"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Residual Income Freelance Writing: Made A New AdSense Mark!

Hit the $200 AdSense Mark

This has been a pretty good day for me, as this Sunday marks the first time I have reached the $200/month using AdSense. I'm all about celebrating the small achievements and enjoying the little victories, although in honesty this doesn't feel very small at all! I have been using AdSense for just under 2 years, although the first 3 months I did next to nothing, and I've never been able to work a full time schedule on my residual income - which definitely has hindered progress.

That being said, this freelance writer is thrilled with hitting that mark, and still having time to pass it by even more before the end of the year. While because of the TOS I can't give information like CTR, average CPC or things like that, I can say that without giving any numbers I am allowed to tell you what my personal income percentages have been this year. Breaking down the amount for average per day, my worst month this year saw an 8% increase in average monthly income from AdSense alone, and I'm averaging 14% growth in income from AdSense every month, and this month is already looking to match that average, unless tomorrow is the worst AdSense day I've had since 2009. I'm betting I'll be fine.

Part of the freelance writing and Internet Marketing process is learning how to enjoy the small victories, and being able to get fired up about them. After all, $200 as a number isn't a big deal at all. I can easily make that in a single day, on any day I have an Internet connection and choose to do so. But $200 for a month in AdSense is a pretty good mark, and I've done the most work by far on my passive income the past three months and change. This is doubly exciting, because as people who have been in the residual or passive income for very long know, you reap the benefits of your work months or even years down the line. If I'm seeing 14% average jump for 5 straight months and counting, just how much better is my AdSense income going to look by the end of this year? Or the end of 2011?

This doesn't mean I've just hit $200 in passive income. I've been over that number for quite some time, but AdSense is by far and away one of the best models for getting serious residual income - the type that leads to a 4 Hour Workweek lifestyle and serious full time online passive income. So while have a diversified income stream is always a good idea, the quicker AdSense gets to a full time income for me, the more quickly I can diversify my income and spend all of my time on projects and work that I'm most passionate about.

To give a screenshot of what just a few of my passive income sources look like for this month, and these are approximates since it's not the end of the month yet:

Associated Content PPV Bonus: $37.00
Constant Content Referrals: $30.00
eHow earnings for May: $118.00
eBay affiliate earnings: $32.00
Amazon affiliate earnings: $38.00
Squidoo $75.00
Google AdSense (app.) $214.00
Other $485.00

I'm not putting this up to brag (okay, maybe a little), but hopefully to encourage people to see that there are a lot of options out there, and if you start out knowing absolutely nothing but stubbornly work on while very slowly (because some of us are better workers than learners, myself included) and you try to learn, no matter how long it takes for it to make sense, then even on a part time basis of only a couple or three hours a day, you can get to this point.

In fact, there's more here not listed. I occasionally get a check from Commission Junction, just not every month. Ditto with Clickbank, ejunkie, Elance, and a couple of other programs I have an affiliate account with.

The beauty of this? I know enough now to speed up how quickly I earn passive income with new articles, new sites, and new pages. This means it takes less work to get from zero to wherever I want to get to. In addition, the more passive writing income I make, the more bills I can pay with that money and the more of my time that gets freed up in order to work even more on my residual income projects. That speeds up how quickly I can earn more passive income, which then lets me outsource. Outsourcing increases the amount of work I can get done in a short period of time, more work = more money, and we're off to the races again.

In the first few months I used AdSense, getting a $2 day was amazing and rare, and it took me over half a year to go from $3 to $45 in AdSense. But I kept at it, I kept learning, and the few free moments I had from freelance writing and fighting my debt load was used to build the base for future earnings.

If there's any piece of advice I can give newbies, or the frustrated, it's keep at it. It took me 14 months to go from $0 to $100 in one month. It only took me 9 months to go from $100 to $215 (approximate). I bet in 4 months, 5 at most, I'll get past $300. In fact, this would happen much quicker if I didn't have so many other projects on my plate, but that is life. Still, reaching the $200 AdSense is a great accomplishment, and one that is definitely lifting my spirits and firing me up to sprint to the next obvious marker: $300.

So I wanted to take one post to demonstrate how important it is, in both freelance writing and in Internet Marketing, to celebrate the small victories. This is a good one for me, and I'll spend about 20 minutes enjoying a soda and smoking half of a congratulatory cigar.

After that, it's back to work again. Fame, fortune, and retirement won't make themselves happen :) If anyone you have a recent success, no matter how small it seems, share your victory. Creative writing or freelance. I know a lot of you are doing some very impressive things right now, so feel free to share, brag, and encourage!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Freelance Writing Struggles: Motivation & Encouragement

Freelance Writing Struggles

The last few weeks have been a constant reminder of how mentally draining a freelance writing career can be, and how sometimes the biggest struggles in making it as a freelance writer, or an Internet marketer for that matter, aren't lack of knowledge or difficulty learning the technical aspects of a job but the emotional and motivational struggles that take place. No matter how gung-ho you are about writing as a career, there are simply going to be times where it is hard to get motivated, hard to feel on top of things, and you're going to have times where you really need encouragement and there may not be anyone around to give it to you.

This is a natural ebb and flow of any job, I think, even one that has the many advantages that freelance writing can provide. There are also pressures that come with any freelancing type of employment that can make these ebbs and flows even more pronounced and harder to deal with. One of the major problems that comes up is that life doesn't stop, and you don't have a boss to force you back into work after a long struggle. Recently I've undergone some huge personal tragedies in my family, and we all have the difficulty of getting back into work, getting back into a groove and taking care of what needs to be done. This can be very hard freelancing because of the obvious: there's no clock to punch in, and because of that it's very easy to let becoming despondent or depressed take down your entire business if you let it.

So what do you do in these situations?

I think this is a hard question because individual people vary so much. Believe it or not, and I've had problem employers in the past who seem to not believe this, freelancers are people, too, and each person reacts differently. What motivates me to get back to something as "trite" as work when I'm asking questions about faith, hope, or am firmly in the depressing "what's the point of anything?" mode - what motivates me to keep hammering away and what will motivate me to keep me from stopping and giving up might be completely different from what someone else will use to keep fighting the good fight.

For example, I don't give a crap about money. Now to clarify that: money as a motivator does absolutely nothing for me. That's why goals like "Make $5,000 in a month" don't do me much good because honestly, $5,000 doesn't motivate me more than $3,000, and even $8,000 just looks like another number. But certain things money can buy DO motivate me - such as travel or vacation, or oddly enough - the good feeling I get from my Debt Spreadsheet as I watch the numbers plummet.

But to some people, the money number barriers are very important and might be the biggest motivator. Money doesn't motivate me, but the thought of being able to live comfortably in Tampa, Florida, or Austin, Texas, really does. Others probably couldn't care less about living in either of those cities, but having 10k in the bank account can drive them through brick walls.

And I think this is a good time to talk about anger, because depending on your make up and what your situation is, you might be more inclined towards destructive anger than towards depression. I know based on the situation with my family, we're all hurting badly, but we're all furious at injustice. I want to make one thing clear: anger is not a bad thing in and of itself, and if it motivates you - USE IT!!!

It can be hard to come to terms with this idea because it's against what so many of us are taught since before grade school, but anger can be righteous and it can be used to do good. Do you think Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't angry about racism? Has there ever been a fight against slavery or inequality that did not involve harnessing anger for a greater good? Those are extreme examples, but if you find yourself angry, PLEASE don't let it become depression and destroy you. Don't let it just flow out without control, scorching everyone around you, either. Hone it. Rage is like fire: it can burn wild and out of control, or it can be concentrated and focused - made even hot enough to bend and work metal like iron or steel.

If you're angry - hone it. Use that energy and motivation to focus in on your work and goals and drastically improve your life and your position, and put you in a place in the future where you will be more capable of helping others, as well.

Sometimes that's the best we can do.

And sometimes all we can do is pull up to the computer, find some motivational videos that give us just enough to start typing, and hammer through the fog, the fear, and the emotional baggage one keystroke, one letter, one article, one assignment, and one blog post at a time. The following couple videos have helped me get back on track and cope day to day. I hope they help anyone else who needs a little extra push, as well.

If you've never listened to Tony Robbins, don't judge like I used to, this is worth hearing:

And some great wisdom from Will Smith. BTW, the book he mentions: The Alchemist, is a fantastic book that I also recommend.

Thank you for the many kind words and comments. More website reviews will be coming up soon, and I hope you are all doing well. Until next time, take care, and keep on fighting for your dreams, no matter what obstacles are getting in the way.