I Liked January, 2010…Sort Of

| February 2, 2010

Things seem to be turning around on the residual income front. I’m back on track for hitting the $2,000 residual income mark (haven’t hit it yet, but it’s getting closer).

I owe most of my income turnaround to eHow and Suite 101. They had to compensate for my dropping AdSense numbers. Those blasted AdSense numbers just seem to be forever slipping. It’s a good thing that I use Infolinks and Chitika.

Monthly Resolution

Since January is over, it’s time for me to make my next month’s resolution. I’m learning to stay away from New Year resolutions because a year has way too many days for me to make way too many excuses. It’s harder for me to make as many excuses in a month.

In January I set out to write 85 articles distributed over the several sites I write for. I managed to exceed my goal. Don’t get too impressed, instead of writing 85, I wrote 86 articles (20 of them don’t really count because they were for Demand Studios).

On to the Next

Now that February has rolled around, I’m looking at my January resolutions, modifying them based on my income chart and am formulating my February resolutions. I’m taking into consideration that there are fewer days in February and that my daughter has a pretty mean competition schedule this month so I’ve got to keep my resolutions realistic.

I’ve been guilty of setting unrealistic goals and then beating myself up for not reaching them. That’s a good recipe for failure. Having learned the hard way, I’m now kinder to myself. My goals are challenging, but realistic.

Small Steps

If I continue at this rate, by the end of the year, I should have a nice bank of articles online. Even if half of them are duds, I should still see a nice increase in my residual earnings. I just have to take small monthly steps.

How are your resolutions coming along?

(BTW, just curious, do you track how many articles you’ve written each month or do you just keep writing, figuring that if you throw enough out there something will click?)

Tags: , ,

Category: AdSense, Affiliates, Earning Money, Monetize, Motivation, Residual Income

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (30)

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  1. Ignatius says:

    Felicia,
    I’m with you on Chitika. I dropped it, too. I was only getting one cent clicks. It takes an awful lot of those to add up to any reasonable amount of money. They seem to have changed to a model that targets sites with major amounts of traffic. It doesn’t seem to work well for smaller niche sites. Adsense and Infolinks do much, much better for me.

  2. Thanks Felicia! I just get worried because Google is strict about their TOS. Turns out Chitika is changing the format, so they said they are not currently accepting any more applications at this time. So, that works out good then! I will stick with the infolinks and Google! OH, FYI for your readers, Amazon does not allow people in Colorado (and a couple other states) to use them as an affiliate – some tax thing… so I am out of luck on that! 🙁

    Thanks!

    Julie
    Julie-Inspired to Write recently posted…Lessons Learned from Purchasing the Thesis ThemeMy Profile

  3. Felicia,

    I am curious about Infolinks and Chikita. Can you have infolinks and not violate Google Adsense? Any thoughts on the most efficient ads to put on site?
    Julie-Inspired to Write recently posted…Making the Plunge Switching from Blogger to WordPressMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Hey Julie,

      Infolinks and Chitika do not violate Google AdSense TOS. I’ve found Infolinks to be much more profitable lately than Chitika. Chitika changed the way they categorize their sites and I’ve found that my income has all but stopped.

      Instead, I’ve replaced Chitika with Amazon ads until I find a more suitable ad company. I’ve tried AdBrite and AdMarketplace but they don’t perform well on my sites. I’ve found that Google AdSense work the best and Infolinks comes in second. If I come across something else that seems to work well, I’ll let you know.

  4. Matt Duffield says:

    Hey Felicia,
    Thanks for the great response. I know exactly what you mean, life does get in the way. I plan to chip away at it day by day, and hopefully I will reach my goal.

    I will definitely take your advice on doing some keyword research. Unfortunately, I never do this and I assume you mean search for high paying keywords and write on these topics?

    You’re right, Examiner has definitely proven to be pretty lousy for producing residual income. The other day I wrote my 100th article and earned over $13 in one day so that was really promising.

    I plan to keep writing at eHow, and I might check out Suite 101. It seems many writers have great success there, and average a whole lot more there compared to other writing sites. Thanks for following, I will be following your progress as well and will add you to my list of residual income blogs on my site.
    .-= Matt Duffield´s last blog ..Does The Examiner Give Out Cash Bonuses? =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Matt,

      Keyword search is a little more than finding the high paying keywords. Sometimes the competition for high paying keywords is so stiff that it’s tough to get a high ranking in the search results.

      Keyword search is a combination of finding adequately paying keywords with just enough search engine requests and results that will give your articles a chance of ranking on the first page of results. Finding the right combination is the key. It takes some trial and error until you get the hang of it (I’m still trying to get the hang of it).

      Edited: Check out the Moneyword Matrix. I found this matrix quite some time ago and use it (when I remember) to help me determine which keywords to use.

  5. Matt Duffield says:

    I’m really impressed with your residual income success. Congrats Felicia! Almost $2,000 in monthly residuals is amazing. I’m shooting for $100 per day with my Residual Income Challenge. I have a long way to go, but it’s nice to see others who are making these lofty goals a reality. What are your top 3 residual income producing sites?
    .-= Matt Duffield´s last blog ..Does The Examiner Give Out Cash Bonuses? =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Hi Matt and welcome to NJFM.

      I stopped by your blog and find it interesting and inspiring. The trick to earning $100 per day is to stick with it. Sometimes life gets in the way, and when it does, go with the flow. I’m not at the $100 per day every day as yet, but I’m working on it.

      My top income producing sites are my own sites/blogs, Suite 101 and eHow. My own sites/blogs were in the number one spot until Google made some changes. Thankfully, Google AdSense isn’t my only source of residual income on my sites.

      I see your challenge is to earn $100 per day in 760 days. If you truly want to accomplish that you will have to make stellar site choices and let SEO work for you. I see you already understand that you’ll have to produce a large quantity of articles, but to make the most of your limited time since you still have a full-time job, spend time with SEO and keyword searching and writing for the sites that will give you the most bang for your buck.

      For example, with 97 articles on Examiner in the month of January you earned $13.91. However, with half the amount of articles (47) you earned more ($14.51) on eHow. That tells me that you should spend more time and effort on eHow rather than Examiner if you want to reach your goals in 760 days. While Examiner may work out for you, eHow seems to be a quicker way to reach your goals.

      I’ve been at this stuff for awhile. My first year doing this was all about learning and making a ton of mistakes. I still make mistakes (and share them here on my blog). If you can get your strategy down right early on, I believe you’ll achieve your goals.

      Hmmm, maybe I should take my own advice… 🙂

      I’ll be following your progress.

  6. shannon says:

    Wow. I’m so glad to have found your site! i’m sure I’ll learn a lot. I’m interested in your mention of infolinks. Is that something we can add to eHow articles? I’ll have to research some more.

    off to dig around in this site!!
    .-= shannon´s last blog ..Beautiful Bakelite =-.

  7. Trent says:

    Felicia —

    Thank you for this informative site. I discovered this blog when I first started writing online in November, and your generosity and specific details helped me select and start working for DS, Textbroker, and Quality Gal.

    “I’m learning to stay away from New Year resolutions because a year has way too many days for me to make way too many excuses. It’s harder for me to make as many excuses in a month.”

    This helped lighten up my morning. I dived into full-time freelancing at the end of November and these first few weeks have been all about learning and increasing my output. I set my goals by the day and by the week, and am just reaching the point where I can look at a larger plan.

    I track both productivity and income. I have a datebook on my desk open to the current week and I write in the client and the number of submitted articles per day. I write in each payment received, and total both for each week.
    Due to needing immediate income I’ve been writing 3-5 DS articles a day.

    Yesterday I started at SEED and submitted 3 tips there and drafted two articles.

    I liked the editor at Quality Gal, but the titles I tried there were far too time-consuming. It may work better for people more experienced with online writing.

    Today I’m deciding where to post some completed content for my residual income experiment, so I came back to your site because you have created such a good resource here. Thanks for all the guidance and for your sense of humor.

    Best, Trent

  8. Congrats on getting closer to your residual income goal, Felicia! You know as soon as you reach it you’ll have another. 😉 I make goals, such as the number of pages I want to write for my websites, but often my time constraints mean that I’m happy just to get something written in any given day.
    .-= Maria (WriterGig)´s last blog ..What Makes a $1,000+ eHow Article? =-.

  9. Crystal says:

    I’m impressed, Felicia. If only I could discipline myself to crank out half that many articles . . .

    I love the idea of monthly resolutions! Thanks for sharing. I was moving right along in Jan and then the 31st rolled around and I was unexpectedly called away from home and just returned and am having a horrible time getting focused again:(

    Nice to hear your residual income is getting back on track. You are truly an inspiration to us all!
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..The Joys of Being "Retired" =-.

  10. Kidgas says:

    Felicia,
    Congrats on getting 86 articles completed and on an improve residual income. What type of competition schedule does your daughter have? I have 4 kids in gymnastics and let me tell you about schedules.

    We are in Las Vegas this weekend. Next weekend, my wife will go to San Francisco with one boy, I will be in Ohio with the other, and the two girls will be competing in Indianapolis. That is brutal (If I do have to say so myself)!
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Advertising My Blog =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Kidgas, my daughter’s schedule is nowhere as intense as the one you have with your kids. Wow, you’re really all over the place.

      Our competitions are local, but just far enough to have to drive for a couple of hours. 🙂

  11. Mandy Harris says:

    Thanks for sharing your working strategy with us. I am always curious to know how others work writing into their lives.

    I keep a spreadsheet with my goals. I track how much time I spend writing and how productive – in terms of finished pieces – that writing is.

    After reading the comments here, I am going start a database of my online articles. I know how to use Access well, but I try to stay away from databases because they are so time-consuming to create.

    I think I will create it to track sites, articles, promotion, income, and page views. Can you think of anything else that is essential to track?

    January was spent taming my time management. Scheduling housework, holding the kids accountable for chores, etc., to free up more of my days to write. My goal is to churn out articles faster and streamline my other tasks that, while not a priority compared to writing, just can’t go undone. Oh, yeah, and not spend so much time in my Google Reader. 🙂

    I find that the more I track things, the better I do.

    • Felicia says:

      I wish I took the time to learn Access years ago, but I just never did. I agree with you, it is time consuming building the database, but after its done, its a great tool.

      Sounds like you’ve listed all of the necessities to track. I used to track page views, but I found it to be too time consuming. I now defer to my stat tracking sites such as Sitemeter, Statcounter and Google Analytics for my own blogs/sites and track income only for content sites. While I do pay attention to the traffic, I tend not to include it in my spreadsheet.

  12. Samantha says:

    Felicia, I didn’t used to promote my articles. Now whenever I write a new one I take the extra minute to write a short blurb on Xomba (per your advice – thank you!). For my new blog, I’ve been promoting it through BlogEngage. Between both of these methods (and one other site), in 5 days I was actually able to get my brand new blog into the first page of the Google results for some very short-tailed keywords. For some of those keywords, I’m just a few entries below you! 😉
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Competing for Wages on Elance =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Congrats to you! You seem to be doing very well.

      I’m always amazed when this blog ranks anywhere on any of the search engines because I don’t employ SEO here. This blog is my soft place to land where things like keywords, SEO and key phrases happen only by accident.

      Keep up the good work!!

  13. Samantha says:

    I always seem to be making resolutions at the beginning of every month just to break them halfway through.

    Over the last couple of months I’ve found myself moving away from DS and spending more time investigating residual income sites. I’m not terribly impressed with how it’s going, but it is a nice break from writing articles for full rights with little ROI.

    One of the things that I’m finding is that I’m getting great traffic for having articles so new to the web but I’m seeing little in the way financial return. I’ve been combining an approach of writing content on my own blog as well as articles on rev share sites and promoting all of my articles.

    I’m going to stick with it for another month or 2, crossing my fingers
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Competing for Wages on Elance =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Samantha, stick with it.

      You’re doing exactly what I did and am currently doing. I write for a few content sites, my own blog/sites and on occasion Demand Studios.

      The one thing I am guilty of, however, is not promoting my articles. I usually write them and forget about them. On occasion when I remember, I do some promoting, but I think I fall short in that area.

      Residual income takes a while before it starts coming in steadily, but it does come in. Stick with it and keep track of your stats.

  14. TYG says:

    Hi!
    I came across your blog searching for online writing jobs. I am a recent graduate (Dec. 2009) with a degree in journalism. I was fired from Demand Studios a few days ago, and I am in desperate need of a job. Could you fill me in on other online writing jobs that I could apply for? I know about Suite101 and eHow, but I do not know of any others!
    Thanks for your help!

    • Felicia says:

      TYG, sorry to hear about your experience with DS.

      Check out the NJFM Database. I list writing sites there. Additionally, check out a few of the posts here. Many of my readers share their knowledge and experience.

  15. Krista says:

    I don’t track anything except overall earnings per month. I am pretty new to this but I love watching my Suite101 earnings increase every month!

    • Felicia says:

      Hey Krista,

      You’ll find that tracking your work now will help you to hone in on what works (and what doesn’t) later so that you’ll be able to adjust your writing accordingly.

      Glad things are going well with you on Suite. It will prove to be lucrative if you stick with it.

  16. One of my sites went down this month. Life123 quit accepting articles although they claim they will pay out the $20 for each article you have in the system.

    We will see if that happens.

    I kinda knew it was to good to be true and would have preferred they went the Ehow model from the get go.

  17. Netlexis says:

    I have a couple methods I use for tracking my rev share articles. First, I keep an excel spreadsheet — a worksheet for each site with dates and titles (nothing fancy). Then, I use a whiteboard for visual motivation. All the site totals are in grids and I have a monthly total and an overall total.

    I thinking about starting a database for my articles so that keep better track and attach the articles. I use SharePoint at work (that other life – sigh) and it’s pretty good content management system.
    .-= Netlexis´s last blog ..Earn Money Writing: Your eHow Articles Could Be Worth $300,000 =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Netlexis, that sounds a lot like what I do.

      Unfortunately, since I recently painted my office/guest room, I took down my HUGE unsightly white board in favor of a smaller one. I’m not liking the smaller one too much. I’m trying to get used to it.

      As far as a database goes, that makes a lot of sense. I have everything in a multi-page Excel spreadsheet and probably should graduate to a database, but I there’s a learning curve I’d have to undergo. I want something ready made that only needs a few tweaks here and there. I don’t want to build a database from scratch. Something easy to use and cheap.

      I’ve never used SharePoint (or heard of it until your comment), but it looks expensive.

  18. DeAnna says:

    Hi Felicia,

    Happy to hear you had a good January and that you are back on track with your residual earnings. I’m no where near $2000 a month and am not sure I ever will be. I’d like to hit around $1000 a month, but that will take a lot more writing than I am doing now. Since I am also working on finishing a novel right now, my article writing has slowed down and I feel lucky if I write one or two articles each week for two or three sites. By summer, I hope to be able to add many more articles to eHow and Suite101. Good luck reaching your goal.
    .-= DeAnna´s last blog ..Life123 Writer’s Program Ending =-.