What It's About
Litigator helps bloggers navigate the murky waters of the law.
Words of Wisdom
Jade thinks that doing as much research ahead of time is so helpful so you can feel more confident in getting started. However, she would also say that you should give yourself some flexibility as well since you never know how the direction of your business may ultimately change.
The English common law is based on a cultural system of settling disputes through local custom. The early tribes of England each held their own set of customs, but this system became increasingly formalized as those early tribal peoples came together and organized. These ancient customs are the basic principles that eventually became part of the American system of justice.
Notes from Chris
Episode 658Jackie Stoughton started her blog back in 2012 as a creative outlet. Blogging was in its prime, Wordpress was easy to use, and she needed a way to wind down after a long day at her job as a law firm litigator. She loved meeting other creative-types over the internet, and the more she explored, the more she noticed an alarming trend. Most of her friends’ blogs were illegal. Like, actually-breaking-the-law illegal. Few of them had a ‘Terms and Conditions’ page. Most said nothing whatsoever about privacy. And basically, nobody was following trademark or copyright laws. But the worst part was sponsored content—she never saw disclaimers about being paid or given free gear in exchange for a review! Sure, Jackie knew some mysterious man from the government wasn’t going to track down all these small-time blogs and put the writers in jail for not following the law to a ‘T’, but that didn’t mean these bloggers were deliberately trying to skirt the rules. A lot of them wanted to be in full compliance and ethically sound. They wanted their blogs to become businesses, and to do that, they had to ensure that they were doing whatever they could to follow the laws. Understanding these laws was Jackie’s field of expertise, but she hesitated. Did she really want to start writing about legal matters on her creative outlet blog? After going back and forth, she finally decided that the opportunity was just too good. She had exactly what those bloggers needed: the ability to interpret and understand the "legalese" of copyright law. So she started Jade & Oak, a blogger's one stop shop for all things legal. So she started writing more and more about the legal side of blogging. And, as can be expected when you provide something that’s much needed but hard to find, readers started showing up. There wasn’t much strategy in that first year or so. She wrote helpful content, readers showed up, and that was that. She made a small profit from Google ads. That’s what everyone was doing at the time, and her expenses were just her monthly hosting fee. It was simple and easy. But Jackie knew that if she wanted to really grow the blog into a profitable, sustainable business, she’d have to do more than that. That winter, she wrote and launched The Blogger's Handbook for Keeping It Legal, offering it for $35. She had a few sales over the next couple months—nothing too dramatic—but the idea was validated. Those hours she spent writing a long ebook were slowly becoming money. A couple months later, Jackie launched her first course, Blog While You 9-5, and began making more money. A couple months later, she had her best month yet: $600—and all from pre-sales of her next course, Blog and Be Legal. The strategic planning was literally paying off. She realized she could only give so much free content away before it was time to convert viewers to buyers, so it was more important to have fewer, better free resources than a whole bunch of mediocre ones. So she slowed down her creation of free blogs and started launching more products. She also stopped hosting so many webinars, focused on the highest converting ones, and began optimizing her email marketing. These changes helped to increase her side hustle income while allowing her to work less. She expects to profit around $10,000 in 2018 and hopes to keep growing next year. Jackie’s thrilled to have her first child in November and is working hard to streamline the blog so that it can run on (mostly) autopilot for the first half of 2019. She wants to be able to rest and enjoy time with her baby, and she’s grateful she’s taken the time to create a product-based business that she knows will continue to earn some extra income while she’s enjoying maternity leave from her job.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Jade & Oak: If you're a blogger who is looking to navigate the murky waters of the law, head on over to Jackie's website!
- CPA Earns Six-Figures Selling Spreadsheets to Etsy Sellers: This CPA was burned out on office work, so she turned her efforts to an Etsy business—but it wasn’t long before she was hitting the books again, just in a more creative way. Her new spreadsheets help Etsy sellers and earn a six-figure income for her
- Excel Spreadsheet Guru Earns $3,500/Month: An IBM employee in India creates a series of Microsoft Excel tutorials, earning hundreds of dollars per sale
- Charter Bus Employee Creates PR Service for Bloggers: How a digital marketer created something for himself, then decided to try selling it other people who had the same needs. He now makes more than $2,500 a month from this side project
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