Freelance Writing Meets Internet Marketing

Welcome back to this freelance witter blog of mine. I’m going to re-visit the whole freelance writing thing from a slightly different perspective in this post. I’m not going to promote it as a way to make money online, although it absolutely is. I’m going to take a look at where it can take you in terms of growth, then show you what is possible when freelance writing meets Internet marketing.

There is one great problem with working as a freelance writer online which mirrors working at most forms of gainful employment and that is there is a ceiling on what you can earn. Ok, for some writers who can command a good rate for their work, that ceiling is higher than for most but its still there in the form of time.

What I’m getting at in my usual roundabout fashion is that there are only so many hours in the day and a writer, no matter how prolific, can only write so many words before the physical limitation of the need for sleep shuts them down for the day! So there’s the ceiling. Even if you work flat out, seven days a week you will hit the ceiling because online, especially now in these times of economic turmoil, there is only so much that content writers can expect to be paid.

Unless you are fortunate enough to be able to make the leap from content writer, or ghost writer to full blown, published author in your own right, the sky is considerably higher than the limit.

I know of several freelance writers who are just about at the top of their earning potential and they are not enjoying an easy life by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, in order to earn the kind of money that represents financial freedom, they are literally working their arses off seven days a week, twelve hours a day stuck in a chair chained to a computer. That’s no life! At least not one that has a pot of gold waiting at the end of all those long hours of toil.

This is the problem. Once you’ve worked so hard for a month and made a decent income, paid all your bills and everything else, you can’t sit back and relax while the next month looks after itself. To sustain that income you have to keep going. And keep going some more until you’ve saved enough to allow you to take a couple of weeks off and have a nice holiday. At the end of the holiday, what have you got to look forward to? The endless grindstone, that’s what.

In fact, its no different from working at a job, except you get to work from the comfort of your own home. The downside is that no company would expect you to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Ok, the pay and the conditions may be worse at a J-O-B and you’d probably have to commute (I’d rather shove bamboo splinters up my fingernails) and job security no longer exists, but at least you’d get weekends off and a few weeks paid holiday.

So am I advocating quitting the freelance writing game and returning to gainful employment?

Absolutely not!

I’d sooner commit Hari Kari than work for someone else ever again! But there is an alternative to slogging the hours away writing content that still allows you to stay at the computer and work from home. Its just that it also takes a monumental amount of work, time and perseverance to pull it off.

I know so, because its exactly what I’m doing. Its a marriage of two disciplines, where freelance writing meets Internet marketing. Writing and building a business that has no ceiling on earnings. While still working as a freelance writer I can transfer the writing skills I have to building my ever growing collection of websites which are quietly growing in size and authority with the search engines. I already make money from my freelance writing, and I’ll keep that side going because it would be foolish to stop. But now I also make money online from my websites and the monthly earnings keep growing, steadily month by month.

The Internet marketing income comes from different sources, but the main ones are affiliate commissions on products, services and merchandise that I promote on certain websites, advertising revenue and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising from Google Adsense. This is what is known as Internet Marketing, or selling/marketing for profit using the Internet as your medium. This income grows in direct proportion to the volume of sites I have out there and their increase in age, stature and authority as they mature. There is no ceiling on this area of income as the Internet is huge, steadily growing and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

This income will gradually displace the freelance writing income and become a kind of income that is what is known as passive, meaning that it will continue whether I sit here in front of my computer slaving away, or sit on a beach enjoying a day off, or lying fast asleep in my bed. Its 24/7 income that just keeps coming. Of course, the more I put into it now, the more it will continue to grow, making for an ever upward spiraling source of income that will not stop if I decide to take a holiday, which it certainly would do if I were relying solely on income from writing.

Is this an easy thing to do? No it is not and when I said it takes perseverance, I’m talking 2 years of learning, implementing what I learned, making mistakes, suffering setback after setback and still hammering away at it until I started showing a profit. I still suffer setbacks and still make mistakes, but they are fewer and father between these days. There is a very bright light at the end of this very long tunnel and getting there has been extremely trying. Luckily for me, I’m a stubborn, tenacious bastard when I get an idea in my head and decide to go for it! Once I get the bit between my teeth, I’ll keep going at it until it pays off.

Failure is a word that does not exist in my vocabulary. Setback and obstacle I can take, because I know that these can be overcome with dogged perseverance, belief and sheer tenacity. Most people give up too soon in this game and that’s a shame, because it really can be done and you really can make a decent living from the Internet if you’re willing and prepared to take everything it can throw at you and still bounce back to progress toward that point where you’re in profit and the money that comes in pays the bills and keeps growing so that the next holiday will be better than the last!

Do you think you’re up for that?

Terry Didcott

Being a Freelance Writer

Being a freelance writer (following my last post SpanAir Plane Crash in Madrid, by the way) as well as working hard at my own Internet Marketing business means working long days, especially for a disorganised person like me. Most people in this position would then go on to write about how important it is to organise yourself and to prioritise your work, manage your time more efficiently etc.

Poppycock!

How many of these people actually follow their own advice? What do I care whether they do or whether they don’t? Ok, I admit it. I don’t care what other people are doing or thinking or saying, because they are other people and I’m me. And being me, I’ll do as I please and if it means starting a sentence with an “and” I’ll go right ahead and do it…

Likewise, if I want to organise my freelance writer working time into long periods of procrastination and daydreaming, then I’ll go ahead and do that too.

You see, working for yourself and even more especially from home as a freelance writer in a situation where there really isn’t the same level of pressure as there is working for a slave driver boss in an office, or wherever allows you to do things the way you’re most comfortable with. I’m comfortable with working for a while on one thing, such as building a website, or blog host, then switching to another when I get bored with the first thing, then switching to something else when I get bored with that. Maybe my attention span is shortening as I get older, or maybe I was always like this but was always forced into working against my own grain which ultimately resulted in less work getting done because I rebelled against being forced to do things in a way that is not my way.

Work all that out of you can and you’ll probably conclude that there is either a genius at work here or a lazy sod! Ok, I admit I tend towards the lazy side of life and do not believe in putting additional effort when it is either not directly for my own benefit or is superfluous to the job at hand.

I worked for many years for the IT section in a bank and was constantly frustrated by certain individuals who probably meant well but had no idea that what they were often asking to be done was an inefficient use of my particular skills, or duplication of effort as my colleagues were usually working on something similar to me and we would often overlap.

So lets get back up to the present and push all those old memories back in their box where they belong.

Being a freelance writer gives me the freedom to work from home and set my own working hours to suit me. As long as the work is done within the allotted time, then who cares if I take a day off at zero notice and then spend another day working for 16 hours? Not that I would spend all of those 16 hours working on an assignment. A big chunk of that would be spent flipping back and forth between the assignment and building and populating my own websites. Its a lot of effort but its all for my own benefit which is a good thing from my perspective both as a freelance writer and an Internet Marketer.

For achieving a position when they finally produce all my financial needs is the ultimate goal. Then I can take my foot off the gas a little and let all the hard work that I’m putting in now pay off in the (near) future. And then I can keep starting my sentences with “and” and I won’t have to worry about the hours I work (or don’t) and no one can tell me how to do things .

Actually, no one does that now…

Terry Didcott

Writing in the Heat

My last post was all about writing and making use of Constant Content for Writers, as a source of income online. This one takes a turn for the worse as the heat is turned up here in southern Spain, making the process of getting much work done a difficult one.

We are of course now in the hottest month of the year, but the last weeks have been particularly hot. In fact the met people are calling this one of the hottest summers on record so far! Global warming, it seems has returned with a vengeance, at least in this corner of the world!

With the hot Saharan wind (el terral) making going outdoors seem like standing in a hairdryer and pushing daytime temperatures up to around 40ºc its no wonder most construction ceases this month and people stay indoors either sitting in the dark bemoaning “que calor, que calor” or collapsing in front of the aircon unit devoid of the energy to get up again!

I don’t have aircon in my place here on the Costa del Sol, but thankfully it is shaded well enough on the sunny side by a large jasmine plant I planted 4 years ago and strategically placed toldos (blinds) to keep the temperature down below 27ºc, which is still comfortable. Well, comfortable or not, it’s still hot enough to make a good writer feel less like writing and more like going down to the pool with a cold beer or several!

Well, we all know how much that would accomplish, none of it having anything remotely to do with getting any work done.

So I sit here and carry on regardless, keeping my chin up and fingers moving in an effort to at least justify spending these hours in front of this computer building websites and making the most of my own blog host. Which, incidentally for those to whom it may matter a jot, is powered by an AMD Athlon processor which runs at about 42ºC, the heat from which is pumped relentlessly out of the rear of the box housing it into the room where I’m working and trying to keep from overheating! Bad choice when I built this thing – I should have gone for a cooler running Intel chip. But of course it was something I didn’t find out about until after I’d built it, so moot point really!

So back to this heated writing ramble which is not really going anywhere apart from informing the rest of the world that Malaga is actually as hot, if not hotter than most of the traditionally sun scorched cities in the interior of Spain, the inhabitants of which tend to flock to these shores in their millions this month to escape from the heat of their homes. Only this year, they’re literally jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire as it doesn’t look like the wily Africans are going to turn off their northward facing wind machines (its all a conspiracy, didn’t you know…) anytime soon.

I can see our communal pool from the window I keep catching myself blankly staring out of and the few people that are there look like they’re really enjoying themselves. Now where did I leave those cold beers…

Terry Didcott