This week on the Work at Home Series, Cheryl shares how she works at home by running a preschool planning website.

Find out how she built a website quickly with no html experience and why she chose to do a site about preschool planning.

As I have mentioned before, blogs and websites take time to build before seeing an income but start up costs are low when compared to other businesses.

This series is meant to give you ideas on what others are doing to earn money at home. It doesn’t mean that you will get the same results.

1. What is your job title and what do you do?

I am the owner of http://www.preschool-plan-it.com I have recently gone to working on my website full time! I provide free information to teachers, childcare workers and parents who work with preschool aged-children.

2. What got you interested in this job?

I have been a preschool teacher/director for over 18 years now. I began thinking about putting the activities and themes I developed into a book over 15 years ago! I got busy with life and it went on the back burner.

I came across the list of activities and my book ideas again in 2010! However, having experienced little or no budgets as a preschool teacher, I wanted to find a way to offer the information to teachers without charging them. I also wanted to supplement my income.

I discussed this with one of my daughters and she suggested a website. She told me there were many ways to monetize websites without charging my audience for the information.

classroom

3. What skills and experience do you need to succeed?

You need passion about the information you want to pass on to others. And, you need information about building websites. Note that I did NOT say you need to know HOW to build a website…I said you need INFORMATION about it!

I knew NOTHING about building websites, html code, what SEO meant and, quite honestly, had very little desire to learn it! I want to focus on preschool, not become a programmer!

4. What’s the best thing about working from home?

I love that I get to work on my hobby and get paid! Mark Twain once said “The key to success is to make your vocation your vacation”. And that is what I do.

The very best thing is the time freedom I now have. It allows me to visit our adult daughters during the week, spend time with my now retired husband and visit friends on their days off. I no longer need to fit this all into the weekend or vacation weeks.

5. Do you have kids? If so, how many and how do you find time to work?

We have two awesome daughters. They are 21 and 26 and no longer live at home. I love that I can now plan my work around their college and work schedules and not be limited to weekends or evenings!

6. How can someone get started doing this?

Brainstorm a list of ideas that you’d like to write about. You will find a common theme or two! The next step is to find out if those ideas are “keywords” that are popular in search engines. There is a lot of information out there about starting a website based on these ideas or niches. I chose a program that has tutorials and forums available to help me along the way.

7. What are the startup costs?

I use SBI! for all my website building and the cost is $299.00 per year. I’m sure there are free ways to build a website, check on keyword profitability and more, but I prefer SBI! because this is all available through them. I have a page on my website that has more information about SBI!

8. What is the general salary range (optional) and how many hours a week do you work?

This is always difficult to answer as it depends on each person and the audience of the site. I can only speak for my site.

My website went live in early 2011. I monetized it using Google Adsense and I made $1.23 in March of 2011 and boy was I excited! The website hit $100 a month in July of 2011 and $300 a month in January 2012. It tripled in monthly income by June 2013.

I have since added an Online Training Workshop section. I offer online, self study workshops for preschool teachers for $10.00 USD. Teachers can earn 4 hours of inservice training (most states require anywhere from 12-20+ hours per year) through these workshops. I currently have only one workshop available, but have a minimum of 50 teachers participating at any given time since it has been added to my website.

I have very recently added e-books to my monetization mix. I received many requests to have the preschool themes available for e-readers. My e-books range from 0.99 to $2.99 USD.

I also sell used books on Amazon. These are books that I have already read. I recently went through my books at home before putting them back in my bookcases (we just recently moved), and listed the ones I know I will not read again. This is always hit or miss, however, 6 of them sold within 2 days of listing them, earning be approximately $30 dollars!

All of these ways to monetize are in the “My Store” section of the website. This gives more exposure to the e-books and actual books than just listing them on Amazon alone would give.

I plan on adding an Amazon Affiliate Store to my website this year as well.  

Photo Credit: Bart Everson

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