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The 10% Effect

Image by: Svilen Milev; http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1124695Things are still incredibly busy at this time of the year, but I did manage to find a little time to think about how I can make this time next year a little easier. I looked back at the past few weeks and realized that if I had hired someone to take on some of my responsibilities (or responsibilities of family members) things wouldn’t be so hectic.

Instead of running around like a chicken with her head cut off, I could have been sitting back pointing and directing. Directing a process is so much easier than ‘doing’ a process. As a result of this busy time, I made a 10% vow to myself. I’m going to do what it takes to see a 10% increase in my monthly income each and every month.

By the time next year rolls around, I will be directing the process instead of doing the process. Think about it for a minute. 10% on a monthly basis doesn’t sound like very much depending where you are on the writing income food chain, but over a period of 12 months it makes a significant difference.

My Spreadsheet of Numbers

I made a quick spreadsheet to see where I would be in 12 months if I worked to improve my income by 10% a month.

Month Sample Income Level + 10% Increase
Month 1 $250 $500 $750 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000
Month 2 $275 $550 $825 $1,100 $1,650 $2,200
Month 3 $303 $605 $908 $1,210 $1,815 $2,420
Month 4 $333 $666 $998 $1,331 $1,997 $2,662
Month 5 $366 $732 $1,098 $1,464 $2,196 $2,928
Month 6 $403 $805 $1,208 $1,611 $2,416 $3,221
Month 7 $443 $886 $1,329 $1,772 $2,657 $3,543
Month 8 $487 $974 $1,462 $1,949 $2,923 $3,897
Month 9 $536 $1,072 $1,608 $2,144 $3,215 $4,287
Month 10 $589 $1,179 $1,768 $2,358 $3,537 $4,716
Month 11 $648 $1,297 $1,945 $2,594 $3,891 $5,187
Month 12 $713 $1,427 $2,140 $2,853 $4,280 $5,706

After I made this chart, I plugged in my actual numbers based on last month’s income (residual and up front). It’s no secret that my first residual income goal is to earn $5,000 a month.  If I work smart, I’ll make the $5,000 monthly income goal within a year with a month or so to spare. The key to making the goal is to work smart (not hard).

The Next Step

After calculating my annual goal, I broke it down into small digestible pieces. I calculated how much money I need to earn each day in order to reach the monthly goal. Fortunately, about 95% of my income is residual so meeting my daily goal at this stage of the game is not too difficult. That being said, I can’t rest on my laurels because if I do, I’ll have to work like the dickens by month #3 or 4.

Avoiding Pitfalls

In order to avoid pitfalls, I’ve got to dangle my monthly goals in front of me. By May and June of next year I want to be sitting back directing the process. While the quick $15 Demand Studio article is nice for immediate cash, in order for me to reach and sustain my goal I’ll need to continue to focus on long-term residual income.Plane

I know this is a busy time for most of us, but try to take a moment to see where you are and where you’d like to be. Once you determine where you want to be, set a time frame and chart your course.

It’s kind of like going from New York to California. If  you’re not in a rush, you could get in an RV and take the scenic route. You’ll learn a lot along the way and enjoy the journey. However, if you want to get to California in time for your nephew’s wedding on Friday; you’ll have to buy a ticket and hop on a plane. Either way you’ll end up in California, but you get to choose the route and the speed to get you to  your destination.

<table align=”center” cellspacing=”2″ cellpadding=”2″ border=”1″ width=”468″>
<th colspan=”6″>Income Level</th>

<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 1</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 2</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 3</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 4</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 5</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 6</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 7</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 8</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 9</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 10</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 11</td>
<tr align=”right”>
<td>Month 12</td>


{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Bristolboy June 21, 2010, 1:26 pm

    Very interesting! I have seen growth of about 20% a month in my residual income with very little, if any, effort and so this is very encouraging. If I actually put in effort I reckon I could turn these increases into 50% for the first bit (whilst I am still earning a small amount) and then once I earn more level out at 10-20% increases month on month. If I managed this I would be looking at quite a nice amount of money each month – shame the UK government takes 60+% before I even get it!

  • Deanna June 21, 2010, 1:28 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I like how you’ve mapped out your goals. What writing sites are you using besides Suite101 to build up your earnings? I need some new sites to try. 🙂

    • Felicia June 21, 2010, 1:54 pm

      Deanna, I’ve been putting more effort into my own sites/blogs. With eHow closing the WCP program and Suite 101 earnings plummeting, I decided to focus more of my time on my own stuff. I’ve been looking for better advertisers and affiliate program in addition to adding content more frequently to a few of my blogs/sites.

      The hard work is starting to pay off (which is good because it’s helping to offset my dropping Suite 101 earnings).

  • Deanna June 21, 2010, 2:59 pm

    Thanks for the reply. You’ll have to keep us posted on how your blogs do. I have a couple of niche blogs but haven’t put much work into them – maybe it’s time for me to put more effort into those.

  • Kidgas June 21, 2010, 3:23 pm

    Ten percent monthly is quite a tall order. Very impressive that you have set this goal and even more impressive when you pull it off. I guess I would have to sit down and do the calculations to see what it might mean for me.

    Assuming a similar CTR as I am receiving now, I suppose a 10% increase in earnings could be expected from a 10% increase in traffic. That for me seems difficult at the present but I suppose not outside the realm of possibility. Guess I will just have to continue to work and see what transpires.

    • Felicia June 21, 2010, 6:27 pm

      Kidgas, the 10% is a total monthly income increase. My intent is to write more residual articles to increase my earnings. If I find I’m falling a bit short, I can always throw in a DS article or two to make up the difference.

      I believe that over time, by spending more time on residuals, they’ll continue to increase. Even with a drop in my Suite income, my overall residuals didn’t take much of a hit. I’m sure I’ll modify the plan throughout the next 12 months as necessary.

      I find that setting an average daily goal works well for me.

  • Will June 21, 2010, 5:24 pm

    Hi Felicia,
    Thanks again for the advice on what to do with my sports blog archive. I plan to relaunch the blog sometime before the NFL season begins in September.

    I’ve tried a number of the opportunities listed on your site. I was accepted by both Suite 101 and Demand Studios. I wrote four articles for Textbroker. I posted some photos on Associated Content. I even did a few assignments for Cloud Crowd!

    However, since I have to make the best use of my free time outside of my 8-to-5 gig, and since I’ve concluded that I get the most joy from launching and writing for my own sites, I am not going to write for Suite 101 (I haven’t made a final decision on Demand Studios) and I will only write for Textbroker and Associated Content when I don’t have anything to contribute to my websites.

    Thanks again for what you do.

    • Felicia June 21, 2010, 6:29 pm

      Will, it’s good that you found out what works for you and will concentrate your efforts there. Sometimes so many irons in the fire, that isn’t always easy to do. Your sports blog should do well. You’ve got a lot of great info there. I wish you the best.

  • Master Dayton June 21, 2010, 8:07 pm

    This is a very good post, and a much less convoluted way of saying what I was doing with my own freelance writing and passive income business. My blog post a couple posts ago at my Master Dayton blog went a lot into theory . . . which is when I tend to get really long winded 🙂 But basically, I’ve noticed a 15% average growth in my passive income each month this year going into June, so that’s my goal for the next 12 months. You’re absolutely, right, too: it doesn’t sound like much early, but it becomes huge after even a short period of time.

  • Shane June 21, 2010, 8:15 pm

    This is a great illustration of why “small” but consistent goals are important. 10% doesn’t sound like much, but based on your tables, even starting at just $250 not only gets you to $713 in only one year, but if you look ahead to starting with $750, that means in roughly 2 years from $250 a month you can get to $2,140 a month. For 24 months (especially if that’s all passive income), that is one heck of a pay off for two years of steady work.

  • jen June 22, 2010, 10:08 am

    Great post, Felicia. I need to set some definite goals for myself when it comes to my niche blogging. So far, I have been concentrating a lot on my own blogs and I love doing it. I get much more pleasure out of that than writing regular articles.

    • Felicia June 22, 2010, 11:02 am

      I’m with you, Jen. When I write on my own blogs it doesn’t feel like work at all. As a matter of fact, it reignites my writing passion.

      I read your last post on Suite. I’ll try backlinking some of my old Suite articles with Xomba to see if it makes a difference. In the meanwhile, I only write the mandatory 1 article a week for them. I’d rather spend my time on my own blogs/sites since I’m earning more on my own stuff than I am with Suite.

  • jen June 22, 2010, 11:44 am

    Thanks! Also, maybe you could write a post sharing some of the techniques that you use to get traffic to your blogs…or just some blogging tips in general. I’m always interested in seeing how others are doing it.

  • netlexis June 23, 2010, 10:27 pm

    This is great, Felicia. I like the visual and will have to do this for myself. It will keep the goal in focus.

  • Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural/My Freelance Road Trip June 24, 2010, 6:13 am

    Felicia, I’d lost touch with you for awhile. I’m not good with readers, but I happened to open mine and saw you and came here to catch up. Yay! You’ve added Subscribe Via Email, my preferred method of keeping up with a blog, so from now on I’ll be right on top of things. Thank you for adding that function.

    Any word on new sites offering non-writing media-related jobs, like how DS has QA for titling and keywording, categorizing, and so forth? I’d like to always make sure I have a back-up plan.

    • Felicia June 24, 2010, 1:51 pm

      Victoria, I’m not familiar with non-writing-media-related jobs. My focus is on writing, preferably residual writing so I wouldn’t be a good resource for that type of gig.

  • Grandma June 24, 2010, 3:18 pm

    It seems that if you want to make money off your blog or website, you must have traffic driven there. I am experimenting with a free article directory called ArticlesBase.com. Has anyone else used this before? Basic article marketing to drive traffic to the website is the main idea. I have seen TB clients at ArticlesBase posing as “experts” with articles I know they bought at TB. When a client wants hundreds of articles this must be what they are doing with them and having success or they would not continue the expense of buying articles.

    I posted five articles so far, but they have over 2,000,000 articles, they say, available free for people to post on their websites or otherwise use. The articles must have an author bio attached, which is where you can plug your website or blog. Supposedly, as your articles get published on untold numbers of other websites, untold numbers of viewers might just click on your link to your website. I just started yesterday, so there is no way for me to know yet if traffic is being generated this way. If it looks to be so, I can double check with my hosting service to view the IPs and where they were generated from.

    Just thought it might be worth at try. Things are slow this month.

    • Felicia June 24, 2010, 3:49 pm

      Grandma, this sounds very much like Ezine Articles. Way back when I started online I used Ezine Articles and I still get a few hits from those articles, but I never built a base of content there. Some folks swear by this type of marketing. Keep us updated.

  • Shannon June 24, 2010, 3:33 pm

    Very interesting, Felicia — I admire your facility with statistics, spreadsheets, and all the number crunching stuff.

    The thing I don’t quite get, though, is that this assumes a great deal of stability and consistency. One thing I’ve noticed is that my residual income is drastically fluctuating. For example, in my case, May was nicely up from April but June’s numbers are tanking! Perhaps it’s because I’m still new, yet it seems like other people are complaining about the ups and downs. (Suite101 is a good example.)

    Your 10% idea is great. It makes sense. But sometimes it might just be a hedge against drops in revenue, right? How do you keep expecting steady upward growth when the flow of income can (and does) fluctuate? (Just curious!)

    • Felicia June 24, 2010, 3:53 pm

      Shannon, you’re right, the monthly numbers do fluctuate. While my Suite numbers are tanking, my Google numbers are increasing. My Chitika numbers are down but my Infolink numbers are up.

      I have my eggs spread in several baskets (probably too many). This helps to keep things flowing in the right direction. If I find I’m a bit short, I write a DS article or two to make up the difference. In the meanwhile, I continue to write content on my blogs/sites and other residual content sites.

      Bottom line, I’m aiming for the 10% increase. So far this month (the first month in my experiment), I’ve exceeded my goal.

  • Ignatius June 24, 2010, 5:10 pm

    Hi Grandma,
    You’ve figured out the game, but you’re not quite right about how the SEO (search engine optimization) guys keep score :). You may get a few visitors who view the articles, but the really important thing is to have the googlebot finding relevant links to your website as it is making its rounds.

    Google is crawling around the Internet constantly. If links to your site keep turning up, it starts to think you have a site that is worthy of moving up in the search rankings. So, if someone is looking for a writer for custom articles (or whatever you’re promoting) and Google has 50,000 websites to choose from, it will pick the ones with relevant keywords within their sites and links from other web pages to their sites to put on the front page.

  • Ignatius June 24, 2010, 6:28 pm

    I just did some quick research on what the current wisdom is on using the article sites and my note above needs some revision. Some of the SEO folks have developed their article site strategies to the point that they are getting quite a bit of direct traffic to their own sites from the article sites. It apparently takes a lot of experimentation and some pretty persuasive writing chops, but it is working for some people. So, a great signature block could get you more than just credibility with Google, it could bring some paying customers.

  • Grandma June 25, 2010, 10:01 am

    Thanks Ignatius, I’m working on it! So far, if these words are put in the following way, my website comes up at the top of my browser:

    text article sale
    text article for sale
    text article writer
    text article copywriter

    These come up second:
    text article
    custom stock articles

    I added the word “text” to my website name because if you just look for “articles” you get thrift shops, junk stores, etc.

    Still working on it…I did get one job so far for $37.50 ghostwriter license article. I gave him a $5 discount because I keep the rights and put it up with the other stock articles to sell again. LOL

  • Nida Sea June 25, 2010, 1:45 pm

    This is some great information not to mention some inspiration for my own writing. I too have been focusing on SEO driven articles and generating more traffic to my own blogs. Thanks for this Felicia!

    – Nita

  • Grandma June 26, 2010, 12:32 pm

    I don’t know if the article marketing will be effective; I hope so. It is funny, but now every time I look at article titles or write one, I keep thinking that I should or could do one just like that and put it up for my benefit on the ArticlesBase.com website.

    Then I start pulling back, wondering how on earth anyone will find my one little article amongst the over 2 million articles they have listed? I did one yesterday on payday loans, and there must have been about 30 others that went up on that topic the same day.

    So far, with 4 and now 8 or 9 published articles there, I have had 30 views. Not sure how many are my views, I try not to do that! I can see the veiw count from my home base. It will be interesting for me to see how many views come up after a week or a month from now. This is all new to me. I can double check those views against the increases in views on my other websites to see if it is actually working.

    This is when I start feeling old!

  • Grandma July 1, 2010, 12:23 pm

    To update anyone who might be interested in the possibilities of using ArticlesBase.com as a way to get your links out there in cyberspace I have submitted 9 articles so far over the past week or so. I have had 79 views for all of them, with two or three getting a lot of views. I thought that was cool. So, I took the TB “Uncover” tool to check out the Internet to see if any had been published, and yes, a few had. This was also cool, but then I looked further into each one.

    Where I am getting ripped off is that the author bio credit that includes information about me and links to my websites, is either being not used or printed in 1 point size that is unreadable unless you magnify it up to about 400%. This is such a ripoff.

    Now, ArticlesBase.com administration is excellent on customer service. They have promptly addressed every issue so far. Like, there was this French whore (Paris escort) who had published articles without authorization and one of her articles kept coming up at the top of my list in a search under my name… They banned her IP address, problem solved, article gone and so is she.

    I sent them an email about these problems. I think they will tell me to contact the website ISP provider and ask that the article be removed if the credit/links are not included. I don’t know what they will say regarding those who print it as they should, but reduced it to an unreadable type size. Just FYI. I still think it is worth a try for now.

  • prerna July 5, 2010, 2:00 am

    I admire your deftness with numbers and stats Felicia.. That is one area I really, really need to work on.. However, you, as always, have inspired me to set goals for myself and work towards doubling or tripling my income by this time next year
    Thank you!

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