Working 17 hours but making less than a dollar per day

It is 6:00AM. I have  already been awake 2 hours. Time is some serious business. The hubby is already at work. I’m glad he got there safely. My son will be getting up pretty soon to get ready to head off to school. I’ll be sitting here most of the day working. I usually work from the time I wake up in the morning until 10PM at night. I usually wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning along with my husband.

Someone recently asked me: “exactly what is it that you do? You say you work 17 hours but what do you work 17 hours doing? And if you’re working 17 hours but making less than a dollar per day, don’t you think you’re wasting your time doing whatever it is you do?” It’s a valid question.

Presently I build and sell websites. That’s how I’ve made my income in the last couple of years. It hasn’t been much of an income to speak of. The most I’ve sold a website for has been $2500. The least I’ve had to take for a website has been $55. I’ve sold a total of 19 websites, which isn’t very many. I’ve also sold templates, articles, and advertising spots on websites. This has not been my most profitable venture. Putting a website together is simple enough, but getting it to become worth something is not very easy to do when you have no money to invest.

I work alone and have to handle all aspects of the development and growing of the websites I create. At one point I tried hiring some writers to help with some of the sites but it got to where I couldn’t afford to keep doing that. I ended up selling those sites for less money than I paid the writers to upkeep them. A good number of the sites I’ve sold were sold at a loss. I needed the money to help pay the household bills. My husband only makes enough to cover half our monthly bills.

One of the keys to being able to make money from the sale of a website is to be able to make the website profitable. I have not been having much luck with that lately. I’ve sold all my sites that were making money. I have no money to build new sites and even if I did, it can take 6 months to a year for a website to become an asset that can be sold for a reasonable profit.

The 17 hours I spend working every day are spent adding content to websites. It it is a time consuming job even with a single website. I work with multiple websites. I depend on ads to sustain the sites until I can sell them. Unfortunately a website is not worth much to an advertiser if it doesn’t have a large audience; and therein lies a big part of my problem. None of my websites has ever been a big hit with readers. I have no problem admitting I don’t have a knack for intriguing readers and making them come back for more of me. Did I have the needed funds I would always hire writers to maintain my websites; but since I don’t have funds to pay writers I have to update the sites myself. This means I have to work harder to try to get people to the site. I’m no marketing expert. I’m no search engine optimization guru; but I don’t have money to hire a marketing or SEO expert so I have to do whatever I can to try to get this done on my own.

This is not a great way to try to make money; but until a brilliant idea strikes I keep at it hoping for a miracle. I’m in complete agreement with anyone who says that I’d be better off working in a sweatshop somewhere at this rate. I’d be making more money.

Image: Woman sewing at Ruhengeri market by robincd123 via Flickr

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