My family has always been one who had a business going. At first, it was Homemaking911, which is where I began to learn about WordPress and all of the bloggy stuff. Then we owned a wheat business and eventually I moved out, got married and started my own business. I get a lot of people that ask me a lot of questions about how it works, how I got started and how ‘this stuff’ works. So I went through my inbox and took out some of the questions friends and newbies asked, and threw in some of my own just to give you a well-rounded perspective on real life as a work at home mom.
How did you decide what WAHM opportunity was a good fit for you?
Well, working from home was more normal to me than not. As a mother, I knew I wanted to be home with my little ones so I decided to do what I could to make it work. It wasn’t a matter of “knowing it was a good fit” but I knew it was the only option we had to make money without us having to send my kids away to someone when we couldn’t afford it anyway,
What kind of income do you generate for your family & how long did it take you go get to that point?
When I first started working at home full time I was writing articles for $25 an article, which was a painful way to make a living. I knew it wasn’t sustainable so I started pursuing other things, because I was majorly burning out. In 2014 I started designing websites for clients, instead of just for family and friends of the family. That took off well and within about 3 months I was making between $300 and $700 a month. With my husband still in college at a Federal Work Study college, that money was a huge blessing to our family.
As my business grew I started working as a virtual assistant and WordPress support guru (well, maybe not guru, but my clients tell me I am, so I’ll roll with it!) with several clients who kept me on retainer. In the summer of 2015 I was pregnant with my son Logan and I cut way back so my income was only $400 a month. Now that I am back in the swing of working full time,
The thing I want to mention here is that working as a virtual assistant, blogger, or designer isn’t a magic money making scheme. There are tons of blog posts written by well-meaning bloggers who paint these rosy-hued pictures of how much money you can make right off the bat, but let me tell you, it’s hard work. When you start off, you’ll probably be working long hours for less than you want to make but eventually, if you stick to it and your efforts start to snowball you can very realistically make a full time income working from home. (Please notice, I said you realistically can, not you easily can. No magic formulas here.)
How did you decide what kind of work at home job to pursue?
At first, when I started out I did anything I had to to get the bills paid. Once I had enough business that I knew we wouldn’t starve if I was selective and I had more experience under my belt, I started cutting out the jobs that I didn’t like or clients that drained me. I focused on the things I loved, designing and helping with WordPress and website issues an focused on them. I’ll try almost anything once, but that didn’t mean that I have to continue it if it isn’t working for me. So, I guess in short the answer would be I just stuck with the skills that I loved using. I looked around in groups like the Inspired Bloggers Network and saw how my skills could fill needs and set out to do my best to be of service.
How do you balance your homeschooling and working at home?
My only school-age child is 3, so we are still in the playing is school/unschooling stage. A lot of the activities we do are educational, but formal school isn’t really a thing for her yet. Some of her favorite things are doing color mixing in a bag with paints and we use Usbourne’s Wipe Clean books all the time. Seriously, I love them almost as much as she does. I wrote a whole blog post a while back talking about the different things we do to structure Autumn’s day to make working from home with a toddler a ton easier.
One piece of advice for those considering working at home & homeschooling?
Working from home isn’t easy. There is no easy path to making a quick buck, so when you read other bloggers who tell you how easy it is to make $13,000 in your first three moths blogging and how it wasn’t that hard know that they’re sugar coating it, and, in my experience, trying to sell you something.