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Mommy Monday:: Jennifer Erickson

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Jennifer Erickson.

What is your business?
Children’s Directory

When did you start your business?
It was started by myself and a partner in 2007. In 2009 I took over full time and have been operating solo ever since.

What services/products do you offer?
We are a family resource guide promoting family friendly places, services and products that we think make life with kids so much easier! Behind the scenes of the blog we work with local companies, service providers and national brands to spread their message through integrated marketing campaigns and blogger outreach programs.

How do you balance family and business?
It’s tough being the only parent raising a rascal and balancing a career. My biggest issue is knowing when to shut down for the day. I tend to just put everything off between the hours of 3pm and 8pm Monday thru Friday, which is dedicated to the boy and his needs and then as soon as he starts snoring (he won’t admit it but he snores) I am back at it and have been known to burn the midnight oil ending up exhausted and a tad bit cranky by the end of the week! I am however very conscious of my need to fully unplug and have been making some pretty good progress lately!

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
Enjoy your kids and family. I took 6 years off from my full time career and it was the best thing for me. I know it’s not for everyone but for me having that time to focus on family was exactly what I needed.

How do your market your business?
Social media is a big part of our strategy. Facebook and Twitter are our favorite platforms as well as a couple of blogging networks that have helped share our content. We are active in our community and maintain excellent relationships with the brands that we work with so really it’s all about building and maintaining the relationship with connections made along the way.

Where can we find you?

Facebook:: www.facebook.com/childrensdirectoryfanpage

Twitter:: www.twitter.com/kidsdirectory

Instagram:: www.instagram.com/kidsdirectory

Pinterest:: www.pinterest.com/kidsdirectory

We are also on Google + and Youtube more ways to connect are on our website: www.childrensdirectory.net



How to Start a Mommy Blog

Are you a stay-at-home mom who would like to make some extra cash in your free time? Starting a blog may be a great way to do that. Blogging can offer you the ability to do share things you enjoy while working as little or as much as you like. By monetizing your blog, it can also be a source of income for you and your family.

Here are some helpful steps on how to start your own ‘mommy’ blog.

First, you need to decide what topic(s) your blog is going to focus on. What are you going to write about? Do you have a hobby or a strong area of interest that would make sense to center your blog around? If not, are you going to write just about the happenings in your family? Or, will it maybe be a combination of both?

Deciding your subject matter is a critical component. Successful blogs are those that update consistently with new, fresh content. Don’t limit yourself too much when it comes to content, but also don’t make your topic base too broad.

After you determine what you are going to write about, you can choose a title. Once you have some ideas for what to call your blog, do some research. You’ll need to make sure that you’re not infringing on anyone else’s existing copyright. You’ll also want to make sure that the domain name is available for purchase.

Purchasing your domain name and choosing a host is the next step. Sites like GoDaddy.com offer domain names relatively inexpensively. There are free blogging hosts like Blogger and some other inexpensive ones such as Wordpress and Squarespace. Inspect them a little, do some research and choose one that seems the most user-friendly and practical to you.

Blogging is like any business, you want to establish a strong brand. So, you need a professional look. Having a professional help you with the design is a good idea.

Then, you need a plan of action for posting. Plan how often you will post and specific topics that you will cover. This helps with the overall organization of your blog, as well as helps you stay accountable and on task.

After you’ve established your blog, you’ll want to consider the ways in which you’ll monetize it and make some cash. You can consider things like affiliate links, paid advertising placements, reviews and giveaways and Google AdWords.

Blogging can be a rewarding experience. Good luck to you! Feel free to leave your questions in the comments!


If your Child has Asthma is it Safe for them to be Around During Pest Control?

It’s a big dilemma if you have a child, and you discover a pest infestation in your home. What do you do about having pest control work carried out? It’s something that many parents may be concerned about.

In reality there isn’t really anything to worry about if you hire a licensed professional to do the job. They have all the knowledge and experience necessary to carry out the work safely and to advise you of what actions you need to take. If you want more information about professional pest control methods click here.

What do you need to be aware of if your child has asthma?

It is true that pesticides can have an adverse effect on people who suffer from asthma, they can cause an attack to happen. This is more likely to be the case if the sufferer is a child as their immune system is yet to fully develop.

This information may make you think that it’s not a good idea to have your home treated with pesticides if your child has asthma; this isn’t the case. The pesticides used by pest control experts are at a low level of concentration which is fatal to the pests but is not harmful to humans, as long as safety precautions are followed. One of these precautions is the requirement to stay away from treated surfaces until the pesticide used is dry.

You will need to make sure this is adhered to by all humans and pets in your home. In addition, if your child has asthma, making them more susceptible to the effects of pesticides you may be advised to keep your child out of the property while treatment is taking place, and while the pesticide is drying.

The professionals will advise you of the actions you need to take, and as long as you follow their advice you and your children will be completely safe.

Why is it important to make sure pest control is carried out?

One thing you should always remember is that it’s vital to call a pest control expert if you have a problem. You shouldn’t be prevented from calling them because your child has asthma. All you need to do is advise them of the fact and they will make sure that everyone remains safe and well during and after the extermination process.

It’s important to note that if you don’t deal with the problem effectively the pests themselves can cause problems with your child’s asthma. Both pest droppings, and cockroaches have allergens that can bring on asthma attacks. If you don’t deal with your pest problem this is likely to happen.

If you have a child with asthma you are protecting them by calling the pest control experts. The professionals will tell you exactly what you need to do for you and your child to remain safe while they concentrate on giving you a pest free home.



Creating PR Buzz Around Your Business

By Monika Labbé

“Public relations is both an art and science, but the most important thing to remember is authenticity.”  If you don’t have a good product that you can represent authentically, more PR will just kill your company faster. ~Aishwarya Iyer

Do you already have an awesome product and unbelievable customer service experience? If you have a very happy client on your hands, take a moment and ask them if they would be open to sharing their experience in a short video. They can just use their first name and you can post the client feedback directly to your blog, website or on your youtube channel. There is nothing better than real people talking about your company.

If you don’t already, then may I suggest supporting charitable causes and silent auctions. When you partner with them it helps build positive brand sentiment. The best way to do this is to lead a charitable initiative that ties in directly with your core initiative. When you know your target market you can bet it helps to tie in any products and services that would be beneficial to them. I have gained lots of new clients through offering items through silent auctions, and attending as a guest so that I can directly connect with the winner.

For me entering personal competitions either for entrepreneurs or for your specialty is a great way to get my name out in the industry and the community. There are also business plan competitions which are great for start-ups. You can find a list of them here: Business Plan Competitions

Establish an on-line presence on social media platforms, and not just Facebook and Twitter. Explore Google +, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Foursquare.

Reach out to websites that profile entrepreneurs or that speak to the product or service that you provide. Find a site that does interviews for example and you can speak about your small business and it’s offerings. Another resource is Lithium formerly Klout. It reshapes the future of the digital customer experience. If you’ve ever thought about pitching to journalists directly then Klout will help.

Become a speaker and speak at different conferences, like the small business expo, or a community college or a university. Often there is a business course being taught that you can tie into.

Lastly, hosting an event could be another great option, especially if you have office space or know someone that does. You can either use the space after hours for an evening event or use it during the day if you get a lot of foot traffic. Use that time to talk about your company and the products or services you provide.

The key to effective PR for your business is doing these items on a consistent basis. Connect with other in the industry and make your business be the best in can be.

Having been a professional photographer for over 13 years, I feel very blessed to have been published in numerous books, magazines, and websites. For me, seeing how my photos touch others, whether they bring a smile, a chuckle, or a tear, is what I consider truly priceless. I welcome the opportunity to bring that to you and your family. For more information regarding photography services, please contact me through my website,or email me directly. ~ Monika Labbé, Visual Storyteller


Mommy Monday:: Gina Almonte

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Gina Almonte.

What is your business?
Refresh-a-Baby, Inc.

When did you start your business?

What services/products do you offer?
Refresh-a-Baby turns water bottles and other baby beverage bottles like "ready-made" baby formula bottles and juice bottles into baby bottles, anytime, anywhere keeping baby hydrated and happy on-the-go! It's 100% Made in the USA and BPA Free!

How do you balance family and business?
Very carefully!  I have to shut down a little while when my son comes home from school for homework time, snack, to hear about his day, and a little outdoor activity. It is very hard to do this when there are so many deadlines, but your child is only young once and I refuse to miss out on his life.  My work can wait a little for quality time needed with my son.

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
Don't be afraid to ask for help.  There are plenty of resources out there and willing people to help if you just ask you'll find it and it will make a world of difference. 

How do your market your business?
I have been mainly marketing organically via word of mouth and social media, but also through trade shows and occasional print opportunities.

Where can we find you?

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/RefreshABaby

twitter: https://twitter.com/RefreshB

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/refreshababy/

youtube: http://youtu.be/S4JCOYiEixA

linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/gina-almonte/59/626/597/