4 ½ Years and 500 Posts to Achieve One Goal

| August 4, 2011

500 Dollar BillIt took 4 ½ years (I left my last part-time job on February 9, 2007 and today is August 4, 2011) and 500 posts later for me to reach one of my goals.

Shortly after taking on line writing seriously one of my early dreams was to become self sufficient. In other words I wanted the majority, if not all of my income to come from my own sites. A former co-worker of mine planted the seed many years ago when he told me about a woman who earned $50,000 a year working from home. Her income source was her website.

He told me that story way before AdSense was around and before I really understood what this Internet thing was. The ads back then were from a company called Double Click. He knew because he worked for Double Click. Now Double Click is doubleclick and owned by Google.

That very same co-worker is the one who took me under his wing and taught me that the internet was nothing to be afraid of and explained the basics of HTML. Once he planted the seed and cultivated it a little, I took off running and haven’t looked back.Compumom - One of My First Sites

Love of Learning

I wouldn’t be doing this stuff if I didn’t absolutely love it. Because I enjoy it so much, I was eager to learn as much as I could about writing and creating online. I learned about content sites, blogs, SEO, search engines, RSS feeds, HTML, CSS, jpg, png, java and more. Early on I spent quite a lot of time on a site called Web Monkey. Web Monkey has changed quite a bit from the old days, but back in the day they had a host of free online tutorials. I think I took every single one of them.

I went to the library to read books but realized the books on my favorite subject matter were out of date. I then spent hours in Barnes & Noble with the latest releases only to jot down URLs from the reference pages to later look them up on the internet.

Creating new websites from scratch was just as much fun as dining at my favorite restaurant. When my family slept, I used to create, learn, experiment and confer with my mentor. My mentor finally admitted that the student had surpassed the teacher.

Love, Time and Money

During my time of learning and experimenting, I “discovered” AdSense. I placed it on one of my sites back in April of 2006. You guys know the 63 cent story so I won’t repeat it here. Just think, I earned money doing something that I truly enjoyed. I had to read the terms of service to see if there was a catch. There was no way on God’s green earth that earning money should be so simple.

Over time as I continued to learn and hone my online writing skills I became more and more comfortable online. It was the one place where I could allow my imagination to run wild and continue to earn money.

To this day, I still continue to experiment and create new sites. Why? Well, because I love doing this stuff and I find that over time it pays well. When I write online, I don’t have to worry about hitting the glass ceiling or playing office politics. I can work when I want, where I want and write what I want.I Love Blogging

It took 4 ½ years (and 500 posts), but I think I can finally redefine myself. Instead of calling myself an online freelance writer (since I rarely write for anyone else), I think I’ve graduated to full-time blogger and part-time author. 500 posts from now (and who knows maybe another 4 ½ years) I’d love to be known as “Felicia A. Williams,  well-known author and part-time blogger.”

The great thing about this online writing stuff is that no one can stop me from making it happen but me.

Where do you see yourself 4 ½ (and 500 posts) from now?

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Category: Blog, Education, Motivation, Self Employed

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 (32)

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  1. Edward G Gordon says:

    If the last few days are anything to go by probably the loony bin lol.

    My dream though is similar to your own but with the emphasis on novel writing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

    4 1/2 years from now, I think I’d like to see myself on the Times bestseller list. That would be cool,
    Edward G Gordon recently posted…Self Publishing A Writers DreamMy Profile

  2. Michael says:

    This post is really inspirational. It can be hard to muster the drive to keep going at first when the money is barely trickling in and the time you spend working to get things off the ground continues to swell. The long view is always better. Thanks for the reminder and motivation.
    Michael recently posted…A Fired Demand Studios Writer Reports on Life in the Demand Studios Writer Development ProgramMy Profile

  3. D. Heath says:

    I loved this post! I agree, it’s all about the long term.
    D. Heath recently posted…What to Do Behind the Scenes to Provide Good Customer ServiceMy Profile

  4. Grandma says:

    Congratulations Felicia! Your work online has inspired and helped many writers.

  5. Wow, Felicia, congrats on 500 posts! Your blog is a wonderful resource and you are an inspiration.
    Maria (WriterGig) recently posted…Welcoming a New BabyMy Profile

  6. Deepika says:

    Many Congratulations for another milestone… keep going and keep inspiring 🙂
    Deepika recently posted…Gelato – A Healthy Ice CreamMy Profile

  7. Deepika says:

    Hi Felicia, I recently came to your site and since then hooked to it, Your E-book is a great help… So Many Thanks to you for this and all other valuable information that you have shared with us.

    I’m am quite new to this blogging scene, Currently I work full time as Software Developer and know very well within that this is certainly not what I want to do rest of my life, I love to write and that is all I have at the moment in name of qualification !! Started a blog too and I’m on and off on it due to my current job pressures.

    Your story and work inspires me to keep trying, already had rejections.. but then as you said “We didn’t learn t to walk in a single day, It took days n months even years of constant practice…”

  8. Angela says:

    Hey, again, Felicia! No, I don’t have your book confused with anybody else’s. Chalk it up to the failings of an aging mind that’s filtering through the adage that everything old is new again. Lol. I could have sworn that the formatting is a little different. Oh, well, I still stand by my assertion that So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer should be the primary go-to for the aspiring online writer. Its quality has stood the test of time.
    Angela recently posted…I BelieveMy Profile

  9. Amanda says:

    This post is so lovely. I love the way you said you were “a full-time blogger and a part-time author.” It’s so liberating.

  10. Gisela says:

    I think it’s amazing what you’ve done! I wish I would’ve kept it up when I was doing it way back when. I missed it and now that I’m doing it again, so much has changed! I made $0.12 today on Helium and got turned down for Demand. Are there any other sites you recommend trying for someone just getting back into the game?
    Gisela recently posted…Freelance Article WritingMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Gisela, that’s a tough question that I get quite often. In the past I would recommend Suite 101 because I had done so well with them. However, things have changed (as you are seeing). My biggest recommendation is to sign up for a few content sites just to get back into the game but more importantly create a few sites of your own. The Panda Google algorithm change seems to be rewarding quality content even more so than quantity of content.

      The content sites have quantity, but the quality isn’t so good. I tried Associated Content recently and had a great ride for the first couple of weeks then things died down. My HubPages is doing OK but I only have 20 or so articles there. My Suite numbers are holding at a very low rate, but I haven’t written there since May or so. I’ve been spending all of my time on my own sites.

      • Gisela says:

        Thanks for the great and honest advice. I have signed up for a few content sites just to get some practice in and a feel for what really sells or draws traffic. I started a few blogger blogs on topics that I’m familiar with and hope to turn them into sites later on when my finances are doing better. I feel like I’d do better with actual sites than blogs, I’m not the greatest at posting often.

        I’m having a lot of fun researching and practicing with new writing styles. It has done me so much good personally to get back into writing and back to feeling like I’ve gotten a piece of myself back. Being able to make money from it is the icing on the cake.
        Gisela recently posted…Freelance Article WritingMy Profile

        • Felicia says:

          Gisela, I hear what you’re saying about a website vs. a blog. However, I’ve got a few of my blogs set up as websites. A couple of years ago I did an experiment where I created a blog that did not allow comments. I posted once a week (and sometimes less).

          It’s sort of a website/blog. That blog is doing pretty well so maybe you can try using the blogging platform as a website.

          I also have a true website (not a blog). As I compare the income and upkeep of both, the blog seems to have the income edge, but just barely.

  11. Ken Muise says:

    4.5 years and 500 posts? Hmmm? Despaired, dirty and kicking around in alley (the numerous attempts to reach me by my family having failed!!)and mumbling…”Felicia, Felicia…I need a job!” LMAO!
    Ken Muise recently posted…A Little Motivation Goes A Long Way With The SEOQuake Tool BarMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Ken, I wish I could wave a magic wand and shorten the time in which it takes to earn steady income. Some folks hit the jackpot right away. It’s quite obvious that I’m not one of those.

      More than this writing stuff, I hope you managed to reach your family. You don’t strike me as a quitter so kick around the alley for a while and then get back to it.

  12. Ignatius says:

    Congratulations, Felicia. You are an inspiration. I have been focusing on places that pay upfront lately and I need to re-focus on my long-term goals. This post is a good reminder. Thanks!

  13. Angela says:

    Felicia, I feel like a lottery winner must feel when he/she hits the jackpot. This is yet another awesome post. I’m so thankful for the day that I stumbled across NJFM. You make everything so easy and clear. You not only teach us how to fish, but every now and then you surprise us by throwing in a fish for a treat. None of us has an excuse to miss the train to success with you as our fearless leader. If we do what you do (tweaked with elements of our personal style) we can make it! You’ve proven that.

    I’m hoping that in 4-1/2 years, if I’ve been diligent, persistent, and consistent, I’ll have a number of my own sites up and running, will have totally replaced my 9 to 5 income, and will be doing what I love, writing, full time. Just the thought of that dream coming to fruition makes me lightheaded with joy.

    S/N: I redownloaded and reread your ebook, So You Want to be a Freelance Writer, last night as a refresher. This is a MUST READ for anyone wanting to generate income by writing online. I didn’t know that you had made a few revisions in the format and content. If it’s all possible, it’s even more awesome than the original draft. Everything just flows with such wonderful symmetry, and the information inside is priceless. Only someone with the most generous and authentic of spirits would share such a vast compendium of information for free.

    Excitedly looking forward to your next post (I know that I’m being greedy, but I just can’t help it – lol).
    Angela recently posted…I BelieveMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      NJFM is doing its job if you are inspired to stick with it. There’s nothing special about my journey. The only difference between me and a few others is that I decided to stick with it. As long as you continually review and tweak your road map, you’ll be successful.

      BTS, Angela, your comment made me redownload the book to see if I had made any changes in my sleep. I’ve been threatening to update the book but I hadn’t done it as yet. Maybe you had my book confused with some else’s?

  14. kidgas says:

    In 4 and 1/2 years, I figure I will have several sites but it will still be part-time as extra income. I wouldn’t be surprised to have about 10 sites all making a little bit that added up to a reasonable amount of money. I think that I could be making $500 or more per month. Of course, I will be much more knowledgeable and will have learned a lot more than I have in the past 2 years.
    kidgas recently posted…A Different Kind of Guest PostMy Profile