How to Be 20-Something & Make $70,000 a Month
I'm not kidding -- this girl, this woman, is amazing. Michelle Schroeder from the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents is "killing it." Whether you want to create multiple streams of income, or solely profit from your blog, you can do it.
This post contains affiliate links.
Michelle Schroeder travels the country in her RV with her husband and dogs, and blogs from road. Last month, she brought in $68,000+ dollars. The month before that, she made $69,000, and the month before that, nearly $72,000. I point out several months because this is a pattern, not a one-time stint. Oh and the best part is, her expenses are not nearly that of traditional businesses where expenses can easily get to 50%. Her expenses are close to 5%. Yes, you read that right. Her expenses are typically below $3,000 a month, which is approximately 5%.
How does she do it? She blogs.
Catch your attention? Caught mine. So when she released her first online course, I jumped right on in. How does she bring in this income? The majority of it is through Affiliate Marketing. So, me, not having a real clear picture on what that was, signed up for Michelle's Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course and I cannot wait to see what her new numbers will be.
I learned about Michelle from another favorite blogger of mine, Rosemarie Groner, from the Busy Budgeter. Actually, you will remember Rosemarie, as she was one of my first podcast guests. At the time, she was hoping to make $8,000 a month from her year-old blog, and now just a few months after the interview, Rosemarie herself is making over $20,000 a month.
I have personally studied, hired Rosemarie, and taken the steps that Rosemarie suggests for getting traffic and earning a living. She recommended Ruth Soukup's Elite Blogging Academy, and that learning was unbelievable. I was lucky enough to get in right at the time it opened for the year. Then I was lucky enough to have some coaching sessions with Rosemarie before she closed that out and focused on her own products. Her Pinterest Strategy Guide for something like $35 is well worth the investment. The YouTube video links she provides in them are worth 10x that in learning! So you get my point, I love Rosemarie.
And when Rosemarie recommends Michelle, you listen.
Michelle earns her living from her awesome blog, and the income reports (can't believe people actually post those) show Affiliate Marketing is her highest revenue source.
I am curious, I am more than curious. I don't really even know what affiliate marketing is, yet she's making $70,000+ a month (a MONTH) on it!
Between that and Rosemarie's recommendation, I totally signed up for her Affiliate Marketing course to learn more!
And now I am a student in awe.
The great thing about the structure of my blog and podcast is that there are a lot of interviews, and I just had to ask her, personally and in depth, WHAT! WHY?! and HOW!
Below is our unedited interview.
Can you tell me about your initial side businesses?
At one point, I had many side businesses. I used to blog on the side, mystery shop, babysit, take surveys, sold items on eBay, rented rooms in my home, entered giveaways, and more. Side businesses and jobs pretty much consumed my life, and I still worked full-time as a financial analyst as well.
I did all of this so that I could pay off my student loans more quickly and not be bound by a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
I'm so glad I found blogging, because it allows me to make a great full-time living, while also loving what I do.
What are your current revenue streams?
My only form of income now is through my blog. You can find the exact ways I earn a living in my monthly income reports. This includes: affiliate marketing, sponsorships and advertisements, and more. I do a little bit of staff writing every now and then, but not as much as I did last year.
One new form of income that I just recently started earning is through online courses. I just launched my very first course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
My monthly income totals around $70,000 a month. I expect to be earning $100,000 and above on a monthly basis by the end of the year.
How / when you decided to focus on one (if this is the case) primary project?
Last year, I sold all of my side websites and decided to focus mainly on Making Sense of Cents. Over the years, I had created several websites on the side, as well as freelanced for many different people. I decided that my heart wasn't really in that, and that I wanted to be in charge of my business and do things that I really wanted to do. Plus, I was super scatterbrained by having so many projects and clients, and I realized I need to really focus on just one thing or a couple of things.
How this one project "clicked" and became super successful?
Yes! Ever since I made that change, I have been happier than ever, and my income is higher than ever as well!
What are your biggest lessons now that you are able to look back?
I thought that creating more websites would help me to increase my income. That was a huge mistake! I have since learned that when I am more focused, I am able to have much more fun with my business, while earning a better living.
What are you actively learning?
I'm always learning new things about blogging and managing an online business. If there's a webinar, I almost always sign up for it. My favorite online influencers that I enjoy learning from right now include Kimra Luna, Amy Porterfield, Mariah Coz, Melyssa Griffin, and many, many others.
You live in a RV and travel with your husband. (Woops, not really a question!)
Yes, I do! We sold our house in 2015, bought an RV, and have been living in it since.
How do you keep connected with your family and loved ones while "always being away"?
There are many things we do. When we do go back to visit, we try to stay awhile. We just spent two months visiting just family, and they're probably sick and tired of us until we see them again in around 6 months, ha ha. Plus, we try to plan trips and meet up with friends and family while we are traveling. Lastly, there's always Facebook, Instagram, phone calls and text messages. :)
How do you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself?
This is easier said than done, but I do try to take breaks from my laptop when I can. That is difficult because it's extremely easy to stay connected as a blogger, so I feel like I should always be working. Plus, I love what I do, so it can be hard to stop!
Due to this, I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I will take full days off when I can, and I just took the majority of the past 6 days off. And, I'm getting ready to take it easy for the next month as well. While, yes, I will still be working, I don't plan on adding anything additional to my plate so that I can enjoy the rest of the summer!
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day varies greatly. I usually wake up, answer some emails, walk my dogs, then come back and finish answering emails. The rest of the day varies. I may work the rest of the day until I go to sleep pretty much, or I may break the day up with some hiking, paddle boarding, trying out a new restaurant, and so on. I love being my own boss and being able to create my own schedule. It makes full-time traveling much more enjoyable!
My readers and listeners want it all. They want to have successful businesses and a meaningful, inspirational life. They will not settle. They want their businesses and families too.
Given that you seem to demand similar things in your life (run a successful, profitable business while also choosing to live a non-traditional lifestyle via the RV)
How do you keep motivated?
I find it very easy to keep motivated. I think it's because I love what I do. Due to that, I recommend that people follow their passions in life, or to at least do something that allows them to follow their passions in their free time. By doing so, you'll stay motivated much more easily because you'll be happy!
What advice would you offer out to someone else trying to have. it. all?
Feel confident that you can do it! Yes, it may take time and a LOT of hard work, but you can reach your goals. You just need to start.
Finally, where are you now? And what's for dinner?
We are currently in Fruita, Colorado! We just cleaned out our storage unit and put everything in a Uhaul. My husband's family is taking everything and storing it at their home. We are extremely thankful for them and the fact that they are doing us this huge favor! Next, we will be going to Buena Vista, Colorado to hike as many mountains as we can!
For dinner? Ummm, I guess I should probably think about that!