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An AdSense Publisher's Story: Returning to 9-to-5
atladsenser




msg:4478586
 12:03 am on Jul 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Though I'm not a frequent poster here, I'm a frequent reader and have been very appreciative of all the thoughts, lessons learned and advice that you all share here on this board. It's in that spirit that I thought I'd share with you a recent decision I made to return to the regular workaday world, and some lessons I learned along the way.

I started building my site about 6 years ago after reading about AdSense in an article in the Washington Post, which detailed the success that publishers like SeatGuru.com and Podcast-Directory.com had had with their sites, as well as the well-known sites we all know, like Ask the Builder and Plenty of Fish.

It took several years -- and many months of days making in the single digits, I can remember the first day I made double digits with AdSense, woo-hoo! -- but eventually I was able to make enough money through my site to be comfortable. No details of course, but the site at its peak has made a six-figure income a couple of years.

Naturally, with success like that, I like many of you dreamed of quitting the day job to pursue working on the site full-time. I felt like I just couldn't give it enough of my time fitting it into the cracks here and there, that it wasn't all it could be if I had the time to focus on it every day. So, once it seemed to be making enough consistently every month for me to comfortably make the leap, I did.

I quit the 9-to-5 and plunged headfirst into working only on my site. Which was great, for a while at least. And then, I experienced the first of two site outages, one which lasted only a few hours but the other lasted more than 24 hours. It really rattled me, and woke me up to the fact that there are factors beyond my control that can totally wipe out my income from the site. Things got back on track after that, but that really gave my confidence a jolt.

The other, of course, is the Panda and Penguin updates Google has been making to their algorithms. Like (I suspect) many of you guys, I get probably 90% of my site traffic from visits from search. Yes, I know I should be developing an email list with a newsletter that would then be generating traffic, and yes I know I should be developing a blog that can get a wide subscription/RSS feed following, but honestly it takes all of my time just to update the content on the site. That's what I've been focused on, just building and improving the site's content over the years.

Well, to date (cross my fingers) I haven't been affected by the algorithm changes, but I no longer see them as something that would never affect me. After reading of Tim Carter's experience with his Ask the Builder site, that was yet another wake-up call.

The other big wake-up call has been the shift to mobile that's really undeniable at this point. Over the past year, traffic from desktop PCs to my site has grown around 4-5%; traffic from mobile devices, meanwhile, has grown 150%. It now accounts for virtually all of the traffic growth year-over-year from 2011. Trying to deny that a big fundamental shift is going on is like standing on the beach when a tidal wave is coming in, and thinking that refusing to acknowledge it will somehow make it go away.

I did a lot of soul-searching over the past few months and realized that, to ride the mobile wave, I was going to have to invest many hundreds of hours and perhaps thousands of dollars into re-designing my site for the mobile experience. I know that many of you are already on this path. But to me, I think I just found myself burned out on it after working on it already for several years, and I just decided that wasn't a path I wanted to go down anymore.

The other thing was that staying home all the time to work on my site, I really found that I'd narrowed my world in a BIG way. I really failed to appreciate how small my circle would become when I was no longer out circulating in the world every day -- it was a non-financial cost, but it's a very real one. After a while, because the site's been so successful, I've just been doing the same thing over and over with it, updating pages and adding new ones, but not really stretching or expanding my skills and knowledge. Because the site drove so much revenue, there wasn't the incentive to grow the way I should have been growing.

I know that to many of you this will sound like sour grapes. I hope it doesn't. I'm tremendously grateful to a company like Google for making something like AdSense possible -- it has truly changed my life, by enabling me to take great vacations, buy a new home, and take a chance on something I (thought, for a while) really wanted to do. But, life has changed and my priorities have changed with time, and so I think it's best if the site goes back to being a fun hobby and pastime, rather than the "main event" in my professional life.

I read a great quote in a book a while back, something to the effect that turning your hobby into your job is like marrying your mistress -- it creates an immediate vacancy in your life, and a big one. That, more or less, is what happened for me. So now I've returned to the working world and I'm really glad to be back. I'm among colleagues and am stimulated by the environment, plus I have the AdSense hobby on the side that I hope will continue for at least another 2 to 3 years.

If not, or if it all ends tomorrow thanks to an algo update, that's fine -- it's been a great ride. There are other mountains to climb.

 

londrum




msg:4479941
 7:46 pm on Jul 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

that kind of thing frustrates me as well, but i suppose its all part of the game. i dont blame you for getting fed up with it. there's good and bad things about having a real world job, and good and bad things about working on your own site. sometimes i quite feel like a change too, but i know im too lazy to go out and find work, and then have to get up early every morning, and being told what to do by a boss

synthese




msg:4479950
 9:53 pm on Jul 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@atladsenser - great story - and quite familiar to me.

I would probably be in the same situation but for two things:
- I began renting an office with a lot of other people so I still get the sense of going to work and chatting with people every day.
- I diversified and built a number of sites. Even though Panda has killed a site completely (ironically I thought it was my best site), I still have other projects on the go.

I don't think I could ever work for a boss again.

m0thman




msg:4479970
 12:08 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi atladsenser

I think we've been travelling a similar path. I began using AdSense in 2005 and quit my pretty cushy day job in the summer of 2006 when my site began making enough (just) for me to scrape by a living. I can still remember driving home after my leaving 'party', the sun streaming down and thinking this was the beginning of a new life and untold freedom.

I was a bit naive...

There were ups and downs with the first real down being at the end of 2008 when the UK economy took a serious downturn. I struggled on though living on the bare minimum and working harder than some people with 'proper jobs' I suspsect and actually things picked up for a while. I had a scare shortly after when my AdSense income was cut off due to someone posting something obscene on a forum (automated and manual reviews missed it somehow). It took two and a half months to get my AdSense re-enabled and then a further month to get my income back. Suffice to say, I had to do some unspeakable things to earn money in the meantime....

For me though, the last straw was Panda. Earnings were decimated (reduced by about 70%) and I had no choice but to find work. Sadly though I opted to do some temp work (had graft in a warehouse), always optimistic that I could somehow fix things enough to make a difference and get back on track. Nothing has had any affect however, my sites are now back to hobby status and providing some 'sweetie money'. Fortunately I saw the light and gave myself a kick up the bum recently and found myself some contract work using my skills, so basically life is looking up a bit.

I'm still confident that I'll return to some form of self-employment again one day. You don't get to taste that freedom and then return to the 9-5 chains easily. I'll be back one day with a different strategy and some better backup plans.

By the way, I think I also have made the same mistake re: mobile traffic, although I should have done something about it because I saw it coming a mile away. It's easy to put things off and rest on your laurels thinking that you know you can do it, you'll just do it some other time.

Finally, no criticism of Google in all of this. Sure I was frantic when it took ages for my ads to be re-enabled after the 'comments' thing, and then of course there was Panda. But the way I see things, I've had a chance to do this and I've made a good go of it for a while and while it lasted it was great. I even had the opportunity to visit the offices in London (great day out). A lot of people, a fair percentage of the population in fact have really dull dead-end jobs and will never get to do these things.

So where next? Who knows...

m0thman




msg:4479973
 12:17 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh and I concur with this

The other thing was that staying home all the time to work on my site, I really found that I'd narrowed my world in a BIG way. I really failed to appreciate how small my circle would become when I was no longer out circulating in the world every day -- it was a non-financial cost, but it's a very real one.


My other half was very worried about me at one point because I used to have to go to the shops now and then as an excuse to see 'the people'.

jonathanleger




msg:4479974
 12:55 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

No way I'd ever go back to working for somebody else. I'm a software developer, and my bosses never had any clue what they were talking about. The sales people always promised things that were next to impossible to deliver, and although being the prime money earners of the companies, the developers' pay never reflected that.

Thanks to working for myself, I haven't missed a single important event in the lives of my two small children.

Thanks to working for myself, I was able to give my oldest daughter and son in law a house as a wedding present.

Thanks to working for myself, I've been able to travel the world.

On top of those things, I've been able to give 40+ people the kind of jobs that I would have dreamed of having. They work from home (or wherever they want to). As long as they do the required work on time and do it well, they can set their own schedules. I never have to check in on them because they never fail to do what they're supposed to. On the rare occasion where they did, I was always notified in advance by the employee of what was going on -- and they always made up the work.

I've also been able to raise a lot of money for causes I believe in, from saving a local museum to helping some congregations that do good things for people to a Kiva group that's at over $55k in loans so far.

I'm not saying these things to brag. I just know that none of these things would have been possible if I was working for somebody else.

Need more socialization? Get out of the house every day.

Gotten bored with your current site? Use the revenue from the current one to build another one -- or two, or three -- in topics that you're interested in.

If it's what you really want, hey, to each their own. But seriously, I'll never go back to working for somebody else.

Just being able to go to a movie in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week when all the kids are in school... Sorry, but I just can't give that up. :)

Oh, one last thing. Don't kid yourself into thinking being an employee is more "stable" -- for most corporations you're just an expense they hope they can cut someday. And they will as soon as possible.

My 2c.

Slashus




msg:4479980
 1:16 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

So it's not that you don't want to work. You just don't want to work on your own thing - you want to work on someone else's. It's not that your business isn't making money, it is. You're also lonely working from home.

TLDR: You're lonely and want to work for someone else around people. The end.

Thanks for the story. Good luck with that.

IanCP




msg:4479996
 3:30 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@jonathanleger:

I've read and re-read your post several times. I can personally identify with many things you say. Perhaps I'm a 180 degree version of your story.

Excepting for several years as a part-time college teacher [putting something back] in the early 1990's, I haven't received a pay cheque from anyone since May, 1969.

That date is not a typo.

Between 1969 and 1998 I had worked for myself, I can identify with the advantages you outline. I eventually made millions [in today's money] and subsequently lost millions. I wouldn't have missed that ride for anything. NOT because of the money but, the privilege of sheer personal achievement.

Now the downside?

Excepting for close mates who were shafted in the 1990's [we we're early 50's then] with the vogue "early retirement" for those who stuck at their boring, mind numbing jobs? Curiously they were mostly bank managers and civil servants.

Now they enjoy lifetime indexed pensions, far in excess of my current earnings. I regarded many of them [perhaps unfairly] as drones and time servers. These pensions longer apply of course. They were among the last.

I retired in 1998 and lived upon my meagre resources. I was not then eligible for a state pension.

By sheer accident [long story] I became involved in affiliate marketing on the internet in 1998, principally with Amazon to cover my costs.

I enjoyed this "extra income - net of expenses". Then came Google in 2000 and with greater traffic, my expenses climbed once again.

Then in June, 2003? Came AdSense for us great unwashed masses. Initially, one day of AdSense income equally became one month of Amazon and other affiliate earnings.

I'm grateful for AdSense. It actually, and still does today, prohibit me from a full state pension.

The vagaries of life and how things continually change has proven very interesting.

I don't lust after money. I never have, I never will. I've always been happy with a "comfortable" income.

As my old Dad used to say:

"When one door closes? Another one opens"

I await that next door to open.

Thanks "jonathanleger" I identify with much you wrote.

[For the smarties]: Any Australian put out about my part state pension? Exercise your minds around my days in the 1970's/80's paying a top marginal tax rate of 60.1% including Medicare Levy.

spreporter




msg:4480044
 10:45 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

to tell short my story, if I wasn't a lazybones and instead workaholic and greedy, I could have made big time money, still I'm quite comfortable with my earnings and I'm spending them having a good time and loads of travelling around the world . I will never work more than a couple of hours in my websites,sometimes especially when travelling it can take weeks to open the laptop...Life is to short and if you have build something good the last 10 years just enjoyed it and if it goes off just let it go, after all "what comes up must come down" as Isaac Newton said and David Clayton Thomas sang.....By the way mostly from affiliate revenues (during the golden years until 2006) I managed to build a profitable business. Today adsense and affiliate revenues are just in a perfect level to my needs. My 2 Ýre...

HuskyPup




msg:4480053
 11:16 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

google's algo doesn't act on a whim. it's an algo. if a site gets demoted then there is a reason for it.


And the problem with the algo is that it's THEIR algo. It's not a definitive algo with the correct answer always being given, it is subjected to Google's so-called "experts" and their ideas/thoughts/perceptions of what is correct.

It is not a theorem since for many queries there may be multiple answers which is precisely why we see such awful results for so many searches. The answers Google gives cannot be "a statement that has been proven on the basis of previously established statements", see:

[en.wikipedia.org...]

z01d




msg:4480056
 11:27 am on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm going to add londrum's first post to my personal diary. My philosophy exactly. Job security in this economy? Doesn't seem like it is going to happen. At least now no one can fire you on a whim and you are in (more) control.

netmeg




msg:4480137
 2:28 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

What are you guys experiencing? Do you have mobile versions of your site, running mobile-specific ads? How do they perform?


Half my traffic is mobile now. In my experience, the CTR on mobile is WAY lower (sometimes struggling to make .1%) but the EPC is pretty high - almost never below $1 per click, and often $2 or $3, over thousands of clicks. Since mobile is inevitable, I'll take it. I dunno - I can't help thinking that people on phones don't really want to click on ads (and that goes for ads in Apps as well) unless there's something really relevant and useful there. Or unless they click on it by accident. The ads I've seen from AdSense on my own iPhone weren't terribly compelling. But the mobile web ain't going away. I'm toying with the idea of starting my own little mobile ad network just for my own little network of sites, focusing on hyper-local targeting.

Job security in this economy? Doesn't seem like it is going to happen.


Job security in ANY economy relies on skill set. Whatever it is that you do has to be in demand, and you need to look ahead and think about whether or not it will still be in demand in the future, or if you need to enhance or change your skill set. You *do* have control over that.

HuskyPup




msg:4480141
 2:47 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

but the EPC is pretty high - almost never below $1 per click, and often $2 or $3, over thousands of clicks.


Heavens, is that for your "events" site(s)?

All my sites work well on everything from 7" upwards plus are even usable on smaller screens and legible if one has young eyesight!

No matter that my "Mobile" link is next to my "Home" link people are just not using it. If they'd been and visited and didn't like it, fine, however they don't even bother with experimenting, the CTR to them is less than AdSense!

netmeg




msg:4480146
 2:53 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yep. I have quite a few of them (besides the obvious ones everyone knows about)

travelin cat




msg:4480156
 3:48 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

No matter that my "Mobile" link is next to my "Home" link people are just not using it.

I believe that having a link for a mobile site on your desktop site is not the way to go. Mobile visitors have to "pinch and squeeze" their way around a desktop site and they could easily miss the link.

I think you should redirect mobile users the moment they hit your website to a mobile version specifically made for smartphones. Add a link back to your desktop version just in case someone wants to have the "full" experience of your site.

travelin cat




msg:4480157
 3:52 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

BTW. atladsenser, excellent post. I went through a similar process a year ago. Best of luck to you.

Play_Bach




msg:4480176
 4:32 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

> Add a link back to your desktop version
> just in case someone wants to have the "full"
> experience of your site.

How are you doing this to avoid the redirect loop?
[webmasterworld.com...]

HuskyPup




msg:4480214
 5:19 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think you should redirect mobile users the moment they hit your website to a mobile version specifically made for smartphones.


Personally I detest that, when a site assumes I am on mobile then unless there is a direct link back to the desktop site then I'm out of there.

What is even more frustrating is that my Android 10" Xoom is assumed to be a mobile when it has the same resolution as my netbook whereas my old 2.2 Android TabletPC is not perceived to be mobile!

Overall I don't really find the mobile experience very good on the smaller screens other than Wikipedia which is usually ok for most things, then again I don't run my life around a mobile like many seem to do.

DirigoDev




msg:4480279
 7:44 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

We've been using WURFL - the Wireless Universal Resource File - to map devices more accurately to the HTTP client (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc). It seems to work well. Many sites are sloppy about their mobile redirects. Mobile is an issue for anyone with a legacy content site. The cost to rebuild/retool thousands of pages is daunting. Those of us that dive into mobile will likely survive. Those that don't will likely wither.

I respect @atladsenserís decision. I donít make my living from adsense but I can see how difficult it has become. I make my money from pure-play (internet only) commerce. Panda and Penguin have rattled my cage and reset my path. Personally, I save more money, think twice before hiring new staff, and react differently to opportunity and risk. I have taken my businesses offline into traditional media to hedge against Google. Plus, Iím working hard on beefing up Bing. Diversification is always on my mind. Iím still near peak revenue despite being hit with Panda II. Since last April Iíve worked real hard and thatís why my revenue is holding steady. I can envision a day when Google hurts me again - real bad.

Still, Iím never going to work for anyone else. Been on my own since 96í. It can be hard and stressful. Thereís nothing like working for yourself. I am completely in control of my destiny. If I fail, it is my fault. The ups are way high and the lows are real low. Being an employee again. No way!

nomis5




msg:4480309
 9:08 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Play Bach

How are you doing this to avoid the redirect loop?

Just drop a cookie saying the user prefers the full site, then check for the cookie before you redirect. Simple, easy to implement and works 100%.

To those who are worrying about sending tablets to their mobile, make your first redirect check based on screen size. Sounds very simplistic but it works perfectly for me and it's future proof. If screen size is less than #*$! redirect to mobile site.

Don't get trapped into the complexities of those who are trying to sell you complicated software solution - it's not complicated. Don't pay for it, write the solution yourself and it will work better than anything you pay for.

DirigoDev




msg:4480327
 10:07 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@nomis5 - some devices don't report the correct screen resolution using media queries. (ie: HTC Aria is one of these cases - the 3.2" screen detects as being larger than an iPad3). The screen is much smaller than an iPhone. I don't like spending money on licenses. But when the CEO's phone does not redirect correctly, bingo - you find something that works. Redirecting based on screen size is not 100% yet.

This probably belongs in some other thread.

HuskyPup




msg:4480342
 10:56 pm on Jul 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just drop a cookie saying the user prefers the full site, then check for the cookie before you redirect. Simple, easy to implement and works 100%.


Definitely not 100% when users have cookies disabled like me...plus I have no idea how many others.

Even AdSense cannot differentiate accurately between desktop/tablet/smart phone.

Musicarl




msg:4480368
 12:04 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

atladsenser, I enjoyed your story. You did what was best for the quality of your life, and I wish you the best.

Even with a successful site, we can find ourselves performing more tasks we don't enjoy and subjecting ourselves to increased risk, all of which makes a good 9-5 job much more appealing. There are many days when I wish I could call the IT department to fix my computer problem or grab a co-worker for advice (and have a company pay my health insurance - it's brutal here in the US).

What keeps me going are many of the things jonathanleger mentioned, plus a healthy shot of pride in my sites. No shame in retreating to the day job. People change.

Leosghost




msg:4480371
 12:28 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

When you are born, you have your life, and time..finite things, do not waste either of them, being told what to do, by others, they will not die for you in your place..do what you want, avoid harming, or encroaching on others..( do unto others as you would be done by etc ... ) as Janis said "live like you have the kitten for just the one day"..life ( and everything ) is fascinating ..

The best thing about being self employed is it makes avoiding fools and knaves easier..or at least keeps their contact to short duration ..one does not have to say yes to any job , task, or contract ..it is relative freedom :)

Do what you want, enjoy what you do..or you will regret not doing so..

skibum




msg:4480400
 3:11 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is KEY! Save your windfalls so when the wind stops blowing and your sail no longer carries you, you have the luxury of time to make your next move and ideally never, ever have your back against the wall when deciding where to seek your next paycheck or income stream.

My point?

SAVE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU MAKE IT!

I know people that are house poor, car poor, etc. because they buy like idiots on the way up, don't pay off their bills, and never see the possibility of being back to ground zero. I paid off all the debts, bought cars with cash, reduced the mortgage to half the local rents and banked as much as possible including SEP IRAs.


It is very easy to scale up and spend more more often. If you keep your lifestyle significantly lower than the big spikes in your income, so the SEP IRA, the ROTH IRA and all that jazz while investing conservatively, your income may fall but your lifestyle can remain steady for quite some time.

minnapple




msg:4480411
 3:56 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

IncrediBILL is right on the mark
"SAVE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU MAKE IT!'

When times were flush we first considered building a new house on our property and tear down the 150 year old farm house we live in.

Instead we decided to pay off all our outstanding debt including my wife's, and our oldest daughter's college tuition and banked for our youngest tuition.

Then we poured the rest into paying down the mortgage, into CD's and IRA's and into other liquid assets.

Times are not so flush right now, and if we would have taken the first choice, it would be disaster.

CainIV




msg:4480428
 5:10 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sometimes earning a steady payment, reducing the stress of being whim to Google updates, and having consistent time to live after work can be an oasis in the desert.

I know of a few people who did well in advertising but the long hours, updates, speed of the web and lack of time doing what they really wanted had them move back to 9-5.

incrediBILL




msg:4480440
 5:36 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sometimes earning a steady payment, reducing the stress of being whim to Google updates, and having consistent time to live after work can be an oasis in the desert.

I know of a few people who did well in advertising but the long hours, updates, speed of the web and lack of time doing what they really wanted had them move back to 9-5.


I worked longer and harder hours working for those so-called 9-5s than I have working for myself and more often for less money. Forget family. Forget dinner at home. Forget weekends. Not that I don't sometimes work long hours, but it's MY CHOICE, and there's nobody staring over my shoulder asking questions all the time which could get someone smacked.

Plus the myth that having a job vs. being self-employed is a steady paycheck is quite laughable because slackers will find themselves in trouble in either environment. In the current economic climate you could easily find yourself, and a thousand other people, sitting in the parking lot with pink slips on a moments notice.

True, you can slide for a while in a larger team environment in an office but eventually you have to deliver and management tracks delivery dates and no amount of hemming and hawing can dispute the facts when presented on a gantt chart.

OMG, did I just say gantt chart? I need a drink...

spreporter




msg:4480441
 5:38 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

"I know of a few people who did well in advertising" I do too, but those guys I know they invested in hiring stuff to do the hard work and the websites became in fact "factories" daily expanding/producing and still go strong, in other words, another way to invest your revenues is to expand your work. I know a guy that he started in the early days with one website (travel/tourism) the guy never used adsense or affiliates instead he hired mainly sales personal and he harvested a whole country! by advertising tourist businesses in main holiday destinations and doing websites for the thousands of his clients. Today he still go strong, plus, never was touched by any floridas, brandies, cafeines, pandas or penguins. His formula was every targeted destination had over 1000 pages covering every possible keyword related with the destination plus supporting each destination with individual domains linking back to the mother website.

lfgoal




msg:4480718
 10:17 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

The other thing was that staying home all the time to work on my site, I really found that I'd narrowed my world in a BIG way. I really failed to appreciate how small my circle would become when I was no longer out circulating in the world every day -- it was a non-financial cost, but it's a very real one.


I used to complain about this aspect often and my wife would say "you don't appreciate how good you have it, you decide how your day goes". Yeah, locked up in a home office minus all the normal interactions that happen in a day job...isolating to say the least.

I know people that are house poor, car poor, etc. because they buy like idiots on the way up, don't pay off their bills, and never see the possibility of being back to ground zero. I paid off all the debts, bought cars with cash, reduced the mortgage to half the local rents and banked as much as possible including SEP IRAs.


Before I sold, the wife would say why are you being so careful with money, the site makes incredible money. I told her because either one day I won't have the site, or Google won't like the site.

it was always something I did in my spare time until last year, so I never really had the time to implement a CMS or make the changes I'd need to make to bring one online. So now I have literally thousands of pages on my site, which makes upgrading to a new layout or implementing media queries for mobile extremely daunting, to say the least.


I think we led parallel lives. I used to get carpal tunnel syndrome from implementing changes.

diberry




msg:4481045
 6:30 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Quick thanks to everyone sharing their stories in this thread. I've been at this for a while, but only recently got to the point where quitting the full-time job to do the sites full-time might be feasible. This thread has confirmed I'm thinking about the right things to make that decision.

I don't see any difference between Google and the job market. Neither exists just so you can make a living. They both have other considerations, and you can run afoul of them despite your best efforts. And with both, it doesn't matter how good you/your sites are - if you're not sending the right quality signals, you won't get a job/rank well.

In the job market, some of those quality signals are at least partly under your control. Degrees, certifications, experience... but sometimes employers look for things as baffling as any algo - such as youth. Ageism is a huge problem in employment in the US. Companies believe younger workers will give them a better ROI, so they don't really even consider older ones.

Diversification is always the best way to ensure that even your lean times will be survivable. That, and as so many have mentioned, living well within your means and saving that money. Really, whether you work online, at a job, or both, the same rules apply. Bad things can happen, so try to create as many options for yourself as you can while things are good. Then the bad things only close SOME of those doors rather than the only one you had open.

graeme_p




msg:4481184
 7:45 am on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

The last six months have been a disaster for me.

I was already working on new sites (with different revenue and traffic streams) to diversify, so this is an incentive to get them off the ground.

I have looked at selling my site (good quality content means it has some value), and at entering into a partnership with someone who is better at marketing and SEO and at investing in SEO to get it back up.

I have little debt and some saving so I have some time to manoeuvre in. I would hate to go back to 9-5.

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