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I started following Michelle’s blog a few years ago when I was working my way through my debt. Her blog has grown remarkably since those days and she now makes a full-time income from it. She was very happy to share her story, tips and much more in this awesome interview. Enjoy!
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Founder, Making Sense of Cents, Shares How She Grew From $0 to Over $1,000,000
When & what inspired you to start your blog?
I started my blog in August of 2011 with the goal of teaching people how to save money as well as journaling my personal finance journey after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. After reading that magazine feature, I became interested in that website and personal finance, and my interest in blogging just grew from there. This is interesting and hilarious because, before that same summer, I had no idea about what blogs were, that they could even make money or anything along those lines.
I did not create my blog with the intention of making money blogging. It was all just a hobby and an outlet I then realized how much I loved blogging and realized that it was for me, so now I am a full-time blogger! I went full-time in October of 2013 and I haven’t looked back once. Blogging has completely changed my life for the better and it’s something that I recommend everyone try if they are interested.
What has the journey being like so far?
The journey has been great! I absolutely love blogging, helping others, networking with other bloggers, learning about blogging, and more. It’s a great business all around, that is for sure.
On my blog Making Sense of Cents, I talk a lot about how to make extra money, the best ways to save money, achieving 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.
What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? What have you learned from them?
I would say that my biggest challenge has been to manage a good work-life balance. One of my top goals for this year is to learn how to have a better work-life balance. I would like to be able to take a month off from my blog without thinking about it the whole time and go on a nice backpacking trip. I hardly ever go more than an hour without working (unless I’m asleep, of course).
I absolutely love my blog, so it makes it hard to break away from it! This is still something that I’m working on, but I have definitely gotten better with it. Lately, I’ve been working ahead as much as I can, and I am currently 2 months ahead in content. This has helped me to not feel as stressed to write content and it makes everything much more enjoyable.
What kind of products have you launched since you started your blog?
I have only launched one product that I’ve sold, and that’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (review coming up in next article). This is a course for bloggers and online influencers that help people improve their income by learning about affiliate marketing. Through this course, I have already helped numerous people improve their income, which is a great feeling!
What would you say is your competitive edge over similar bloggers?
I would say that my competitive edge would be that I try to write engaging content that is easy and enjoyable to read. Personal finance may not be the most fun topic in the world to the average person, but I try to make it interesting so that more and more people can improve their financial situation.
What’s your long-term vision for your blog? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
My long-term vision for my blog is to continue to help as many people as I can. Of course, I would like to see my blog continue to grow, to see higher levels of traffic, more subscribers, and so on.
What’s a typical working day like for you?
Traveling full-time means I don’t have an average workday and the great thing about having a blogging business is that I am my own boss and I can create my own schedule. I personally like to dedicate as much of the daylight hours as I can to enjoying new places and heading outdoors. Then, I dedicate the evening and night hours towards working. By having this balance and a great schedule, I can enjoy where I am traveling to while still having plenty of time to work each day.
What advice do you have for anyone considering starting his or her own blog?
My top piece of advice for someone who is considering starting his or her own blog is that I recommend networking as much as you can. 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.
You can learn a lot from other bloggers! Plus, everyone can use more friends who understand what’s going on in their life (blogging is something very unknown to the average person).
Are you living your best life or do you feel you’re still working your way towards it?
I think I’m living a great life, but I think there’s definitely room for improvement. One of my top goals for 2017 is to have a better work-life balance. I would like to be able to take a month off from my blog without thinking about it the whole time. I hardly ever go more than an hour without working (unless I’m asleep, of course). I absolutely love my blog, so it makes it hard to break away from it!
Where can we find you online?
If you’re interested in learning about affiliate marketing, check out the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course Here.