Today, I have an amazing interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents. Michelle is an MBA graduate who doesn’t work in the corporate world – she’s an online entrepreneur, and an uber-successful affiliate marketer (she actually just launched her own course on affiliate marketing which I’ve taken, and highly recommend) who paid off $40k in student loans, and now makes tens of thousands of dollars a month (in fact, last month she made over $100k!) from her personal finance blog. And she does all from her RV.
Spending a couple of years traveling around the country (or world), and making six figures a month (yes, I said a MONTH, not per year) are dreams for many people, but for Michelle, this isn’t merely a dream – it’s her life. For the past year or so, Michelle, her husband, and their dogs, have been travelling around the United States in an RV while making an online income that is more than most CEO’s of large companies make, and all of this stems from the day Michelle decided to start her own personal finance blog. I’m so excited to be featuring Michelle on The Million Dollar Mama today – she is a HUGE inspiration to me, and she’s just an all-around nice person (proof that nice guys (and girls!) don’t always finish last!)
What, or who inspired you to start blogging?
How long did it take you to start making money from your blog?
Like I said above in the first question, I didn’t start my blog with the intention of making money, so I never thought about it or even tried until almost a year later. I’m sure I could have made money earlier if that was the point of why I started blogging- instead it all just a hobby that I didn’t take too seriously.
It took me around 6 months in order to make my first $100. Then, I made around $1,000 a month the year after I started and now four years after that, I am making around $100,000 a month from my blog. Around $50,000 a month comes from affiliate marketing.
Do you recommend people stick to just one form of income on their blog (i.e. ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships) or try to diversify their forms of income?
I recommend that people diversify their blogging income as you just never know what may change in the future. This way, all of your eggs aren’t in one basket. This is actually the very reason why I started being more active with affiliate marketing- because I didn’t want all of my income focused on one area of my blog.
How many hours a week do you work on your blog?
This is a hard question for me to answer but one that I should probably focus some time on so that I can answer it correctly. We travel full-time, so our weeks and schedule change all the time. In July of 2016, I hardly worked on my blog at all, but in August I regularly spent 12+ hours a day nearly every single day on it. Same goes for September and so far in October (at the time of this interview) I’ve been working so much because I’m trying to get ahead and right now I have pretty much all of my work done for a little over one month and a half, so that is nice.
What is your biggest challenge as a blogger?
The biggest challenge as a blogger goes along with the previous question. 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 the best piece of advice you can give other bloggers?
My best piece of advice is to spend 20% of your time writing content and 80% of your time promoting it. I used to spend all of my time writing high-quality content, and then 5% of the time promoting it. This led to low page views, and my articles being seen by hardly anyone. You should always spend time promoting your content because if you don’t then no one will find it and then you won’t help as many people as you could!
What has been the biggest trial you’ve experienced in life, and how did you overcome it?
This will be getting personal, but my biggest trial in life would be when my dad passed away when I was 18. My parents were divorced and I grew up with him, so him passing away definitely changed my life. However, I’m very blessed to have him as a father, and it made me a much stronger person. I had to learn how to manage my finances, support myself, and learn about life at a very young age, but he raised me and he was a wonderful person, so I learned from the best 🙂
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Considering how much my life has changed in the past 5 years and how I never would have guessed that I would be where I am now, I honestly have no idea! We plan on RVing for the next few years, but in about 5 years I hope we’re sailing full-time! Other than that, business wise- I hope my business is still growing and that I’m helping even more people be in control of their financial life.
What would be your number one piece of advice for people who want to start making money on the road?
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