Recently I published a post about why I think Constant Content is a great outlet for writers. I mentioned that I believe the more prolific you are, the better your results will be. This is evidenced by the fact that the top five or six authors on Constant Content on the “most prolific” list are the same five or six authors on the “top selling” list…in order.
But now that I’ve been a Constant Content author for just over a year, I wanted to do some analysis. I believe that data doesn’t lie, and it’s probably one of the best ways to plan your strategy for business or whatever it is you’re collecting data on.
Here are the results.
How Much Do I Sell?
87 percent of everything I write sells – however, that also includes team orders that are virtually guaranteed to sell.
So to make it a little more applicable, I did most of my data on catalog sales alone. I love teams and their propensity to up my income for that month, but I also noticed, as I’ll show later on, that the months in which I made a lot on teams I also tanked my catalog productivity, which decreased my sales for the next two months.
So, on average, 46% of everything I submit to the catalog will sell.
Of that 46%, about 48.2% sold within the month I posted it. (So for instance I posted it on June 4th and it sold June 28th).
6.9% sold outside of the month I posted it in, but within 30 days.
13.8% of what I posted sold within 60 days (but past 30 days).
6.9% sold within 90 days (but past 60 days).
However, about 69% of everything I’ve written sold within 60 days (including those that sold in the same month and within 30 days), and a whopping 76% of what did sell sold within 90 days.
Only a quarter of the articles I posted took four months or longer to sell, and most of those were quirky subjects.
Productivity vs. Sales
I’ve noticed that increasing the amount I write significantly increases the amount I sell. Likewise, decreasing the amount I write tanks the amount I sell. This happens almost without exception. Here is the data.
Month One: Writing increased 700%, Sales increased 200%
Month Two: Writing decreased 28%, Sales plummeted 50%
Month Three: Writing increased 850%, Sales increased 400%
Month Four: Writing decreased 69%, Sales increased 150% (this is the one exception)
This continues in the same general pattern for the remainder of the year. It can be stated with reasonable assurance that decreasing the amount I write in one month drastically decreases the amount of sales I make, and that increasing the amount I write has a substantially positive impact on the amount of sales I make.
Things to Consider
This only deals with 69 catalog pieces out of 250+ pieces I’ve written. Most of what I’ve written and sold has been for teams. However, looking at the statistics it seems that I could be reasonably assured of dramatically increasing my income per month on Constant Content by focusing on increasing the amount of catalog pieces I submit.
Do Topics Matter?
Determining which topics sell the most would take more analysis, and I might do that later. But on Constant Content there are people searching for literally everything. I have noticed that health, real estate, weight loss, travel, law, and technical subjects seem to sell quite a bit, as do beauty and fashion. Home and finance are also big topics. However, as long as your topic could help someone sell a service, it will probably sell at some point. And that’s just about everything in the world. So, yes topics matter, but not as much as you probably think. It’s smart to pay attention to what’s selling and being searched for, but it’s not necessary to base your entire CC career on what you think will sell.
Someone out there is saying “Well this is a nice little piece of information, but what does it mean?”
Obviously these are just my own statistics. But I have read similar statistics across the web from other writers who are willing to share the numbers – though they’re few and far between for some reason.
But I can take this information and translate it into a business strategy.
For instance, let’s say I want to know what I could make by writing 200 articles next month.
Knowing that about 46% of those will sell, and of those that sell 48.2% of those will sell in the same month, I can come up with a number of articles that will likely sell within the month I list them. Then, I can take my average sell price per article, multiply it by the number of articles likely to sell in the same month, and come up with what I can reasonably expect, give or take a couple percentage points, to make within that month.
I can extend it out and determine what I’m likely to sell within 60 days or 90 days, and I can adjust my pricing or volume accordingly.
The Basic Findings
I discovered I can drastically increase my income, statistically, by drastically increasing the amount I write. And, because I have a year of data, I have reasonable assurance that I can hit my income goal and exceed it this coming month on Constant Content alone.
Statistics are extremely valuable for planning your business. Always keep a record of everything, and take the time to look at your data. Vary your income sources, and follow the money. Whatever sells the most and requires the least amount of time and money from you is where you want to be.
Being able to write about whatever I want and make a living doing so is a huge incentive for me to write for Constant Content. I also like to explore different topics in shorter articles so I can find out what I really love and am passionate about, or what I’d like to know more about, and expand those into Kindle articles and eBooks.
Constant Content isn’t my only source of writing income, but it’s the one that I have the most fun doing and the most data on.
The Takeaway: You reap what you sow. The more you put out there, the more you’ll sell, and that’s true for just about any business. This works the same way in online crafts selling (or even craft show selling); the more items in your shop, the more you’re likely to sell. And in marketing, the more people you contact, the more sales you’ll make.
Planning is important, but don’t get so caught up in the planning that you never get around to doing. The best plans won’t get you anywhere if you never follow through on them.
I know a lot of freelancers out there who say you should be able to work 4 hours a day 4 days a week and make $10,000. Sure, that’s a possibility once you build a business, query magazines, get corporate clients, and so on. But if you want a more solid and immediate source of income, I see no problem with working your tail off, pulling late hours, and working crazy amounts of time per week for a few months on sites like CC and (gasp) even higher quality content mills (like Zerys, which I’ll write about soon) in order to get your bank account to where it needs to be so you can breathe.
Then worry about the other stuff.
I hope this has helped you! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not a “legitimate” freelancer just because you’re not following the business plan they are. You’re still freelancing. You’re still a writer. And you’re earning money from it. That means you’re a freelance writer. 🙂
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Sound off in the comments! 😀
Until next time, happy writing!