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It’s Not What You’ve Lost, It’s What You’ve Learned

Content FarmI subscribe to the Brian Tracy quote of the day email, and I received this quote the day after the Google smack down. I thought it was appropriate.

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.
— Robert Schuller, Clergyman

While my Suite earnings took a beating, I’m still earning.  When I look at what I have left, I realize I still have the very same ability to earn money online as I did before my Suite earnings dropped. Additionally, there seems to be a super natural financial balancing act going on because as my Suite earnings drop my other earnings are picking up very nicely.

Resting on Laurels

Heck no. I’m not resting on my laurels expecting my earnings to increase while I sit back and read my stats chart. Instead I’m slowly and strategically writing articles and placing them on blogs and sites as I see fit. Although Google smacked down a few sites, I’m still earning money from those sites. That tells me that there is gold in them thar hills and placing the right type of content on those very sites will still earn money.

Strategic PlacementLocally Grown

Although I feel confident that I can still earn money from those content farms, I’ve changed my strategy quite a bit. For every three or four articles I place on my own blog/website, I’ll place one on a content mill. I’ve learned that it’s better to plant the bulk of my writing seeds in my own garden before planting them in community farm land. I have control over the conditions in my garden; I don’t have such control over community farm land.

It’s All in How You Look at It

As Robert Schuller mentioned, it’s what you have left that counts, not what you lost. I’m going to take what I’ve got left and make up for what I’ve lost. Although in the grand scheme of things, I really didn’t loose very much at all. As a matter of fact, I think we all gained from this experience. Think about it. How many of you are now taking diversification and your own blogs/websites just a bit more seriously since the Google beat down?

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Loretta March 1, 2011, 7:34 am

    I love the message in this post. Thank you, Felicia, for keeping us encouraged and motivated.

  • Ruth - Web Career Girl March 1, 2011, 7:38 am

    I love that quote – it’s great for life in general as well as our online businesses. Most of us will focus on things we have lost, but forget that we really are so lucky to have what we do have. When I think of it like that I feel so lucky to be earning online at all!

    I think your strategy of posting on a content mill for every few articles you do on your own blogs is a good one. After all, content mills can often bring results quicker, but our own sites will be more valuable in the bigger picture (not just in terms of passive income but also the fact that they are assets that we can sell if we really needed to)

  • Sheba Simms March 1, 2011, 11:05 am

    Hello, Felicia. I have been following your blog for about 6 months now. I’ve read your Ebook and am on your mailing list. This is my first time responding and wanted to let you know that I appreciate your candidness about everything on this site.

    I have been a writer by trade for 10 years, however, I am a newbie to the online writing scene so I have much to learn. I have accounts with Suite 101, Textbroker, and Demand Studios; however, I’ve only written 6 articles total. It didn’t take me long before I realized that these venues probably won’t work for me in the long run (just a personal preference). The Google beat down only serves to confirm the strategy I’m working on. I think there are many rewards in sowing into our own gardens. Again, thanks for your willingness to share…

  • Ken March 1, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Diversification is key. Building on your own blogs and websites is a process of patience and time. However, the payoff both financially and emotionally is often far better. It is your own and you keep 100% of the profits.

    My thoughts with content sites is that the high PR sites such as Suite, AC, Hub and a few others will fair well over the coming months. Others such as Helium, Mahalo and other lower PR sites might be seeing their best days behind them. Although you cannot necessarily build links in your article at Suite and AC, you most certainly can at Hubs and others.

    Felicia, as always, your plan for planting more in your own garden is spot on. Our personal sites and blogs will take time to rank, but they will rank.

    Google is still moving around it seems separating the wheat from the chaff. Seems like they are having difficulty though distinguishing between the two from one day to the next.

  • Deb March 1, 2011, 6:30 pm


    I, too, have been reading your blog for months, soaking in as much as my brain cells could handle. You do such a great job of breaking things down. I’ve been article writing for a little over a year now after a lifetime in academics. I have articles at AC, DS and Suite101. After this Google wake-up call, I’m determined to get my fanny busy and set up a website.

    I was reading at Ezine articles, and I’ve heard it mentioned elsewhere, that Google may seriously penalize those website with Wordpress blogs and sites. I have a domain name and have signed with Blue Host, but I’ve only had a little exposure to HTML and CSS (very rudimentary). Can you recommend a professional theme framework (I don’t want Blogger) that will allow future growth so I won’t have to keep moving “houses” because I’ve built the rooms too small? I love the design here, but it looks complicated. Do you have a blog post about what framework to use? I couldn’t find one. Thanks! Keep on writing, and yes, I’m the gal who signs in several times a day to get my morning Felicia fix. (Oh, I have an account at WA and PotPieGirl’s stuff, but I’ve been too busy writing to do much with it other than fill my brain with stuff that gets hung up in the website stuff).

    Many thanks! Best of luck to you at your stellar performances.


    • Felicia March 1, 2011, 7:12 pm

      Hey Deb,

      I’m glad you (and Sheba) find the info here at NJFM helpful.

      As far as rumblings about Google cracking down on WordPress blogs/sites, that’s news to me. If they decide to do that, they’ll be shutting down half of the internet. Most of my blogs are WordPress blogs. I used to hand code my sites, but that’s too old school and unnecessary.

      WordPress is mighty robust and can grow along with your site. I’ve also played around with Joomla, but if you’re new to blogging I’d recommend sticking with WordPress. NJFM has over 400 posts and I haven’t outgrown WordPress yet. I’m a bit disorganized, but that’s not a WordPress problem.

      My themes come from Solostream (that’s an affiliate link). I’m not so sure I’d recommend it to a newbie because I had to do a bit of looking under the hood and changing a few CSS and HTML settings to get things the way I wanted them. I’ve tried quite a few free themes and have even tried Thesis. I still have one or two blogs using the Thesis theme
      (yet another affiliate link).

      In my blogging career I’ve used blogger (and still have a couple of those blogs up and running), WordPress, hand coding and Joomla. I started with Blogger to learn about blogging and once I learned a bit about blogging I graduated to WordPress. Some folks go directly into WordPress (I was a slow learner).

      I used several free WordPress themes early on. I didn’t find a need to pay for WordPress themes until I learned enough about WordPress to realize there were things I wanted to do that the free themes couldn’t do (or couldn’t do easily). That’s when I first paid for a theme. So, if you’re first starting out, I’d worry more about getting used to blogging and finding out what you like and don’t like. Then you can determine if a theme works well for you.

      • Ken March 2, 2011, 8:51 am

        Felicia, Deb – the rumblings of Google going after Wordpress blogs is out there. But it is not necessarily toward the platform itself. Again it is the low-quality content without value that Google is going after. Typically we might see a crackdown on the WP redirect blogs and the blogs simply selling a digital product on each and every page with no real value to readers.

  • Angela March 2, 2011, 6:46 am

    “I started with Blogger to learn about blogging and once I learned a bit about blogging I graduated to WordPress. Some folks go directly into WordPress (I was a slow learner).”

    I just started with blogspot.com, and I’m about to switch to a custom domain with them to give it a more legit look…, is there a problem with blogspot? Should I switch over to wordpress while I’s still in the beginning stages, or should I stick with Blogspot.com? Why did you say you were a slow learner? I’m all confused and new to this…lol

    What were some of your main reasons for “upgrading” to wordpress?

    Thanks Felicia!

    • Felicia March 2, 2011, 7:04 am

      Angela, one thing you’ll learn in the world of online freelance writing is that everyone’s journey is different. If you’re happy with blogger stay there. There’s no reason to change. When you find that you’ve outgrown blogger then switch to something different.

      Like I said in my comment before, I still have some blogs with blogger. Some work well there while others didn’t. If you find you need something more robust, that’s when you’ll make the decision to switch. You have to follow your own needs.

      You also have to define what a ‘legit look’ is. I was happy with the looks of all of my blogger blogs. I didn’t switch for legitimacy, because they were all legitimate blogs. I switched because I wanted some features that blogger didn’t offer.

      Be careful not to follow my path. You must blaze your own path. That’s the only way you’ll be truly happy writing and blogging online. Spend a little time ‘doing’ and them base your decisions on what you’ve done and what you need to do, not what “they say” or what “other people” do. Be careful of over thinking.

  • Grandma March 2, 2011, 8:49 am

    and another hairy thing about freelancing is what to do and how you feel when the dumb Internet Explorer won’t come up and you think you broke someone else’s computer…like I experienced over the past 12 hours…now this morning it somehow is working and you can bet I am not closing this window ever today!

  • Prerna March 12, 2011, 8:59 pm

    Excellent tips as always, Felicia and really great comments as well. I love the discussion and community that we have around here. I just spent half an hour reading comments to the posts. Thank you so much, everyone! I am diversifying but not as much as I’d like to. I need the upfront money that private clients bring and somehow the hours in the day are becoming lesser, but I’m sure I’ll slowly and steadily get to setting up niche sites.

    • Felicia March 13, 2011, 10:29 am

      Prerna, slow and steady wins the race. Just keep adding to your own niche sites when you can. Over time things will pick up.

  • Angela March 13, 2011, 5:35 am

    Again, thanks for your help and all the wonderful tips. I will follow my own path, but I need to know where I’m going first – haven’t a clue…lol, so if you don’t mind I’ll follow yours from time to time until I figure out where I’m going and the things I need to do to get there.

    Thanks Felicia!

  • NextGen Writer September 15, 2011, 10:42 am

    Good post, I will agree with you on this.

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