How I Successfully Built A $1,000,000+ Blog

Are you interested in learning how to make money blogging and how to start a blog? Read below to learn exactly how I built a $1,000,000 blog. I created Making Sense of Cents almost six years ago, and since then, I have earned over $4,000,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just one year…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Are you interested in learning how to make money blogging and how to start a blog? Read below to learn exactly how I built a $1,000,000 blog.

I created Making Sense of Cents almost six years ago, and since then, I have earned over $4,000,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just one year alone.

Blogging changed my life for the better and it allows me to earn thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love.

The funny thing is that I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. At first, it was just a hobby to track my own personal finance progress. And, when I started in 2011, I honestly didn’t even know that people could make money blogging!

My interest in blogging quickly grew, but like I said it was all just a hobby. I wanted a space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, to keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.

A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that advertisement deal.

That one deal sparked my interest in learning more about how to make money blogging and to take my blog more seriously.

I now earn a great living from my blog, and it all started on a whim and not even knowing that blogs could make money.

Blogging completely changed my life for the better, and I urge anyone who is interested learn to how start a blog as well.

Blogging has allowed me to take control of my finances and earn more money. It means I can work from home, travel whenever I want, have a flexible schedule, and more! It’s all because I learned how to make money blogging.

If you are looking to gain control of your finances and want to learn how to make money blogging and in other ways, read these other articles below:

As I’ve said, I knew very little about blogging when I created Making Sense of Cents. I honestly didn’t even know that blogs existed, which shows how much I knew about them. Now, here I am over 5 years later, and I’m regularly earning $100,000 a month from my blog and loving the freedom it allows me!

So, today I’m sharing how I built a blog that earned me nearly $1,000,000 in just one year and my tips so that you can create a successful blog that you love as well.

How to make money blogging:

Here's how to make money blogging so that you can stay at home and how I've built a $1,000,000 blog. I have earned over $1,500,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just 2016 alone. Here are my ideas, how to make extra cash in this business with a blogging website.

How I earned my first income from blogging.

As I stated earlier, I launched Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011 with no plan at all to make money blogging. Due to that, it took me a little bit longer to actually start making money, because I didn’t even know it was possible.

But, around six months after I started this blog, a blogger friend of mine connected me with an advertiser and I earned $100 from that advertisement.

It wasn’t a lot of money, definitely considering the amount of time and work I put towards my blog. However, it was very motivating to see that something I absolutely loved to do could actually make money. Remember, I had no idea that blogs could even make money when I started mine!

After that first $100, the income I earned from blogging quickly grew from there.

By the summer of 2012, just one year after I started my blog, I was earning around $1,000 a month, and I was making around $10,000 monthly by the following summer.

My income only continued to grow from there. In 2015, I earned over $320,000 from Making Sense of Cents, and I earned $979,000 in 2016.

If you want to create a blog that earns you an income, you’ll want to follow my tips below.

Related content:

You’ll need a blogging plan.

If you want to start a blog and learn how to make money blogging, I recommend that you first create a plan. I created my first real blogging plan in 2015, and my income has grown crazy fast since then.

I wish I would have had a plan when I first started my blog. I put a lot of things off, and I probably missed some opportunities to earn money because I had no real plan in those first few years.  Since creating a blogging plan I have been able to become more focused on goals and be more motivated towards continually improving.

To create a plan, here are just a few of the many questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • What will your blog be about?
  • How will you make money from your blog?
  • How do you plan to grow your blog and reach more and more readers?
  • What goals are you working towards?

Creating a plan allows you to lay everything out in front of you. This way, you’ll know what you’re working towards and know what to do next.

Start your blog on the side.

For the most part, you’ll want to start your blog on the side of what you already do. That’s exactly what I did.

By starting your blog on the side, you’ll be able to see if you enjoy it, what type of income you need in order to make it a full-time job, and so on.

Blogging can be stressful, you just never know what may happen, what algorithms will change things, and so on. Starting my blog on the side allowed me to have more fun with it and take my time because I had my day job’s income to rely on.

This made learning how to make money blogging much more enjoyable because I still had the stability of my day job.

Related: How To Quit Your Job And Become A Full-Time Blogger

Create high-quality content.

If you want to create a successful blog and learn how to earn money blogging, you will need to publish high quality content. This will help you increase your traffic and earn more money.

No, you don’t need to be an expert on a subject nor do you have to have a degree, but you do need to be knowledgeable or interested in what you are talking about. This will show in your writing and actually help your readers.

High quality content will help you grow a loyal readership that will keep coming back.

To create high-quality content on your blog, you will need to:

  • Dig deep and figure out exactly what it is that you’d like to write about. Being passionate about a subject will give you motivation to write content that people will want to read. Just think about it: If you don’t enjoy writing your content, then why should you expect someone else to want to read it?
  • Survey your audience and determine what they want you to write about. Many of my best ideas come from reader questions!
  • Complete any research that is needed by reading news articles, going to a library, digging for statistics, and more.
  • Write long content. Sure, some great content may only be a few hundred words, but to be as helpful as possible, long content is usually the best. My blog posts tend to be over 2,000 words, and this blog post is over 4,000.
  • Reread your content. I used to read my content 10 times or more before I would publish it. Now, I have an editor who makes sure that my content is high quality.

Be passionate about your blog.

Blogging is a ton of fun, and I believe the best blogs are written by those that love to write and love everything that goes into blogging.

There are a lot of tasks and responsibilities that go into running a high quality blog, which means it’s easy to spend 100 hours a week working on it. This is why being passionate about what you are doing is so important.

There are always new things to learn, posts to write, things to research, networking opportunities, finding more ways to make money blogging, and more to do. So, enjoying what you do will make everything much better and even easier.

I have been passionate about Making Sense of Cents from the beginning. I enjoy helping my readers improve their finances and reach financial freedom, I love talking about finance, and really I just love everything that goes into blogging.

This passion and motivation means that I look forward to every single day that I work, which keeps me from feeling tired or stressed after spending hours and hours working on my blog.

Network with others.

Networking is very important if you want to create a successful blog. Bloggers should be open to making blogging friends, attending blog conferences, sharing other’s content with their readers, and more.

However, I believe that many bloggers skip this area, which holds many of them back. Many bloggers see other bloggers as competition, and this is a bad thought for a blogger to have.

Networking can help you enjoy blogging more, learn new things about blogging, learn how to make money blogging, make great connections, and more. If you want to make money blogging like I have done, then you will want to network with others! After all, networking is how I earned my first $100.

I’ve learned everything I know about blogging from the blogging community, namely other bloggers and conferences, so it would have been very hard to become successful without networking.

Be ready to put a lot of hard work towards your blog.

Blogging isn’t easy. If it were, then everyone would be doing it.

It takes a lot of hard work if you want to have a successful blog.

You’ll have to:

  • Create a blog.
  • Publish high-quality content.
  • Learn how to promote your blog.
  • Understand how to make money blogging.
  • Master all of the different social media platforms.
  • Continue learning about blogging.
  • And much, much more.

Even when I was just a new blogger, I was still devoting over 10 hours a week to Making Sense of Cents, and that was without even knowing I could make money blogging.

When I was working my full-time day job and earning an income from my blog, I was working around 40-50 hours a week on my blog on top of my day job!

Now that I blog full-time, my hours vary. Some months I hardly work, and there are other months that I may work 100 hours a week.

It’s not easy, and there’s always something that needs to be done.

Luckily, I absolutely love blogging, which makes the hard work a little less tough.

Learn how to make money blogging and diversify.

There are many ways to make money blogging. For me, I like to be as diversified as possible and monetize in many different ways, so I’m constantly learning how to make money blogging.

Being diversified is great because you’re not reliant on one form of income.

This can be extremely helpful as it protects you and your business if one form of your blogging income completely fails. By being diversified, you won’t have to be as worried about that happening. And, trust me, you will occasionally have bad income months, so it is best to be as diversified as possible.

Here are diverse ways to make money blogging:

Here's how to make money blogging and how I've built a $1,000,000 blog. I have earned over $1,500,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just 2016 alone.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a blog monetization method in which you place a link to a product or company on your website or a social media platform in an attempt to make an income from followers purchasing the product through your link (this is called an affiliate link). Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money blogging because if there is a product or company that you enjoy, all you have to do is review the product and hopefully others will be interested in buying it as well.

Affiliate marketing is my absolute favorite way to make money blogging. I love it because it can feel quite passive. You can create just one blog or social media post, which can potentially still earn you money years down the line. Now, you will have to maintain the post and keep generating traffic to it. Still, with affiliate marketing, I can relax a little and enjoy life more, all while knowing that I am earning a great living promoting products that I use and enjoy.

I regularly earn around $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing, and it’s all done fairly passively through blog posts and email sequences. For the most part, all the work is done and the traffic that is generated to my email list and blog posts passively converts people into buyers with minimal work required from me.

If you want to learn how to make money blogging through affiliate marketing, read the tips below:

  • Use the Pretty Link plugin to clean up long affiliate links. I use this for all of my affiliate links, because something like “makingsenseofcents.com/bluehost” looks much better than the long links that affiliate programs usually provide.
  • Provide real reviews. You should always be honest with your reviews. If there is something you don’t like about a product, either don’t review the product at all or mention the negatives in your review.
  • Ask for raises. If you are doing well with a particular affiliate program, ask for a raise. The worst thing that can happen is that your affiliate manager says no. The best is that they say yes!
  • Form a good relationship with your affiliate manager. Your affiliate manager can supply your readers with valuable coupons, affiliate raises, and more.
  • Publish tutorials. Readers want to know how they can use a product. Showing them how to use it, how it can benefit them, and more are all very helpful.
  • Have a recommendations page. I always like checking out a blog’s recommendations page. It can be a great way to list valuable products and services that readers may need or want. Here’s mine as an example.
  • Don’t go overboard. There is no need to include an affiliate link 1,000 times in a blog post. Include them at the beginning, middle, and end, and readers will notice it.

You can learn more about affiliate marketing strategies in my course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

Here's how to make money blogging and how I've built a $1,000,000 blog. I have earned over $1,500,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just 2016 alone.

Advertisements, partnerships, and sponsorships

Advertising on a blog is one of the first ways the average blogger begins to make money blogging. In fact, it’s exactly how I started!

This form of blogging income is when you partner with a company and advertise their brand on your blog or social media accounts.

From this form of blogging income, I earn around $15,000 to $20,000 a month. And, this is all from companies finding me and approaching me directly.

If you want to learn how to increase your advertising income, I recommend taking my Making Sense of Sponsored Posts course. Learn how I made my first blogging income, and how I’m now making $10,000-$20,000 a month with sponsored partnerships!

Here's how to make money blogging and how I've built a $1,000,000 blog. I have earned over $1,500,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just 2016 alone.

Display advertising

Display advertising is another popular way to make money blogging.

Display advertising is a passive form of blog income, as you just place advertisements (usually through an advertisement network) on your blog’s sidebar, below a blog post, or somewhere else. The income increases or decreases almost entirely based on your page views, and once you place the advertisement, there’s no direct work to be done.

If you want to learn how to make money blogging through display advertising, then some popular networks include Adsense, Media.net, MediaVine and Raptive.

Personally, I use Raptive for my display advertising network. I don’t have many display advertisements on my blog, but I regularly earn around $1,500 to $3,000 a month from this.

Here's how to make money blogging and how I've built a $1,000,000 blog. I have earned over $1,500,000 with my blog and around $979,000 in just 2016 alone.

Create your own product

To really be in control of how you make money blogging, you’ll eventually want to create a product to sell to your audience. There are many products you can create and sell on your website, such as an ebook, course, etc.

I launched my first for-sale product last summer, which was a blogging course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I make around $20,000 to $50,000 a month from this course, and because I have already created and finished the course, it’s a nice form of somewhat passive income.

Plus, I have helped many, many people improve their affiliate marketing income as well, which is such a great feeling!

Have an email list

To make money blogging, you’ll want to create an email list starting on day 1.

My biggest blogging mistake is that I waited until about two years ago to start an email list, and I waited even longer to take it seriously.

I really can’t believe I waited so long!

And, it wasn’t until just a few months ago, when I switched to Convertkit, that I got serious about using that list. I didn’t really use my email list because I didn’t understand newsletters or how an email list could help me.

Wow, that was a huge mistake, and I’m happy that I have learned from it.

So you don’t make the same mistake I did, I recommend that all bloggers spend time growing their email list, and here’s why:

  • Your newsletter is all yours. Unlike social media sites, your newsletter and email subscribers are all yours, and you have their undivided attention. You don’t have to worry about algorithms not displaying your content to readers, and this is because they are your email subscribers. You aren’t fighting with anyone else to have them see your content.
  • The money is in your list. I believe that email newsletters are the best way to promote an affiliate product. Your email subscribers signed up to hear what YOU have to write about, so you clearly have their full attention. Your email list, over any other promotional strategy, will almost always lead to more income and sales.
  • Your email subscribers are loyal followers. If someone is allowing you to show up in their inbox whenever you want, then they probably trust what you have to say and enjoy listening to you. This is a great way to grow an audience and a loyal one at that.
  • Email is a great way to deliver other forms of content. With Convertkit, I am also able to easily create free email courses that are automatically sent to my subscribers. Once a reader signs up, Convertkit sends out all the information they need in whatever time frame I choose to deliver the content.

You should be constantly learning about blogging.

Many of you have wondered about the tools and resources I use to improve my blog. I believe that in order to be a successful blogger and to learn new ways to make money blogging, you will need to invest in learning new strategies, such as through ebooks, webinars, courses, and more.

Below are some of my favorite blogging tools and resources:

  • Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing, and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course to learn how to make money blogging through affiliate marketing.
  • How To Start A WordPress Blog Tutorial – This isn’t an ebook or a course, but it is my free tutorial that makes it easy to start your own blog. I have included every single step that you need to take, plus I have negotiated affordable pricing so that you can start your blog at a low price.
  • Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – This is my favorite course on Pinterest! You can learn how to get 10,000-100,000+ free monthly visitors to your website through Pinterest with this course.
  • 17 Strategies I Used To Grow My Page Views eBook – Lena Gott’s ebook is full of great information on how to increase your page views. If you are feeling stuck or are a new blogger, check out this ebook! Lena went from 17,000 monthly page views to 350,000 and shares all of her best tips in this ebook.

As you can see, there are many great blogging resources. Each of the above resources covers different aspects of blogging and/or making money online. If you have the chance, I recommend getting them all and taking your time with each one.

Grow your following.

As a blogger, you’ll want to find ways to improve your traffic.

No, you don’t need millions and millions of page views to earn a good living from blogging. In fact, I know some bloggers who receive 1,000,000 page views yet make less money than those with 100,000 monthly page views.

Every website is different, but once you learn what your audience wants, you can start to really make money blogging, regardless of how many page views you receive.

Having a successful blog is all about having a loyal audience and helping them.

Even with all of that being said, to make money blogging, it doesn’t hurt to improve your traffic. The more loyal and engaged followers you have, the more money you may be able to make through your blog.

There are many different ways to increase the number of page views you receive on your blog.

Here are my tips:

  • Publish high-quality blog posts – Your blog posts should always be high-quality and helpful, and it means readers will want to come back for more.
  • Be active on Pinterest – Pinterest is one of my top traffic sources. I recommend creating great images, making sure the description and title of your images are catchy, pinning regularly, and only pinning long images. In case you are wondering, I use Picmonkey to edit all of my images and Tailwind to schedule them.
  • Find other social media sites to be active on – Besides Pinterest, there are several other social networking sites to use, including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and others.
  • Post regularly – For most blogs, you should publish something at least once a week. Readers may forget about you if you go for weeks or months at a time without a blog post.
  • Network with other bloggers – Too many bloggers see other bloggers as competition. However, you should see them as friends and colleagues. This means interacting with them on social media, reaching out via email, attending conferences, and more. Of course, be genuine with it all, and give more than you take.
  • Guest post – Guest posting is a great way to reach a new audience, as it can bring new readers to your blog who will potentially subscribe to it.
  • Make sure it’s easy to share your content – I love sharing posts on social media. However, it gets frustrating when some blogs make it more difficult than it needs to be. You should always make sure it’s easy for readers to share your content, which means your social media icons should be easy to find, all of the info input and ready for sharing (title, link, and your username), and so on. Also, you should make sure that when someone clicks on one of your sharing icons the title isn’t in CAPS (I’ve seen this too many times!). No one wants to share a blog post that sounds like you’re screaming at them.
  • Create catchy headlines – The title of your post can either bring readers to you or deter them from clicking over.
  • Learn SEO – SEO (search engine optimization) is not something I can teach in this small section. But, to learn SEO, I recommend starting with  The SEO Starter Pack.
  • Make it easy for readers to browse – If you want more page views, you should make it as easy as possible for readers to read your other blog posts. It should be easy for readers to find your blog homepage, categories, tags, search bar, and so on. Also, I recommend including links in every single one of your blog posts, which helps readers easily find related topics.

As you can see, it takes to build a successful blog. And, I still find it funny that when I first started my blog, I had no idea I could earn a living from it.

Starting Making Sense of Cents almost six years ago and learning how to make money blogging has completely changed my life for the better.

Are you interested in learning how to make money blogging? What questions do you have for me?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Ramona

    Wonderful tips. The only thing I don’t agree with is using Adsense, since the pay is way too small for the huge amount of space the ads take and how much traffic you’re sending their way. But other than that .. really really cool advice and numbers πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t use Adsense (not sure if you just mean direct advertising in general or just Adsense) but I do think it’s possible to make more from it.

      1. I received a message from Google stating that Adsense is actually going away. It is a low paying ad option, so I don’t think that most people will actually miss it when it is gone.

        1. Amy

          Haha…. Adsense is not going away. It is the Adsense plugin that the Adsense team made. .. Adsense makes Google like 23% of their revenue. That is billions of dollars. Adsense is going nowhere.

    2. Yes, I love AdThrive πŸ™‚

    3. Agreed. AdSense used to pay better. Back in 2008, my AdSense check paid all my bills (rent, utilities, etc)… but now, it’s a tiny fraction of that. I’m working on getting my pvs up to 100K so I can apply for AdThrive as well.

  2. The Giving Budget

    Amazing post. I just started my blog a few months ago and I agree fully that I feel like some weeks I could spend 100 hours a week on everything that needs to be done! But I am passionate about what I talk about, which makes those long work weeks still fun!

    I also did not realize when I started it how hard blogging while having two other full-time jobs truly can be! It is not a cake walk like I originally thought it would be. Like you said research and giving high-quality content takes time! Meaning not writing the post the morning that it goes out!

    Thanks for continuing to invest in the blogging community!

    1. Yeah, I think a lot of people think it’s easy – until they start blogging! πŸ™‚

  3. Travis

    Amazing you have been able to build such a great business. CONGRATS!

    This is very inspiration, especially for someone like me who is earning .09 cents a day w/ adsence:) I’m excited to check out some of the product recommendations you mentioned in this post as I am trying to get more traffic to my site.

    Thanks for the great post.

  4. Amazing tips Michelle! I really like the tip about networking. This is something that we can do better with over at Wallet Squirrel! I also like the tip of asking for raises from affiliates. I had no idea that you could do that! Again, that refers back networking and learning from fellow bloggers!

    Promoting blog posts is a huge step! If it does not get done then your audience will never grow. I have been working on formalizing a promotion work flow for our posts. Andrew is going to us basic techniques to promote his posts and I am going to use the more advanced techniques for my posts. We will execute these over the next few weeks and see what techniques perform the best. Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

    Thanks again for everything!

    – Adam

    1. Yes, networking is so important as a blogger! It has helped me tons.

      1. Venus

        What are some of your favorite networking sources??

        1. Conferences are great for in-person networking. Just making friends is a great way too!

  5. Yes, I would consider it. I used to work in M&A and be a valuation analyst (valued businesses and portfolios), so yes!

  6. This is really inspiring! My blog is about 3 months old and I’m still waiting for SEO to kick in. I’m utilizing Pinterest at the moment! Thanks for sharing Michelle πŸ™‚

    1. 3 months isn’t very long so I wouldn’t be worried about SEO not kicking in yet πŸ™‚

      Thanks!

  7. Great post Michelle! I’m slowly working on these strategies for my (now 6 month old) blog, but sponsorship is one I hadn’t considered.

    Do you have any tips for finding advertisers and sponsors and contacting them? (Not display ads through a network)

    1. I’ve never contacted someone directly, but there are many networks you may want to join to find sponsorships. These include Tapinfluence and Findyourinfluence.

      1. Thank you! I’ll look into those πŸ™‚

  8. Carissa

    I love this post! Would you care to share which social media sites besides Pinterest are most useful for getting traffic to your blog?

    1. Facebook is the next best for me πŸ™‚

  9. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Congrats on that kickass blog income!!!

  10. Great post as usual! Thanks for the tips and creativity!

  11. Ricky @ Money Hero

    Awesome post, Michelle. I’ll definitely be using these tips for my blog. About how long do you spend researching/writing/editing a single blog post? I know you mentioned that high quality is important, and longer posts tend to be better. Thanks for everything you do to be helpful and informative to us up and coming bloggers!

    1. That’s a hard question. Sometimes I can crank out a really good blog post in a few others. Other times it takes me a few days. I have an editor who edits everything too.

      1. Ricky @ Money Hero

        Ah ok, that makes sense. Thanks!

  12. As always, this is really awesome advice, Michelle. I know a lot of people will read this, sneer, and say, “That’s great that all of this works for Michelle, but it won’t work for me.” But it’s just not true.

    I’ve been blogging for just over a year now, and I’ve only made serious attempts to take many of the steps Michelle mentioned above to monetize my blog in the past two months. Unlike a lot of bloggers, I haven’t decided to publish income reports at this time, but I have seen a huge boost in income, increased page views by 2000%, and am adding 30-40 new subscribers each day by following these steps. To put it bluntly, this is step-by-step advice to build a profitable blog.

    Thanks again for sharing, Michelle!

    1. Great job! Sounds like you are doing well πŸ™‚

  13. Compound Your Freedom

    Thanks for the great tips Michelle.This income is amazing. I am just starting out as a personal finance blogger and know that it is important to be patient in the beginning.

    Cheers!

    1. Yes, patience is needed πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you for this, Michelle. It was your success that motivated me to give blogging another chance and helped convince my wife to jump on board. You always give away so much knowledge. I really appreciate it!

    Dave

  15. Suzanne

    Hi Michelle, I really enjoy your blog and I am just about to launch one of my own. You mentioned a newsletter. Is this in the form of your blog but just emailed out? Or this this an additional property that ultimately supports the blog and uses the same content but differently? Do you recommend starting both at the same time?

    1. Hello! A newsletter is sort of like what you said. It can also be just quick emails to your readers where you tell them something important. I recommend starting both at the same time.

  16. Dhiya

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for the great post! I really enjoyed it and I think this will help me so much when I actually start my own blog. Quick question though, how important do you think Facebook is for networking? Mine has been abandoned for so long that I don’t even know the password anymore…

    Again, thanks for the tips!

    1. I connect with a blog of bloggers on Facebook πŸ™‚

  17. Karen

    Hi Michelle, I really enjoy your blog too…lots of good info. :-). I have a hiking website that I’ve been working on for over 10 years, and still make very little money from; just the little that Google is willing to part with, (Google Adsense). I applied to the Booking.com affiliate program back in February and although they accepted my site, the login information they gave me doesn’t work, so I can’t login to their site. So I’ve emailed them back and forth several times about it, but they can’t seem to help me out with it. Do you have a Support contact person/email with them who might be able to help me? And if not, can you recommend any good affiliate programs that I could apply to? Thank you so much :-).

    1. I use Booking.com through CJ. I’m not active with them though.

  18. Michelle

    Thanks Michelle! Great post as usual. I just purchased your course and I’m excited to employ the strategies you suggest! Will keep you posted! πŸ‘ŒπŸΎ

  19. Hi Michelle,
    I have been following your blog for awhile now, and you are quite an inspiration, especially for us newbie bloggers. I was planning on starting a blog several months ago, and then stumbled upon one of your income reports one time on Pinterest. That’s what sealed the deal for me to create my blog, so thank you for all the hard work you do to motivate and inspire your readers.

    I also wanted to say how impressed I am with your marketing tactics. I come from the corporate marketing world, and I have noticed how great you are with promoting your site, especially with linking to your other posts within each post. Not many bloggers have mastered that like you have – so kuddos!

    One of my goals is to grow my blog to have a large enough following so that I can one day work with you on some type of partnership. I’ll be reaching out at a later date for that πŸ™‚

    OK – so now to my questions. As you know, there are so many possible avenues of revenue, and I want to eventually utilize as many as possible. I’d like to start with setting up just a few right now, as I continue building my blog. What are the top couple avenues you would recommend? My thoughts are Bluehost and display ads (I was going to use Adsense but I’ve seen a lot of negativity around them, so I’m not sure. But, I believe I can only use certain sites since I have around 2500 pageviews/month.)

    Also, I haven’t seen any free Pinterest scheduling tools. I guess they don’t exist? Did you wait until your blog was generating revenue to start paying for a scheduling tool?

    Thanks so much! You rock.

    -Marly

    1. I recommend monetizing your blog in whatever way directly relates to your audience. So many people just choose the same things that I do and that’s definitely not the way to go as all sites are different πŸ™‚

  20. Hi Michelle,

    I just wanted to thank you for your inspiration and also replying to my e-mail a few weeks ago about starting my blog. I went live today, after dealing with bug after bug setting up my blog. That part has been the worst part for me, as it’s hindered the time I’ve had to write posts.

    My question is, since I just started promoting my blog today, when should I put my big content posts (like how dangerous NSAIDS are for dogs–I killed one of my dogs after giving them or where to go to check the quality of your dog food or the dirty secret of breeders).

    I have sooo many topics to write about, I’m worried some of these big ones will get lost in all the others if I write about them before I have very many subscribers, which almost seems counterintuitive, but something worth considering.

    On that same note, how soon should I start putting in my affiliate links? I know you have to have a sale within like 6 months or you are penalized, but there are so many things I love that I’d like to recommend, but again, don’t want to put it out where it will get buried before I have any subscribers to read any of it.

    Your thoughts?

    1. For affiliate marketing, I really recommend taking my course – makingsenseofaffiliatemarketing.com. You are not penalized for not having a sale by most affiliate programs so I wouldn’t worry about that right now. This is a lesson in my course that I go over more deeply.

      For your other question, you’ll want to link to it from other blog posts – that’s how you keep things fresh πŸ™‚

  21. Kunal

    Affiliation and selling you E-books are few of the best ways to monetize online. I also agree with most of the comments that Google has reduced the ads payout a lot. I am looking for something better, if anyone of you have any suggestion, please let me know.

  22. Very thorough and well written post. Thanks for putting this together Michelle. You’ve created some amazing content and an incredible business. In excited to see how your journey continues to unfold.

  23. LOVE reading amazing posts like this! It seems like you always have amazing posts =). Some really great information on growing and monetizing a blog.

    Our biggest struggle so far is finding out exactly who our audience is. Any advice on that?

    1. Thanks!

      Looking at your most popular posts will typically tell you who your audience is.

  24. Troy @ Market History

    Congrats on the job well done. It’s crazy how much you make from this site! At this point I don’t have any thoughts on making money from my blog. I just want to share my thoughts on the market and our research with other investors.

  25. canadianbudgetbinder

    You’ve come a long way Michelle. I remember when you started your blog. Truly inspirational. Congrats…your hard work is paying off.

  26. When you said ‘to track down my personal finance’, what do you mean by that? Are you talking about investing, saving, budget, and etc?

    1. I’m talking about all of that – to keep track of my financial progress.

  27. Kaylene

    I love that you reply to everyones comments personally and thank you for opening my eyes to marketing ideas. I will be checking out some of the people you mentioned.

  28. Sara

    Michelle, this post is packed with some great information. Thank You for sharing these tips with your audience. I hope to make a full time income from my blog in the near future.

  29. Gary

    Very helpful guide. It can just feel so overwhelming because there are so many steps. I started a blog about 2 months ago and have been posting about once a week. It feels like I am moving at a snails pace although I have come really far in two months. How long do you think it really takes if you work hard to gain some traction and readership?

    1. Fairly Frugal Fella

      We’re about the same amount of time into blogging and it definitely feels like a snails pace sometimes!

  30. Fairly Frugal Fella

    Wow! That is seriously impressive income from blogging! These are great tips for any blogger wanting to make money. I haven’t made a penny yet and I’ve seen plenty of “how to make money” articles, but this one is a lot more straight forward. I’m like you, when you first started, just doing this on the side but so far it’s been a lot of fun

  31. sam

    Thanks so much as always Michelle amazing content. I’m a new blogger, but I believe the guest blogging piece you spoke of is going to be my next dive in. Definitely intimidating, but hopefully after a well written email or two I’ll get results. Thanks again.

  32. Hello Michelle,

    I’d like to personally commend you for staying the course and blogging your way to a full-time income while avoiding the day job scene. I currently work in sales and know where you’re coming from when you mentioned you started your blog on a whim unsure where it would take you. I started my site back in a day without a clear picture of how to effectively create content nor had complete knowledge of Evergreen content. Through trial and error, I’ve been able to master my skills as a content creator by reading your blog and others and re-crafting content marketing strategies to get better rankings and build and establish meaningful relationships with my site readers. I completely believe your story about starting from humble beginnings and blogging your way to millions. I noticed your traffic rank on Alexa and I know you’re certainly telling the truth. I respect you once again for having a long-term vision and turning your blog from nothing to something.

    How long did it take you by the way to earn good money from blogging monthly until you quit your day job? I was reading the part about “starting your blog on the side,” because that’s what I did back in the day when I was working a part-time job and did this as a side project like yourself, unsure where it would take me. I must be really passionate about this stuff, because though my search engine rankings suffer from time to time, I continue doing what I’m doing as a beautiful labor of love and don’t set a personal timeframe on when I hope to see things coming to fruition online. I do get stressed from time to time when creating content because as a one-person operation, I have to create a meaningful article, website content, and a YouTube video with relevant links in the video description pointing back to specific pages on the site. And that alone can be mentally draining. LOL

    I just read the part on your post where you said you worked 40 – 50 hours a week in the past during your rocky road blogging beginnings. Does this mean you possibly had a small sleeping cot next to your computer or bed nearby taking small naps while you churned out content throughout the day when you were off from your day job? That part about your beginning blogging career was interesting to read because I keep my bed next to my computer along with a speech recognition program installed on my computer, so I can use the power of my voice to create content instead of typing everything. This way, I reduce instances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome in my fingers.

    Anyways…thanks again for doing what you do as a labor of love. Hope to stay in touch with you. You’re certainly inspiring to DNN. Perhaps i can do an online interview with you someday. It would be an honor to, Michelle! (smile)

  33. Hi Michelle

    This is absolute gold! I just started my my blog as I want to build a future living of my passion like you do here, so all these tips are gonna help me sooooo much!

    Thanks for the great work you do πŸ™‚

    Best regards

    Anders

  34. Pauline

    Hi Michelle,

    This is such a great source of information to help and inspire new bloggers or those of us that are already working on a blog but still a little new to blogging and in need of help and inspiration while finding our way. You have given so much great information here.
    Thank you

  35. Harpreet Kumar

    Amazing! I am happy I read through this! I am right now utilizing AdSense and amazon offshoots, however, I discovered that I can do as such a great deal more! Much thanks to you for the greater part of your marvelous guidance!

  36. Jo Smith

    Congrats! I have a dream of making blogging as my job one day. I was blogging for over 2 years, and I’m learning a lot. Amazing tips! Bookmarking this page.

  37. KC Puentespina

    Great advise! I’m in the process of creating my blog now. I originally planned on just doing it for fun but after seeing the potential to make money and hearing it from someone who started out as a beginner like me, I’m so much more motivated to giving it my all. I’ll definitely be back here to do more research :)…Thank you. πŸ™‚

  38. Karen Melissa

    Do you have to be a good writer? I’m not a good writer.

    1. You can always hire a proofreader πŸ™‚

  39. Great post with plenty of info…. it is interesting that one can have fun and earn a living too πŸ™‚ .. I do the same overseas while working internationally πŸ™‚ – CPO, From the Far Side of the Planet

  40. Tom

    Another great post with a lot of information in here. I agree that blogging is difficult, this is my third year at this and still have not learned all the ins and outs of this business. I love reading your post which gives me the inspiration to keep going with my blogs.

    1. Danielle Bruckert

      Tom -It’s sooo tough! Eg working out how to include your website name in your comment probably helps!

      Michelle is obviously a natural (kudos and congrats Michelle :-), but makes it look so easy, but no – eg over 10 years I’ve failed at understanding pinterest despite tons of study, I can’t work out how to do graphics or boards, and even failed at working out a simple function like an email list!
      I have 5000 odd subscribers and growing but no idea what to do with them as I can’t work out the mail server’s mailout processes…. 300k pageviews but naturals can make 10000$ off that, I struggle around 1000$ if I’m lucky πŸ™
      Just like any skill, I guess some are better than others at it.
      Okay lots of people poured their hearts out here so I thought I’d do mine, at least what I do do is provide lots of free books to kids, and lots of readers to authors who crave the reader comments, if I could just get slightly better at doing this, I’d be helping more!!!

  41. […] How I Successfully Built A $1,000,000+ Blog […]

  42. Frances Youngblood

    I am about to start blogging and while the helpful information sometimes overwhelms me, I am so excited to start my own journey. Thank you for the tips. I am sure as I go through the journey some of the information will make more sense than it does now.

  43. Wow. Thank you for sharing this link on a reply to my comment on your other post.

    So much worthwhile information you provide and I will definitely check out the resources you mentioned.

    Thanks

  44. Shirley

    How do you successfully network with other bloggers?

  45. Caitlain

    Hi Michelle! I just bought webhosting a few days ago and I’m trying to set up my blog but I have a question. As you mentioned in your post you will need to do research on some topics. How do you cite your sources in a blog post? I rarely ever see bloggers post any sources on their blogs.

  46. Thanks Michelle I feel really motivated with your blog income and it makes me wanna work harder for my blog too.

    Please how many affiliate program do you recommend someone should promote on his or her blog?

    Because you talked about diversify.

    1. I recommend taking my course if you want to learn about affiliate marketing – https://makingsenseofaffiliatemarketing.com

  47. Jenny

    Thanks for a great post. Are there any blogging conferences you would recommend for networking? I’d like to meet other bloggers and build relationships, but I don’t know how. Thanks.

  48. Carlin

    Great post, again. I have a few niche websites that focus on products on Amazon. I only get 30-40 views per day but I make an extra $500-$1000 per month. It does take a long time to get traffic, and I haven’t focused on getting more. Definitely need to up the page views!

  49. ANGE-MYLENE HATUNGIMANA

    Hello, the Blog Bundle is out of stock, any other suggestion for learning SEO?

  50. Hey Michelle,

    Just wanted to check up and say hey. I’m following your lead of side hustle millionaire entrepreneurship. Building a million dollar online business is tough. People have to want to do this because there’s no guarantees. It’s certainly worth the risk because speaking from past experience in corporate America, I was miserable waking up everyday and going to work for someone else that got rich off of my work without me getting benefits. This is why I’m in the side hustle millionaire mindset like you. Thanks for keeping me inspired.

  51. Joanna Finch

    Michelle, such an awesome. I always thought I should improve on Pinterest. I clicked on the Pinterest course you recommended, it said the course is not open for enrollment yet. Please let me know if you have a course on Pinterest? I would be happy to check it out. Thanks.

    1. Thank you for noticing that! The course I recommend right now is this one –

      https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/pinterestguide

  52. Hi Michelle!

    Your blog continues to inspire me not only to have a successful blog but to have a blog filled with quality. I hope to one day be as impactful as I’m sure you have been to many!

  53. Hello Michelle,

    This article helps a lot to beginners. I totally agree with you about networking. Actually, this is very common as a fresher to think other bloggers as competitors. But, this won’t take a long to realize that you need to maintain a fear relation with them if you have a plan to go long and wanna be a an authority.

  54. in my personal opinion, I believe affiliate marketing and blogging is by far the most simple way to put oneself in a position to make money online tested 24 hours a day but this is not a get rich quick overnight operation. In fact, people who dedicate themselves to making affiliate marketing and blogging full-time career left and work twice, thrice, and dozen times harder than the regular day job in order to make it work for them. Why? Because there’s no guarantees of earning one died in online marketing. This is possible with no guarantees of financial stability. But one can make themselves a future “side also millionaire,” if they believe in themselves and do the transformation business work of inspiration for desperation.

  55. jessica L Endsley

    thank you for the tips.

  56. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for the tips, you are a great inspiration. I agree with you that blogging is not easy and requires commitment and passion for what you are doing. A blogging plan helps to keep you in the right track so, yes is essential to have one. Even if you take baby steps is always better than no taking action.

  57. Richa

    Hey Michelle,

    I loved this article. Keep inspiring girl!

  58. Anand

    Hi Michelle,

    Your blog always inspires me to keep going. At one point I thought of giving up on my blogging journey but as I read your post, It really motivated me to give your best and no matter what never give up.

    Thanks for the Blogging tools and resources you have mentioned. Surely gonna try it out.

    Keep us Inspiring.

  59. Bruce Perkins

    Great info, on various ways to run a successful blog business. Please use my email connect to keep me updated on new strategies that can be of help to me.

    Thank you in advance concerning this matter.

  60. Newton

    What a detailed and motivating guide. But first, I will be honest with you, I went into blogging because of the money and no I did not even make up to $1 in my first 9 months of blogging not until I settled my a** down and started blogging for the fun and interaction with people. Thanks once again for this guide and I hope it help newbies out there. Will definitely share this guide.

  61. Hello, Michelle,
    Thank you for all the useful information. I recently started a blog intended to help people with everyday finances as well. As of yet, it barely has any views, let alone any income. I hope one day it will grow to help a lot of people, as well as maybe making me a decent income. You are an inspiration and I see you as a mentor. Thank you again

  62. Louis Huynh

    Love the amazing post, keep up the great work.

  63. Joe

    Truly a great inspiration! I just started my new blog and I have lots of hard work to do, but this article was very informative.

  64. AJ

    Michelle this post was so informative–thank you!

    Other (successful) bloggers I have read from, stress that the content isn’t as important and you shouldn’t write long posts or spend hours working on it.

    And although I am new to blogging (about a week in) this just isn’t me. I am spending upwards of 14 hours a day (on top of 2 other jobs) working to get my blog started. It’s incredibly exhausting by I am not only used to this work ethic but find it hard to pull myself away (from work) when I am very passionate about something.

    I have a wealth of knowledge to share from my own experience (I am starting a personal finance blog) and (most of) my posts are long because I want to give my future readers the best content I can.

    It was SO refreshing and encouraging to hear that you too write like this and on top of that, encourage it!

    I also have no social media and I am super private, so the info you gave about networking was very valuable. It’s on my to-do this week to start Pinterest lol.

    Although I have achieved financial success (and freedom) all on my own–my work ethic and creativity spoke for itself to help me attain where I am at now–blogging seems a bit different in that aspect. Networking seems to be crucial for its success.

    Can anyone go to a blog convention? Are there any that you personally recommend?

    And lastly, I thought it was such a great point to state the importance of reaching out to other bloggers. I did not realize bloggers saw each other as competition, but I have seen the same thing in my platforms (real estate and education)–which is silly as well.

    There is enough money to go around to everyone, I have no idea why some people don’t see it that way. I have always loved giving completely FREE advice to anyone who wanted to know (and my blog will just help me reach more people to help–yay!). I didn’t have a penny to my name when I got started and if it wasn’t for all the free advice I got years ago I would never be where I am now. It’s important that we always return the favor when we’re able to.

    Again, so thankful to you as always!

  65. Bashir

    Thank you Michelle, i read this post and it inspired me to continue putting more effort into becoming a better blogger.

    I like it when i see successful bloggers like you telling upcoming bloggers how they succeeded.

    I am working on a blog post and find your blog to be among the ones that i should include in my post.

    I will let you know about it when its ready.

    Thank you once again.

  66. Kristin

    Hi Michelle,

    I just recently started a personal finance blog myself at 22! There’s so much stuff I still don’t know and navigating the countless number of things to do is insane. Through the whole process I’ve been reading your blogs consistently since you’re a successful finance blog I aspire to be like! Currently I’m trying to get more traffic but I have no idea where to start. I would love for some advice on what to do!

    P.s. you’re a real inspiration πŸ™‚

  67. Samkeliso Nkwanyane

    This is inspiring! I would love to start the journey.

  68. no one

    you thelucky one it never happened for me. this is probably my 5th or 6 th blog and all of it failed. it doesnt matter how many steps i follow i realized i wasnt interesting so now i just do it as a hobby

  69. Jennifer

    I truly appreciate all the great advice in this article. I am currently designing my blog (debut summer 2024) and I want all my systems in place so I’m not overwhelmed and then discouraged. I like the simple steps provided by MSofC and the information regarding how to set up a blog, how to make money blogging and that successful bloggers are constantly educating themselves. Thank you for providing relevant, important content that is easy to understand and easy to implement.