Year after year, my goal is simply to increase my total income purely from the comfort of my own home. When it comes to making a living, my mentality is rather typical and predictable. Much like everyone else with a pulse, I shoot for the big dream of earning a substantial monthly amount; an amount that would allow me to pay my bills, and have enough spare change to give to everyone on the block and their moms.
As exaggerated or funny as that may sound, for better or worse, it’s partially true.
As you have gathered from the content of this website, it’s painfully obvious that my most successful passive stream is coming from writing ebooks. As of 2012, I distribute my writings to places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And while these places have kept me smiling since 2011 when I started publishing, I also can’t help but to feel empty inside. I need to accomplish so much more in a fraction of the time.
Things I’ve Been Doing
Before I started publishing ebooks, most of my time was spent learning the ropes in the complex world of Internet marketing. Little by little, I became familiar with the concept of SEO and proper keyword research. As many of you know, these subjects cannot be learned overnight. It’s just not possible thanks to the multiple variations and factors that account for a website’s success and failure. On top of this, the Internet is plagued by misguided or otherwise outdated information born from opinions, which eventually were turned into ‘facts.’
So, as I continued learning about SEO, I also tried my hand at affiliate marketing. I looked into various buyer keywords through Amazon and similar marketplaces, then mixed my knowledge at the time with SEO. The results, while somewhat acceptable for a rookie, just didn’t pan out as well as I’d hoped. For example, it took the creation of several AdSense websites to make a mere $60 per month. Likewise, it took the creation of several product-based sites to barely reach a $10 payout from places like Amazon Associates.
For anyone who is merely starting out, these numbers can definitely provide a smile as the person envisions the full potential involved here. Sadly, this just wasn’t enough. I remember working very, very hard on these websites, so the money I was receiving just wasn’t worth my time. Eventually, I slowly realized my mistakes one day at a time. These ranged from doing poor keyword research to selecting the wrong products.
Again, learning the ropes does not happen overnight. But you know what? If you are one who’s walked the same path, don’t feel bad or discouraged. Use your failures and learn from them. They are clearly speaking out to you; your lack of success– simply put –means there’s something wrong here somewhere. So what do you do? You go back to the potential problem areas, you perform better research, you try things from a different perspective, and you ultimately succeed. Remember, no successful business owner made it big from the get-go. Even Mark Zuckerberg had to try multiple ways of marketing his website and spent a substantial amount before it finally took off. Hell, to this day I still laugh at its former name, ‘THEfacebook.’ Point is: Change any and all problematic areas, and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
While trying my hand at AdSense and affiliate marketing, I was rigorously making money from Demand Media Studios at the same time. I used to write anywhere from 5 to 7 articles each day to make a comfortable living. And that’s another reason I became hungrier for a more passive, automated money-making system. That’s when I finally discovered the whole ebook publishing business. I published my first set of books around April 2011, and got progressively serious toward the end of the year. The results, to me, were astounding. Even though I have never made it to $1,000 dollars from my own ebooks accounts (Amazon or B&N) I am more than happy to see some cash rolling in every month. This has allowed me to write less articles for upfront payment.
Now, for anyone who hasn’t kept up with previous posts, one of the reasons my ebook income is less than $1,000 is due to my sincere attempt to help the people closest to me. For example, I have posted many ebook earning reports from a friend of mine along with my own earnings. While she actually writes some books herself, the majority of them have been written by myself. Also, starting in November 2012, I also started publishing a few ebooks for my dad as well.
When you add everything up– Demand Media Studios, my own books, my friend’s and my dad’s books, on top of random hobbies and projects like blogging –it is easy to see why I haven’t reached a higher income.
Goals for 2013
Judging from the comments made above, the answer is pretty simple. I will work more on myself and a bit less on others, now that they’re actually earning a little bit of money month after month. Granted, their amounts are nothing spectacular, but the very definition of ‘Spectacular’ largely varies from person to person. Considering the money is passive, that alone makes it spectacular enough in my eyes.
Aside from writing more ebooks for my own publishing account, I will also attempt to increase their overall quality. As of this moment, I am playing a numbers game. Yes, they are of good quality and I go through all the proper channels before publishing; this includes proof reading, proper formatting, good titles, good covers and catchy descriptions. However, I feel like I can still offer much more. My biggest passion relies on writing erotica and romance shorts. On average, many erotica writers have learned to feel comfortable writing around 4,000 words. And so have I. Thus, starting in 2013, I will ensure that my writings have more of the following:
– More enticing plots
– Less predictable structure
– Better overall quality
– Higher word count
Even if it takes 2 or 3 weeks to write one book, so be it. Little by little, readers will undoubtedly start to notice the increase in quality, and many of them will become repeat customers. As a result, some may even leave a good review or two. In the end, this amounts to writing fewer books while still increasing your profits.
Aside from publishing ebooks, I am anxious to resume my SEO and affiliate efforts. As I said before, there is always something to learn and I feel strong enough to give this a second chance. Finally, my ultimate goal is to stop writing articles for upfront payment altogether.
So, that’s about it. I highly encourage everyone else to set their own goals and continuously improve on their current strategies. As always, feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments.
What about you? What do you plan to initialize or improve over the next 12 months?