How one College Student went from $38,000 in Student Debt to becoming an award winning blogger and teacher to thousands.
I’d like to introduce you again to an amazing young woman who leads by example when it comes to saving money and making the most of your Side Hustle!
Making Sense of Cents, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who is currently traveling around North America in her RV with her husband and two dogs, runs a personal finance and lifestyle blog.
She started her blog to help pay off her student loans and travel full time.
She now makes a 6 figure income, MONTHLY, with her blog and teaches other how to create a lifestyle they never thought possible.
If you’ve been with us awhile, you know we have loved and followed Michelle’s work for some time now, so we took the time this week to have an online chat with her.
Enjoy the Interview..
Thank you for your time today Michelle, I know our readers are going to love your story, so, by way of introducing you, perhaps you could tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a full-time blogger.
Hello! My name is Michelle and I own/run the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents. I have three finance-related college degrees and I used to be a financial analyst.
Almost 6 years ago, I created my website with the hopes of helping people learn 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. I became extremely interested in that website 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 Making Sense of Cents 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.
On my blog Making Sense of Cents, I talk a lot about different ways on 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 was the very first amount you made online (doing what), and how did it make you feel?
I made my first $100 through my blog around 6 months in. It was by placing an advertisement on my blog.
It made me feel absolutely wonderful! Since I was only blogging for myself and not to make money, I honestly had no idea that blogs could even make money. Knowing that I could make money from something that I truly loved was a great feeling.
How long did it take you to start making a full-time income from your blog? How did you fund your journey before then?
I ended up leaving my day job around 2 years after I created my blog. I was devoting probably 40+ hours a week to my blog on top of my full-time day job.
If someone were to say to you, I’m too old, not educated enough etc. to learn how to make money online what advice would you give them?
There are many, many different types of online jobs, so it’s all about finding something that you’re interested in. There’s something for everyone – it all depends on how badly you want it 🙂
For me, I love being able to earn a living online – it allows me to be my own boss, to travel full-time, to create my own schedule, and more.
What would be some of your favorite income producing activities online that you would recommend?
Affiliate marketing is my most favorite way of earning income online. I love affiliate income because it can feel quite passive. 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. This is especially great since we travel full-time.
As you know our blog focuses on “mature” people who need to rebuild or improve their retirement funds, what would you recommend as a great way to start educating themselves, given that a lot of Baby Boomers don’t have as much experience online as you “Young’uns”!
If you’re interested in finding a way to make money online, then I recommend checking out various free courses that contain information on the job or business idea that you’re interested in. I have a free blogging course that you can find here.
I also recommend finding your favorite websites that talk about different work from home opportunities, because there are a lot out there! There’s a ton of great information online about pretty much everything.
How do you keep yourself motivated and on track with your work schedule? In Australia, we have a large community of “Grey Nomads” which are basically retired people living an RV life like yours. I’m sure they’d love to hear how to keep focused on their online businesses while they are on the road.
The most helpful thing I do is that I am always working ahead. Currently, I’m a little over two months ahead when it comes to blog content. By working ahead, I don’t have any strict deadlines that I’m trying to keep up with, which allows me to travel full-time and actually enjoy it. This is great because internet isn’t 100% reliable and also because I can enjoy where I am and be more present.
Is there anyone (in your opinion) that an online business would not be suitable for?
It would not be suitable for a person who doesn’t want to learn. An online business is not a get rich quick scheme. You’ll most likely have a lot to learn and you’ll have to put a lot of hard work towards it.
I think you know I am a big fan of your work and I love your programs. If you were to recommend one of your courses for a complete on-line newbie to start with, what you would suggest?
My course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, is for you if:
- You want to have a profitable blog.
You want to improve your blogging income even further.
You want to earn income while you sleep.
You want to write a blog post and earn money from it for years down the line, with minimal work needed.
You tried affiliate marketing but haven’t had any luck.
You want to spend more time with your loved ones and have a better work-life balance.
You love blogging and want to be able to grow your blog, build trust with your audience, and help more people!
In Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, several worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful and exclusive Facebook group, and more. I go through everything that you need to know about affiliate marketing, and more!
And as a final question: What would you say to anyone who doubts if they can do it? (make money online)
You won’t know unless you try.
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