Cherish those you love.

I feel as if 2020 has been unfair to so many, and it has really hit me hard this week.

On Tuesday May 5 I lost the love of my life to cardiac arrest; that’s a call no one ever wants to get. My heart is broken.

It has been a rough week, with more rough times to come. I just wanted you to know that’s the reason my posts will most likely be few and far between (sparser than usual) for the next while.

I have so many things to deal with, and am thankful I have the support of family and friends to get through it all.

Cherish every moment with your loved ones: you never know how long you really have with anyone. He and I were supposed to grow old together.

Stay healthy, and stay safe.

E-book on Guide Writing

Have you thought about creating information products, but aren’t quite sure where to start?

I have written a short eBook to help you get started. By beginning the process with writing a simple guide, you can quickly increase your income. It does, however, take work on your part. Simply buying the eBook won’t make you the money; you also have to utilize the contents to your advantage.

I know that’s not what you want to hear, but trust me when I say the money won’t come flowing in just because you bought a book. If that were the case we’d all be rich, wouldn’t we?

The eBook I have written is a mere twenty pages, but it will give you the foundation to get started. I have written a few short books over the years and each has brought in some income, even without constant marketing. In fact, a couple haven’t had any marketing attached to them at all and I have earned from them.

I’m not going to say I have earned thousands, because that would be untruthful. The fault is not because of the book itself, but rather through the lack of marketing on my part. In order for you to make any sales, people have to know the book/guide is out there. You don’t buy something you don’t know exists, so why should you expect anyone else to right?

In the midst of a global pandemic and so many job losses it’s crucial to have a way to add to the bank account in other ways. I’m a believer no one should wait for something bad to happen before beginning to increase income, but sadly that’s often what happens. Our jobs are never one hundred percent guaranteed, no matter what we think.

I have been fortunate to still have my library assistant position, but that is only because we are a small library with few staff members. We’re taking advantage of the library down-time to get caught up on the tasks we are unable to do while patrons are coming through the doors. However, if the closures last much longer, the budget won’t allow us to be there.

We’re hopeful we are part of the second phase of reopening, but that will all depend on how everyone adheres to the physical distancing rules which will still be in effect. It’s going to be interesting to say the least.

I’m thankful my family, friends, and community have avoided becoming ill; and I sincerely hope it stays that way. So many people still are not taking it seriously.

If you would like to grab a copy of How To Create A Guide For Almost Anything, click on the image below. It will take you to the product description page and the purchase link. I’m still trying to figure out how to streamline the process (I’m a little tech-challenged). If you have any problems with the link or the download, please contact me.

Learn how to brainstorm and organize your thoughts so you can write your very own guide.

What’s an Information Product, and Why Do You Need One?

Picture this: you’re standing in line at the grocery store and someone you haven’t seen in quite some time comes up to you. After the initial standard greeting, she asks you what you’re “doing” nowadays. “I’m teaching online classes to help others earn money from home,” you say.

“Interesting, but do you make any money doing it?”

“I do. I earn thousands per month.”

For the first time since you’ve known her, she has nothing to say; purely because she’s shocked at what you have just revealed.

What’s an information product?

If you like the sound of thousands of dollars per month, then it’s time you created your own product based on skills you already have.

First, I’ll explain just what it is.

An information product is something you have written or recorded in order to teach or inform someone about a product or service. In the example above, the product is an online class which you recorded over the course of a week. It is broken up into shorter lessons so your students can work through the steps, absorb the information, and complete a short quiz at the end.

Perhaps it’s a course on creating infographics. You’ll walk students through the fundamentals of design, the purpose of an infographic, the steps to creating one for almost any industry, and the software best suited for their project.

You’ll either upload the class to a site which hosts your lessons and collects registration fees on your behalf or have it on your own website and collect the fees yourself.

No matter your choice, your goal is to produce a product that will help solve the problems others are having. In the example above, the students enrolling in your online class are in need of earning extra money. They are investing their hard-earned dollars to gain insight and find out how they can build a side income without having to quit their regular job. It is up to you to give them accurate information, examples of your own experiences, and even templates to make the process easier for them.

Not only does it help your students, but it also shows you’re an expert on the subject. When you create an information product, you’re not only helping yourself, you’re helping others. By leveraging the power of eBooks, video, audio, and online courses, you can get your knowledge in front of those who want to learn more.

It has been said if you write about love, money or food, you will always have an audience and will make money. They are the most popular topics out there. However, there are also hundreds of sub-topics you can focus on which fall under the three.

When it comes to love, you can entertain others by writing romance novels or educate them based on your life experiences and/or educational background on relationships.

Money is popular because people are always wanting to know how to make more of it without spending a lot to find out how. A word of advice here though: avoid MLM (multi-level marketing) schemes and give people tangible ways they can increase their bottom line. Also tell them right off the start it’s going to take time and effort on their part. Never promise riches because they will expect the money to fall from the sky without any effort from them.

And food. We all need to eat, so showing others how to make their favourite desserts while being health-conscious is only one way to attract readers/clients/customers.

Why do you need one?

If you have something valuable to teach others but don’t want to spend your days travelling all over, you need an information product. You’ll not only leverage your time better, but you’ll also have more free time. Isn’t that what you want anyway?

Many people will start a business because they want more time with their family, but often end up working twice as much as they did when they had a job. It doesn’t matter what they do, they just can’t seem to get ahead or be able to enjoy more vacation time.

Don’t let yourself get caught in that trap. Use your knowledge and resources to create a product which will help others. Digital downloads, video, and audio are your best options as the overhead is much less than if you were to ship physical products. Or if compiling books or workbooks, use a POD (print-on-demand) service so you don’t have to print and ship them yourself. Digital products also can be purchased by anyone in the world. You won’t be limited by demographics.

For example, perhaps you are a copywriter and don’t want to take on any more clients. Creating a product to teach others how to become a copywriter themselves will give you the extra income you want, yet not take up any more of your time. And don’t worry about losing clients; your existing clients will still want and need your services. You’re simply branching out to help others while not overextending yourself.

I have earned extra income for several years by crocheting and designing patterns. A few years ago, I decided to write a book to help others do the same. I even included the patterns they could use to get their crochet businesses going. And the cost of the book is far less than what I would have charged if I had held a class. Plus, each of those patterns is available individually, so purchasing the ebook is a win-win for anyone interested in earning money from crocheting.

If you would like more information on creating information products, you may download my free eBook here. It goes into much more detail than this post has.

Before I close I would like to say thank you for reading and following my blog. I also have a newsletter signup link in the sidebar, which will give you access to new products I’m creating as well as information tailored to those who would like to earn a little extra money from home. I look forward to sharing what I know on a weekly basis.

Stay safe and healthy,

Diane

Merry Christmas!

Designed on CanvaPro.

Merry Christmas to all!

It has been a busy few days with putting the finishing touches on the decorating, final gift wrapping and family meals.

Last night my kids (both in their twenties) and my father-in-law joined us for supper, along with my daughter’s boyfriend. It was a fun evening and we all ate much too much (as always seems to happen when we cook so much).

Today we went to my younger sister’s house and enjoyed more family time, ate too much and took family pictures in front of the Christmas tree. I was blessed with gifts on my list, but the family time is much more important.

The day also marks the sixth Christmas without Dad and the second without Mom. I miss them being with us but as is said, “life does go on”.

I think the best thing this year is I was able to spend both Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day with my kids. They usually split the time between their dad’s place and with us, but this year their dad went to spend Christmas with his in-laws a couple provinces away. For that I am grateful.

Tomorrow will be a day of relaxation and making room in my kitchen for the new dessert dishes, gravy boat and coffee press. I may or may not have to do some rearranging in my cupboards.

The older I get the more I prefer practical gifts. It’s better to have something a person can use and enjoy than something that gets tucked away in a drawer or closet.

In less than a week we’ll be ringing in the new year. I have set some goals for 2020 which involve increasing my client base, creating a new passive income stream and spending more time with family. I’m excited to make 2020 my best year yet and look forward to sharing my progress.

What are your plans for 2020?

5 Ways to Cut Down on Holiday Stress

I made this wreath for the door earlier this afternoon. It has also been posted on my Instagram accounts so if you follow me there, that’s why it probably looks very familiar. Merry Christmas!

Here we are, a week from Christmas Day. It’s hard to believe it has crept up so quickly.

I don’t know about you but I always feel more stressed this time of year than any other. Perhaps it’s because of all the expectations we have of others and ourselves, or perhaps because it’s just so busy.

As I get older I try not to get so stressed out over it because let’s face it; it will come and go whether we’re ready or not. This year I have found a few ways to deal with the stress a little easier. Granted this list may be a little late for some this year, but it’s ‘food for thought’ for other holidays too.

  1. Take some ‘you’ time. I am someone who feels I need to be doing something every waking moment, whether it be reading, working, writing, crafting or household responsibilities. If I’m not doing something I feel guilty. Take a few minutes in the evening to relax and unwind with your beverage of choice, a good book or your favourite TV show. It’s amazing what some quiet time will do to regenerate a person.
  2. Delegate some of the work. If you’re the person hosting Christmas Dinner, it’s okay to ask for others to contribute to the meal. In my family my younger sister is hosting but we’re all taking a favourite dish to help out. I’m taking the popular Broccoli Salad and some baking. Not only will it be less meal preparation for her, but she’ll be able to enjoy the pre-meal visiting without being stuck in the kitchen the entire time.
  3. Enjoy the time together. We decided a few years ago to eat, visit, open gifts then do the cleanup. Of course some of the food needs to be refrigerated relatively quickly, but that’s all that gets done right after the meal. Take the time to visit with each other, play games and watch the kids enjoy their new toys. Dad always said Christmas is for kids and I see now he was right. The dishes won’t be going anywhere so if they don’t get washed right away it’s not the end of the world.
  4. Set a budget. I know most of you reading this will have all of your shopping done by now. I always stress out over how much I’m spending so this year I set a budget for each person and stuck to it. Our family gift exchange is a Secret Santa one with a thirty-five dollar limit which is doable for everyone. Of course I have a little higher limit for my kids as well as a limit for their significant others. I finished my shopping on Monday and as I bought for each person I crossed them off the list. That way I wasn’t spending more than I could afford.
  5. Pay cash or use your debit card. The holiday sales tempt us into buying more than we should. Anyone with a credit card knows just how dangerous that can be. I set money aside this year for Christmas shopping and paid with either cash or using my debit card. I’m not going to have the huge credit card bills that many others will have, so that alone will cut down on the after-holiday stress as well.

The true spirit of Christmas is for spending time with family and friends. You don’t need to break the bank to impress anyone. Do what you can and don’t fret about what you can’t do. The holidays are meant for laughter, sharing a meal (or three) and enjoying the time together. Don’t let the advertisements on TV tempt you into spending more than you can afford.

In closing I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the season bring joy, good tidings and wonderful memories. And please remember, if you drink don’t drive.

What They Say Is True

Have you ever heard anyone say the older you get, the faster time flies?

I used to think they were just using it as a figure of speech, but I now see how much truth there is to it. It seems like just yesterday I was getting home from Calgary, and it’s already three-quarters of the way through November. If I’m not careful I’m going to wake up and be eighty-something, and not know where the past thirty years have gone. Now that is a scary thought.

My time has not been wasted however. I have been brushing up on learning Canva so I can make more printables for my Etsy Shop plus design my own postcards, worksheets and brochures. It’s a good skill to know and the more I use it the better I’ll be.

In addition to the above I’ve also picked up some extra shifts at work while our manager is away enjoying a much-deserved vacation. I don’t mind the extra shifts though, because it will help offset the two weeks we’re closed through Christmas holidays.

And speaking of Christmas, I committed myself to having a table at our local Christmas Market. I’m changing up my wares a little this year because there are other vendors with crocheted items. I don’t like to step on anyone’s toes so am adding some woodburned items to my table. Plus the handspun alpaca yarn and dryer balls should find new homes.

Volunteers are an integral part of any community, especially a small one like ours. It has been decided to update our area history, so I have taken on the role of website moderator and newspaper article contributor. Our little committee of five all bring something different to the table; my expertise is the computer and writing side. As the information starts trickling in, I foresee some editing required as well.

Designed on Canva. It’s pretty basic compared to some of the designs I have seen created (and have created of my own).

The reason for mentioning the history book project is because it ties in with time flying. The first was done in 1983 so it’s time to update it. If we don’t take the time to do it now, much of our history will be gone when the elderly pass on and are no longer able to tell their stories. Preserving history is important; even moreso when the younger generation doesn’t seem to have an interest in it. I do have to say though, I’m sure I was the same at their age.

Do you find the time passing by quickly, or is it moving along just as you expect?

My Trip to Imaginairium

I hope everyone has had a good couple of weeks. I thought it was just a week ago that I last posted, and realized I haven’t written anything since the ninth. Shame on me!

I enjoyed my time at Imaginairium, and for those of you who follow my author Instagram, you will have seen my posts. For those of you who don’t, feel free to do so. I don’t post there daily, but I prefer quality over quantity.

We are getting a taste of winter today, complete with blowing snow. It doesn’t make me happy, because so many crops are still out in the field. It’s going to be a tough year for the farmers if they can’t get the harvesting done because of the weather. 

Now, let me backtrack a little and tell you a bit about my trip to Calgary for Wordfest’s Imaginairium. My drive down was mostly uneventful, aside from getting a rock in my windshield which has led to a crack at least twelve inches long, so far. (My glass guy says it’s not fixable, so I will wait and see what happens through the winter. If the crack obstructs my line of vision, I’ll be getting a new windshield sooner than I had anticipated.)

When I got to Calgary I was quite impressed with the fact I didn’t have to rely on my GPS to get to my home-away-from-home. I surprised myself on that one. It has been over a year since I was in Calgary, so I was afraid I wouldn’t remember where my turnoff was.

My first day of Imaginairium was a little stressful, and it started with the public transit driver not being very helpful. Thankfully I had my phone and I utilized my GPS to navigate where I needed to be once I got off the bus. I walked several blocks to the new Central Public Library downtown, and was quite overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. I’m sure our little library would have fit in the main entryway.

My first event was at Memorial Library, which is several blocks away. Even with all of the walking, I still managed to get into the event before my first scheduled one. I was quite pleased about that, because I was ready for a break. Having a pass for the entire week was beneficial.

A neat thing the organizers did this year was to have attendees collect beads from each event. Apparently it was the first year to try it, and I think it was well-received. I enjoyed being able to add a bead to my bracelet at the beginning of each event I attended. Each was different, and there was one special author bead in each bag. I didn’t get any of the special ones, but for those who did it would have been quite exciting.

For me the most memorable event was the one by author Michael Christie when he talked about his latest book Greenwood. It spans over four generations, and talks about trees, family roots and climate change. I have yet to read it, but have my very own autographed copy for when I am able to sit down with it. I briefly spoke with Michael while he was signing it for me, and he is a down-to-earth gentleman. I wish him all the best with his books.

In addition to me attending several of the events, I also took some time to go to Cross Iron Mills. I started at one end where I bought myself some new walking shoes, and ended at the other end where I spent well over an hour in the Indigo bookstore. I ended up leaving there with five books; one of them being the Writer’s Guide to Character Traits Second Edition. It will come in handy when I’m writing my stories.

I highly recommend attending an event such as Wordfest’s Imaginairium to writers and readers alike. For me it was a step outside of my comfort zone, but I am happy with my decision. Perhaps one day I will be in front of the room telling the audience about my books.

Photo Credit: Diane Ziomek
I took this after the event. Note the beads on the bracelet (his is the first from the left); I did add a few from additional events.

With all that being said, I’m gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, which begins November 1st. I have a basic plot figured out, but my characters will need to help me out with my story. It’s going to be a busy month with working, writing and getting ready for our local Christmas Extravaganza Craft Market.

Have a great week!

Diane