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Refocused by the Numbers

Residual IncomeI’ve been pretty busy recently renewing my daily membership to the Double O Club. I like to meet the requirement early in the day so that I can goof off the rest of the day if I wish.

Unfortunately, other life things are happening and the other things don’t really care about my Double O membership. So, I’ve found that I’ve been doing a lot of juggling lately. Nothing major, just life things.

This morning, before I got started on tomorrow’s membership goal, I looked at my multi-page spreadsheet (the first page is a summary of all of my freelance writing earnings from when I created my first site until now). As I was browsing through my numbers, I came up with a refocusing discovery.

Numbers Tell a Tale

Last year my entire writing income was a little over $19,000. Not too impressive, but enough to pay off a few bills and buy a meal or two. The $19,000 was a combination of both residual and upfront pay.

As I look at my figures this year, I’ve surpassed my last year figures, but my goal is to push my residual income beyond my entire last year’s income. In other words, I’m looking to earn over $19,000 this year in residual income.

Residual IncomeUpping my Game

Currently, as of this snapshot in time, my residuals for the year are hovering around $18,000 ($17,966.82 to be exact). With 2 and a half months to go in the year, I feel reasonably sure that I’ll break the $19,000 residual income figure (now to push for $20,000).

Lately, I have been writing too many Demand Studio articles. I’ve been averaging 3 to 4 a day, six days a week just to get me over the $100 per day goal with room to spare. Unfortunately, when I’m done with the DS articles, I’m not so motivated to write much else.

While I’m meeting my momentary monetary Double O goal, I’m sacrificing long-term gain. You know, I’ve got that whole “short-term gain/long-term pain” or “short-term pain/long-term gain” thing going on.

One Month On One Month Off

I have to remind myself that this is not an all or nothing situation. I can make changes as I see fit. So, I’m thinking that I’ll have an every other month membership to the Double O Club. This month I’m writing fewer residuals and more up front, but next month, I’ll switch things around; more residuals and less up front. One Article at a Time

Eventually, I’m hoping that sometime next year I’ll be able to maintain my membership in the Double O club without having to write so many articles for upfront pay. That’s the beauty of being a freelance writer, you get to direct your career.

BTW, my numbers…If I can earn $17,966.82 in residual income, you can too. There’s nothing magic about it. I got there by writing one article at a time.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Crystal October 15, 2010, 11:08 am

    Wow Felicia – thanks for the hard numbers and encouraging post! I so appreciate your willingness to share the details of your writing earnings – it’s a real motivator for me. You are the beacon guiding my way and I can’t thank you enough for all I’ve learned here at NJFM.

    I totally understand your decision to switch things up a bit and forego the Double O Club membership every other month, if necessary, to work on your long-term goals. I had a conversation along that line with my husband recently, although my numbers are miniscule in comparison to yours:)

    • Felicia October 15, 2010, 12:17 pm

      Stick with it, Crystal. You’ll get there.

  • Deanna October 15, 2010, 1:04 pm

    I wouldn’t call $19,000 in earnings for a year of freelance writing – with much of it being residual income – “not too impressive”. I’m very impressed. Considering how hard it is to build up enough residual earning articles to earn even $100 a month, your earnings are amazing. And the fact that so many of the sites are losing ground lately in earnings, I think it’s wonderful you are still able to earn more this year than last year.

    I think you are right when it comes to switching it up every month. I know I can get writer’s burn out quickly if I push myself day after day and then I am worthless for a whole week. There are no rules – only the ones you make for yourself and you know yourself best. No matter whether you are in the Double O Club every month or not – I think you should be very proud of your writing – and income – accomplishments. 🙂

  • Allen October 15, 2010, 1:16 pm

    I love this:

    BTW, my numbers…If I can earn $17,966.82 in residual income, you can too. There’s nothing magic about it. I got there by writing one article at a time.

    I’d love to be in the single 0 club consistently. It just doesn’t seem that my articles earn much. Don’t think I have one yet that’s even made the $15 I can get from DS up front. So it’s a challenge to be building out there for the future, but I keep working at it.

    I think I saw this somewhere on your site, but how many revenue share articles do you have scattered around the web?


    • Felicia October 15, 2010, 2:19 pm

      Deanna, I guess I look at $19,000 as not too impressive because I still have the 9-5 mentality (tells you how old I am, no one works 9-5 anymore). I keep comparing my current earnings to my last full-time job. All in all, as my dad would say, “It’s better than a stick in the eye.” 🙂

      Allen, I have quite a few articles all over the place. Currently I have 246 on Suite about 300 on eHow 19 on HubPages 3 or 4 on Orato, a few on Bukisa and the rest are on my various websites and blogs.

      As I’m sure you already know, the money making articles usually talk about a product or a service. The ones that are more touchy feely, don’t seem to earn much at all.

      Just keep at it and don’t give up.

  • Reena October 16, 2010, 2:45 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Had this talk with my husband last night… I love writing and freelancing, but, like everyone else I wish the money was there. It’s so hard to get the residual thing up and kicking. Writing for DS can be so tiring at times… Finding traffic to your blog can be so frustrating. Understanding Adsense makes me wanna wail in pain (does that make sense) Sometimes, I feel like quitting and finding a job. But do I want to step out and work. No! It’s so confusing. Times like these your posts have always shown “hope”. Thank you for that.

  • kidgas October 17, 2010, 4:58 pm

    Amen, Felicia. One article at a time is the way to do it. Just like a thousand mile journey begins with the first step. Too often we look at those who are successful and fail to realize that they started somewhere as well. I am working one article at a time and am starting to see the benefits of my efforts.

  • Master Dayton October 18, 2010, 2:25 am

    Great post! I’m still hammering away at it, as right now I’m closing in on $40,000 for this year, but only about $6,500 from truly passive income so I’m definitely working to get those numbers switched around. Thanks for sharing, and keep us updated on your progress.

    • Felicia October 18, 2010, 7:38 am

      Master Dayton, congrats on your $40,000. That’s impressive. My annual numbers are nowhere near yours. Depending on how much up front work I do, my numbers should come in somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000 this year. Going the passive route is a slow go, but it’s worth it when things start to click.

      Keep up the good work!

  • Prerna October 18, 2010, 9:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Felicia! Much needed and really appreciated. Just goes to show what all we can really strive for. This month, even I’ve been doing a lot of private client and upfront paying jobs and residual earnings have taken a dip. However, am really planning on playing catch-up in November. Let’s see how it goes. By the way, how are things at Suite looking for you this month?

    • Felicia October 19, 2010, 6:11 am

      Prerna, my Suite numbers are still tanking. Comparing last month this time to now, I’m down 20%.

      I’m so glad there are other resources out there. If I had to depend on Suite income, I’d be in big trouble.

  • Kristi October 19, 2010, 11:55 pm

    Hey Felicia:

    I always love reading your motivational posts and can personally say that I’m very proud of you and really think it is great that you have have exceeded your last year’s income goal already. $19,000+ worth of residual income is a HUGE accomplishment and I know firsthand how difficult it can be to maintain momentum while reaching passive income goals.

    The key is to stay focused on the long term prize and remember that although active income streams are important (especially for meeting short term financial obligations), we must keep chugging away with passive income goals every single day. Some days we’ll see the results of our efforts and some days we won’t but over time, it will pay off. I started off with .16 days and consistently reach $125 ones and periodically $150 ones.

    However, I’ve learned that it is important to diversify one’s income streams and stay focused. For instance, I use residual income sites, own sites/blogs,etc to reach my goals.

    My advice is to follow your advice – take one day at a time, diversify, and never, ever, ever give up because what may seem like a small amount of money, can turn into a lot with multiple streams, time and patience!

    • Felicia October 20, 2010, 6:28 am

      Kristi, thanks for the motivational comment. On rare occasions I pass the $100 residual income mark, but it’s nowhere as often as I would like.

      I’m struggling to meet this month’s Double O goal and after that, I’m back on my residual track. Although I am writing a few residual articles here and there, my residual productivity has taken a nosedive. Your comment (and my numbers) are just what I needed to get myself back on track.

      Congrats to you for sticking with it and thanks for the gentle kick in the pants. 🙂

  • Edward G Gordon October 24, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Fantastic post. I truly appreciate your open approach. And $19,000 in residual income is something to be proud of.

    I made a decision to chase the passive residual income route. I wrote one article for suite101 and after a conversation with my father decided to concentrate all my efforts on monetizing my own blog.

    That decision has been moderately successful. However, I took a notion to check out how much income I had generated on suite101 with the one single article I had written and was surprised to find that it had earned me £1.23 in under 30 days. I really had not expected this – 20 or 30 cents was what I had expected.

    My dilemma is that although I know I can earn more from my own site, it is largely dependent on writing a lot of content. Any stop on my part results in a drop in traffic and income, while I expect that the income from suite101 will continue regardless.

    Do you agree or do you find that you need to continually add to your articles on suite101. (I seem to recall you mentioning this somewhere)Deanna mentioned on her own blog that Triond was working out well for her. I might actually check it out tonight.

    Anyway keep the articles rolling Felicia, they give me a lot of motivation and always something to think about.

    • Felicia October 25, 2010, 9:10 am

      Edward, the one thing I realize is that nothing is guaranteed.

      On a per article per month basis, I’m earning less than 50% of what I earned with Suite a year ago. So, yes, you’ll continue to earn, but at what rate? Hopefully they’ll fix the problem soon. If not, there’s other fish in the sea.

      My Suite 101 earnings continue to encourage me to diversify. If it weren’t for my own blogs and residual income, my Suite earnings would drag my income way down. My suggestion to you is to keep writing for your own blog and write for Suite.

      As far as continuity, you’re right, the more you write the more you earn, but I’ve got blogs where I stop writing for months on end and they still earn. Yes, the earnings may decline a bit, but once you have several blogs/sites, they should continue to earn whether you add new content or not. As a matter of fact, I earned a pretty nice sum yesterday on a blog that I had totally forgotten about. After seeing the income, I decided to add a few posts there.

      I find that my interests change from month to month. So, a blog that captures my fancy this month may not next month. The good thing about having several blogs is that one of them will capture your fancy in any given month. If not, then maybe it’s time to take a writing break or write for someone else for awhile.

      It seems overwhelming when you first start out. In the beginning I had no intention of creating so many blogs, but as time went on, ideas kept popping in my head so I would create another blog. I’m glad that I did because although no one blog is earning like gangbusters, the combination of the blogs keeps things afloat.

  • Christina Crowe ( @CashCampfire ) October 29, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Hey Felicia,

    I agree with everyone else here that this post is very inspirational! You should definitely focus more on residual income rather than upfront pay. After all, it’s the residual income that will make the difference in the long term.

    “Allen, I have quite a few articles all over the place. Currently I have 246 on Suite about 300 on eHow 19 on HubPages 3 or 4 on Orato, a few on Bukisa and the rest are on my various websites and blogs.”

    – Thanks for sharing your numbers with us, Felicia. I find this piece of information especially useful. You are definitely on a roll with your article numbers, and I thought I wrote a lot of residual income articles! I only have 113 articles written for eHow and a few articles on Suite101, Associated Content, Constant Content, and Xomba. I need to get back to work!


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