The Internet has changed our Life and the way we view things so much, that often we can not even imagine a day without the Internet to give us News, Entertainment or in some cases provide us with income. Yes, the Internet has rapidly made it possible for us to make a fulltime living from the comfort of our own home. The Cottage Industry has slowly become just another branch of the electronic work based industry. We have work from home based businesses, like freelance writing, data entry work, advertisement specialists, medical transcript writers, post on forums for pay, surveys for pay and one of the newer inventions of the Internet is the Blog.
The question in a debate arouse: Can you make a fulltime income just by working with your personal Blog? Should you quit your Day Job to strictly do what you love, tell your Boss that he can take his Job and ….well you know the Rest. Needless to say the debate become quiet heated after a while, with surprisingly many voting for yes. I sat in the middle for a long while and then after thinking about my own tries in trying to switch my way of living from working and writing to full time writing had to give my honest Opinion as follows.
If I had a place in a perfect World, where I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth or were married to a super rich person, I would love to give a resounding YES. Having my Dream of living the life of a fulltime Writer and Artisan who through here creative sweat and imagination makes a fantastic living for her-self and her family, I would dearly love to agree with wide eyes wonder to such a concept. However, from a realistic and tested point of view the sad answer has to be NO, at least not for quiet a while.
I would like to present to you some of the Reasons, why such an undertaking may be handicapped at the onset. Keep in mind that once you have spend enough time, money and effort and it has turned into an actual Business, then the answer would slightly change, or would it? All the Reasons given here therefore, go of the Idea that this is a fairly new Blog and you are new to the money making side of it.
Traffic and Readership
The Question that you might bring towards me here is: “What does that have to do with making this my full and only income?” The Answer is a rather simple one. With no other income to provide for your needs, your Blog has to generate steady Revenue on a consistent weekly or monthly basis. You have to calculate the Money required to meet all your obligations a.k.a bills, health care, food, emergency and upkeep of your “online Business”. For that it will be best to work with a Revenue generating Company. Places like “Get Paid to Blog”, have certain criteria and expectation for them even to consider hiring you on as a fulltime freelance Blogger. One of those criteria is that your Blog must be a minimum of at least 3 month old and have a steady and plentiful Readership. For that to be able to come to fruitarian, you have to have enough quality Traffic going through your Blog to make it worth working with you. After all they don’t get paid unless they pass the jobs along to Bloggers who provide Sales.
A few Affiliate Programs later, which are willing to work with you and you, are flying high of course. When I first started out working with the Internet and had found the first few Affiliate Sites that had accepted me, I was happy go lucky and my dreams were somewhere around the moon. Then came the dreaded dose of sad reality. Statistics have proven that for every 1000 unique hits your Blog or Website receives, you generate one interested customer. We call that a Lead. For every 100 quality Leads you may get one purchase. No longer sounds so great, do it? When working with Affiliates you are dealing with a fun thing called minimum payout. Most of the time you can choose your minimum payout, of course you can set that as low as you would like. After choosing the method of payment, most of the time it is between Checks and Paypal you have to work on making that minimum amount before you money get released to you. However, if you don’t reach the minimum amount before the payout period has come your way, it gets rolled over to the next Pay Period, which in most cases is at least one week to one month away. Yes, that means if you are even as little as 50cents short you will not be paid out that day. Now you will not have a check from this specific venue that week or month. Then you may have the problem of dealing with companies who not very good about paying out on time. When your rent is due nobody cares why you can not make the payment on time and retrieving your money from creditors is nowhere as easy as you think.
Ask your-self: Can I keep a predictable and steady interesting flow of content coming?
The Gut instinct answer to that one is always a resounding yes. Your thought pattern is somewhere along these lines: You are working for yourself and you have so much to share with the world. You can work whenever you want to and you never yet have run out of things to say. Wrong. I will only give you two little hated words that every Writer fears, “Writers Blog” and believe me, when you have to write it can happen quiet often. Suddenly the fun has ended and the hobby becomes a chore. Now it has become a must and not a want. All of a sudden your friends and family, who admired you at first, may no longer be so appreciative of your gifts, when it comes to living of your income from them. Now they are critiquing you at every end, you are under constant stress to perform and it causes your ideas to run dry. Suddenly they no longer appear to be as fetching as they were before.You are now working against some stiff competition out there, with thousands of novice writers just like yourself looking to catch a break. With that in mind you sit down on your Computer and know that your text has to be intriguing, challenging, and informative, stand on its own and be researched. You have to able to back up with integrity what you want to say. If you specialize in opinion pieces only, you may not have such an easy time generating consistent revenue as with some “Meat and Potato” Articles. Now you are pushed to learn to write better and produce faster without loosing your own voice. Sooner or later you will come up against the big boys in the Genre of your Choice and you will have to learn to hold your own. Can you keep your content coming? Produce the Content daily? Advertise, generate, update. Put your name out there. Keep trying when one rejection after the other comes in. The Bills pile up on the counter and you are running low on just about everything. Your Partner gives you that look you hate. Can you still write under those circumstances?
There is no Business like Writing Business and there is no Writing Business without Business Sense.
Laws can be quiet a downer at that. Have you educated your-self yet about tax laws? Did you know that once you make Blogging your fulltime job, just like any other freelance writing, it now has become a Business? Are you familiar with the requirements of your State in regards to making self employment income? Now you have to keep files, records, spreadsheets, etc. You will have to file Taxes as self employed at the end of the year. The IRS may request at any time to see your Records or which to audit you. That may not happen, but you want to be prepared if it does. Are you adept at advertising your Product, in this case your Blog and your Writing, or will you have to hire someone else? Do you know how to represent your-self, or do you have to count PR People in your output and Budget as well? Do you have Business Sense enough to make it and make a Profit? Remember, you are depending on your Business Smarts. Which means you have to also budget in time to read, read, read and read some more. Talk to others and be willing to learn from those gone before you. Keep up with the times.
What is the Status of your Savings?
No matter which Business you start out with, you will have to have some Capital to start with. Perhaps you don’t have a start up cost, but you still have to have money to fall back on. A good rule of thumb is, to have enough money set away to live decently for at least one full year, before you have to worry about not being able to make it. Look at your finances and as your-self these questions: Can you make ends meet if no income is brought into the house for at least 4 month? Do you have enough Savings ready at hand in case of an emergency? Do you have enough money set aside incase you need to update your software, purchase advertisement, take a business trip or make it past the absolute dead periods? If you have a Partner in your Life, is he or she ok with what you want to do? Are they willing to take up the slack and let you try to make it? How long have you agreed upon to give it before you have to return to working outside the house? Have your responsibilities shifted in a way you can handle?
Business and long term Goal Plans
You have sat down and firmly stated: “I am quitting my job and will make my money from my knowledge and my Blog.” Great, I am glad you have that decided, but here is a little notch that is a dream and a wish not a Business Plan. A Business Plan or Goal Plan includes concrete Ideas and Ways to achieve what you are looking for. Those include short term Goals, long term Goals and fall back plans. They include a written map of all your planned output, time consummation, assets and more. Have you set down and made a Goal of how much money you need to generate in what time frame? Have you decided if you want to run one, two, three etc Blogs and how you will present them? Do you know who to work with Templates and software or will you have to take courses to learn? What are your health care and retirement Plans? How far do you want to take it? What is your first step? What is your back up plan in case you have internet failure? Your computer equipment burns up?
Those are only a few simple things to consider. There are plenty more Hurdles to consider and take before you can make this dream a reality. I have a dream as well, I want to be a fulltime freelance writer, but I know that to achieve that, I have a long way to go. It no longer can be just a hobby and I have to convince my family around me of that as well. It is a business and with that, capital has to be on hand to get started. I have to be deligent in my efforts and not give up. Deadlines have to be set and held. I have to be disciplined enough to be my own Boss and accountable for my own failures. Can you eventually make enough money to quit your day job? If you have worked hard enough at it and you had a healthy dose of good fortune sure. However by the time you make enough money with your blog to do that, it will have become your second day job already. It now has become your fulltime day job and so the answer will remain no. The answer now has to be; I can work out of my own house and run my own Business, which in the end is frustrating, stressful and very satisfying if done right.
Good luck to you. You might want to check into the following Books, to get a few hints on Traffic Driving and Tax Laws.
Tax Power for the self-employed by James O Parker
Increase Your Web Traffic In a Weekend by Jerry Lee Ford J.R.