“I remember one day in particular that month – I’d made $300 by 3pm and decided to text Florence to let her know the good news. She was working in a crèche at the time. It was that moment when I told her the news that she realised that the whole online thing was a definite possibility.” – Carlo Cretaro
- Started out writing articles for marketing and SEO companies.
- Within a year, he and his girlfriend Florence had replaced their “day job” income and were traveling the world.
- Quickly began outsourcing much of the work and shifted to managing a team of writers.
- Three years in, they work with 41 writers to produce quality content and have scaled the business to €10k/month in revenue, including a mega €25k month in December 2015.
- They’ve run the business primarily from the road the past three years. Among other adventures, they’ve taken a motorcycle trip up through Vietnam, lived in Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup, and traveled around India for three months
Note: this interview was recorded in early 2016.
Carlo’s Step-By-Step Guide To Building A Content Business
1. Learn How To Write For The Web
Here are some resources to get you started:
- 6 Skills All Great Writers Have (and How to Learn Them)
- 7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful
- SEO Writing For Beginners
Use what you learn from those resources to create some sample articles.
2. Find Your First Clients
Land your first clients by emailing digital marketing and SEO companies in your local area or nearby. Ask them if they have any writing work you could do. Include your sample articles.
Keep emailing and following up until you land some gigs.
See below for screenshots of one of Carlo’s first email pitches to a client, and the response he received. (Click the image for the full-size version.)
3. Keep Pitching
Even after you’ve found a few clients, keep pitching for more. You want your work schedule to be consistently full.
Be informal and friendly with your clients. The more they like you, the more work they’re likely to send your way.
4. Start Outsourcing
As you get busier, start outsourcing the writing work and switch to more of a management role.
You find the jobs and communicate with the clients, assign the writing work to other writers, and proofread their work to ensure quality before delivering back to the client.
Put systems in place to stay organized and keep everything running smoothly.
Tools like Trello are a big help here.