Surprise! A visit from my old friend, Fiona.

Please Hold, You’ll Be Connected Shortly

Don’t you hate those phone messages you get with the plinky plinky music that say you’re on hold but your call is very important and you’ll be connected shortly?

Shortly! What does that mean? Is it even a word?

Sometimes the wait is 10 seconds which is fine. Other times it’s 10 minutes which is not fine and can be infuriating.

Either way sometimes not knowing how long the wait will be is the hardest part.

If you’re expecting something, or want something to happen, human nature wants to know when you can expect it.

But sometimes something you want to happen occurs when you least expect it.

That’s what happened to me last week.

Surprise Visit

My best friend, Fiona, from England came to Australia and paid me a surprise visit.

We’ve known each other for 23 years, since we were 19, but haven’t seen each other for about 4 years, then suddenly, out of the blue, she was here with me. It was so exciting, unexpected and delightful that I simply didn’t manage to write my post in time.

When life surprises you in the most delightful way like that you need to be flexible and go with the flow.

Sorry Sorry Sorry

So this is my round about way of saying sorry I missed a blog post last week.

Most of you know that I live in Australia with my husband and three kids but I think I forgot to mention that the wee ones are currently on school vacation for six weeks.

Yes, school ended well before Christmas and doesn’t start again until the end of January here. Hence I’m busier than usual and, combined with visits from overseas relatives, I’m struggling to keep up with this blog.

New Blog Schedule

So I’ll be reducing my posts to once a week for the mean time. Tuesdays will be the big day.

Blog Developments

Some things about this blog are clear:

  • I love writing it, sharing ideas with my readers and hearing your thoughts.
  • I’m committed to writing it and looking forward to achieving my goal of 1000 subscribers soon.
  • I’m committed to helping my readers and providing weekly inspiration and advice to keep them fired up and striving for a life less ordinary.

But there are a few problems with my blog. In order to keep it going I need to make money out of it.

Will I earn money from this blog this year?

Most of us need money to live on and I’m no different. I need to be compensated for my time, ideas and writing on this blog. I’d do it for the love of it if money was growing on the trees in our garden, but it’s not and my husband feels strongly that I should be making money from blogging or not do it.

But I feel so guilty even thinking about making money from it, let alone telling you this.

In blog speak they call it “monetizing” your blog. It sounds so mercenary and horrid but it needs to be done if Get In the Hot Spot  is to survive and my dream of earning a good living from my writing it to succeed.

And if so how?

The trouble is that I’m not sure how I’ll be able to make money from my blog.

The best option seems to be from selling products.

So I need to put on my thinking cap and come up with something that you will want to buy and that will be useful to you. I think it should be inspiring and entertaining too.

The dilemma is that I’m basically not a materialistic person. And I don’t think you are either. Selling people things they don’t need or want is not something I will do but if I can sell you something that you want then we can be mutually satisfied.

Possibilities for things you might like to buy from me are:

  • Books (or ebooks I suppose)
  • Handy inspirational memos
  • Posters
  • T-shirts

Other options are to sell my services:

Or I could request donations.

Maybe a combination of these things will be needed but I want to keep the blog simple, useful, valuable and, above all, maintain my integrity.

I have a lot to think about. I’d love to know what you think about my dilemma.

So thanks for holding and for bearing with me. I promise we’ll get connected again next week.

I’m looking forward to it.

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>> Why I’ll Always Back Up My Work From Now On

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly Kelash January 20, 2010 at 8:26 am

I think you should look into getting other people to advertise on your blog — travel companies or online universities or personal coaches — something somewhat related to what you’re writing about..?

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Eric January 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

There’s certainly nothing wrong with earning money from you blog. I’m no expert, but I have Amazon affiliate links on my blog, so I can earn a few buck when folks click through my site and order from Amazon. I also run google ads on my blog. I’m still building subscribers, so I’m not making much yet, but maybe someday. Word on the street is that the best earnings come from selling your other services, like your design and copywriting.

As for the cutting back on posts, that actually works better for me. :) I just started a new job, and don’t have time to browse my favorite blogs during the day, so I’m squeezing it in when I get home from work.

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Randall January 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

This may sound like a silly idea. They have those donate buttons you can add. You might be surprised who would donate and they wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money for some kind of service. Well anyway it doesn’t cost anything to try it. I know I wouldn’t think any less of you for doing that. I have seen some fairly large blogs with this on it. Probably not your style but it is just a thought.
As for your visit this is great news! I am glad you have had some company! Would like to come there myself one day and just have dinner or something when I am in the P.I. You keep up what your doing you inspire us all who follow you. Thanks!

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Anne January 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

You should NEVER feel guilty about making money when you are giving people something of value. Posting opportunities for people to buy/spend money on your website doesn’t force them to buy anything. And maybe you have access to something they would otherwise not have access to.

I am planning on launching my own website in a few weeks and I am planning on monetizing from the get-go (mainly affiliate sales). I do not see why I should not earn money (if I can) if I provide something of value.

Then again, I am a confirmed capitalist! :)

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J.D. Meier January 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I get your dilemma.

I think a good rule of thumb is follow your passion, flow value, and leverage success patterns for monetization.

That way you enjoy the process, while sustaining and growing for the long haul.

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Dave Doolin January 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I treat my website as straight marketing collateral.

It may or may not earn me any money directly (though I suspect it might, possibly sooner than later).

The key is that I offer a range of services, proven by the material I deliver daily.

If there’s something else people need that you’re good at it, consider expanding your niche. “Get In The Hot Spot” isbroad enough to cover quite a bit of ground. You could probably franchise it, actually.

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Annabel Candy January 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Molly – Yes, that is one avenure I’ve considered. I’d like to be sponsored by Virgin as I’ve written about Richard Branson before (http://www.getinthehotspot.com/2009/08/26/10-ways-to-get-the-life-you-want/) and think our values of excitement, adventure and dream-seeking are aligned. I don’t know what I’m waiting for, I must give him a call:)

Eric – I think you’re right about the services. It has never been something I mentioned much but I should. Somehow I feel very happy writing about and selling other people’s products and services but embarrassed to sell my own. Silly!

Randall – Yes, the donation thing is a possibility and as you say, if you don’t try it you won’t know if it works or not. As for dinner if you or any of my readers are in this neck of the woods I’d love to meet up. Probably a barbecue by the Noosa River:)

Anne – Good for you, I think you have the right attitude. I see I just need to stop thinking of myself as being materialistic for wanting to earn money and relabel it capitalist. So much better…

J.D – Great advice, it will definitely be a learning curve as setting up and growing my blog has been. I enjoy the writing and the challenge of it as well as the interaction with cool people around the globe so I really don’t want to stop!

Dave – Franchise it! Now there’s a nice idea. Caching, caching, caching:) I think you’re right, in our field (web development) having a blog is a way to showcase your expertise and does help get work even if you can’t prove it does so.

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[email protected] Change for You January 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm

The opportunities are infinite! I agree that you should not feel bad by offering something of value and making money at it. If you rip people off, you have reason to feel guilt. If not, no worries!

Cutting back on your blogging is not a good idea. I understand your reasoning, but it doesn’t help with rankings or with gaining readers. I would rethink that.

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Connie January 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

I think you should consider a package deal, for instance for $25-50 I would get a copy of your ebook, a profile on your blog of my business or whatever, and a permanent link somewhere on this site. I think that many people understand the value of link building these days.
Love you,

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Annabel Candy January 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

Steve – I certainly won’t be ripping people off. I think that what worries me is that I do see many personal development gurus as ripping people off by delivering false promises and I want nothing to do with that. I do want to provide a service that no one else can: straight forward, honest advice, consistent motivation and great inspiration. To be honest I would pay for that so it shouldn’t surprise me if other people want to as well! I really appreciate your advice. The cutting back on blog posts is an interesting one and people are very divided on it. I can only think it works fine on some blogs but not others. I’ll try it for a few weeks and see what happens. I’m definitely on an upward curve at the moment so if that starts to level out I know I need to crank it back up again!

Connie – Hmm, you’ve actually come up with a creative idea which provides value to my readers too. I’m impressed! Thanks for sharing it with me:)

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Randall January 22, 2010 at 1:29 am

Talk about value! My life and my thoughts were becoming a little distracted and discouraged until I read you post: What To Do With Your Life If You Don’t Know What To Do. I don’t know why but it was what I needed when I needed it. My life was like an old vinyl record that just kept skipping in place like it had a deep scratch in it. When I read that post it put the needle back in place and the music began again! Thanks for that!

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Annabel Candy January 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Randall – Brilliant to hear it helps and so happy my writing and way of thinking is helping you:) Thanks for taking the time to give me that feedback, you’ve made my day too!

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QwkDrw January 24, 2010 at 4:34 am

Re: Once a week new posting schedule on your blog.

Reducing posting frequency is a good strategy for some blogs, in my opinion. This real-life blogger also has other responsibilities, a valued spouse that is not a blogger, and does want to earn an income from writing. A little less than a year ago, ‘GIVE ME A MOMENT a lifestyle’ went from posting semi-weekly to once every two weeks.

This fortnightly schedule for the automatic publishing of posts has worked out well for me. The reduced frequency allows more time for other real-life responsibilities plus it encourages topic and content research and series planning.

Again, this just works for me. It has been observed that some blogs are much more dependent on an almost daily, or even more, schedule to achieve successful timeliness. Good luck with your blogging decisions and continued good writing

!!

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Annabel Candy January 26, 2010 at 7:17 am

QwkDrw – Fortnightly! Now that’s a serious reduction. I’m very conscious of wanting to be reliable and I think that’s the key. I understand that readers want to know you’ll post every Tuesday or whatever schedule you’ve developed and I do think sticking to that’s vital. Brilliant to hear that’s worked for you and it does allow for me comment feedback.

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Andy January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I work in the media business primarily promoting magazines and online services. I agree with your other contributors that there is no harm in trying to make some money from your endeavors. Its all about numbers when it comes to e-marketing. We are able to make 3 or 4000 US per month on our website, but we are getting about 8000 individuals visit who are furniture buyers in the Gulf region. Its very targeted.
I think you are best off promoting your own web design services. When my house in Morocco is furnished, perhaps you will be able to promote that to your community too and we can come to some arrangement :)

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Annabel Candy January 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Andy – Hehe! When your house is furnished I may pop over for an extended stay with the family while the blog ticks over and the passive income it generates comes rolling in. Ah, it’s good to dream:)

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Elina Toddy February 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I will definitely show my gratitude to you, Annabel as you have held your kind patience for us. And rest assured, the eminent qualities which you have, will be evaluated soon. I am very much fond of your writing. Annabel I think you don’t know that how much worthwhile your articles are to us? All of us need to hold our patience otherwise we will lose our creativity. Be stick what you are doing, you have done very well. May God bless you.

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