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Freelance Writing: Year # 3

Online Writing: Year 3

Junior Year

The third year of online writing was an interesting year (here are the links to year 1 and year 2 in case you missed the posts).  I earned money from the following venues:

  • Suite 101 (that was my best year…it has been down hill ever since)
  • eHow
  • Bukisa
  • Kontera (until I found Infolinks)
  • Infolinks
  • Amazon
  • Text Link Ads
  • AdBrite
  • Miscellaneous affiliates
  • And of course the ever present Demand Studios

2009 was interesting because it was the best year I’ve ever had on Suite 101.  As a matter of fact, in 2009 they were my highest earning venue.  Suite 101 taught me much in terms of writing online and the value of residual income.  They also taught me not to rest on my laurels.

As things started to change with Suite and the income started to decline, I was glad that I had diversified and placed my articles on several sites.  It was still painful to watch the decline, but I was also thankful that Suite didn’t hold all of my writing eggs.

Income and Venues Rise and FallUps and Downs

As Suite’s income began to fall, my eHow income began to rise.  Remember, I wrote 100 articles in one month when I first started at eHow. Those 100 articles plus the additiona1 101 I wrote before the end of 2008 were beginning to mature and I was starting to see a nice return on my effort.

Realizing that nothing is guaranteed, I started to explore other sites.  I tried Infobarrel, HubPages, Xomba plus I started several new blogs.   Some of the blogs I kept; others I lost interest in and allowed the domain names to expire.

I was disappointed with Infobarrel so I dropped them and asked them close my account.  HubPages, well, I honestly haven’t put too much effort there.  I have a few hubs (around 25) and they earn a little between AdSense, Kontera and Amazon.  I think I might put a little more effort there in the near future. Xomba, I used for backlinks,but they recently changed their guidelines so I probably won’t be using them so much now.

My Freelance Writing Decision

It wasn’t until 2009 that I knew with every fiber of my being that I had made the right decision two years ago to leave my part-time job to pursue freelance writing. My residuals were growing and so was my confidence.  I stopped just reading positive motivational books, I started living them.

I stopped justifying my position and started changing it.  All too often we can ‘explain why’ we are not where we want to be.  We can find too many reasons and excuses as to why we are writing, working or performing tasks that are diametrically opposed to where we want to be or what we want to do.  As my grandmother used to say, “We have a plaster for every sore.”  Well, I stopped justifying and started changing.Success-Fail

I didn’t like writing for private clients, so I dropped them. I didn’t like writing for DS and wanted to drop them, but the time wasn’t right just yet.  Instead of justifying why I wrote for them, I started to expedite changes and focus more on residuals so that I could eventually drop DMS.  I came up with a plan.

Direction and Focus

It takes a lot less energy to move slightly to the right or left than it takes to make a U turn.  As long as I was moving in the right direction (no matter how slow), I could always tweak things here or there.  However, if I were headed in the wrong direction (such as continued to focus on up front pay), it would take more time and effort for me to get my residuals to where I wanted them to be.

We made a critical choice in 2009 (my family and I) to continue to pull in the financial belt so I could work on improving my residual income.  It was a difficult choice, but we knew that it would be worth it in the long run.

A Few Curve Balls

2009 threw us a few curve balls.  Our family had to deal with several serious health problems.  Fortunately, as a freelance writer, I didn’t miss a beat.  I could spend time at the hospital as needed without worrying about missing a day of work or a day of pay.  When caring for a loved one, you shouldn’t have to worry about calls from the office asking silly questions such as “When are you coming back to work?”

The health issues further confirmed that I made the right decision two years ago. It was another notch in the character building belt (problems and challenges build character). In addition to building character, it provided much writing material.$

End of My Junior Year

At the end of my third year of online writing, I earned $19,160.50 of which 85% came from residual articles.  I didn’t quite double my prior year’s income but I wasn’t going to complain.  When was the last time your boss offered you an 84% raise?

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Crystal February 17, 2011, 11:14 am

    I’m really enjoying this account of your journey, Felicia – I joined you mid-2009 and it’s fun to see what came before and during that year. Like you, we’ve had some health and family issues, and it’s such a blessing to be able to be where we need to be when we need to be there. The lessons I take from this post are change what you don’t like and continue to move forward, however slowly. And diversify, of course.

  • Diane February 17, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I’ve learned so much from you since I discovered your blog last year. By the way, I had the same experience as you with InfoBarrel, but have actually increased my income with Bukisa adding Google Adsense. I had not added articles on Bukisa in almost a year but started again in January.

  • Prerna February 18, 2011, 8:38 am

    Am really enjoying this series, Felicia and learning from your experiences.. I agree that being a freelancer has its advantages especially during moments of crisis.. Sorry to hear that your S101 earnings haven’t gotten back to where they should’ve been… “I stopped just reading positive motivational books, I started living them.”.. Now if we all started doing this, imagine what wonders would happen.. Thank you for being so incredibly inspiring..

  • Alina Bradford February 18, 2011, 3:00 pm

    2009 was my best year at Suite 101, too. I’ve started to see my revenue rise again, but it still isn’t back to where it used to be.

  • Amanda February 18, 2011, 4:37 pm

    This is theoretically my third year as a freelance writer but I have been doing it hit or miss. We have decided to move in 2-3 years and at that time I want to be a work at home mom so I decided this year was the year to buckle down! So far so good. I have started my own site and started adding content to Suite again. And just for the record you have the FW position I want at Suite! 🙂

  • Angela February 18, 2011, 4:42 pm

    Congratulations, Felicia, on yet another awesome milestone. Where are the naysayers now who categorically deny that decent income can be made in residual writing? You continue to remain an inspiration for those of us who prefer the road less traveled.

    S/N: I haven’t been able to make a direct visit to NJFM in a while. I love all of the changes!

  • kidgas February 19, 2011, 8:19 am

    This is a wonderful series. As always, you come up with some great instructional and inspirational material. The fact that you were able to continue to work on your terms while helping out with family is great. I am looking forward to installment number four.

  • Master Dayton February 19, 2011, 7:32 pm

    I love seeing your reflection of how your writing career advanced year by year. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

  • Anna February 22, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Every time I read where someone says that you can’t earn a decent amount of money from writing for residual pay, I want to direct them to your site! I am so impressed by how well you’ve done, and every time I come here and read your posts, it inspires me to work even harder on my own goals for passive income.

  • Ken February 23, 2011, 9:13 am

    Felicia you are an inspiration and thank you for sharing your incredible journey. Proof that indeed, with time and dedication you can succeed. This years account will be even more incredible when it is all said and done.

  • NextGen Writer Blog August 14, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Hey Felicia,
    Nah, nobody can give you an 80%+ raise no matter you work your heart out. Freelancing is great – work wherever, whenever and whatever you want but the best thing is ‘be your own boss’. Many people thin merely freelancing means the bidding sites, they pay you peanuts for you hard work. A website/blog complemented by social marketing can bring much more worth 🙂

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