We have all heard about work-life balance, particularly now, but what can you do when work and home are happening all under the same roof!?!
As a work-from-home mom with a full-time career in digital marketing and two kids who have been virtually learning since March 2019, I have definitely had to learn a few tough lessons. Thankfully, these have taught me to work smarter, not necessarily harder. Read on to see how I am doing my best to pull it all off.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
I pride myself on productivity. During the pandemic, my sense of accomplishment took a hit, and now, I am ok with doing just enough. That means letting the laundry sit an extra day (or two), taking some shortcuts in the kitchen, and generally just chilling out.
Harness the Power of Technology
I have been fighting the need to do this for years, but THIS YEAR, I have finally integrated all of my work and family calendars on Google and also picked up a few tricks to help with the clutter on my desk. I recently purchased one of these cases for my iPad which has made doing work on the go much easier. I also purchased an Apple Pencil to eliminate all the notebooks, notepads, sticky notes that clutter my desk. Pro Tip: Good Notes is an app that has helped me clear my desk by allowing me to write and store them digitally.
When my personal space is a mess, my mind is a mess. So I have been doing little things to keep your physical and mental space tidy.
The WEE Hours
For the last few months when I wake up before everyone else, I make a cup of coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet. The 30-40 minutes I have with my thoughts in the morning really set the tone for the rest of my day. I use this time to JUST SIT, I look outside, check the news, maybe social media and within 30 minutes I already feel caught up and ready for whatever is in store for the day ahead.
I am sure all of this seems easier said than done, but after doing these things for several months, they have become a habit. A habit, I intend to keep long after things get back to normal.
This post has been a long time coming for two reasons:
It was the question we were trying to answer when we started Chicks And Salsa.
It is the number one question we get asked.
When we started this journey, it was more about curiosity and what was behind influence and what that meant. In a very small part of the internet where Chicks And Salsa has lived for three years, we are starting to reflect and put the pieces of the puzzle together for people who may just now be thinking about starting a blog.
So lets get right into the knitty gritty of how Chicks And Salsa has managed to stay out of the red since we started.
Once we gathered a small, but meaningful audience, we were starting to get some interest from brands who were interested in our niche. When I say small, I mean about 300 followers on Facebook and nearly 2000 followers on Instagram. We developed a media kit based on industry standards as set by FOHR and moved forward. Here is a look at our very first sponsored post, . We are so grateful to all of the brands who have taken a chance on Chicks And Salsa. We have learned a lot along the way and could not have done it without those opportunities.
This topic is very complicated and if there are some specifics that you would like from us, please feel free to leave a question in the comments below. Generally speaking, Chicks and Salsa started out with two affiliate platforms, Amazon Associates, and RewardStyle (aka LikeToKnow.it). There is a wealth of information about both of these available on YouTube and if you are interested in a referral to RewardStyle, shoot us a DM and we will be happy to put that in.
Amazon Associates generally has VERY low commissions, but since everyone shops on Amazon it is a quick way to capture data about what your audience likes and what price points are most effective.
Rewardstyle is the GO-TO destination for all your favorite bloggers. Also known as LikeToKnow.It, affiliates can create links for most top brands, and commissions can be up to 20% during peak seasons. They have many tools that make posting looks to Instagram and your blog (and Pinterest!) super easy. Inserting affiliate links into pins on Pinterest, is a pro tip to getting more likes on the app and hits to your website. Since joining RewardStyle I have made over $2000 in commissions- that definitely helps me offset some of the expenses associated with running the blog.
If you are looking for something easier for your followers to shop, consider joining RewardStyle. Referrals can help you get in the first time, so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral!
Via Share A Sale, Chicks and Salsa has become affiliates for a lot of amazing brands which basically means that we have been vetted and approved for high commissions from these brands in particular. We will be attending Think Tank next month to learn more about the affiliate marketing space and what is next for influencers.
We make about 25% of our income from affiliate links which
is kind of crazy in retrospect when I think about all the time I have spent
chasing down commissions.
Note: I just wanted to add a personal note about commissions; bloggers in all content areas work very hard to give you ideas that are of value to you. So if you like something you see on a friend/blogger, given them credit for that idea or purchase, it does not cost you ANYTHING to be supportive. I recently wrote a post about my favorite work out gear and rightfully credited a fellow blogger for the introduction.
This is the fun part right? Truthfully, Sonia and I do not have boxes flooding our doorstep, but over the years we have had dozens of companies ask for feedback and shares of new products that have been fun to check out. As our platform continues to grow so do the opportunities. Lately it seems like we are being approached by more companies which feels great after creating thousands of pieces of content over the past three years week after week.
Also we are in the top 1% of reviewers in Chicago for TripAdvisor, so we have found ways to convert that into what I call ‘elevated’ restaurant experiences. I never ask a restaurant for anything, but I do let them know who we are and that we are coming to check them out and sometimes that translates into little goodies- why not!?!?
The time it takes to create content is the true cost of blogging. The cost of hosting my site costs me less than $300/year, business registration for Chicks And Salsa LLC is $390/year, and I do use about $600 for Facebook Ads per year.
Answering What and Why?
In my case, I left my full time job to go all in on Chicks and Salsa and in doing so realized some things that I was missing. Last year, I started a social media management company, Digital Chicks Media, and have been fortunate to help out small businesses and brands deliver consistent content on their channels. Most recently, Sonia and I have also launched an e-commerce store , ChicksAndSalsaStore, to help get our followers good deals on practical fashion finds.
I hope you found this post to be interesting a thorough, I know I have wondered what all of this was really about and even though the money is important and feels good, the connections and friendships are why we blog.
I have shared before that I live in a small town, but thanks to social media, my reach is so much greater and I can learn so much from my phone every day.
Thanks for checking out this post!
**These are all observations made purely by me and there are so many ways to ‘blog’ so everyone’s hustle may vary. The bottom line is, share what you love on ANY platform and you will get out of it what you put in.**
There is so much money to be saved on the latest styles and looks that we HAD to share them with you. If you are looking to get something small like a new pair of denim shorts or something fancy like an elegant maxi dress, these sales have you covered!
If you have an iPhone here is how your can check your usage now!
Launch Settings from your Home screen. > Tap on Battery. > Wait a moment for Battery Usage to populate. > Tap on the Show Detailed Usage button to get a breakdown of foreground and background power usage. > Tap on Last 7 Days to get a broader look at power consumption over time.
**First pic is from one day, second pic is from seven day summary**
Screenshots from Moments App:
It turns out I get plenty of sleep – averaging 7-8 hours a night – awesome right!?! It also turns out that I spend almost 5 hours a day on my phone…I thought I would have negative feelings about this, but it turns out I don’t. Let me explain. I work at home and with my time divided between Digital Chicks Media and our blog, it makes sense to me that I would be spending the equivalent of a day’s work on my phone, aka my computer on the go. With social media and engagement at the core of what I do, I guess it is not surprising, but there is a silver lining to all this information.
I am living day-to-day moments for most of my day – that is time that I am spending with my family, at the gym, cooking, driving, etc. That is a nice find that somehow I can’t ignore. I actually felt good about that, is that weird? My kids get home from school around 3:30PM and go to bed around 8PM. The main thing I try hard to work on is the amount of time I spend on my phone while they are home. I want to make sure that those 8 hours of living are happening sans my phone while my family is together.
Something my husband and I try to do walk away from our devices to resist the temptation to not be present in the moment while the kids are home. While work can sometimes creep in trying to move to another room to finish out an email or call is a helpful way to recenter and be present in the time you are away from your phone.
In life we have to strike a balance between the things that we do and find a place in our day to day lives for all of it. Smartphones are a necessary evil that really are not that bad, they have enhanced our lives by so much. So, next time you resent the amount of time you may be spending on your phone, find out how much time you are actually spending and let that knowledge either empower you or help you create changes you wish to see to make being in the moment more meaningful.