After some encouragement last month, I decided to keep up with my income reports. Now it’s been six months of this, and it’s already December. This is my least productive month of the year, not just because of the holidays, but my birthday, John’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, and two of my best friends’ birthdays.
Fortunately it is also my highest-earning Amazon affiliates month of the year. Affiliate blogging is the closest I get to truly passive income, the kind where you wake up and see you’ve made $100 overnight. This is why I wasn’t totally scared to quit my day job around this time of year. I’m hoping that the increased Amazon earnings will pad my transition.
Though, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be much of a transition to begin with! November was the third highest-earning month of the past six. I credit that to my final day job paycheck combined with my increased freelance output as soon as I put in my two weeks notice.
In the pie chart, day job is still the biggest piece of the pie, which is a little terrifying, but doesn’t account for some freelance payments I just got in early December, slightly too late for the end-of-month assessment.
Looking at the numbers is a real “what have I done?” wake-up call. I’ve gotten rid of a reliable third of my income in order to pursue the unknown. Only, this isn’t my first month or even year in the freelance game, and I know ways to make it more consistent. If anything, I think that once I’m free from the daily grind of a day job, I will increase my earnings considerably in 2017. This isn’t just me being optimistic—because I opted for a low-paying job in exchange for better skills, 2016 was my lowest earning year since grad school.
Just look at this comparison, which shows less money coming from the day job in October. You know from the chart at the top that November was a higher-earning month.
Even so, I am hyper-aware of the work I do and the time I spend that does not result in pay. When you are salaried, you get paid no matter what, even if it’s a slow day at the office and you’re hanging out on Twitter. They pay you to put your butt in that chair and be there if a crisis arises. When you are freelance, your income responds to the actual work you put in. I don’t get an hourly rate for Internet browsing (unless you think of passive income like that), so I’m even more careful about time tracking with Freckle than usual.
Annnd I’ve been spending less than usual, even on business stuff. This month I renewed a domain name for a profitable affiliate site (candlefandom.com), bought an Impreza theme license for Gunpla 101 (that’s the blog theme I use on both Otaku Journalist and Gunpla 101, but without two licenses, I couldn’t download the latest version of the theme on both sites), and bought a Facebook ad.
Facebook ads are seriously hit-or-miss for me. This month I paid $20 to promote a Facebook post about my Gunpla 101 holiday shopping guide. I made a custom target audience out of people who listed “Gundam” as an interest, and apparently that was so few people that Facebook only took $17 before it ran out of people to show the ad! I got 2,000 views and 23 clicks, so it was not worth the money at all.
How did I do on my November financial goals? As usual, I did well on two and not on the third. I completed my Gunpla 101 shopping guide and tested all the links, so I know it works great. I spent a lot of (unpaid, terrifying) time on my new business venture, and my new theme for anime bloggers is going smoothly! I sent out more newsletters but didn’t really do much with Leadpages. Oh well.
My December financial goals are:
- Wrap up work on my new business venture and limit the bulk of its unpaid labor to 2016.
- Use the new features Crimm built for GunplaDB to make that site helpful and useful again!
- Buy amazing Christmas and birthday presents for everybody while still staying within my budget.
May your December be the planning and scheming groundwork out of which you lay your 2017 earnings goals. Whatever you’re working on, I’m sure we’re all glad this trash fire of a year is almost over.