a business. Kids and a Biz is a place to learn how to effectively teach online, create an online presence, manage work from home with littles and how to tame the inner gremlins that so often stop us from moving ahead.

What You Need to Build a Strong Blog Foundation

What You Need to Build a Strong Blog Foundation

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small payment*

Building a strong blog foundation is super important. After all, without a strong foundation, the whole thing may crumble.

Many people seem to start off blogging without realizing how much actually goes into a successful blog. Perhaps they get lured by the big income reports, or they just have a calling to share their message.

I remember when I started, I got totally overwhelmed with all the info out there. And I found that it was all intertwined and circular. All I wanted was a clear, linear path to help me.

After much trial and error, and lots of research, I finally figured it out!

This post is the first in mini-series about bettering your blog and creating a strong foundation. Over the next month, I’ll be going into more detail about the first 5 steps plus content creation.

In the meantime, make sure to download The Blog Foundation Roadmap & Checklist so you can get the most out the series. It’s designed to help you build a really strong foundation. And to know exactly what steps to take and in what order, so you never need to feel a lack of direction or overwhelmed again.

Just follow the following steps and you’ll be on your way to blogging and biz heaven.

1. Know what you want to teach

Before you start, you need to know what you want to talk or write about and exactly how you can help others with your knowledge or skills. Niching down is important because your readers want to know what to expect from you. The key is to become known in your space. But one of two things may happen – you may have too many ideas or not enough. If you’re stuck on this step check out these related posts: There are a few steps in this process. If you’re to click on over to

But sometimes it’s hard to choose. One of two things may happen – you may have too many ideas or not enough. If you’re stuck on this step click on over to (what can you teach post) to figure that out if you’re unsure.

2. Know why you want to embark on this journey

This is actually really important. You need a very strong vision to propel you forward. Because starting a blog and/or biz is a journey with lots of valleys and peaks that you are going to have to overcome. The vision of the end goal will help you get through.

For myself, I’m doing this so I can work from home, doing my own thing. It’s a huge dream of mine. Plus creating this space on the internet makes my heart sing, even on days when I don’t really feel like doing it. It has forced me to face my fears in countless ways and as a result, I’m morphing into the woman I want to be.

3. Develop a message, mantra or mission statement

Everyday, there are thousands of new blogs – and the truth is, they’re all teaching the same subjects. They all pretty much teach techniques on how to improve:

  •  health (physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual)
  •  finances
  •  time/productivity
  •  relationships

And you need to figure out a way to stand out a little from all the noise. And one of the best ways is to dig deep and determine exactly what your message is. Decide what you stand for. What’s your opinion? What kind of world do you want to see? What kind of transformations can you help others with?

A strong message, with strong branding and some visibilty strategies can help you stand out.

4. Figure out your reader journey

Where are your peeps starting from and where do they want to go? And how can you help them along the way?

Other people call this your ICA or your ideal customer avatar. I always found the ideal customer avatar exercises tricky because as a newbie, I didn’t have any customers. So how could I know my ideal one?

What I could figure out was the learning journey. What they needed to know in order to get to their desired destination. I could map out the journey and help solve problems and teach lessons they would encounter along the way.

5. Create a Brand Board

We live in a visual world and we’re all attracted to beautiful things. And that includes design, which is why design is super important. It’s just as important as your content because if it doesn’t look good, people aren’t going to be as interested and stick around.

That’s the hard truth.

An ugly site just isn’t going to get as much interest as a beautiful one.

This is where branding comes in. A brand is really more than your logo, fonts and colours. (eventhough it’s a really fun part!!) In fact, I argue that a logo really isn’t that important at the beginning. What is important is designing a site that causes a feeling within whoever visits it.

Branding is really about the energy that you want people to feel when they come to your site.

Here are 3 of my favourite brands:

Lady Gaga

  • unapologetically herself
  • talented
  • powerhouse

Melyssa Griffin

  • warm
  • generous
  • knowledgable

Star Trek

  • possibility
  • innovation
  • humanity

I resonate with these brands because I connect or aspire to be like them.

Here’s an example of what brand boards look like. These were designed by Laura from Bad Ass Business Mum. As you can see they really bring about a cohesive feeling.

Creating a brand board is a simple way to help you to clarify and synthesize your brand. It will help to make your branding seamless. Here’s a great post by Lauren Hooker from Elle & Co. on how to create a brand board.

7. Set up social media

Now that you have an idea of your brand, it’s time to start building an audience. Social media is a good place to start, but you ultimately want to grow your email list.

Truth is, social media is not my jam. I find if overwhelming. But I do know and understand the importance of it. After all, social media is where everyone is hanging out. It’s like a party.

First, you need to figure out where your peeps are hanging out – are they on IG, Facebook, Youtube? Where do they look for inspiration, fun or tips? Where are they looking to learn what you want to teach?

I suggest you choose 1 platforms to start (maximum 2) and get really good at it. Choose the one that you like the best. The one that comes most naturally to you. That way it won’t seem like such a chore because social media can be overwhelming. Start building a following there so when you launch your blog you’ll have some traffic right away.

 8. Start and design a website.

Here comes the fun part – depending on how techie you are. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to create your own site anymore. Sure it takes some time but with the right theme, some searching on youtube, you can get it done.

You can totally set up a blog for free but I beleive in believe a strong blog foundation so I personally suggest investing some money.

I use WordPress with the Divi theme from Elegant themes. The Divi theme allows me to do 90% of what I want without needing to know how to code. It’s friggin awesome!!! However, there is a learning curve with WordPress and can be tricky for some. But once you know your way around, it’s not that bad.

There’s also the option of Squarespace which some people swear by. Truth be told, I’m not familiar with Squarespace but Louise from Solopreneur Sidekick has a step-by-step course that will teach you how to design a beautiful site using Squarespace. Plus she’s a wonderful designer who teaches you how to brand as well! Double bonus!

9. DEVELOP A CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY

Content is the way that you’re going to get your message out into the world. It’s how you’re going to show your teaching style and have others start to KLT (know, like and trust) you. As with anything in business, it’s best to be strategic.

I’ll delve into more detail about this with some future posts that will be published in a few weeks. I also outline all the steps in The Blog Foundation Checklist. Just click the button below to download.

10. Get people’s email

If you ever want to monetize your blog then you need an email list. Why? Because you don’t own the social media networks. But you do own your list.

I remember when Facebook changed their algorithm. People spent tons of money growing their page and then Facebook changed and nobody saw any of their feed.

I felt bad for them.

They spent so much time and money building an audience, and then overnight their audience was gone.

Also when I think about it, I’ve never bought anything of off a post from Social Media. I’ve met people on social media, but I’ve never made a purchase. I’ve always bought an offer because of an email in my inbox.

 You get people’s email by offering a free gift in return. Do NOT place an opt-in box saying – ‘subscribe to my newsletter’. People don’t need more newsletters. They want valuable gifts – gifts that teach and help them.

Don’t know what to offer? Check out this post by Elna Cain or this podcast by Chalene Johnson.

11. Get visible

Truth time – this is where I always get stuck.

This part requires you to get vulnerable and let your light shine. It requires you to step out and meet people. It requires you to say ‘hey look at me and what I have to offer’ BUT without being spammy.

It’s a fine balance.

There are several visibility strategies but the basic idea is to just start making new friends with others in your niche. People who have a similar audience, but you each help with different pain points. Help others online without expecting anything in return. Pitch to get interviewed on podcasts or other blogs.

 12. Develop relationships

While the introvert in me wishes that I could be successful without talking to anyone, the reality is that is not the case. It’s a team effort. Find others and make friends. Be helpful, Be kind and grow together.

So what step are you currently on? How long have you been there? I’d love to hear about it and your journey. Enter in the comments below.

Written by: Alessandra Johnston

Written by: Alessandra Johnston

Alessandra Johnston is a mother, wife and avid learner who teaches others how to start and grow an online business by teaching online. She believes that a mother shouldn’t have to choose between her work and her kids. That you really can have it all – You can stay home and build a business. Kids and a Biz is a place to learn how to effectively teach online, create an online presence, manage work from home with littles and how to tame the inner gremlins that so often stop us from moving ahead.

Productivity Tips for the Mompreneur With Small Children

Productivity Tips for the Mompreneur With Small Children

Being a mom is not an easy task – being a mompreneur is an even trickier task. Especially when it comes to productivity.

The to-do lists are never ending. There is never any time. The interruptions are constant. You’re being pulled in a 1001 directions. There’s driving and cleaning and cooking and loving.  And that’s just the home front. The biz is a whole beast unto itself.

But you love your kids and you love your biz and you want to make it all work.

BUT HOW???

Here are 9 productivity tips from myself and others on how to do it all!!

Get rid of the clutter

I can’t tell you how important this is. And this is coming from someone who SUCKS at domestic duties.
Having a messy house impacts how you feel about yourself and affects other aspects of your life, including your biz.

Prior to my recent purge, I was constantly struggling with keeping the house clean. I was always so embarrassed if someone showed up at the house spontaneously. I would feel guilty when I chose to work on my biz, instead of my house. But the worst was how I felt. I always felt like a total and utter failure. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get a hold of it.

Seriously look at my basement!!

before-purge

It was a total shit show. I hated going down there. There was so much stuff I didn’t even know where to start. And the rest of the house was the same. Not all in the middle of the floor, but clutter piles everywhere.

I couldn’t take it anymore and I knew I couldn’t do it myself.

So I sucked up my pride and I asked for help.

I asked a friend of mine who is naturally good at organizing and arranging to come over and help me. We spent the weekend together and tackled the basement and the main floor. 15 hours and 6 bags of garbage later… I felt I could breathe.

after-purge

That week I was able to keep the house clean. It was actually easy and enjoyable. The calmness and ease I felt were totally worth it. Plus it helped me to focus on my biz, cause I no longer felt the guilt, and I didn’t spend hours cleaning.

So if you’re like me, and cleaning/organizing does not come naturally to you, ASK FOR HELP!!!! Ask that friend who always has his or her house clean to help you.

And once you’re done, message me and thank me later 😉

Know exactly what you’re going to work on

When you get some time to work on your biz – whether it’s 10 min or an entire nap. There’s nothing worse than sitting down, ready to work and at the end, you realise that you’ve got nothing done.

This is where quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily planning come into play. And if quarterly and monthly planning overwhelms you, stick to weekly and definitely daily.

The night before, plan out the day. Make sure you know the 1-3 things that you need to work on that day in order to move your biz forward.

Find a planner that works for you. I tried countless planners and apps. Seriously, sooo many different ones. Even designing my own via a bullet journal. But nothing ever stuck, until….I started to use Trello!

Trello has everything I want in a planner – flexibilty, customization and easy to use. It allows me to do long range, weekly and daily planning all in one spot! I made a quick little video tutorial and Trello board template for you if you’d like to see how I time chunk and know what I’m working on. It’s really helped me move my biz forward!  Click the button below to check it out!

WORK IN TIME CHUNKS

When you have small children, it’s almost impossible to truly work from a rigid schedule. There’s no knowing if a poop explosion is going to occur and an impromptu bath is needed.

That’s why I work in time chunks. I got the idea from Sara Goff at goffcreative.com. She’s naturally more organizationally gifted. Check out her post on time chunking and how she does it.

Batch tasks and theme days

Your brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. And let’s be honest, the sleep deprived brain has trouble focusing on anything. This is why creating theme days or batching your work can be really beneficial. It prevents you from moving back and forth between tasks, which is not the most efficient use of your time.

The key again, is to figure out your daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

I know for myself, I have to batch write my posts for the month one weekend a month. If I don’t do that, the whole week will be spent writing a post. And then I won’t have time to do to do other tasks, like creating social media content or pitching guest posts.

Having theme days also helps with other areas in your life. You can batch task your cleaning chores. Monday may be mirror day. That’s the day you run around the house with your windex and towel, cleaning all the mirrors.

Cleanmama.net has a great weekly schedule.

Use a timer

This is sooo helpful especially for us with a little ADD (ahem me) It’s called the Pomodoro method. Basically, you set the timer for 25 min and work on ONE task. At the end, you get a 5 min break. When the break is up, set the timer again for 25 min. This is particularly helpful for tasks that you don’t particularly enjoy doing but you need to get it done.

It doesn’t have to be 25 min. Some people like doing work in 45 min bursts or even 15 min bursts. Here’s how Tara Bosler uses her 15 min. 

OR if you’re like me, your baby is your timer. And you just work right through the nap!

Outsource or delegate

I know when I think of the word outsource, I immediately think of money being spent. But what it really means is getting help. If you have the money, by all means, spend it to get the help you need!!

But when it comes to the house, enlist the help of other family members. I know that as woman we often do more than our fair share of the housework. But you don’t need to do this alone. Here’s a post from Shelly Robinson. She talks about outsourceing and delegating and it comes with a freebie chore chart to help you get started.

Wake up early 

This one is REALLY hard.

But I know that this habit is super beneficial for many reasons…

I used to get up at 5:00am to work out. And you know what happened? I got super fit. The same thing can happen for your biz.

Right now, I need to figure out how to make this work cause my baby ends up waking up if I get up.

But if you can make it work, get up and get that extra 1.5 hours in!!

Below is a post that I clipped from a Facebook group years ago. I can’t remember who wrote it, or what group it was from. But I clipped it cause I love seeing how other people schedule their routines.  As you can see, she woke up early and accomplished a ton!

 

I EARNED OVER $100K IN 6 MONTHS BECAUSE OF THIS ROUTINE

I’ve reached over $100K in my business since late February of this year. It didn’t take a lot of blood and sweat to get me there, but it certainly took me a lot of tears. It also took a lot of HUSTLE. I worked my ass off to earn that $100K.

One thing that was crucial to my success was having a morning plan/routine that I followed every single day (yes, even on weekends and holidays!). This plan allowed me to get my important work out of the way before anyone in my house was even awake.

If you have young kids yourself, you’ll understand just how important this alone time really is!

I really do believe that without my morning plan, I would not have been able to make so much money in such a small amount of time. It forced me to be focused and move quickly, and so the money came quickly as a result.

If you are struggling to make money with your business, I encourage you to apply a morning routine/plan to your days. I can promise that they’re worth the effort.

To give you an example, here’s what my current morning plan looks like:

***Monday & Wednesday:
5am – Wake up, Review my to-do list that I wrote the night before (focusing on my top 3 MUST-DO’s)
5:15am – Work on top 3 must-dos
6:30am – Spend 30 minutes on social media, simply being of service
7am – Kids dressed, fed and ready for school, eat breakfast
9am – Work on blog post, next event (webinar, live call), guest post
10am – Spend 30 minutes on social media, simply being of service
10:30am – Follow up with 1+ person
11am – Lunch

***Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
5am – Wake up, Review my to-do list that I wrote the night before (focusing on my top 3 MUST-DO’s)
5:15am – Work on top 3 must-dos
6am – Follow up with 1+ person
6:30am – Spend 30 minutes on social media, simply being of service
7am – Kids dressed, fed and ready for school, eat breakfast
9am – Exercise
10am – Client coaching, free coaching or discovery calls
12pm – Lunch

***Saturday:
5am – Wake up, Review my to-do list that I wrote the night before (focusing on my top 3 MUST-DO’s)
5:15am – Work on top 3 must-dos
6am – Education (class/program, listen to audio/podcast, watch video)
7am – Spend 30 minutes on social media, simply being of service
7:30am – Breakfast
8:30am – Answer emails
9am – Spend 30 minutes on social media, simply being of service
9:30am – End of day for work (now it’s family time), but check in on social media and client emails through the day + write to-do list with top 3 MUST-Dos for tomorrow

***Sunday:
5am – Wake up, Review my to-do list that I wrote the night before (focusing on my top 3 MUST-DO’s)
5:15 am – Work on top 3 must-dos
6am – Plan the week ahead (weekly to-do list), schedule in calendar
6:30am – Spend 30 minutes on social media, simply being of service
7am – Work on “homework” from coach or course/program
8am – Breakfast
9am – End of day for work (now it’s family time), but check in on social media and client emails through the day + write to-do list with top 3 MUST-Dos for tomorrow

As you can see, my mornings look pretty similar all week long. 3 days a week, my daughter is at daycare, so those are the days I do my coaching & discovery calls. The days she is home with me (Monday & Wednesday), I don’t usually do those call.

Having this solid routine in place every day has really allowed me to get focused and accomplish everything on my list that’s important to get done. If I allowed myself to sleep in and work sporadically, I truly don’t believe I would have achieved as much success as I have thus far.

Don’t think that you have to follow my morning plan(s) exactly. You don’t. I’m not telling you to wake up a 5 in the morning every day of the week. That won’t work for some people. What I AM telling you to do, is to put a morning plan in place for every day of the week. Stick to it and I promise you that you’ll start seeing positive results in your business!

 

Know and accept that it will never be ‘perfect’

I went to have a coffee date with a fellow online entrepreneur the other day. We didn’t sit and have coffee. We went to the park instead because I had my daughter with me.
She’s lovely and talented and is rocking her biz! And she’s at a TOTALLY different stage in life than me. She’s 10 years younger, no kids and living with her parents to save money.

When I asked her about her day and how she schedules it – She said she works from 9:00am until she goes to bed. Basically, she has ALL day to work on her biz.

I must admit, I felt a slight pang of envy.

When she asked about my schedule. I told her that  I work during nap time, which is 1-2 hours. And after my kids are in bed… when my brain is fried. So maybe 3-4 hours a day, 5 if I’m lucky.

Being a mom and creating a biz is messy. Plans are important, but they need to be flexible plans.

This is where a little self-love and acceptance comes in. Cause the reality is, there is no such thing of doing it all.

No one can do it all. All you can do is keep the vision strong and manage your time to the best of your abilities.

And ask for help!! There is no shame in asking for help.

Where in your life do you need a little help right now? If you got that help how would it improve your productivity?

If you want help with planning your week make sure to check out my little video tutorial I put together to show you exactly how I plan out my week. Click the button below to get access!

The Ultimate Guide to Find Your Niche

The Ultimate Guide to Find Your Niche

Have you been considering starting a biz from home by teaching others what you know and love?

There are lots of options for you. Which is good, but it’s also super overwhelming!

If you’ve been humming and hawing about what to do, I’m willing to bet that you fall into 1 of 3 categories:

  1. You want a biz, but you don’t know what to do
  2.  You have too many ideas and don’t know which one to choose
  3. You have an idea but you don’t know if it’s a good one and if it will work

How do you decide or make a choice?

The first step is to NAIL YOUR NICHE!

Nailing your niche is really important because without it, your blog or biz will lack purpose and clarity. It’s kinda like deciding on the theme of your party. If you’re throwing a tea party, you’ll need fine tea cups, mini sandwiches and scones. There’s no need for laser lights and a vodka bar.

[related post: 7 steps to Build and Online Biz]

The key to nailing a niche is by combining your SKILLS + INTERESTS + SERVICE

niche-venn

How do you find that middle spot?

Let’s go through it, step by step 🙂

Go grab a cup of tea or wine, put on some music and let’s do some research!

To help you out I created a mini guidebook to go along with this post, so just download by clicking the button below and we can go through the steps together.

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STEP 1) WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?

This is something we should all know inherently but for whatever reason, it’s actually pretty tricky.

We are often so nasty to ourselves and the inner critic can sometimes wreak havoc in our minds.

If you’ve downloaded the guidebook, you can see I made a list for you.  Often times the list will help us realise that we do in fact possess certain qualities that perhaps we weren’t aware of.

Once you’ve come up with that initial list, ask someone close to you. Ask your friends and family members to describe you in 5 words. See if there are any patterns that you can find.

For your skills, ask yourself the following questions and fill the answers out in the guidebook

  • What skills did you learn at school?
  • What skills do you need to do your job(s)?
  • What skills have made you successful?
  • What skills come naturally to you?… Are you good with your hands? Are you a quick learner? Are you empathic?

List all of these.

Once again take a look at the list in the guidebook to help you out.

You can also take personality quizzes to see which strengths you might posses. My fave is this one. https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test I’m an INFP and I find it’s pretty accurate.

Add these qualities to the list as well.

Then narrow it down to the top 5-10 that you feel are really representative of you and your best self.

STEP 2) WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO?

A lot of people ask the question – what are you passionate about? Personally, I hate that question because passion to me means a very strong emotion about 1 thing.

But if you’re like me, you’re not passionate about any one thing. You like LOTS of things.

And that’s ok – it just means that you have more to choose from.

Answer the following questions:

  • What topic of blogs do you love to read?
  • What topic of podcasts do you listen to?
  • What are your favourite magazines?
  • What could you talk about endlessly if you had the chance?
  • What activities do you get so enthralled in that you forget to eat?
  • What activities bring about a sense of wonder?
  • What topics always fascinated you?
  • What topic do you know a lot about?

Once again, take a look at the list and see if there are any trends. If you can’t find any just choose the 2-3 topics that you really bring you the most joy or that you find the most interesting.

STEP 3) WHAT PROBLEM CAN YOU SOLVE?

The whole point of building a biz is to make some money. Otherwise, you have a hobby.

There’s a saying “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”

That’s great, but it doesn’t work that way.  If you’re like me, you LOVE lazy Sundays, drinking wine and binge watching Netflix. Sure you may love it, but no one is going to pay you for it – unfortunately.

So what are you people going to pay you for?… Something of value:

Harvard Business Review recently came out with this value pyramid:

pyramid-of-value

 

If you can come up with a product or a service that helps people with one or more of these qualities – chances are they’ll pay for it. The more qualities, the more you can charge

Remember, people don’t actually pay for the products, they pay for what the product will DO for them. They pay for results and feelings.

Look at your skills and interests. How can you help someone ease a pain point or transform in some way? And the transformation doesn’t have to be huge. You just have to help someone get to from A to B as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

Find a problem that you can solve.

Where are the problems? …Everywhere!

You just have to look. People write their problems all over the internet. They are written as questions, rants, and wishes. All you have to do is join the conversations where you think you might be of service.

FACEBOOK GROUPS

Groups are a goldmine for issues. All you have to do is go into a group where you think people that you can help might be hanging out. Do a keyword search in the ‘search this group” for your subject and see what pops up.

search-in-group

Scroll through the results and see which threads you can use your knowledge and skills to contribute to. When you find one, make sure you cut and paste the question, rant or wish. This will help you write copy in the future.

Here’s a trello board that you can download that will keep everything organised for you. All you have to do is cut and paste the language in the appropriate boards

ANSWER QUESTIONS

Questions are one of the best clues that someone has a problem. Because if they didn’t have the problem, they wouldn’t be asking. Go into Facebook groups, twitter chats, quora, and forums and see what questions you can answer and then gauge the response.

KEYWORD SEARCH

Use google keywords to see what people are actually asking google. The more hits, the greater the need.

FIND HOLES IN THE MARKET

I listened to a podcast with Toni Anderson from thehappyhousewife.com. She made almost 200k in 7 months. Her tip? She said “Find a hot trend and piggyback on it”

What does that mean?

Basically, take a topic that is super trendy and then add your spin on it. Find what is lacking or missing within the trend and fill that gap with your idea, product or service. You can listen to the podcast here to learn more.

DO A SURVEY

Surveys are an awesome way to get some intel into exactly what people want and/or need.

I recently took a mini challenge by Jeanna Soard. She’s a wonderful teacher! The challenge will help you develop a survey to see if you have a viable niche. The challenge is aimed at determining whether a course is viable, but I think it could work for any potential service.

WRAP UP

Finding your niche is not the easiest thing in the world to do. There are very few people in this world that come out the womb knowing exactly what they want and whom they want to be.
It really comes down to just trusting that you’re making the right decision and going for it.  So grab your copy of the Nail Your Niche Guidebook, sit down with some tea and wine and get some clarity.

And know that your niche will change and grow as you and your buisness changes and grows.  So grab your copy of the Nail Your Niche Guidebook, sit down with some tea and wine and get some clarity.

 So grab your copy of the Nail Your Niche Guidebook, print it out, sit down with some tea or wine and get some clarity!

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What Grade Would You Give Your Blog?

What Grade Would You Give Your Blog?

I think it goes without saying how important a website is – especially when you’re starting a side biz.

I know for myself I will not purchase anything without looking at the website first. If they don’t have a website, I’ll then check for reviews and if there’s no online presence at all, chances are they won’t have me as a customer.

As a self-confessed  learning junkie and content consumption addict (seriously I have a problem!), and after four years of reading soooooo many articles about online marketing-  I have seen many, many, many, blogs and websites. I know what works and what doesn’t.

There are some absolutely gorgeous sites out there – especially when you have a budget that can afford the top designers and developers. But then I come across others that are DIY. Their content is great, but that’s about it.

As mompreneurs we often run our entire business completely on our own. And since we’re doing this to make money we don’t have a lot to invest. We often have to pull up our bootstraps and DIY so much of our business, including our website.

Luckily for us building a website has never been easier! 

But here’s the deal…You may have a knack for design, or the gift of the written word but no matter how much you plan, tweak or change your site –  you’ll most likely miss certain things that make sense to you, but not the potential visitors that come across your website.

This is because when you create a blog or a website yourself,  you’ve seen it dozens and dozens of times. It’s so easy to miss simple mistakes, navigation issues and what the overall impression of the site is.

 There are several questions that are hard to answer on your own.

  • Is your messaging clear?
  • Are there any typos?
  • Do you have compelling headlines?
  • Can items be found easily?
  • Are there clear categories?
  • Is the branding beautiful or a mess?
  • Are the images compelling or distracting?

ASSESSING YOUR SITE

As a teacher, one of the most important parts of my job is assessment. I’ll give the students an assignment or a project and they will receive a grade once it’s complete.

Part of my assessment is giving them what’s called descriptive feedback. It’s basically telling them specific things that they’ve done well and where they need to improve. Without this feedback, most students have no idea how to improve because they don’t know they’re doing anything wrong.

As mompreneurs we’re often missing this feedback.

If you’re needing some feedback there are a few ways you can get it…

INSIDE FB GROUPS

There are TONS of FB groups where you can get advice from peers. Seriously, EVERYONE has a Facebook group these days. Some groups are better than others.

Sometimes the feedback is great and super helpful. But at times, the feedback is minimal and can cause more confusion and uncertainty.  Sometimes you might get little snippets of what you’re doing wrong but not necessarily how to improve. Sometimes people are quick to help you, but they don’t actually read your question. And sometimes you get total crickets with no help at all. 

ASSESS YOUR OWN

This is actually a super important skill for anyone to learn. And it’s a skill I teach my students. Being self-reflective and objective is totally beneficial.

To help my students with this skill, I will create a checklist that will help them reach a certain level or expectation.

In teacher talk it’s called Success Criteria 

An example of success criteria for a good story might be:

  • There’s a beginning middle and end,
  • There’s a problem and a solution
  • Sentences begin with a capital and end in a period (you have no idea HOW MANY times I need to remind my students to do this!! )

Before they come to me to read over their story, they need to check the list to make sure that they have all the criteria needed. As long as they have all the criteria, chances are they have a good story.

WEBSITE SUCCESS CRITERIA

If you take a look at super successful blogs they tend to have a few things in common. Their writing is awesome, their copy is compelling and their design is clear and beautiful.

I believe the following criteria are what makes a successful website.

  • The purpose is clear
  • The posts are well written and are helpful, inspiring or entertaining
  • The posts are scannable and easy to read
  • The branding is consistent
  • The layout is clear and uncluttered
  • The navigation is easy to get around
  • The copy is compelling
  • The images are branded and don’t distract
  • The layout is clear and uncluttered (this is why I don’t like ads)
  • There’s plenty of whitespace to make it easy to read

CREATING YOUR OWN SUCCESS CRITERIA

So here’s a little homework for you. Take a look at 3-5 of your favourite bloggers and their sites. Look at the list above and see which criteria they are rocking at. Then you can emulate, NOT COPY what they’re doing. After all, success leaves clues.

USE A RUBRIC

A what?? A rubric – which is my personal fave! A rubric is basically an awesome tool that has all the criteria laid out in different levels.

It clearly shows what a level 1 (needs some work) looks like, all the way up to level 4 (rocking it).

The goal is to get a 3 or a 4. This way you can see what level you’re at and exactly what you need to do to improve. You can also give the rubric to your spouse or friend and they can assess it for you. 

Here’s an example from a rubric I created to help you assess your blog.

In the rubric I use, there are 12 criteria:

  1. purpose
  2. posts
  3. communication
  4. copy
  5. images
  6. fonts
  7. colour
  8. simplicity
  9. navigation
  10. layout
  11. load time
  12. mobile friendly

If you want a copy of the rubric, I’d be happy to email it to you. Click here to get it! 

 HAVE SOMEONE ELSE LOOK AT YOUR WORK

This is the ideal situation. It’s why authors have editors. Cause no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can’t see your mistakes! Or you can’t see how it flows. And you obviously can’t see how a stranger would judge your site.

You literally have 7 seconds to capture their attention before they leave forever. So you might as well have someone take a peek at it.

You can ask a friend or family member. The only issue with this is often times they have no idea what you’re actually trying to accomplish and don’t understand the nitty gritty of starting a start hustle. They could help with the grammar and spelling. But chances are they won’t understand site flow, copywriting, branding and the importance of certain pages.

This is why I offer website reviews to help you out!

In a nutshell, I use a rubric, plus a video myself thinking aloud as I view your website. So you get to hear what’s going on in my head. I will then provide descriptive feedback on how you can improve your site. For more information about Fab Feedback click here.

If you’re wanting to assess your site on your own you can grab the rubric and do it yourself. Just click on the button below to download.

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 How do you know when you’re doing something right? Do you have the ability to trust yourself? Do you have a mastermind that you’re a part of? What’s your form of self-assessment?