Elance Blog

How Elance-oDesk Helped Build One Of The Most Popular Personal Finance Blogs

Hey everyone, Joshua Rodriguez here again. I’ve got some great news to start with. I’m going to begin contributing stories here on a regular basis now. This week, I had a unique opportunity to have a chat with Jeremy Biberdorf from Modest Money. In that conversation, I learned quite a bit about his blog, and what helped him to go from concept to completed vision!

Before We Talk About What Made His Blog Successful, Let’s Look At Some Stats:

According to Alexa Traffic Stats, Modest Money is currently ranked as the 22,165th most popular website in the world and continues to grow steadily. Although that rank may seem pretty low, considering that the Internet is an amazingly big place with billions of websites, that’s actually a remarkable number for a blog to achieve. Jeremy’s domain is highly trusted no matter what metric you look at, and as a result, he receives about 19,000 visitors per month! So, here’s how the conversation went.

Me: Why did you start Modest Money?

Jeremy: Since I have an IT and SEO career background, it makes a lot of sense for me to work on various side projects.  If someone could make extra money while sitting at their computer, I'm sure most people would.  Previously I had created websites in various niches which earned money via referral commission.  Basically I'd get money if I sent traffic to another website and it leads to a sale.  That was all going great, but then Google started to shift their 'rules' from what had previously been acceptable. In an effort to combat that I decided to create a blog since that seemed to be the most effective platform with the current SEO landscape.  Two years later and it was definitely a smart move.  The blog has earned me a fair bit of money and still has a lot of untapped potential.

Me: How long did it take to become overwhelmed?

Jeremy: Well 'luckily' for me I was unemployed and single when I started my blog.  So I was able to put in long hours every single day.  Even without other commitments that started to get overwhelming within the first few months.  At the time I was waking up at 6AM to comment on blogs right when they published their posts.  There was just so much involved between managing my blog, writing, marketing, social media and networking.  It was a wonder how some people managed to do all of this on top of having a full time job and a family.

Me: Did you try to hire local contractors?

Jeremy: To be honest, no I've never hired anyone locally.  At one of my previous jobs my boss had encouraged me use online freelancers.  With affordable wages in other countries, it made a lot of sense to use them for some tasks.  Hiring someone online for small tasks was just a much easier process than doing local interviews and weeding through full resumes and cover letters.  Plus by opening up my search to an international audience I could find much more specialized employees.

Me: What lead you to Elance-oDesk?

Jeremy: At first when I was hiring jobs online I would hire them through a forum.  Unfortunately, there things there were much more risky.  You couldn't see testimonials or project feedback.  All you could do is assume that someone with a more established account was probably more reliable and assign test projects when possible.  It was far from the best system.  I don't recall how I came across Elance, but immediately I could tell that it was a more reliable system.  Contractors on there actually had some accountability and you could get a better picture of what to expect.

Me: What are the most recent projects you've used Elance-oDesk contractors for?

Jeremy: The most recent project I hired for on oDesk was the top finance blogs list on my blog.  Although I have some programming experience I knew that I didn't have the ability to properly set this up.  It had to work with various external APIs and be as automated as possible.  By doing the work online I was able to get the project completed for a very reasonable price.  

Me: Would you consider Elance-oDesk to be an integral part of your business model today?

Jeremy: Yes it definitely is.  With my busy schedule it just isn't feasible for me to take on all work myself.  There are often tasks where I don't have the time or ability to complete.  Sure I could learn to do some of those things myself, but time is money.  The more efficient I am, the more time I have for more important tasks.  My blog and other online ventures would all be progressing so much slower if I wasn't using Elance to fill the gaps.

Final Thoughts.

It was great to get to know more about Jeremy and Modest Money. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Also, I’d like to extend a thank you to Jeremy from Elance and myself for taking the time to speak with me for this report; it was really a pleasure!

Author Bio – Joshua Rodriguez is the owner and founder of CNA Finance and actively writes for USNews.com and Yahoo! If you’d like to connect with him, find him on Google+Facebook, or Twitter!