What It's About
A teacher finds a profitable extra-curricular activity using his writing skills.
Words of Wisdom
Greg offers some wise advice for those seeking to launch a side hustle, "Make sure your day job is secure first. That's your bread and butter!"
Greg likes to keep his business in the family and hired his brother to design his logo.
Notes from Chris
Episode 1730Greg Marano has had a lifelong obsession with writing. He’d penned his first book before leaving Elementary School. Fast-forward a few decades, and Greg’s dreams of writing had turned out a little differently than expected. In some ways, he’d acheived them: he was working as a columnist for The Poughkeepsie Journal—his local newspaper—but he found writing for a living left little creative energy to write for fun. He eventually quit his job to explore other things, finally ending up as an English teacher. That was the stable role he stuck with. While teaching literature and poetry to seventh-graders, he found himself with renewed energy and a desire to write again. With a new baby at home, a little side hustle income also wouldn’t hurt. So, he toyed with the idea of freelance writing. Greg created a profile on the marketplace UpWork and began offering his services. At first he focused on general writing needs: proofreading, ghostwriting, and blogging, feeling a broad scope would give him the best chance of success. He also set his prices relatively low, a decision he says, in hindsight, was driven more by fear of rejection than trying to undercut the market. Greg slowly began moving his clients away from UpWork and worked with them directly. This allowed him to cut out the middleman and commission fees to keep more of the income for himself. That was important if he wanted to raise his prices. Where do the customers come from? Well, Greg generates a consistent stream of leads for his business by using Google’s display ads. After a particularly dry month without much website traffic, he knew he needed to be more active in his approach, so he budgeted $50 to target people searching for keywords around resumes. It was a figure he was willing to lose if it didn’t work out. Thankfully, it generated enough interest to more than cover the cost, and he began to slowly increase the monthly budget until he reached a comfortable workload. Looking to the future, Greg is happy to stay on his current path. He knows the only way to scale his business would be to hire people, and he can’t imagine himself doing that any time soon. After all, managing a class of seventh graders is enough hard work.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Learn more about JJ and his rental service at his website, JJsPaddleboards.com.
- Freelance Writer Starts School To Help Writers Start Side Hustles: After answering the same questions over and over, this freelance writer opens an online school to help others break into the business.
- Graphic Designer Documents Remote Earnings: When an Australian graphic design graduate lands a freelancing gig sprucing up business and marketing reports, she draws enough confidence to chart a full time nomadic lifestyle.
- Writing Duo Makes a Vow To Improve Wedding Speeches: Two freelance writers use their wit with words to write wedding vows for tongue-tied brides, grooms, and sometimes even the best man.
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