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ZiggyD's February 2012 InfoBarrel Report

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 5 22

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.

ZiggyD's February 2012 InfoBarrel Report - Progress!
Closing Out February 2012 

February's Goals 

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. 

Earnings

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.

ZiggyD's February Amazon Associates Earnings
Amazon Associates - $16.99

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.

ZiggyD Has Been Promoted to Master League in Starcraft 2!

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.
[Update 12 March] I have descided to focus more on getting the new website (see below) ready for launch with some starting content. This is taking more time than I initially suspected so I won't be making the 31 article goal. 
  • 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.
[Update] I have decided not to automate Swagbucks TV since some people have been banned for doing so. I will continue to search for the best ways to earn, however. Even without automation I am making a good bit of extra income.
  • 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.
I am looking forward to seeing what March brings me. It's been a very exciting journey so far!
 

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Thanks for reading! Keeping these monthly reports going is a great way to keep myself on track to achieve my goals and it's a great motivator to know that other people are following my progress. I know I have found other people's reports to be very motivating myself! Please consider leaving a comment below.

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Comments

Feb 29, 2012 7:53pm
jcmayer777
I like your goals. I've never used Swagbucks, but I hear plenty of people talking about them.

Kudos on the $2 tip for the freelance article - you must have done a great job with it.
Mar 1, 2012 6:45pm
ZiggyD
Thanks! I actually just got my first cashout with SB today so I'm pretty happy with that. It's just a bit of pocket change but it's pretty easy.

Hopefully that $2 tip turns into future work as well ;)

Thanks for reading!
Feb 29, 2012 9:41pm
healthy1chef
You're making great strides so far and it's just the beginning! Hope to be doing the same here shortly. March sounds like a nice plan and hope it works out for you. Cheers!
Feb 29, 2012 9:45pm
miravu
Wow Ziggy, I'm impressed. You've only been here a week or 2 more than me and your earnings are starting to come together. My report this month is pitiful in comparison. Good job!
Feb 29, 2012 10:02pm
Senterprises
Congrats Ziggy. I know there are a lot of veteran writers here who do very well, but its nice to hear from a new guys who's starting to get some traction. Keep it up!
Mar 1, 2012 12:08am
CortCaldwell
Great Amazon results Ziggy!
Mar 1, 2012 12:21am
southerngirl09
Good job Ziggy!
Mar 1, 2012 5:16am
danmont
Good job; especially with the profit make from Amazon sales. I still need to master the technique to sell more on Amazon but many of my articles are not product related. It is great you have good goals for March so good luck.
Mar 1, 2012 6:48pm
ZiggyD
Thanks, It's been pretty hit and miss but I think I am starting to understand the formula. I think the difference is I have been writing Amazon optimized articles rather than just adding some links into Adsense optimized articles. Amazon actually makes research pretty easy, just drill deep down into the subcategories, find a good product then do some keyword research.
Mar 1, 2012 5:43am
garuebgu99
Good read. As another new InfoBarreler it is especially nice to see your Amazon success. I'll check out a few of your articles to see what I can learn.
Mar 1, 2012 6:51pm
ZiggyD
Thanks! Hopefully they are not just a few one off sales and they continue in the coming months. If those same articles continue to earn that much in the future then adding more should just see further increases. I can only hope!

GL in your writing, and welcome to IB!
Mar 1, 2012 11:39am
SincerelyT
Great report! I'm also on a 1000+ article per day journey. Excited to see how these quality articles will perform next month.
Mar 1, 2012 12:46pm
CrazyGata
Your motivation is my motivation! Keep it up!
Mar 1, 2012 5:03pm
mommymommymommy
Thanks for sharing your income report. The more you put into IB, the more you will get out of it. Good luck on this month's goals!
Mar 1, 2012 5:05pm
ZiggyD
Just got my first $5 cash out on Swagbucks! 40SB jump overnight thanks to someone kindly signing up as my referral, thank you!
Mar 2, 2012 12:25pm
southerngirl09
I don't know how many others signed up with your referral link, but I did on March 1. I am southerngirlO9 there.
Mar 2, 2012 7:28pm
ZiggyD
It was you! Thank you for signing up under me! I see you have gotten quite a few search points already. Here is some tips I have discovered on searching: You can win every 4-6 hours and it should take less than 10 searches to win each time. Your chances of winning are increased if you search for full sentences like "where can I find the cheapest 'x'" and some people believe that clicking results occasionally helps.

Happy swaggering! I sent you a friend request over there.
Mar 2, 2012 7:53pm
southerngirl09
Friendship accepted, and thanks for the tips. As much as I have to do, I ended up playing some games this afternoon. Oh well, all work and no play makes for a dull southerngirl.
Mar 7, 2012 1:23am
ZiggyD
Good news! Not even one week into March and I'm already set to overtake last month's Adsense earnings! Amazon has slowed down but there is still a while left in the month.
Mar 19, 2012 1:40am
alexiafeatherchild
These sound like great goals and you're already seeing an influx of income, keep it up. I'm not sure I'd manage 1000 word articles every day it depends on whether its more difficult to write than fiction and I've had 7000 word stretches with that for CampNaNo.
Mar 19, 2012 5:41am
ZiggyD
Thanks for the comment! It took me about a week to get used to doing 1000 word articles each day but after that I found it quite easy to do. The key is to plan out your articles (at least ideas) a few days ahead. That way you can just get stuck into it right away.
Apr 9, 2012 12:01pm
lucynora
Great Job. It was very inspirational to read your article. I am still struggling to write the first 10 articles and get them approved so I can start writing for infobarrel.
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