Photo Credit: Olya Adamovich via Pixabay
I have to admit lately I’ve been wondering if blogging is really a worthwhile investment.
I’m a full-time writer and coach. In the past, I've made several thousand dollars a month doing client work.
Right now, I teach freelance writing and technology to the Ninja Writers community.
And I currently have about five monthly coaching clients. In fact, I've tripled my monthly income in the last year. I absolutely love what I'm doing and it's pretty close to my dream job.
One of the main things I tell freelance writers is not to work for free. And to get paid what they are worth.
In today’s freelance market, there’s just no good reason to write for free. And I believe that. But at the same time, earning money from a blog is a long game.
Even freelance writing is not a get rich quick venture. It takes time and effort to make it consistent.
And neither of these income streams are predictable or reliable.
My goal for my blog is for it to be an additional income stream.
I don’t need to depend soley on my blog for income. I have other income streams. I've also established my freelance writing system and can ramp that up if I need to.
Last February, I launched group tech help calls and took on a few private coaching clients. In April, I started teaching tech for Ninja Writers and last June I joined the team part-time.
I’m writing a series of short stories and a time travel novel to self publish. I have a plan for a non fiction book later this year based on my signature freelance writing course, Niche to Pitch.
When I set my income goal last December, I needed it to replace another income source I have now which will stop in a couple years.
I don’t have a retirement plan yet. And my social security won’t be more than the minimum amount.
I needed to build an income I can sustain for the next twenty years and maybe more. Something that will earn money even when I may not be in good health.
When I started blogging on Medium.com, I wasn't earning anywhere close to what I’m worth. I'm still not.
It got so when I sat down to write a blog post, I froze up. My blog was earning me pennies. It was so frustrating. Some months I barely earned enough to cover my Medium Partner fee.
Something had to change. And it did in February, again in April, and then again in June. My blogging took a backseat to the other income opportunites that opened up for me.
But I still need sources of somewhat passive income.
My grandpa taught me many things
My maternal grandparents were some of my favorite people growing up.
I spent a lot of time at their house and I have fond memories of the time I was lucky enough to spend with them.
My grandfather's first name was Elvis.
He was an Elvis Presley fan and he rarely let an opportunity to pass to make a reference or comment about his namesake.
My grandfather taught me many things as I was growing up.
I learned how to shuffle cards, how to use a pocketknife, how to laugh at myself, and how to take a joke.
It was grandpa who taught me to fish. Fishing is a long game too.
I’d follow him out the back door and through their backyard. We’d stop in Gram’s garden to dig our own worms. And then swing by the garden shed to get our fishing poles and tackle box.
Next we had to cross the makeshift bridge over the creek behind the shed and climb the clay/gravel bank of the big hill. And finally we were there.
The fishing/swimming pond. We’d spend all morning at the pond. Not talking much.
Just fishing. I learned to bait my own hook and how to get a hook out of a fish’s eye from my grandfather.
Take care of the pennies and the dollars will come on their own
The fish we caught were typically small, it was almost always catch and release.
“Throw that one back” Grandpa would call out when I caught a little one. “Let him grow and we’ll catch him again next month” he’d promise with a grin.
Some days we did more talking than fishing. Especially if one of us was having a particularly bad day.
As I got older and began to drive, I’d often visit my grandpa on Saturday mornings, to fish and to talk about school or work.
Several years later, as a single mom, I took my two young children with me to visit my grandparents.
While the kids were in the kitchen with Gram eating cookies, grandpa and I would walk to the pond.
Not to fish, there never seemed to be time for that anymore, but just to chat about life.
He’d ask how things were going and I’d tell him, often lamenting about how expensive things were and how I wished I could somehow make bigger money.
He always made me feel like I could do anything if I put my mind to it.
He liked to call me his “number one granddaughter” because I was the oldest of the grandkids, so I was the first.
And whenever I talked about money as an obstacle he’d repeat his favorite phrase.
“Just take care of the pennies and the dollars will come on their own.”
So this past weekend, nearly thirty-five years later, I was talking about my blogging income with my mother.
I lamented about how little I was making through my blog. I explained it just didn’t feel like it was worth the time I was putting into it.
Rediscovering the value of pennies
But my mom reminded me what my grandfather used to say. “Just take care of the pennies and the dollars will come on their own.”
And something shifted. I went back to my blog earnings stats. I ran some calculations.
My two accounts combined have nearly two hundred posts. With so few posts, I need each one to make big money if I want to earn several thousand dollars in a month.
But if I could increase my total blog posts to say five-hundred total, each post needs to earn less per day.
And when I increase the number of posts to one-thousand for example, each post only needs to earn even less per day for me to make a thousand in a month.
What I discovered was my grandpa was absolutely right.
I just had to put my head down and keep writing.
So for all you who may be blogging and feeling a little frustrated because each post is earning mere pennies, take heart.
- Keep writing.
- Focus on putting value for your reader in each post.
- Get your posts out there where people can find and read them.
- Start building an email list.
Each post earning two cents, five cents, or twenty-five cents per post a day or even a month accumulates but it also helps attract more people to you.
Write a post or two every day. Create multiple income streams.
And soon you reach a tipping point.
When you have a couple thousand posts in your content library all earning pennies a day, they truly do turn into dollars.
Once you're writing consistently, look into affiliate marketing to give your readers more value and put additional dollars in your pocket. Add other income streams as you can.
Within a year or maybe sooner, you'll discover you too have turned pennies into dollars!