Tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m Martine de Luna. I’m a 30-something copywriter, and owner of the blog Dainty Mom, a lifestyle and resource blog for women who love to blog and work from home. Through the blog, I also offer writing services, website consulting and selected design services. My clients are mostly women-owned small businesses and women bloggers.
What motivated or inspired you to launch your business?
When I had my son, I wanted to breastfeed him exclusively. That’s really why I wanted to find a work from home job. I started off by taking writing jobs from job boards like Craiglist and oDesk, which offered supplemental income for me while I worked on transitioning from my full-time job to a homebased one. My son was 8 months old when I cut the employee umbilical and went on my own, taking freelance writing clients from small businesses as well as major advertising companies.
Around the time my son turned 18 months, I realized I could start offering various services through the blog. And so, I did! The response was amazing: Regular clients hired me on retainer, and my blog evolved into a platform for other moms and women in business to promote themselves affordably, whether it’s through ads, my Biz List, or through a featured post. (Thanks to my home-based business, I was able to breastfeed my son for two and a half years. He weaned last June, but now, my motivation to homeschool him still keeps me pumped to grow and thrive in my business.)
What helps your business, its products or services stand apart from those in your niche?
I think my background in publishing and print media has been instrumental to my business. Planning and conceptualizing a magazine or newsletter is a lot like planning and conceptualizing a website, I’ve discovered. I had 17 years worth of experience in the publishing and editorial field, before I started offering freelance writing services. During this time, I also learned how to create scripts for events, even co-produce videos for small companies. I was also exposed to a lot of creative writing during the time I taught English and Language Arts at a tutorial school, which was my job prior to my work-at-home freelance business.
What does a typical “WAHM” day look like for you?
We just started our “sorta homeschool” routine this September, so upon waking, my son and I pray together, and have breakfast together while I check social media, mark my emails for later reading. (My husband wakes up later than we do!) Then we do a small routine of reading, playing a matching/sorting/pattern game, doing some pretend/imaginative play, and a bit of writing practice. (Of course, that means scribbling for my son.) This goes on for about 30-45 minutes, after which he plays on his own while I get started on my work at around 9:30. From then until 11, I’m replying to clients, and monitoring social media for other clients.
I make lunch and dinner from scratch every day, because we like to eat fresh food. (At times, I’ll cook in bulk, though.) After lunch, I go back to work for another 3 or so hours, and I schedule blog posts, too. On some days, we go out as a family, for lunch or to take our son to the activity center like Gymboree, or to visit our families. I always make dinner on weekdays. I put my son to bed around 8:30-9:00 PM, after which I have a little “me” time catching up on my favorite TV show downloads.
What do you think are the major challenges a work-at-home woman faces? How do you think one can deal with them?
For me, it’s been maintaining discipline. I scrambled a lot in the early days of the business, not knowing how to effectively manage several clients at a time. That, added to the concerns of a growing child and household, can get you a bit stir-crazy! I needed a bit of “WAHM Zen,” if you know what I mean!
For me, what helped the most was mentorship with work at home experts. The Mom Writes, of course, has been a beacon to me, especially the eBook, How to Be Work at Home Mom. I also availed of paid coaching, which was the best investment I made! These people and resources aided me in crafting a work at home pace and load that I could manage well. Hiring household help was also instrumental: I now have more time for clients, because I delegate the rigorous household duties to our cleaning lady.
What’s next on the plate for your business?
I’ve started offering work at home consulting, but on a limited basis. What I’m really working on is applying the principles I’ve learned from online courses and mentoring sessions. This is why I’ve started offering services as an offshoot to my online services.
A product of these sessions is my local workshop series here in Manila, called the “WAHMderful Workshops.” The first will be on October 27, which I’ve organized to be a “Work at Home Moms 101.” It will be a hands-on workshop on how to be a WAHM here in our country. I’m already planning the 2nd workshop for the 1st quarter of 2013.
By January of 2013, I’ll also be launching a new blog for “work at homemakers,” which is a term I coined during my blogging journey. It’s the foundation of this philosophy I have that a woman can make a living while making a home, so this site will be geared towards WAHM support, networking with other WAHMs, advertising, and business resources.
Connect with Martine at:
Aspiring to be a work-at-home mom, like Martine ? Or are you a WAHM seeking a better work-life balance, more clientsor increased productivity? Grab a copy of How to be a Work-at-Home Mom: The Happily Ever After Guide to Leading the WAHM Life, a 70-page guide to walk you through everything you need to rock being a work-at-home mom!
Top photo credit: Free Digital Photos