I’m in no way asking you to follow my footsteps. I realize your circumstances are likely to be very different and the same path may not be relevant in your unique situation.
First of all, the reason has got nothing to do with emotional attachment or me waiting for some big break or any such voodoo. I’m a rational businessman and logic is what drives me. I’m here to make money. So that’s all I’m working towards.
Before you read this story, I recommend you go through the prequel of this story (something that went viral on social media last year):
If you don’t know who I am, I’m Aakshey Talwar, a 27-year old, the Founder of GaiaQ, an on-demand content writing service that has worked with brands including but not limited to Hyatt, Nearbuy, Portea, MobiKwik, CoverFox, PolicyBazaar, Economic Times, Hindustan Times, UpGrad, Sulekha, JLL Group, R Systems and many other name brands.
Now coming to the meat of this story, we need to go back to 2012. Let us recap and see what was going on then:
I was in college (Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi University), perusing my last year of Bachelor of Business Studies – Finance. GaiaQ was called Weaving Thoughts back then, which I had founded straight after my engineering entrances back in 2008. How I went from high school to engineering to business management in under 12 months in a whole other story and off the table for this piece.
The point is. Weaving Thoughts was doing really really well and making a tonne of money for just a single 22 yr old founder. From making less than INR 1000 per day in net profit in mid 2008, we had gone on to make nearly INR 2 L per month in net profit by 2012. So I had no plans to take up a job. Perhaps ever.
Let us fast forward to 2013/2014:
It is important to know who my clients were at this stage. Almost all my clients were webmasters and Internet Marketers running Adsense like websites. I used to get clients exclusively from forums like Digital Point Forums, the Warrior Forum, etc.
Unfortunately, by 2013/2014 this market had quickly turned into a graveyard. Despite being one of the bigger suppliers in all major forums I had stopped getting new clients no matter how much I spent advertising on these forums.
So as of 2013/2014: I had sort of lost my business.
I had an old list of clients who I occasionally reached out to from time to time which allowed some orders to come in. Some months I lost money. Other months I made some money. To keep it simple, I wasn’t really dealing with real brands or companies. And the clients I had were already going extinct.
So. What did I do?
I put the business on a back burner. I worked for clients who reached out to me. But I started exploring other options. That time I actually planned to exit from the content writing space in the coming time. I tried learning app coding but found it extremely boring so gave up on that. I tried to go into eBook selling as taught by Internet Marketers until I realized it was all a Warrior Forum scam.
By the time I had actually given up on all of the above, it was already Late 2015. The content writing space was picking up in India and globally. When I had entered the market in 2008, even big brands were averse to spending much on blog posts. They didn’t even know what they’d do with them. But by 2016 the market had changed. I decided to launch a platform along the lines of Scripted.com, iWriter.com, ContentMart.com etc.
I launched GaiaQ.com. Not as a platform yet. I was testing the waters. I launched it as a writing agency. As a pilot project.
I wanted to check whether I can get big name clients using techniques I had learned over the years by following marketing gurus like Dan Kennedy, Perry Marshall and Frank Kern. I wanted to go after real companies and brands and not just freelancing professionals running Adsense websites here and there.
It worked. And in spades.
We made a post Tax net profit of over 16 L in the first year of launching GaiaQ.
Some of the major brands we have worked with include: Hyatt, Nearbuy (Groupon India), MobiKwik, Portea, Economic Times, Sulekha, UpGrad, Ketto, Vedantu, Career Launcher, R Systems, Toppr, ScoopEmpire.com, GoZoop, Policy Bazaar, Policy X, Easy Policy, Credit Seva, VC Circle, MyTaxiIndia, Zerodha, Perry Belcher, Native Commerce, The Capitalist, and many many more companies! And almost all of these companies signed up in a span of less than 12 months.
The only caveat now was that it was impossible to scale without an automated self servicing platform.
Fast toward to 2018:
Q2 2018 – Planning to launch GaiaQ.com as a self service writing platform much like Scripted.com and Content Mart. Now that I know I can acquire clients, even big ones, I know the next step.
Q2 2018 – Planning to launch a full service digital marketing agency, Gaia Internet, that does everything and not only content. I had the skills but wanted to test the waters by seeing whether acquiring clients was possible without big money. And it worked.
Late 2018 – A high tech platform unrelated to content that I’m working on. May or may not see the light of day. A professional agency has been hired for the technology. If it does well, it could be HUGE. Too early to give more details. But this is a high risk high return sort of thing.
My focus points in the coming time will of course be GaiaQ and Gaia Internet.
I need all the luck you can wish me. Let us hope good stuff comes out from all this hard work!
Prequel to this story: http://therodinhoods.com/post/beyond-love-true-story-dipsite/
About the author:
Aakshey Talwar is the founder and CEO of Gaia Internet aka GaiaQ.com and Weaving Thoughts. Both companies are really two sides of the same coin.
Gaia Internet is an on-demand content writing service that is trying to make a mark for itself. GaiaQ has worked as a content vendor with Nearbuy, MobiKwik, Portea, VC Circle, Economic Times, Times Internet, Hyatt, CoverFox and many more big brands.
Aakshey was a Dipsite and graduated from CBS (DU).
He is a big foodie, avid music lover and crazy gadget freak!
To learn more about Aakshey Talwar or to contact him, visit Aakshey.com
To learn more about GaiaQ, visit GaiaQ.com
To learn more about Weaving Thoughts, visit WeavingThoughts.com