Yes. This is probably one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever done. I'm about to tell you how ridiculously poor I am. You know what? Scratch that privileged mindset. I'm about to tell you how much money I make. I'm putting realistic data out in the open instead of fooling myself & others with peachy social network posts of how great I am at my new career.
I hope this experiment is useful data for others interested in making a living writing, but I really need to do this for me. First, I need to measure my progress. Maybe a career switch is a bad idea and I'm going through some mid-life crisis? I'll need to look at concrete numbers to make that decision. That brings me to the second point, I am my own worst enemy. There's a good chance that I could be doing an excellent job and making enough money to live, but I'd never let myself believe it. Having a monthly income report, seeing the changes, good and bad, will help me objectively judge my progress.
Progress Thus Far
At the end of August, I added a new client. That's the good news. I'm lucky enough to have befriended someone in the biz who is willing to help me find more work and possibly build my reputation. I think that the opportunity to learn and make more connections overweighs the fact that this new client pays less than my regular writing gig. I wanted to share these decisions here because it will certainly affect my income. In August, I made $1,015 writing mostly for a single client. I've been writing for client uno since last November. Now, I'm eager to progress and find more opportunities.
As you can see on the right, putting more time into the new gig has cut into my profits from client uno. Well you can't see it exactly, because I didn't track my hours on the new job. I get paid per piece, but in the following reports I will add hours to reflect my growth. Basically, I wrote the same amount of articles for client uno in less time. So hey! I'm getting faster at what I do. That's progress.
I should note that the hours & pay for my original client also include the task of daily social media posts to Twitter & Facebook.
Other Income & Freebies
On top of my work for others, I produce lots of content in my own schemes. I produce two podcasts and I am hoping to add a third. For our Montreal Sauce podcast we have a Patreon page for listeners to give money if they are so inclined. Currently we have two patrons and after Patreon (& the money transaction service they use) takes a cut, we got a total of $5.33 for September. I split that with my friend, and co host, which leaves me with $2.66. I haven't added that to the monthly income, because I put the money aside for more podcast-related goodies like equipment, internet service, business cards and other expenses.
The Patreon page has also become a way to communicate with listeners. Thus, I've decided to start publishing stories there weekly, but I won't add them to the numbers. Perhaps, I'll put them in this section.
Since I added a second client this month, I didn't do any freebies. I focused on doing good work for the new boss and it paid off, but more on that later. One of my goals when I started writing was to get myself out there. Thus, I have volunteered to write for my friends sites to build a reputation and a portfolio. This month, I was unable to reach that goal, but I have a freebie lined up for October.
The big thing that stands out is that I made much less this month than the last. So, I did a quick average of what I have been making from the single client who bravely took me on last November. I was averaging around $767 a month. Therefore, this month's numbers don't look too bad. Of course, I did add an additional client and more work for myself this month. However, it has already paid off. Super awesome client deux has already introduced me to an organization responsible for a number of large online publications! The client number may go up next month. Woo!
While the income went down, I couldn't be more happy that after only a month, client deux thinks enough of me to connect me to the editor-in-chief that he works with. I had a Skype conversation with her last week and I'll be pitching stories this coming week. Wish me luck.