I belong to a number of Facebook Groups. One stands out as being particularly active and filled with people who don’t hesitate to share tips, advice and support.
The other day a mammoth discussion began between group members about earning a full-time income from blogging. Bloggers who are making money blogging shared how long it took them to monetize and other helpful tidbits.
The conversation was fascinating and motivated me to begin contacting those same bloggers and interview them about how THEY went about monetizing their blogs.
What was evident from the thread is that there are as many varied ways to achieve your monetization goals as there are bloggers and blogs.
I think that it’s helpful to remember that everyone’s journey will be different. It will take trial, error and a lot of learning to find the right path for you if monetization happens to be one of your goals.
It can also help to remember that when the journey gets a little bumpy or your blog stalls!
To kick off our Making Money Blogging interview series, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner talks about her blog monetization strategy – a strategy which has resulted in Michelle earning a mind-blowing $20k a month online. She shares her top tips about what areas you can focus on to lift your monetization game.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the founder of Making Sense of Cents. She paid off $40,000 in student loans by the age of 24, then left her career in the financial services industry to work for herself.
Michelle’s blog is heavily focused on how earning extra income can change your life, which can be seen in her monthly income update where she shows how she makes over $20,000 a month online.
How would you describe your blog?
Making Sense of Cents is a mix of all things in life – lifestyle, personal finance, travel, career, travel, and so on.
I talk about anything and everything that is related to improving your life and living your life to the fullest.
Building a Monetisation Strategy
How do you approach income creation? What is your ‘big picture’ income strategy?
I never review a company that I don’t believe in, so my readers know that they can come to my blog to hear about truly great products.
How did you decide blogging should be part of your strategy?
I started with blogging, so I’ve just never ventured away from it. I enjoy blogging as well, so I would always prefer it to be a part of my strategy.
You share a lot of detail in your monthly income reports about how you make your income but could you summarise it here?
I make a living online in a few different ways. I make money through partnerships and advertising on my blog, affiliate marketing, blog coaching, website management, and more.
Right now, affiliate marketing is the largest piece of the puzzle and I’m hoping to keep increasing that. I made around $20,000 online in May and I expect that to increase through the end of the year.
What skills, knowledge or attributes do you think have been key to your monetization success to date?
I believe the fact that I have always been very honest about what I do has helped me greatly.
I also try to keep everything 100% authentic and I think that helps bring readers back post after post. I always try to inject personality into everything I do so that it is never boring or robotic sounding.
How did you decide HOW to monetise your blog? What were your reasons for choosing those methods?
In the beginning, I just went with it and chose offers that seemed to be the best idea for my blog.
Now, I am mainly focusing on affiliate income because it is a little more passive and it helps me to diversify my earnings each month. I am hoping to continue to increase my affiliate income well into the future.
What do you believe are the fundamental components of monetization success?
Traffic, subscription, connecting with other bloggers, engagement, branding, connecting with influencers or brands etc?
I believe that all of these components are important. Traffic and engagement are important because that is what brands and affiliate programs want to see.
Connecting with other bloggers and influencers is especially important because you can make friends, learn new ideas, find out about new opportunities, and so on.
Branding is important because your readers will know who you are and what you are about.
What are your top tips for bloggers wanting to improve those areas?
My first major tip is to focus on providing high quality content. This will help bring readers back to your blog.
My other main tip is to network with other bloggers. Too many people think of other bloggers as competition when instead they should be looked at as colleagues and friends. The blogging world is big enough for everyone.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t believe I would do anything different. I think everything that has happened in the past is what helped lead me to where I am today 🙂
There are lots of bloggers making cents from their blogs who want to make dollars. What actions would you tell them to take TODAY?
Here are my tips to help them make more money:
- Write about what you want to write about. Too many people write about topics that they believe will only make them money, yet they have no passion in it. Readers know if you are passionate about a subject or not. Just pumping out content is usually not a good idea.
- Publish high quality content. You should never just publish a post just because you usually post a certain amount of posts in a week. You should stick to publishing high quality content only.
- Connect with other bloggers. Connecting with other bloggers and influencers is especially important because you can make friends, learn new ideas, find out about new opportunities, and so on.
To see what else Michelle gets up to including her common sense advice and tips for everyday financial management, pop over to Making Sense of Cents.
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Image of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner borrowed with permission for use in this post. Thanks Michelle.