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My Tenth Revenue Stream Is “Miscellaneous Revenue”

March 6th, 2009
Every Friday I sharing each of my ten revenue streams (even though I missed the last 2 Fridays, while in California and Atlanta). With this post I only have 3 left (this is #7 of 10). I’m big on diversifying personal income, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. My intention with this series is to inspire or encourage you with your own diverse revenue streams. Below this post you’ll see links to the previous posts, or you can click on the Multiple Streams of Income category on the left.

I’m not quite ready to share the other three revenue streams yet, so I’ll share the most ambiguous. This could be “all the rest of the stuff.”  In this revenue stream I include misc stuff, which specifically includes:

  • Writing projects. I have been paid to write stuff, from white papers to blog posts on other blogs.
  • Affiliate revenue. This includes a few bucks here from my Happy About affiliate program, as well as other affiliate programs I’ve joined.
  • Advertising. Theoretically I might be able to make some good money from advertisers, based on the traffic I get on my sites (including this blog, the LinkedIn blog, JibberJobber the application, etc.).

Realize that some people have any of these three as their main income/revenue stream, and some people make a ton of money from any of the three.  For example:

  • Freelance writers can make six figures from writing gigs (the issues include (a) getting the gigs (and competing with all of the other writers out there) and (b) actually doing the work – this is not easily scalable, which means you can only write so many hours a day/week/year.
  • I know of some affiliate marketers who make a few thousand a month from their affiliate programs, and others who supposedly make five or six figures a month.  It sounds appealing to “make money while you sleep,” which is indeed possible, but it takes a lot of work and effort to make more than a hundred bucks a month.  A TON of work.
  • Supposedly one of the top bloggers in the world, dooce.com, makes between “500k and $1M” from her blog.  I’m guessing most of this is in sponsorships (at least six figures).  There is only one Dooce.com, however… and many wannabees.  In another space (web 2.0 tech pundit) Michael Arrington’s blog supposedly makes an easy seven figures a year, but realize they have an entire team producing content, programs, etc.

Below are thoughts about this revenue stream for me.  I realize I could hit this harder and make more money in any of these three, and perhaps other revenue opportunities, I count all of this as “miscellaneous” because I’m focusing on revenue that I think is longer-lasting, and more value-add to my ultimate goals with JibberJobber and my company.

Writing Projects

This is hard work.  I have only taken writing projects that come to me (instead of me looking for them)… the money is okay, but freelance writing is highly competitive, and for me the biggest problem is that once I get the project, I then need to carve time out to do it.  I’ve become quite jealous of my time in the last year.  Based on my experience, I can make five figures a month writing, if I pursued it heavily.  Again, it’s a great profession, but not my focus.  And to make five figures a month you really have to hustle (in getting each contract as well as meeting the deadlines).

Affiliate Revenue

A few months ago I put Indeed search into JibberJobber more prominently, as well as on my blogs (if you are getting this blog post via email you won’t see the Indeed search).  I can easily clear a few thousand dollars a year on this income stream alone – it’s not a lot of money but I figure every $83/month stream adds up ($83*12 months is about $1,000/year)… if I find a better thing to put in some of the places where the Indeed widgets are I might do that, but I’m not actively looking to put a bunch of affiliate bling all over… some blogs overdo this.

I also have a number of affiliate links for books I recommend, although I have not pursued this with Amazon yet.  Funny, I figure I should make at least an additional $83/month from Amazon, but it ticks me off that they are (or were, last time I looked) only giving about 4% of the sale to their affiliates.  Happy About gives 30% (you can sign up for the Happy About affiliate program here).

Again, not a huge focus but I figure I’m leaving some money on the table by not pursuing this more.

Advertising

I met with internet marketing expert Carl Chapman last week (actually, he let me crash at the Chapman Hotel while I was in Atlanta, the entire week!), and he was convinced I should be getting a significant amount of revenue from advertisers on all of my websites (based on the traffic I’m generating).  Carl suggested I find a cold-calling salesperson and giving him/her a healthy royalty on sales… I am almost-kind-of open to this, but I’m not excited about cluttering up my properties with stuff unless they the advertising will really pay off.

Here’s the interesting thing about this tenth revenue stream… the statement from above is:

Again, not a huge focus but I figure I’m leaving some money on the table by not pursuing this more.

So the question is – should I spend my time developing this $15k-$20k revenue stream or should I focus more on other revenue streams that are worth more… ?  When I listed out 2009 revenues, and 2010 projections, I was quite shocked to see that this stream is a small fraction of the others (on paper).  It made me realize if I didn’t do any of this anymore, that’s OKAY.  But what I do in this stream is mostly passive, so I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing, and not aggressively pursuing much here (unless I can find that key salesperson who can do a great job selling advertising or sponsorships).

Helpful information?  If you have an information product, have purchased one, or want to have one, what do you think makes it successful?  Share thoughts or ideas below :)

Here is a breakdown of the revenue streams I’ve shared so far:

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Huge JibberJobber Upgrade Last Night

March 5th, 2009

Last night we had the biggest upgrade to our system yet.  In the last 2.5 years we’ve had a bunch of upgrades, but this one required us to actually take JibberJobber offline for a while so we could make some database changes… huge thanks to my team for their efforts in this release, and for working in the wee hours of the night to do the upgrade!  Here’s a partial list of what’s new:

Action Items and Log Entries: this is the biggest change, and I’ll blog about it more next week… but we had huge, significant changes to this (that’s why we took the site down).

One thing that we will all dance around and hug about is the ability to associate a job with a company with a person, and a person with a company and a job, and a company with a job and a person, etc.  Before you couldn’t make all of these associations, but now you can, and this is HUGE.

“Approve All” option on Contacts shared: now you can approve all the contacts shared in bulk, instead of having to approve them one-by-one.  This is a really cool feature allowing you to get more value out of JibberJobber and networking if have buddies who are also using JibberJobber.

Tree view of contacts under just one contact: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this feature.  The Tree View is cool, showing me my network graphically.  This new addition allows me to see the tree below one contact.  The icon is on the detail page (as well as the List Panel) of a contact:

When I click it I see the graphical tree view of who that person has “referred” to me… instead of sifting through my hundreds or thousands of contacts, I now see just the network that this person introduced me to, like this:

Jobs got new stuff: there are a bunch of new fields added to the Track Jobs page, including the option of a status of each job:

View your account type, upgrade level, and change levels: This is one of those Doh!  We should have had this from the beginning!  But now we do, so we’re good :)  Under My Account, General, you can click on this blue circle to see what your level is, how to upgrade or downgrade, etc.

Referred By is now faster… much, much faster: I have over 5,000 people in my network, so when I go to the add a new contact page it loaded kind of slow (too slow for me).  This was because the Referred by was a drop down… but now it’s not, and it loads way faster.  Simply type in the name of a contact and we’ll show you any names that might be the one you are typing… and you choose from that list, like this:

Here are other miscellaneous additions:

  • On various List Panels there are now additional columns you can choose to show.  I don’t remember which ones, but if you wanted to see additional data before on the List Panel, click on Manage Columns to add more columns.
  • Various little bug fixes and inconsistencies throughout the system were resolved.  Find more?  Report them using the Contact Us form, found through the link at the bottom of every JibberJobber page.
  • Under My Account, the Preferences page was quite disorganized as we add a few preferences here and there… we finally went in and reorganized it and grouped things, making it easier for you to manage your preferences without getting lost in our disorganization.
  • Sometimes people use the “Delete my account” option for bad reasons, including “I landed my job!”  (great, what about all the awesome information you’ve collected in this job search – you can use it again in 3 years in your next job search!) or “I thought this was free!” (it is free for life, with options to upgrade/downgrade as you need… and no, we don’t charge your credit card if you’ve never upgraded… we don’t even have your credit card info).  We recently added the FAQ’s to check out BEFORE you delete your account.
  • On the Detail page of your contact, there is a new icon to invite them to use JibberJobber.  Having your contacts use JibberJobber will become increasingly valuable this year (hint, hint).
  • We added a few new fields for your My Account page, so we can be in a better position to understand (and help) you more.  More fields are coming.
  • We updated the slideshow for upgrading, telling you why you might want to upgrade, etc.  It’s now using Slideshare technology, which is pretty cool.

I’ll blog more about the other updates, but this stuff is awesome, and we got a bunch of things on our “we need these in JibberJobber now!” list crossed off!

If you have other ideas, you know where to send them 😉

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Looking For A Virtual Job Coach?

March 4th, 2009

I frequently get emails asking for recommendations on job coaches who are in or around the city where the job seeker is.  For some reason they want to be close enough to meet with the job coach in person.

My response is “send me your resume and I’ll pass it on to my coach partners.  My coaches usually specialize in a profession/area (like Project Managers or CFOs or CEOs) or an industry (like retail, banking, etc.).  If any of them see a connection between your resume and their specialty, they’ll get back to you.”

I think ALL of my coaches have virtual clients… which means they are all virtual job coaches.

It’s more important, when you look for a job coach, that they understand your profession and/or industry than whether you can meet with them, face-to-face.

Let me take that back just a little… some of my coaches prefer the face-to-face, and some clients prefer the face-to-face.  There is great power in face-to-face, whether it’s with coaching or with networking or with sales or with __________.  But I think that having a virtual job coach is totally acceptable.

To put it simply, would you rather meet with someone face-to-face who doesn’t understand your profession/industry, or meet with a job coach virtually who has helped dozens or hundreds of people who have similar career paths to yours land a job?  Getting the best of both worlds might make you lucky, and I’m not against it, but I think it’s more important to be aligned with their specialty rather than just be in the same city.

When you look for a job coach, consider WHAT they specialize in, not WHERE they are.  With that perspective, a virtual job coach makes sense, doesn’t it?

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Want To Be A Virtual Assistant?

March 3rd, 2009

One of the COOLEST professions I’ve discovered in the last few years is the Virtual Assistant.

I’m totally smitten by the idea… partially because a Virtual Assistant (VA) has to be entrepreneurial, and partly because a VA has more control over their income (income security) than any other assistant.

And they have an opportunity to make great money.  And they can, in general, set their own hours.  And they can turn down clients who will drain them (as opposed to working for a boss who sucks).  And they get to learn about a ton of different things.

Here is a resources for learning more about becoming a VA – the cost is $97 (I’m not an affiliate but Tracey is a friend) – one session is on Monday, the next is the following Monday:

Are you tired of working a J O B?
Do you dream of having your own successful business?

Imagine…

  • Working from the comfort of your own home.
  • Setting your own hours.
  • No more getting dressed up.
  • No more traffic.
  • More freedom and flexibility.

Join me for this two-part teleseries and start your journey to a new life!

On March 9 and 16 you will learn:

  • How to create a viable business
  • How to build your website
  • How and where to find clients
  • Basics of being a VA

Cost is $97 Space is limited so register now!
http://www.tctbusinesssolutions.com/creating_a_successful_va_biz

I recently hired a VA and I love having her… she has helped me SO much… so I can say this is a COOL idea, and it genuinely helps people and their businesses!

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How I Became The LinkedIn Expert (and Update On LinkedIn for the Job Search)

March 2nd, 2009
Have you registered for the free LinkedIn Webinar on Wednesday?  I’m almost done figuring out what the agenda will be – more information here.  It will not be a full-blown presentation on LinkedIn, rather I’ll just pull out some things that I’ve been thinking about.  If you want full-blown, register for the Experts Connection webinar on March 25th.Also, LinkedIn for Job Seekers, a webinar/DVD focused on helping people figure out LinkedIn in a job search, is getting REALLY close… if you pre-order it you’ll save about $15.  You can order it here.

When I talk about “personal branding” I talk about having expertise.  Being a “subject matter expert” (SME).  The groups I talk to usually have significant SME, because they are usually professionals with years of experience.

One thing I haven’t talked about yet, but it has been on my mind, is how to attain guru, or expert, level.  My favorite way, and the way I think lends the most credibility, is to have someone else say you are the expert!

For me this happened once I had my LinkedIn book published, about 18 months ago.

Writing a book for expertise is a two-edged sword, because any ol’ expert can do it pretty quickly and easily, … which means any non-expert full of fluff can do it quickly and easily also.

But think about it – how much credibility is there when YOU call YOURSELF an expert, vs. when SOMEONE ELSE calls YOU and expert?

So then the question is, what can you DO (in addition to, or aside from, writing a book) to have people call you an expert?  I’ve got lots of ideas – what are yours?

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