Initially, I interviewed Michelle Schroeder-Gardner back in December of 2013. Since that time she's had AMAZING success with her personal finance blog, Making Sense of Cents. So, I thought it would be fun to catch up with Michelle and find out how she's doing and what's next for this professional blogger.
Here's how this blogger is earning five figures a month from affiliate marketing!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blogging journey.
I started blogging in August of 2011. Back then, I started my blog just as a way to connect with others who are doing something similar to me (paying off debt) and so that I could keep track of my financial progress. I started it purely as a hobby, and I never thought that I would ever make any money online. I never even thought about making money online or blogging full-time once.
Before I knew it, my business was growing before my eyes. I didn’t mean for it to become my business, but it turned into something that I still love today. After around two years of blogging, I left my day job to blog full-time. It has now been around 2.5 years since I left my previous job.
I now try to focus on my blog as much as I can. I don't write for many others anymore, and that is so that I can continue to grow my own blog and increase my income. It's been the best decision ever for me! I now have a book on the way, my blog is growing faster than ever, and I am in the very beginning stages of creating my own course as well.
Give us an example of how you first monetized your blog.
I earned my very first $100 through an advertisement on my blog. My blogging friend knew of an advertiser who needed more blogs to advertise on. It was easy and so much fun to actually earn something through my blog.
In 2017 you made over $1.5 million from your blog! In what ways are you monetizing your blog?
I monetize my blog mainly through affiliate income methods right now. I currently earn over $50,000 a month from affiliate income, and it's amazing and sort of passive, which is my favorite. I also earn an income through my blog from banner ads, sponsored advertising, and more.
To get a detailed breakdown of income sources — you can check out Michelle's latest income report here.
How do you minimize income peaks and valleys?
Income valleys are always tough to handle. As a full-time blogger, it's hard not to think about how long blogging will last. Don't get me wrong; blogging is a ton of fun. However, you never know what will happen in the future. For me, I try to stay as diversified as I can, and that really helps to get through it.
What types of marketing strategies have worked best for you?
Pinterest! It's been amazing for my blog. I am also currently testing out Facebook advertising, and that seems to be working somewhat okay as well too.
When did you realize your blog was going to be successful?
Hmmm. This is a tough question to answer. I feel like my blog is successful right now, but I still think I have a long way to go. I think I realized that my blog was successful when I first started receiving emails from readers who were saying that I helped them get out of debt, make more money, follow their dreams, and so on. I love helping readers, and those emails are seriously the best!
You have a course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing — tell us about that and who would benefit from this online course.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a step-by-step affiliate marketing course that teaches you how to make money from your own successful affiliate marketing strategy. This course explains all of the ins and outs, so you are never left wondering where to go next when creating and implementing your affiliate marketing strategy. In Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, you can learn exactly how I went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month. This course is for any blogger or online influencer, whether you've been blogging for one day or years.
What do you believe has contributed to your success?
I think many things have contributed to my success. One of the main things is honestly probably networking with other bloggers. You can learn a lot from other bloggers. Too many bloggers see other bloggers as competition, and I think that holds many people back. Instead, make as many friends as you can!
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities? Do you outsource any parts of your business?
I outsource a few parts of my business. I have an editor, a technical manager, and my sister helps me out with a lot of odds and ends when it comes to my business. My husband is also a lifesaver. Without him, I would probably go crazy. He helps manage the household, brainstorms blog posts, business ideas, and more.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own blog?
I recommend just starting! Blogging is so affordable, and you can start for less than $100 a year. You won't know if you like it or not until you start.
Do you have any courses, mastermind groups, or books that have been helpful on your journey?
Mastermind groups are extremely helpful. I recommend that all bloggers join one (or two!) so that they can network with others, learn new ideas, and more.
Thanks for sharing your story, Michelle!
- Affiliate Course: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
If you haven't started a blog yet, here are two blog posts you'll want to check out!
- The Best Affiliate Networks For Bloggers
- How to Setup a Moneymaking Blog, Fast!
- Start a Blog and Make Money From It
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