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The other day I was surprised that a friend of mine was not only getting Adsense income for quite a while, but he has been in the UPS club for 12 months. He said the site started as a hobby and so he never really told anyone, then it became wildly successful and then he didn't want anyone to know in case they copied it etc.
Now his 9-5 job is less than 25% of total income and he is thinking of becoming fully reliant on Adsense, which only takes up a few hours a week. He likes his job, but wouldn't be too upset about giving it up to live off Adsense.
Ok, it is a nice dilemma to be in, but he asked me for advice and I thought the best course of action was to find someone who had already done it. So has anyone given up their day-jobs for Adsense? If so, how is it working out?
Perhaps he should also look at other revenue sources direct advertising sales etc. But again he does not need to leave his current job to do that as he could employ someone to do that for him.
...Adsense, which only takes up a few hours a week. He likes his job...
If your friend likes his job he should keep it (until he doesn't like it anymore). If he wants to put more time into his website, then he should start to add hours to it every week. Why not save up at least three months of living expenses before he leaves (6 months is ideal) to better handle the risk. Why not work on some aff programs to spread the risk around.
My personal view is that I will be able to devote more time to my site, and build other sites as backup... along with other non-web investments... Currently I'm a replaceable/outsourceable cog in an IT department. I'd rather take a chance, and be on my own. And who's to say that anything in Corporate America is stable.. In a way, it a false sense of security, I could be laid-off tomorrow, without any notice.
Last but not least, you are always limited in both the amount money you can make, and how far you can go.. As an Entrepenuer your income is unlimited (as are your losses!).
joined:Oct 27, 2001
If he's in the UPS Club for a site that takes only a few hours of work per week, I'd guess that he's got a "made for AdSense" site that depends on SEO and Google's good graces for its success
That is uncharitable and unlike the usual EFV comments. There are a lot of content/hobby sites that made almost nothing pre-Adsense but are in the UPS club now. One particularly successful site is owned by someone who used to work for me and I can guarantee he plays very, very clean. He hasn't even SEO-ed his 10 year old site. He used to spend two hours a week on it when it went Fed-Ex. It turned out that the widget he had written 300 pages about pre Y2K became a very expensive Adwords keyword. I'm the one who actually introduced him to Adsense. I lost an employee but I have a lot of very good one way incoming links as a "thank you" :)
Yes, I agree with the previous poster. EFV's comments sound almost like he's jealous...
joined:Oct 27, 2001
EFV's comments sound almost like he's jealous...
Nope, just skeptical. :-)
In any case, my advice stands: If AdSense is the site's only source of revenue, quitting the job doesn't sound like a good idea. To paraphrase the bumper sticker, "Change happens." Remember when "smart pricing" was introduced last April, and some AdSense publishers saw their income fall drastically? The publishers who relied completely on AdSense to pay their bills were hurt a lot more than the ones who had multiple revenue streams or day jobs.
If you have mostly organic (repeat traffic, not all SE referrals) traffic then you'd be RETARDED not to spend more time on the thing that's providing you the most income. Spending eight hours a day on 25% of your income and basically ignoring your breadwinner is dumb, dumb, dumb.
By ignoring your big winner you'll be sure to make the "maybe your income will dry up someday" argument a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To me the website is obviously the better deal.
Safety is always a paramount issue. However...you can only go but so fast if you're stuck at a day job all day long versus building, building, building quality site material. And quality site material takes an awful amount of time.
When to jump is the question. But is it a leap of faith or a fool's leap?
If you have mostly organic (repeat traffic, not all SE referrals) traffic then you'd be RETARDED not to spend more time on the thing that's providing you the most income.
That is of course the most logical advice -- and easiest thing to say. The reality may be different.
First, the person may have family. It's just so easy to quit a job if you are a single person with no mouths to feed. But if you've got 5 children for example to consider, you'd be RETARDED to just jump the ship without really examining your options.
Second, there's the fear of the unknown. Those who've made the jump - and survived - already know what it's like to quit a "stable job" and go full time on something. But those on the verge, well, they have well-founded fears.
With a job, you have a greater assurance that you get paid a certain amount on a regular basis. With Adsense, you just don't know what meteor ball Google will throw at the publishers. Will they cut the publisher's share thereby effectively reducing our take-home revenues? Will they introduce another feature such as smart pricing?
Some are simply risk-takers, while others are more risk-averse. The fact that the person is asking for advice means that he is weighing all his options. And it's not RETARDED to voice our opinions as well - afterall, he came to this board (or at least the friend).
I'm not sure I understand that statement. He's making gobs more money with his site than his job. That's the reality. Ignoring your performers while paying more attention to your losers is *always* a bad idea.
Using the excuse of "I'm scared" is going to net you nothing in the long run. If you're not a risk-taker in the first place, not talking about reckless here, then the income you have now is fleeting. Enjoy it while it's around.
Frankly, I wish I had this kind of problem. The way I see it, I could leave my job tomorrow and comeback a year later and get a similar job in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, my 9 to 5 is several times more than Adsense revenue is.
If his site has been around that long, it was probably not created with Adsense in mind. It either is a good fit, or he really knows how to work with the system.
You are obviously the first type, and that's good. But realize that each person is different. Now, that's the reality, whether you agree with it or not.
1 if the subject area he makes fedex club money on is a hobby and the webmastering part is not fun and holds no interest in developing additional revenue streams then don't do it
2 if being his own boss and he wishes for further challenges on the internet then go for it
couple of minor pieces of advice
As others have said
Make sure there is 6 months of expenses in the bank
Do some sort of plan on what and how you will continue and grow your internet business including other revenue streams and other website ideas
make sure that you have sorted any tax liabillities for last years income prior to going full time
Find a good accountant to help you get the best from being in business on your own
Best of luck to you this is one of the things adsense has done by giving sites that had few ways of moniterising their web sites with good traffic and content
1. Get debt-free, or as close to it as possible.
2. Have AT LEAST 6 months (a year is preferrable) of emergency funds saved.
3. Investigate all the additional expenses you are going to incur after leaving you job (i.e. health insurance, etc.)
4. Have AT LEAST 5 completely separate streams of income. Having only one source of income (however currently lucrative) can generate ALOT of sleepless nights. Alternately, ensure that your income streams are not solely dependent on free search traffic as a profitable business model.
The original poster stated he only spent a few hours a week on his profitable adsense site. If that is correct, why not keep his current job, and dedicate 2-3 hours a night on creating new income streams? There are plenty of hours in the day.
Further, basing a business solely on a service to which you have absolutley zero control (i.e. adsense) is a BAD idea. What happens if they drastically alter the service (i.e. lower commission rate, etc.), or your site (for whatever reason) gets terminated?
Would the site benefit from having another 40 hours per week (plus travelling time saved, plus the extra you put in because that's what self-employed people do) - invested in it?
Does your friend have expansion ideas to increase the traffic to the site, and/or add other income streams?
At that level of Adsense income, it should be possible to go direct to some of the major advertisers if anything happened to AdSense - so I'm not sure it's as insecure as you might think.
Alternatively, does he have ideas for other similar or related sites that might produce the same results?
If so - giving up work would seem the logical choice. If not (and he's planning to use the extra hours to sit on the beach) he might be better staying at work, at least until the next big idea hits him.
Don't forget much of the security of employment is an illusion - you put your fate in someone else's hands and hope for the best. That's why people who've been made redundant after working for the same company for 20 years have such a shell-shocked look - all that time they traded their dreams for security - only to discover the security was an illusion all along.
My advice to your friend - Carpe Diem...
If I was in that position, especially if my job was a dead end job, I would save up a 6 months to a year of expenses and then go for it.
Even if he only works on his site for a year or so full time before going back to the 9-5 thing, that improved site will be a pretty nice extra income with very minimal work.
As an entrepreneur (I've started and owned several business) I always think to myself before making that kind of decision, "What got you to this point?"
I can tell you it sure wasn't sitting back and being worried that the sky was going to fall. I'm an entrepreneur and with that territory comes risk and reward. I make decisions and don't look back. If a decision goes wrong and I have to adjust then I simply adjust. When you've worked for yourself long enough you don't just see one way to make money, EVERYTHING looks like an opportunity to me. The only question is if it's worth my time.
Adsense is the best method I've ever found to put my time into. To repeat what Critter said earlier, it does seem counterproductive to not work on what give you your best ROI.
I bet Adwords users don't spend 8 hrs. a day on their lowest campaigns. Why do it at a day job? Because it's safe? That's not the kind of thinking that got me into this position in the first place. But, that's how my mind works.