Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a fabulous summer.
First off, I’m sorry for the lack of updates. Things have been really hectic on my end, and I haven’t been able to check email, reply to comments, or update this blog as often as I used to. But I haven’t forgotten about you! I’m going through a few major life changes at the moment, but I’m hoping to straighten everything out in the next few months so that things can get back on the usual schedule.
Now, I know many of you are eagerly anticipating an update on the Do Something Remarkable contest. As you probably know, the deadline for the contest was June 1st (see here for more details). I’m currently going through the list of participants and will email the three winners by Monday, July 25th (thanks everyone for being so patient with me). Once each winner has accepted his/her gift(s), I’ll announce the winners publicly. Thanks again for your overwhelming support!
For those of you who have emailed me in the last few months, expect a reply in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be going through all of my email and comments in the weeks to follow, so it may take some time to get to you. But I will! Stay tuned for that.
Now for the actual post…
I have good news, and I have bad news.
And while I may be upset, I’m also excited about what the future might have in store for me.
Let’s start at the beginning.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the changes Demand Media and all associated companies are going through, and I’m guessing that these changes are a direct result of the sudden Google algorithm update back in February (not 100% certain, so don’t take my word for it). But if you’re not familiar, take a look at this screenshot, taken from an email I received May 9th.
Several of you I talked to may know that I was already upset because Demand Media took down my highest earner on eHow – the article that was making the bulk of my income on the old eHow Compensation Program. This resulted in a 67% decrease in income, reducing my monthly eHow income from $400+ a month to $140+ a month.
I first noticed that the article was removed on April 30th. When I saw the decrease in income initially, I had simply assumed that a few of my articles decreased in rankings because of the algorithm update. However, after looking more closely at the matter, I realized that my article count was reduced and eventually discovered that my highest earner was in fact removed. I’ll talk more about this in the next eHow Experiment update (which will most likely be my last update in that series).
But Demand Media didn’t stop there.
In the beginning of May (and as you can see from the above screenshot), Demand Media decided to close down eHow’s Compensation Program as well.
What does this mean? Well, eHow writers can no longer earn money from the articles they’ve written prior to the platform switch and will have to find another platform in which to publish their old articles. That is, if they don’t accept eHow’s “offer,” which is basically a one-time lump sum of money in return for the full rights to their articles. In my case, I was offered over $2k if I chose to sell the rights to all 100+ articles.
So if I accepted eHow’s offer, I not only wouldn’t be able to earn a monthly residual income with eHow’s old Compensation Program, but I would no longer be able to use or do anything more with those 100+ articles already written. These articles would then solely be Demand Media’s to use, earn money from, and do with as they wish.
In other words, the residual income I used to earn on a monthly basis would be almost completely wiped out.
I had a lot to think about.
My main questions were then, “Should I accept the offer, earn a final $2k, and try to build back my residual income from ground 0?” and “Or, should I decline the offer, try to find another platform in which to publish all 100+ articles, and risk the chance of not earning much of an income at all?”
Let me just say that it wasn’t an easy decision. While the first option did look appealing in the short run, both options still left me feeling like my heart was sinking into the pit of my stomach. And both options would require a ton of additional work in order to get things running smoothly again.
In the end, I went with the first. I accepted the offer, received the lump sum as promised, and re-invested most of that money back into my business.
The final result? One long-term goal was taken off of the list.
Like always and as I do in every Goals and Achievements post, I listed my long-term goals in order of the most significant to the least. This list is basically geared to keep me on track and make me accountable of my goals (hence, I get more work done, and I’m less likely to procrastinate).
I encourage everyone to make their own list of long-term goals. Not only are goals an awesome source of motivation, but keeping a list is the first step towards eventually being able to chart your progress, learn where you’re falling behind (tweaking things as you go), and see results.
Here are mine.
- Move to California, buy a house, and start a family
- Make $5,000 a month in passive income
- Reach 10,000 RSS subscribers here on Cash Campfire
Have an Alienware laptop or desktop computer| It’s not an Alienware but something pretty damn similar, and it will definitely be a MAJOR help for business. Read on for more info (and pics!).
- NEW! Get into shape (maintain 3-days-a-week workout routine for over a year)
- Have a 125+ gallon aquarium complete with tropical fish, snails, live plants, and aquatic frogs
Owning an Alienware computer has always been a dream of mine. With its high processing speeds, amazing graphics, and slick design, there is most likely no application around that an Alienware can’t handle. And because of its impressive graphics, the Alienware product line has often been labeled top-of-the-line as far as hardcore gaming is concerned. I mean, sure, there are other gaming computers just as good (HP Envy comes to mind), but I believe that Alienware is the most well known as far as gaming, which is why I’d set my eyes on owning an Alienware system for quite a long time.
The only problem? The outrageous price.
I mean, to max out an Alienware M18x laptop (the most powerful laptop in the Alienware franchise), you’re looking at over $6k. That’s A LOT to spend on a laptop.
And then I saw the XPS 17.
This beauty is almost just as good as an Alienware M17x but at a more affordable price. Both systems have a 17-inch screen display, offer 3D, and can be customized with almost identical settings (with a few small differences). While the Alienware M17x has the option of a slightly better graphics card, the XPS 17 is only 2 inches thick (so it’s easier to carry around than other 17-inch laptops), and you have the option of customizing the laptop cover (I chose the Lovers in Morning design, which you can see in the image to the right), making it look much more professional than the Alienware brand in my opinion. It’s also way cheaper for almost identical settings (and I was even able to reduce the price by over $600 at checkout PLUS get free shipping by using several coupon codes I found around the Net), though I opted not to go with 3D (I felt as though I didn’t need it).
I don’t regret my decision in the least.
My old laptop (a Compaq) couldn’t even handle flash games, was super slow, overheated to the extreme (causing it to occasionally shut itself down, even with a cooling pad equipped), and would freeze up randomly. I think the motherboard was fried, for it definitely didn’t have any viruses (I scanned and re-scanned with multiple anti-virus/spyware programs – Microsoft Security Essentials, Adaware, and AVG to name a few). So I definitely needed a new computer, and a laptop was my preferred choice since I travel often.
In the end, I’m happy that I was finally able to get one major goal out of the way, and working on a computer that doesn’t take forever to start up, freeze, or randomly shut down while working on important projects (resulting in lost work) is nothing short of exciting.
You may also notice that I added a new goal to the list in replacement of the previous one – to get into shape. While I have been trying to stick to my morning exercise routines, sometimes it would slip my mind or I’d wake up a tad late and my whole schedule would go out of whack. As a result, my body isn’t near as fit as I want it to be.
So I’ve decided to make it a commitment and work on improving the overall health of my body (eating a balanced diet) and develop flexibility while strengthening and toning my body. My goal is to exercise three times each week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), and I’m currently four weeks into the One Hundred Push-ups, Two Hundred Sit-ups, and Two Hundred Squats workout routines (seriously check them out – very motivating!). I plan to go all the way through until I’m able to in fact complete 100 push-ups, 200 squats, and 200 sit-ups.
I also incorporated speed jump roping into my workout routine, following the training programs found in Jump Rope Training Second Edition (definitely worth the read) and the routines in the short DVD that came with the speed jump rope I purchased (aff links).
So far, it’s been pretty intense. Yesterday, for example, I did a total of 140 push-ups separated into 5 sets (avg of 28 push-ups per set), 170 sit-ups (avg of 34 reps per set), 191 squats (avg of 38.2 reps per set), and 200 jumps separated into 10 jump roping sets (avg of 20 jumps per set).
It’s crazy thinking back four weeks ago when I first started out (I could barely do 10 consecutive push-ups, never mind 28!), then looking at now and how much farther I’ve come. And the best thing is, I feel so much healthier since I’ve made this commitment; I definitely feel a lot better about my body than I did before.
I also plan to eventually incorporate yoga and meditation into my workout routine (I’ve never done yoga, so I’m pretty excited about that as well).
April Goals and Accomplishments
This post has gotten pretty long already, so I’m going to try to keep the rest of these sections short. Basically, since eHow closed their compensation program, my residual income has been seriously suffering as you’ll soon see in the sections to follow.
- Earn $800 in residual income – Fell Short
My Lesson Learned
Simply this: When it comes to residual income, don’t depend on revenue sharing sites.
I’ve always been a fan of content sites, simply because of how much easier it is to earn an income working for them as compared to starting your own site from scratch. Most content sites have a high page rank and already have a large audience reading their content. All you have to do is write the articles and you can technically earn an income. Content sites basically take care of the revenue sharing and traffic for you, since they already have a large audience of readers to begin with, as opposed to the 0 visitors you start off with if you were to create a site of your own. Backlinking your articles to improve your page rank and search engine traffic is optional, though it can make a huge impact on how much income you earn (check out my awesome link wheel series for more info). So, not surprisingly, many writers start off writing for content sites.
However, it just isn’t reliable. I know I probably said it before in the past, but I’ll say it again – content sites aren’t reliable. You’re much better off earning an income off of a site you have complete control over (a blog you’ve created in a certain niche) or writing for individual clients (copywriting) than spending all of your time and energy publishing content for massive article publishing companies.
I even saw this coming and was telling my boyfriend several months before the email notice how I wouldn’t be surprised if eHow just stopped sharing revenue with its writers. As much as I didn’t want to realize it (I had tried to convince myself otherwise), eHow has been going downhill ever since I can remember, even when I first started writing for the company (with it’s massive article deletions, switch to a new writing platform, and now the complete closing of their compensation program).
But life moves on. There’s nothing you can do about something that’s already come and passed. All you can do is move forward and keep improving your current situation – so that’s what I’m going to do. There’s no sense in sulking or agonizing over your problems. That would just lead to constant worry and regret. And we all know how I hate going down that road.
On a more friendly (if somewhat random) note, I did come to a realization that I do, in fact, like red wine after years of despising the liquid. Actually, that’s an understatement; I LOVE red wine, almost as much as I love margaritas! Amazing how taste buds can change, isn’t it? But of course, I’m getting ahead of myself…
Back to the topic at hand. The following is a compilation of the income I earned in April, May, and June.
April Earnings Breakdown
- eHow: $140.84
- Demand Studios: $18.32
- Triond: $0.08
Content Income Total: $159.24 | -$278.90 difference (64% decrease)
- Infolinks: $4.36
- Chitika: $0.07
Advertising Revenue Total: $4.43 | +$2.62 difference (145% increase)
- Amazon Affiliates: $14.07
- E-Junkie Affiliate Sales: $0
Affiliate Sales Total: $14.07 | -$5.06 difference (26% decrease)
- eBook Sales: $47.67
Product Sales Total: $47.67 | +$23.71 difference (99% increase)
Total Residual Income: $225.41 | -$257.63 difference (53% decrease)
May Earnings Breakdown
In the content income section, I include the amount earned from accepting the eHow offer. The lump sum was paid out in two equal payments (first payment was received in May and second was received in June).
- eHow: $25.19 (+$1,163.00 from offer, 1st payment out of 2)
- Demand Studios: $14.55
Content Income Total: $1,202.74 | +$1,043.50 difference (655% increase)
- Infolinks: $0.74
- Chitika: $0.40
Advertising Revenue Total: $1.14 | -$3.29 difference (74% decrease)
- Amazon Affiliates: $7.55
- E-Junkie Affiliate Sales: $4.00
Affiliate Sales Total: $11.55 | -$2.52 difference (18% decrease)
- eBook Sales: $0.0
Product Sales Total: $0.0 | -$47.67 difference (100% decrease)
Total Residual Income: $1,215.43 | +$990.02 difference (439% increase)
June Earnings Breakdown
- eHow: $0.00 (+$1,163.00 from offer, 2nd payment out of 2)
- Demand Studios: $14.61
Content Income Total: $1,177.61 | -$25.13 difference (2% decrease)
- Infolinks: $2.68
- Chitika: $0.0
Advertising Revenue Total: $2.68 | +$1.54 difference (135% increase)
- Amazon Affiliates: $5.84
- E-Junkie Affiliate Sales: $0.0
Affiliate Sales Total: $5.84 | -$5.71 difference (49% decrease)
- eBook Sales: $0.0
Product Sales Total: $0.0 | +$0.00 difference (0% increase)
Total Residual Income: $1,186.13 | -$29.30 difference (2% decrease)
I’m going to continue working on my niche sites (for residual income) and get my writing profile together. I’m also going to keep exercising and do a lot more reading (so that I can eventually finish all of the books in my office library; I tend to buy books and let them sit on the shelf gathering dust – horrible habit).
There you have it. Not too long I hope? Again, thanks a bunch for your continuous support. Stay tuned for the contest results, and best of luck with your writing career!