Sharing My Financial Setback

| May 17, 2011
NJFM Daily Income

Daily Residual Income Progression

I want to share with you my financial set back as a result of the Google panda algorithm and the eHow WCP closure.

Before everything changed I was getting extremely close to my first mini goal of earning $3,000 a month in residual income. Prior to the eHow WC P closure, my last monthly residual income figure was $2,799.55. That was up from $2,412.11 the month before.

I was so close to my goal that I could taste it. After the eHow WCP closure and the Google algorithm changes, my monthly residual income dropped to $1,338.67 Ouch!

It’s All Good

I signed a nondisclosure agreement so I will not share the amount of my WCP payout. Suffice it to say that I was pleased with it.

Now back to the drawing board. The good thing is that over the past few years I learned a lot about online freelance writing. It’s now up to me to take what I learned, apply it and make up the gap of my financial loss.

Old Habits and Old Crutches

My first thought was to write an occasional Demand Media Studio article at $18.50 each. After a few of those I realized that was a big mistake. I needed to have a little talk with myself to remind me of my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal is to live 100% off of residual income. I won’t reach that goal if I continue to spend my time writing for DMS.

Last month I created a game plan and started working on it. Between creating new blogs and writing more residual content I’m already seeing some results. My earnings are $80 higher now than they were this time last month.

Dealing with Setbacks

A $1,400 drop in monthly residual income can be considered a setback. I choose to look at it as a challenge. The first part of the challenge is to make up the $1,400 and then some. The second part of the challenge is to insulate my earnings in such a fashion that if wild Pandas go on another rampage, my income won’t be so severely affected. That means diversification.

Every Clould has a Silver LiningDiversification means more than just content site versus my own site. It’s more than Google AdSense versus affiliate sales. It’s even more than online versus offline writing. Currently I’m thinking out of the box to come up with a few non traditional methods of earning money as a freelance writer. Once my ideas are fully fleshed out, I’ll share them in a later post.

It’s up to you to take control of your financial future. Another quote I’m fond of saying is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can mix and match some or all of the various income models. The more diversified you are, the more insulation you’ll have around your income.

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Category: Earning Money

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 (13)

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  1. Joni says:

    Felicia,
    You are a wonderful example of taking bad news and refocusing it. I am so residual income illiterate. I am going to ask a very stupid question, so please forgive. What exactly is “Panda”? The only place I have heard of Panda is a survey place I use to use. I am about to start working on residual income and I think I need to know some of these terms I’ve been heard banding about. In addition, I wrote two articles for DS and am working on rewrites for both; over STUPID things. I’ve been lucky lately and have had CE’s that makes sense. Anyway….Panda…is what exactly?
    Thank you,
    Joni

    • Felicia says:

      Panda is the name given to a Google algorithm change that affected several content sites negatively.

      I’ve written a few posts here about Panda here, but you’ll find a ton of information if you type “Google Panda” in any search engine.

  2. It was a set back for me too! Thank you for sharing.
    Mandy Robinson recently posted…Purchasing Coupons OnlineMy Profile

  3. All great points, Felicia. As tough as it is to see the monthly income drop, a bar graph showing your income by year will surely have 2011 towering above the others. It may have been a lump payment from Demand, but it WAS residual income.

    I’ve kept this in mind as I restructure my own residual income post-WCP closure. I plan to work as hard as I am able to build back up to my $5k/ month highs within a year to 18 months.

    There are so many ways to earn residual income, both online and off, as a writer and in other capacities. It’s all part of the adventure!
    Maria (WriterGig) recently posted…Niche Site Profits April 2011My Profile

  4. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Felicia, and can I just say that I love your positive attitude. It is an inspiration. Your blog is very helpful and informative.

  5. Bill Swan says:

    Just today Bright Hub sent out notice of a pay increase. Both good and bad came from that. Good is that they are raising the money. Bad is that they are also raising the bar for both new and old articles. So if you want to write for them you have to update your old work already paid for or be banned from claiming new work.

    The reason I mention this is that this month I pulled back from writing for both BH and Demand. I’m also debating if I should continue my plan to build more around Triond. Then there’s my old work on Suite and AC/Yahoo.

    The question is this – do you let old work go or try to build off it on the attempt to move forward?
    Bill Swan recently posted…Demand Media BurnoutMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Bill, I have an attitude of write it and forget it. If I happen to come across one of my articles and it needs updating, I update it, but I don’t usually go back and look at my work. That’s why I prefer having my articles dated so the reader can see how up to date or out of date the article is.

      Over the years you may find it impossible to update everything. I had over 300 eHow articles (which are not mine any longer), 270 Suite articles, at least 1,000 articles/posts on my own sites and many other articles sprinkled around the internet. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t update old work, it would take me forever.

      Sometimes when writing about a topic, I may link to an old related article, but that’s about as far back as I go with my writing. I find it’s difficult to move forward if I keep going back.

  6. Diane says:

    Felicia,

    I’m sorry that your income took such a hit. My income was virtually wiped out on Hubpages. I removed the articles to put elsewhere (still looking for a good place).

    Google Panda was the impetus to strike out on my own. I am nowhere near where you are but I do appreciate that you share what works and what doesn’t.

    I believe that I read on a previous post that you have about 2 dozen sites. I started my first site in March but it is only earning sporadically. I was afraid to do article marketing because of Panda. I don’t have a facebook or twitter account, so its been basically the church bulletin and word of mouth. Would you mind sharing how you market your sites? Nothing that you don’t want to share – I am not someone to pry where I’m not welcome.

    • Felicia says:

      Diane, don’t let your knee-jerk reaction to Panda hurt your chances for earning. I understand why you removed your articles from HubPages, but until you find a new home it’s impossible for them to earn anything for you. You might want to let them sit on HubPages until you find a suitable home for them.

      I have to ask; why are you “afraid to do article marketing because of Panda?” In my last post, which pretty much sums up my marketing techniques, I shared how I submitted articles to content sites post Panda.

      In less than one week, I received 464 page views on the article posted on Associated Content. Of those 464 page views, a large number of readers ended up on my blog. I don’t have the exact numbers but it was well over 50% of the page views resulted in hits to my blog.

      You have to keep in mind that the Google changes are not personal. Don’t allow your annoyance at Panda hurt your income earning potential. Additionally, you’re going to have to kick fear to the curb if you really want to earn money freelance writing online.

      Here’s a post I wrote over 2 years ago. Take a look at item #6. It might help you with the fear issue.

      • Diane says:

        I just read the posts you mentioned – thank you. I missed your last one when it came out — I’ve been sorting, tossing and packing to move next week.

        I’m going to write the articles tonight and post them on the sites where I am signed up. I’m also going to update my profile on these sites.

        I guess I was afraid because I don’t have any advertising other than Adsense. So this is another area where I need to expand.

        Thank you so much for your help.

  7. Lala says:

    I want thank you so much for all the information you put out there for us. It has helped me organize and focus my energy. I’m new to having my own blog and doing some freelance but so far I’m enjoying myself and your information is so useful.

    Thanks for always seeming so positive! Good luck with your goals.

  8. Deanna says:

    Felicia,

    Sorry to hear about the drop in income, however it doesn’t surprise me since we write for many of the same places and my income dropped 50% since Panda. Like you, I’m looking at my options and working on new ways to build up my income again, some residual and some up-front pay. We can’t control what companies do, so all we can do is continue to move forward and not look back. 🙂
    Deanna recently posted…Freelance Writing Opportunities for Online MagazinesMy Profile

  9. kidgas says:

    Felicia,
    Thanks for sharing. It is a shame that the setback occurred but good that you have responded so positively. I would have expected no less. At the current rate, I would expect you to make up for that lost income in about a year, although wouldn’t be surprised if it is less time than that.

    I have seen my income take about a 1 year backward step, but suspect that in another year I will be past where I was anyway. Two steps forward and one step back still translates to progress.
    kidgas recently posted…My First Guest PostMy Profile