Last Updated January 17th, 2019

How To Meet Other Stay At Home Moms

How To Meet Other Stay At Home Moms

Many stay at home moms feel isolated. They spend so much time with their kids that it’s easy to feel that way. And if you don’t already know some, it’s very hard to meet other stay at home moms.

Where are they? Besides at home, that is.

This is a problem I’ve dealt with repeatedly, due to moving a few times. It’s not easy to find a group of friends when you’re new in the area. Everyone already has friends and a routine with them

I’ve dealt with lots of loneliness as a stay at home mom. It’s not fun being so isolated. Stay at home mom depression is a real thing. When you feel alone, taken for granted and tired, depression is all too common. Boredom is also a problem.

Meeting other stay at home moms can help. Having friends who are also stay at home moms gives you a social life with someone who knows more of what yo’re going through.

You can even give each other breaks from the kids by trading off if the kids are friends. Everyone wins when the kids get to play together and the moms either get a break or socializes with a friend.

Now, where, oh, where do you meet other stay at home moms?

Where, oh, where could they be?

Try The Park

I’ve run into a lot of my fellow SAHMs by taking my kids to the park. The trick is in figuring out what time they are going to be there.

I kept missing the other moms for a long time at the park. There were just never there when I was. But I always tended to go at lunchtime or later in the afternoon.

When my oldest first started kindergarten, I started going to the park with my son after dropping my daughter off at school. Voila! There they were, also having their younger children play after dropping older children off at the school next door.

Sign Up For Activities

Yes, this costs money. But I’ve gotten to talk to a lot of other stay at home moms when I’ve been able to sign my kids up for activities. This especially works when the kids are younger and you have to stick around for the class. As a rule you’ll see other stay at home parents, the occasional part time employed parent, and grandparents having fun with their grandchildren.

When the kids are little, Mommy and Me classes can be a big help. They’re mostly during the day, so mostly stay at home moms, plus the kids will all be around the same age.

You can also do activities that you enjoy, such as a painting class, fitness class, book discussion group, or whatever you’re interested in. You won’t encounter as many stay at home moms at these classes, but you will meet people with common interests, and that’s pretty good.

Taking classes on your own also has the advantage of giving you a break from the kids. It’s good to get a break from mom duties regularly.

park friends

Join Online Groups

You won’t meet so many local moms as a rule, but there are plenty of forums and websites dedicated to stay at home moms. The Internet is full of resources and great people for you to meet. You can be very open about who you are or keep relatively anonymous.

There are lots of mom groups on Facebook too. While these are rarely local, some are. Even the worldwide groups, however, can help you find online friends. You can even find groups that focus on a particular interest of yours.

There are also websites that can help you to get matched up with local moms. Meetup has been around for years and has meetups for all kinds of interests, including for stay at home moms.

You can also consider apps such as Peanut, Hello Mamas, and MomLife.

Look In Local Magazines

Local magazines can be great resources for family activities. There’s one in my area that has some good articles as well as listings of family activities. You may even find some mom groups advertising in these.

Go To the Library

Most libraries have story times for children. While there may be age limitations that keep your child out in some cases, you may be able to find a story time that you and your child will enjoy.

Your library may have other interesting events as well. Check their calendar to see if there’s anything interesting to you.

coffee friends

Take A Walk

Take a walk at various times of the day in your neighborhood. It can be hard to find other moms out for a walk with their kids, but it can be done. If you find a fellow stay at home mom, try walking together regularly. It can be a chance to get to know each other even before trying out a play date.

Send The Kids Out To Play

When the kids get old enough, having them play outside, especially in the front yard, can help you meet the other families in the neighborhood.

How old is old enough? That’s for you to decide.

The backyard can work if you know the neighbors have kids. My kids played with a neighbor child for months through the fence before they started getting together at one house or the other.

Don’t Be Perfect

It’s easy to talk about all the great things you’re trying to do for your family. But if all you ever talk about is how great a mom you are, you will have difficulty finding friends.

Talk about the mistakes you make too. Ask for advice for the problems you’re having. Talk about things other than being a mom.

You don’t have to impress the other moms. They make mistakes too. It’s much easier to be friends with someone who understands how imperfect we all are, and can laugh along with the problems.

On the flip side, don’t be too hard on other moms for the mistakes they make, or when they make choices you wouldn’t make. There are lots of ways to be a great parent. So long as no one is abusive, the kids will probably be fine.

Remember It Doesn’t Have To Center On The Kids

It’s easy to focus everything you do on your kids when you’re a stay at home mom, especially when the kids are young. But you’re an interesting person in your own right, and you should spend some time looking for friends on that basis.

It’s easier to be friends with other people who are parents, that’s true. They’re more likely to understand what your life is like and why you can’t just drop everything to go have fun much of the time.

It’s also easier to be friends with other stay at home moms because that’s something you have in common.

But you are so much more than that.

Who are you when you aren’t “Mom?”

Go. Find time to pursue some of your own interests, online or in person. You’ll probably find interesting people to talk to. You might even find friends.

Pursuing your own interests can also help you deal with the loss of identity some moms feel. You get to be you again. That means something. And it can help tremendously with that sense of isolation.

lonely mom

It’s Okay To Have Trouble Finding Friends

No matter how many ways you try to make mom friends, sometimes it’s really difficult.

Where I live, it often seems as though all the other moms have known each other forever. Many grew up here. It makes it really difficult to find friends.

Worse, three of the best friends I’ve found in town have moved away to where visiting regularly isn’t practical.

There will be times like that. You think you’re developing a connection with another mom, only to have something go wrong. Maybe you realize that you don’t have anything in common.

It can take years to find mom friends when you don’t have any. It’s not an easy thing for a lot of people.

That’s not a fault in you. It’s just the way things go. Building the connection that is friendship takes time.

Once You’ve Found Some SAHM Friends… Now What?

You’ve found some other stay at home moms to be friends with. Now what are you going to do?

It’s time to make plans together.

Get The Kids Together

Getting the kids together is perhaps the easiest excuse to get together with other stay at home mom friends. The kids love it too.

You can get together with just one other stay at home mom or form a play group with many moms. Make sure you vary what you do together. You might get together at someone’s house one week, and at the park the next. You can even plan some bigger outings at age appropriate attractions for the kids.

Another fun thing to do is get together for dinner or a barbecue. A game night also works if both families enjoy games. You can even send the kids out to play together while the adults play a game and chat.

talking

Get Together Without The Kids

Even better than getting the kids together so you moms can chat is getting together without the kids. Get out there and do something as adults, with no children underfoot. It makes a great break.

Trade Childcare

When the kids are little, trading childcare makes a ton of sense if it works for both families. The kids get fun time together. The parents get time with the kids out of the house and with trusted adults.

The great part is that if things work out, you can go on dates with your spouse or do other things on your own without paying a fortune for a sitter.

Try To Have Fun

It can be stressful trying to meet other stay at home moms and make friends. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

The whole point, however, is to find people to have fun with, both for you and your kids. Hopefully, it becomes fun as you find them.

The great part is that many of these ways to meet other stay at home moms are free to do. Others may cost a small amount, but can be worth the expense if they’re fun for you and your child. As you get comfortable making the effort, you’ll realize how many potential friends you and your child have out there. And you won’t feel so isolated.

So, readers… how do you meet other stay at home moms, or make friends in general now that you have kids? Any tips?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 15th, 2019

11 Super Flexible Sites Where You Can Earn Money Online

11 Super Flexible Sites Where You Can Earn Money Online

How badly do you want to earn money from home? Maybe you need the money desperately. Maybe you just need a side hustle. But when you need to earn money online around your schedule, it helps to know which sites offer the flexible opportunities you need.

But wanting to earn money online with a flexible schedule doesn’t mean you need to accept low pay. You should know what your time is worth so that you aren’t accepting absurdly low pay for your efforts. There are lots of ways to make the most of the skills you have to offer.

These sites vary in what you’ll be doing, how much you’ll make for it and how fast they’ll pay. None of these pay in points toward a drawing or other rewards – you deserve real money when you do the work.

I also considered whether it’s likely to pay enough to be worth your time. I really don’t like to see people earning under minimum wage just because they’re working online. That’s not a good way to build an income, whether you want to live on it or just supplement what you already earn.

Always be aware of the signs of a work at home scam when you’re looking at ways to earn money online. You want to make money, not lose it.

computer and coffee

1. Upwork

Elance and Odesk have merged, and now their main platform is called Upwork. The old Odesk site redirects to Upwork, while Elance is still available. However, they intend to go to a single platform eventually, so if this is the route you want to take to freelancing, I would suggest simply signing up with Upwork.

Upwork is a general freelance site. You can offer many kinds of work as a freelancer there, such as web or mobile developers, designers, writers, customer service and more.

Upwork does not accept all applicants. If they feel there is not sufficient work in their marketplace, they will decline your application.

For this reason, I suggest that you list a range of skills. There are tons of writers on Upwork, for example, so you need to stand out as more than just a basic writer to get your application approved if that’s the kind of work you’re looking for. There’s a post with some great advice on how to get your Upwork application accepted here.

2. People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a freelance site with a focus on web design, development, content and promotion. You can search for jobs and send proposals as you do on other sites, but you can also offer Hourlies, which are fixed priced jobs you offer that can be started quickly and completed in as little as an hour.

3. Etsy

If crafting is more your thing, you can open a shop on Etsy and sell them. You can sell handmade or vintage items there. Just take a look at the many things people sell there and think about what you can do. You have to be careful about making up not only the cost of the items you sell, but your time spent making or finding them when you sell on Etsy, but if you’re good at it, you can make a good profit there.

There are plenty of books and ebooks available that can help you get a good start at Etsy, such as Your Etsy Profit Machine or Etsy Empire. As with any business, there are ways to make your early days easier as you learn all the ins and outs of it.

computer and flowers

4. VIPKID

Did you know that there are flexible teaching jobs out there? VIPKID doesn’t require a ton of experience, although they do expect you to have a Bachelor’s degree as well as at least one year of experience in teaching, mentoring or tutoring.

Perhaps the most challenging part of teaching for VIPKID is that the peak hours are often in the middle of the night. There’s a little more range on the weekends. Your students will be in China, so your availability has to be when they’re ready to learn.

Pay ranges from $14-22 an hour, and it’s a six month contract. You choose your own schedule. They recommend being available for at least 7.5 hours a week. Students book with you, so the more available you are, the more classes you will teach.

5. Appen

Appen hires people as social media evaluators. You have to commit to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, with at least one weekend day, according to a current opening listing. The work is improving newsfeed relevancy on social media websites.

6. Lyft And Other Driving Jobs

Lyft and other driving jobs are extremely popular. It’s easier to earn money from them in some areas than in others, as there are simply more people needing you to drive them or run errands.

The great part about these opportunities is that you decide when you’re open to accepting opportunities. You don’t need a schedule as such, although there are better and worse times to be driving. Certain times may even be worth a premium.

The biggest challenge for some may be the age requirements for the vehicle you drive. If your car is too old, you simply may not qualify, regardless of how well you’ve maintained it.

Make sure you consider the cost of gas and maintenance when considering whether a drive is worth it. Sometimes it comes out on the low side.

laptop on desk

7. Boost Media

Boost Media is a good choice if you’re expert with improving ad performance with either copywriting or optimized images. Advertisers hold contests for ads they want improved, and you get paid if they pick yours. Yes, this means sometimes you’ll write or create something that won’t earn anything, but over time you’ll get a better feel for what works. Apply using their “Write For Us” link to get started.

8. Fiverr

What do you have to offer that someone would pay $5 for? Fiverr allows you to offer a wide variety of products or services that you charge $5 for. They keep a share, so that is not exactly your pay, however. Anything you offer at that price needs to be something you can fulfill with minimal time and effort; however, you can charge more for addon services.

Some people offer some pretty unusual things on Fiverr, so much so that there’s an entire category called “Fun & Bizarre.” Prank calls, wild rants, psychic services and much more are listed there. You don’t have to stick to serious business offerings. You can have some fun.

9. Gigwalk

Gigwalk is a different kind of job. You download an app to your Android or iOS device, register an account and do gigs in your area. You might be sent to verify that a product is on the shelf in a particular store, check on a marketing event, and so forth, things that need to be done locally but that might be otherwise inconvenient for a company to check on themselves. Reports often need to include geotagged photos. Gigs can take from minutes to hours, and the pay range reflects that.

typing chart

10. TranscribeMe

If you want to try transcription, TranscribeMe is a highly flexible way to get a bit of work when you want it. The audio you will be transcribing is less than a minute long. Pay is per audio hour, and you must keep that in mind when considering what you’re earning. It may be a bit challenging to get a good work flow going with such short files. You must have the Chrome browser to access the work hub.

The pay is not good enough for a professional transcriber, but if you’re just starting out, this is a place to try out for a time.

11. Quicktate

Quicktate is another transcription site, with audio ranging from a couple minutes to a few hours. There is a $15 fee for a background check, which is a negative, but Quicktate has a long record as a paying employer. Transcription work may involve voicemail, memos, legal or medical files, conference calls and so forth. They’re associated with iDictate, which you may also apply for if you test well enough at Quicktate. Your hours are completely up to you.

As with TranscribeMe, pay is not very good, but when you’re a beginning transcriptionist looking for work, it’s an okay start.

There Are Other Flexible Ways To Earn Money Online

While working at home is not always flexible, there are many other ways to earn money online on your own schedule.

Blogging is popular, but you never know if your blog will earn money or not. It’s super easy to start your own blog, however, and I strongly recommend you do so if it interests you at all. So long as you understand the risks it’s worth a try. It might just work out.

Freelance writing is another option. There are lots of companies that use freelance writers, beyond what I could ever keep up with on this site. And of course there are all kinds of freelance opportunities out there.

If you’re looking for still more work at home jobs, take a look at the Home With The Kids job board. There are hundreds of possibilities there, with new ones added on weekdays.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 9th, 2019

How To Defeat The Procrastination Monster When You Work At Home

How To Defeat The Procrastination Monster When You Work at Home

If you want to successfully work at home, there’s a monster you must defeat. No, not the cute monster you call your child, at least not every time you want to work. I’m talking about the procrastination monster that gobbles up your work time in such insidious ways.

Defeating the procrastination monster when you work at home isn’t easy. It has many disguises. Some are almost irresistible.

Discover the Monster’s Lair

First, you must figure out where your monster comes from. What makes you procrastinate? There are many possibilities when you work at home.

Other Adults

Other adults can be the worst when you’re trying to work at home. They don’t always understand that it’s the same as working outside the home. You have to teach them to respect your schedule and needs.

Children

Procrastination monsters love hanging around your children, and there’s only so much to be done at some ages about the procrastination children cause. You’re usually best off finding ways to work at times your kids are less likely to need your attention.

Social Media, Email, etc.

Procrastination monsters love your computer too, especially if you go to sites such as Facebook, Pinterest or anyplace where you can connect with friends or play games.

Whatever you do that leads to procrastination, do what you can to avoid it. You may not be able to entirely avoid the things that make you procrastinate. If you market on Facebook or Pinterest, for example, sometimes you will need to go on those sites, but need to find ways to keep your visits effective.

social media distraction

Think About Why You Want to Do What You Want to Do

It’s not enough to know what makes you procrastinate. You need to know why you want to work. What makes this important to you?

You work to earn money, for example, but that’s only the most obvious reason. Try to be more specific.

  • Why do you need to earn money?
  • Why this job or business?
  • What do you like about the work you do?
  • How badly does this need to get done?
  • What happens if things don’t get done?

Plan to Defeat the Monster

The procrastination monster has difficulty interfering with a well planned day. Set goals, know what tasks you need to get done, and what times you do your best work. Commit to getting them done and avoiding the things that make procrastination easier than working. Make your goals something you can reach in a reasonable time as well as longer range goals. Daily goals have as much a place in your plans as annual goals.

Many people find it helpful to write their goals down. There’s something about checking things off a list that can be very motivating.

monster

Get An Accountability Partner

Consider finding an accountability partner. It’s much harder for the procrastination monster to get you if you have a friend to help you keep on track. No one likes to say “I wasn’t productive today” to someone who really cares how well you did.

Your accountability partner doesn’t have to live with you. If you have an online friend who also works at home, you can motivate each other to be more productive.

You can have more than one accountability partner. In fact, if you have goals in different areas of your life, it can even make sense.

You might have one person who helps you keep accountable with your work life, for example, and another who encourages you to keep going to the gym or taking walks so you keep fit.

Close Extra Tabs And Programs

How many tabs do you really need open on your browser when you’re working?

It’s easy to have too many tabs open. Maybe you checked your email before working, and there’s something you’re watching for.

Don’t keep those extras open while you work. Whatever extra tabs or programs you have open when it’s time to start working, close them.

This especially includes anything that might distract you.

If you want to check your email or social media during your work hours, set a timer or alarm for when you will allow yourself to do so. Don’t just check these things on a whim – have a plan. They’ll interfere less with your productivity that way.

Get Rid Of Clutter

While your home office should be comfortable and decorated to please you, that doesn’t mean you can have all kinds of stuff all over your desk.

Get rid of the clutter!

Your home office desk should not be the place where you bring in the mail when it’s delivered. Your kids should not bring you the papers they need signed for school there. These will only make a mess of your desk and distract you from working.

Find a better place for these things and anything else that tends to clutter up your home office.

art clutter

Work Your Best Hours When Possible

I’ll say this straight out – I am NOT a morning person. I often see people say to get up early to have a productive work at home days, and that’s a huge no for me.

I just can’t do it.

Nights after most of the family has gone to bed, on the other hand, work great. My focus is better, even though I’ve also worked through much of the day. I often finish off blog posts at night.

I’d probably stay up later, but I do have to be functional enough in the morning to get the kids off to school.

Whatever hours work best for you, make sure you include them in your work routine as much as possible. There may be times when you can’t work your preferred hours, but do the best you can.

You’ll likely find it far easier to be productive this way.

Try to set up a regular work at home schedule. Not only does this give you a routine that can help your productivity, but it also gives your friends and family a schedule they can respect. The more seriously they see you taking your work, the more seriously they will take it.

Use The Pomodoro Technique

I’ve mentioned the Pomodoro Technique in other posts. It’s a solid method of time management that I think is well suited to working at home. It’s also helpful in ensuring that you remember to take breaks, which can actually increase productivity.

I like to use breaks to get a little housework done, exercise, or play a game.

If you haven’t tried this kind of time management technique, I strongly suggest doing so. Doing short bursts of more focused work can be highly effective.

computer snake

Keep The Kids Busy

As children are a major distraction, you need to plan ways to keep them busy. You can even combine this with the Pomodoro Technique and tell them that they can’t bother you until the timer goes off.

The difficulty of this depends on how old your kids are. Mine are all in school, so I have hours every school day that they aren’t home (unless one is sick, of course).

When they were younger, I had a variety of ways to keep them busy as I worked at home. They had places where they could play near me, and permission to interrupt as necessary.

Now that they’re older, I do most of my work when they’re at school, and continue it into the night.

I take a break during homework time as my youngest often still needs help, and it’s so hard to focus on writing when she’s coming up with questions every few minutes. This lasts until after dinner, even though her homework doesn’t take all that long.

Know Your Limits

How often do you try to do too much during the day? Have you ever noticed how discouraging it is to fail to reach your daily goals day after day?

Stop it!

Make a to do list for yourself each day, but keep it reasonable. Don’t expect more of yourself than you can really handle.

Start your to do list with the things you absolutely need to get done. You can add lower priorities for any extra time you have after finishing the things you really, really need to get done, but you don’t have to. Odds are you’ll find a way to use the time regardless.

Feel Free To Move Around

One of the great things about working at home is that you may have a lot of flexibility in where you do your work. So long as you don’t have to have a wired connection to the internet or the phone, and you don’t have privacy issues to consider, you may be able to switch where you work as you please.

Get out of your home office sometimes and work someplace else. This can be the coffee shop or coworking space, in the yard while the kids play, on the couch, or wherever suits you at the time.

Don’t let this change in scenery keep you from reaching your goals for the day. These places still need to be somewhere that you can work effectively.

Review Your Progress

Take a look at how you’re doing. Are you reaching your goals? Is the procrastination monster winning or losing? Some things are going to work for you. Some things aren’t. Looking at your progress can help you figure out what still needs to change.

Review your progress regularly. What works at one point may not work in the future for you.

Consider A Focus App

If you find you need more help defeating the procrastination monster, consider a focus app. There are quite a few available for different platforms. These can help keep you on track while you work.

computer monster

Remember That We All Struggle With Procrastination

You may feel as though you’re all alone in your struggles with the procrastination monster. You aren’t. We all struggle with it to some degree.

All those things I’ve listed as causes for procrastination? Yeah, they give me trouble too. Some days more than others.

There are times when I just can’t focus. Even when I know exactly what I want to get done, and truly mean to get it done, focus can be a problem.

It takes a ton of self control and practice to stop procrastinating, or even to minimize it. And some days will be worse than others.

Some people have it more difficult than others. If you’re struggling with ADHD as well as the usual challenges of working at home, you may want to consider if medication will help.

If It’s Just Not Working…

Some days, working at home just doesn’t work out. If your schedule permits, it can be best to just take those days off.

I have days where it’s next to impossible to get anything done. Things keep coming up.

If it’s bad enough, sometimes I give in and don’t even try to work the rest of that day.

It’s one of the things I love most about working for myself. I can decide which days I have off, which means I can take an unplanned one off, and make it up later if necessary. No fuss.

You don’t have to take the entire day off just because a part of it isn’t working out for you. A few hours doing something completely unrelated may be just what you need to regain your focus and get back to work.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 7th, 2019

Can Tailwind Improve Your Pinterest Marketing? A Tailwind App Review

tailwind app review

Are you getting good results from your Pinterest marketing? It’s a lot of work, isn’t it. Well, if you haven’t tried a Pinterest scheduler already, you want to check out this Tailwind App review and decide if it’s for you.

I’ll admit I’m something of a latecomer to serious Pinterest marketing. I tried it a little early on, but didn’t do enough to do well, and dropped it.

But these days I use Pinterest quite a bit more extensively, and I’m starting to see results. Enough so that I decided to subscribe to the Tailwind App to make pinning easier.

My Pinterest Story

As I said, I started out not using Pinterest a whole lot. I didn’t put a lot of images in my blog posts then either, which I deeply regret now.

If you’ve been hesitant to add images to your blog posts, don’t be. There are a lot of places to get free images for your blog posts if you don’t want to take your own photographs. Then you can use a free tool to make those images look great on your blog. It’s really not difficult.

I had assumed for a long time that because my niche isn’t all that visual, Pinterest wasn’t for me. I was wrong. If you can come up with images for your posts, you can use Pinterest.

When I finally got serious about using Pinterest, I did manual pinning. Manual pinning can be a great method, but it is time consuming. The one problem is that pinning often took me more than an hour a day.

I developed a spreadsheet to help keep track of my posts and when they had been pinned to each board. This way I didn’t have to worry about repeating too often.

Then Hootsuite added in their own way to schedule pins. The interface isn’t great for that, but it works. I could schedule my pins out rather than have to do them daily. That was a big plus.

Still, I hadn’t tried the Tailwind App. I had read a number of reviews about how good it was, but hadn’t made time for it myself. Using Hootsuite made me realize that it was time to test out the competition myself and use the free trial Tailwind App offers.

A family crisis delayed my plans. I wasn’t about to try Tailwind when I didn’t have the time to test it properly. I delayed signing up.

Finally, I had time to sign up for the Tailwind App and time to use it. It took just a few days for me to decide that it was worth the subscription. I’ll explain in the rest of the review.

woman working

What Is The Tailwind App?

The Tailwind App is a scheduling tool you can use with Pinterest and Instagram. Once you have everything set up, it can be a huge time saver for your marketing efforts on those sites.

Tailwind helps you figure out the best times to post and takes care of the actual posting for you. It also has detailed analytics to help you figure out what’s working for you.

Tailwind is also an official Pinterest marketing partner. This is vital. Scheduling pins through an unofficial tool can damage your account.

What Does The Tailwind App Cost?

As social media scheduling tools go, Tailwind is extremely affordable. It even starts you out with a free trial, so you can decide if it’s worth the cost before you pay for it. You can schedule up to 100 pins or 30 posts on Instagram to try it out before you have to pay for a plan to continue. That’s enough to give the Tailwind App a solid review on your own schedule.

You don’t even have to give your credit card information for this free trial, so there’s nothing to cancel if you don’t like it.

That said, as of this writing, it’s about $10 a month if you pay annually, $15 a month if you pay monthly. That’s per account, so if you want to use Tailwind for both Pinterest and Instagram, it will be about $20 a month if you sign up for the annual plan.

I know, it can be difficult to shell out $120 or more at times, but the savings are significant if you can do it.

The time you save pinning will be worth it as well. How much do you value your time at? If you spend an hour a day pinning manually, that $10 a month to handle a large chunk of your pinning automatically looks like a bargain, doesn’t it?

Tailwind saves me hours of work and much frustration. It’s well worth the money to me.

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Setting Up Your Account With The Tailwind App

Once you’ve started your free trial or subscribed to Tailwind, you have to set up your account. This is fairly easy, but takes a little time.

Tailwind will start your out with the Smart Scheduler. This starts out by using times that people are active on Pinterest.

Odds are that you will want to pin more often than the initial recommendations Tailwind gives you. This is easy to do.

Go to the Your Schedule page on Tailwind. This will show you the times that Tailwind has selected for you to pin. When you start out, this will be just a small number of slots, but you can decide how many to have open each day.

If you’re doing a lot of pinning, you will want to increase this number. In the Smart Schedule box, there’s a small button that allows you to recreate your schedule, and tell Tailwind how many slots to include. Tailwind will create a new schedule with that many slots during the times of day that they have determined your audience will be most engaged.

smart schedule

The number of slots will change by the day of the week. Tailwind knows that Pinterest gets a lot of use over the weekend, and Smart Schedule takes advantage of that.

You will also need to group your board into Board Lists on Tailwind. This is key to making scheduling a snap!

Go through all of your boards on Pinterest and figure out what groupings will work best for you. A board can be in more than one board list. This means you can create different versions of more or less the same list, so you aren’t always pinning to your boards in the same order.

I don’t know that it matters if you do that, but mixing things up is unlikely to hurt anything.

With these features set up, you’re ready to start scheduling your pins with the Tailwind App.

Scheduling With The Tailwind App

The Tailwind App makes scheduling your pins incredibly easy. Once you’ve done a little setup, scheduling a pin to go on all the appropriate boards at an interval you specify takes mere moments. It’s incredibly easy.

Install the Tailwind addon to your browser. This is the easiest way to use Tailwind, as it allows you to use it directly on the site you’re on.

When you’re on a page that you want to schedule pins from, click on the Tailwind addon icon. It will open up an overlay with the pinnable images from that page.

Select one or more images for pinning. When you’re ready, click the Go Schedule button. This will open up a Tailwind window with those images.

For each image, select the boards or board lists you want that image pinned on. You can also tell Tailwind how much of an interval you want between pins for that image. I suggest at least 24 hours between pins of any particular image, so that you aren’t flooding your Pinterest account with pins of the same image from the same page over and over. That is much too spammy.

You can also decide which day you want the pins for a particular image to start.

I like to mix up my pins pretty well, so I take extensive advantage of these features. I currently set things up so that I’m pinning from a particular page about every other day, and alternating between the images. This means that Image 1 gets pinned on day one, Image 2 on day 3, Image 3 on day 5, and so forth.

With this method, I set Tailwind to pin each image every 6 days if I have 3 images, 8 days for 4, and so forth. With multiple images per post and lots of boards to pin to, each schedule I set can run for months.

I will note that I haven’t tested this method enough to know if it’s the best way to go. I like that it means my pins look different every day. Pretty sure that’s a good thing.

In general, start out with something similar to your current Pinterest marketing routine, and adapt it as you get used to the advantages Tailwind offers. This should be just one part of your social media marketing strategy.

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Check Out Smartloop

Smartloop is a new feature from Tailwind App that allows you to loop your pins. This is a huge advantage when you’re marketing your blog or online business. You get 250 looped pins per month with your Tailwind account. If you need more, you will need to buy a powerup.

I like Smartloop best for seasonal pins that are a pain to remember to start on time. Just let Tailwind handle it! You set up the loop for the right season, and let Tailwind handle it. It’s best to start the loop at least two months before the event.

But you can also use Smartloop for evergreen content. It’s great for those posts that you want to keep promoting.

Smartloop even allows you to set board rules, so you don’t have to worry about overpinning to a group board.

Make The Most Of Tailwind Stats

One of the best features of Tailwind has to be the stats. If you want to understand how your pins are performing, you need to check these out.

While you may often see posts about people bringing their pin views to 100k a month or more, that’s far from the most important statistic. In fact, it’s relatively unimportant. All it tells you is that your pins are being seen. It has nothing to do with how they’re performing when it comes to driving traffic.

What you need to see is how individual pins are performing. This is the kind of information you need to see what kind of content performs well for you, as well as which style of pin.

This is what you see in the Pin Inspector.

Be aware that if you want to see stats on your pins from more than 30 days ago, you have to pay for an upgrade. If you’re keeping up on your stats, this shouldn’t be an immediate problem, but there may come a point where you want to pay the extra to get a longer view of how your pins are performing.

You can also see how your boards are performing. This is a big help in deciding which group boards are worth the effort. Check out the Board Insights page

board insights

If you’re a member of a bunch of “all niche” group boards, for example, you may find out that these really aren’t worth the trouble for the most part. Pinterest doesn’t really like “all niche” boards anyhow. They can make it harder for Pinterest to decide to show your pins for the keywords you’re after, because the all niche boards make the niche of that pin unclear.

Group boards with a distinct niche should perform better. Check your boards by doing a few different sorts on them. Group boards are not as favored by Pinterest as they once were, but are still worth testing.

First, check engagement. This is where the Board Insights page start for me, so it’s easy. You want to see which boards get the most response from your followers. These boards are valuable to you. You’re doing something right with them.

Low engagement may not be a bad thing. Seasonal boards will have low engagement when it’s the wrong time of year. Same for any board that you don’t pin to often. If there’s nothing to create engagement, nothing will happen.

Sorting by number of repins can be interesting, but will definitely be biased toward the large group boards. Lots of repins doesn’t necessarily mean a lot, especially if the board has a low engagement score and the number of repins compares poorly to the number of pins to the board.

Your virality score is useful as well. You want a lot of repins per pin.

working

Join Tailwind Tribes

If you really want your pins to spread out across Pinterest, you need to join relevant Tailwind Tribes. You can do this without signing up for a paid Tailwind account.

A Tailwind Tribe is a group of bloggers on Tailwind that agree to share each others’ pins. Usually, for every pin you share to a group, you must share one other pin from the group.

Your basic Tailwind account allows you to join five Tribes and share a total of 30 pins across them each month. If you share a pin to multiple Tribes, it will count against your total each time.

You can add pins to your Tribe from the Tailwind browser addon, just as you add any other pin to Tailwind. The addon will warn you if you have added that particular pin to that tribe already, which is useful because many Tribes have rules about resharing the same pin.

You can upgrade your Tailwind account to get access to more Tribes and pins. This is called a Tribe Powerup. Prices for powerups as of this writing run from $59.88 – $359.88 per year, depending on how much of a powerup you need.

tribes powerup

This may seem like a lot of money, but it’s an investment in your blog. The more people spreading your pins across Pinterest, the better chance they have to go viral if they’re high quality.

Of course, don’t spend money on a powerup until you know what you’re doing with Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes. Give yourself a little time to discover what works before you spend extra money on these things.

You can also use Tribes to find more content to pin. You should always pin a mix of your own content and the content of others. This way you won’t be seen as 100% self promotional. Pinning the content of others from your Tribes doesn’t impact your limits – only sharing your own content does that.

How To Find The Right Tribes

Tailwind makes it easy to search for Tribes by searching for them by keyword or category. You want to seek out active Tribes that are a good match for your niche.

But how do you know they’re a good match?

Tailwind allows you to preview each Tribe before you join it. You can get a look at the rules and see what kind of content other members are sharing there.

If you don’t like the looks of it, don’t join it.

Some Tribes allow you to join freely, but others have you put in a request, so the person running that Tribe can look over your Pinterest and decide if you’re a match.

working on carpet

Does Pinning With The Tailwind App Really Help?

When it comes right down to it, the only thing that really matters with the Tailwind App is if it works. If it doesn’t work, there’s no point whatsoever in using it.

Tailwind does several things that can help you pin more consistently while spending less time doing so. It also helps you find the most effective times to pin, and schedules your pins during those times.

That’s huge.

With the way Pinterest works right now, there is some debate about how much the timing of your pins really matters. The feed Pinterest users see varies quite a bit, after all. But I believe there’s a real advantage to having your pins spread out throughout the day, rather than all done at once manually.

Not that you can’t do well on Pinterest with manual pinning. But it’s a lot more work. I found manual pinning my content frustrating and exhausting.

Does Tailwind Have Any Disadvantages?

By now, I’m sure you can see that there are a ton of advantages to Tailwind. But it’s not a complete Tailwind App review if I don’t admit to the disadvantages.

Honestly, there aren’t a lot. But there are a few.

You Can’t Set Pinning Rules

The biggest one, perhaps, is that you can’t tell Tailwind that it can only pin to a particular board a certain number of times per day, except in Smartloop. This can be a real issue on group boards that have rules about how often you’re allowed to pin on them. It’s quite common for a group board to limit members to 3-5 pins per day. It’s easy to go over those limits with Tailwind.

You Still Need To Visit Your Group Boards

Tailwind also won’t handle your group board reciprocation. Most group boards expect that you will pin at least one other pin from the board for every pin you share to it.

That said, it’s not the worst thing that you can’t do that from Tailwind. Having to reciprocate on the group boards means you still need to go to Pinterest daily and take care of those. It’s a great way to show that you’re active on Pinterest itself, not just an automated account.

I usually check my pins first thing in the morning and figure out which boards I need to share pins from. I pin interesting things from them, then go to my Pinterest home feed and pin a few more interesting things from there.

If you want to be something of an authority on Pinterest, you can’t just pin your own stuff. You have to pin other people’s stuff. Doing this shows that you’re making an effort to do so.

Tailwind Can Be Slow

Tailwind can also be slow at times. Every page loads relatively slowly. This can be quite frustrating.

The Publisher page that shows your schedule can be especially slow when you have a lot of pins scheduled. That’s because there’s so much data for it to pull up. These things take time to process.

No Android App

While Tailwind has an iOS app, they do not currently have an Android app. Hopefully that will change someday.

work hard anywhere

Is Tailwind Worth It?

If you’ve read this whole thing, you already know my answer to it.

Yes.

Absolutely yes.

There’s a reason why I switched over to the paid version of Tailwind well before my trial was over. I knew my answer.

Is it right for you?

It’s free to try out. Why not find out if Tailwind is right for you by giving it a try?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 2nd, 2019

Your Work at Home Job Hunt – Are You Prepared?

Your Work at Home Job Hunt - Are You Prepared?

If you want to work at home, you need to be ready for your work at home job hunt, just as you would for any other kind of job. Your search will generally go better when you plan things out in advance and are generally prepared to apply for the jobs you find. There are several strategies which can help you get ready.

Know What Kinds Of Work at Home Jobs You Want

I often have people email me asking how to find a work at home job. Asked like that, the question lumps all work at home jobs together and is not a good start. “Work at home job” indicates where you would be working, not what you will be doing. It’s rarely the most important consideration when preparing for your search, even when home is where you really want to work and you have good reasons for that preference.

What matters more is the kind of work you are interested in and qualified for. Employers won’t be all that interested in why you want to work at home, although they might ask in an interview. Far more important to them will be the skills and qualifications you bring to the job. Figuring out what you want to do prepares you to figure out your qualifications in the next step.

Example:

You want to work at home, but all of your experience is in retail and you don’t have a college degree. What kind of work at home jobs do you qualify for?

Customer service jobs may be a good fit if you can set up a comfortable and quiet home office. The time you’ve spent dealing with customers in a retail setting may prepare you for an entry level customer service job at home.

If you type well, you may also decide to consider a general transcription job. You can get training online or try one of the lower paying entry level companies that care relatively little about experience.

Figure Out Your Qualifications

job hunt planning

In some ways, your qualifications matter more when you want to work at home than when you want to work outside the home. Training home based workers has different challenges, as does supervising them. This means that employers want people who are ready to work at home without a ton of direct supervision.

Add in how many people really want to work at home for various reasons, and things get pretty competitive.

Review your experience from other jobs. What makes you qualified for the jobs you want? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Some work at home jobs require special training before you apply. Medical transcription and medical coding are two popular options that require you to get training on your own first. Some jobs also require certifications and a couple of years experience. Other jobs, such as software development, may require a college degree or significant experience. Be realistic about what you’re qualified for and what you can get qualified for.

Network

Put the word out that you’re looking for work. Friends, family, former and current coworkers, your alumni association, members of your church, parents of your children’s friends, neighbors, members of any organization you belong to – all can be helpful in your work at home job hunt. You never know who will have information about job openings.

Be clear about your employment goals and be ready to tell people about them. You may have only a few seconds in person, so have your pitch ready.

Include LinkedIn in your networking efforts. You might be surprised by some of the connections you can find once you’ve started. Make sure you understand how to use LinkedIn. Be professional – LinkedIn isn’t about your personal life. Participate in groups, be valuable.

Write a Better Resume

job searching

How does your resume look? Is it ready to send off to employers? When was the last time you updated it?

Here’s the thing about resumes. You should have a resume that you can readily adapt to each job you apply for. Pay special attention to the exact skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. Many companies have a computer sort resumes before a human ever sees them, and having the right keywords for the job improves the chances that a human will consider yours.

Read up on what makes a good resume. There are plenty of books on resume writing, and many are available in Kindle editions so you can access it right away.

The resume you create for your work at home job hunt should show that you’re ready to work at home. Make sure your resume emphasizes relevant work at home skills as well as the skills the job requires.

Plan Your Cover Letter

Like your resume, your cover letter should be customized for each application. Plan out a basic one, and take the time to edit it for each job.

Your cover letter should be an introduction to you and your skills. Exactly how you should write your cover letter will depend in part on the industry you want to work in. As with resumes, it can pay to read up on what makes a good cover letter.

Some online job applications will not have space for a cover letter, and if that’s the case, don’t try to figure out how to send one. Go with the information requested by the employer.

Know The Work At Home Scams

work at home scams

Work at home scams are a constant problem for job seekers. Many prey on people who need work badly enough that they don’t catch the warning signs. Others are so sneaky that even an alert job seeker may have difficulty spotting the.

Start out by knowing the common warning signs:

  • You have to pay to apply: While some legit companies charge for a background check, scams may ask for money for a variety of reasons. Make sure you don’t pay when you shouldn’t.
  • Interview is on Google Hangouts: Very few legitimate job interviews happen on Google Hangouts.
  • Contact email is a free email address: Most legitimate jobs will have you contact them through an email address with the company’s domain name.
  • Job cannot be found through their site: Most work at home jobs can be found through the employer’s website. If it’s listed on another site and the contact information cannot be verified as belonging to that company, find another way to confirm that you have found a legitimate position with them.
  • Pay is too good: Scams may appeal to your greed by offering oddly high pay for the work required.
  • They will send you a check for “expenses:” Some scams will claim that they will send you a check to cover equipment expenses. While some companies will help you get equipment, this can also be a check cashing scam.

These are just some of the ways to detect work at home scams.

If none of these warning signs apply, but your gut feeling is that it’s a scam, pay attention. You may have noticed something you don’t fully understand. Do extra research to ensure that you’ve found a legitimate opportunity.

Some scams are so sneaky that you may not spot them until the interview. Be alert even when you reach that stage with potential employers.

Find Your Preferred Employers

There may be some employers you would really like to work for. Find their website and where they post job openings, both on and off their website. If you have any connections with people who work there already, on LinkedIn or other websites, let them know what you’re looking for. You might hear about openings before they’re posted if you’re lucky and have done a good job networking.

But don’t forget to look at other employers too. Just because you like what some companies have to offer doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore less ideal companies. Having a job is usually better than having no job. It may even make you look more appealing to other employers.

Discover the Best Keywords For Your Work at Home Job Hunt

application form

Don’t rely only on the employers you’ve already heard of. Figure out the best keywords to help you find other opportunities you’re qualified for. “Work at home” is not the best keyword for home based work much of the time, although it has its uses. Too many scams use it for it to be your best primary keyword. “Telecommute,” “virtual” and “remote” are often better. Combine them with the kind of work you want; don’t use them alone.

Your job skills, for example, can make great keywords for your work at home job hunt. This is especially true on job boards.

A PHP web developer, for example, may want to use “PHP” as a keyword in their search, rather than web developer. This way, they’ll find positions where the employer is looking for the exact skill they offer.

The most common job title for your skills may work as well. If you’re looking for a customer service work at home job, odds are that you’ll find most listed as “customer service,” if not in the job title, then somewhere in the description.

Don’t be scared off by the fancy titles some companies give common jobs. It doesn’t matter if the job title calls you some kind of guru – the real question you must answer is “can you do this job?”

Choose Good Job Boards

There are plenty of job boards out there to help you with your job search. The work at home job board here at Home With the Kids is free. Other job boards such as Dice and Simply Hired can also provide good leads, although you will need to sort out the jobs that actually offer you the opportunity to work at home.

You can also consider paid job boards such as FlexJobs. The advantage to such sites is that they may do more screening of employers, to make sure they’re legitimate. A good paid job board will be focused on what you need from it – work at home jobs, for example – and have a clear refund policy in case you find the service unsatisfactory.

Be Sensible About Your Goals

apply now

Do not set a daily goal of so many applications or anything like that. It’s a waste of time to apply to jobs just to meet some arbitrary goal you’ve set yourself.

Your goals should have more to do with accomplishing a successful job hunt. Some days you might spend several hours reviewing job listings and applying to interesting positions. Other days you may not find much you haven’t looked at already. An arbitrary goal may push you to put too little effort into some applications or apply to jobs that aren’t really relevant to your skills.

Taking these steps to prepare yourself for your work at home job hunt can improve your chances of success. It may take some time – most job hunts do – but with persistence and a good match of your skills to the jobs you apply, you might land the job you want.

Be Ready For Interviews

Preparing for interviews is a vital part of any job hunt. When you’re doing a remote job interview from home, you need to prepare in ways you may not have considered.

Remote interviews may be conducted by phone or on a service such as Skype. In either case, make sure you’re ready for interviews when they happen.

For phone interviews, this means having a quiet place to talk where no one will interrupt you. You will need to talk to everyone else in the house about what that means. It looks unprofessional if you allow interruptions during an interview.

On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about what an interviewer thinks of your physical appearance during a phone interview. You may still find it useful to dress professionally for psychological reasons, but it’s up to you.

If your interview is on Skype or any other video service, you should definitely dress professionally. You should also test your equipment so that you know you’re completely ready. You won’t look good if you agree to a video interview and then have trouble getting your camera or microphone to work for the interview.

Be prepared to discuss your work at home setup. Potential employers may need to know the details of your home office space, the kind of equipment you have, and how you plan to deal with distractions.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.