I’m thrilled to offer Mommy Writings’ first ever guest posting series: Life as a WAHM! Today’s guest poster is Emma Coch from 3 is Family Advice. Emma is new to the blogging world, but she’s been working online for quite some time. She’s a mom of four (and one angel), and she will be featured each Sunday this month. She’ll be talking about her life as a WAHM and some of the lessons she’s learned along the way.
And without further ado:
I am honored to be a guest blogger on Melissa’s blog.
I have been online since around 2008, but have only been blogging properly for a few months. My efforts have been in other areas before now.
First, it would be rude for me to not introduce myself, so I will explain my goings on further down the post.
My name is Emma, and I am a 32 (okay, 33 this month) year old mother of four plus one who was stillborn. Keep checking out this blog as I will be telling you how I actually manage to work at all with these four hoodlums around my heels!
I live in the North of England, UK. But I am Welsh, and proud to say I come from Anglesey, a place of the Druids.
Now, when I started writing this post about how I started being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom), I immediately started writing about all my online endeavours and had to halt myself. I am so use to taking my online opportunities to work from home that I had forgotten my journey had started a long time before that.
The Very Beginning of My WAHM Career
I have always been desperate to be an entrepreneur. I never wanted to be like anyone else. As a child I use to hold my Uncle’s vinyls for ransom and get a £1 from them before giving them back. Okay, so that isn’t business, it is theft, but it was cunning and bright for a 7 year old. They should have learned to hide them better!
Afterwards I worked Saturday jobs, paper and milk rounds from 3 am before school, finally getting full time jobs after school. Once I became a mother, I went back to work. But, my heart ached every time I had to leave her.
I carried on, until nature took the decision out of my hands and made me a mother unexpectedly for a 4th time. By then, I had given birth to a stillborn son and two daughters, this making a fourth child and third daughter. The childcare and sheer effort of childcare arrangements outweighed what I would earn, so I stayed at home. Being a Stay at Home Mom meant there was never any money for anything and life became pretty hard to bear, apart from the beauty of being a mom.
So out of desperation I decided to join a mail order catalogue company. You know the ones people order toilet roll holders and gadgets to shake their salads dry etc? You work from home in the sense that you sort out your catalogues, post them in your local area and then if and when you get any orders, you organize them into different customers’ orders, then trundle out again to deliver them… the customer would even be in the first time if you were lucky.
Working for this national company was not very rewarding. It paid peanuts and treated you like the monkey you were for doing it. Hours and hours of walking in all weather. Plus, you got to pay just short of £100 ($157) for the privilege of starting your self-employed WAHM business, which earned me approximately £80. Not even my investment back!! Urrghh, the naivety of my younger self!!
Being poor sucks when you are scared of what bill is coming next, so I became savvy and frugal. I joined an online money saving site that had literally thousands of people adding tips, writing diaries and posting discount codes. That is where it started. Someone was posting ways to earn extra money!
Surveys, Do They Really Pay?
Joining the money saving site, I met people who were earning an extra income from doing surveys online. Some scoffed at this idea. Forty-five minutes and you hardly earn anything; yet, it made sense to me. I pay for my internet anyway because I do some of my housekeeping duties online, such as grocery shopping and bargain hunting. You are either time rich and money poor in this life or the opposite. (Over the next few posts I will explain this in more detail).
I was time rich and extremely poor, I had nothing to lose. Going to cafes with friends or play groups cost money. I needed to make money, so I started filling these surveys out. You get so much spam from these surveys, so I will say, be clever and open a second email account for filling these out. I was quite happy with what I was making. It was all going in a little envelope for Christmas. As I saw it, if it was saving the main income from being spent, it was increasing our disposable income.
As I mixed in these circles and met more and more people online, a pattern started emerging. I started speaking to writers who were earning money through adverts. I have always loved writing; I use to fill little note books up with fictional stories. My mother always told me I would be great at writing children’s story books as my imagination was beyond anything she had seen (nice way to tell me I had my head stuck in the clouds!). The two things made sense, I started investigating.
The best piece of advice I was given from the word GO was to check websites out. If you think it is a scam and it stinks, it probably is. But there are enough of us that have been scammed, or know people who have already been there and can offer advice.
You can quickly test a site out for yourself. Google is your best friend here, so do your research and if a friend verifies a site and tells you they write there, go check out their profile.
Even better, go to Blogger and set up your own blog. You won’t earn money through adverts straight away because there are certain criteria for things like Adsense (and ad affiliates). But there is nothing stopping you earning money through other affiliate sites such as Amazon. Really, I cannot give you ALL the tips in one post, so I will get back on path to telling you how my journey proceeded. I hope the advice given helps you somewhat.
I joined so many sites during 2009 that it made me all a bit dizzy. None of them where getting all of me, so I culled quite a few and stayed with the leading platforms:
- Webanswers (but this is different since it is a Question and Answer site)
But I was losing my own voice and selling myself down the river. So, I opened a blogger account to keep my own style, which didn’t work because the pressure to be available on the other sites was leaving me no time to myself. I bit the bullet and started two of my own websites. One is relatively dormant at the moment. The other is 3isfamilyadvice, a Mommy blog.
Do I earn money from what I do?
Not that much, but I am learning. I have different veins of income, which is another MUST since a stream of income can always be severed. Adsense has cut people down in a day before and all of a sudden their income is flat lined. I earn with Amazon and Adsense primarily. I also earn a small amount through the Hubpages ad program. Yet none of them would replace a part time job, never mind a full time job. So why am I doing it?
Because you have to pay your dues in the WAHM industry.
You live and learn, then adapt. I would be earning thousands if I had known what I know now in 2008, yet I would have had no way to be able to have this knowledge as the world of writing for income is forever adapting, so must you!
It has been nice mixing with Melissa’s readers, and I will follow the comments if you wish to ask me anything. Please return for my other guest posts in the future, and I thank you Melissa, Daughter of Maat for having me here.
Thank you Emma for sharing your story with us!
If you’d like to ask Emma anything, please feel free to leave a question in the comments. Stay tuned next Sunday for Emma’s second post on her life as a WAHM!