This is the third entry in my series, Portrait of a Home-Based Business.
I'm really happy to bring you this inteview with Crystal (of Budgeting in the Fun Stuff fame), founder of Crystal-For-Hire Blogging Services! I've been working with Crystal for a few months now, and I can personally vouch for how helpful she is with the sometimes mystifying work of selling blog advertising.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Crystal! To begin, tell us a bit about your company.
My company, Crystal-For-Hire Blogging Services, started in April 2011 when Bucksome Boomer asked if I could run her advertising negotiations along with my own.
In the last 10 months, I have gone from having 1 client to more than 150. My husband and I run every aspect of a person's blog negotiations - from weeding out the "fake" guest post emails to finalizing the deal. All our clients need to do is approve the final deal and place the ad.
How did you get the idea to start this business?
Bucksome Boomer gave me the initial idea and then I started branching out to other bloggers that I knew who either disliked negotiating or didn't have the time for it. Then word of mouth took over and I haven't really had to promote Crystal-For-Hire since then.
Do you accept work just from people running personal finance blogs, or do you have any clients who run other types of blogs?
We now have clients in fitness, tech, lifestyle, and even a mathematics blog just to name a few. Those branches are just growing now though, so we look for overlap in the meantime.
Did you have any start-up costs for this business?
There weren't any [start-up costs] to my knowledge. I already paid for hosting for my blog and my domain name, but Crystal-For-Hire is all email based. So I invested a bunch of time, but no cash out-of-pocket. My only monthly monetary expenses for my online life are for blogging and expanding my blog "empire".
What resources did you use to help start the business? (any specific books or websites?)
Nope, blog advertising is something I picked up on my own and with pointers from my fellow blogging friends in the beginning. It seems to take a mix of personability, stubborness, and compromise.
How have you been spreading the word about your business?
Word of mouth from happy customers is truly how I get 99% of my clients. I have also participated in a few interviews like this one that help spread the word. So thank you. :-)
Aw, no prob! What tips do you have for people thinking about starting their own home-based business?
Make sure that you actually enjoy the work-from-home atmosphere. I am a social creature, so I have to schedule in tons of people time around my day job now or I would go nuts.
Any last thoughts?
I highly suggest making a target for yourself to hit before taking the leap into self employment. I wanted to consistently earn as much online as I did in my last job before I quit, but any goal that works for you is a good goal to aim for. Just make sure you are being realistic with your targets, realistic with your performance, and realistic with yourself when doing the cost/benefit analysis.
Thanks for joining us, Crystal!
To get in touch with her about her Crystal-For-Hire Blogging Services, check out her website at budgetinginthefunstuff/Crystal-For-Hire