Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of the award-winning website, The Work at Home Woman, which helps women find remote careers and build businesses that feed their souls. The content is not only motivational, but it provides straightforward and actionable steps that can be put into practice. Hanna has worked with major brands like HP, Tastefully Simple, cabi and MSN. She’s been quoted in big-name publications like CNN, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Woman’s Day magazine. Hanna graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in Cultural Anthropology, and then later obtained her Associate Degree in Nursing. After working as a nurse for many years, Hanna decided to become a full-time stay-at-home mom which eventually led her down the road to entrepreneurship.
1) How did you get started working from home?
When I had my daughter, I decided to leave the world of nursing (a career that I did not enjoy) and become a full-time stay-at-home mom. I had saved a nice little nest egg for this transition, but after nine months of playdates and a dwindling bank account, I decided it was time to look for a work-at-home job. I spent hours searching the internet, the Sunday newspaper (this was back in 2007), and networking online and in-person — but the majority of what I encountered was shady.
I eventually landed a freelance marketing gig through my networking efforts, but the idea of starting a high-quality work-at-home website was always in the back of mind. So, I decided to just do it. As it turned out, I loved writing, marketing, and publishing and here I am eight years later the happiest I’ve ever been in my career.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
Honestly, I just fell into blogging. However, I’ve always enjoyed helping people (hence the nursing career), and I knew that if I had trouble finding legit work-at-home career options that others were too. So, what better way to help people than to take what had learned along the way, and share it online to help them achieve their career goals.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I started out researching work-at-home ideas and companies (for myself), and from this research, I wrote something along the lines of 15 blog posts about varying work-at-home occupations. From there, I hired a graphic designer to create a custom blog design using the WordPress platform. This process took four months, and there were lots of bumps in the road because this designer stopped communicating with me and left with an incomplete site. I eventually had to hire a web programmer to fix what she had left undone. After the site was complete, I uploaded my content and launched in March of 2009. All in all, it took me 15 months to research, write, design, tweak, and finally go live.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I knew from the get-go that I wanted to monetize my blog, so when I launched, I already had an advertising page, rates, and information in place.
I had interviewed a humor blogger on the website about her work-at-home journey, and she was kind enough to add a link to the interview on her blog. One of her readers, who was a direct sales consultant, clicked on the link to read her story. This reader liked what she saw and purchased a banner ad on my site. All in all, it took me a little over two months to get my first blog advertiser/make my first sale, but from there it gained momentum.
5) How do you market your business?
I use social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, email marketing (I use ConvertKit), and SEO strategies. But the most critical aspect to all of this is creating content that’s awesome! Without great content all of your other marketing efforts are made in vain.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I wake up at 5:40 am and get myself and my daughter ready for the day. After my daughter leaves for school (around 6:30 am) I start working. I look at my to-do list (which hopefully I’ve created the night before) and start working through it by task priority. At 9:00 am I do some yoga, or I hop on my elliptical machine, and after that, I shower and get back to work. Around noonish, I eat lunch and continue to work until 3:00 pm when my daughter gets home.
On Fridays, I like to take a half day, so I can meet friends for coffee, run errands, get my hair done, etc. Luckily, I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule, so I can volunteer at school, attend conferences, or just take some time to recharge my batteries if needed.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
When I started out, I placed a great deal of focus on social media and minimal emphasis on email marketing. What a BIG mistake! While I think you should focus some time on social media, it should never be your primary focus when marketing your business. Social media algorithms change all the time, and what could be a gold mine one day, and turn into a ghost town the next. With email marketing, you own your list, and you can use it at any time to communicate with your audience.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
All too often, I see people make snap decisions when they’re looking for a career, job, or home-based business idea. If they would slow down and take a personal inventory upfront, they could find success much quicker, and prevent themselves from falling victim to a scam.
Start by asking yourself …
- What are my passions, skills, and experience?
- What do I want my dream work-at-home career to look like?
- Do I need health benefits?
- Am I willing to invest in training for a new career or business?
- How much money do I need to earn?
- What things did I like and dislike about my past jobs?
By drilling down these items, you’ll begin to see trends that can help you determine the path that makes the most sense for you and your family.
Find Holly Online:
Website: The Work at Home Woman
Facebook: The Work at Home Woman
Pinterest: The Work at Home Woman
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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