Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Value of Your Online Properties

I was speaking with my financial advisor last week, and adding my $60 per month in predictable online income to my retirement calculations, to come up with a plan for the next few years. When she heard $60 per month, she was shocked, and she pulled out one of her own financial statements: she was making about $60 per month on the best investment she could find, with an investment of $20,000. If I took an hour to write each of my 600 articles, she explained, I was making the equivalent of $33.33 per hour, after taxes.

Now some articles earn more, so obviously, those are worth more. Many haven't earned me anything at all to date, although it's impossible to tell what indirect effect they have (for example, they could generate interest in other articles, or generate Amazon sales. In any case, on most sites, each article provides a backlink to your other online properties, and your profile page (or should, at least). So when your friends, family, or financial advisors laugh at you for spending hours at the computer, typing away, remember that this is a serious investment of your time, and will pay off in the future, perhaps even in unexpected ways. After all, we don't know what is around the corner, and those of us with established online properties, especially on young sites, stand to benefit.

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Someone may also offer to buy one or more of your articles (it's happened to me). The thing to do is to look at how much that article is earning you, both directly and indirectly. I have an article that currently earns me $10 per month, and it has numerous affiliate links in it. (If you're curious, it's 50 Ways to Make $1 a Day Online.) I replied with an initial offer of $6000, based on the amount of money I would have to have in the bank in order to earn $10 per month, plus the lost future revenue from affiliate signups and sales. Based on their reaction, I believe the figure the other person had in mind was about $200; that would not have come close to replacing my lost revenue. So make sure you are valuing your articles correctly, or you may wind up losing money to someone sharper than yourself about the value of your articles.