As the three month absence of my income reports has perhaps hinted, I had been in doubt recently as to the value of publishing my earnings here on Leaving Work Behind.
Around the time of the relaunch in May, I had a lengthy internal debate regarding publishing income reports. At the time, I decided not to continue with them. My thinking was always to offer value to you, the reader, and I wasn’t totally sure what value my reports were delivering.
But I have since had a change of heart, which is why you are reading this!
What Has Changed?
Ultimately, I believe that following someone else’s journey can be a powerful means of achieving success personally.
I say this because what really got me excited about making money online when I started out back in May 2011 was Pat Flynn’s income reports and niche site duel. Reading people’s income reports and case studies has perhaps had more influence on my online business than anything else I have read.
With that in mind, I want this blog (in part) to return to its roots of “this is what I have achieved, and this is how I did it”. I think that’s where a lot of the value I can offer lies. And although I may not be making anywhere near as much as A-list bloggers, I believe that I can offer a unique and valuable perspective in terms of my own achievements that you won’t find elsewhere.
Not only that, this blog offers up a detailed record of my efforts to quit my job and establish an online business from the very first day. The frustration of following A-list bloggers who only started blogging when they were already experiencing a great deal of success is not something you will experience here.
Alright, enough chat — let’s get down to this month’s report!
At the start of this month, I published an enormous post: How to Set Goals and Motivate Yourself to Actually Achieve Them. Although I have talked about goal setting on LWB before, I hadn’t written anything approaching a comprehensive guide.
What surprised me was that writing that post galvanized me into become far more rigorous in terms of tracking my own goals. Although I understood and accepted all of the principles in the guide (after all, I did write it), it became apparent to me that I wasn’t taking my own medicine as much as I should’ve been.
The upshot of this was a huge uptick in prioritization and productivity in August. It may sound absurd, but my own guide ended up being a huge help to me. I’ll be sharing more in terms of my productivity process soon, but I am really happy with the work I am doing at the moment.
Since my last income report in April, my freelance writing business has gone from strength to strength. I continue to receive client referrals from this blog (even though my Hire Me page could do with a lot of work), and I have as much work as I would like at the moment from a core of long term clients. I would take on more if the right opportunity presented itself, but I am in no rush.
I could probably earn a lot more money with my freelance writing business if I wanted to. I could ditch clients who pay less than my current Minimum Acceptable Rate, optimize my Hire Me page, and be far more aggressive in targeting potential new clients. But the fact is that I am comfortable with where I am right now, I enjoy the work that I do, and I have plenty of time to work on other projects. So why change anything for the time being?
If I had one piece of advice to hand out to aspiring freelance writers, it would be to work hard on your own blog. I am where I am now largely because of the clients that this blog has referred to me (either directly or indirectly). The fact that I am able to run a freelance writing business without doing any marketing work is pretty awesome. Let your blog do the marketing for you.
My Freelance Blogging Guide
This is my big project at the moment, as you will know if you have read either of my case study posts (here and here).
I spent all of August writing the first draft of the guide, which currently sits at around 23,500 words. I found that I was able to write around 1,000 words per hour, and I dedicated around 4 hours per week to writing (I had previously done some writing in July too).
That was the easy part — the challenge in September will be planning the launch, and all of the various things that need to come together in order to ensure that the guide is a success. It will be an interesting month!
My New Project
I have been debating whether or not to share this with you over the past week or so, but then I remembered that I haven’t hidden anything from you before, so why start now?
I have started a new project. It is entirely speculative in nature, and an experiment more than anything else, but I do have high hopes for it. Whether it pans out into anything of substance remains to be seen, but it will serve as a useful case study if nothing else.
If you are interested to learn more, stay tuned, because I will be revealing all soon!
Income & Expenditure — August 2012
- Freelance writing:
- Income: $4,514.60
- Expenditure: $49.62
- Profit: $4,464.98
- Income: $9.83
- Expenditure: $114.45
- Profit: -$104.62
- Leaving Work Behind:
- Income: $389.72
- Expenditure: $56.37
- Profit: $330.35
- Information Products:
- Income: $0
- Expenditure: $101.68
- Profit: -$101.68
Total profit for August 2012: $4,589.03
In August I earned a net income that is well in excess of my outgoings, which is great news (it’s always nice to be able to pay the bills ;)). However, my freelance writing income this month is likely to be something of a peak. With that in mind, my focus is very much on taking steps to bolster my other income streams, in order to reduce my exposure in any one particular area.
My original niche site project is now all but dead, which is reflected by the pathetic website earnings. However, Leaving Work Behind has now established itself as a money maker (albeit a modest one). This is something that I will look to develop further in the coming months.
For those of you who have purchased products via an affiliate link on LWB — thank you! And for those of you who haven’t, thank you also, just for being here and reading! You are all awesome! 🙂
What’s in Store for September?
Hopefully, September will be another successful month in terms of freelance earnings, but I will be extremely surprised if I top August’s income.
Most of my attention beyond my freelance work and posts here will be on developing my freelance blogging guide, and working on my new project. Beyond that, I doubt I’ll have time to do anything else of substance!
Creative Commons image courtesy of Images_of_Money