How One Blogger Earned Almost a Million Dollars In One Year (Just 5 Years After Starting to Blog)

Publisher Note: In the fall of 2016 when I had this site redesigned, I changed the mission of it as well. In case you’re a new reader, our new mission is “How to Make Money Writing … for Yourself and for Others.” This includes writing and self-publishing your own ebooks, developing and teaching e-classes and webinars, and affiliate marketing.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details. BTW, be sure to look for the special offer at the end.

Why Every Freelance Writer Should Diversify IMO

I was recently reading the Inc.com article, Forever Broke: 15 Things Holding You Back From Becoming a Multi-Millionaire, and when I ran across this part of the article, I did a fist pump into the air, exclaiming, “Exactly!”

Even if you have a six-figure salary, never rely on one stream of income. It’s a practice that the wealthy have followed for years, because you never know when that cushy job could come to a halt. Additionally, having multiple streams of income allows you to pay off any debt faster and put more money into your investments and retirement.

Thanks to the freelancer generation, you can side-hustle whenever you want … or even start your own business from the comfort of your home.

My Biggest Fear as a Freelancer

Being old and poor. I’ve seen “senior poverty” up close and personal. It’s no fun.

I grew up poor (financially; emotionally I couldn’t have had a richer childhood), and one of the things that’s always stuck with me is how hard my parents worked, and how the money just never seemed to stretch. My folks always had full-time jobs and side gigs.

My mom sold Avon. My stepdad painted murals and signs for local businesses. My father fixed any household appliance you had. So I guess you could say “hustling” is in my blood — and a good thing too because I’ve made some god-awful financial decisions, that thankfully I’m making up lost time for.

How This Blogger Earns Earning Over $100,000 Per MONTH & You Can Too!

So, what does everything I just said above have to do with today’s post? Well, one of the ways I’m diversifying my income — and starting to earn more — is in affiliate marketing. My goal by year’s end is $10,000 per month.

I spent the latter part of 2015 and almost all of 2016 researching and studying how the big boys and girls — the really uber-successful ones — make money.

One of the programs that I ran across that I couldn’t resist taking was Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. She earns over $100,000 per month. I was like, “Dear lord, what’s her secret?!” I had to know, so I signed up for her course. Some of the best money I’ve ever spent business-wise.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: An In-Depth Course Review

FYI, here’s my thorough review of the course (some FAQs are covered at the end).

Interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents

After I took the course, I reached out to Michelle to ask her if she’d mind answering a few questions of readers for my blog. She happily agreed. Following is what she had to say.

1. Please give us a little background on yourself, how you started, and how it’s going for you right now.

Hello! My name is Michelle and I run the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents. I currently travel full-time in an RV with my husband and our two dogs.

We sold our house in 2015 and we absolutely love being able to work and travel! I have three finance-related college degrees and I used to be a financial analyst before I left my day job to blog full-time.

Over five years ago in August of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents with the goal of helping people learn how to save money as well as journaling my personal finance path after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles.

After reading that feature, I became interested in that website and my interest in blogging just grew from there. This is interesting and hilarious because before that year, I had no idea about what blogs were, that they could even make money, and so on.

I didn’t create and publish my blog with the hope of earning an income. It was all just a hobby until I noticed how much I loved blogging and realized that it was for me. I became a full-time blogger 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 Making Sense of Cents, I write a lot about the various ways to make extra money, money saving tips, achieving your dream life, traveling full-time, and more. I’m all about helping people live the best possible life that they can. I love running my blog and I am very happy that this is now my full-time career, my business, and pretty much my life.

2. What prompted you to create your affiliate marketing course?

I decided to create Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing after many people asked me to create the course. I was offering blog coaching on the side, but I soon realized that with coaching that I could only help so many people.

So, I decided to create a course so that I could help more people instead of going over nearly the same thing with each coaching client. Plus, it’s a great way to earn semi-passive income.

3. What is the first thing you’d advise new affiliate marketers to do?

The first thing I’d advise new affiliate marketers to do is to think about the various things that they already use and probably talk about on their platform. Those should almost always be the first things that you promote with your platform because you are already an expert or, at least, familiar with those products.

After that, it’s all about promoting your affiliate products the correct way, which is exactly what I teach in the course.

4. Can you share a couple of tips for writing a blog post that converts (one that makes sales)?

Yes, of course!

1) Natural Links: An affiliate income earning blog post doesn’t always have to be a review of the affiliate product. This is something that many people get wrong. I hardly ever write affiliate product reviews, usually what converts best is a blog post that just contains a link to an affiliate product. So, I recommend including affiliate links within normal blog posts as well.

2) Product Familiarity: Make sure you’ve used, are using and/or are familiar with the product. Just slapping affiliate links around your blog won’t be effective.

3) Write & Promote: Spend just as much time promoting a post as you do writing it. Your blog post can be the greatest thing ever, but if you don’t promote it, then no one will see it.

5. And finally, as a finance expert, can you end by giving freelancers one piece of advice about how to effectively manage an inconsistent income?

My top piece of advice would be to have a well-funded emergency fund. By doing this, slow months or bad weeks won’t impact your productivity or mental state as much as if you didn’t. This is because you’ll have your emergency fund to fall back on!

Free Report: Earn More Immediately

Increase Your Affiliate Earnings: 7 Things I Did Immediately After Finishing Michelle’s Course That Can Help You Earn More. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I spent a little over a year studying affiliate marketing. Michelle’s course was one of the most thorough, well-thought-out, honest programs I came across. It was so effective that I immediately got to work. I compiled what I did into this free report.

Note: The report is free for those who order via my affiliate link.

P.S.: One of the first things you need to be successful in affiliate marketing like Michelle? A blog. Learn why & how to get one here.

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    1. Hi Yuwanda, I have been researching this class for a week. I repair computers for a living and I use a lot of different things. So I have really thought about blogging. Being in business I’m always looking for new streams of income. I’m really thinking about purchasing this class. After reading your review , I’m almost sure I will. Thank you for your review.

      • Regina it was, without a doubt — the best money I’ve EVER spent on an online class. Truly. To me, the Facebook group is the biggest asset. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from that group. If you’re serious about making money in affiliate marketing, IMHO, this is THE class to take.

        Good luck, and glad my review helped.

    2. I’ve found that most people fail to make money online because they don’t have a proven system that works for them. This blogger obviously had one! 🙂

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