Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What should I do with online earnings?

For several years now I have involved myself with many different online content sites, or some people like to call them revenue sharing sites. You can lump sites like WebAnswers, HubPages, Bubblews, and one I have recently joined called Niume, into this category.

By the way, if you want to check out Niume, here's a way to get started.

The truth is, for a while it wasn't so difficult to make thousands of dollars per year doing this. Especially if you happened to be someone like me who has at least a smidgen of knack for writing content.

Some people in the past have called me a windbag actually.

Of course, the one downfall for me in writing online content has been that I write mostly opinion pieces, and mostly on politics, business, and finance. The business and finance pieces have a bit more longevity. But because the politics pieces tend to be in the now they aren't relevant over a longer period of time and tend to fizzle out over time.

No matter.

So, what is the catch here? The catch is that many of the models to pay you that these revenue sharing sites use are faulty. In other words, the money will come, but it may also be short lived because what the creators of these sites are trying to do is to attract as many content providers as they can in as little time as they can, pay up a bit to incentivize and motivate those content providers, and then slowly begin to siphon off whatever pennies they can before the site shuts down, gets caught cheating, and content providers begin to head for the exits.

Such was the case with certainly WebAnswers and Bubblews.

But until that day comes these sites do pay actually quite well. So, what do you do with any money you earn online?

I think the key here is to understand that one day the cash cow will die. It's just a fact that seems to be the norm when it comes to online revenue sharing sites. So, I have always resorted to at least taking the money while it is free flowing into my bank account from these activities...

And running.

Many people choose to spend it. They may buy new shoes, a new TV, hell, a new laptop computer to make banging away at the keys and providing more revenue producing content easier—or more fun since getting a new computer can be fun.

I happen to think that it is better to make the money last longer. And to do that I think it is best to plunk the money into an investment which pays dividends over the long haul. That way, even when the revenue sharing site dies, the money is still there that you earned, and still able to earn for you as you work to seek out new sites to make up the difference.

So where do you put it?

Look, the reality is many people simply aren't too keen on investing in general, and so this can be a daunting task in and of itself. But one can keep it simple. Simply open an account at a site like Ameritrade or ShareBuilder and start depositing your online earnings into that account. When you've accumulated enough to start buying shares, pick stocks or ETFs which are fairly stable and that produce good dividends.

Here are a few I recommend; BXMX, F, KO, MRO, and YYY.

BXMX is an exchange traded fund, or ETF, that pays almost an 8% dividend, and I have owned it for over a decade. It's been stable, providing mostly dividends since the price doesn't move much. I hate to use the word 'safe,' but actually BXMX is fairly safe. It's a part of the Nuveen family of funds, and before it was BXMX it was JSN.

Ford (F), Coca-Cola (KO), and Marathon Oil (MRO) are all fairly stable stocks to own as well that pay a fair amount of dividends. Ford is somewhere around 6% if you account for the regular dividend and annual special dividends. Coca-Cola pays around 3.5%, and MRO is about the same as KO.

Keep in mind the most volatile of these three stocks is MRO.

I consider income earned from online sources as extra. And because I love to write it means I get to do what I love and make some money doing it. But I also like to increase all of my streams of income overall. And so putting the money I earn online away to earn over the long haul is simply a great way to make any money I earn doing what I love last longer than any of the revenue sharing sites will ever last.

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