Friday, October 12, 2007

Short term vs long term goals

Occasionally, I notice that I am out of step with the rest of the world. Whether it is a result of my viewing the world differently or just not giving two hoots, I am not sure.

For instance, one of my friends has given up completely on Helium. He also refuses to join any write-to-paid site that pays as low as Helium does. Or that remind him of Helium.

I understand his distaste of Helium and if I didn't take the long view, I would probably share it.

But I don't. I think it is because I have the option of taking the long view of the potential of Helium and its effect on my bottom line.

Yes, Helium is low paying for the most part. After all, it is royalty based (ad revenue share). But that is only the short view.

Let's say that I write an article that earns ten cents a month on Helium. Ten cents a month will not make a dent in my bills. Yet over the course of a year, that will be an additional dollar and twenty cents of income in my pocket. Mulitply that amount by a dozen articles and it becomes fourteen dollars.

It does not sound like a lot. But that is exactly how the best writers on Helium are approaching Helium--by writing a lot of articles in the right categories (some subjects pay better than others there).

At the moment, I have fifty articles on Helium. That is earning me twenty-five dollars a year. It is not a lot of money, but then again it is only fifty articles. Several of them I should not have bothered writing--they had a really short shelf life.

That is one thing that you do not want to write on Helium is an article with a short shelf life. One wants to aim for subject matter that a lot of people are interested in which has a long shelf life. Ideally, one should aim for articles that will still be useful (making revenue) twenty years from now.

That same ten cents a month article if it has a shelf life of twenty years will net you twenty-four dollars. And do not worry about inflation--ad revenue shares are based on advertising rates; as they go up, so will your share.

Now, I do know why my friend has a hard time taking the long view of that site and all others that are built around the same premise. He has been unemployed for awhile and is desperately looking for a way to make up for lost income.

I understand his needs. It is just that I chose to take the long view when faced with the same problem. After almost a year of unemployment, I rolled up my sleeves and decided to go to college. Basically, I am living off of student loans and what little I make as a writer.

And for me, anything that brings in a tickle of money is a good thing. Especially things that I can do around my school schedule.

After all, I am playing the long game. If I build up enough stock, the tickle will become a river.

It is the same game when one is working on a novel or any other project. You do a lot of work upfront in hopes of cashing in later. It is not quick or easy. Yet it is the way that all people who make their living from royalties started out.

To see my Helium profile, click here.

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