How This 25 Year Old Earns $15,000 A Month From Her Blog

Hello! Today, I have a great article from my sister, Alexis Schroeder at FITnancials.com. This was edited this morning to reflect an update. Below is her story. A little over a year ago I decided to go full-time on my blog, FITnancials. This was incredibly scary since I was used to working for someone else…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

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.

Hello! Today, I have a great article from my sister, Alexis Schroeder at FITnancials.com. This was edited this morning to reflect an update. Below is her story.

A little over a year ago I decided to go full-time on my blog, FITnancials.

This was incredibly scary since I was used to working for someone else for over 8 years. Becoming an entrepreneur never even crossed my mind in school.

Then, I started a side hustle, my blog, which eventually turned into a website that earns over $15,000 and over 150,000 page views per month.

I remember telling Michelle that I would be grateful for $10,000 per month, and that I’d be content with that amount of money for the rest of my life. It’s crazy to think that I hit that number at 25 years old, while a senior in college.

If I can do it, you can, too. Seriously. A lot of people say that but it’s true. I never thought I’d be my own boss, and look where I am.

Get rid of the negative mentality and stop telling yourself you can never meet your goals. You’ll complete your goals a lot sooner when you get rid of that way of thinking.

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Below is how I increased my income and page views in just one year.

 

Ad Revenue

For awhile, ad revenue was my highest income generator. This is also because I had 10 ads blasting through every post.

Once I decided to cut the amount of ads in my posts, my user-friendliness went up tremendously and my affiliate income went up. People weren’t bombarded with ads and clicking out of my site.

I make a substantial amount of blog income from ad revenue, so while I’d like to throw out ads completely to increase user-friendliness, I am keeping them for now since they are such a money maker. 

There are several different advertising companies out there. I currently use Mediavine and have been with them for a long time and don’t plan on switching any time soon. The bonuses and user-friendly website makes it easy for me to customize my ads and things of that nature. 

 

Affiliate Marketing

My affiliate marketing income is higher than it has ever been this year. 

The amount of ads in the body text of my articles played a huge role in this. My bounce rate was VERY high (and still is higher than I’d like it to be) and I believe it’s because of the ads popping up every screen. After I got rid of most of the ads, I did the following:

I started writing posts with a clear purpose and an end-goal in mind. For example, if I wrote a post about increasing my page views, I’m going to highlight often how I got to that point, such as a course or eBook that helped me.

Creating bonuses when allowed (check with your affiliate manager) is a fantastic way to increase conversions. When you give people bonuses for purchasing through your link, you’re giving them an extra incentive to buy the product.

I also like to go through Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course several times throughout the year. Skimming through the course at least once per quarter is ideal just to stay updated and refreshed on the strategies. 

 

Sponsored posts

If you’re struggling with sponsored posts, you’ll want to read my post on how I make $3,000+ per month from sponsored posts.

Getting opportunities for sponsored posts is easier when you have accounts with sites that are specifically for connecting brands and online influencers for sponsored posts. You’ll want to make sure your profile stands out as much as possible. Increasing your page views per month and social media followers is very important for sponsored posts because you will get paid according to your following. 

I make sure to reach out to brands monthly that I am interested in working with, and I also apply for opportunities on websites that list sponsored opportunities. I make sure to stay on email lists for companies that list sponsored opportunities so I’m constantly updated. 

 

Page Views

My page views hit 150,000 page views for March which was pretty exciting. I was stuck at 60,000 for months, maybe even a year and it was frustrating. I switched up many strategies that I was using for awhile and got a little uncomfortable.

 

1. Posting less frequently and publishing what people want to read

For awhile I was publishing posts just to publish. I was dishing out 2-3 posts per week and the articles were not high-quality.

Then, I started publishing once per week and saw no dip in page views. In fact, I saw a huge increase since I was focusing on publishing the highest of quality.

 

2. Finding out what my readers want

Last month I conducted a survey where I asked 100 readers to give me feedback on my blog. I asked questions like:

  • What topics do you like to see the most on FITnancials? (making money, saving money, travel, health)
  • What topics do you like the LEAST?
  • What are you currently struggling with?

I learned a lot from this survey because more people wanted to read about travel than I expected. I put this topic on the back burner just because I thought people weren’t really interested in it, but realized that was a big mistake.

 

3. Digging into Google and Pinterest Analytics

Google Analytics and Pinterest Analytics are tremendously helpful. With both services, I can see which posts are read or clicked on the most. This gives me more ideas of what I should be writing about and where I should focus my attention.

Pinterest Analytics also lets me know what kind of pins people like to see on Pinterest. I’ve been studying which pins perform best. Longer, shorter, which colors, etc.

Google Analytics lets me see what content is performing the best, the worst, bounce rate, and so much more. Every blog should be taking advantage of Google Analytics.

 

4. Making my pins click-worthy

I use attention grabbing and emotional words that make people want to quick.

Instead of dark colors, I try to stick with orange, red, pink, and have even decided to start using smaller pins, versus the super long ones everyones using. These pins are performing a lot better than my longer pins. For each post, I am currently making 3 pins and over time I am figuring out what kind of style people prefer the most.

 

5. Create a free product to grow your email list

If you haven’t started your email list, you’ll want to start that ASAP. Your email list will always be yours and no one can take it away from you, unlike sites like Facebook and Pinterest that are constantly changing their algorithms. 

Creating a free product to grow your email list is crucial. People don’t sign up for email lists without anything in return anymore. Some great ideas for free products would be a free resource library, ebook, printables, and so on.

Email can be incredibly personal which can help grow your relationship with your audience. 

 

Future Plans

I have so many plans for my blog, I don’t even know where to begin!

Currently, I’m in the process of creating a few free and paid digital products. Michelle and I are also teaming up on a sponsored course resource, too! 

I finish school this year so it’s exciting to know I’ll soon be able to dedicate 100% of my time to my blog. So much time and energy is focused on doing well in my last semester of college, so being stress-free from that will clear a lot of mental energy.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me over at FITnancials.

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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. Thanks for having me!

  2. Kelly McKillip

    Thanks for this post! Itโ€™s great to be inspired by how much potential blogs have when everyone is saying we are saturated. I am excited to get mine started!

    1. You can do it!

  3. Hey Alexis, congrats on your success! I remember when you announced that you were going full-time. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s cool to see how you’ve progressed and grown and so very impressive that you’ve been doing this while still going to school! Thanks for sharing some of your strategies.

    1. Thank you so much! Ah, I remember that time and being really scared, haha!

  4. Hi Michelle and Alexis,

    I have also started a blog named the free mind Confluence and it is being 1 year since I started this blog(https://thefreemindconfluence.wordpress.com/ ) but there are few hurdles that I am currently facing I have been trying a lot of ideas plans to get in traffic as I am juggling this with a full time job. I am not getting time to write blogs or articles so often, but I have been trying to write an article per month. my main concern or problem is the “traffic”. I am not getting enough traffic to my website. kindly suggest few tips that I can use immediately to get better traffic.

    1. Have you tried working on Pinterest? Are you trying to rank for Google? I am not really sure if I am seeing any social media presence on your blog.

      1. I am starting use pin interest from this month. I am already there on fb and insta by yhe name “the free mind confluence”. Hopefully pin interest gives me the expected traffic.

        Thanks for replying!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    2. Agnaldo Lima

      I am also very new to blogging, but there’s a certain thing that I know… .com’s are way more SEO friendly than subdomains. It has been almost a year now, you should save to buy a 2 or 3 years hosting plan along with a .com domain name and work on your SEO. If you could also use YouTube and PPC campaigns you would see better results.

  5. Hi Alexis,

    Congratulations!! Its great to see you make such good progress in such a short span of time. Inspiring story.

  6. Congrats Alexis! You both are big inspirations! Patience and Progress is the key.

    1. I totally agree!

  7. Love hearing what’s possible… Thanks for sharing your journey and offering us inspiration!
    ~Karina

    1. You’re welcome!

  8. Heather Boodhram

    This was super inspirational. Congrats on your success on your site and at school, Alexis! I have very high hopes for my new blog!! I think happinessinfectious.com is something we all could use a little more of. ๐Ÿ˜‰ <3

    Heather B

    1. Thanks Heather! Good luck!

  9. Congrats on the success Alexis!

    We have loved to follow and watch your blog grow. Itโ€™s incredible to see hardwork pay off.

    Excited to see what the next year has in store for you.

    1. Thank you so much!

  10. DNN

    Hi Alexis & Michelle,

    It’s inspiring to see that your sister is blogging and doing the same thing as a beautiful labor of love is you’re doing. Side hustle blogging and well on her way to becoming a future [side hustle millionaire]. I’m confident she’s glad that you’re her sister because she’s well on her way to achieving the same level of success. Both of you are truly blessed ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s amazing how life circumstances can literally test our faith see what we’re made of in entrepreneurship. How was reading the second sentence of the blog post where it says I was used to working for someone else for over 8 years. I too was in that same position in the past where I was working in Corporate America from job to job for off and on roughly 20 plus years. I’ve worked in many banks, a third party outsourcing center that took phone calls not sure if they still do for Priceline.com. I’ve also worked for Talk.com in South Florida in Broward county back in 2000 when they were acquired by AOL America online. That company is no longer in existence. I was just getting started back in the day with affiliate marketing and didn’t understand the entire concept of affiliate marketing and I was stuck on Stupid about blogging because I didn’t know what a blog was. As the second sentence in your blog post said โ€œI was used to working for someone else for over 8 years.โ€ That was my mindset back in the day also. Had I know what I know now back then, I’m quite confident I would have been a few million dollars richer today. But we live and learn, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad to know that you took that leap of faith and started your side hustle blog which turned into a lucrative full-time job for you earning over $10,000. I can imagine the awesome trials and tribulations you went through while building your block such as trying to balance your finances, getting in a consistent mindset to write content and stay on track with daily and persistent content marketing, and balancing your personal life. At 25 years old and having a full-time blog earning over $10, 000 monthly is nothing but sheer inspiration to aspiring affiliate marketers, side hustlers and bloggers looking to maximize the power of the internet so they too can potentially make money 24 hours a day like you and Michelle. I’m very proud of Michelle for being a โ€œside hustle millionaire,โ€ and being an example to you and others that it can happen for anyone who puts their mind to making this work.

    Glad to hear that you’re finishing college. Although you’re probably Won’t need your degree to find a job by the time you graduate, it’ll make a good plaque to hang up on your wall just to look back on and know that you went the extra mile to achieve higher education. It gives anyone a feeling of contentment when they invest the extra leg work in their education and achieve a bachelor’s degree, MBA Masters, Ed.D, or Ph.D or Judiciary Doctorate J.D.

    Congratulations once again to you and I look forward to hearing great news years to come about Fitnancials. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks for your kind comment! Yeah, I probably won’t need my degree immediately but I do think about working a regular job again one day where I’ll definitely need the degree. Until then, the diploma will probably sit in a drawer! Haha.

  11. Jamie

    Great article! Never had much luck blogging, might have to give it another shot!

    Keep up the great content! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You can do it!

  12. Janet

    These are all such great tips! Thanks for sharing! I’m always so inspired by both of you ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Congrats Alexis this is amazing!! So proud of you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Chonce!!

  14. Hey thanks so much for this post! Which setting are you using on your Mediavine ads? Also, I’ve been stuck at 50,000-60,000 pageviews for months as well. You have some really good ideas on how to write content people want. I think I’ll take your advice and do a survey. Did you survey your entire list? Another one of my goals is to get better at affiliate marketing.

    1. I emailed my subscriber list and asked them to complete a survey, about 100 people did the survey and it was really helpful!

    2. I’d love to know what settings you use for Mediavine as well. They’re my biggest income source right now and it’s just set to whatever the default is. I’m also stuck around 60,000 pageviews!

  15. Victor Romero

    Nice to meet you, Alexis!
    I have a question: Do you use an editor too for your Fitnancials blog since you’re your sisters virtual assistant?

    1. No, at this time I do not.

  16. Aww, thank you so much!

  17. Travis

    Hi Alexis,

    There are quite a few sponsored post companies listed on your site. Do you have one or two that you prefer over the rest? I have a decent size website (120k users/338k pageviews last month, 83k IG followers), but haven’t tried any sponsored posts yet. Also, do you have a ballpark idea of what you would charge for a sponsored post on a site this size?

    Thanks!

    1. I don’t really have any I prefer since I’ve only worked with these brands one time, besides one company whom I’ve worked with several times. I’m not totally sure since each niche is different, but I currently charge between $500-$1,500 for 1 post.

  18. Great post Alexis,

    From your post that you linked to. I can see that Pinterest seems to be the biggest traffic source.

    That’s quite intesresting considering that you’re in Personal finance niche.

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. You’re welcome!

  19. ANGE MYLENE HATUNGIMANA

    Hello,

    Your post strikes a chord with me because I am also in college and I want to start a blog. But my blog’s topics are about mental health so I am confused as to how to create products for it and get the right affiliate partners.

    1. I am not familiar with that niche but I believe any niche can be profitable! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Kim

    Thanks for sharing details on your awesome journey! I really found your take on getting more page views to be interesting, especially since it focuses more on quality over quantity.

    Keep up the good work!

  21. Stephanie B.

    This is an inspiring read. I’m completely new to the world of blogging and am still learning to ropes for this ship! Your blog gave me a lot of valuable information that I hope to apply once I get my blog up and running. Congratulation Alexis! I hope to see more news from you soon!

  22. Janita

    Congratulations Alexis! I love all of Michelleโ€™s posts like these, it really does continue to encourage me. Iโ€™m hoping to one day be in your shoes, but I would be happy with $2000 a month from my blog, that amount would allow me to quit my job!

  23. Honestly reading this post made me so happy because I am 24 too and looking to achieve this! I am glad to know itโ€™s. Really doable and want to try more than ever. Thanks for the advice. Also, I love your site name. ๐Ÿ˜‚

  24. Achieving entrepreneurial success and making a financial transformation can make anyone a “side hustle millionaire.”

  25. I am amazed at how much money you are able to make given your page views.

    Your earnings would be significantly lower while only monetizing with display ads.

    I guess it goes to show that affiliate marketing is kingโ€”when done right!

  26. I wish I would’ve stayed focused years ago and have a better understanding about blogging and content marketing because I probably would’ve been an online millionaire years ago.