When I first began my writing business my daughter was only a tiny baby. I struggled to keep up and earn enough to make ends meet. Then a friend of mine showed me a way to make sure my writing income always flowed into the business no matter what I wrote and now I earn more than enough to cover all my bills, pay the mortgage and still have plenty to spare.
Income Avenue 5)
Mr. Writer created his own blog when he first began writing. People are starting to visit it now and he's figured out there are a couple of places who will pay for banner ads whether you have any visitors or not. He's signed up with these. They don't pay much, but it's better than nothing. One company pays him $6 per month (or $1.50 per week) for a simple little banner. He gets excited and throws some Google Adsense ads on the blog too.
They don't pay much on his site because he doesn't have many visitors - maybe a few dollars a month. He adds the pathetic little figure of $2.50 a week to his spreadsheet and gets depressed that it's so low.
Then he also remembers that he's doing nothing for it, so it's really like free money that will just grow as his blog gets bigger. He's also got his blog address out in 30 different forums and people are really starting to visit now. The Adsense dollars slowly start adding up.
This is called passive income. He's not depressed any more.
Income Avenue 6)
Mr. Writer enjoys the community feeling of writing in forums and blogs, but he's just not being taken seriously as a freelance writer. He gets impatient and wonders how he can get an article in his favorite Muscle Cars magazine.
He's visited a few of the professional freelance writing sites (like Freelance Factor and Absolute Write and Worldwide Freelance and Writing-World) and he knows you never write an article for a big magazine without first sending a quick query letter to the editor to ask if his article idea would be accepted.
The editor writes back and says: "Yes please. I need 800 words on your wonderful idea by Friday and I'll pay you $400 when it's done." Woo hoo for Mr. Writer!Mr. Writer decides he's going to send out one query letter per week to different magazines with his ideas and hopefully write one major article every week.
Uh oh... Take a look at Mr. Writer's pie chart now! All that hard work on writing articles, forum posts, blogs and reviews - and it's not even a quarter of his total freelance income!
Do you think he should just stop doing them and concentrate on the big stuff instead?
Please tell me you're shaking your head saying "NO WAY, RAVEN!"... I would be.
You see, the income from little stuff might not look like much, but what happens to Mr. Writer's income if he doesn't sell any big articles for a few weeks in a row?
Income avenues only work as an effective safety net when none of the incomes make up more than 50% of your total income. This means Mr. Writer needs to figure out how to get his major income to less than half of his total writing income to be safe. Are you with me?
Let's see what Mr. Writer's going to do to solve this imbalance between his income avenues and strengthen his safety net.
Mr. Writer figures that researching and writing one major article is going to take him 10 hours. He decides to do 4 hours on one day and 4 hours on the second and 2 hours on the third. This still leaves him plenty of time to work on his other income avenues.
In fact, he has plenty of time to do more than just his normal stuff - he could probably double it.
He decides to write 2 online articles per day instead of one, taking his weekly income from this source up to $80 per week.
He finds a second paid-forum-posting company and adds that workload to his first, doubling that income to $30 per week.
He writes one extra review per day, doubling his income from this source to $50 per week
He writes one extra paid blog post per day, doubling that income to $100 per week.
At the same time, more and more people start to visit his blog. His ad income goes up to $10 per week and he's liking this passive income idea!
Let's look at his pie-chart now...
Hmmm.... that one big article sale is still more than 50% - but his income has gone up quite a lot! If you've been doing the math during this article, you'd see that Mr. Writer's income from writing is now up to $670 per week - but only if he sells that one big article every week. If he doesn't sell a big article, he's back down to $270 per week.
He needs to add one more income stream that could help him to even it out a bit.
Mr. Writer visits the professional freelance sites again and reads all the articles. He learns what the professionals would do to bump up their incomes and he considers his options. He adds...
Income Avenue 7)
Non-fiction ebooks on quality, niche topics still sell very well. He is smart enough to know he has to avoid the overdone topics already filled with junk products, like 'Get Rich Quick' or 'Work At Home' - but there are niches out there where a quality product still sells very well.
He has a passion for model trains and he knows enough about them to show other model train fans how to collect them properly. He looks on Google and finds plenty of websites for model train enthusiasts. He sits down and writes a chapter per day on his passion. After 10 days, he's finished.
Mr. Writer gets a nice cover graphic made for him, writes a sales page that tells people what's in the book and then he emails all those model train websites he found earlier to tell them about it. They all agree to promote it to their visitors for him. He sells it for $15.
Mr. Writer submits his little ebook to ebook directories and listings. He submits it to review sites and it gets great reviews. Sales start to go up...
He's selling 6 per week - which is an extra $90 into his freelance business, bringing his total up to $760 per week. It's no best-seller, but it keeps selling week after week for a whole year. Not bad for a few days work! Mr. Writer decides he likes this passive income stuff after all.
Mr. Writer's story is just a simplified example I created to show you that you have the option of creating your freelance business empire however you choose. It's your business so you should fill it with things you enjoy doing - but those things also need to create enough income to keep your business running.
I hope it's also highlighted that poor Mr. Writer spent a lot of time creating low-paid content for very little reward at the end, yet he earned far more money with one simple article to one magazine.
Please view any low-paying online jobs you may have now as "filler" income. It's nice to have a bit of extra money coming in - but don't rely on it! Create your main income avenue from high paying sources. There are a couple of posts on my blog about how to find high paying markets. Fill in your secondary income avenues with the low-paying fluff to keep your business going.
Take a look at your own business's income avenues and see if you can find ways to increase each avenue.
You do have more than one Income Avenue, don't you?