Leaving Work Behind

Do You Want to Escape? [Giveaway]

Written by Tom Ewer on November 26, 2013. 9 Comments

The Escape ManifestoI read a lot of books related to the concept of leaving work behind.

All the usual suspects are in my bookcase: The 4-Hour Workweek, Escape From Cubicle Nation, The $100 Startup. I’ve also got a bunch of lesser-known books such as The Millionaire Fastlane (ignore the title — I highly recommend it), Book Yourself Solid and The Magic of Thinking Big. Most of the key lessons I have learned (outside of my own practical experience) have been gleaned from these books.

A couple of weeks ago I read through a book that most of you have never heard of. Despite that, I quickly discovered that it offers one of the most compelling reads I’ve experienced. From a more practical perspective, it contains the kind of advice that can open your mind to a whole new way of thinking and greatly accelerate your progress towards leaving work behind.

That book is The Escape Manifesto, and in this post I am going to give you the opportunity to grab yourself a free copy.

The Escape Manifesto

I could attempt to synopsize what this book can offer you, but it is far easier (and revealing) to refer to the mini manifesto that accompanies it:

The Escape Manifesto

Sound familiar? I have to remind myself that I didn’t write it — this manifesto is eerily reminiscent of my own.

Although The Escape Manifesto it is primarily geared towards British professionals looking to escape unfulfilling corporate jobs in London, the chapters within have far wider applications. Having finished the book, the best endorsement I can give it is that I wish I had read it back in May 2011, when I was just starting out down this road. I know it would have made my life a whole lot easier.

The book was written by Rob Symington and Dom Jackman, co-founders of Escape the City — an online community that “connects talented professionals with non-corporate opportunities” (to steal from their tagline). Their mission aligns very closely with the concept of Leaving Work Behind, which is why the book will more than likely offer you a wealth of invaluable advice.

Put simply, I consider this book required reading for those who are interested in leaving work behind.

The Giveaway

Upon reading the book and with the last statement in mind, I knew that The Escape Manifesto was a prime candidate for a giveaway here on Leaving Work Behind. It is my hope that the winners of this giveaway will benefit greatly from reading the book and I hope that others will be inspired to read it too.

There’s just one “catch.” In order to secure your chance of winning one of three paper copies of The Escape Manifesto that Rob and Dom have so kindly offered to Leaving Work Behind readers, you must first head over to the Leaving Work Behind Community Forums and get involved.

It’s this simple: just register for the forums and start creating threads (existing forum members are of course also eligible). Feel free to Share Your Story, ask relevant questions in one of the many specific forums available, share your goals with us so we can hold you accountable to them, or just share your thoughts on just about anything over at the Everything Else forum. It’s all fair game, and the more threads you create, the better your chances of winning.

To ensure that the giveaway is fair, the three winners will be picked completely at random. It should go without saying that people who create threads of little or no value solely to gain a chance of winning (as adjudged by me) will not be considered for the giveaway — only those people who have something of value to contribute will be eligible for the prize draw. As for a definition of “value,” please do not feel like you have to be an “expert” in order to take part — in my opinion, sharing your frustrations and worries is just as valuable to the community as offering salient advice on any particular topic.

This giveaway is open to absolutely everyone — Rob and Dom have kindly made three copies of the book available and I am covering any crazy postage costs in the event that you live in Antarctica or somewhere similarly remote 😉

The giveaway went live as soon as this post was published so please feel free to get involved in the forums now! It ends at 11:59pm (EST) on Sunday 1st December — no new threads will be considered after that time. The winners will be picked shortly thereafter and announced in the forums that following week.

Rules for Entry

For clarity’s sake, here’s a quick re-cap of the “terms and conditions” of this giveaway:

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments section below. Good luck!

Thinking Of Giving Up? Read This.

Written by Tom Ewer on November 21, 2013. 21 Comments

Update: This post was originally published in June 2011. It has been re-edited and expanded upon. Enjoy!

"Give Up" written in graffitiThe path of leaving work behind is littered with obstacles and at times your efforts can seem entirely fruitless.

If you are reading this, you may well be considering throwing the towel in. If you think that you’ve had enough, then you may as well close your browser down now and turn the television on.

Still with me? Great!

That’s all we need — the small ounce of staying power that still exists in you. We can develop that into something much stronger. As long as there is still a scrap of determination left in you, we can exploit it to better your chances of success.

I can spend all day telling you to persist and work hard, but by now, you will probably feel like those paths are well worn by the dusty boot heels of your failure. You need something more. That’s what I plan to give you.

Leaving Work Behind Is a Hopeless Venture

The above statement is absolutely true for every single person who has tried and given up.

It clearly was a hopeless venture for them, as they reached their breaking point without experiencing the requisite level of success. For everyone else who is still trying, leaving work behind is possible; you just have to figure out how.

The Formula for Success

In logical terms, success is achieved by executing a very simple formula:

Endeavour + Competence + Time = Success

You can translate that formula into three steps:

  1. Undertake to succeed
  2. Carry out that undertaking with adequate ability
  3. Follow steps 1 and 2 until success is achieved

From an objective perspective, if you do not succeed, you did not apply yourself properly and/or did not apply yourself for long enough. It’s that simple.

My Experiences With Prolonged Failure

When I first started on my journey to leaving work behind, I had no idea how I would create a successful online business. But I started anyway — I picked what I thought was a good opportunity to make money (niche sites) and I ran with it.

Fast-forward several months and I had nothing to show for it. In fact, I had lost money. You can see this for yourself by scanning through my monthly income at the time.

I could have given up then. After all — my efforts had resulted in nothing but failure. Fortunately, my drive to succeed was strong and I still believed that success is ultimately a matter of persistence.

Then, in September 2011, I got the break I so sorely needed: I landed my first freelance blogging job. I didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity I had discovered. Three months later I quit my job.

Fast-forward to present day, and in October 2013 I made $5,661 from my writing business.

It all began with that break back in September 2011 — incidentally, with an opportunity that I never saw coming. I had never imaged that freelance blogging would be the solution for me. It’s a good thing I didn’t give up when all I had to show for my efforts were failure.

Knowing When to Change Tack

The main moral of the above story is that persistence is so often the key to success. But there’s more to it than that — your persistence must considered. After all, there does come a point when you have beaten a particular venture to death.

If you are certain that whatever you are doing is not going to reap sufficient rewards, consider a change of tack. You are not giving up by doing so — you are making a smart decision to move onto opportunities that are more likely to get you to where you want to be.

The ability to recognize when you will not be able to achieve your goals is extremely valuable. It will help enormously. Giving up will not.

Are You Sure You’re Not Capable of Leaving Work Behind?

If you have read this far and still think that quitting your job and building an online business is impossible, fine. I will not try to persuade you otherwise. However, I do want you to consider three questions:

  1. Are you happy with your personal situation?
  2. Do you enjoy your job?
  3. Do you have as much money as you would like?

Why do I ask these questions? Because the act of leaving work behind, executed correctly, can positively affect all three areas.

If you are sure that you cannot succeed in your online venture, then what is going to replace it as your ticket to improving all three areas of your life? If there is nothing, are you truly ready to give up on the meaning of life?

The Alternatives

If you’ve decided that making money online isn’t for you, you need to find what is.

Find something that can catapult you to better things. There is no person in this world that is as happy or successful as he or she possibly can be. While leaving work behind is most often typified by quitting your job and building a successful lifestyle business, that is not the only path.

Alternatively, simply exist and accept what you have, and try to find peace in that. Not my preferred option.

There is always room for personal improvement. I strongly believe that anyone can carve out a niche for themselves. It does not have to be making money online. You could find happiness and fulfillment in youth coaching, plumbing, or business consultancy. Who knows? The point is, if you haven’t found that niche, by halting your efforts you are giving up on the potential for a higher quality of life and resigning yourself to the status quo.

A Concluding Question

What would you rather do — frustrate yourself trying damn hard to make things better for yourself, or simply accept that you will never be content? I’ll pick frustration every time.

Don’t forget that the Leaving Work Behind community is here to support you. Join us on the forums, share your concerns and frustrations, and we will only be too happy to help.

Photo Credit: micheleart

Your “Hire Me” Page: How to Get More Clients and Increase Your Rate

Written by Tom Ewer on November 18, 2013. 57 Comments

"Available for Work" posterAs a freelance blogger, your Hire Me page is the gatekeeper.

Prospective clients land on it and the quality of your copy determines whether they contact you with an inquiry. As such, it pays (literally) to spend some time optimizing your Hire Me page.

And although finding work through job boards is always an option, the dream for any freelance blogger is for clients to come to them — another reason why the quality of your Hire Me page is integral to your success.

With the above in mind, in this post I am going to take you through the Hire Me page here on Leaving Work Behind – a page that has (to date) helped me earn around $100,000 as a freelance blogger. In reading this post you will learn everything you need to know about putting together a persuasive Hire Me page for your own website. I’ll also offer some tips on how to drive prospective clients to your page.

Your Headline

For the longest time, my Hire Me page was simply entitled “Hire Me”. Given that I am fully aware of the potentially persuasive nature of headlines, it is ironic that I stuck with such a basic option for such a long time.

But thanks to Oni (see point two), I recently made a change. My Hire Me page is now entitled:

"Hire Me" page headline

That’s right — it’s essentially like a blog post headline, which makes sense, given that I am selling blogging services. What better way to kick off a Hire Me page than to prove that you can write compelling headlines?

In a theme you will see recurring throughout this post, the focus of your headline should be on the benefit to the client. Don’t write something like, “Top Quality Article Writing Services” — instead, summarize the benefit of your services to the client. More traffic and customers is what all of my clients are in search of, and my headline immediately promises to help them with that goal.

The Introduction

"Hire Me" page introduction

A perfect Hire Me page will immediately resonate with its target client. As such, the most important thing you must do (after writing a compelling headline) is appeal to your target client in your introduction.

As with the headline, the focus must immediately be on how you can benefit the client. Here’s my opening line:

If you are in search of a reputable writer with a proven track record to produce top-quality articles for your blog that can boost traffic to your site and secure more customers, you’re in the right place. Get in touch to discuss your needs now!

I get straight down to business in the first sentence — clarifying the nature of my service and the benefits it offers. I finish off with a link straight to the contact form at the bottom of the page in case they’re already read to get in touch.

That part of the introduction is pretty set in stone — what you do with the rest is more personal to you. But regardless of your experience or reputation, make the most of what you have achieved and paint yourself in the most positive light possible. Here’s how I do it:

My work has been featured on world-famous blogs such as Mashable, Lifehacker, Smashing Magazine and SitePoint.

I am the Editor-in-Chief of the ManageWP Blog — one of the biggest WordPress blogs on the Internet.

I contribute to other well-known blogs such as FreelanceSwitch, WPExplorer, WooThemes, Bidsketch, Flippa and Wired Advisor.

I am also the founder of Leaving Work Behind and Healthy Enough.

In total, I have written over 1,000 blog posts on over 100 blogs.

You can probably spot what I have done here — listed a roll call of my achievements in the blogging world.

I start by mentioning the most well-known blogs I have written for, follow that up by naming my most impressive-sounding position (as the editor of the ManageWP blog), name some other well-known blogs, mention the two blogs that I founded, and finish off with a notable statistic about the number of blog posts I have written.

If you’re just getting started then you won’t be able to produce such a list. However, bear in mind that I started with nothing — in May 2011 I had barely even read a blog, let alone created my own or written for one. You can create a pretty impressive list starting with nothing in no time at all.

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Get your own blog up and running. Any client is going to pay far more attention to you if you demonstrate that you are a capable all-round blogger.
  2. Guest post on some small/medium-sized blogs to make a start to your portfolio.
  3. Use referrals from those guest posts to land some spots on more reputable sites. You’d be surprised at who might be willing to feature your content.

The first job I landed was off the back of a pitch that had nothing but links to my posts on Leaving Work Behind as samples, but that was enough to get me the gig. You can do better than that.

Expanding Upon the Benefits You Offer the Client

Now that you have the client’s attention, you can take a little more time to explain how you can benefit them. On my Hire Me page I do this in a section broken into three sub-headers:

"Hire Me" page benefits

Now is the time to really sell yourself. again, you should focus on benefits rather than services. Although you do of course need to make the client aware of the services you offer, what you write should always be framed in the context of how those services will help them.

I start with “Quality of Service”. Why? Because I know that many clients end up highly frustrated by unreliable freelance writers. It’s one thing hiring someone who can write — to find someone who can write and deliver on time and as promised is something else altogether. That’s exactly why I promise “a level of professionalism and efficiency of service that is all too rare amongst freelance bloggers.”

After that I drill down to my first Unique Selling Proposition (USP). USPs are the parts of your service that separate you from the competition and help to persuade the prospect that you are the right person for the job. Quite simply, my first USP is that I offer unlimited revisions.

I can make this promise easily, as I know that most clients don’t want to spend any time revising articles — they want a turn-key solution from their writers. But that doesn’t stop it from sounding impressive.

I then move onto my second USP: social media promotion. Although my service is strictly a writing service rather than a marketing service, I put a cherry on the cake by way of promotion through my social media networks and email subscribers (when relevant). It’s just another reason to hire me over someone else.

If you’re concerned that your service lacks any USPs, now is the time to create some. You do not necessarily need to be experienced or established to offer them — after all, anyone can promise unlimited revisions. Other examples of USPs are quick email turnaround and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Samples

"Hire Me" page samples
To be frank, this is the point at which all your good work can quickly become undone.

All the promises in the world count for nothing against proof. That is why the writing samples you offer must be high quality and varied.

In an ideal world you will focus your samples on a limited number of topics. Too broad a focus will not be attractive to prospective clients. That’s why all of the topics I focus on are within the same broad category of online business and content marketing.

I offer a three of my best articles (or articles that are published on the most reputable blogs) for each category that I write about. There’s no need to offer a huge number of samples — prospects are hardly going to start reading through your life’s work.

It’s good to offer a mix of blogs within your samples, to demonstrate that you are published on multiple platforms across the web. It’s absolutely fine to refer to posts from your own blog within your samples, but don’t do so exclusively. You need to demonstrate that independent parties have seen fit to feature your content on their site.

The best way to get more samples quickly is to guest post. It’s that simple. There is no excuse not to have a varied selection of samples on your Hire Me page.

Testimonials

Once you’ve established the benefits of your service and proven your abilities through your samples, you should offer social proof of the quality of your service. You do this with testimonials.

"Hire Me" page testimonials
I have a total of six testimonials on my Hire Me page, which is (in my opinion) plenty. All prospects want to see is that other people think highly of you. Even better if you can get well-known bloggers and businesses to think highly of you.

Getting your hands on testimonials is probably easier than you think. Start with your existing connections — even friends and colleagues. If you include a testimonial from a colleague who has something good to say about your professional nature, that sounds like a good testimonial to me.

Beyond that, you should seek out testimonials from those blogs that you have guest posted for. If you did a good job then the blogger will only be too happy to offer some kind words.

The beautiful part is this: most people are willing to give you a glowing testimonial. Few people will be willing to risk hurting your feelings or looking like an asshole — they’d much rather just tell the world how brilliant you are, regardless of how brilliant you may have been.

I advise that you include head shots with each testimonial. It makes it far easier to connect each testimonial with a real human being, and as such, make it that much more powerful.

The Contact Form

The final thing on your Hire Me page should be a contact form. This form should contain five fields:

"Hire Me" page contact form
The reason I include a budget field is that it encourages the prospect to reveal what they might be willing to pay you. That gives you the upper hand before negotiations have even begun. I wouldn’t recommend making this field mandatory, but it should definitely be there.

I recommend that you offer alternative means of contact for those who are not fans of web forms. I provide a link to my Contact page which contains more information.

If you’re looking for a good contact form solution for your WordPress site then I recommend Jetpack (packed with loads of other features) or Contact Form 7 (standalone plugin).

Getting Traffic to Your Hire Me Page

Of course, creating a compelling Hire Me page is only worth anything if you can drive prospective clients to it. While this post isn’t intended to be a guide to driving traffic to your blog, I do feel that a little should be said on the topic.

The two most effective ways to drive relevant traffic to your Hire Me page are as follows:

1. Your Bylines

If you’re serious about getting more freelance work then your bylines should be written for prospective clients, not just for people who might simply be interested in your blog.

Consider something along these lines:

Tom Ewer is the founder of Leaving Work Behind and a freelance blogger for hire who works with web startups and bloggers.

If someone in search of a freelance writer likes a post you’ve written and consequently sees a byline like that at the end, they’re going to click straight through to your Hire Me page (which will now of course compel them to contact you!).

2. Your Blog

It goes without saying that you should include a link to your Hire Me page prominently on your blog — ideally within as part of the main navigation.

But that’s not all — you should take the opportunity to link to your Hire Me page whenever possible. Some obvious places are a prominent button within your sidebar, at the bottom of every post, and within the posts themselves (when relevant).

Not everyone will spot that little Hire Me link in your navigation bar, so don’t be afraid to link to it liberally.

Any Questions?

In this post I have provided a detailed breakdown of my Hire Me page and the reasoning behind each of its distinct elements. This should give you the information you need in order to produce your own persuasive Hire Me page.

However, if you have any questions regarding your page — what should go in it, how you should phrase a certain USP, and so on — please do not hesitate to get in touch via the comments section below! Even better, get involved on our freelancing forum and ask your questions there — the entire community is happy to help 🙂

Alternatively, if you are a freelancer and have your own suggestions that I have not covered here, or have some feedback specific to my Hire Me page, please feel free to make your opinion known!

The 5 Key Fundamentals of Success

Written by Tom Ewer on November 14, 2013. 31 Comments

Update: This post was originally published in June 2011 (back when I was still in my job and hadn’t made a cent online) — it was in fact the first ever post published on Leaving Work Behind. While I have edited it in parts, it remains largely intact, and thus serves as a strong example of how far your convictions can take you. Enjoy!

Pencil rubbing out (im)possible.If you’ve been reading Leaving Work Behind for any length of time, you’ll know that I don’t preach about getting rich quick.

Yes, that old nugget. That whole area of “teaching” is utter rubbish. Quite frankly, I am not qualified to teach on the subject. I don’t believe that anyone is — sudden wealth is the bastard child of luck, and luck cannot be taught.

Having got that rant out of the way, I am happy to say that there are riches to be had. Wealthy and successful men and women do not get to where they are subsisting solely on a diet of good fortune, and more often than not, they are not extraordinarily special people. Many of my successful peers in online blogging will attest to that.

So, without further ado, here are the five fundamentals of success that I try to follow religiously.

1. A Solid Work Ethic

You'll need to work a little harder than this.

You’ll need to work a little harder than this.

Ah yes, old reliable. Work hard and you will make it.

But it is not actually that straightforward. I know plenty of people who consider themselves very hard workers, but as far as I am concerned, they are applying themselves in completely the wrong fashion.

If you sit down to work on your blog and find yourself two hours later browsing YouTube, you’ve achieved nothing. Don’t try to tell yourself otherwise.

Stop procrastinating. Right now! Finish reading this article then close down Twitter, Facebook, your emails, and any other distractions. Write down one thing you can do, in that moment, to advance your efforts. Then do it.

Success has a lot to do with focus. I can sit down to write an article and spend thirty minutes staring out of the window, then be frustrated with myself for just working so damn hard and not getting anywhere.

No more excuses — get your head down.

2. Determination

Tim Ferriss' now-iconic book, The Four-Hour Workweek, was initially rejected by over twenty publishers.

Tim Ferriss’ now-iconic book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was initially rejected by over twenty publishers.

How badly do you want it? I do not care what “it” is — that isn’t relevant. But you are going to hit stumbling blocks. There’s no avoiding it. And at times you will want to give up. Those are cast-iron guarantees.

One of the biggest defining factors between success and failure is determination. The ability to keep plugging away, despite seemingly endless rejection and failure, has bred some of the finest entrepreneurs in the world. There are countless stories of how vastly successful people fought tooth and nail to get to where they are. Not convinced? Read this.

So how do you maintain determination? How do you persist against all the odds?

Start by surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Share your successes and failures with them. Most importantly, hold yourself accountable. Tell people — family and friends; people who care — what you are trying to achieve. Surround yourself with those who believe in you and encourage you. Join us on the community forums — you’ll find we’re very welcoming!

Finally, give yourself a light at the end of the tunnel. If your sole aim is to build up a net worth of a million dollars, you will probably never succeed. Set incremental goals. Plot a path to where you want to be, then follow it. If you can’t plot the path all the way there, aim for a milestone along the way, and figure out how to advance once you get there. As I said in my post on How to Succeed, “Make sure the cracks aren’t chasms.”

3. Passion

Although I don't love every single element of my work, I am passionate about projects like Healthy Enough.

Although I don’t love every single element of my work, I am passionate about projects like Healthy Enough.

You are going to struggle to succeed if you do not have passion for what you are doing.

That can be in the form of the content you are writing, the rush you get from producing a product, or countless other things. Not everything in your business will give you joy, but you do need to find joy in your work.

Passion is determination’s best friend friend. Nurture it, and it will in turn feed your determination. A healthy passion for what you are doing will carry you through the low points. If you are not emotionally invested in your efforts, it will be all too easy to give up.

4. Nous

GlassesIntelligence is underplayed as a key cause of success. I am sorry to break it to you, but you will need to know what the hell you are doing.

I am fed up of the many internet entrepreneurs out there, selling something or other, saying “If I can do it, so can you!” We can only do it if we take ownership of what is required and execute.

You can stumble into success, and it does happen. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income is a great example of this — I won’t get into specifics as he has already chronicled his remarkable story far better than I can on his blog. But when he was offered the opportunity for success, he grabbed it with both hands and owned it.

That took nous. The guy knows what he is doing, make no mistake about it. So don’t you dare count on luck to carry you through.

5. Time

A clockLast but certainly not least, we have our most valuable commodity.

I’ve got more bad news for you — you are not going to wake up a millionaire tomorrow. The world does not move that quickly. After all, if it were that easy, why on earth isn’t everyone rolling around gleefully in giant mountains of cash?

Once you have effectively combined and actioned the four key fundamentals above, you are going to have to let time work its magic.

Now is not the time to sit back and wait though. Keep pushing and developing your income streams. Walk hand in hand with time as your partner. Do not leave it to do all the work by itself — it can’t.

Create Your Own Story

It’s easy to write about what to do in order to become successful; the difficulty is in the execution.

You may already have the potential to follow through on what I have covered in this article, but you need to combine them as ingredients so that you can produce a delicious success cake, with a thick layer of wealth icing (and a fulfilment cherry on top, as a finishing touch).

The fundamentals I discuss may be screamingly self-evident to you, but do not blast me for stating the obvious. The fact is, if we all adhered to the above fundamentals to our maximum potential, we would all likely be in much more affluent positions.

Remember this: pride has no place in the journey to becoming successful. No one person has all the answers and that is not what you should be aiming for. No matter your position in life, moving forwards with the five key fundamentals above in mind may galvanize you onto greater things.

There are some guys and girls out there with truly remarkable stories. But they created their stories — they weren’t born with them. Their stories were borne out of sweat and tears. If you want what they have, all you have to do is follow the key fundamentals above. It may only take months, or it may take years, but stay the course and you will see it through to the end.

Photo Credits: Arya Ziai, Sean Cameron, The Next WebTracy Hunter, mayeesherr and Richard Roberson.

My Monthly Income Report — October 2013

Written by Tom Ewer on November 11, 2013. 55 Comments

A magnifying glass over $20 notes.I made some bold claims in my last income report. The kind of claims that can come back to bite you on the ass.

I know this as much as anyone. I’ve certainly been the “victim” of expecting too much of myself in the past (although the word “victim” is a misnomer, as the fault has usually been mine).

I knew that as I wrote down those bold claims, but I also knew that I needed a kick up the ass in October. And publicly-stated claims usually provide me with the extra dose of motivation that I so desperately needed after having spent the summer months working (and achieving) very little.

So with the month now over, one overriding question remains: did I follow up on my promise to move forwards with my projects with great speed and gusto? Read on to find out!

What Happened in October?

I started the month with the expectation that it would be one of wrapping things up: namely my much-delayed LWB re-launch and the launch of a brand new online freelance blogging course based upon my existing freelance writing guide.

With my writing business going so smoothly and requiring no more than an hour of my time on average per day, I certainly had the time to get a lot done. And upon reflection, I think I did pretty well.

I certainly wasn’t putting my nose to the grindstone and working all hours of the day and night, but then I don’t want to put myself in that position. What I do want to do is help more people and create greater and more diverse income streams. I have to work in order to do that (a concept I seemed to be lacking an understanding of through the summer).

Most notably, you guys finally saw the re-launch of Leaving Work Behind on 4th November – the result of hard work throughout October. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far and I am very happy with how things have gone. Although the re-launch hasn’t resulted an enormous spike in traffic and a huge influx of new subscribers (more of a hump), it has (I think) finally set a solid foundation in place upon which I can build something far greater than what already exists.

I’m especially happy with how quickly the community forums have sprung to life so far. If you haven’t registered yet then do so now and get involved!

People have already got lots to say on the Leaving Work Behind Community Forums!

People have already got lots to say on the Leaving Work Behind Community Forums!

Meanwhile, I didn’t launch my new freelance blogging course course (which will be called Paid to Blog), but I’m not worried about that – I didn’t want the two events to be too close anyway. Now that the smoke has cleared from the launch, I’ll be ready to move ahead with Paid to Blog soon.

With all that said, how did the month go in terms of the numbers?

Monthly Income Report – October 2013

  1. Freelance writing:
    • Income: $7,698.35
    • Expenditure: $2,037.15
    • Profit: $5,661.20
  2. Websites:
    • Income: $2.04
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $2.04
  3. Affiliate Marketing (Leaving Work Behind):
  4. Information Products:
    • Income: $1,043
    • Expenditure: $58.90
    • Profit: $984.10
  5. eBooks:
    • Income: $42.11
    • Expenditure: $0
    • Profit: $42.11

Total profit for October 2013: $7,556.86

After the huge nosedive that was September’s income report, I’m really delighted to see that things have bounced back so strongly.

But what is interesting is where the money has come from. It’s not that my affiliate or product sales have increased – they are as relatively steady as ever. No – it’s a big increase in my writing earnings that have been the cause October’s healthy uplift. In fact, my gross writing earnings in October were the highest ever.

You may be wondering how this came about. After all, over the past few months I have switched from a pure freelancing role to subcontracting work to writers and acting in an editorial role – making sure that the pieces they produce are suitable for clients and making changes where necessary. So how did I make over $7,500 gross in one month?

The answer is simple really: I secured a number of new clients in October. I can’t tell you why – it’s not like I went out in search of them – but I worked with five new clients in the month.

That’s the beauty of getting referrals through bylines and your blog: you don’t have to be actively in search of new clients for them to materialize. It only strengthens my firm belief that any freelance blogger who wants to elevate themselves must work hard on creating a quality blog.

Looking Forward (and Upward)

While the increased writing income is fantastic, it may well never be higher (I know I’ve said that before, but still…).

Ultimately, I do not want the writing to represent the core of my business. That is why I have poured so much time, energy and money into the re-launch of LWB. Without wanting to sound arrogant (which may be difficult in this case!), I look around me and I think I can help people far more than some other bloggers out there who are far better known than me. Clearly they’re marketing themselves better than I am, but in spite of that, I think what I have to offer is just as (if not more) valuable.

I have resolved myself to the fact that I can’t succeed only by trying to help people. I have to get to those people too, which means actively seeking to increase the reach of Leaving Work Behind (and Healthy Enough). I need to work as much on marketing my content as I do producing it, if not more. Otherwise, my blogs will never fulfill their potential. I’ll be working on that in the coming weeks.

What’s in Store for November?

Although there are now less than two months left in the year, I still have three big projects that I want to complete before 2014 rolls around:

  1. Launching Paid to Blog
  2. Launching my Leaving Work Behind book
  3. “Hard launching” Healthy Enough

I hope to launch Paid to Blog this month and make good progress on my other two goals. I hope that doing so will set December up nicely, enable me to see off 2013 in style and give me a great platform to build upon in 2014.

I feel like the whole year has been building up to these final two months and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

Photo Credit: Images of Money