From Hobby to Job-Free with Michelle of MakingSenseofCents.com

From Hobby to Job Free (1)
I was lucky enough to get on Matthew Woodward’s Income Report Round Up starting the month of April.  With a month a little over ten thousand, I still came in 7th place!  The number one person was Michelle of MakingSenseOfCents.com, with a monthly income of $69,396.00.  Michelle is a very talented blogger who has had some amazing accomplishments due to her blog like paying off $38,000 in student loans in 7 months, listed in the top 10 personal finance blogs to watch in 2015 by BadCredit.org, been nominated for many top finance awards, and many other accomplishments you can find on her website!  We were lucky enough to snag a quick interview and grabbed some awesome nuggets along the way as well!

 

Hope you enjoy.

 

You have a hugely successful blog.  Congratulations!  How did you first get started with blogging?  Did you plan on monetizing from the beginning?

I first started my blog in August of 2011. I started it on a whim, after reading about a finance website in my Cosmopolitan magazine, haha! I started it purely as a hobby, and I never thought that I would ever make money from it. Then, 6 months after I started, a fellow blogger emailed me about a potential $100 advertising deal on my blog. I said yes and everything grew from there…

 

A lot of people think that the money that you make online is money that you keep.  Do you agree and if not, how long were you running the business before you started paying yourself? How did you live through those first few months/years?

I started my online business on the side, and I had a full-time job as a financial analyst that paid very well, so I used my online earnings towards something else. After setting aside money for taxes, I put the majority of the rest of my online earnings towards paying off my $40,000 student loan debt in 7 months.

 

What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?

I network a TON. I truly believe that networking is the best way to improve a person’s blog. Sadly, many bloggers do not network because they see all other bloggers as competition. This is a HUGE mistake.
Some of the ways I network include:
  • I’m a regular contributing member of many Facebook groups and forums.
  • I keep in touch with many bloggers and am a part of a few masterminds.
  • I share other articles and blog posts every single day on my social media accounts.
  • I attend blogging conferences. My favorite is FinCon!

 

Do you think Page Rank plays a vital role in a blog’s life?

No. Page Rank hasn’t been updated in a very long time and doesn’t matter anymore.

 

What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?

This is a hard question. Content is important because without good content, no one would read your blog. Traffic is somewhat important because it is somewhat related to how much money you can earn. A blog with 100 monthly readers is most likely going to make less money than a blog with 100,000 monthly readers. Readers are important as well because you want to help them. For me, SEO is probably the least important as I don’t do much with SEO, even though I probably should.

 

A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?

I think everyone needs to be realistic about it. If you try hard enough, then there is somewhat of a good chance that you will earn an income from it. However, many people give up way too easily and too soon for that to ever happen. Most blogs won’t make a penny the first few months, and sometimes it may take years for a blog to really take off. A new blogger needs to be patient, but they also need to be ready to dedicate a decent amount of time towards their blog.

 

What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?

There are many things I do to improve my blog and receive more traffic. I am very active on social media, specifically Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I work hard towards promoting my posts, so that I can draw new readers back to my blog. I also respond to all interview requests (like this one!), and more. I try to find new ways to promote my blog all the time, and it truly helps.

 

If you could give a new blogger who wants to quit the 9 to 5 and join the rest of us, what would you tell him/her?

I would tell them to start their blog on the side, if they already have a job. This way they can determine if they like blogging, whether making money from their blog is realistic or not, and more, without really having to worry about the income aspect of their blog. Other tips include befriending bloggers, joining helpful blogging-related groups, start their blog on self-hosted WordPress, be active on social media, and more.

Where can we follow you for more awesome content?

You can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
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