When I first began to research blogging, I found myself coming across the same name again and again: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. Michelle quickly became one of my blogging role models. Why? For two very important reasons:
1.) She is a completely normal person (as in, just like me!)
2.) She’s killing it when it comes to blogging.
Michelle repeatedly earns over $100,000 a month from blogging. Yes, that’s right. No, that’s not a typo. $100,000 a month. And here’s the craziest part: half of that comes from affiliate marketing, meaning that Michelle makes that money in her sleep!
I am so, so honored that Michelle took the time to let me interview her. Check out our interview below if you are curious as to how Michelle makes money, and more importantly, how you can earn money in your sleep too!
Hi, Michelle! First question, when and why did you start blogging?
Michelle: I created Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011 with the hopes 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. I became very interested in that women’s personal finance website and my interest in blogging grew rapidly from there. This is both interesting and funny 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 should also mention that I did not create my website with the hopes of earning a living or even earning $1. 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.
On my website 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.
I absolutely love blogging.
Q. How were you able to realize that you were meant to be a blogger?
Michelle: Once I realized that I could earn money doing something that I actually enjoyed, I realized that I should probably take blogging more seriously if I wanted to turn it into my full-time career. I was earning a good amount from my blog, and I was definitely enjoying it more than my day job as a financial analyst.
When did you make the leap to full-time, professional blogging?
Michelle: I became a full-time blogger in October of 2013, around 2 years after I started blogging.
Best decision ever!
Q. Okay, so let’s get down to what people really want to know: what is affiliate marketing and how does it play a part in your revenue stream?
Michelle: I absolutely LOVE affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can be quite passive, and it makes location independence and traveling full-time much more enjoyable. You can create just one blog post or social media post, and potentially earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it. With affiliate marketing, I can enjoy life more and know that I am still able to earn a great living promoting products that I use and enjoy.
Personally, I have earned over $500,000 from one blog post and it continually brings me in over $40,000 a month.
Brief Mama Millason interruption: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? (Envision the scene from Home Alone where Kevin runs up and down the hall with his hands in the air)
Michelle: Passive income at its finest, for sure!
Affiliate marketing can sound confusing, but it’s an easy concept. Affiliate marketing is when you earn income by placing affiliate link on your websites, social media account, influencer platform, etc. and have people purchase a product through your link. If you get someone to sign up through your affiliate link, you are then paid by the company for successfully promoting their product. You’re basically just helping them sell their product – similar to how a store would.
Q. How easy is affiliate marketing and can anyone do it?
Michelle: It really depends on what your definition of easy is. Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme.
But, I want everyone to know that YOU can make money through affiliate income, and you can do it in a non-salesy way. So many people are afraid of affiliate marketing because of two reasons: 1) They don’t think they have a large enough platform; 2) They are afraid of being too “salesy.” I have never had someone tell me that I’m salesy or pushy, and I’ve even had people ask me how I make money through affiliate marketing because they never see me try to sell things.
Q. How important are readership and a loyal audience?
Michelle: Readership and a loyal audience are very important when it comes to affiliate marketing and making money blogging. While you will earn some income from those who hop over from a search engine, a loyal audience can take you further most of the time.
Q. What words of advice would you give to someone who is looking for financial freedom but doesn’t know if blogging or affiliate marketing is right for them?
Michelle: You won’t know unless you try. Blogging has a very low upfront cost, so you can try out blogging and affiliate marketing quite easily without spending a ton of money. If it turns out you don’t like it, at least you can say that you tried!
Thanks so much, Michelle! I really appreciate that you let me interview you; you’re the best!
I really love how Michelle ended our interview by saying that you’ll never know if blogging is right for you unless you try it. So many of us are afraid to try something because we are convinced that we will certainly fail. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I try to live my life by that philosophy because you’ll never know what you are truly capable of unless you try.
I often try to envision Michelle six years ago, sitting there at her financial analyst job. Did she have any idea then how successful she would be now? No, but she tried her hand at blogging and kept trying, and look where she is now!
If you are thinking about starting a blog, but don’t know if its right for you, just try it! Visit my blog post, How to Start a Blog Faster Than You Can Order A Latte. There, I talk you through all of the steps you’ll need to take to start a blog, holding your hand the entire way.
Have you started blogging, but aren’t sure how to make money? That was me too when I first started. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the best when it comes to affiliate marketing strategy, and luckily, you can learn from the best. Michelle offers an online course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, where she teaches you all of her techniques and tricks, exactly like she mentioned in our interview. Michelle equips and trains you on how to sell something through your blog and not feel like a used car salesman. I personally took Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and it was absolutely worth it! Like Michelle, I didn’t think I would even earn a $1 when I first began, but I ended up earning money in my first thirty days blogging, and then fifteen times that in my second month. I attribute 100% of that to what I learned in Michelle’s course.
I want to thank Michelle again for her willingness to be interviewed. I hope that her story has inspired you to get out there and try your hand at blogging.
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