I Made $10K+ in My First Year as a Creator, Here are 5 Lessons On Making Money Online

Jerine Nicole
December 20, 2021

This is a guest post from Jerine Nicole, multi-passionate creator, freelancer, and writer of the Roaming Heart newsletter

This time last year, I made a whopping $18 after writing my 4th article on a platform called Medium.

Fast forward 12 months, I made a total of $10,500 in my first year as an online creator. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Medium: $1,437
  • Buy Me a Coffee Donations: $210
  • Editing for a Psychologist: $500
  • Community Memberships: $214
  • Freelance Writing: $8,056

While $10k a year doesn’t seem much compared to the typical online income you see online, the experience I’ve gained doesn’t equate to the amount of income I have earned.

With this $10k, I earned priceless skills and knowledge that I’m ready to take on for the next year. What’s most important though was that I didn’t hustle. I had a life as an Emergency nurse, got married, traveled with friends, and watched a lot of Netflix.

If you’re planning to make money online, here are 5 things you should know. 

If you can make $1 online, you can make $10,000

When I made my first $1 online, I’d already spent about $2,000 on an online course and a coaching program.

It took me about three months to hit $1. My biggest mistake was that I aimed to make $10k/month when I started and because of what I saw on social media, I assumed it would be easy.

I was wrong.

So I changed my strategy. I told myself I was going to earn my first $1.

When I did, I aimed to make $100, then $500, then $1000. My most recent online income was about $3,000 in November. 

If you’re planning to set an online income goal, you have to believe in the number you’re asking for. 

The $10k/month wish didn’t work because I didn’t believe that I could do it. Now that I have some experience, I’m starting to believe that I can do it.

So start aiming for smaller income goals. 

Those small goals are what’s going to give you the confidence to aim for a higher income.

It’s easy to make money, but it’s hard to pick the right way

I reflected on why I saw so many people making so much money online.

And I came to this conclusion: they loved what they were doing, so it’s easier for them to show up and sell.

It doesn’t matter what platform you’re on, the top performers genuinely enjoy what they’re talking about.

I tried coaching, but didn’t enjoy it as much.

I tried launching a paid community, but it wasn’t working for my lifestyle.

Right now, the only thing that’s working for me is freelancing.

All of those business models can make money, but the struggle is figuring out how you want to do it. If you don’t figure out how you want to do things first, you’ll be pulled to every single direction on the Internet.

You’ll want to start a blog, do affiliate marketing, coaching, freelancing, launch online courses, and so much more to make money. Until one day, you’re burnt out and overwhelmed.

Understand that each of these routes can make money, but you have to pick the one that brings you the most joy.

You can monetize any hobby, but do you even want to?

Thanks to the creator economy, the passion economy was also born.

This is where artists, writers, musicians, and gamers debunked the “starving artists” myth. You better believe that you can make money in any industry, and you can convert your hobby into a job. Just watch your favourite YouTuber or influencer. 

But you have to ask yourself, is that really what you want?

Turning my writing hobby into a freelancing job is definitely a challenge. When I was in my nursing job, I used my free time from home and at work writing. I enjoyed it without any strings attached. Even if my piece didn’t do well, I didn’t care because it was a hobby.

Now that writing is my part-time job, it takes more energy for me to write pieces like this for fun.

So, when you decide that you want to monetize your passion, you have to prepare for the challenges that will come with it. You’re going to have to learn the business side of it, like finding clients, marketing yourself, and selling your services. You’ll spend more time on the business than working on your craft.

And your craft will have a higher standard because now, someone is paying for it.

So, think hard about what hobby you want to monetize and if you’re ready for that.

It’s great to make money writing, but I would be lying if I said I don’t miss the old days when I had my job and used writing as a creative outlet.

Again, it’s a choice you have to live with.

Money comes from unexpected places

Back in July 2020, I took a money manifestation course.

Yep, it was an online spiritual program where I explored my relationship with money.

This is what I learned: how you think about money will determine how you’ll be successful in life. If you believe that you can be rich, you can. If you can’t, then you won’t.

Our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions determine our actions and result. So, when you don’t truly believe you can make $100,000 a year, you won’t be able to even if you say you want to.

During the course, I learned that money could come from anywhere.

You know that coins you randomly find in your pocket? That’s money that came back to you.

Those gift cards that you forgot about? That’s money you forgot about.

And that free coffee that someone gave you? That’s money that they spent on you.

I used to think that money was just cash. But money comes in different forms — whether it’s a job opportunity, a freelance opportunity or a client work opportunity.

And this comes from changing your mindset from not having enough (scarcity) to there’s a lot out there (abundance).

When you have an abundance mindset, (i.e. belief that there’s enough money for everyone), you’ll also believe that there’s enough money for you. And little by little, money will show up in your reality from unexpected places.

For me, it’s shown up as a coaching client, 3-month freelance opportunities and 100/hr part-time opportunities.

Spend some time examining your relationship with money.

Spending money to make money helps

There’s so much information online that it’s hard to filter what’s good or bad.

If you’re a serious creator who wants to make money online, you have to be willing to spend some money on quality programs. Yes, they can feel like a waste of money, but you have to see them as investments.

In reality, I only made a $3k profit this whole year.

$7K went into coaching programs, online educations and software that makes my work, therefore life, easier. But, this is only because I could. I made enough money from my nursing job to invest in these programs. I understand that most people can’t do that.

If you can’t, don’t.

It won’t be impossible for you to make money, but it’s going to take you much longer.

During the money course, I also learned that money is a tool.

It’s a tool that we can use to make our lives easier. So, to save time and energy, I used my money to learn so I can learn how to live my dream life.

How can you start looking at money as a tool, rather than something that controls your life?

Final thoughts

My main focus is to make money through digital products in the upcoming year.

My goal is to make at least $1000 selling my own products. It’s going to be hard, I know, but it will be an exciting experience that will be worth it. I hope this gives you the courage to try and make money online in a way that feels good.

Many of these things require a reframing of your beliefs. It’s going to be hard work, but it will be worth it.

You’ll be so proud of yourself for what you’ve been able to accomplish.

If you enjoyed reading this, consider joining the Roaming Heart, Jerine’s bi-monthly newsletter on simple living and creating

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