Case Studies December 20, 2017 Meet Amanda, an online writer and family travel blogger at hotmamatravel.com has been working towards building an online business since 2012. Check out her interview below…1. Please introduce yourself. Hi there! My name is Amanda, an Orange County California native, a travel/lifestyle writer, bartender and family travel blogger. I married my high school sweetheart and we have two kids with our third on the way! 2. When did you start working from home? What inspired the change? I started trying to work from home in 2012 after I had my second child. The restaurant I worked for closed and I was looking to bring income in without having to take too much time away from my family. 3. What different ways have you tried to earn an income working from home? What do you do now to earn money? I have tried earning an income at home through freelance writing and starting my own blog. Although I enjoy writing for other outlets, most of my energy is spent trying to turn my blog into a money making business. 4. How long did it take you to earn enough money to quit your day job? I still don’t earn enough to quit my day job, or in my case, my night job of bartending. I have two kids and a third on the way, and choose to live in an expensive area of the globe, so I have to keep up the hustle. However, my blog is growing and I am hoping to accomplish the goal of making enough to quit bartending and travel more this year. 5. How much do you earn in an average month now? I don’t make consistent income yet. On average I make close to $1000 a month, if you add up freelance writing gigs, sponsored posts and ads on my blog. That is another goal this year – to be consistent enough with passive income. 6. What tips would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started working at home? I would have invested in learning about SEO and keywords before even starting my blog. I treated my blog like a hobby and really had no idea how to make blogging a business. This lack of knowledge stunted my growth for too many years. 7. What has been the secret to your success? The secret to my impending success and my recent growth has been investing in good advice and technical help from trusted sources. I have been taking courses and attending conferences, which have helped me learn so much. 8. What mistakes have you made along the way? The mistakes I have made along the way were wasting too much time trying to learn on my own without paying for professional assistance. When building my blog I didn’t know anything about SEO, keywords, site speed or the need for back links. This lack of knowledge prevented my blog from earning the income I needed to quit my night job and now too often I find myself in catch-up or fix-it mode, when I should have done it right the first time. 9. What is the best part about working from home? The best part about working from home is that I am available for my kids. I don’t have to miss school events. I get to drop them off and pick them up every day. If they are sick, I can be there for them. They grow too fast, and I don’t want to miss a thing. Working from home will allow me to take advantage of this precious time. I also have the freedom to travel, which in turn gives me more material for writing jobs and my blog and I hope it becomes a strong positive feedback loop. 10. What is the worst part about working from home? The worst part about working from home is making everyone realize that you are working. Unfortunately, when people know you are home they think you are free to be interrupted for even the smallest reasons. I have to consistently remind people that just because you can see me, it doesn’t mean I am available to chit-chat, fix things, run errands or live in the kitchen. If my kids are home, they just don’t care if mama has a deadline. Another part that can be hard about working from home is isolation, especially for a social person. I am a bartender as well and that job requires me to talk to people all night long. Although the work is hard, it is refreshing to have good conversions. When working from home it is important to break up the week with some socialisation with friends and family. 11. What advice do you have for anyone starting out? When starting out, learn as much as you can first. Find successful people doing what you want to do and ask for advice. If they offer a course to help you get on the right foot, invest. Also conferences really help you learn tricks of the trade, network with others in your industry and help motivate you to keep going. Amanda Keeley-Thurman is a freelance travel/lifestyle writer, bartender and founder and creator of hotmamatravel.com. We are unique as a multi-generational traveling family that sees value in taking our young children to literally any place they are allowed, including historic torture chambers in Scotland and bars and pubs all across America. We call it family travel with a twist. Be sure to follow along on Facebook for live travel updates.