Today, I have the distinct pleasure of sharing my interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents. We have a lot to learn from a woman making over $1 million per year with her blog.
Let’s see what she told me.
How Michelle Turned Making Sense Of Cents Into A Million Dollar Blog
1. Introduce yourself to the Hero Story community for those that don’t know you.
I am the founder and creator of Making Sense of Cents, a personal finance and lifestyle website which aims to helps readers earn more, save more, and live more. I sold my house in 2015, and have been traveling full-time since. I currently earn over $100,000 a month, and I am financially independent before 30.
2. What did you do before you became a blogger?
I was a financial analyst at a small investment banking firm.
3. Why blogging? What drew you to it?
In the summer of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents simply for myself, to talk about my financial situation,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 funny because before 2011, I had no idea about what blogs were, that they could even make money, and so on.
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.
4. How long have you been blogging?
For almost 8 years now. So crazy!
5. Where do you get ideas for what topics to cover? How do you know your audience will value them?
I have never run out of content ideas, and I currently have a list of several hundred waiting to be written. I find topics to write about through many ways, such as life experiences, reader questions, brainstorming, and surveying readers. I would say that most come from life experiences – topics that I come across in my life or the lives of those close to me.
6. Can you briefly describe your process for each post? From idea to hitting publish.
Below is a list of the process for each new blog post that you see on Making Sense of Cents:
- I think of new article topic ideas as mentioned above.
- I make a schedule of blog posts. I have a schedule of topics for at least one full month, including the dates articles will be published. And, I like to make sure I cover a good variety of topics each week. For example, I don’t usually like to have a week full of making money ideas. Instead, I like my posts to vary between making money, saving money, life improvement, and so on.
- I then write the content for the blog post. I like to sit down and write an article from beginning to end without any breaks. It may take me an hour to write an article or I may be at it all day. Then, I give the blog post to my editor to fix anything from grammar and punctuation to the general flow of the article.
- I add images and formatting. Once I get the content back from my editor, I add images, such as for social media, format the article the way I want it to look, and add links to related articles from my blog.
- I publish the article and share it. Once the blog post is live, I share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and with my email list. I also schedule it to share on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for future dates as well.
7. Take us through a quick history of your earnings. Where did you start and where are you today?
I started making around $1,000 around one year in, around $5,000 to $10,000 2 years in, and I am now making around $1,500,000 a year. Once I learned how to monetize my blog, it grew pretty quickly.
8. Describe your marketing strategy. What’s your primary traffic driver?
My traffic is pretty diversified. I get traffic from Pinterest, Google, my email list, other websites, Facebook, and more. My strategy is pretty simple – I share articles on social media. I do need to start being more active in promotion, haha.
9. Tell us about your courses and digital products. Why did you pick those topics?
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. I created this course because I was constantly asked questions about affiliate marketing, and had a long list of people who wanted to be coached on the topic. So, I decided to just create a course and help everyone all at the same time!
I also have a course on sponsored posts, Making Sense of Sponsored Posts. This course was just recently released and is all about forming partnerships with companies/brands. This one was created for a very similar reason!
10. What has blogging afforded you as of today?
Everything – blogging has completely changed my life. I used to be so unhappy at my day job and I was living paycheck to paycheck. Now, I am debt free, have enough money saved to retire whenever I want, I travel full-time, I enjoy my career, and I am HAPPY!
11. For those who have never done it before, how can someone get started in blogging?
With this free email course, I will show you exactly how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting followers.
I recommend just starting, and seeing if you like it. I hear from so many people that they are too afraid to start. However, blogging can be started for so affordably, so I recommend at least giving it a shot.
12. Where can we learn more about what you do and connect with you?