It’s certainly a great feeling when you realize you’re making a good income from your online business. Many people start online businesses because they want the freedom to be able to do what they want when they want to. Unfortunately running an online business to many people means working seven days a week without a break. I actually know people who pine for the days when they worked eight or nine hours and had the weekends, evenings and holidays off!
When they start an online business most people accept the fact that the harder they work the more successful they can become, but unfortunately their business ends up running them and not the other way around. Working from home, especially for women, can be extremely stressful to the point where you start neglecting yourself, or worse, neglect your partner and/or family. This is not the way it should be.
If you find you are falling into this category it’s time to sit back and take a good look at how you can maintain your level of business, continue to improve it and take some time out for yourself and your family.
But how do you do this?
The first thing you should look at is where the majority of your income is coming from and how much of your time it is taking to generate that income. What marketing methods are you using? Which are the most effective? Are you doing all the work – writing articles, blog commenting, building complicated additions to your website, getting backlinks? This is going to be like a time and motion study, so write down everything you do in a week or put it into an Excel spreadsheet. That must also include all the breaks you take and making phone calls if that’s part of your business. Don’t cheat – you must be very clear about where your time is going in order to fix any problems and become more efficient.
After you’ve written everything down the first thing you need to do is identify the areas where you’re not making money. You may be surprised – perhaps you have four or five websites or blogs to which you add three or four articles each week. By looking at your spreadsheet you can figure out how many hours it took you to write those articles and how much it actually cost you. Some people can knock out a good article in 20 minutes, but for others it may take an hour. So if you have five websites for which you write three articles each you may be spending upwards of two working days a week writing them!
Find a good writer and outsource that work. There are many online agencies where you can get a 500 word article written for you for five of six dollars. Do the math and decide if there’s another area of your business where you could be concentrating your efforts that will cover that $75 easily. If it’s taking you two days to write 15 articles you are actually earning $37.50 a day by doing it yourself! If you are satisfied with the income you’re making, spend the money and take at least one of those two days off.
When you work for yourself it’s pretty easy to get depressed and say “to hell with it” and spend hours on Facebook when you should be doing something else, or doing housework when you should be working. No normal 8-to-5 job would let you get away with it, so don’t do it when you’re working for yourself! Time wasting can also include checking e-mails every few minutes.
To work from home successfully you have to be disciplined and structure your day accordingly. Take regular breaks, exercise and eat healthy foods suitable for a sedentary lifestyle. Resolve to only check your e-mails first thing in the morning and once again in the afternoon. If your e-mail inbox is like mine, there’s probably nothing urgent and it’s always a temptation to click on an e-mail and get lost in something you shouldn’t be doing.
Many people are proud to tell you that they own dozens of websites. That’s great if they’re all making money but unfortunately there’s always going to be one or two sites that don’t. If you think you’ve put all your best efforts into a website, you’ve marketed it as best you can but after nine months to a year you’re not seeing a return on your investment, it’s time to either sell the site or pull the plug on it. It can be painful but it has to be done if you want to free up your time or make your other enterprises more profitable.
Too many website owners don’t keep a watchful eye on statistics. By carefully and regularly analyzing your site stats you will be able to see
- Which affiliate links and/or banners are getting the most clicks and bringing in income
- Which articles and pages are being viewed the most
- Which calls to action are working effectively
- Which blogs, forums and social media are bringing you the most profitable traffic.
Quit putting a lot of effort into anything that is not showing a good return and concentrate your efforts on those that are.
Take a good look at your website or blog and see if there are areas where you can improve. Pretend you are a visitor to your site and look at it objectively. Is it attractive? Is it easily navigable? Are the articles interesting and do they have an effective call to action? If you’re offering a product, could you maximize your profits by offering an upsell? Keep checking to see if there are new affiliate products that may be a better fit for your site and your subscribers.
Are you spending hours submitting articles to dozens of different article directories? Are there other mundane tasks that you do weekly that could be automated? It costs very little to use an article submission service, and by using one you could free up enough time to take the kids to the movies, your wife out to dinner, or relax. Whatever it is make sure you are well away from your computer.
Sometimes internet marketers will spend hours looking for answers to our problems online when in fact the solution is right in front of us. The key is to work smart and not too hard. If there are things you hate doing you won’t do them well, so outsource. If there are things you find boring and repetitive there’s always somebody else who will do them for you.
One of the reasons you work from home is the freedom it can offer, so don’t turn your home office into a personal sweatshop. Working every day for long hours in front of the computer will make Jack and Jill very dull people.
Are you working 24/7 at your business and getting really tired of it, or have you discovered the secret to running your business instead of the business running your life? Let us know how you conquered this common problem.