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100% Residual: What’s Stopping Me?

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100% Residual

I had a long talk with myself last night. I had to ask myself the tough question that I’ve been skirting.  The question is: What’s stopping me from going 100% residual with my online writing?

The answer is the same answer that stopped me from doing anything else in my life, FEAR. What am I afraid of?  Not having enough? Not meeting financial obligations?  Whacky cash flow?  After careful analysis, I discovered that my biggest fear was cash flow.

When it Doubt, Let the Numbers Help You OutEmergency

I looked at my past few years earnings. Each year, my residual earnings exceeded my prior year’s total earnings.  In other words, my 2010 residuals were higher than my 2009 upfront + 2009 residuals.  This phenomenon occurred each and every year of my online writing career. So, if my current year’s residual earnings will exceed last year’s total earnings without having to write for DMS, why do I continue to do so?

Dollars, Cents and Planning

It’s time for me to set a plan in motion.  Since I don’t make a lot of money with DMS, instead of going to them for emergencies, I’ve opened a “Mini-Emergency” savings account (I love my Credit Union).  Into that account I place 10% of my daily residual earnings.  My average daily residuals are currently hovering around the $75 mark so I place $7.50 a day into the account.  The mini-emergencies are usually school centered.  There’s always a fundraiser, team travel expense, gift for the coach, birthday party gift, etc.

If I get through one month unscathed (meaning the kids don’t have an emergency), the money will sit there until the next month.  If we use some Big Girl Pantsof the mini-emergency money, I’ll replenish it at the rate of 10% of my daily earnings.  Having a mini-emergency fund removes the need to grab the occasional $17.50 article at DMS.

Putting on My Big Girl Pants

I’m stepping into my big girl pants and giving it a try.  If I truly want to reach one of my goals of living 100% off of my residuals, I’ve got to take the step sooner or later.  I choose sooner. Wish me luck!

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • cadebe February 7, 2011, 9:49 am

    HI, Felicia:

    I wish you all the luck in the world! I have decided this year to seriously consider an online writing career. I still have my day job because, quite honestly, if I had to rely on my online earnings I’d starve. You continue to be an inspiration for me. Thanks for continuing this website.

  • Kidgas February 7, 2011, 10:03 am

    Well Felicia, I wish you the best of luck although you convinced me (don’t know if you’ve convinced yourself) that you really don’t need luck. You have the skill and the time to devote everything to residual income. The fact that your 2010 residuals were higher than all of 2009 income should convince you of that. There will be up and down months for sure but don’t let the fear get to you. I know you can do it!

    • Felicia February 7, 2011, 10:29 am

      Kidgas, as always, the swift kick appropriately placed. 🙂

  • Crystal February 7, 2011, 10:52 am

    I agree with Kidgas, Felicia – you don’t need the luck. But I wish it for you anyway:) This post really hit home for me. Although my residual earnings are not even in the same universe as yours, I also need to quit wasting time with upfront for DS. It sucks the life out of me and for what? Some $$ that I really don’t even actually need. Not that I’m wealthy or anything – it’s just that my needs are covered. So learning that I could earn money writing online has become more like an addictive game of Spider Solitaire – even though you swear you’re not going to waste time playing, you sometimes can’t resist. But it takes valuable time (yeah, the Spider and DS!) that could be devoted to more important ventures. So again, I’m swearing off – wonder how long I can hold out this time?

    • Felicia February 7, 2011, 11:06 am

      LOL, Spider Solitaire, my favorite time waster!

      I know what you mean about swearing off of DMS. Back in 2008 I swore off of them and managed to stay away for 6 whole months…then I got sucked back in. I think the timing is right this time around. I’m building the infrastructure to help me stay away.

  • Ken February 7, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Felicia (and anybody else wanting to break free) there was just a newsflash:


    Effective immediately all content to DMS will no longer be accepted by writers seeking to go 100% residual. DMS cannot accept work from a creative, free-thinking mind and therefore submission of work to DMS on a regular basis is also a submission of your creativity. This will be in effect until further notice.

    We now return you to your regular NJFM programming…

    • Felicia February 7, 2011, 1:39 pm

      LOL! Ken, you are too funny!

  • Reena February 7, 2011, 1:01 pm

    I am not completely over the DS upfront addiction (much like Facebook), but I am trying my best to stay away from it. Perhaps write one every day to keep the steady flow (not that I need it). I am slowly weaning myself away 🙂
    I had a quick question about Suite101? When do they send their payments? I made almost $11 last month with 12 articles. Is there a particular day that payments are sent? I looked into their FAQs, but couldn’t really get a concrete answer!

    • Felicia February 7, 2011, 1:41 pm

      Reena, they pay once a month usually before the 15th. You should be getting paid soon.

      • Reena February 7, 2011, 1:50 pm

        Great! Thanks Felicia 🙂

  • Reena February 7, 2011, 1:03 pm

    Felicia, you convinced us to go the “residual” route… so what’s stopping you? Get those gears lubricated and get back into action. You are the guru and residual is your mantra…

    • Felicia February 7, 2011, 1:42 pm

      Yes Ma’am! 😉

      • Reena February 7, 2011, 1:50 pm


  • Master Dayton February 7, 2011, 9:41 pm

    Go for it! I’ve spent a lot of time switching over to passive income efforts as it kind of clicked in my head: I’m still going to have bills a year from now while working on the freelancing, so it doesn’t make sense not to make the time to work on the passive income, otherwise 12 months from now there will still be every excuse not to.

  • William Tha Great February 8, 2011, 8:34 am

    Hey Felica,

    Thanks for the inspiring post!

    Looks like you have a great idea, and the only thing left is to take action. I think that would be a great way to save up money. The great thing about it is that over time the 10%of the money will continue to grow. You can set it and leave it alone and know that it’s continuing to grow faster as your percentage grows. It’s always good too have some extra money set aside for emergencies. That’s what my pops always tells me to do, because life has a way of throwing curve balls at you at anytime!

    Thanks again!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • Felicia February 8, 2011, 9:01 am

      William, your Pop is a wise man.

      Just to clarify, my mini-emergency fund is much different than my emergency fund. My emergency fund cannot be touched unless it’s a true emergency (like the house just burnt down). My mini-emergency fund is for the unexpected little things that crop up as a result of having kids.

      After transitioning from having a high-paying full-time job to part-time jobs earning a fraction of my prior salary, I learned the hard way that having an emergency fund is the only way to go.

      My online writing earnings are still a fraction of my prior full-time salary, but I’ve learned how to make it work. I’m still doing a lot of tweaking and paying off old debts, but living off of residuals helps to break the “living from paycheck to paycheck” mentality. You always have to put something away to prepare for the dips.

      If I do fall into the up front pay trap, the money will only be used to pay off outstanding debts, not for my daily, weekly and monthly survival.

  • Judith P. February 8, 2011, 9:26 am

    You go girl. You know you can do it. You’ve proven it to yourself already. I found your site almost immediately when I started writing. You convinced me then that residual pay was much more important. I’ve never written for upfront pay. Because of my situation right now, I have no other choice but to work full time but I plan on retiring in three years. In those three years I will build only on residual income. It’s been slow going but I see my earnings go up slightly just about every month. Your advice and mentoring has helped me many times and I promote your site every chance I get. My way of saying thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Now girl, take a leap of faith, and step off the edge.

    • Felicia February 8, 2011, 11:47 am

      Judith, I think residuals are great for retirement. Three years is just enough time to get the ball rolling.

  • Stacey February 8, 2011, 10:11 am

    Felicia…I can’t tell you how inspired I am every single time I visit your blog! You are making a huge difference for so many, especially for newbies like me! Like you I have an insurance background. Two years ago I quit a job with a good salary, to work part-time as an Account Manager, taking a very painful (nearly 50%) pay cut. Of course now that I am barely keeping my head above water financially, I have spent way too much time wondering if I did the right thing. I only discovered the world of freelancing in November, so my feet are still very, very dry. Naturally, I am making pennies right now, but I am inspired by your posts to continue moving forward! I hope that I will be able to say goodbye to my day job so that I can spend my days writing, which I have found to be more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined.

    I have no doubt that you will be able to successfully go 100% residual…no luck needed…just skill, which you have in abundance!

    • Felicia February 8, 2011, 11:51 am

      Stacey, I never knew that my insurance background would be such an asset in the online writing world. Although I don’t necessarily like writing about insurance, it was a big help when I first started online. With your background and ability to write, you’ll do very well.

  • Sally February 9, 2011, 11:50 pm

    dear ms felicia,

    sometime in 2009 ( i don’t exactly remember when), i bookmarked no job for mom. i usually do that when i find a particular site worth visiting again. but as usual, i forgot to. my recent job required so much of my time that i rarely check those sites i bookmarked. however, as i finally got to tell my boss a month ago that i’m quitting my job, here i am, jobless and relaxed for the first time in six years. so, to get to the point, i am so sorry (for myself) that i didn’t check this site again after i bookmarked it. now, i have to read all your posts from the beginning. doesn’t bother me though. i’m jobless so i have all the time in the world 🙂 and anyway, i’m going to enjoy reading every post..so, no problem.

    • Felicia February 10, 2011, 6:23 am

      Sally, welcome back!

      I think I’m sorry that you’re unemployed. It sounds like it’s a mixed blessing. You’re stress free (which is a big plus) and you now have time to explore your passion (which is another big plus).

      There’s a lot here to read, but if you have the time, enjoy! Hopefully you’ll find something to help you in the next phase of your journey.

  • Angela February 10, 2011, 2:32 am

    “A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill “I can’t; that is too much a pull for me,” said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. “I think I can,” puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
    As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, “I–think–I–can, I–think–I–can.” It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

    You can do it Felicia!

    • Felicia February 10, 2011, 6:23 am

      I think I can… 🙂

    • Sally February 10, 2011, 7:31 am

      by the way, i listened to your interview with freelancer radio and i think you should know that i listened to it until the end…which i rarely do…

  • Bristolboy February 17, 2011, 6:32 pm

    Good luck with that – it definitely is a brave move but one which will hopefully for you pay off. I am still way too nervous to make a leap – instead I am flogging myself to work for someone else. Doesn’t sound very appealing when I put it like that!

    • Felicia February 18, 2011, 9:16 am

      Bristolboy, it takes some planning and getting used to. This month will be my first month of pure residuals.

      I keep logging into Demand Studios and selecting titles for my “just in case” moments, but I usually end up unclaiming them. I realize that if I’m going to make this work, I’ve got to do it now.

      Having a mini-emergency fund is working well. I’ve been able to keep up with my kids’ emergencies. So far so good. I think if I can get the first three months under my belt without falling back on Demand Studios, I should be home free.

      I’m taking it one day at a time.

  • Renee March 1, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    You definitely will do well. By the way, what is DMS? I am brand new to this whole writing on line thing and I am trying to feel my way through.

    Best wishes in everything!

  • Maria (WriterGig) April 1, 2011, 4:28 pm


    Going 100% residual income from my writing was the best thing I ever did in my career — and I have never looked back. I dropped a gig paying $100 per blog post, I dropped DMS upfront pay writing over two years ago and it has been incredibly rewarding.

    You know as well as I do that you will earn much more on your content by keeping ownership than by selling for flat fees. Don’t let anything hold you back at this point. If anyone can do it, you can!!

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