Build a Successful and Scalable At-Home Business

Now more than ever people are flocking to remote jobs. Some may even make it a requirement during their job hunt. And now more and more Americans want to build an at-home business. Not only for convenience but also as a means of pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. With great flexibility and low overhead costs, it’s appealing to take a first step on the entrepreneurial journey. For approximately 15 million Americans, the potential for financial independence with a home-based venture makes an attractive option.  However, starting a business from home requires careful planning and execution to ensure long-term success and scalability. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Woman facing her computer screen working in her in-home office.

A productive routine at home

It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time remote professional or you only work on your home-based venture in your spare time. One of the biggest challenges for a successful at-home business is maintaining your productivity. That’s where having a strict routine can make a big difference. Having your set “office hours” as well as scheduled break times will keep you on track. It may be tempting to do chores, watch TV, or shop online. But you have to remember that even though you are at home, you are also still at work.

Furthermore, don’t get caught up in your work. It can be easy to build an at-home business whenever with such a convenience of working from home. But it’s just as important to know when to stop your work day. Your house should still be a place to relax. But if you feel like working from home is turning your sanctuary in to a constant work environment, you may want to consider having your own office space in a spare bedroom or in a granny flat. This will allow you to close the door on your office at the end of the day and put it out of your mind.

Additionally, you want to optimize your tech use. Ensuring you’ve got the right tools and software solutions is only the beginning. You also want to make sure you know how to make the most of your work devices to leverage productivity and manage your time more effectively. 

Money being exchanged between two people for a loan. Cash is in hand.

Funding solutions to build your at-home business

The key to growth is money. You can’t level up your business without enough capital. But capital, as you may have guessed, is not easy to generate yourself. That’s why you want to investigate the best options for your needs: 

  • Pitching to investors. Take your time to research your audience group and niche market. This will help you to present a fully relevant and informed value proposition. Investors seek compelling pitches that highlight the growth potential of each venture. So the more prepared you are, the better!
  • Selecting the right investors or partners. Just because someone is ready to invest in your venture, it doesn’t mean you should embrace all offers. In fact, it is worth researching investors and comparing their GIPS performance to ensure they are trustworthy. 
  • Apply for a loan. Either personal or commercial, depending on your options.
  • Run ads on social media. This route is far less lengthy and expensive. You will still easily be able to fund your growth without breaking the bank or taking out a line of credit.

Keep in mind though that not all businesses require capital! Many successful at-home businesses are formed and run using dropshipping. This allows businesses to start and grow without upfront costs. With easy connections through popular hosting websites like Shopify or WordPress, all you have to do is pick your products, market them, and rake in the money! Your profit margins may be smaller than if you had your own equipment. However, during the beginning phases of your business, you can really focus on what works and what doesn’t. And from there, once you start scaling your at-home business, you can then switch to owning your own equipment.

Build social media account to create a supportive community to grow your at home business

Building a supportive community

Business communities can serve multiple purposes, from providing valuable guidance to building value-generating connections. A strong and supportive community can contribute to long-term success. First and foremost, you need to be on social media. You will want to create social media pages for most social media platforms under your business name. From there, create your brand voice and persona. Is your business more fun and conversational or is it more serious and direct? Who do you want to attract as a potential customer? Direct your posts towards them and you will soon start to see your social media following growing.

But it’s not just about growing your community through social media. Additionally, it is worth reaching out to existing business networks to connect with experts, mentors and potential partners and suppliers. Your community will help your business reach the next step of its growth. Whether it be through fans of your business or other businesses that will help you expand.

Starting an at-home business is an exciting journey that requires careful planning and strategic execution to enable long-term growth. Is it going to be easy? Of course not. But your efforts are more likely to be fruitful once you’ve managed productivity, financing, and audience.

How Much Do Influencers Make?

Congratulations, you have decided to search one of the most difficult questions! How much do influencers make? Let’s dive in to understand why this isn’t as easy to answer as you may think.

Why is it a difficult question?

The reason this question is difficult to answer is because there isn’t one answer. Many influencers keep their posting rates to themselves. By refusing to share this information, it makes it hard to give any definitive answer. It also makes it hard for there to be one answer for every influencer level. Thereby making it impossible to say that “every influencer over X engagement rate charges this amount for this service”.

Simply put, there is no one answer. It’s essentially the same as asking artists to all have one rate. Art will vary from artist to artist. Their experience will also play a factor in how much they charge. This is the same for influencers too.

How do they calculate their personal posting rate?

I have seen many blogs that try to make a formula for posting rates. Maybe you have even seen these formulas that say “for every thousand followers, you can charge $X”. Or something similar to this. Unfortunately, influencer posting rates will never fit in to one single formula. The fact of the matter is that posting rates can’t be determined off of any one factor. Especially if that factor is JUST your social following.

Not only that, but some influencers fluctuate their posting rate. For example, depending on the brand and collaboration terms, I have worked for less than my normal rate simply because I really wanted to work on that project!

What affects an influencer’s posting rate?

Posting rates are determined by a number of different things. Including engagement rate, follower count, niche speciality, content usage rights, contract duration, and if there is any additional, non-monetary compensation like free items, commissionable sales, or travel fees. These all will play a factor in what an influencer can negotiate with.

Additionally, some influencers believe that by sharing their posting rate, they could be outbid by a competing creator. This is understandable if someone has a similar page with similar analytics and is willing to do a collaboration for less.

What revenue streams can they use to make money?

How much influencers make strongly depends on what streams of revenue they are pursuing. Every social media platform they have is another opportunity to make money. But breaking it down, here are some of the top ways influencers get paid:

  • Instagram’s Influencer Program
  • Tik Tok Creator Fund and Marketplace
  • Pinterest Creator Rewards
  • YouTube Ads
  • Affiliate links
  • Paid sponsorships
  • Ambassadorships and commissionable sales
  • Selling content rights

Conclusion on ‘How Much Do Influencers Make?’

How much money do influencers make? Well, it depends! There will never be one right answer or one set number. Some influencers make a few dollars here and there, and some make a few thousand dollars a day! It will really just boil down to how determined that influencer is to monetize their content.

Learn more influencer tips, tricks, and helpful blogs on Donna Gail Blog.

Do I really need to start a blog?

Do I really need a blog?

Whether you are a budding content creator, an established influencer, or a business, you may be considering starting a blog. But obviously you are questioning whether or not it’s even necessary. Blogs can be time consuming and extremely difficult to start up. So the question stands…

Do I really need to start a blog?

Simply put, yes, you need a blog. It does not matter what industry you are in, you need a blog if you are trying to make money through selling products, services, or monetizing your content with affiliate links. But this is a loaded question as it also brings up other questions about why you should make a blog and how.

Why do I need one?

When people are looking for something, they are using a search engine to help them. They are typing words into a computer and hoping for an answer. That answer will not be found on your social media page. It will be found on your own website. Social media is great for fleeting engagement, time sensitive information, or sharing something fun. You may recommend to your followers how awesome a certain vacuum is, but within a week, your audience probably will forget the model you were talking about. And if they weren’t a follower of your page, the odds of them finding the answer with you is slim to none.

Having your own website with blog content ensures that those searches find their way to your door.

What do I write about?

It’s easy enough to say that you can “write whatever you want”. But that’s too vague and mostly untrue. You need to write things that are 1) in your wheelhouse, and 2) relevant to your audience. For instance, I don’t have kids and as such you won’t see content about “what to pack in a diaper bag” on my blog. Because that is not in my wheelhouse of knowledge. I also don’t write about “the best plays by the Kansas City Chiefs” because that is not relevant to my audience.

So I will say this: you can write whatever you want within reason.

What shouldn’t I write about in my blog?

Like I have said before, people everywhere are looking for answers to questions. It will be your job to answer them. I can tell you from personal experience that writing about your personal experience will get you nowhere. I am not sorry to say this, but no one cares about how much fun you had in Utah. No one cares about how difficult it was during your breakup. No one cares about the list of books you read this year.

Instead, you should be writing content like this:

  • “Fun Activities to Do in Utah”
  • “How to Get Through a Rough Breakup”
  • “30+ Books that You HAVE to Read This Year”

People are searching for answers for themselves. They are not going to type “what did Chelsea do while visiting San Diego”. They are going to search “what to do on a short trip to San Diego“. Obviously to answer these questions you will need to have personal knowledge on it. But your content should be geared towards helping someone else. Nothing is more painful than looking up a recipe for snickerdoodles and having to scroll through paragraphs and paragraphs of that person telling us about their life history with their grandma. I’ll say it again for the people in the back – no one cares about YOUR experience. And as such you will have to spin your blogs to make sure it is directed towards what other people would be asking.

Blogs are meant to answer questions. Even if they never formally asked them. Write your content in a way that helps to answer a question that they may not have even known they were trying to ask.

So stop waiting. You need to start a blog because you need a blog. I personally recommend WordPress. It has helped me start at the level that I wanted for free and as I saw growth, they had upgrade options to help me do that. I love the amount of customization you can put in the blog content itself. You can also install plug-ins to help advance your blog further. A lot of the plug-ins I use are free too! This year, I was even able to use one of the plug-ins to make my own app! (Check it out – it’s available for iOS and Android!)

Can artificial intelligence write good blogs?

Can AI Write Good Blogs?

Believe it or not, this blog was written by artificial intelligence. Well.. in part. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular. And its real world uses are becoming more diverse and helpful. One area that it is starting to grow in is online content. So can AI write good blogs?

How can I use AI to write blogs?

Artificial intelligence has come a long way in recent years. One area where it has made significant progress is in the realm of writing. Many people wonder if AI can write good blogs. Well the answer is: it depends.

On one hand, AI has the ability to generate content that is coherent and well-written. It can also be trained on a wide range of topics. That means it is capable of writing about a variety of subjects. In fact, AI has even been used to write news articles and reports, with some readers being unable to distinguish between AI-generated content and human-written content.

On the other hand, AI is still limited by the quality of the data it is trained on. If the data used to train the AI is of low quality or biased, then the resulting content may also be of low quality or biased. Additionally, AI lacks the creativity and critical thinking skills of a human writer. That being said, it may struggle to produce truly original content.

Not to mention, some free online AI’s may have a knowledge gap. For instance, the AI program that wrote the three paragraphs that you just read, ChatGPT, only has knowledge until the end of 2021. So anything that has happened in 2022 and beyond has not yet happened. This could make it difficult to provide content or answer questions in current times.

So.. what’s the verdict?

Overall, it is clear that AI has the potential to write good blogs. However, it is not yet at the level where it can consistently produce high-quality content on par with human writers. While AI may be able to generate coherent and well-written content, it is still no match for the unique perspective and creativity that a human writer brings to their work.

Oh, and that paragraph above was also written by AI.

Read more fun blogs on Donna Gail Blog.

Should I Say When A Post Isn’t Sponsored?

If you are posting as a creator on social media, then you probably talk about brands and their products. You have your normal, fun un-sponsored posts, and your paid sponsorship posts. However, if it’s an unpaid post that is still product-focused, you may be wondering: “Do I need to disclose that it is not sponsored?”

You do have to disclose when something is a sponsored post. However, you definitely should not say when a post is not sponsored, and here is why.

What does it mean to disclose that a post is not sponsored?

Imagine that you are talking about how much you love Brand X in a post. But you don’t want your audience or the algorithm to think it’s an ad. So you think to yourself “I will just say that it isn’t an ad!”. An example of that could be: “Wow I just love this dress! It’s flowy, beautiful, I feel amazing in it! And don’t worry, this post is not sponsored.”

By saying your glowing words about this brand or product, followed by that it’s “not an ad” or that “this isn’t a sponsorship”, you’ve almost set yourself up for mistrust. This gives the idea that by saying nice things, it means that someone paid you to say that. Almost like by saying something nice now with no strings attached somehow makes this product recommendation even BETTER. It comes off like those previous things you said in the past for sponsored posts were not actually your honest opinion. Because now moving forward for a sponsored post, it’s going to sound like you are only saying that because you were paid to do so.

Your words should be the truth. Whether you were paid or not to talk about a brand. You need to build trust with your audience and talk about the things that you love. Even if no one paid you. And if you are gearing up for a paid collaboration, make sure it’s with a brand you actually do love!

An Outdated Mindset

Why is there a mindset that we can only talk about brands if we are paid? Maybe we think it will take us out of the running for getting paid if we already gave them content to our audience for free.

Break free of this mindset and talk about brands willingly, openly, and regularly! This will not only build trust with your audience, but also when they do see a sponsorship from you, it won’t look like you are just shouting “AD” into their face. The best sponsorships are the ones that are organic to your feed. If you consistently talk about products on your page, then seeing a sponsorship won’t seem any different to your audience.

Be open with your audience when you have a paid partnership that you need to disclose. But also be honest in your everyday life about the brands and products that you just love on the regular! Your audience will love hearing your thoughts and will trust you more for it.

Read more influencer tips and advice on Donna Gail Blog.