This third feature in our Self-Employment Series is of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, a successful blogger who makes a full-time income from her blog while living on the road in her RV! She is one of my role models, and I’m so excited to share her story with you.
In case you missed the other two interviews, here they are:
- My interview on how I made $32,000 as a part-time proofreader
- How Cynthia makes $22.50/hour minimum as a legal transcriptionist
I have been Michelle’s fan for a while now. She released a blog monetization course recently; I signed up immediately because if you’re going to learn, learn from the best; right?
She makes half of her income (around $50,000/month) through the same monetization strategy she teaches in the course. Signing up was one of those no-brainer decisions for me.
Before the course, I was making zero from blogging. In one month, I earned almost half of what I spent on the course before even finishing it. If you’re thinking about blogging, her course is one of the must-haves.
On to the interview!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into blogging:
Hello! My name is Michelle and I run a personal finance blog, as well as I recently launched a blog monetization course that teaches bloggers and other online influencers how to monetize their platform through affiliate marketing.
In August of 2011, I started my personal finance blog after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. I got hooked on that website 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. I then realized how much I loved blogging and realized that it was for me, so now I am a full-time blogger! It’s funny how life can change so much.
On my personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents, I talk a lot about different ways to make extra money, money saving tips, living your dream life, RVing (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.
How did you learn the skills necessary to be a blogger?
It was pretty much all through trial and error, as well as networking. Like I said above, I knew nothing about blogging just 5 years ago, and now blogging is my full-time business as well as how I earned over $100,000 last month.
Networking is something that I highly recommend any and all bloggers do. So many bloggers see other bloggers as competition, and that is a huge mistake. You can learn so much from other bloggers!
How much do you make a month? Do you work part time or full time?
Last month, I earned slightly over $100,000 from my blog. I work full-time in order to do this. Although, one day I would like to lower my hours 🙂
What are your expenses (business-related expenses)?
My business expenses are quite low, especially when compared to my monthly income. My monthly expenses average less than $5,000 a month. For the most part they consist of transaction fees from PayPal and Stripe, for whenever I receive a payment for something related to my blog or my course.
What are your duties? Can you describe a day in your life?
One thing that people are often shocked by is that I do nearly everything on my blog myself. I am slowly outsourcing things on my blog, but not much. Right now I have a person who manages the technical side of my blog (like when/if my website goes down) and an editor who edits my blog posts on Making Sense of Cents. Other than that, I do everything else on my blog.
I manage all of my social media accounts, I write all of my own blog posts, I handle the SEO side of my business (I actually just started getting into SEO, though), answering emails from readers and companies, brainstorm blog topic ideas, and more. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it. I love everything that goes into blogging.
What is your least favorite part/hardest part of being a blogger?
The hardest part of being a blogger would definitely have to be managing a good work-life balance!
As a blogger, you can pretty much always work. Everything is done online, which means that you can work all day and all night if you want to. This has caused me to miss meals, forget to sleep, and so on. This is because I love blogging and I love watching my business grow, but a work-life balance is always a good thing to have.
What is your favorite part?
My favorite part is everything else, haha! I love helping my readers, I love writing content, I love learning more and more about blogging, and more. I never thought I would be a blogger, but I am so glad I gave it a try. It’s a ton of fun, it allows me to grow and learn every single day, and I couldn’t imagine life without it.
What are your plans for the future? How will you keep your business going?
My plans for the future are to continue growing and helping more people. I hope to continue to grow my email list, page views, followers, and everything else, so that I can continue to help more and more people. Currently, I am learning about SEO as it is something I have never focused on when it comes to my blog.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this as a career?
My top piece of advice would be to just start. You won’t know if you’ll like blogging unless you give it a shot. Luckily, it’s an affordable business to start, so you can figure it out without spending too much money.
If you’re interested in monetizing your blog, I highly recommend Michelle’s course.