Hi, Tell us your name, what you do, and about your business.
My name is Chhavi Agarwal and I was working as a contract lawyer for two years before I decided to quit my job and start off the less-traveled path of freelancing and blogging.
While the revenue differs a lot on which quarter of the month we are in and freelancing projects that I take on, on an average, we make between $3-5k in a month working from home (and, mostly in our PJs *winks*)
Our blog and YouTube channel is focused on helping women and men start their online business and work from home.
It could be a side hustle for them or a way to quit their day job and enable them to do more of what they like (for example, spending more time with family or travel). You can visit our blog here.
What’s your own background. Were you always proficient in this business, or did it just strike your mind one fine day?
I don’t have any background in digital marketing or blogging that could have helped me in my online business.
That said, I acknowledge the fact that I am a graduate of a premium law school in India (Hidayatullah National Law University) which gave me the confidence, exposure, and ability to do what I do today.
During the course of my education, both BA LLB and LLM, I have spent a lot of time researching and writing which helped me a lot when it came to writing in general (both for my blog and freelancing writing for clients).
However, the online world is very different from an audience with legal knowledge, so I put in the time, money, and effort (constantly) in learning numerous skills like copywriting, freelancing, pitching, emailing, selling, storytelling, SEO, social media, WordPress, etc
Coming to my story in short – I was a very focused student of law who wanted to get a law firm job with a dream of making a partner one day but frankly, I was tired of it in 2 years.
I had no time (when I had the time, I had no energy) to spend with my family, friends, or do things I liked (or wanted to do) – travel, sketch etc.
I was young, I was 24 years and I had the time, energy, focus, motivation, and a supportive family (both, my own and my husband’s) to allow me to test, experiment, and succeed.
I quit my job to take up freelance writing but I was also focused on creating a passive income stream – an income stream which does not require me to be involved as much or actively seek out work.
This is when I started the blog and wrote about my personal experience with freelance writing. I received a lot of questions and emails about other ways to make money online and that was the day it struck me – the idea to expand the very same blog and cover all sorts of online business opportunities.
This is how my freelance writing career leads me to build a profitable 5-figure blog and a YouTube channel.
Talk us through the process of the launch of your business
Frankly, I did not think about it a lot that time for both of my businesses. I personally believe that was the reason for my success.
Sometimes we plan too much and take too little action but I was the opposite – I took action and decided to go with the flow and learn.
For my freelance writing business, it was clear to me. I wanted to land high paying clients so I could work less and make more money.
I did some made-up samples on technology (because that is one niche that requires expertise and the clients have huge marketing budget), set up a one-page service website, priced my writing at Rs. 6 per word (12 cents a word if I was dealing with a client outside of India) and landed my first client within a month’s time.
It was not easy because most writing clients will lowball you but I was determined to find good clients and I found them on platforms like LinkedIn, Problogger job board, and direct emailing.
For my blog, I did the same. I knew people make thousands of dollars with their blog and I had the target to make $1000 a month with it.
I wrote on that blog, twice a week, for a year before I got into a premium ad network and made a constant paycheck of $1000 a month. At this point though, we have our blog monetized with ads, affiliate marketing, digital products, and an email list.
What is the current situation. How do you see yourself in the next 12 months?
We have do-able plans for the next 12 months. I personally don’t want to lie or say I have big plans for 2021 because I don’t.
There are a lot of changes that I need to make to the present way of working and that is going to my focus for the next 6 months at least. It is only after I have made those changes, streamlined the process, will I go ahead implementing bigger changes to my business.
For now, my focus is to grow my YouTube channel, create an engaged community who I can help and partner with brands (for monetisation). I have also launched a niche website which I am hoping will make $1000/mo by end of 2021
In the next 2 years though, our goal is to reach $10-15k a month in revenue from our blog and YouTube channel. So, that’s where I see myself in a few years to come.
As a woman founder, do you see this as only financially uplifting? Or otherwise too? If yes, then how?
I think it is uplifting in all ways. I am the torchbearer of feeling proud of what you have achieved in terms of everything in your life (financially or otherwise) – every small thing that you have achieved should uplift you.
One of the things that always gets me motivated and is uplifting is the fact that I am helping people solve a crucial problem in their lives.
When I get emails from a stay at home moms feeling hopeful about having a career or someone who lost a job during COVID but could make ends meet because he found something on my blog where he could make money or a college student who decided to take up an online business as opposed to a traditional desk job – I know I am doing something right and it makes me happy.
I know I am making a difference in lives of many people and that is satisfying.
What tools or services did you use?
There are tonnes of them. To name a few – WordPress, Mailerlite, Keysearch, Ahrefs, Canva, Tailwind, SendOwl, Gumroad, WaveApps, Bluemail, Bigscoots, Elementor etc.
What are your key challenges today? How are you planning to tackle those?
There are always ups and downs in a business so I don’t consider anything a challenge.
Whenever you decide to implement new strategies, grow or scale, you need to test out what works for your audience. So, we have plans in place and we will see how they go.
The one thing I can tag as a challenge is the amount of work that needs to be done and let’s be honest, I cannot do all of it by myself (I have tried!).
So, we plan to hire more team members and start outsourcing so we can have mental peace and time for ourselves.
That said, there is one challenge I am facing these days. I am extremely unmotivated and uninspired to work.
It is mostly because I have worked a lot on this business for the past year and I need to cut myself some slack. I am working on myself by learning new things like sketching, meditating, yoga, and reading books. This is also the reason why my 2021 plans are do-able 🙂
Which are some resources, books, articles or podcasts that have been useful to you, and would share with your readers
I, honestly, think everyone interested in building an online business should read The $100 Startup. It is full of inspiring stories and ideas.
Besides that, I regularly listen to I AM CEO podcast where I had the opportunity to feature as well.
Many times, women feel that businesses are only for men. What’s your take?
I think that’s primitive thinking.
Personally, women are designed to be multitaskers and they are equally creative and motivated to achieve goals.
If women have the support they need, they can do wonders but a lot of time we get entangled with personal responsibilities and don’t get the opportunity to explore the business and leadership skills that we have. This needs to change!
Looking to kick start your own venture?
Hi! This is Misha?
I interview women founders in building profitable businesses??
My idea is for other women to get inspired by these actionable tell all stories and start their own profitable enterprises.
I am hugely inspired by inspirational interview series starters like IndieHackers, StarterStory by Pat Walls, Failory, SpaceBandits and have put significant efforts in reaching out to women founders in order to get started.