If you would have told me that I’d have quit my job and am embarking on a new completely self-employed journey (without a regular paycheck to rely on) a year ago, I’m not sure I’d have believed you!
I’ve written a lot about my story here on the blog and elsewhere, so I won’t bore you again with the details, but I do think it’s beneficial from a chronological perspective to document my first (partial and part-time) year as a freelancer. So, here is my 2014 year end freelance writing business review.
2014 Gross Income
I started publishing income reports on the blog in September, 2014. I wanted to be transparent with my efforts both to motivate/share my journey with others, but also as a way to hold myself accountable and challenge myself to beat my previous numbers.
2014 total gross freelance income = $16,512
This was made up of writing, editing, virtual assistance, coaching and product sales. I have yet to make any income from affiliate sales or advertising, but hope to change this for 2015.
2014 total expenses = $3,782
I’ve mentioned before that I was able to start my business for less than $100 (for my website url/hosting). I could have further bootstrapped and kept my expenses a lot lower than they ended up, but I decided to reinvest some of the profits of my business back into it, in the form of upgrading my website, taking courses, etc.
At this point, I don’t regret any of the expense decisions I’ve made, but it did eat up about 23% of my gross income. My favorite purchase of the year is definitely my Chromebook that I sit here typing on – I love it!
The above links are affiliate links, which means I may financially benefit if you click them and make a purchase.
2014 net income = $12,730
Not too shabby for a second/part-time job! I’ve been working mostly in the morning before my day job started (I’d get up at 4:45 am, before the kids did) and on Friday’s, which I had off in the past. In 2015 I’ll be working 5-6 hours/day, five days per week.
This is really only for seven months of work too – I spent April researching and May taking a course/setting up my website. It wasn’t until June that I got my first paid gig and I’ve been continuing to build my business from there.
I’ve already outlined my 2015 goals in a previous post, so I won’t spend any more time laying them out here. Since they are more focused on financial goals (payoff second mortgage, take the RV trip and increase my income), I’d like to focus instead on how I’d like to see my business change in the next year.
1. Revise Course
After the first major round of students, I’d like to collect some feedback, make some revisions and put out an even stronger 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. I think it’s great the way it is and have heard numerous times over that the value is worth much more than its $30 price tag, but I continue to learn and want to make sure I offer the best product I can.
2. Try New Marketing Methods
So far I’ve tried Adwords and placed a Craigslist ad. The Craigslist ad got rejected for some reason, so I need to look into why, make some revisions and re-post it. I just dipped my toe into Adwords (review to come) and didn’t have any success with it, but paid for what I consider an education and would like to take another run at it in the future, with some modifications.
I’ve also tried boosting some Facebook posts, without much success. To be fair I’ve spent only a couple of dollars and really need to learn to also meet their ad requirements (more picture, less text). I’m open to revisiting it again in the future as well.
3. Dig Into Certain Social Media Platforms
Twitter and Pinterest deserve more of my attention. It’s hard to keep up with all of the social media options out there and I don’t even try, but I want to become better at connecting with people via Twitter and sharing my content via Pinterest.
Both provide untapped potential in my business and so far my excuse has been time, that’s kept me from learning. I think it’s more like fear of the unknown and I need to stop making excuses and start learning by trying.
4. Start Advertising
Many people I know make a decent chunk of their monthly income via advertising on their websites. You have to have a strong readership and/or large amount of traffic, which I’m working towards at the moment.
My goal is to keep my site uncluttered, but I would like to learn how to monetize it in a classy way going forward. I figure it won’t hurt, providing I do it right.
5. Increase Affiliate Sales
Recently I’ve made a couple of affiliate sales, which I’m pretty excited about. Two were for my hosting provider and one from Amazon Affiliates. I haven’t gotten paid on them yet, which is why they haven’t been accounted for in any of my income reports as of yet (I only account for income received, not billed).
I also think there’s a right way to do this as well. I have no issue with other people getting a cut off of my product purchases that they’ve told me about, so I don’t know why other people would care if I made a buck by authentically sharing what I use/what works for me.
Proper disclosures and not being spammy are a couple of the rules of thumb I plan to employ.
2105 is upon us. I’m excited about the results I’m reporting, but even more excited about the potential for my business over the course of the next year.
I know there will be some lows and hopefully many highs, but overall I’m entering the next chapter of my career life with a cautiously optimistic attitude. My mantra for the year?
Why not me, why not now?
Do you have a word of the year or a mantra for 2015? Please share in the comments!
Photo Credit: Maresa Smith via Death to Stock Photo