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Dream Big and Think Long Term

How much money do you want to earn in residual income each month? I’d really like to see $10,000 a month in residuals. How soon would I like to have $10,000 a month? I’d love to have it yesterday but I’m willing to be realistic.

RVLet’s say I want to earn $10,000 in monthly residual income 4 years from now (kind of coincides with my daughter’s high school graduation). By that time my hubby and I can buy our RV and live on the road experiencing the country. $10,000 a month in residual income could keep us in gas, food with a little extra spending money (okay a lot of extra spending money). Once we have toured the country we’ll hop on a plane and experience the world.

I spent a lot of time last month thinking about long-term goals and how to make them happen.

Starting Point

I had to look at where I am now, where I wanted to be and the road map to get me from here to there.

I’m currently at $2,000 in residual income and I need to increase that by $8,000 a month in 4 years (48 months). That means I have to increase my residuals by an average of $167 per month ($5.57 a day) for the next 48 months.

That’s a tall order, sort of. There have been months where my residuals increased as much as $400 and some months where it has dropped about half that amount. As long as the overall trend is upwards, I’m ok with momentary fluctuations.

What If I Fall Short (This is for folks who let their fear of failure stop them)

Suppose I only reach half of my goal and increase my income by $83.5 per month over the next 48 months. That means I’ll be earning about $6,000 each month in residual income. Not too bad for falling short of my goal. Falling short isn’t a problem, not trying to reach my goal is (don’t ever let the ‘what ifs’ stop you).

When I first started (and knew nothing about writing online), it took me 9 months to earn $16.25! If I would have given up back then I wouldn’t be earning what I do now.

Time to Get Serious

Now that I know what I want to do, I’m creating a realistic plan to help me reach my destination. I had to reign in my ‘all or nothing’ personality and tell myself this will be an enjoyable journey. After all, it’s a 4 year trip, might as well enjoy it. 4 Years is a long time to be miserable.

Planning and Modifications

Plans for the FutureAugust will be a time of reflection, study and planning. My initial thought was to begin writing as much as my fingers and voice recognition software could handle, but then I thought twice about it. It’s not about quantity (although a lot of articles do help); it’s more about quality, working smart and enjoyment (and being flexible).

This is a Heart-Felt Request

Please join me. Why not take some time and think about what you want for your life. Spend some quiet time and talk to yourself, your significant other, your family and plot out your dreams and goals. Think about how much money you need to earn in order to live the life you want to live. Then figure out how to get from where you are to where you want to be.

BTW, after spending a few days talking about our goals and dreams, my hubby has become even more encouraging and supportive. He gets the big picture and is willing to do his part in making it happen.

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Deanna August 3, 2010, 11:42 am

    Great post, Felicia. After a year of writing for residual income sites I am still no where near what you are earning. However, knowing it is possible to earn that much keeps me motivated to continue with residual income sites. My first goal is to reach $500/month and then look towards $1,000. It doesn’t happen overnight and it does take time and effort. This is certainly not for people looking to make easy money.

    Good luck with your goals. Can I hitch a ride in your RV when you come through MN? 🙂

    • Felicia August 3, 2010, 12:47 pm

      Absolutely, Deanna! I’ll make sure to stop by when the NJFM-mobile passes through. 🙂

  • Crystal August 3, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Wow Felicia – what a great post! I’m happy to join you in reflection, study and planning this month. I was sort of on that path myself anyway so this is just the little extra push I needed. Thanks to you and NJFM, I’m making a decent amount of money writing online, which I didn’t even know was possible a short year ago. It’s fun but I think I need to reevaluate how I’m spending my time. I’ve always felt that time is way more valuable than money and have orchestrated my life to need minimal income. While the extra money each month is nice (financed our recent trip to see the kids and grands in MT), there are so many things that I’m not getting done.

  • Grandma August 3, 2010, 1:58 pm

    This is why I love this website. The positive encouragement and advice kicks you-know-what every time! A reminder and a prompt to get busy is needed from time to time for everyone. Please keep bringing this topic up.

  • Angela August 3, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Thank you, Felicia. Your post is right on time. I have to admit that today I’m feeling overwhelmed and exhausted again with trying to work a regular job, keep up my blogs, and write for my online sites. I’d also started to get just a tiny bit discouraged by what I’ve been reading from some of the bloggers who don’t feel content writing a worthwhile financial venture. I was just wondering if all of this was worth it when my email notifier announced the arrival of your topic. I can see the faint outline of my dream through the mist again.

    My goal is simple and I’m hoping attainable. If I could generate just $5000 a month through residual income I could meet all of my household needs AND do many of the fun things that I’ve had my heart set on.

    I’ve seen T.W. Anderson over at Complete Writing Solutions mention speech rec software too. Reading that you advocate it makes me give pause to consider whether this might be a good productivity tool for me to kick up the volume of my submissions. I’m going to do a little research into the matter.

    • Felicia August 3, 2010, 2:33 pm

      Angela, I did a post a couple of years ago on voice recognition software. I don’t use it all of the time, but I do use it often enough for it to help my productivity. At my age when the memory plays hide-n-seek, it’s good to have voice recognition so that I can get all of my ideas down before they run away. 😉

  • Ignatius August 3, 2010, 4:54 pm

    There is a Bible quotation that has been speaking to me lately:
    “Sow your seed in the morning, and in the evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6).

    I read that as biblical advice to get out there and try different things. I think it also says that I shouldn’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work out.

    • Felicia August 3, 2010, 5:51 pm

      Ignatius, I don’t think you can find a better source!

  • Ambermarie August 4, 2010, 4:49 am

    To Ignatius. I agree. I have been overwhelmed at times,discouraged at times too. That’s a great passage. I read from a a small book you may of heard or have it It’s called “Daily Light” by …Bagster/Lotz It’s all scripture passages a daily morning and evening word that on this VERY day it was the THING I needed to hear. One of the scriptures was “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall NOT overflow(overwhelm) you (Isa 43:2)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts it to helped me.

  • Emory August 4, 2010, 6:37 pm


    Given your new writing goal, will you focus more on revenue streams that you control, such as your own blogs, sites?

    I want to try the residual income road, but unless I control the means of production, so to speak, I wonder if it’s a reliable way to make a living long term. If the income comes from a site owned by someone else, you’re always at their mercy, as many online writers have discovered in recent months.

    Great post.

    • Felicia August 5, 2010, 11:32 am

      Emory, I’m doing a combination of working on my own sites and writing for content sites. I’m putting more effort on my own sites because eventually, I’d like my sites to be my main source of income. Having said that, I can’t turn down the residuals I’m currently earning from content sites.

  • Judith P August 5, 2010, 10:58 am

    Hi Felicia
    I did some soul searching of my own over the last two months and came to the conclusion that I want this writing career more than anything. I drew up a plan of action and with help and encouragement from online friends and my Hubby, I’m on my way. Mine is a 4 year plan but I have nothing to base it on because I’ve just begun my journey. In 4 months I’ve earned $1.82. It’s a start and I’m still learning but when I arrive everyone will know because I’ll be shouting it from the rooftop. You’ll hear me.

    • Felicia August 5, 2010, 11:38 am

      Good for you, Judith.

      Somewhere on this blog I have a post about earning a penny. If you can earn one penny online, you have what it takes to earn $10, $100, $1,000 and more.

      $1.82 may not sound like much now, but it will grow. I know from experience. I remember my first month of earning 63 cents. I got so excited because I understood that earning money online worked as long as you worked it diligently.

      Everyone laughed when I got so excited about 63 cents, but they’re not laughing anymore. They’re now asking me how I did it.

      Judith, I’ll keep an ear out to listen for your shout from the rooftop! 🙂

  • Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet August 5, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Excellent post- very encouraging. I definitely need to re-evaulate where I’m going on this online journey. It’s been just over one year since I started writing and earning passive income online. It was slow-going, but I’m hoping to pick up some steam now that I’m more familiar with what works. Thanks so much for your blog- it has truly been an inspiration this past year!

    • Felicia August 5, 2010, 5:09 pm

      Rachel, I just stopped by your blog and I want to congratulate you on the birth of your new baby girl. A brand new baby, oh what fun (even more fun than writing). 🙂
      Wishing you the best.

  • kidgas August 5, 2010, 8:08 pm

    As always, you have written a wonderful and inspiring post. I, too, have always advocated long term thinking and to go with Ignatius quote have worked on several sources of passive income, including real estate, stock dividends in a retirement account, and now online residual income. But now, I want to look and see what it will take to get to my goal of $3000 monthly in 9 more years.

  • Julie-Inspired to Write August 5, 2010, 9:09 pm

    Yay! Thanks for providing that inspiration. At this point, I’d be thrilled with $2000 a month. I hope you achieve you goals! Just remember us little guys when… as the saying goes!

  • Ambermarie August 6, 2010, 12:02 am

    I liked the comment about the .63 cents…and the 1.82 I had a similar
    experience lol But to me it sent a message to myself, that I had got the concept of how to make money online for the first time in my life… and it would only be up hill from there by implementing the strategies more that I had used to make the small amount! Hooray!!!

  • Elizabeth August 6, 2010, 11:37 am

    Hey Felicia,

    Wise words as always. I’ve learned in my first year that you have to aim high, work hard and then constantly reassess. In doing so, I’ve increased my earnings and am now working on building a following on a new blog in order to sell flat-fee ads. I’m rethinking a lot of strategies and I think it is helping. It also helps to read all of your wonderful advice. Thanks for always staying positive and reminding writers that it is possible to reach our goals!

  • Tranced August 6, 2010, 12:10 pm

    This is a wonderful post. Its sometimes good to stop what we are doing and ponder how we can do even better.Sometimes,it only takes a few simple things to change our lives and increase our income.Well,my goal is to spend more time on promoting my work because that is where the bread and butter comes from.I have seen people with average products that are next to useless,but because of their promotional prowess,they are making thousands of dollars and even millions every year.

  • Ashley-Eve Downs August 12, 2010, 12:27 am

    Hello Felicia,

    I’m young and I am working a part-time at a research library. I want to enjoy life and I want to enjoy it while I’m young without having to be a wage slave for the greater part of my life here. It sounds like I am where you were some years ago when you were realizing the potential of making a legitimate income through residual income. I have written over 50 articles so far through upfront paysites like Textbroker and Ecopywriter but I have sites like hubpages, about.com, and ehow, and the like in my crosshairs as potential gradual revenue generators for me. I’m just not sure what topics to write about. Are articles pushing particular products (affiliate marketing?) or companies the best way to make money?
    If I am understanding adsense correctly, “the affiliates” are the people writing content that references products or services. The people, or “the customers” can find out more about the product or service by clicking on an ad which is often times featured close to the written content. If you do affiliate marketing what product or service do you find yourself most often talking about in the article?

    Do you know of any residual income sites which let you choose which ads are featured on your site?


    • Felicia August 12, 2010, 7:15 am

      Hi Ashley,

      When I started writing I wrote about things I liked and things I knew. I didn’t write as an affiliate or to promote a product. Over time I found out which fields were more lucrative and I sprinkle my writing with lucrative money makers but I also write on topics I enjoy. I try to strike a balance between the two because writing I quickly suffer from burn out when I write strictly for the money.

      As far as Suite, About, Hubpages, etc., each site is slightly different. You can write on any topic you want on Hubpages and Suite, but About has a rather stringent acceptance process and you must apply for one of the available spots. They list openings on their website.

      You have a good understanding of affiliate marketing. You write about/promote the product or service to entice the reader to search for more information. Hopefully, they’ll click on your link/ad and you earn money. Google AdSense is context sensitive so they display ads based on the content in your article.

      As far as selecting your ads, I don’t know of any content site that allows that. You can, however, develop your own site/blog and eventually sell ad space. At that point you can pick and choose the type of ads you want on your site. However, in order to do that, you must have a pretty successful blog/site with lots of traffic.

      Ashley, you seem to be on the right track for a very lucrative future.

  • oceansideblogs August 23, 2010, 2:41 pm


    If you had to pick your Top 5 residual income sites, what would they be? Thank you in advance, and thank you for being such an inspiration to us newbies!

  • Maria (WriterGig) August 23, 2010, 2:48 pm

    Great post, Felicia! I’ve been at the $3k/ month plateau for some time now. My goal had been to hit $5k per month by December 2010, but it looks like I need to add at least 6 months or a year to see that. As far as six figures a year … that’s a very long term goal.

    With four children under 8 and now homeschooling my two first-graders this year, time is scarce, and that’s my main obstacle. I know what to do, and I have the tools to do it, but finding the time is quite another story.

    My infant, Nicholas, is a morning bird just like his Mama. I used to get up at 5 am to have 2-3 hours before the kids got up, but little Nicholas loves those early morning hours too and has sabotaged my strategy.

    At this point, I am extremely grateful to be making $3k per month, sometimes more and sometimes less, for work I did over the past three years. I have no boss and no deadlines, but my family really benefits from my income. It’s wonderful.

  • Marie September 5, 2010, 11:48 am

    What a great blog. Thank you Writergig for posting a link to this blog on your blog, which is another great blog. You ladies are both a great inspiration to a writer like myself, who is a little confused at how to get to where you are at. I will continue to lurk and read but wanted to say thank you.

  • Ekikrat September 5, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Felicia, very nice post, let me add couple of tips from my side which I learned from my past failures and success –

    1. Never take your goals as hobby.
    2. Avoid talking about too long term goals, for me, anything more than 1 month is long term, set smaller daily and weekly goals and keep long term goals in hindsight, once u achieve your daily goals and weekly goals, you will automatically achieve your yearly goal.
    3. DO NOT set financial goals as they are the outcome, set work goals, like instead of saying you want to make $500 per week, say you want to write 60 articles per week, you will make the money when you write the articles.

    Good Luck, I will keep an eye on your progress through your blog

    • Felicia September 6, 2010, 8:34 am

      Ekikrat, I see we both are working to reach our goals but are taking slightly different approaches.

      Well, as I always say, there’s more than one way of skinning a cat. I find that it helps if I pare down long-term goals into a monthly/weekly/daily goal. Without a long-term goal (and I mean a 4 year goal), I don’t know whether or not I’m on target.

      As far as not setting financial goals, that’s also tough. Maybe writing a certain number of articles a week works if you get up front payment, but I concentrate on residual income. The only way I know if I’m on target is if I look at how much money I’m earning instead of how many articles I’ve written. I write until I reach my monthly monetary goal.

      That’s the beauty of online earnings. There are several ways to reach the finish line.

  • Christina Crowe ( @CashCampfire ) October 29, 2010, 11:09 am

    This is a great post, Felicia.

    For me, $10,000 is way off the top. I’m not making even near that right now with my residual income.

    So, my plan right now is to make $1,000 a month in residual income. I plan to do this with a combination of affiliate marketing, web content sites, and product sales (mainly eBooks).

    If I make more (which I’m hoping to), that’s even better. But right now I’m below the $500 mark, so I need to be realistic with my goals and what I can achieve each month.

    I’m not a huge fan of long term goals, so I plan to earn $1,000 a month in residual income in 4 months at least. That should be plenty of time to get the ball rolling, especially since there’s so many income opportunities out there. The amount of money I can make and from where I can make that money really only depends on my imagination.


  • Anonymous January 16, 2011, 1:26 am

    I personally recommend that you try writing for Associated Content to add to your income goal. Not only do they offer small upfront payments (which make it easier to make some cash along the way to building your residual income there), but there is definite potential. I earned about $550.00 there in page views last month and, assuming that this month keeps going well, should finish out at $720.00. This is with only adding a few new articles as I am also trying to build up residual income through other sources for myself. Good luck meeting your goals!

    • Felicia January 16, 2011, 5:56 am

      Hello Anonymous (we’re a friendly bunch, it’s okay to use a name or nickname).

      A couple of years ago I signed up for Associated Content, but found at that time my efforts would be better spent at Suite 101 (here’s my post on the topic). With Suite’s number dropping and Associated Content making improvements, maybe I might revisit them. Thanks for sharing your info.

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