Portrait of a Home Based Business: Andrea from So Over Debt and Curiosity Killed the Blog
This is the fourth entry in my series, Portrait of a Home-Based Business.
Today, we get to talk with Andrea, one of my first PF blogging friends, and creator of the popular finance blog So Over Debt as well as the blog-for-bloggers Curiosity Killed the Blog. Not only is she a blogger, but she also freelances and offers blog consultations.
Tell me a bit about your company (when you started, what you sell, etc.)
I've been offering freelance writing services for about a year now, and I recently expanded to include a variety of blog services such as Wordpress conversions, social media management, and theme installation. I offer everything from step-by-step tutoring over Skype to instructions via email.
How did you get the idea to start this business yourself?
I was spending a lot of time helping other bloggers with things like moving to a domain, setting up plugins, and technical issues like coding. I've always enjoyed helping people get started with websites and blogs, so it was fun (though time consuming). One of my friends suggested that I start offering these services to a larger group of people, and I was shocked that I hadn't thought of it before!
Do you blog full-time, or do you also have a 9-5 job?
I'm full time at the moment. That could be changing soon, though!
What sorts of start-up costs did you have for this business?
Other than buying a domain and a storefront plugin (which is still a work in progress), I haven't incurred any financial startup costs. It has definitely cost me a lot of time, energy, and sleep to get the new site up and running, but I've had a great time experimenting so far.
What resources did you use to help start the business? (any specific books or websites?)
So far, I've just pulled from my existing knowledge. I've had a website in one form or another since 1996, so I've learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way. I do depend heavily on feedback from other bloggers regarding what they'd like to know or what type of help they need.
How have you been spreading the word about your business?
So far, I've focused on mentioning the site (and services) on my existing blog, So Over Debt, as well as my social media accounts. I've received quite a bit of referral business from clients, too. The new site (Curiosity Killed the Blog) just launched on March 3rd, so I'm still in the process of building and improving it. At some point I may look into some advertising to get more clients.
What tips do you have for people thinking about starting their own home-based business?
Make sure you have a plan in place, but be open to changes in the plan. When I started out, I only wanted to focus on writing. While I still love to write, I've learned that I have other marketable skills that can benefit others, so I had to make adjustments to my strategy. Also, be open to learning something new every single day.
Anything else you'd like to add?
One of the sad realizations I've had since I started is that people are way too hard on themselves. Many of us seem to think we should automatically know how to do things related to blogging, and we become frustrated if that isn't the case. If anyone reading this interview has felt dumb or hopeless when it comes to blogging, please don't! We all have to start somewhere. It takes time, and you are capable of learning if you want to learn.
Thanks for joining us, Andrea! To get in touch with her about her blog services, visit her at Curiosity Killed the Blog and So Over Debt, and follow her @sooverdebt on the Twitters.