Stay-at-home mom business ideas – part 1

When a woman chooses to become a stay-at-home mom she dramatically alters her career path, usually by completely exiting the workforce for several years, if not permanently.

While some women choose to pursue work from home opportunities, there are few reputable companies offering reliable telecommuting or home-based positions.

Many women who would like to maintain a career while staying home with their small children have no idea where to turn. Just like Lisa Marcia, author of A Work at Home Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Building a Business, Blog and Brand, most moms are just looking for a way to stay home with their little ones while earning extra income doing something they love. Luckily, there are several small business ideas suitable for stay-at-home moms.

Administrative Consulting or Virtual Assisting

Virtual assistants usually provide remote administrative or technical assistance to clients from a wide range of industries and business sectors. Some VAs also work as virtual personal assistants, helping their clients with travel arrangements, scheduling and other miscellaneous tasks.

Administrative consultants differ from virtual assistants in that they play more of an advisory and directional support role in their client’s businesses.

This type of business is great for a stay-at-home mom, because it allows her to take on the number of clients or independent contracts that suit her own availability. People in this line of work often arrange part-time child care or establish quiet times at home during which they can communicate with clients who require phone calls or teleconferences.

The majority of clients, however, are comfortable communicating via email or through other web-based project management platforms.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is another great business venture for a stay-at-home mom. There are hundreds of reputable online media outlets that contract with people who have journalism backgrounds as well as mid-career professionals willing to share their knowledge in Internet-based magazines and newspapers.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of moms have found success as “mommy bloggers,” a term that generally refers to website owners who journal about everything from homeschooling to recipes. While starting and maintaining a blog that pulls in a reliable income is hard work, those who have achieved success with this type of home based business enjoy unparalleled flexibility and freedom.

Home Day Care

Many stay-at-home moms spend countless hours designing home-based preschool curricula, planning field trips and outings, preparing healthy meals and snacks, and setting up elaborate playrooms and outdoor play areas. With a few certifications courses and state license, some of those same moms open their doors to other infants and toddlers to establish a home day care.

Home-based preschools are attractive to many working parents as well as other stay-at-home moms who prefer a more personalized childcare setting. Some home day cares even function as cooperatives in which groups of parents pool their money for resources.

Read Stay-at-home mom business ideas – part 2 for more business ideas and links to helpful resources.

Top 5 mistakes Amazon sellers make

Selling on Amazon has become a popular way to earn a little extra money from home, get rid of books and media collecting dust in cabinets, and find new homes for collectible toys and games. Mistakes can result in unhappy customers, lower profits, and even account suspension. Unfortunately, many new sellers are jumping in too fast and not reading or paying attention to the Amazon Terms of Service. Here is a list of the top 5 mistakes Amazon sellers make – usually due to ignorance or sloppy listings.

Photos not to Amazon standards. Amazon’s Product Image Requirements state that the image must be on a pure white background, must be in focus, and cannot contain additional text, graphics or inset images. This guideline is often violated by new sellers coming over from eBay who quickly snap a photo of the item as they would for an eBay listing. Amazon is strict about keeping their catalog clean and professional-looking.

Confusing titles. The title of a product on an Amazon listing page should be concise and direct. Sellers often keyword stuff titles hoping for better placement in searches. The title should not include extraneous information, adjectives, or exclamatory words.

Wrong weights entered in FBA items. Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA, is where sellers ship items to Amazon warehouses and Amazon ships (or fulfills) the order when the item sells. When entering a new product in the catalog, sellers should take great care to enter the correct weight as this can affect fees for any seller who sells the product. Typos in the weight section are a common error.

Changing the quantity of a multipack. Lazy sellers often change the quantity of a multipack – say a set of 2 bags of M&Ms to a set of 3. This causes great confusion on the customer’s part, and blindsides other sellers who have been selling under that listing. Respect the marketplace and make sure you are listing under the correct product page, and don’t change existing multipacks just because it is convenient.

Shipping unacceptable glass containers to FBA. Because FBA items endure extra handling in warehouses, there are strict rules for what can be sent to an Amazon fulfillment center. Glass containers cannot be more than four ounces, must be bubble wrapped, and must survive a three-foot drop test onto concrete. Make sure glass is adequately wrapped with bubble wrap, don’t send in glass containers larger than four ounces (even if another seller is doing it), and never bundle glass items together to make a set. For sets of items, wrap each item individually, put in a box, and send in the boxed unit.

Read and study all the Amazon FBA Policies and Requirements before shipping any items to a warehouse.

How to Develop Property Websites?

Consumers looking to buy a new home are using websites as their first point of contact with realtors. The property website must give consumers the tools they want and expect.

Property website development has become an important function for a realtor. More and more consumers looking to buy a new home are using websites as their first point of contact with realtors. Research, analysis and planning are done online by a potential home buyer before contacting a realtor to see a home. Home buyers prefer the privacy and independent thought when considering a new home.

A house is a huge investment and people tend to want independent focus rather than distractions to sway decisions. Consumers prefer to have a self-education plan in mind before making a large investment. Realtors provide a better service when they provide the means for the consumer to do their own research, analysis and planning.

A realtor would prepare a home listing that gives the consumer all the listing status, financials, history, construction and size. The consumer will spend more time researching a property if it is not in a pending sales status. They will also have greater interest to act if it recently went to the market. The financial history shows the current price and the previous sale prices for the past few owners. This shows the potential home buyer if the house is gaining value over time indicating a possible wise investment.

Historical information indicates the age of the house and any recent upgrades. Additions indicate that part of the house is newer than the overall age of the house. The construction is an indication of style, for example colonial, Victorian, or contemporary. Consumers are looking for a particular size to either upgrade to support a larger family or downgrade to support retirement.

Realtors work to make their property website development result in an easy to navigate tool for consumers. As realtors compete with one another there is a growing number of websites. Home buyers tend to spend more time with websites that are easy to use and are packed with information. The tabs and menus must be intuitive and not require research to figure out how to use.

Generating Online Visitors to Your Website in a Professional Way

Generating online visitors to your website is the key factor to the success of your online business. It’s the blood of life of your website. Without sufficient traffic, you will not be able to make money online.
There are several methods of generating online visitors so as to create more traffic to your website, some are free, some are paid, it does totally depend on your budget.

Here I would like to list out some of the methods as follow:

  • Search Engine Optimization – Optimize your website base on keywords to be search-engine friendly, your website might overtake other competitors in the search results.
  • Submission to top directories – This will help to spread the popularity of your website.
  • Comment on blogs – Visit other people’s blogs that have similar niche with yours, leave valuable comment and leave your link.
  • Post in forums – Visit other people’s forum, discussing on topic that are related to your niche, post helpful responses to other people’s questions.
  • Create in-bound links as much as possible – You can create a page within your website to do link exchange with other quality websites that are similar with your niche.
  • Link exchange with other websites – Try contact other website owners, place their link on your webpage in exchange they place your link on their webpage.
  • Write articles related to your niche and submit to top ezines – Your articles will read by many readers and they will visit your website.
  • Publish your newsletter – Keep your visitors close to you, update any issues that are valuable to them.
  • Make fully use of the social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, direct your visitors to your website.
  • Sign up to Yahoo answers and leave helpful answers to other people, leave a link that directs others to visit your website.
  • Create an e-mail “signature” – Your name, your website address and a short tag-line describing your website. Set your e-mail program to automatically add your signature to every e-mail that you send.
  • Make your website content-rich and always updated. Create something of value that visitors will pass around. It can be a report with useful information that you allow people to give away. It can also be some kind of cool and unusual web-page that people will want to e-mail to all their friends. Of course, the pass-around item will include your advertisement and your link, spreading the words about your website. This is a “viral” strategy.
  • Advertise your site at free classified ad sites – There are tons of these on the internet. Some of the more popular ones are Craigslist, Inetgiant, Freeadvertisingforum, and Gumtree.
  • Advertise your website at paid ads – There are tons of websites where you can place your ads in, like Google adword, Yahoo ads, ads marketplace, it’s all depend on your budget.

Hopefully the above mentioned methods are truly helps in your online business success.

Focusing on B&W Snapshots and ‘Those Nice, Bright Colors of Kodachrome.’

Kodachrome,
You give us those nice bright colors …
You give us the greens of summers…
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!…
…Kodachrome…
…And everything looks worse in black and white….”

No, it doesn’t!

When Paul Simon wrote, and Simon & Garfunkel sang the classic praises and merits of Kodachrome’s ‘nice bright colors,’ but then concluded the song by lyrically knocking the concept of black & white photography, well, I couldn’t wait to conceptually cross their pre-Ed Koch 59th Street Bridge and focus on making some picture perfect points.

Exploring New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue recently, on the way to visiting the Picasso’s, Rembrandt’s, DaVinci’s, Seurat’s, Goyas et al, I was surprised to see a display full of simple black and white snapshots that had been collected by Peter Cohen. When the Met curators met Cohen, it’s easy to see what they liked. Cohen had uncovered decades of anonymous family pictures, all in glorious B&W and agreed to mount a small but interesting Met display showcasing the kind of amateur photographic memories that those of us who remember having Brownie Holiday and Kodak box cameras could thoroughly enjoy.

Then there are simple images in black and white that have made a searing impact on our collective photographic psyches. Stanley Stearns received his first camera as a Bar Mitzvah gift from a relative. News photography became his career. On the day of John F. Kennedy’s funeral, Stan trained his camera on JFK’s son and exclusively captured that simple son-to-father salute that brought the world to tears.

The list of famous photographers who made everything look great in black and white also includes luminaries as Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstadt, Annie Liebovitz, Alfred Stieglitz just to name a few. Maybe Simon & Garfunkel had all of them in mind when on August 15, 1991 during a concert in Central Park, they actually changed their lyrics from “everything looks worse, to everything looks better in black & white.”

OK, but what about ‘those nice bright colors’ that Simon & Garfunkel sing about? Decades ago, in an era when black & white photography was king, working in color became a newer art form that even in its infancy was very slow to develop. But one photographer was out to make an impact.

Until May 4th at New York City’s International Center of Photography near Rockefeller Center, an exhibition titled “Capa in Color” showcases over 100 prints in pure, glorious living color. “Robert Capa” was born Endre Friedmann. In 1933, he moved from German to France to escape the increase in Nazism, and because as a Jewish journalist and photographer, he found it extremely difficult to find work. He adopted his American-sounding name and found it easier to sell his photos to publications including Life, Look, Collier’s, Holiday, Ladies Home Journal and McCall’s. This wonderful ICP exhibit reinforces how color provided Capa with the glitter and humor that B&W often missed. Capa first discovered color in 1938, two years after Kodak developed the first color film they branded as Kodachrome. Sensing its early potential and eager to be slightly ahead of his competition, Capa contacted his agent in New York writing “Please immediately send 12 rolls of Kodachrome with all instructions. Send it ‘Via Clipper’ because I have an idea for Life.” The rest of the story makes for photographic history which you will not want to miss seeing during its limited run.

Highlighted, for example, in one gallery is Capa’s powerful coverage of the Israeli War for Independence along with his book “Report on Israel.” It was Robert’s younger brother who actually founded the ICP years after his death as a way to give his older brother’s extensive black & white and color photo collection a place to call home.

While Robert Capa could make everything look great in black and white, ICP’s celebration of “Capa in Color” reinforces just how colorfully creative a photographic genius can be when he puts those nice bright colors to work.

Is Your Home Presentable

Yesterday we had the pleasure of sitting down with Danny Poulos from Elite Lending to film a segment for his remarkable Real Estate Insiders show. We really had a good time and the question came up about what does it take to bring our clients the most money through our various marketing programs.

We can not stress this point strongly enough. Most buyers are shopping for their new home on the Internet before contacting a Realtor®. In fact statistics prove than an astounding 86% of all home buyers are surfing the web as the starting point in the search for their new home. They are on Trulia.com. They are on Realtor.com. They are on Homes.com. You name it and they are there. And if your home is listed by a Realtor® through the Multiple Listing Service they will be seeing it. Maybe!

The maybe is how your home looks on their computer, or phone or tablet. Do the pictures POP? Do the words tell a story? Is there something that draws them to take the next step and pick up the phone? The reality is we find only about 5% of ALL listings in ALL price ranges stand out and have both pictures and a story that are truly enticing.

Let’s take an example of a median priced condo in the Delray Beach market that we recently sold for a client. We sold them the unit less than 2 years before and sold it at about a 40% profit and feel the on-line marketing played a significant role.

In fact the “old” pictures were certainly not bad. In fact, they were better than probably at least half of what we see out there. This fact makes the point even more dramatic. Above is the courtyard photo of the listing when our client purchased the property. Actually a nice photo, good balance, blue sky, sharp focus. But does it POP? Or does this?

But pictures only are part of the story. On-line home shoppers want more. They want to know about the home, the area. A story that paints a picture of why they should be interested. Here is the written description of the property when our client purchased the unit;

Totaly renovated 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in the heart of downtown Delray. steps to the intracoastal,downtown and walking distance to the beach. Renovations include, impact glass, new kitchen flooring bathrooms, appliances and paint.

Basic description with the first word misspelled but does it tell a story? Does it make the property POP? Or does the description we included with our listing?

Every once in a while a special property in a special location becomes available and if you are looking for the ideal location in Delray Beach this may be it. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms this ground floor unit in Parkview Manor is remarkable in every way. This boutique building is located just one block north of The Avenue and steps from the Intracoastal waterway. Every detail has been taken care of in this meticulous renovation. From the replacement of original cast iron waste lines to new impact windows/doors and everything in between you will find a home that should be included on your ”must see” list. The remarkable beaches, restaurants and shops of downtown Delray Beach are literally steps away from your front door. This Village by the Sea is all yours to enjoy on foot.

Please take the time to look at our photos which show the quality of the materials and design used throughout this magnificent property. Rand McNally recently named Delray Beach the “Most Fun Small Town in America so whether you are looking for a full time residence, a place to escape the northern winters or your own Pied-a-terre just off Atlantic Avenue do not miss this one. No surface has been left untouched and the most discriminating buyer will find nothing to do but enjoy this slice of paradise.

If you are thinking about selling your home you really need to understand what the broker who you are considering is going to do to make it POP! If you need any help, or suggestions, no matter where in the country you live please feel free to contact us and we are happy to help. Our passion here at Paradise Sharks Real Estate is to raise the value and quality of real estate services available to anyone. We don’t want your kitchen to look like this;

We want it to POP!

The fact is most real estate brokerages are not going to make your property POP unless you make sure they do. Consumers are free to accept mediocre marketing and pay too much for too little. It is a great example of why we tell each of our clients that they can pay more and receive less but that just would not make any sense. Always interesting, always fun.

Pros and cons of the eBay Global Shipping Program

The eBay Global Shipping Program (GSP) is a program sellers can opt into for shipping items internationally. Launched in late 2012, the Global Shipping Program was designed to simplify shipping to approved international countries. Sellers package the item, send to a US shipping hub,and eBay takes responsibility for the item and sends it on to its final destination. Some sellers love it, others have tried it and don’t care for it, and others will never try it because they have been shipping items internationally for many years without eBay’s involvement. A common discussion on seller forums and eBay Facebook groups, is whether to use the GSP or not.

Advantages of the eBay Global Shipping Program:

eBay takes responsibility for the item

eBay handles returns

Easier for the seller – no need to purchase insurance, figure out which countries should be avoided, or worry about lost packages

Disadvantages of eBay Global Shipping Program:

Higher prices for buyer

eBay may open and inspect the item – may not package it back correctly, items could go missing if it has multiple pieces

Only ships to certain countries – lost sales opportunities

Slower shipping time

International customers have remarked that they frequently do not buy items where the seller uses GSP because the shipping costs can be up to three times higher than to buy the same item from sellers who do not offer GSP and ship the items on their own. eBay also estimates and includes custom fees in the cost of GSP, and many times the customs fees are not even needed.

Newer sellers seem to embrace the GSP more often because they don’t have to do anything differently than shipping a domestic package. Veteran sellers have a hard time seeing the value of the GSP since shipping internationally is really very simple, and they don’t like the possibility of losing sales due to higher shipping fees.

Blogging for Internet Marketing

Writer’s block seems to be more of an issue of a lack of ideas on what to write about than the actual inability to write. Especially when someone is new and they can’t truthfully say how successful they have been yet, people will sometimes feel they have nothing to say. There is also so much information they are being barraged with and it makes them feel like they don’t know anything. These are just temporary obstacles if a person really wants to write.

New marketers should understand that they NEED to be able to write – no matter what. Blogging is the primary valuable and by the way FREE way to promote a domain, website or business. This is therefore not a fact that we can just ‘file and forget’- We must somehow force ourselves to write; and it is not only blogging, but writing ads, communicating with our peers, prospects and customers, trying to convey an issue to a technical support or customer service agent to get something done, and participating in social networks and forums.

Some of these avenues, for example blogging and maybe submitting articles to a directory, we could pay for ghostwriters to create content for us. They can be reasonably priced for the average person – Maybe $5-25 per article. For sales pages and advertising we might need expensive copywriters and designers in order to get really professional, compelling copy and design to promote our business, and these can cost a lot more. (so best if we learn how to do this ourselves to some degree in the future, if possible or hope we can afford to pay).

If you are like most people starting out in Internet Marketing you don’t have a lot of money to work with at first and maybe even for the first year or so. This is one of the reasons why you just need to sit down and start writing. Write anything. Pretend you are writing a letter to a friend – and you do want to write as if you are open and relaxed as you would with a friend. Nobody needs to create a text book or technical specifications here, just be able to clearly convey an idea or concept – even an opinion works.

Don’t get ‘stage fright’ – nobody is going to judge you – that is if you can at least be cognizant of correct spelling and grammar, which only requires proofreading and being careful – as close to accurate as we can get, maybe looking up a few words on a search engine if you are not sure how it is spelled; Most Wordprocessors have spell check so that should help too. (however they don’t catch things like words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context – for example – ‘Right me a letter’ should of course be ‘Write me a letter) So just take a minute to browse through what you have written before you publish it. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just close!

So what if you are not an expert marketer or writer yet? Not a problem. You can write about what you are learning, your opinion of things that you read. And by the way, reading is an excellent way to get ideas for what to write about. Of course never copy word for word, but you can just rewrite anything in your own words. Of course be honest if you have not yet experienced something yourself first-hand or earned a substantial amount – There is nothing wrong with quoting people who have. As long as you are truthful and give credit to the author, and use “quote” marks to indicate you are quoting not composing.

Looking at a slightly higher price point?

When last we met, we discussed neighborhood affordability. Today let’s continue that discussion at a slightly higher price point.

If you’re looking to spend $1 million to $1.5 million, you may consider a large circle of neighborhoods in the center of the city, plus the Richmond District in the northwest. Within this circle, you’re typically going to get more for your money in the Sunset, Central and Outer Richmond, Miraloma Park or Bernal Heights than in Glen Park or Potrero Hill – or especially Noe or Eureka Valley.

The chart accompanying this story spells this out in greater detail. Topping that chart is the Miraloma Park/Midtown Terrace/Forest Hill/Westwood Park area – if you’re looking for value, you’ll find it here.

Need guidance? Give me a call!

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email [email protected] www.ceceblase.com

What Is Web Design of the Online Marketing Site?

There are various websites that provide the opportunity of online shopping to the people. This service is getting popular day by day as people like the concept of the online shopping.

The fast changing life of the people of 21st century, lacking enough time is getting hectic day by day. Due to the work pressure and other matters people find it to difficult to do many things. But with the blessing of the time and technology people can access various facilities which are otherwise impossible in their busy lives.

The online shopping is such a facility that offers people to shop from home. There are many websites worldwide. The increasing popularity is one of the main reasons of this service’s commercial prosperity. This facility is known as E-commerce. Buyers can shop from home which saves a lot of time of going to market and picking up the right things.

The online marketing sites are designed beautifully to attract people. The Web Design is done by the group of professionals. The websites of the shopping sites contains various items for the buyers. Almost everything is available on the shopping websites. The things garments for all, be it ladies or gents or of children. The items for room decorations, books, statues and photo frames, and also the electronic things such as Mobile Phone, camera, Laptop, Tabs are also available. Toys for the children and other amusing things are also available. On any occasion if someone is not able to go then he or she can also order online gift that will be sent to the destined address.

The service is very popular because one can buy things from anywhere. If someone is going to office, or coming from the college they will be able to buy things during the journey also. The service providers have earned reputation for their good behavior. When someone is buying something the time of the delivery of that item is shown on the website so the buyers get to know on which time the gift is to be delivered.

Usually the ordered items are always on time which is the main reason of the popularity of the service. With the interesting feature and the quick service the E-commerce Development is genuinely praise worthy. The main purpose is to give the people the opportunity of shopping by saving time and deliver gifts on time. Worldwide this service is popular and worth mentioning. Lots of people every day use this online shopping facility. The goodwill along with the success of the service demands special attention.