Welcome to The Loaf - a weekly newsletter that makes money & business more approachable for creators & freelancers
Creative Business: The Problem with YouTube Success [video]
I discovered Kevin Espiritu on Twitter a few months ago and he's quickly become one of my favorite creators.
He's built a multi-million dollar niche blog site in parallel with a 1.9 million subscriber YouTube channel that discusses the same topics.
In this 10-minute video, he breaks down the traditional YouTube monetization model (and its issues) while showing how you can avoid falling victim to an unsustainable strategy.
Money: How I Saved $20,000 in Two Years Out of College [article]
I graduated college in 2018 and quit my job in June 2020 to pursue entrepreneurship & being a full-time creator.
The main reason that leaving my 9-5 was possible (and how I'm still here today) was because I built a financial exit plan for myself and stuck to it diligently.
This article breaks down my thought process as well as one trick I used to save more money that anybody can apply in their life. Read it here.
Topic of the week: Is life insurance worth it if you're single?
Life insurance is one of those things that nobody wants to deal with, like scheduling a dentist appointment, or having to tell the waiter that your burger is dangerously undercooked.
But at some point, you have to think about end-of-life situations and consider the impact your absence will have.
Since the purpose of life insurance is to provide a financial payout to your beneficiaries when you die (typically spouse/children), I've been asked a few times if it's worth paying for a policy when you're single.
Like most things in personal finance, it depends. In a general sense, you don't necessarily need it. But these are a few things to think about:
Life insurance makes sense for a lot of people, but you want to be sure that you understand the difference between term insurance and permanent insurance.
There are a lot of details that differentiate the two, but the main things to know are:
Term insurance is a much better option for a majority of people because the costs are way lower and you can get millions of dollars in coverage for a fraction of the cost of permanent policies.
These are the average annual costs for just $500,000 coverage with permanent insurance:
So overall, you don't necessarily need life insurance - but getting a term policy when you're single can make sense in a few different scenarios, especially if you can afford the relatively small cost.
💰 Have a question about money or creative business? Submit it here
Ashley Cummings began her freelance career in 2011 after leaving her 9-5 job as a corporate trainer/instructional designer and gig at a university as a Russian instructor.
She was an English major and previously worked in marketing, so the transition into writing was a familiar next step. Since then, she's established herself as a content marketing expert and her work has appeared in Shopify and Salesforce amongst many other publications.
This week's Money Matters:
How do you structure your days as a freelancer?
I’ve been freelancing for 11 years, and I find it’s incredibly important to prioritize balancing my personal time and time I spend growing my business.
I usually schedule my work a month in advance. I try and front-load my months so I am doing the majority of my writing at the beginning of the month. I also leave some flexibility in my schedule to plan for the unknown—writer’s block, getting sick, doctor’s appointments, sick kids, unplanned fun, etc.
Last year, I was facing a ton of burnout and made it a priority to take a week off every month. I accomplished this by front-loading my months, hiring subcontractors for help with outreach, research, and editing. And, I also worked hard to fine-tune my processes to cut down on time it takes to do manual and mundane tasks.
In terms of my daily schedule, I usually reserve mornings for exercise and my family, and then dive into work around 8:30 am. I start by answering emails and catching up on newsletters and trends. Then, I dive into writing. I work until 2:30 and then put work away.
What’s the best investment you’ve made in your freelance business?
The best investment I’ve made in my freelance business is relationships with peers. I’m constantly amazed at how smart my colleagues are and how willing they are to share their expertise. I’ve learned a lot from my freelance and content marketing friends.
If you could give one piece of financial advice to a growing freelancer, what would it be?
Raise your prices quickly and incrementally and invest in tools that help you save time. Learning how to manage your time is the best way to grow your business.
(Bonus) What’s your favorite thing to spend money on?
Travel and food
✍🏼 How creators can use journalism skills to stand out (video)
👾 Alisha Ether breaks down her journey to becoming a full-time creator on Twitch
🎨 9 psychology principles every designer should know
✍🏼 Freelance Finds: How to land freelance design jobs
John Bardos writes the Idea Economy newsletter where he shares the latest ideas, trends, and tactics to grow your audience and build your business.
He takes the time to carefully pick only the most relevant and actionable pieces of content - it's one of the few curation newsletters that I subscribe to because there's always something valuable to read.
If you're building an online business, check it out here