Interview of Sorts: Club Thrifty’s How I Got the Job at Get Rich Slowly

First off a big thank you to Holly at Club Thrifty for taking time out of her busy schedule to share a little about herself and answer all of my crazy questions about the first personal finance blog I ever read over at Get Rich Slowly.  I hope you all enjoy it.

Can you share a little bit about who you are, just pretend we had that weird introduction at a party and you are supposed to tell a perfect stranger who you are and what you do, except the difference is we care.

I’m Holly Johnson, a 35-year-old wife and mother from Central Indiana.  I write a frugality blog, Club Thrifty, and create content for many other publications, both online and in print.

So now that you told us a little about yourself, tell us how you kicked J.D. Roth to the curb and became one of the writers at Get Rich Slowly(GRS)?  Ok hold that thought, I have 101 other questions first.

That’s funny. J.D. Roth was already moving onto other things when I started writing for Get Rich Slowly. It seems that his interests evolved over time and he just wanted to do something else.  He still writes for Get Rich Slowly from time to time, although he hasn’t
for a while.

I have so many questions.  Why you?  Was there a test like astronauts with holding your breath under water?  Did they see one your blog and start off in a karaoke version of Ludacris “This chicks bad”?  Was it a real interview, like walk into an office, wear a nice suit and bring your portfolio with your resume?

Is this a serious question?  Why not me?  Am I not awesome or what?

I sent them a ton of guest posts and they kept publishing them.  Then one day, I simply said that I was available if they wanted to hire me.  And they were like, “okay.”  Seriously.  That’s all that happened.

What do you think made the difference in being selected over the next applicant?

Ellen Cannon, who no longer works for Quinstreet, seemed to like me. I am also extremely reliable, which is a huge deal to big companies like Quinstreet. A lot of people can write, but not everyone can meet deadlines consistently. Not everyone returns emails promptly or stays on task all the time. There is a huge difference between cranking out blog posts periodically and writing on a professional level.  They knew I could get the job done.

Is everything done online and via email with Get Rich Slowly or do meet up with other writers or editors?  Do you have a Christmas party and everyone gets together and talks about how much their Christmas bonus is going to be or if they are getting a ham from the company?

Maybe you aren’t aware, but I have a ton of big name clients other than Get Rich Slowly.  To answer your question, I never meet any of them.  On a rare occasion, I will hop onto a phone call with someone or Skype.  That is extremely rare.  No Christmas party, but I do get a nice card every year.

Speaking of money, how much do you get paid?  Wait I can’t ask you that, but I mean how do you get paid?  Is it by word or writing assignment or is it a fixed salary?  Do you get a contract like an NFL player, you know guaranteed 3 million just for signing the deal?  Stock options?  Is there a bonus structure in place for a post doing well?

Quinstreet pays per word.  I write for a lot of their sites and generally get paid between .20 and .55 per word depending on the assignment.  I have both recurring assignments and random assignments.  For example, I have some work due every other week, like my Get Rich Slowly piece.  I also do a lot of random writing as needed.  All of my other clients pay by the piece no matter how long or short it is.  I don’t mind either strategy as long as I am getting paid what I deserve.

Where do you see Get Rich Slowly 5 years from now, I’m curious about how you see the future of blogs and podcasts as I see more businesses get into the blogging world, like QuinStreet who bought GRS.

I hope to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, although I hope my website grows more in the meantime.  My hope is to earn enough in the next two years to convince my husband to quit his job.  I could really use his help and his 9-5 job isn’t worth it to me now that I am earning considerably more.

What has working for GRS done for your career in writing?

I honestly don’t know.  Like I said, I have other high profile clients.  I think any high profile job is a good one as long as you are taking it seriously and putting your name out there.

While I’m familiar with you, please tell everyone where they can find you and if you any projects or anything fun coming up that you want to share.

I am the author and founder of Club Thrifty, a frugality site where I share my views on personal finance and my quest to live life to the fullest.  I also write for Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report Travel, and U.S. News and World Report Money, and run a handful of successful online ventures.

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