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Heading in a New Direction

Under ConstructionWhen I originally created No Job for Mom I created it as a brain dump. I knew that it would be one central place where I can jot down things that I’ve learned and not have to worry about where to find it later. These next few posts will be what I consider brain dumps. I’m making a few changes in my online writing direction and need to chronicle my steps.

Chronicling my steps helps me in the long run because as my new direction leads to success (or failure), I can always look back to see which steps led me to my final outcome. There’s a 50/50 chance that I might want to wash, rinse and repeat my steps. It helps when the steps are written down.

Catalyst for Change

I knew back in March when eHow closed its WCP and Panda first slammed the Internet that I had to come up with an alternative way of making money online. I did a lot of brainstorming back then and came up with a few ideas. Some of them were hand-in-glove fits with my personality and others were not.

I typed up an extensive list of ideas, filed them away, got lazy and enjoyed the summer. Now that were at the end of the year and I’m finding myself a little bored with the same old same old, I believe the time is right for me to revisit my list and make some changes.

Before I make any changes however, I have some housecleaning to do. I don’t like leaving things in a state of disarray. Disarray and clutter drains the freelance writer’s energy and flow. At my age I need as much energy and flow as I can muster. Therefore, before I can move forward I’ve got to tie up quite a few loose ends.

Establishing a Starting PointConstruction Zone

Here is where I am. I have 24 different online properties in various stages of success. Before moving onto Phase II, I have to bring Phase I to a close. Closing Phase I doesn’t mean abandoning and discontinuing my blogs, it means consolidating and weeding them. Basically, I’m pruning them to make them more manageable.

You see, as I move to the next phase, my Phase I properties must become as close to self sufficient as possible. As I spend time learning, growing and making mistakes in my second phase, I won’t have time to put out fires, coax or coddle my Phase I endeavors. It’s time for Phase I properties to put on their big girl pants.

The Weeding Process

Of my 24 blogs, 3 are non-moneymakers and require little to no maintenance. That means my online time is spent working on  21 Work Zoneproperties. Of the 21, 6 are being absorbed and rolled into older existing properties leaving me with 15 sites.

Out of the 15 sites, 7 run the risk of being discontinued. I’ll make a decision about those 7 properties after I’m through consolidating and maximizing the first 6. I don’t want to hurt my brain by making too many decisions at one time, although my gut is telling me that most of those 7 properties will soon bite the dust.

And so consolidating and maximizing journey begins…

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Grandma October 21, 2011, 10:37 am

    Good thoughts, Felicia. Reminds me a little of what happens when Chef Ramsey goes in to clean up a non-functioning restaurant or a restaurant that is not making money. The owners often have way too much on the menu. One thing he does is to cut the menu down significantly, reducing the numbers so each item will be better.

    Another thing he does is to redesign the restaurant to make it more attractive and/or functional.

    Have fun. This is a great post and very timely as we approach the end of the year. Revisions of life is on my menu also.

    • Felicia October 21, 2011, 10:54 am

      I like Chef Ramsey. He knows his stuff.

      • Felicia October 24, 2011, 10:49 pm

        Oops, big mistake on my part. I confused Chef Ramsey with Robert Irvine. The one I like is Robert Irvine. Ramsey is a bit too over the top for my taste.

    • Terr October 22, 2011, 9:04 am

      I love Gordon Ramsey when he goes to spiff up failing restaurants also!

      Felicia, you call it pulling up one’s big girl/big boy pants. I love it. That’s exactly where I’m at. I’ve referred to it as “graduating”.

      In any case, there comes a point in our lives when if we want to move on to the “next level”, we have to perform some housecleaning, make revisions, and yes, consolidate processes.

      To expand on what you what said about using your blogs as a way of recording what works and what doesn’t, you could also use your post as tools for seeing how far you’ve grown. I know for me lately, I’m giving myself permission to say to myself, “I might have had to do things in this way for a while or during a certain period of time, but things are different now. I’m different now. I give myself permission to do things differently now”.

      As always, I’m inspired by your online growth journey. Thanks for sharing your successes and opportunities for growth (don’t want to call them failures, because they’re not).

      Oh, Oprah just had a life class the other night on “When you know better, you do better”. I think that applies in this case, don’t you? 😉

      • Felicia October 22, 2011, 9:21 am

        Terr, I agree! You make a good point about giving yourself permission to do things differently. We are often so hard on ourselves to the point where we carry too much guilt. By giving ourselves permission, we free ourselves from the guilt and open the doors to so many opportunities.

        I don’t always get to see Oprah’s Life Class series, but the shows that I have watched were inspirational.

  • Loretta October 21, 2011, 11:37 am

    Felicia, while you are housecleaning your sites, I hope that you will not put NJFM in the “ditch it” pile. It is one of a few blogs that I visit regularly. Selfish me — I so look forward to reading this site and have learned much from you. As you are traveling that road to a new direction, please put a “DETOUR” sign at NJFM.

    • Felicia October 21, 2011, 11:58 am

      Oh no, Loretta. NJFM is here to stay. I’d be lost without it. It’s sort of like my online journal. It helps to keep me sane. Plus, I’ve met so many nice folks through NJFM.

      • Loretta October 21, 2011, 6:37 pm

        Whew!!! Thank goodness. That’s the best news Ive received since finding a $20 bill in my jeans before doing the laundry. LOL

  • Crystal October 21, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Glad NJFM is safe! What you’re doing with your web properties is similar to what I’m doing with my stash of quilting/sewing/craft stuff. Disarray and clutter drain the energy from any creative endeavor so it’s finally time for me to get serious about destashing. I’ve tried a few times over the years but now I’m actually making real progress. What I had to do was pinpoint my REAL goal. During past efforts I’ve been focused on making a little money (at least to recoup some of what I’ve spent). This time I’m focused on reducing clutter and the money is just icing on the cake.

    • Felicia October 21, 2011, 2:25 pm

      That’s important. Keeping the “REAL” goal in mind when deciding what to get rid of and what to keep. After reading your comment, I decided to let the other 7 sites go too.

  • Gip @ So Much More Life October 22, 2011, 9:32 am

    I’ve never seen anything of Gordon Ramsey other than some talk show appearances, but I’ve heard he’s kinder and more polite in the British versions of his shows. If that’s true, it’s because he knows his audience and adjusts to them, I would imagine. That works for writing too.

    So in this comment today, I’m offering a lesson in writing based on a show I’ve never seen and some adjustments that a host I don’t know may or may not make for an audience that might be different. Typical of my thought process, I think.

    • Felicia October 22, 2011, 9:47 am

      Pretty interesting observation, Gip. I didn’t realize he put on a gruff persona to please the American audience. I guess he has to give the people what they want. That’s a pretty sad commentary.

    • Terr October 22, 2011, 10:11 am

      It’s true what you said, Gip. I’ve seen both versions of Gordon’s show. The British version can be seen on BBC America. He’s still firm, but British sensibilities are different.

      Then again, the American restaurant owners have been train-wrecks. I mean, the customer service of the staff and the sanitation issues were REALLY BAD.

      There is a lesson. One has to keep their audience in mind, in order to relate to them. Just my take…

  • Joni October 22, 2011, 10:21 pm

    I appreciate your candidness Felicia. You don’t mind writing out your “brain storming activity” on your blog and if need be change it later. Some of us (ahem) hate to put something in writing and have to go back and change it when we realize it was not quite right. Then everyone sees. That is what so great about you…you show us we are human we may change our minds and there’s nothing wrong with that! As long as we learn our lesson, that’s what counts. I’m embarrassed that it takes me so long to “get it” when it comes to the technical aspects of creating a simple blog. I’ve created two but am still immersed in learning how to do much on them. I won’t even bother trying to monetize them until I can learn how to add feed, add gadgets or even import links.
    Thank you again for hanging around No Job For Mom for us. You are needed.
    Take care,

    • Felicia October 23, 2011, 9:38 am

      Brainstorming ideas are just that, ideas. Once the idea is born I have the option to run with it, change it or drop it and pick up a different idea. Although I usually get a flood of ideas, not all of them are good. Actually, only a small percentage seem to be good. 🙂

      Don’t worry about “getting it” when it comes to blogging. Take your time, learn and enjoy it. Everyone learns at a different speed. I happen to like playing around with the back end of computers and computer code so this blogging stuff wasn’t too hard for me.

      One of the things I like about earning online is that I was able to utilize other sources for income while I was playing around with my own blogs. Doing so allowed me to take my time and enjoy my blogs.

      The more you learn, the more you’ll find what you enjoy and what you don’t. I tend to do the things I enjoy and continue to transition out of the things I don’t enjoy.

  • Trent October 27, 2011, 3:57 am

    I hope this site is a keeper! I’ve been dropping in here since I started publishing online three years ago. I’ve been more active on Hubpages and wanted to thank you for all the quality writing and inspiration. I’ve learned a lot from you. I especially appreciate how you share your process.

    I recommended this site in a recent hub: Make Money Online I: Writing, Selling & Productivity

    I hope it’s okay to post that. Just wanted to share. In addition to the hubs I finally started a website. It’s difficult to move away from upfront payments, yet you’ve shown me it’s possible. Thank you. I wish you the best with your next stage.

    • Felicia October 27, 2011, 6:58 am

      Thanks for the mention in your Hub, Trent. Building a residual income stream takes time, but stick with it. You’ll watch your earnings grow.

      When you first start building residual income, track your progress in percentages rather than actual dollars and cents. Watching the increase in percentage is a lot more encouraging than watching your income grow from 2 cents to 5 cents. 🙂

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