wheel - 12:47 am on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)
Most folks who operate independently have had some serious crashes. Heck, a substantial part of my online business has been basically offline for the last 2 weeks as the result of hacks followed with incompetent consultants, so no pay for me in October. And I'm still not back online.
When times get tough, the solution is not to get despondent. The solution is to learn, get the eye of the tiger and get back in the ring.
I generally decide if it's a temporary slump or not. If it is, I try and destress a bit, kick back, work a bit less hard temporarily.
If it's not a temporary slump - and sounds like yours isn't - then I don't give up and go work for the man. I develop a business shift. Leverage and transition. Put some time into determining how you can move forward with what you have, then get re-energized and get back at it. You may have to tighten up your budget in the meantime. And as well in the meantime, see if you can monetize or cannibalize what you have right now to provide revenue in the interim. Sell links from your sites or something. Do paid blog posts.
If you're straight adsense, I think you need a new business model. If you're selling a product or service, panda's not the end of the world. There are other ways to boost your site back, to get exposure and traffic and sales.
And if you have a business mentor, nows the time to lean on them. Take them out to lunch, lay out everything including your choices going forward.
And I feel your pain. If you're self employed, then you've been there.