Diversify Your Income
For the longest time, I resisted trying in any way to monetize my blog. Then my freelance work got little slower than I like. While ebs and flows are part of the nature of self employment, I started to understand the wisdom my fellow freelancers were sharing when they’ve preached about diversifying your income streams.
“As a freelancer, you will need to find ways to diversify your income,” they said. Diversifying your income through blogging is a common strategy among freelance writers and other creatives, and I’m no exception.
Working for a Cause
I like to work. I enjoy writing and sharing my adventures as a traveler, as a health-seeker, and as a military spouse here on MilliGFunk.com. I love the content writing and marketing consulting I get to do for clients. I especially like it when I can see that what I write makes a difference for their businesses.
And I really love my Passion Projects. My Passion Projects are the volunteer roles that my work allows me to take on. When my income is high enough, I can afford to continue investing in childcare so that I’m able to use my skills in the community.
Right now, for instance, I’m organizing a big fundraiser on our Army installation. I couldn’t have taken on that passion project if my work earlier in 2015 hadn’t paid for daughter’s my childcare for the entire year.
My work, in essence, is allowing me to organize that fundraiser to raise money that will help military spouses and children earn scholarships for college. It’ll help community organizations like Scouts to earn welfare grants to help pay for their kids to have awesome experiences — like having an author and artists visit their school to talk to them about creating pop-up art.
The Cost of Running a Business
In order to do that work, though, I have business and personal expenses that I have to cover. My office hardware and software needs to be up-to-date, I need to invest in childcare for Small Shaw, and by the end of 2016, I’ll need to be able to pay for some childcare for Bavarian Baby Shaw, too.
Our family’s financial goals include my income covering my own retirement investments, business expenses (freelance), and blogging expenses (until recently treated as my hobby) so that we can maximize the more traditional pre-tax retirement investment opportunities that my husband can leverage through the military.
You’d be surprised at how much I need to earn in 12 months to cover those four expenses (business, blog, retirement, and childcare). It’s a fun challenge each year, but the more I can diversify my income streams, the more peace of mind I’ll have.
Monetizing a Hobby
So why am I sharing all of this with you?
I want you to have context for what you’ve probably already noticed: that I’m beginning to look for ways to make MilliGFunk.com more than a hobby. Beginning late this summer, I started trying to diversify my freelance income by finding small ways to earn income from this site:
I entered the #Come2Germay contest, in hopes that if I won, my reach would grow, qualifying me for bigger, paid opportunities in the future. While I had to drop out of the contest, I’m still talking with the contest’s organizers about a possible partnership in 2016.
I’ve hosted two giveaways in the last two months, again hoping to attract new readers and social media followers so that MilliGFunk.com will be more attractive to larger, paid, clients in the future. (I’m planning to write another post for you that talks about whether those giveaways worked, so stay tuned!)
I’m also experimenting with a few sidebar ads, though I don’t expect them to be very profitable. If you see a product in the sidebar of this blog, it’s a product I actually vouch for in real life. Programs like Dropbox, Canva, FreshBooks (affiliate link*), and Grammarly are tools I use every. Single. Day.
(*If you’re interested in trying FreshBooks, and if you use my referral code, we’ll both get a free month of the company’s service, which is like $19.95 back in my freelance bank account.)
Staying True to the Funk
I’ve been very, very selective so far about what brands and products I’m willing to share with you here on MilliGFunk.com. This blog is a personal blog about healthy living, travel, and home, so any company I partner with needs to have a similar set of values and worldviews as I do where health, travel, and home life are concerned.
For instance, I whole-heartedly believe that a healthy momma is a happy momma, so I’m thrilled to partner with FittaMamma for my FittaMamma Friday posts through my pregnancy with Bavarian Baby Shaw.
On the other hand, I’ve turned down invitations to apply for projects that feel like ones that my real life friends and family would say, “huh?”about if they saw here on the blog. For example, I don’t love handling raw meats at home and rarely buy ground beef, so it my family could totally call me out if I started writing posts promoting easy ground beef recipes.
So, Is My Blog Profitable?
No. Not yet.
Maybe I’ll break even, or even start to make a profit, in 2016, but for now, my paid freelance work still covers my expenses (hosting, software, etc.) for MilliGFunk.com. I want that to change. I want MilliGFunk.com to start paying its own rent, so to speak.
I want to keep sharing our travels, our military stories, and my healthy living perspectives with you on MilliGFunk.com, but I can’t do that in good faith if it remains an expensive and time-consuming hobby.
The diversity of my income includes my ongoing freelance work (which I hope to incorporate as a business in 2016), MilliGFunk.com, and another exciting entrepreneurial online adventure that I can’t wait to tell you more about when it launches in a few months.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting MilliGFunk.com. Stay tuned for more great giveaways, some new music reviews, and of course, lots of posts about travel in Germany! I promise to only promote brands and products here that I would recommend to you if we were real-life, face-to-face friends.