For some of us, this is the last week of summer vacation. Depending on where you live and how early school begins, some of you may already be entrenched in the back to school/back to work routine. Up here in the Northeast, these are the last two weeks of summer vacation, soon it will be back to the grind.
While living the last few days of “no routine” I decided to do the necessary background work to hit the ground running when the routine starts up again. To that end, I did yet another analysis of my income and my work efforts.
Not to bore you with the details, I realized that most of my online income comes from Suite 101, my own sites/blogs and lastly eHow (HubPages is a new addition and has yet had a chance to marinade). Therefore, I’m going to concentrate my focus on the proven winners, while devoting a little less time to the new ventures such as HubPages and InfoBarrel. A person can spread herself just so thin.
Residual Income Takes Time
It takes time before noticeable income is earned from an online venture (noticeable to me is earning $450 or more per month). Once it reaches the noticeable level, I tend to spend more time growing the proven winner while still throwing weekly crumbs to the newer, less financially rewarding sites. The only way a new site’s income will grow is if it is constantly fed.
This is not to say that the newer sites won’t pan out, it’s just that I’ve invested more time and energy on Suite and my own sites and they’re now providing continued reliable income.
Working and Writing Smarter
Since I haven’t found a way to divide my time equally among all of my income producing ventures, I’ve got to spend more time on those that pay the mortgage while spending just enough time on the lower income producing sites to slowly build a large article base over a period of time.
After evaluating my own writing, I found that I write for no less than 14 different sites/blogs with varying frequency. I was even considering a 15th one, but realized that I should put that one on the back burner for a while.
I write for four sites over which I have no control. If they want to remove articles, change the writing format or modify their payment model they can. If they make changes, I have two choices, accept the changes or leave.
I have full control over the other 10. I earn and keep 100% of the revenue, but also bear 100% of the responsibility of design, content, marketing, etc.
Establishing a Pecking Order
In an attempt to wrap this up and get back to the reason for this blog post, I spent some time analyzing my numbers and factoring in my passion to determine how to divide my writing time among the 14 sites.
My first realization was that it was impossible for me to produce quality content for all 14 of them each week. Some are blogs, such as this one, which means several posts a week (and sometimes not), so I ranked each one financially from most to least lucrative.
After viewing how much each paid, I then created a second list to see which ones I’m most passionate about. It’s funny how the order of the list changed (I love blogging here at NJFM, but a money maker, it’s not).
Factoring in the Time
After creating the lists I added one more factor – my time. I don’t want to ‘work’ more than 4 hours a day. So, the ultimate goal is to populate all 14 sites with quality content each month without working more than 4 hours a day. It’s very doable and all it takes is organization.
I average about 60 new pieces of online material each month. I usually don’t work weekends so that’s three articles or blog posts a day 5 days a week. That’s not so bad. After all, back in the days when I wrote for Demand Studios, I wrote at least 3 articles a day. The one big difference is that I get to choose my own topics and I make more per day writing three articles for myself than I did writing three articles for Demand Studios.
To top it off, even though I don’t work on weekends, that doesn’t mean that the earnings take a break too. They keep coming in 7 days a week.
Really Wrapping it Up
I got a little long winded (I apologize). I said all of that to say: now is a great time to solidify your writing goals. Make a plan, put it into action and then re-evaluate it in a couple of months or so to see if it’s working for you. Let’s face it; this writing plan will work well right up until the holidays. At that time I’ll have to make a few changes, but in the meanwhile, I’ve got my marching orders. Do you have yours?