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I Want to Earn Minimum Wage!

Effective July 24, 2009, according to the US Department of Labor, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and I want to graduate to that hourly wage.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. $7.25 an hour is a very attractive hourly rate for a freelance writer earning residual income. Think about it for a minute.

Residual income knows no workday boundary. Residual income is earned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, day in and day out. If I were earning $7.25 per hour in residual income, I would earn $174 per day, $1,218 per week $5,278 per month and $63,336 per year.

No Commute

Some folks get up every day, put on their work clothes, commute to work, spend 8 to 10 hours a day at work, come home tired only to repeat the same routine day in and day out and they don’t earn $63,336 per year. To top it off, they earn more than the $7.25 minimum wage (or so they think).

Slow Residual Increases

Unlike the traditional job market where I might not get a raise or I might not even get to keep my job, I’ve found online writing to be just the opposite. Granted, my starting “salary” is very low. I started at an entry level writing position and my first year I earned a whopping .17 an hour. When you really think about it, it’s not too bad for a newbie. After all, I didn’t have a clue about SEO and keywords (I didn’t really start getting the hang of it until about a year or so later – I’m a slow learner).

My second year I earned a raise and earned a whopping 82 cents an hour (an increase of 482%). Just think of asking your boss for a 482% salary increase.

In my third year, my hourly residual rate increased to 1.85 per hour. That’s an increase of 225%. Now that I’m starting my fourth year, so far I’m hovering around $2.44 an hour (I just realized that I earn about $17 when I sleep every night – that’s over $5,000 a year while sleeping).

When traditional jobs are disappearing and folks have to learn to live on reduced salaries, freelance writers (especially those who earn residual income) stand to earn more money each year.

Keep in mind that I’m not writing at full tilt. I write when the urge hits. In January I was prolific, but in February I slowed down. I’m not so sure what March will bring since I still seem to be in goof off mode (try operating in goof off mode for a month or so at a real job).

Where am I Going with This?

I guess what I’m trying to say is stick with it. Hopefully you will reach the minimum wage mark a lot faster than I will. If you’re just starting out, there are so many websites and blogs available that offer great information on how to earn money residually. Spend some time learning and some time writing. I truly believe in the long run, you (and I) will meet and exceed the US DOL minimum wage.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Grandma March 8, 2010, 10:21 am

    Hey Felicia, good points. Keeping with it is good.

    I just entered your website in my browser but forgot the “r” in the name and I about freaked when it came up “website not found”. So I tried it again with the same entry, same result. (Insanity: doing same thing expecting different results). Then I realized my error, what a relief! Must be a Monday early!

    Back to your points. The residual is great; you can look at all your articles as little employees out there working for you. BUT, remember, just because it is available 24/7 it does not mean it will EARN for you 24/7. Still, anything you make while sleeping is awesome by any standard. What a great goal to have!

    The freelance writing comes and goes. This weekend I had a great time, making over $100 a day on TB. Not the usual weekend by any means. I did take on projects I normally would have passed up to do and found I actually enjoyed the projects. Duh, I really should know better by now!

    Cultivating work for a freelancer should be job one at all times. Never rest, because you could find things that are better than what you already have. Like any self employment, you will work harder and longer to get your pay. People say work smarter, and that is what the residual income would be, I believe.

    Repeat business is very important also. Build up a client base and eventually you will have what you want. The residuals are then frosting on the cake.

    I can hardly wait to move next month so I can get out and cultivate some “land based” business for my freelancing in addition to the internet work. It’s been way too long for me just watching grandkids – even though I loved every minute. That brings a different type of reward that money cannot buy!

  • Crystal March 8, 2010, 10:59 am

    Very inspirational, Felicia. I just did a big re-evaluation of where I am and where I’m going with my writing and came to some slightly overdue conclusions. So I’m wrapping up my few up-front pay projects so that I can devote all my creative energy on the residual side of things. I feel really good about it – like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders – and now your post has cemented for me that I definitely made the right decision. So thanks again for sharing your insight!
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Etsy Update – Back in Business! =-.

    • Felicia March 8, 2010, 11:15 am

      Crystal, the good thing about residual income is that its not an all or nothing situation. You can write for residual sites and up front pay as you see fit.

      I remember when I came to a final decision to forgo up front pay in favor of residual income. I felt just as you feel now, like a weight was lifted. However, when the need arises, I still write a few articles for Demand Studios or an occasional private client.

      My preference, however, is residual because I love the freedom it brings.

  • Shannon March 8, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Hi, Felicia. WOW! I truly believe this is your very best post so far. After reading it, I’m more inspired than ever before to meet my goals.

    I forget who said it, but some wise person said: “What can be measured can be managed.” Putting a dollar amount on my dreams is something I did right away, instinctively. But now, thanks to you, I can also put it into perspective.

    You placed the abstract dream of residual income into a real-life context we can all understand. Thank you! Good luck in 2010, Felicia.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Freebie Friday: P&GbrandSAMPLER =-.

  • Elizabeth March 8, 2010, 3:12 pm

    Hey Felicia,

    I think at this point I’d be over the moon if I could get half the minimum wage. I think your advice is spot on though. We just have to keep chipping away and we’ll get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Buck up Buttercup and Work, Work, Work! =-.

  • Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet March 8, 2010, 8:31 pm

    It’s so wonderful to see how far one has come! Encouraging and inspiring for sure, thanks.
    .-= Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet´s last blog ..February Earnings Update =-.

  • Netlexis March 8, 2010, 10:22 pm

    I like your thinking, Felicia. Even through my passive income isn’t much yet, I’m always happy when it comes in. Especially when I’ve been wrapped up in my other life projects (like working for a living — UGG!).
    .-= Netlexis´s last blog ..Is Your Online Writing Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full? =-.

  • Ryan March 8, 2010, 10:48 pm

    Great stuff. I have been lurking on this blog for a while now, and you give out some excellent advice Felicia.

    I have been looking for a way to improve my income since losing my job last year. I’ve never really been able to put my passion and ability for writing to work for me before. At least not in a more tangible way like this. Reading some of your stories has given me the courage to delve into this world.

    So thanks, for the advice and the inspiration!


    • Felicia March 9, 2010, 6:26 am

      Ryan, I’m glad you decided to take the plunge!

      Sometimes the going can get a bit rough, but it’s sure worth it if you stick with it.

  • LilyRose March 9, 2010, 12:23 am

    Felicia, you always put things in perspective 🙂

    Yes, I agree with everything you said. Plus, I’d like to add that I’m so much HAPPIER working from home and freelancing. I look forward to every day bc I’m doing exactly what I want to do, make my own schedule, etc. I’m responsible for me. I love that.

    Also, I loathe office politics and negativity. So it’s good to just go it alone and with help from this site to keep me motivated.

  • Kidgas March 9, 2010, 9:09 am

    I would hate to think what I made last year on an hourly basis, but you got me curious so I figured it out from the time I started the last week of May.

    So, in 219 days I made $300. When divided by 24 hours each day turns out to be 5.7 cents per hour.

    That is about a third of what you did, but then again, I am a part-timer. Almost tripling my hourly wage to 16 cents per hour would get me to just over $1400.

    Interesting when you do the calculations like that. Thanks for the mental exercise.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Second Google AdSense Check =-.

  • Master Dayton March 13, 2010, 12:21 pm

    Great post. I think when you look at passive income that way, breaking it down per hour as a 24/7/365 endeavor, it really changes your perspective on the subject of pay and per hour averages. I think I’m making 21 cents an hour right now passively, but I’m also hitting a point where the earnings are really beginning to build up. The active freelancing is doing very well, so it’s that constant balance to keep motivated and improving. Thanks for sharing – this is a nice innovative way of looking at passive income and minimum wage.
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..Master Dayton Freelance Writing Blog: 50th Post =-.

  • Matt Duffield March 25, 2010, 11:09 pm

    Great way of thinking Felicia, it’s an interesting perspective. I try to think like this all the time too. Somehow it is very motivating, and makes financial freedom seem more attainable and easier to work towards. It’s hard work though…..as you already know. Assuming you earn $1.00 per Suite 101 article per month, it would take 10 Suite 101 articles at this rate to add $0.01 to your hourly rate. Keep on chipping away at it. I think you will make it a reality.
    .-= Matt Duffield´s last blog ..My Second Application at Suite101 Was Approved! =-.

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