Evolving a Blog into a Brand and a Business with Writer and Clients From Hell Chief Bryce Bladon — The Busy Creator Podcast 78

The Busy Creator 78 w/Bryce Baldon

Bryce Bladon (@BryceBladon) is a freelance writer and editor of the popular blog Clients From Hell. Bryce has been editing and curating the site for years, and has overseen dramatic growth both in blog readership and in creating outside partnerships, products, and offerings.

In our conversation, we discuss the origins of Clients From Hell, how a blog can become a viable business, and how all of us who provide services can avoid clients from hell to have a better working life.

Bryce has recent authored the second book from Clients From Hell, Hell To Pay, concerning the ever-popular topic of getting paid for freelance work and avoiding money-related drama.

Hell To Pay book

Hell To Pay, the new book from Clients From Hell

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Show Notes & Links

  • Clients From Hell
  • Bryce describes himself to clients as a “creative communications consultant”
  • Bryce splits his time between writing and operating the blog, but not a always 50/50 split

“This generation has been amazing at giving ourselves really impressive-sounding job titles.”

—Bryce Bladon

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  • Clients From Hell was created a year before Bryce joined; it was then sold and Bryce along with it
  • CFH is now 10x larger than it was when it sold; Bryce edits the content and runs the site
  • CFH has 750,000 Tumblr follows (whatever that means)
  • Bryce is now angling the site away from advertising and toward offering insight/services to freelancers and creative pros
  • If The Busy Creator is an insightful college lecture, Clients From Hell is the bar afterwards.
  • Clients From Hell newsletter
  • Clients From Hell Podcast, on iTunes
  • Paul Jarvis, creator of The Creative Class
  • Patreon
  • Banner Ads make up about 1/3 of CFH’s revenue
  • Targeted Ads and Offers are another source of revenue, but only if it fits
  • Self-made products like the first book Clients From Hell
    Clients From Hell
  • The second book, Hell To Pay was released as an eBook — no middle men, etc.
  • This is Why You’re Fat by Jessica Amason & Richard Blakeley on Amazon
    This is Why You're Fat by Jessica Amason & Richard Blakeley
  • Texts from Last Night by Lauren Leto & Ben Bator on Amazon
    Texts from Last Night by Lauren Leto & Ben Bator
  • Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by Maxwell Ryan on Amazon
    Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by Maxwell Ryan
  • The small, but very-engaged audiences is where the money comes from
  • An “All of The Above” strategy for bloggers/podcasters
  • Buzzfeed
  • So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson on Amazon and on Audible
    So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
  • Freelancers walk out of MTV

“Clients don’t need to understand kerning, but they need to understand the design process.”

—Bryce Bladon

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“Don’t let anyone treat you like a mob boss.”

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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Techniques

  • Empower yourself as a creator by eliminating middlemen
  • Give away eBooks for free to build the newsletter
  • Host webinars and run targeted partnerships
  • Cross-polinate audiences with other bloggers/podcasters
  • Pomodoro Technique

Habits

  • Say “no” to projects you don’t want to do. Clients will respect you more.
  • Communicate that design is often iterative
  • See things through to the end, and follow-up
  • Avoid A**holes
  • Build a morning routine which includes honey-lemon-water
  • Don’t check email until 10:00am, if you can help it

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About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.