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Home Business

I’ve written some basic, helpful, and informative posts for you about home business basics.

I’ve been running home-based businesses for almost 30 years now.

My first home business was actually me having a business from dorm instead of a business from home. I was studying graphic design in college in the late 1980s.

Home Business and Side Hustle Helps

Since that time, I have perfected the art of having a side hustle business from home. I’ve created small side businesses at home while mothering five now-adult children.  I’ve helped other entrepreneurs and work from home moms with my professional services, including:

In the posts below you’ll find out more information about starting and running a business from home. The information is not just limited to this section though. Throughout this website, I have information you may find helpful on many related topics.

8 Tips for Starting a Home Business on a Tight Budget

Are you thinking about starting a home business, but you have no money to “invest” in your business? Been there, done that. Many bits of wisdom I have on business I take for granted, from my years of starting a home business (or dorm business :)) more than 30 years ago right on through my […]

Wordpress Installation and Configuration

Let Someone Else Do the Hard Part with Affordable WordPress Installation and Setup Services

Do you find the prospect of installing and setting up your own WordPress Website intimidating and scary? Are the large numbers of choices for themes, plugins, and settings overwhelming to you? Not sure where to even start your website project? You’re in luck. With the affordable WordPress Installation and Set up services, you’ll be up […]

Advanced wordpress Configuration and Set Up Services

You Only Have to Do the Fun Parts with my Advanced WordPress Setup Services

Are you overwhelmed by all of the choices? Intimidated by the WordPress setup and installation instructions? Do you have a WordPress Theme that is supposed to be easy to customize, but you don’t know where to start? Let me help you by taking care of your advanced WordPress setup, so you can stick to what […]

In Praise of Passionless Projects. How Mundane stuff can help you successfully start your side hustle

In Praise of Passionless Projects that Give You a Boost

I also love to talk about passion projects — doing what you really love because you’ll easily sell/market/talk about what you are passionate about. I have an easier time talking to someone about what I do if I’m passionate about it. There’s something to be said for Passionless Projects too — boring, stupid stuff that […]

Ecommerce Website Design and Set Up

Overwhelmed with eCommerce Configuration? Let me set up your Shopping Cart Website

Setting up your own shopping cart website is overwhelming. Even with the out of the box options, shopping cart websites require a tedious amount of configuration to get started. If you’re confused and overwhelmed at the prospect of setting up your shopping cart website, let me take care of the technical parts! I’d love to […]

Custom Website Design Services

Your Website, Your Way with Custom Web Design Services

Are you looking for a custom look and feel for your website project? If you need something specific for your website project, I have you covered with my custom web design services. My Custom Web Design Services We’ll start off with a 30-minute consultation to discuss your projects and your exact needs. If you don’t […]

Solopreneur doesn't mean always flying solo

Solopreneur Doesn’t Mean Always Flying Solo

When starting out as a solopreneur (that is, an entrepreneur that works alone), you may be tempted to do it all yourself. And I get this impulse. I’m the same way. I’m a DIY sort of girl boss. Hubby says it’s more about being a control freak. We’ll agree to disagree there. Solopreneurs Can Rely on […]

Free printable Events and Recipients Zazzle Cheat Sheet for Zazzle Sellers

Freebie: Zazzle Printable Product Creation PDF with Calendar

Hey, fellow Zazzle Sellers! I have a freebie for YOU today! I wasn’t sure what to call this thing, so it’s just the Zazzle Printable Product Creation PDF with Calendar. Let me explain. As many of you know, I have been building a steady side hustle over at Zazzle.  When creating products, there is an […]

Two Ways You can Make Some Money on Zazzle

Two Ways to Make Some Money with Zazzle

I’ve become very excited about Zazzle in recent years. I love that I’m able to make some money on the side with Zazzle without too much extra time and effort. In fact, I now have several Zazzle stores for different niches, including gifts for coffee lovers and gifts for book lovers. All of these help […]

What is Usability and Why Does it Matter?

When I start working with a client in designing a website for them, my job goes beyond just designing a website. A large part of my job as a web designer is also educator.  I educate my clients on usability.  I reign in some of their ideas to keep the site as user-friendly as possible. What […]

How to write an ad disclosure for your website

Writing an Ad Disclosure for your Blog or Website

For several years now, the FTC here in the United States has required that bloggers and website owners (basically all content creators) disclose to their audiences when they are being paid for an endorsement on their site or via social media. Thus, we need to have an ad disclosure on our websites if we allow […]

Music to Write To: My Summer 2017 Writing Playlist on Spotify

The right music really gets me moving and feeling productive. When I’m writing or creating other content, I try to not listen to any music with words, or else it makes it harder for me to concentrate on writing. My darling offspring introduced me to Spotify last year sometimes, and I have fallen in love. […]

How to Maximize your productivity this Summer while having fun and enjoying your kids

Maximize Your WAHM Productivity this Summer While Enjoying Your Kids & Having Fun!

Summer is upon us, friends! I know most of you dread it because it wrecks havoc on your productivity. The main problems with summer and being a WAHM, from what I can tell, is a combination of a few things: The Kids don’t have a regular schedule and are home all day long. By the […]

How to make extra cash using pinterest

How to Make Some Extra Cash Using Pinterest

Are you looking for a way to make some extra cash to add to your household income? This is going to blow your mind. A few months ago, my friend Christina Root (of Youthful Homemaker) created an e-course for how to make some extra money using Pinterest. I was intrigued for a few reasons: Most of […]

How to figure out your target audience

How to Figure Out Who Your Audience is, and What They Need

I’m convinced that the secret to home business (or any business) success is to first and foremost, figure out who your audience is, and what they need. Why is this? Once you know who your target audience is, you can better tailor your content to that audience develop products and services that meet the needs […]

Work Smarter, not Harder. How to easily keep traffic coming to your website

How to Easily Keep Website Traffic Coming Your Way

There are only so many hours in a day. No work from home mom wants to spend the bulk of those hours chasing website traffic. For most of us, the problem isn’t laziness or not working harder. Work Smarter Not Harder Hard work wasn’t as much of an issue in my life until two of […]

The Flexibility of Working from Home

The Flexibility of Working from Home

Of all of the benefits of running a home-based business side hustle, I think the flexible schedule is what I love the best. Sometimes when I talk to moms who are thinking of working from home or working some kind of side hustle for a little extra money, they get hung up on The Schedule. […]

5 Essential Tips to Using Type Effectively for Bloggers & WAHMs

As a designer, I have a passion for, and a love of Typography and Fonts. I have quite a font addiction, in fact. Using type is a passion of mine. Over the years, learning more and more about the effective use of fonts in design, I’ve learned to temper this enthusiasm to selecting and using […]

must read books for new bloggers and website owners

Must Read Books (and courses!) for New Bloggers & Website Owners

Susanne recently asked me, Do you know of any good books to read about blogging or writing up my website for our business? We are getting ready to take our furniture business online. I feel ask though I have so much to say but I don’t know how to say it. Thanks. There are two […]

Knowing Your Own “Shoulds” for Better Productivity

Maybe this is a bit of wisdom that comes with age — the biggest danger I see for me and for others in getting things done and managing our time best is not so much in being lazy, but in doing the wrong stuff. For me, productivity is all about doing the right stuff and […]

Two Choice: Cursing the Changes or rolling with them

Rolling with the Changes or Cursing them?

I was recently talking about the changing face of business and marketing due to the internet, with a friend who has grown so much in her home business ventures. Her epiphany came via a group of kids at a homeschool enrichment class on marketing, of all things. After we reminisced about it after running into […]

Marketing Fails: Angering your target audience is a bad first impression

Marketing Fails: Angering Your Target Audience is a Bad First Impression

When it comes to marketing, there are some fatal errors that people not only participate in but sometimes I’ve even heard them taught as if these are a good idea. When it comes to marketing tips, I’ve seen some of these promoted as “effective” even though the average consumer, when talking about them, find them […]

what is a niche and why does it matter?

What is a Niche?

If you’ve heard anything at all about business, blogging, or working from home, you’ve probably heard the word “Niche” before.  Usually, it’s used together with “marketing”, “business”, or even “blogging”. So, what is a niche?  It is a very narrow market or specialty within a larger field.  That sure clears it up, doesn’t it? A […]

What's the difference between logo, identity and branding

The Difference Between a Logo, Identity, and Branding

When we talk about logo design, sometimes the words “logos”, “Identity”, and “brand” or “branding” are all used interchangeably. They all do deal with the same basic topic but there are differences between these three things. What is a Logo? A logo is a mark that identifies a brand at first glance. We all know […]

What is Zazzle?

What is Zazzle? In short, Zazzle is an online print-on-demand company whose mission is “to give people the power to make anything imaginable”. Zazzle is an online marketplace where designers can sell their designs on a huge selection of products that automatically shop to customers from Zazzle. This is a great win-win for both customers […]

Connection: The Key to Print Marketing in a Digital World

Connection: The Key to Using Print Marketing in a Digital World

Some people claim that print marketing is dead. I disagree. Strongly. Some of you may even be here due to my print marketing efforts. Rethinking Print Marketing When I’m talking about Print Marketing, I do not mean buying expensive ads, renting billboards and signs, or other traditional ad campaigns. What I am referring to is […]

What is Print-On-Demand and How does it work?

What is Print-On-Demand?

What is Print-on-demand? Print-On-Demand is a publishing and manufacturing process where an item can be printed one at a time, as the orders come in. This is different from traditional manufacturing, where a huge inventory of items are created and hopefully sold. One of the biggest benefits of print-on-demand is being able to test out […]

The Year Long Side hustle Experiment

The Year-Long Side-Hustle Experiment

About six years ago, a friend and I set out to try out some popular “side hustle” ideas that cost nothing to start. This was after hearing the same question over and over from friends on social media and via email about whether or not you could really make money doing some of these common […]

Tips for Writing an Effective About Page

How to Write an About Page for your Website

As most bloggers and website owners know, the About page is the most frequently visited page on any website, besides your home page. Learning how to write an about page is crucial. Website owners must give extra special attention to your about pages, to help your visitors get to know you better and see how […]

If a Logo Doesn’t Work in Black and White, It Doesn’t Work

My professor in college was right. The sad thing is, it took me about twenty years or so to really grasp how right he was. Funny how that works. This is partly why I’m not upset that my kids are all working for a bit before going to college. You need some reality under your […]

What you get when you hire a logo designer

What You’re Paying For When You have a Logo Designed

I recently developed a logo for a friend with a small home business.  She had originally gone to one of those “Get your logo in 24 hours for just $19.95” places originally, because of the price. As a logo designer, I just love those. Not. I mean, I get the idea. I’ve been in a […]

Developing Better Habits for Home Business Success

Developing Better Habits for Home Business Success

What is the key to home business and work from home success? While there is no one thing that will guarantee success, I believe forming better habits will tip the odds more in your favor. A few friends and I were talking about the topic of working from home. We all seemed to agree that […]

Thoughts on hiring a logo designer

Thoughts on Hiring a Logo Designer

I’ve mentioned before that, when you pay for a logo design (or any design really), you’re not buying a “thing”. You’re paying for much more than the files you’ll be handed at the end of the process. Obviously, I do logo design, and I’d love to talk with you more about how I might help […]

Categories vs tags: What are they and how should you use them on your website?

Categories vs Tags: What are They and How Should You Use Them?

When planning out your website, you’ll need to think about organizing your content. You may even wonder about categories vs tags. WordPress and other platforms use categories and tags to help organize content. Categories and Tags can be confusing and be intimidating for many new website owners. I can help you understand what categories and tags actually are. And […]

5 Steps for writing an effective social media bio

5 Steps to Writing an Effective Social Media Bio

One of the more difficult tasks for anyone is writing a concise, effective social media bio. The problem comes from summing up who you are and what you do into a few short lines. On the flip side, being an excessively wordy person by nature, I find social media beneficial to helping me be more […]

Why your website needs a start here page

How a Start Here Page Helps Your Readers

Adding a start here page to my website was one of the big changes I made to my website as I rebranded it last year. The start here helped my readers (especially first-time visitors) orient themselves with what I had available on my website and blog, and see how it would help them. Why You […]

If Wordpress is free, why am I paying you?

If WordPress is a Free Program, Why am I Paying You?

Confused about the expenses associated with having a WordPress website? You’re not alone. One question I received twice now is something along these lines: If WordPress (or Zen Cart, OS Commerce, Joomla, Squarespace, Drupal…) is a free program, why am I paying you? Let’s talk about it. What’s Included in the FREE Part? The part […]

What makes a logo great?

What Makes a Logo Great?

I am something of a logo design and typography geek. I have been known to message companies on social media to tell them how much I enjoy their new logo redesigns, among other things. A great logo design pleases me. I had a professor in college that used to say that if a logo didn’t […]

6 Tips for Selecting a Domain Name

6 Tips for Selecting a Domain Name

One of the first things you’ll need to purchase before setting up your own website is a domain name. What is a domain name? A domain name is the address of your website. For example, the domain name for this address is ThoughtsandDesigns.com. The most common domains, or TLDs (Top Level Domains) end with .com, […]

The content conversation and intervention

The Content Conversation and Intervention

When talking about not using websites as glorified classified ads, yellow pages, or flyers, I’ve mentioned before that one of the benefits of today’s interactive websites is easy non-techie editing so you can have a conversation with your clients. I’ve beat this particular drum for years when advising my web design clients on how to […]

8 Tips to get started marketing your website

8 Tips on Getting Started Marketing Your Website

The topic of marketing your website is, in and of itself, a broad topic. I almost hesitate to talk about marketing your website, except that I get asked about it so often. Usually the topic comes up around the time I give someone the bad news that a website isn’t marketing, but rather a website needs […]

12 Tips to Improve Your Website

12 Tips to Improve Your Website

A website is not something you just build, then leave sitting there, unattended, for the rest of it’s existence. In fact, in order to improve your website, and build our business, it’s important to continually strive to make improvements to your user’s experience at your website. This website of mine, Thoughts and Designs, has been […]

What Are Keywords and why are they important

What are Keywords and Why are they Important?

In creating content for your website, or research website marketing techniques, you may have come across the term “keywords”. In terms of websites, what exactly are keywords? The best way to describe it is this: if you were looking for the information you have on your website, but you didn’t know about your company, you […]

How to get your own shopping cart website

How to Get Your Own Shopping Cart Website

There are lots of different kinds of websites out there. Most of them provide free content in some way. Others can be used to directly sell to your customers and clients. Most of the time, we refer to these kinds of websites as shopping cart websites ecommerce websites storefront websites Regardless of the exact name, […]

The Work from Home Time Money Tradeoff

The Home Business Time-Money Tradeoff

Most women decide to become a WAHM because they want to spend time with their children while they’re growing up, but yet they still need some income to make ends meet. The problem is, as anyone who has ever started a business knows, newborn businesses tend to need as much attention as newborn babies, depending […]

Figuring out the purpose of your website

Figuring Out the Purpose of Your Website

In ten years of designing websites for different clients, I’ve come to realize that the biggest decider in the success or failure of a web based business (or using a website for a traditional business), is found in a potential client’s answer to the simple question, “What do you expect this website to do for […]

figuring out your passion and calling

Figuring Out Your Passion and Calling

When it comes to WAHM ideas, that is, ideas for moms to make money at home, most of them seem to involve selling some multi level marketing product that is far overpriced, endless home parties, or maybe making crafts and hoping to sell them either online or at craft fairs. Very few people talk about […]

Overcoming the Challenges of Entrepreneurial ADHD

ADHD and Working From Home

In my home, we often joke around about ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or as my kids call it, “attention deficit oh look, there’s a squirrel…”). My kids and I tend to be easily distracted but highly creative individuals. The Highly Creative part lends itself well to being a WAHM (Work at Home Mom) but […]