Up in the air

Have you seen George Clooney’s movie “Up in the Air”?  If not, it’s definitely worth the price of the rental.  Clooney plays a character who is paid to travel the country to fire people.  He loves the elite perks that come to define him, but his career and lifestyle is threatened by a new development in which video conferencing is used for the “you’re fired” talk, instead of in-person meetings. 

In March, my life imitated art when I walked into my company’s Cisco TelePresence room to meet with my boss via video conference.  He informed me that due to the latest round of reorganizations, my job no longer existed.  To be fair, he delivered the message himself instead of hiring Clooney, and the TelePresence room was way more life like.  It was more like how James T. Kirk speaks with Klingons and other villains “on screen”.  Afterwards I felt like yelling “Khaaaaaaan!” (see Star Trek II if you don’t get the reference).

Actually, while the news was a shock, I wasn’t really unhappy at all.  I’ve been tinkering with this blog for the past 8 months and I’ve really enjoyed it despite not having enough time to give it my full attention.  Thanks to the latest company reorg, I now have 8 months of severance pay to safely call myself a blogger and see if the old “if you build it, they will come” philosophy works with blogs as well as baseball fields. 

Business plan

To see whether I could make a career at blogging, I drew up a little business plan.  I started with a target monthly salary for 8 months out.  It would be less than what I was making at my prior company, but enough to comfortably live off of.  My goal was to earn 20% of that target in month 1 (April), 30% in month 2, 40% in month 3, etc.  So far, I met my goals in April (woo hoo!), but time will tell how I do going forward.  I’ll check my targets each month.  If I miss a target, I’ll have time to try to do better.  If I’m way off target 6 or 7 months from now, I’ll brush off my resume and start looking at alternatives. 

Making money

People often ask me how a blog can earn money.  There are two primary sources for me: ads and credit card links.  Thanks to you reading this post right now, I just racked up a penny or so from ads (thanks!).  And, if you use any of the links on my credit card pages to sign up for a card, I’ll make even more.  As I promised a while ago, I won’t put credit card links directly into my posts unless the post is slated to become a permanent blog page.  But I do maintain a few useful permanent pages with credit card links including Preparing for Miles and Best credit card offers.  If those pages are missing a card you would like to sign up for, please let me know.

What’s next

The content and format of this blog seems to be working pretty well so far, so I have no plans to change things.  Instead I’ll spend a bit more time planning and writing my blog posts, and I’ll do more experiments in the Frequent Miler Laboratory.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to find the perfect perpetual point machine

Thanks

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a job that I truly love.  So, I’m thankful to my prior company for giving me this chance!  Even more, though, I’m thankful for every reader who gives me a chance each day by reading my posts!

What do you think?  Is this insane?

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Comments

  1. As the other Steve (Jobs) put it, “You have to find what you love.”

    Keep up the great blog.

  2. I too am overwhelmed with bloggers but always catch yours and Million Mile Secrets for original content. Good luck !

  3. Congrats man! You are one of two of my favorite blogs out there and I’ve picked up some very useful info since I’ve started following you. You’ve also been kind in supporting the charity I work for and I appreciate that. Though you’re (bloggers in general) getting some nonsense flak on FT (from what I assume is really just a very vocal, very small minority of silly hypocrites) right now, keep your chin up and keep sharing your knowledge. I, for my own part, will support you (and the other blog) via referrals every time I can.

  4. Good luck with the new/old gig. I was laid off a few years ago and should have taken the opportunity at the time.

    Don’t forget the ad portion of the business, including google adsense. I know it’s not exactly get-rich-quick, and I can attest to how difficult it is to get people to click ads (I think most of the clicks on my blog are from people who do it accidentally!), but a few bucks here and there doesn’t hurt. Also, given your readership, you should have a higher hit number. Statistics that I have seen indicate that about 1% of visitors click an ad. Not a lot, but every bit helps.

  5. Congratulations! Sometimes I wish someone would fire me so I could escape the rat race and etch out a living on my own. Your blog is by far the best miles/points site out there. You provide a great service with all of the “experiments” and info on your site, and I hope you’re successful.

  6. Good luck in the new venture. Just one bit on grammar, I think you meant “So, I’m thankful to my FORMER company for giving me this chance!”

    Keep up the good work.

  7. I love the laboratory studies, keep it up! Your blog went from one I barely noticed to a must read in the past few weeks so I think it’s working for you. Good luck!

  8. I am new mileage collector. I’ve bookmarked a few of popular blogs. But your blog is the most impressive one among all. Best of luck! I will use your links to apply credit cards.

  9. Hi FM, as a fellow Ann Arbor resident I hope all is well with you and your family. I was wondering if you have an update to this blog post?

  10. I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I must spend a while learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

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