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Is No Job for Mom Obsolete?

Floppy Disc by Sundeip AroraAfter Panda gave a swipe at the content farms with his chubby little paw, I had to stop and wonder, “Is NJFM obsolete?”  After all, this blog is heavily based on earning money as a freelance writer through residual sources.

If you look under the Opportunities section, you’ll find a host of sites that utilize both the residual and up front model. After the Panda update, do those sites really work?

Times They Are a Changin’

In the short answer is yes, they still work.  The long answer is they work differently.  There is a new normal.  Just as 9/11 has affected us in so many ways and we’re living a new normal, Panda has created a new Internet normal for freelance writers.

Things are still shaking out and we’re feeling around in the dark right now, but I think we’ll all do just fine.  The question still remains…Is NJFM obsolete?  I think there is a three-part answer to that question:Rotary Phone

  1. Yes.  Some things here are absolutely obsolete.  I haven’t gone through all of the posts to point out which ones are obsolete, but when you come upon an old obsolete post, I think you’ll know it. For example, the posts about writing for eHow through the eHow interface is obsolete.  The eHow interface for writing How to’s no longer exists.  There’s only the Demand Media Studios interface.  I also think my Pay Per Post entry is pretty much outdated (there are quite a few others).
  2. Sort of.  There are some posts that are sort of obsolete.  There are some sites that I highly recommended in the past that I don’t recommend so highly anymore.  With Panda reducing traffic flow to some sites by as much as 90 to 95% it’s not as easy to make as much money from content sites as it used to be.  I’m not saying it can’t be done, but remember, this is a new normal so you’ll have to change with the times.
  3. No. Some things never change.  All of my posts about slow and steady wins the race, having patience and sticking with it are not obsolete.  These posts will stand the test of time.  Anything you focus your efforts on will grow (that works in the positive and the negative so be careful of what you think about most of the time).

Starting from the Beginning

If I were brand new to this online writing world, I would probably do what I did in the past.

  1. I would search for sites that pay up front to help cover my living expenses.
  2. Look for a person/site/mentor that would help me hone my online writing skills.  In my case Suite 101 helped me with my online writing skills.  Back when I joined in 2007, the editors reviewed my work and gave constructive feedback on how to make my articles more Internet friendly.
  3. Work on building a foundation of residual articles.  I probably wouldn’t build as large a foundation as I built originally, but it’s definitely a crucial step in online writing success. It helped to build my online writing confidence (not to mention confidence in my ability to earn money online).


  4. Create my own websites.  It wasn’t until 2009 when I realized that I could create successful blogs on topics that were not near and dear to my heart and earn money from them.  When I first started blogging, I only blogged about things near and dear to my heart.  That was all fine and good, but those blogs didn’t bring in much money (NJFM included).  It wasn’t until I learned how to write about more lucrative, yet interesting topics that I started earning money through blogging.

Back to the Original Question

Is No Job for Mom obsolete?  Not really.  I think there’s still quite a bit of relevant information here, but as things change some of the information becomes obsolete.  So, as a general warning, when reading a post here, pay particular attention to the date it was posted.  Things change and I don’t want you trying to earn 2011 money based off of 2008 instructions.

{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Bill Swan April 22, 2011, 8:52 am

    There’s gonna be a few posts about all the changes at the end of the year I’m sure. I’m also sure that you would be a great one to write one of them. You probably could do a retro post too looking back at the changes since 2008. Older posts also give a perspective on what went on “back in the day”. Heck there are still websites out there that look like they did in 1999! The whole point is you outlasted the changes, adapted to, and thru, the new trends and that makes this blog even more relevant. Here’s what was. Here’s what happened. And here’s what’s actually working today.

    • Felicia April 22, 2011, 9:00 am

      Nice way of looking at it, Bill. I had been contemplating whether or not to continue with NJFM, because I thought it was no longer relevant, but as you say, it can give new writers a sense of perspective.

      • Bill Swan April 22, 2011, 12:05 pm

        A couple of ideas…

        Interviews with other content writers who produce for content sites. Lyn Lomasi and Dr. Kristie Leong come to mind. Both have huge article numbers online and could give a different perspective on content writing after ‘Panda’.

        Articles on how to reuse ideas to create new niches sites and products without really thinking. Articles on how old strategies can fit into new trends. A top five content sites to work with post-Panda.

        Just me kicking ideas in the dirt.

        • Felicia April 22, 2011, 2:58 pm

          Bill, those are great ideas. As a matter of fact, I’ve been by your site. It sounds like something that would work well on From the Deck. If you carry out those great ideas, I’ll be sure to link to it.

  • Grandma April 22, 2011, 9:38 am

    With gas prices heading up to $6/gallon and beyond, are you kidding? Making money at home may be the only way to survive in the not too distant future! NJFM is only a toddler….

    • Felicia April 22, 2011, 10:08 am

      You’re absolutely right about making money from home being the way to survive. My husband and I were talking this week about the way things are going. He drives about 120 miles a day to and from work so we feel the pinch of the rising gas prices. But then we thought about it a little more. My online writing income has increased at a rate much faster than the rising price of gas.

      We sat back and looked at our income a year ago and looked at it now. If it were not for the ability to earn money online, we would be in deep doo doo right now.

      As far as NJFM being a toddler, I don’t know about that. Things change so quickly online that obsolescence is a part of the game. As long as we change with the times, we stand a chance of keeping a step or two ahead of the rising cost of living.

  • Grandma April 22, 2011, 10:58 am

    Maybe you could archive NJFM so it is still very accessible, and renew it as times change with NJFM-2 or something — a la Star Wars sequels…or Scream 4…Karate Kid…

    • Felicia April 22, 2011, 2:55 pm

      That’s a thought but it will take too much tracking. I can see it now. “I know I wrote about that somewhere on NJFM2 or no, maybe it was NJFM3, oh wait…it was on NJFM1.” 🙂

  • Geoff April 22, 2011, 1:10 pm

    By residual articles, are you referring to Revenue Share articles? Demand Studios offers this option but I haven’t tried it yet. Did Panda negatively affect this aspect of online writing as well?

    Hope that’s not too much of a newbie question!

    • Felicia April 22, 2011, 3:02 pm

      Geoff, revenue share means anything that pays residuals. You’re right, Demand Studios does offer a revenue share option and I have 9 articles there that are doing pretty well. That is definitely an option, but at this point in my journey, I think I’ll concentrate most on my own sites.

      Some folks are doing very well with the DS revenue share option and if you haven’t tried it as yet, you should give it a go. Not so sure how much Panda affected the DS revenue share articles. My few haven’t been negatively affected so far.

  • Joni April 22, 2011, 1:55 pm

    YES…NJFM is still relevant! I’ve only been here about a month or two and I haven’t had time to read all of the newer posts. I would be lost without this place. I have been all over the place online and am a member of different sites but have not been able to find the right one for me…until now. I have also joined The Freelancer Today about a week ago. I am not so much a newbie to writing but I am a newbie to residual income. I have been writing for about a year at DS only. I lost my job and $25.00 an article (what I make at LIVESTRONG) is the highest I’ve found. Felecia, you were kind enough to give me advice when I emailed you. I believe doing some of both kinds of earnings is good. However, PLEASE keep NJFM. If you decide not to, please give us notice so I can save many of the great posts.

    • Felicia April 22, 2011, 3:07 pm

      Thanks, Joni for your encouragement. NJFM will be here at this corner of the web for some time to come. 🙂 I’ll make sure to renew the domain name for a few more years and I’ll keep blabbering on about my online journey. When folks stop reading then I’ll stop writing. In the meanwhile, I guess NJFM will be around for a while to come.

  • Loretta April 22, 2011, 3:50 pm


    I sincerely hope that NJFM is not obsolete. Although I came to NJFM late in the game, I miss your frequent NJFM postings, but appreciate and understand from your explanations what is going on.

    I am sure that I am not the only one of your followers who is grateful for your wisdom, advice and information sharing. I chuckled when I read your item #4, because I can definitely relate to your sentence, “When I first started blogging, I only blogged about things near and dear to my heart . . . but those blogs didn’t bring in much money.” I said, “She is definitely talking about me, because I write what I like and my income – or lack of it – reveals that.” LOL In addition – and I don’t know why – your statement made me think of the lines of a poem that is also applicable to my situation; for now I am enjoying writing what I want to write about, but realize that one day, if I am to reap financial benefits, I will have to wake up to the reality that I have to step outside of the box. I don’t remember the entire poem, one day I will look it up. But for now, I just remember these lines “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Good luck and keep up the good work, Felicia.

    • Felicia April 23, 2011, 5:32 am

      Oh my, Loretta. Your post brought me back to my high school English class. The poem isStopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.

      I remember sitting in class thinking, “Why am I learning this stuff and when the heck will I ever use it?” Aha! Thanks Loretta. “But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep…”

      Guess there are a few miles left in NJFM.

  • Bill Swan April 22, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Writing for Bright Hub I get upfront and residuals. BH did take a hit, as did my articles on Triond and the old Associated Content. In general if you write quality and you become known for a certain type of article (business, gardening, gaming etc.) you can still generate income. It’s all about promotion and getting known outside the crowd.

    • Felicia April 23, 2011, 5:34 am

      Good old Bright Hub. It was my first (and my last) online rejection. I’m sure there are other rejections in my future, but after receiving that one, I realized I needed to blaze my own path.

  • Amanda S. April 22, 2011, 10:37 pm

    Absolutely NJFM is still relevent! Felicia, you are a calm and steady voice in the stormy seas of making money online. So many of the “make money online” sites out there are about selling you something or scamming you; NJFM is a rare bit of genuine information. Can’t thank you enough for all the helpful info. 🙂

    • Felicia April 23, 2011, 5:36 am

      You guys really know how to make a gal feel good. Relevant or not, you guys are a great confidence booster. 🙂 Guess NJFM isn’t going anywhere for a while.

  • Crystal April 23, 2011, 10:04 am

    Way to scare me to death, Felicia! I’m chiming in late only because I obviously checked in at NJFM yesterday morning before this post went live. Anyway, I am so relieved that your answer isn’t a resounding “Yes!” and that you’re not shutting down.

    You’re right, some of the info no longer applies in today’s climate. But the site has so much that is relevant and also provides a rich history of earning online – the possibilities, how things have changed over time, etc. NJFM is where I got the info to start on my online-earning journey and it is the only site that I check every day I am home. Reading the comments above proves that I am in good company!

    Congrats on keeping ahead of the rising price of fuel, btw. That’s quite an achievement and a testament to your success. Commuting 120 miles/day – yikes! I feel for you hubby and I hope he has a fuel-efficient vehicle:)

    • Felicia April 23, 2011, 7:56 pm

      Crystal, NJFM is here to stay for a while. I’ve got a lot more mistakes to share.

      As far as my hubby’s car, it’s somewhat fuel efficient, but it could do better. That’s on our “To Do” list.

  • Amanda April 23, 2011, 10:06 am

    It would be a blow for me if you don’t keep this great blog anymore. Yes, I do agree that some of the posts are sort of outdated, but there is something more that is not merely about information. It is exactly those things that keep us here. Your writing has been a great boost to me. From what I read in your blog, I know there are people out there who had gone through the struggle. So, please keep this blog.

  • karen April 23, 2011, 11:37 am

    I think its fine to have the older posts there, it just shows how things have changed.. everything is important and not obsolete .. great blog !

  • Mandy Robinson April 23, 2011, 2:02 pm

    This is a great way of looking at things. I am slowly changing around the way that I do things too, but still making money. Love reading your stuff!

  • cadebe April 23, 2011, 5:36 pm

    I echo the previous sentiments – NJFM is still an excellent source for those of us breaking into online writing and encouragement for those who are more experienced. Personally, I made the decision to stop dreaming of a career in writing and put forth the blood, sweat and tears after stumbling across NJFM one morning.

    • Felicia April 23, 2011, 7:59 pm

      Good to hear that you decided to go forward with your writing career Cadebe. NJFM will be here so we can share our successes and failures (hopefully not too many failures).

  • Robin Elizabeth Margolis April 23, 2011, 8:11 pm

    Dear Felicia: Glad you are keeping NJFM. I had heart failure when I saw the title of this post!

    Robin (A Big Fan)

    • Felicia April 23, 2011, 8:17 pm

      Robin, I truly laughed out loud when I read your comment. 🙂

      NJFM will be around for a while.

  • Robert April 25, 2011, 11:51 am

    Felicia, very few writers have the common sense about writing that you do. Of course, we all have to adapt to changes. Those really well paid print writing gigs are very hard to come by now, and Panda will be followed by Pooh Bear just about as soon as we figure out Panda. Please keep up the great work! It’s never been easy to be a success at writing, but good writers find a way.

  • lew N June 9, 2011, 10:20 pm

    Hi Felicia. Came across some info about you actually through the Textbroker forums. I’ve been a blogger for about five years now, but only to the extent of writing about things that I enjoy writing about. I had a blog that I finally stopped doing last year because I just got tired of doing it. Now after losing my factory job back in December, here I am trying to make a go of writing full time online while my wife goes to her horrid job every evening. Your blog is not obsolete, and I’m sure that there are many of us that are trying to make a go of this, as our economy is still not out of the woods and in many areas the unemployment rates are still higher than many of us would like, and being older with a medical condition doesn’t help matters either. So it’s either this or some terrible job that I could not physically do, so thanks for being here and as I continue my online writing journey, I shall keep track of yours also.

    • Felicia June 10, 2011, 7:24 am

      We both know it’s not the easiest road to travel, but it is possible to earn decent money online as a freelance writer. Lew, I wish you all the best and I hope some of the info on NJFM will be of help to you.

  • Grandma June 10, 2011, 9:03 am

    Keep it up, Lew! You can do this! Yes, there are people making $1000 a week at freelance writing. You just keep on doing it, and you will get better and better. Like winston Churchill advised, never give up. Strive for excellence.

    Maybe someday you will again feel like getting a blog going. Learn how to make improvements to it right here from Felicia and many others.

  • Grandma June 10, 2011, 9:06 am

    Watch out for typos, Lew! No matter what you do,they always seem to creep in! (winston)(Winston)

    The other day I got a piece back because I turned it in with the word “can” spelled “cna” – and, yes, I do proofread everything. There was some blurb being passed around the Internet that showed how typos get past even the sharpest eyes. If a certain amount of lettering is correct, the brain “fixes” the rest, and you miss it. That is why it is great to have someone else look for typos, especially on really important work.

  • Joni June 10, 2011, 1:59 pm

    The fact that at least once a week or so someone making a comment to this one post which makes me feel as if NJFM is a cornerstone of one to several ways to go to build your business on-line. I feel as though I came late to the game of building my work life online like some others have said. I was on disability leave from work in 2008 and that’s when my investigation began. I found the web to be loaded with TOO MUCH INFORMATION but I plodded along knowing I would have to keep on if I wanted my life to change and get away from the cubicle nation that made me so ill that I ended up on medical leave.

    I found a site by Eddy Salomon (workathomenoscams.com) who mainly does Affiliate Marketing but his wife works with him and runs the part of their business that has lists and lists of work that can be found online (many, many writing site). He reminds me of Felicia in that he is a giver. He encourages and teaches that everyone has their own way of working. What might work for me might not work for you. He is a big believer in many sources of residual income. He gets a few complainers about making low amounts of money; you can tell they don’t “get it”. Eddy is legit. He reviews almost any site you ask him about (check first to see if he has already reviewed it). He has been around for a while.

    Early on I started following this one writer who stresses grants, contests, and on and offline writing. However, the group that follows this writer seems to believe as she does that “content farms” are not legitimate and that you should not use any clips from the internet if you query to write off line. I’ve worked hard in writing online and take my writing seriously. At the time I started I did not have enough confidence to query “real” magazines and wait months for a reply and if I happen to get a “yes” then write and months and months later get paid. I needed money NOW; that is how I found Eddy’s site. He stressed if you need money NOW….and give you lists of places to find it.

    I found Felicia at the grant writers’ site about how writing for “content farms” has been good for her; the up front and residual. It’s amazing how anti-residual many writers are. In the beginning, I kept going back and forth. However, since I was in desperate need of funds I went to content up front writing b/c it helped me pay the bills now, for this month. Thank goodness you came in that site Felicia and wrote good things about content sites. I rarely go to that blog anymore but I would not have found you had I not so THANK YOU.

    And thank you for keeping this site.
    God bless you.

    • Felicia June 10, 2011, 2:29 pm

      Wow, Joni, thanks for sharing your journey. Also, thanks for sharing the Workathomesnoscams.com website. I stopped by and took a look and am putting it in my Blogroll (I don’t often add blogs to my blogroll).

      I love his “About Me” where he lists that he’s an expert in a lot of SEO/computer/internet stuff, but ends it by being an expert in raising his little princess and annoying his wife. LOL.

      Your initial confidence level sounds a lot like mine was when I first started. I also didn’t like the fact of waiting forever to get paid from offline publications, so online writing was a natural fit. Now, I’m at the point where I’m not so interested in offline publications. I’d rather write a book than spend my time querying and waiting.

      I know that we get paid less initially by being online residual writers, but I was going over my numbers this morning (as I often do because I’m a numbers junkie), and I realize that if I average all of my online writing from 2007 until now, each article is worth about $49. No, that’s not a lot of money, but when you consider I have over 2,000 articles online, it’s not too bad (a few earned a lot and a lot earned few).

      All I know is that if we stick with it and continue to roll with the punches, we stand just as good a chance of earning a living writing online as any employee in the 9-5 world. At least we know we won’t get fired. 🙂

  • Grandma June 10, 2011, 7:43 pm

    Yeah but we can still quit! I am so disapointed with Suite 101. I was excited in the beginning and made a really decent amount the first 6 weeks. Now I have about 44 cents off 86 articles for this entire month. That website is in flux and seems like nobody knows what to do. They just fired a ton of their editors. The updates, when they do appear, are useless and vague. I had hopes for the residual income there, but now am just waiting for the year to be up so I can put my stuff elsewhere. Not even worth going over there to look these days.

    • Grandma June 10, 2011, 8:42 pm

      Oops…it is 72 cents…for 10 days in June.

      • Felicia June 11, 2011, 7:04 am

        Grandma, you’re right. My Suite earnings are a fraction of what they used to be. I still get hits and little income on those articles written so long ago so I’m going to leave them there. Instead I’m finding new cheese.

  • Grandma June 11, 2011, 9:08 am

    All our articles will stay there forever…in the contract, unfortunately. They have forever rights to do whatever they want with them electronically, including republishing them elsewhere. I did not read that contract closely enough and never imagined that they might do something like that. There is no guarantee we would get revenue from something published elsewhere by them. But after a year, we can resell or republish them as long as we include a credit that they were first to do it. Nope, not putting any new ones up over there. Burned and learned. It was going so well, and then over a cliff!

    I wish they would offer either a buyout or to return rights to the authors.

  • bumpylight June 12, 2011, 10:51 am

    Thank you for warning me off from a new application at Suite 101. It’s been very difficult to make sense of various writing opportunities outside of Textbroker. I’m starting to think it makes the most sense for me to simply write for my own website, then to promote the heck out of it.

  • Jim July 4, 2011, 8:33 am


    I’m an owner of a site that needs quality backlinks, and am lately confused by what to do with the Panda update. I’ve heard that outsourcing my linkbuilding could hurt me because Panda sees low quality links as a negative. But I also read that Panda also sees PayPerPost blogs in much the same way. How about Smorty? I have read your articles and the discussion thread from the bloggers point of view, but I’m also feeling the squeeze from an advertisers point of view. Any advice?

    • Felicia July 5, 2011, 7:05 am

      Jim, I don’t know if I can be of much help. I’ve found over the years that quality content creates its own backlinks so I do minimal backlinking. You’re right, PayPerPost, Smorty and other such sites are not looked upon favorably for blogging purposes.

      Post Panda we’re all testing the water to see what works. What I have found to work both pre and post Panda is quality content.

      • Jim July 5, 2011, 8:33 am

        Thanks, Felicia. We have taken the same approach over the years and have never paid for blogs before.

  • Edward G Gordon August 18, 2011, 5:18 am

    lmao. Felicia how can you even think that. Obsolete, I don’t think so. This site offers so much to everyone who reads it. I keep coming back because it helps keep me focused on what I want to achieve, it offers support and not a little insight into topics I would not normally be thinking of.

    I think you’re like a willow tree Felicia, you move with the prevailing wind. That’s called being smart.


    • Felicia August 18, 2011, 7:21 am

      Wow. Thanks Gordon. Hmmm, a willow tree. I like that, except I’d like to have deeper roots than a willow tree. We had one fall in our yard a few years ago and I was surprised at how shallow the roots were compared to the size of the tree. 🙂

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