Thursday, 29 October 2015

Slow Inroads Into Online Money Making

The good thing about keeping a blog on this type of topic is that it keeps you "honest". That is, you can state one week that you focus for the coming week is X and realize that you have to justify the reason why you took the Y route.

We all have ideas and intentions but unless there's a bit of energy and action to back them, they simply remain as ideas and intentions. So I find myself writing this having not touched the information marketing product space at all. That's potentially one week of passive income I've thrown away. Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic but that's the principle.

To be fair, I did intend to work on the information marketing side but I was a bit under the weather for a few days so was sidelined. I also had a few distractions.

One of which was writing for Scripted - editing a previously offered piece, in addition to creating one fresh "How To" article. So that's a few extra dollars ($28), which is nice.

The other distraction was working on an Elance test I had received. I've been put on a three-person short list for a specific job. The job itself is a long-term freelance gig that involves compiling a weekly report. So in order to get the gig, I needed to work hard on my test report.

The trouble with all that is that the test also showed that I really hate reading instructions! Spell them out in person, put them in video form, give me pretty pictures. All fine. But physically having to read them and work through them simply shows up the learning style that works least for me.

And to add to that, having to reconcile numbers and words in a coherent format is also not my strong suit. Suffice to say, the task took a hell of a lot longer than it really should have.

Maybe if I get the gig I'll be able to sail through it all, now that I've worked through the basics. And the money being offered isn't crazy bad ($15/hour). But that's time taken away from me investing in my business, it's time doing something that I may intrinsically struggle with, and it's time doing something that I really don't find interesting.

Let's see how this plays out.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Progress in Online Earnings

Another week goes by and still not an online millionaire...

Actually, this week has given me a few interesting insights into the world of online earnings. There's just so much information out there pitching variations on the same themes it's sometimes hard to work out what's relevant and what's not.

I'm yet to launch my information marketing product, and maybe there has been a bit of procrastination, but I think I've got a framework to work with now. My goal by the end of the year is to (hopefully) have two or three sites running that allow me to monetize information products, whether products I create myself or those of affiliates. It sounds like a good idea anyway!
Online income
Slow inroads into writing online

But I've also found myself with a few added online writing distractions this week. The thing about a lot of these marketplace sites like PeoplePerHour and Elance is that sometimes you put your profile online and leave it there, barely marketing yourself. You kind of hope to be found because either you don't know how to, don't want to or are too lazy to market yourself to your target audience.

It's not really the most reliable way of getting business unless you get lucky. Well, I got lucky. Initially I was offered a one-off content job on PeoplePerHour, playing on my finance background. I completed the task and left it at that. However, the company subsequently came back to offer a daily writing gig.

It's not crazy amounts of money, and I really should have been more disciplined in my negotiations, but once it starts it should provide me with more structure to my online income. It will give me a base level to guide my negotiations from now on. I looked far and wide online and couldn't gauge how much I should be paid. I guess it's all about what the market (or client) will take.

This new gig will also give me something else to leverage for additional clients. I need to build up my portfolio and this will help with that. The daily task shouldn't take me too long either and a few hundred dollars extra per month will be gratefully received.

It will also still give me the opportunity to continue to bid for jobs on the marketplace sites, as well as dipping into Fiverr, Zazzle and Postloop, with the latter very indirectly putting me on the path to a lot of my online earnings. A lot of this is very much down to trial and error. But as is becoming very apparent, at the same time, it's about getting yourself out there.

So I guess it's been a successful week for me online, at least in terms of future business. Maybe more by chance than design, but progress nonetheless. Now I just need to get a handle on the information marketing world and I'll be flying...

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Online Income Odyssey Continues

Recent endeavors to build an income stream online have taken a detour (again). I’ve managed to do a couple of writing gigs via PeoplePerHour and Scripted in recent weeks. But my intention of trying to focus on high-value opportunities has stuttered this month but for a good reason.

One of my big principles behind earning money online (in fact, earning money in general) is to create passive income streams.

The dream of being able to work anywhere on my own terms and to be able to earn money while sleeping was first planted in my head when I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki’s seminal work on moving away from a “trading your time for money” mindset to one where assets work for you. It’s what led me to buy an investment property some time back (which thankfully is doing well) and has got me thinking a lot over the years about building online businesses.

As a result, much of my recent time has been invested in learning as much as I possibly can about information product marketing. We all have knowledge of some sort, we all have life experiences and we all have skills. It’s all about finding the right way in which to package this content and delivering the information to an audience willing to purchase what you have to offer.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done. Still, with a bit of hard work and a nice slice of luck hopefully I’ll make some inroads. I did get a lot of great insights from FredGleeck.com, which even offers a free course. On top of that I’ve been trying to sweat what I can for free out of a number of other sources: Pat Flynn's fabulous Smart Passive Income site; The Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing: Build a Million Dollar Business Within 12 Months (which I borrowed from the library); the Rise to the Top podcast; and so on.

I’ve certainly pivoted again from the path I originally set out on with these blogs, though I will still be looking into the more conventional online earning opportunities. But I really do feel that looking into the information product space is more representative of where I want to be in the future – a path that may allow me to take control of my destiny.

Hopefully I’ll be able to juggle both the long-term investment concept and nearer-term high-value opportunities. That’s the plan anyway.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Online Income Challenge: Slowly Does It...

So October has kicked in and so has my online challenge: shift from lower-end online income opportunities to higher-end ones and see what the world brings me.

Well, so far the world hasn't brought me a whole lot... The good thing about dwelling in the low-end world is that there's very often a lot to go around. Yes, those bits may be scraps rather than caviar, but they are bits nonetheless.
Principle tools for online income

And so I've got to really wean myself off the false economy of earning pennies here and there. Or rather, wean myself off of focusing only on this space at the expense of better opportunities. It's all too easy to take the path of least resistance.

The thing is, we'd all like to have prime quality steak served up to us on a platter but sometimes you just have to accept that there's only Burger King on offer. In small doses that's fine. It's a guilty pleasure.

The trouble comes when you start looking at a Whooper in the same light as you would a rib eye. That's why I'm doing this exercise. And to stretch this metaphor just a little further, hopefully some of the freelance work that I'm viewing as rib eye right now will feel like Whoppers to me further down the road and I'll be ready to move up another level...

So this last week I've been pitching proposals on PeoplePerHour, Elance and Freelancer. They're not Vogue or Harpers and Queens but they're a start. Some of the proposals relate to article writing, others relate to CV/resume reformatting.

While I think I have a reasonable chance of winning one or two of the writing bids (I'd like to think), a couple of the others are pretty fanciful. For example, I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew with the gig asking to write up someone's Finance PhD dissertation...Let's see, shall we?!

But until I pick up traction on any of these sites (i.e. get accepted for jobs and get decent ratings for people to want to work with me again) I'm just going to have to keep putting myself out there. It's a pretty competitive world so it may take time. Ultimately, though, I simply see it as an investment now for greater returns later (hopefully). And it's all about having the right perspective.

The joys of the freelance world...