Digging Out of the Snow

| March 1, 2010

I’m back…finally.

I’ve had enough of this indoor camping stuff and I’m glad to be back online.

Actually, it really wasn’t that bad. We have a couple of generators so we had lights and I was able to run the portable heaters (I bought the heaters a little while ago when I thought I had let the oil tank get to low only to find out that I really had a quarter of a tank …but that’s off topic).  With the fireplace and the heaters, we were pretty warm and cozy.

The worst part of the whole ordeal was that the cable company was down too. No cable company…no internet. Thankfully, Barnes and Noble offers free WiFi so we were able to get our internet fix there.

Apparently there are a lot of internet junkies in my town because the place was packed with folks hunched over laptops. It was amazing. All of the chairs and tables were taken as were the step stools. Fortunately, there was plenty of floor space so some of us sat on the floor, opened our laptops and got our internet fix.

Benefits of Residual Income

This snow ordeal made me realize that my decision to concentrate on residual income was a good move for two reasons:

  1. Whether or not I had power or internet access, I was still earning money.
  2. My stress level was low because I wasn’t concerned about meeting a writing deadline.

Lessons Learned

My hubby and I sat down and wrote a list of things that would have made our ordeal even more comfortable. You see, we’ve lived in this area for many years and have suffered through several blackouts. Each time we do, we learn a little more and the next power outage is less painful. I’ve got to say that we really were pretty comfortable this go ‘round.

Similarly, I sat down and looked at my freelance writing and asked myself what I would do differently if I had known that I would not have internet access for a long period of time. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Write a few extra articles for Suite 101 so that I wouldn’t cut the minimum requirement so close.
  2. Notify my NJFM readers that I might not be available for a while.

Now that I’ve got power and internet access, it’s time for me to get back to adding more online content (and writing that ebook that I’ve been threatening to finish).

Tags: ,

Category: Freelance, Motivation, Self Employed, Working from Home, Writing

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 (12)

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  1. LilyRose says:

    It’s all yours, Felicia! 😉

  2. LilyRose says:

    Felicia & Ignatius, great information, thank you! I never even thought of some of the things you both said.

    Well, as it turns out, my boyfriend couldn’t take me whining anymore and made me add up the first 7 days of Feb. compared to March. And I’m only $1.51 under, so that’s not so bad 🙂

    Next time around, I won’t get so down on myself. I had a financial goal for this month, I think that’s why I took it so hard. Now I’m realizing to ride thru the lows and appreciate the highs!

    • Felicia says:

      Your boyfriend is a wise man. Sometimes you have to see where you’ve been in order to appreciate where you are. $1.51 isn’t so bad at all. I’m sure you’ll make it up before the month is out.

      Seems like you learned a valuable lesson in the world of freelance writing. I couldn’t have said it better myself: “…ride thru the lows and appreciate the highs!”

      I think I might borrow that phrase from time to time. 😉

  3. Ignatius says:

    Sometimes the search volume trends aren’t as predictable as we think they should be. To create an example for this little comment, I just put “heart shaped charm” into a keyword tool because I thought it would be very seasonal with the highest search volume in February and December. Guess what? I was right about December, but the Valentine’s Day search traffic wasn’t impressive. February is just average. May is the second best month.

    In Felicia’s area of expertise in the insurance industry, a large number of keywords on auto insurance rock the house from March through July and then dip drastically the rest of the year. I have no idea why that would be the case.

    Several term life insurance keywords had huge peaks in search queries last October, others did not. Maybe some major website had an article that used those terms or maybe Halloween or some event made some folks consider their mortality and they all picked the same search terms :).

    So, LilyRose, I wouldn’t be too concerned about dips in your earnings. Dips and peaks are normal and somewhat unpredictable for a lot of keywords. In addition to search trends, dips can also come from new competitors for your article on other websites and changes in Google’s formula for picking the winners in the search engine derby. Getting a lot of articles out there is probably the most effective way to level things out.

  4. LilyRose says:

    Thanks for the post, Felicia. Glad to hear you’re all dug out 🙂

    Just a question, I was wondering if you’re experiencing horrible revenues for Suite the past 4 days – from Thursday, March 4 to today Sunday the 7th?

    I’m curious bc my revenues have been deplorable and same w/ many writers on Suite – via the writers forum. Even the big earners aren’t doing well. Also, I’m curious as to why this is happening – if you have any ideas?

    Thanks so much!

    • Felicia says:

      Hi LilyRose,

      I can’t say that I’ve experienced unusually low revenues with Suite during that period of time. One day was a bit lower than usual, but not enough to cause alarm. I’ve found in my years of writing for Suite that I never assume the numbers will remain constant. As a matter of fact, I find more fluctuation in my revenue there than I do with eHow. I’ve had monthly drops anywhere from $50 in a month to $130 in a given month with Suite.

      I tend to write evergreen articles so I’m not sure why my income takes a hit from time to time. One thing I’ve learned about online writing and residual income is that the one thing you can be sure of is uncertainty. That’s why it’s so important to build up a base of articles on more than one site.

  5. Oh wow! I’m glad you were able to stay warm with a fireplace and generators. The snow has been awful here as well, and I have terrible cabin fever. Here’s to an early spring!!
    .-= Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet´s last blog ..February Earnings Update =-.

  6. Hey,

    Definitely agree with both of your main points. Lack of stress is great, especially when the money keeps on coming in. One of the main reasons I’ve set up some huge writing goals for myself this month is to get some extra income in the bank, and to push the passive sources to get that income up, as well. Good post!
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..Ridiculously Ambitious Writing Goals: They Can Help You, Too =-.

  7. Crystal says:

    Hey Felicia – When posting comments, I notice that the number validation thing is gone. Seems it happened sometime during your absence due to the storm, or maybe shortly before. Was this intentional on your part? Just thought I’d bring it to your attention in case it’s a glitch or something.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Another Great Resource for Entrepreneurs! =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Crystal, I removed the verification for a little while. I was having a problem with duplicate posts and I think the CAPTCHA was the culprit.

  8. Kidgas says:

    Welcome back. Glad to hear that you had light and heat.

    I don’t depend on writing for any component of living expense so at least I don’t have to worry about that.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Maddie (and Ladybird) Lay Down the Gauntlet =-.

  9. Crystal says:

    Good to see you back, Felicia! Glad you weren’t powerless while you were powerless:) Good point on being ahead on the mandatory writing for S101.

    I too am reevaluating how I’m spending my writing time and energy as my residual pursuits are suffering in favor of up-front pay, which for me is much less important. But it’s almost like an addiction so I’m not sure if I should go cold-turkey or wean myself slowly. Hmm.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Great Resource for Entrepreneurs! =-.