February was a crazy month and I still somehow managed to get a decent amount of articles written and make a great improvement over last months earnings. My partner and I spent most of February staying with family whilst looking for, and eventually getting a new rental house. It wasn't exactly the best month for working online, we didn't even have electricity for two days when we first moved in, but I am still pretty happy with how I went.
So let's see at how I looked at the end of February and then I will talk about my goals for the upcoming month.
Closing Out February 2012
My goal for February, which you can read more about in my January Infobarrel Report, was to write a 1000 word article every day and to win the competition. I started out nicely but the upsets of looking for a house and the constant moving around eventually got to me and I fell behind.
I ended up writing a total of 16 1000-word articles and one 600 word article. This got me at total of 81 points in the competition, not quite a winning amount but a nice figure nonetheless. I certainly qualify for the additional 10% Adsense share for March, at least.
Writing almost exclusively 1000-word articles was a great learning experience. Knowing that I had to write high-quality, long articles meant that I put in a lot more research and produced a lot better content. Before February writing 1000 words seemed like an epic task but after a few days it got easier and I learnt how to find enough information to write that much. By the end of Feb I am able to write a 1000 word article in 1-2 hours (including research time). This should improve further as my writing speed and research skills improve.
I will continue to focus on mainly 1000 word articles but I am not going to restrict myself to them - sometimes something only needs 500 words to say and anything extra is just waffle.
Now let's get into the good stuff! In short, I am very pleased with how much I have earned in only my second month of writing. It's really great to know that I am providing information to people that is actually helping them, I have helped people who were getting glasses, educated people on the history of the Ghurka Kukri and helped people find the right guitar wall hanger for them.
Adsense - $5.71
A very nice increase in Adsense earnings, over double of last months total of $2.34. If I keep doing what I am doing theoretically I should be able to at least double this every month (hopefully more). It's a modest start but the growth speaks volumes.
Amazon was very kind to me this month - last months Amazon earnings were only $0.91. I have been focusing a lot on learning how to research and promote Amazon products and a lot of my articles have been focused around this so it's very nice to know that my work is paying off. It's hard to tell whether these articles will be long-term earners but hopefully with a bit of maintenance (updating links etc) they will continue earning. Hopefully by the end of next month I will have enough in my Amazon account to get the new keyboard I have been drooling over.
SplitReason - $0.00
I had high hopes for SplitReason, their affiliate program looked really good and I sent a lot of traffic their way but they just could not convert targeted traffic. I sent almost 300 targeted visitors to the website and no sales were made. I am not going to pursue SplitReason actively anymore.
Freelance Writing - $12.00
I did a 500 word piece for a client for $0.02 a word and he was happy enough to give me a $2 tip, which was awesome. I am pretty keen to do the odd freelance job here and there, I am going to use the money I save up in Paypal through work like this to buy my partner a new computer. If you have any writing that you would like to outsource feel free to contact me here (you will have to sign up to Infobarrel if you aren't already a member) I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you.
In Other News for February
On more personal news I was promoted to Master league in Starcraft 2. This puts me in the top 5% of players in the North American region. Competitive Starcraft 2 is an important hobby for me and it has been a great part of my personal development (I even maintain a website teaching others and following my Starcraft 2 journey) so I am pretty pleased at my improvement. When I started playing a year ago I was in the very bottom league (Bronze) which is the bottom 25% of players. This is one step closer to my goal of becoming a professional Starcraft 2 teacher and coach.
If you are having a hard time understanding what I am talking about Starcraft 2 is a real-time strategy video game that has essentially become a sport in Korea and is headed that way in the west as well. I think Sean Plott, a well-known Starcraft 2 personality, put it best when he said "Professional Starcraft requires the mind of a chess grandmaster, the dexterity of a concert pianist and the discipline of an olympic trainee." There are hundreds of thousands of people who watch this game played by professional players who earn a living competing in live tournaments around the world. I love it.
Goals for March
I am planning a big month for March, it will be my first serious attempt at making online income work for me. I have even decided that I will not be working a 'job' for this entire month. If at the end of the month I can make enough, or come close to maintaining our moderately frugal lifestyle I will continue without a job permanently. If not I will get some part-time work but I will still continue here on IB and with other projects.
- 31 Articles in March - One a day, mainly 1000 word but smaller articles are acceptable.
- Launch a New Website - I am launching a new blog site this month I want it up and running and starting to generate some money or at least decent traffic by the end of March.
- At Least One More Freelance Writing Job - I would like to keep this rolling. I am not planning on signing up for any freelance sites but simply working from word of mouth.
- Offline Marketing Project - I am starting a marketing project with some of the local businesses in the area which I will aim to make about $500 a month from .
- Automate Swagbucks - It is possible to automate the TV side of Swagbucks to get between $0.75 to $1.50 a day without much maintenance. I am going to try to get this set up and get it running as passively as possible over the next few days. Assuming $0.75 a day this would give me an extra $20 in Amazon each month.
- Frugal Meal Planning - I have set up a weekly meal plan which feeds me and my partner for under $30 a week. My goal is to stick to this plan for the next month.
- Possibly Start Starcraft 2 Coaching - I am a bit nervous about starting this as I don't feel good enough to be a coach yet but many people I have helped have said otherwise. One student a week at around $20 could make a significant financial difference so I am going to seriously start planning this. Whether I will start coaching this month or not I am still unsure.