Category: How to’s

Gain Success Off of Self-Published Books: 8 Publishing Tips for Moms

self published books

The number of self-published books each year keeps rising. In 2016, 786,935 self-published books came out, and that’s in the US alone.

With the help of social media and Amazon, self-publishing is more accessible and possible than ever before.

Read on for 8 tips for self-published books you must know before you publish.

1. Get Beta Readers

The first thing you should do before you start looking into how to self-publish a book is to get beta readers. These readers will be your first line of defense against spelling errors, inconsistencies, and parts that are confusing.

Best of all, beta readers are often free! You can find people willing to read your manuscript online in writer critique forums and other websites.

Avoid asking your friends to read your work. They will give you a biased opinion and probably will be scared of hurting your feelings. What you need is an unbiased person who can tell you exactly what your strengths are and what needs more work.

I know you’re probably groaning. You’ve spent hours and hours on this manuscript already. It’s been through several drafts and you just want to be done with it.

But the truth is if you want to have any shot of your book selling, you need to invest in multiple external edits.

Free beta readers are the first step in the path to self-publishing.

2. Pay for Editing or Proofreading

It is impossible to proofread your own work. For one thing, you don’t have fresh eyes to see errors because you’ve read and re-read those words already.

Secondly, you are emotionally invested in the writing and can’t be objective. The opposite might also be true, you may be overly critical and haphazardly remove your best sentences and ideas in a bout of inferiority.

Hopefully, you’ve had several beta readers point out awkward sentences or spelling errors and now need professional assistance.

There are various types of editing services so make sure to pinpoint exactly what you are after.

Proofreaders look just at the mechanics: grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Developmental editors check your book for flow and consistency.

Spend some time finding out what type of editor you need and then find a good one that is registered with a professional organization such as Editors Freelancers Association.

3. Consider Your Book Cover Design Carefully

Your jacket cover is a key marketing tool. With high-quality design and print quality, your book will stand up well compared to books published by major publishing houses.

If you are a graphic designer, great. Go ahead and design your own cover. If you aren’t, you probably want to hire someone to create the cover.

4. Purchase an ISBN

An ISBN carries important details about your book and you as the publisher in its digits.

This number is key to being able to sell your book. Having an ISBN that you own ensures that you have all the rights over your book. Buying this number is part of the cost of publishing a book.

5. Market Your Book

Self-publishing means that marketing efforts rest fully on your shoulders. Ensure your book’s metadata is excellent so people can find it through online searches.

Also, market your book to your target audience using social media, blog posts, book reviews and publicity and so on.

At the end of the day, book launch success rests upon how well you get your book in front of an audience. Spend time doing research to help you do this well.

6. Start a Mailing List

In a few years when you come out with another book (especially a sequel), how will you tell all the people who purchased your first book about it?

Being able to reach your customers is vital. A mailing list is the best way to be able to contact your readers in the future.

7. Learn From Mentors

There are many moms out there who have walked the self-publishing road before you. Turn to them for help.

Look for online courses, podcasts, and forums where you can learn best practices and practical advice on the steps to publishing a book.

8. Be Realistic

Everyone wants to be the next J.K. Rowling but it’s not very likely. Nowadays self-publishing is more accessible than ever. This means that hundreds of books are self-published on top of all the books that are published traditionally every year.

Set realistic author goals that are doable and actionable. You might not be a New York Times bestselling author, but you can have success and fulfillment in your published work.

It can be easy to forget why you started the path of self-publishing in the first place. Chances are you did it because you are passionate about your subject and love writing. If that’s true for you, don’t lose sight of that.

To become a better writer, you need to write. Get into the habit of writing every day. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Carving out those small moments for you to write will add up to thousands of words in a year. Set up a nook or home office where you feel inspired and energized.

Remember, the end goal of writing is not publishing. The end goal of writing is writing. So go ahead and spend time writing.

Bottom Line on Self-Published Books

Thanks for reading! We hope you found these 8 tips on self-published books helpful.

Thinking about starting a mom blog? Check out these 4 tips for guaranteed success.

Smarter on a Budget: How to Educate Yourself Without Expensive Classes

how to educate yourselfWould you like to know how to educate yourself without spending thousands on a college degree?

We are fortunate enough to live in an era where we have access to any type of information we want at our fingertips.

You can take a class from Harvard in your living room. You can learn Spanish from the University of Valencia. There are few limits as to what you can learn. You just have to know where to look.

Read on to learn how you can get a world-class education on your own.

Is a College Degree Worth It?

That’s a question many students are asking themselves as the student loan burden increases and college graduates are leaving college with an average of more than $37,000 in student loan debt.

The heavy burden of these loans make it difficult for graduates to buy a home, have kids, or have disposable income.

It’s the same if you’re considering an advanced degree. The costs of attaining a master’s degree or above will put your financial goals on hold for years to come.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options to expand your knowledge if you don’t want to go back to school.

Ask Yourself These Three Questions

When you’re starting to figure out how to educate yourself, you want to ask yourself three basic questions.

  • What do you want to learn?
  • How much time can you realistically devote to learning each week?
  • Why do you want to learn it?

Knowing what you want to learn and how much time you can devote will help you find the right education program that fits your needs

Why you want to learn more about a particular topic might be the most important question.

Do you have a hobby that you’re interested in, like gardening? Would learning a certain skill get you a raise? Maybe you’re looking at a career change.

There are many reasons why you want to educate yourself. There will be days when you want to put studying off but knowing why will help you stay motivated and disciplined.

How to Educate Yourself

Do you know how fortunate you are to live in this age of information? Some days, it might not seem that way, but you really are lucky. Just 15 years ago, your only option for self-learning was either going to the library or sitting in a classroom.

Today, there are more options than ever before. Let’s take a look at the top resources you can check out for yourself.

EdX

Did you know that you can take classes from major universities around the world for free? EdX offers classes in business, technology, AP level language classes, and so much more. Classes from the top universities around the world participate in EdX.

YouTube

YouTube is great to educate yourself on home improvement topics like how to unclog a drain or how to change the oil in your car.

You do have to be wary about other topics, like learning how to workout or nutrition. There are a lot of ‘experts’ out there who are peddling bad advice. It’s up to you to sift through the good and the bad and find out what information is the most accurate.

Lynda.com

Do you need to learn a skill to give your career a boost? Lynda.com from LinkedIn is a great place to start. Courses in software development, programming languages, photography, graphic design, and business are all found here.

When you go through these online courses, it’s important to remember that you’re doing this to learn something.

Old Fashioned Books

Yes, it’s funny to call books old fashioned, but in a sense, they are forgotten tools for learning. If you want to learn more about entrepreneurship, read biographies of greats like Steve Jobs or Walt Disney. You’ll learn more about business than you will in B-School.

History books are another valuable resource to give you insight into how our world works. They’re also interesting to learn how wars started and how our culture has evolved into what it is today. Find out more for the top history books that need to be on your list.

Have Self-Discipline

Do you want to know the key factor in how to educate yourself?

It starts with you. It doesn’t matter what methods you use to educate yourself, you have to have the discipline to learn and master your topic.

For example, if you want to learn a language, you have to set up a daily schedule. You also have to set up a structure to learn.

It’s more challenging than it appears because you have to stick with it. There’s not a professor that’s going to hold you accountable. You have to find a way to do that.

If you’re going to teach yourself a language, or how to play piano, or whatever your topic is, you have to carve out time in your busy schedule.

When will you study? Will you create a time for class to watch videos online? What about in between video lessons? How often will you practice what you’re learning?

There are a couple of ways to break this up. For example, if you’re learning a language, you might want to break your learning up in two 15-minute blocks of learning a day. For other topics, you may devote an hour of study a day.

You can set up your structure in a way that works best for you. You just have to do it.

You Can Teach Yourself Anything You Want

With the exception of getting a medical degree, you can teach yourself just about anything you want.

When you know how to educate yourself, your word becomes much bigger. You are exposed to a wealth of knowledge that can create opportunities in your career and personal life.

The best part is that with a lot of these programs, you just need a device with an internet connection. You get all of the benefits without the weight of student loans

For more great thrifty tips, check out these frugal living articles.

How to Wash Workout Clothes to Make Them Last Longer

how to wash workout clothesThere’s nothing quite like hitting the gym for an intense CrossFit session, getting your sweat on in a bikram yoga class, or just crushing leg day. You know that working out is great for both your physical and emotional health, and you love the adrenaline rush you get from a great gym sesh. The only downside to your daily workout? Dealing with your stinky, sweaty gear.

Is Workout Gear Worth It?

Before we discuss how to wash workout clothes, let’s talk about whether or not they’re worth spending your hard-earned money on. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from wearing a ratty pair of sweats and a neon-green t-shirt from a Turkey Trot 5K as workout gear. But there are some benefits to choosing dedicated gym wear.

First, it gives you a psychological boost. Putting on your yoga pants or hi-vis tank top signals to the brain that it’s time to start torching calories. Performance gear could actually make your workout more productive, as well. And it never hurts to look your best when you stop for that post-gym protein smoothie or cold pressed juice.

More importantly, the performance fabrics used in athletic wear will be breathable, and will help wick moisture away from your skin. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of chafing — and of course, breathable fabrics are simply more comfortable when you’re working up a sweat.

Snug-fitting workout wear can also help keep you safe, since there are no ties, strings, or loose fabric to get caught up in the moving parts of machines like elliptical trainers or spin bikes.

How To Wash Workout Clothes

Unless you are able to come right home from the gym and immediately do a load of laundry, make sure to air out your sweaty duds ASAP. Hanging them up until they are dry will prevent them from moldering in your hamper — or, worse, your gym bag.

Turn Everything Inside Out

Turning your athletic wear inside out before washing will help keep those beautifully patterned Lululemon leggings nice and bright. There’s a more practical reason, too: the majority of odor-causing bacteria from sweat and dead skin cells is on the garments’ inside.

A Pre-Wash Soak Does Wonders

Soak your stinky gear in a solution of four parts water to one part white vinegar. Doing so can prevent detergent buildup, which actually causes even recently laundered items to smell sour and funky.

Turn the Temperature Down

Hot water is the enemy of elastic and stretchy fabrics like Lycra, so only wash your workout duds in cool or cold water. Wash them separately from other clothes, too, to avoid pilling.

The same goes for your dryer. It’s best to hang athletic clothing — its moisture-wicking quality means that it will hang dry in record time — or tumble dry on the lowest possible setting.

Just Say No To Fabric Softener

Fabric softener will interfere with absorbency and wicking, so keep it far away from your workout wear (and your towels). Felted wool dryer balls are a great, natural alternative to softeners.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to wash workout clothes, you’ve got no excuses to skip leg day! Just treat your performance clothing with a little tenderness, and you can stay stylish even while you sweat!

Do you have dedicated gym clothes, or do you just throw on any old t-shirt and leggings when you exercise? Let us know in the comments, and if you have any tips for laundering your gear, we’d love to hear them too!

How to Start a Medical Uniform Business in 7 Simple Steps

medical uniformIf you’ve been looking for a side hustle or new career, running an online medical uniform business could be for you.

There’s a constant demand, the barriers to entry are low, and there are great potential upsides.

What many potential entrepreneurs struggle with is taking those first steps.

Heres a guide to setting up your own online business and getting a running start.

1. Set Up an Online Medical Uniform Storefront

There are several ways you can do this. You can go the old-fashioned route and purchase a URL and build a site from scratch.

This lets you customize everything and doesn’t require any fees outside of hosting expenses. If you’re planning to set up a large-scale storefront this can be a very successful method.

2. Pick Your Products

It’s important to carry a reasonable range of the most popular uniforms and scrubs along with a few silly options. Buy from reputable brands in a decent assortment of price points. If you’re really ambitious, you can even start your own line.

Make sure you’ve got several options of basic colors and patterns as well as a good selection of popularly branded scrubs such as cartoon characters, Greys Anatomy scrub pants, or other shows and movies.

3. Choose Your Fulfillment Model

You can run your uniform store on several models. The most popular for small operators are drop shipping and third-party fulfillment.

As a dropshipper, you never physically touch the product. When one of your products is purchased it is sent directly from your wholesaler.

Third party fulfillment services are almost the same except for one thing. You send your product to their fulfillment centers and they handle the picking, packing, and shipping.

4. Find a Supplier

Before you ever make a sale you’ll need something to sell. It’s important to find a reliable and competitively priced supplier for your products.

Look for companies with a history in the industry. Ones that have a good reputation and stand behind their products. You don’t want to lose a customer because you sold them a low quality or defective product from a fly-by-night manufacturer.

5. Advertise

Online retail is all about advertising. You have to be able to get potential customers to your storefront to make any sales.

Common methods today include:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • SEO
  • Reviews
  • Paid Advertising

These are just the basics. It’s very important that you have a unified and well thought out advertising policy. There’s nothing worse than a confused and inconsistent campaign.

6. Figure Out Customer Service

A consumer-facing business will only prosper through the acquisition and retention of customers. One of the best ways to do this is by going above and beyond for your customers.

You’ve got to make them feel valued. If they have an issue with any aspect of your product or service, fix it quickly and without complaint. You want them to remember your company for being polite, quick to respond, and above all honest.

7. Sell on An Existing E-Commerce Retailer

If all of that above just sounds like a big headache, you might be better suited to selling through an e-commerce retailer. Sites like Shopify or Amazon allow you to quickly create your own storefront.

Use Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Starting a business isn’t for everyone. It requires dedication, hard work, and the ability to roll with the punches. If you have it in you to be an entrepreneur, a medical uniform business can be a great place to start.

You can learn more about entrepreneurship and starting your own business by checking out our article here.

How to Cut Expenses for Your Small Business Without Compromising on Quality

how to cut expensesWhether you’re a new small business owner or have been in the game for a while, we can all agree that there are a lot of expenses that go into maintaining a team. While we might want to think that we’ll always be in the green every month, some businesses struggle to make a profit because of crippling office expenses.

According to research, there is an average of 26,000 businesses who go bankrupt each year between the years 2013 and 2017. And poor financial management isn’t the only reason why businesses are plummeting, it is a cornerstone.

Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of another way to save money. Here’s how to cut expenses for your small business without losing quality.

How To Cut Expenses 101 – Office Costs

No matter what kind of business you own, there are always slow seasons. Fortunately, one of the ways you can learn how to cut expenses is cutting staffing costs. While it might seem convenient to have some of the administrative staff in your office, you’d be surprised how many positions could work from home while saving you electricity charges, workers compensation costs, and utilities. In addition sites like Pilot Track, sell refurbished office essentials such as the Subsite 88b, that will also help reduce costs.

Marketing Costs

It’s no secret. Marketing has changed tremendously over the last 10 years. Advertising that used to be done via newspaper and magazine has now shifted to digital. And what used to cost companies thousands of dollars a month has now changed to hundreds by boosting social media posts to specific demographics.

Interns

One way you can learn how to cut expenses is hiring interns to additional work at your company. Because most college students are required to work (or intern) for a certain amount of hours as a prerequisite, many are willing to do auxiliary work for little to no money.

“Price Cuts”

One of the most well-known tricks to any salesperson is making customers believe they are getting a deal. Most customers are out to get the best pricing on your service and our merchandise. Making them believe they are acquiring huge savings, but actually raising prices may actually work to your advantage.

Customer who are under the impression that they are saving money because there is a “higher” and “lower” pricing on the item, will be more susceptible to purchasing from your company than purchasing from your competitors.

Learn How To Cut Expenses And More

Whether you’re inquiring about how to cut expenses or simply want to learn ways on how to make extra money, we have it all! Here at Thrift Momma Ramblings, we’ve dedicated our platform for readers just like you who are looking to save money any way possible. From giveaways to family living, we have something for everyone to enjoy.

Have questions? Want to collaborate with us? No problem! Be sure to contact me and a member of my team will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Spa Business Plan: 4 Tips for Opening a Successful Botox Clinic

spa business plan

Are you planning on opening up a spa soon? If so, you definitely should consider adding Botox injections to the list of services you offer.

Botox is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures out there for both men and women, and offering injections at your spa is a surefire way to bring in clients.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to incorporating Botox into your spa business plan? These four tips will help simplify the process.

1. Find a Botox Professional

In the United States, a certain level of training is required before you can administer Botox injections.

Requirements vary by state, so do some digging and figure out what type of license you or your practitioners will need.

If you’re not interested in becoming a Botox professional yourself, you’ll need to find someone who’s received the proper training. Not only will this add credibility to your spa, but it will also ensure you don’t face any legal trouble.

2. Choose the Right Injectables

If you’re going to offer Botox injections, it’s important to choose injectables that people actually want.

There are many different options to choose from, and some are more popular than others.

Some of the best injectables to offer your clients include:

  • Botox Cosmetic
  • Dysport
  • Xeomin

All of these are good options that most people do well with. Whichever injectables you choose, just make sure they are FDA-approved.

Remember, too, that it’s best to provide multiple types of injectables for your clients to choose from. After all, everyone’s needs and anatomy are different.

3. Find the Right Space

Make sure you find a space for your spa that makes it easy for you to offer Botox injections alongside other services.

In addition to having plenty of room, it’s also important to cultivate a relaxing atmosphere within your spa. People go to medical spas for Botox treatments to feel pampered and at ease — if they didn’t care about these things, they’d just visit a regular doctor’s office.

Make an effort to cultivate a calming vibe within your spa. This is easier to do if you choose a location that is easy to access and is in a relatively quiet area.

4. Spread the Word

Let people know that your spa isn’t like every other one in the area. Find creative ways to tell people that you offer Botox injections and can provide services that other spas can’t.

When you start working with a web designer, make sure they make it clear that you provide Botox injections along with your other services.

Take a look at the website for MyBotoxLA for inspiration. They let you know right away that Botox and many other treatments are on the menu.

Put Your Spa Business Plan Into Practice Today

Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your spa business plan, it’s time to get to work!

Looking for more information on marketing and spreading the word about your spa? Be sure to check out the marketing section of our site today for all kinds of helpful articles.

How to Get More Clients for Your Freelance Photography Business

how to get more clients

If you don’t know how to generate clients, there’s a good chance you will never be able to make freelance photography a full-time gig. But if you don’t know anything about client acquisition, reading something like this can be a real downer.

Thankfully, attracting clients to a freelance photography business isn’t as complicated as you might think.

Keep reading and I’ll show you how to get more clients for your freelance photography business. Implement what you learn and it won’t be long before you have to turn people away, as you find yourself overwhelmed with client work.

Let’s begin!

Define Your Ideal Photography Client

Before you do anything else, put some thought into the kind of client you want to work with.

For instance, do you want to work with people who need photographs for their wedding? Or perhaps you want to work with people who want family portraits? Maybe you want to work with publications.

Whoever you want to work with, make sure you define your ideal client in as much detail as possible. Question the demographics of your ideal clients. If you want to work with publications, think about the kinds of publications you want to work with. Once you have this all down on paper, marketing your services is going to be a lot easier.

If you’d like to see an example of a photography business that has niched down you can learn more here. This website will show you what a photography business looks like when it offers wedding photography for Chinese weddings.

Think About Pricing

Before you market your services, you need to also put some thought into pricing. There are a few things you need to do here.

Firstly, you need to define the absolute minimum you’re willing to charge.

You need to make sure you’re not undercharging your services. Doing so will make it hard for you to earn a living from your photography business. If people try to request a lower price than what you’re comfortable with, you need to be okay with turning them away.

Pricing will also have a big impact on the kinds of clients you’re going to work with. There are clients who are willing to pay for quality work. As long as your work is of high quality, you’ll be able to charge a high figure.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you charge a low amount, you’ll find that your workload is going to be difficult to manage. You’ll have a lot of clients to manage and a lot of deadlines to keep track of. But if you charge premium prices and only work with a few clients everything will be a lot easier.

How to Get More Clients Using Paid Ads

One of the fastest ways to attract clients for your photography business is by running some paid ads.

There are three platforms you can focus on –

  1. Facebook Ads
  2. Instagram Ads
  3. AdWords

Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads are essentially the same, as Instagram is owned by Facebook. One of the good things about Facebook Ads is it’s easy to target your ads with precision.

For example, suppose you offer wedding photography services. Using Facebook Ads, you can target your ads so that they’re shown to people who have just gotten engaged. Such individuals are likely searching for wedding photographers. As a result, this form of targeting can be highly effective. You can also do the same for Instagram.

The other option is AdWords. AdWords lets you promote your business in the Google search results. This means that you can advertise your photography business when people are actively looking for a photographer. This is helpful because it puts you in front of people who are ready to spend money.

Succeeding with AdWords comes down to targeting the right keywords. If you want to identify the right keywords think about your ideal client. Then think about the kinds of keywords they’d type into google to find the services you provide. You can also use the Google Keyword Planner to help you find worthwhile keywords.

Word of Mouth

If you want people to recommend your services to other people you need to tell them ahead of time. Even though people might have found you to provide excellent services, they might not think to recommend you. By mentioning it to them, they may make a point to send people your way.

You can also incentivize people to recommend your services by offering a referral fee.

This can be a set figure or a percentage of the amount a new, preferred client generates. By offering a referral fee, people will benefit as a result of recommending people to you. This will, therefore, increase the odds that they send someone your way.

If you’re going to provide a referral fee, make sure you’re aware of your margins. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re making a loss, because you’re giving away your profits.

You might also want to think about offering services outside of your standard photography services. This might include printing the photos in a special book. This can help you bolster your profits, thereby making it easier to take the hit on a referral fee.

Photography Profits?

Running a freelance photography business can be incredibly rewarding. But if you don’t know how to get more clients, you won’t be in business for long.

In this post, we’ve taken a look at some of the things you can do to generate clients for your photography business. You can run paid ads. You can also rely on word of mouth to generate business.

Whichever method you adopt, make sure you know who your target audience is first. This’ll make it easier for you to reach people who will be interested in your services. It’ll also make it easier for you to charge premium prices. That’s because people will view you as a specialist and so will be willing to pay higher prices as a result.

Want to learn more about how you can earn some extra money? Check out our ‘earn money’ section to see some of our latest content!