Michelle Schroeder-Gardner has earned more money in just a few years than most people do in their lifetime. And that’s not even the most amazing part. She didn’t earn this pile of money by becoming a doctor or lawyer. She did it by blogging….!
I aspire to do the same – and many of my readers do as well – so why not ask one of the most amazing bloggers of all time a few questions about how she did it??
If you don’t have a blog yet, but are inspired to start – check out my page, “How to Start a WordPress Blog on iPage for Just $24“.
For those of you that already have a blog – read on, learn, and dream!
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Michelle, last year you earned $979,321 with your blog MakingSenseofCents.com. Holy crap! But, before we get into that, I want to start from the very beginning, and then work our way through your blogging career. Let’s hit it!
1) Why on earth did you start a blog back in 2011? What was your motivation?
I never thought I would grow up and become a full-time blogger, haha. It’s crazy how quickly life can change. I graduated from college in 2010, and again in 2012 with my Masters with an emphasis in Finance. I started out as a financial analyst, and I worked in that position for 3 years.
In August of 2011, I started my personal finance blog with the hopes of learning how to better manage money myself after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. Due to that website, I became extremely interested in personal finance blogs, and my interest in blogging just grew from there. Before August of 2011, I didn’t even know that blogs existed. I didn’t know what they were, I didn’t know that they could make money, or anything like that.
I did not create my blog with the intention of making money blogging. It was really all just a hobby. But, I came to really love blogging (and I still do!), and eventually left my financial analyst job so that I could blog full time.
Best decision I’ve ever made. While it scared me at the time a lot, I am so glad I did it.
On Making Sense of Cents, I help others learn how to make extra money, money saving tips, living your dream life, traveling (me and my husband RV full-time), and more. I love running Making Sense of Cents and I am very happy that this is now my full-time career, my business, and pretty much my life.
2) How Much Time (on average) did you devote to your blog each week? Has it increased or decreased throughout the years?
The amount of time I spend on my blog has decreased over the years. In the beginning when I first switched to blogging full-time, it was quite easy to spend 100 hours a week on my blog. Now, I spend anywhere from 5 hours a week to 40. When I work more, it’s usually just planning ideas for the business overall – not always directly related to running the blog.
3) What was your biggest hurdle to overcome?
My biggest hurdle is definitely managing a better work life balance. It’s something that I struggled with for quite some time. As a full-time blogger, taking a break from blogging can be very difficult. It’s easy to work 24/7, and as your own boss, you know that every minute is an opportunity to improve your business. Yes, I love blogging, but that doesn’t mean that I should never take a break from it.
This year has been great though for managing a better work life balance. I’m glad I finally have it under control! I plan on outsourcing more of the tasks I do too, so I’ll be able to take more breaks as well as improve my blogging income and reach.
4) My highest year of blog earnings was $26,000. Yours is $979,321. That’s fricken crazy! What do you attribute this to? Were you always just a master of affiliate marketing? How did you start earning so much money in this arena?
I attribute a lot of this to many different things, most would be my willing to learn anything and everything about blogging. By learning as much as I can, I can apply a lot of different techniques to my blog and see what works and what does not. Networking helps a lot with this because other bloggers can share their techniques and everyone can learn from each other.
I didn’t start trying affiliate marketing until just a few years ago.
I’ve always been interested in affiliate marketing since I started blogging, but I never thought it was possible before. I always thought that you had to have a huge following and a ton of page views in order to be successful with affiliate marketing. However, one day I decided to give myself a goal of earning affiliate income, and I worked towards achieving that goal. I started by making a little bit each month, and then it just continued to grow month after month. I now know that you don’t need a ton of page views or a huge following in order to make a great income through affiliate marketing.
I love affiliate income because it can be quite passive. In fact, in June of 2017, I was on vacation for over 2 weeks yet still earned over $120,000 in income – around $68,000 of that through affiliate marketing. You can create just one blog post or social media post, and potentially earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it. With affiliate marketing, I can enjoy life more and know that I am still able to earn a great living promoting products that I use and enjoy.
5) Alright, so of this $979k, let’s say you cleared $600,000. That’s still a ton of money! What do you do with all of that? Buy an RV? Invest a ton? Travel? What are your plans for this fantastic income in the future?
We bought our RV in cash (well, a check) and that was definitely a significant part of the money we have saved (our RV is worth 3 times the amount of the HOUSE we used to own). We save a ton as well – we save over 90% of our income each month.
We plan on just continuing to do this. We don’t spend a TON of money because we are happy with our lives the way they are. I honestly couldn’t imagine life being better than it is.
We plan on RVing for a little longer, and then we may switch to sailing life. Whatever we do, I see full-time travel in store for our future.
6) If you could give the newbie blogger one piece of advice, what would it be?
One big blogging mistake that I’ve noticed many other bloggers make is not making the effort to network. Networking is so important as a blogger. You should see others in the blogging world as your colleagues and friends, not your enemies or competition.
Due to that, my best piece of advice is to network and make friends!
Making $1 Million Blogging – Why Not You?
Michelle is a normal human being. You heard her – she knew nothing about blogging when she first started. She just took the time to learn and implement…again and again. Her earnings started out slow, but today she’s working just 5 hours a week and making bank every. single. month.
The entire first year cost? $24. That’s it. I’d say it’s worth a shot don’t you?
Sign up through this link and use this tutorial for help. That’ll get you all set up, and then this page will teach you how to get visitors and start making money! BOOM! It’s your turn, and it’s time to get started!!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.