To my surprise, there is something significantly to report. When I wrote my first income report in October, there was nothing to tell yet. I was also 39 weeks pregnant so I didn’t expect any more income for 2016. But as it seemed, even with a tiny little baby in your arms, it is possible to make some income!
On the 11th of November, our baby girl Evi was born. It all went very well! Evi is a sweet little baby but like all baby’s, she also wants to drink several times during the night.
Sitting in the dark bedroom, giving Evi her milk, I thought of something to do. Last year I heard of some people who have successfully found clients through Upwork. I was very skeptical about it, but now I had some time on my hands so I thought I would give it a chance.
My experience with Upwork
For a few days in a row, I checked Upwork when I was feeding my baby every three or four hours. It was perfect timing! For Upwork to really work, you need to be online every few hours to check for new jobs. I proposed on translation jobs (English to Dutch and Dutch to English), Dutch writing jobs and a job for analyzing Dutch keywords.
After a few days of sending proposals, I was more skeptical than ever. But then I landed my first job! It was only a small gig for a very small fee, but hey, it was a start.
Success with Upwork
I thought this first job was beginners luck and not something recurring. Fortunately, I was wrong because after that, more jobs followed and now I even have two clients that want me to work for them on a continuous base for a normal fee. I am absolutely thrilled about it!
My success rate was 5 jobs on 25 proposals. I’m not sure if this is a decent rate. It took me around 8 hours (spread out over 3 days) to send those 25 proposals, which is similar to a regular working day and therefore not that bad, I think.
Besides the jobs I found through Upwork, my regular client needed me as well for two last minute jobs.
Freelance writing results of 2016
I didn’t have any costs related to freelance writing.
As explained, I had a few Upwork jobs and 2 jobs from my regular client.
My freelance writing income for December 2016 is €598,20.
In total, my freelance writing income is €1824,20 in 2016. This is VAT included and no taxes deducted yet, but since I earn so little, I expect that I don’t have to pay any this year.
In December, I’ve spent 38 hours on freelance writing jobs. This includes writing proposals for Upwork, updating my portfolio on Contently and actually working on the above-mentioned assignments.
In total, I’ve spent 106 hours on freelance writing in 2016. I expect this to be much much more in 2017 🙂 But I expect my income to increase proportionally too.
Niche blogging results of 2016
I have 4 websites (more details about these in my blog post about my freelance writing and niche blogging goals).
I’ve spent fewer hours on my websites than expected. I anticipated this due to giving birth and such 😉 but because of the freelance writing jobs, it turned out to be even less. All for a good cause so I don’t mind.
There were some unexpected changes in my expenses. This summer, I subscribed to Long Tail Pro, a tool for analyzing keywords. It worked great for a few weeks, but then Google changed something and the tool became useless. Thankfully, I got a refund and I bought KeySearch instead.
- Domain name registration and hosting for 1 year €205
- Premium theme (with discount!) €17
- Subscription LongTail Platinum €219 – €185 = €34
- Subscription KeySearch €106
- Movavi video editing software €30
- Subscription SBI for WP €90
- Travel expenses and entrance events €93
- Office supplies €95
Total costs: € 670
Income and time spent
Nothing to report here. I didn’t do a thing for this website.
I’ve written four guest blogs for this blog. This is a great way to get some backlinks so I actively searched for travel blogs with a higher domain authority.
I have a few affiliate links on this website. Nothing serious yet, it was more of a tryout kind of thing. I use LinkPizza for this because it is very easy to insert affiliate links in my blog posts. However, I experienced some malfunctioning. A few leads were not approved and others just mysteriously disappeared from my overview. I contacted the service desk, and although they are very friendly, they don’t know what went wrong and couldn’t help me. I know have plans to stop working with LinkPizza and add affiliates manually. This will be one of my priorities in January.
- Hours spend in December 2016: 42
- Page views December 2016: 2295
- Income in December 2016: €0
- Followers on social media (31 Dec ’16)
- Twitter: 323
- Pinterest: 34
- Facebook: 401
Digital Nomad with Kids
To my regret, I didn’t do much for this blog either. I really wanted to, but in between the writing jobs, guest blogging, taking care of our baby girl and (not unimportant) giving birth and recovering from my pregnancy, there was just not enough time. It is all about priorities, and the last couple of weeks Digital Nomad with Kids was not one if my priorities. This will change in the near future, of course!
- Hours spend in December 2016: 11
- Page views December 2016: 281
- Income: €0
- Followers on social media (31 Dec ’16)
- Twitter: 1249
- Pinterest: 77
- Facebook: 29
Comparison with previous income report
In the first week of November, I published my first income report. There was no income at that point, so I’m very happy with the increase in income in December. Putting some effort in freelance writing has paid off resulting in 5 new clients of which 2 have assignments on a regular basis.
The results of my websites are more depressing. Only the number of Twitter followers of Samen de Wereld Ontdekken and Digital Nomad with Kids have increased. The rest is just plain old sad… I am even a bit embarrassed because of it. I hope to turn this downward spiral around in the next year when I focus my energy on both freelance writing and niche blogging.
Goals of 2017
It is so important to set goals so I recently announced my 1 and 2-year targets:
- In April 2017, I want to earn at least €1000 per month with freelance writing.
- In April 2018, I want to earn €2200 per month with freelance writing and my websites (with a minimum of € 500 per month from my websites).
For more details, see my blog post about my freelance writing and niche blogging goals.
These goals are not very specific, so I want to break them down into monthly goals and give a round up of my results in a monthly income report.
Goals of January 2017
- Increase my freelance writing income to €800 per month.
- Write weekly blog posts for Samen de Wereld Ontdekken and Digital Nomad with Kids.
- Develop a freebie for Digital Nomad with Kids.
- Get 100 email subscribers for Digital Nomad with Kids.
- Find 1 or 2 paid guest blogging jobs for Samen de Wereld Ontdekken.
I think these goals are both realistic and challenging.
Tell me, what are your goals for the next year or month?
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