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#46: From Side Project to $130,000/mo Blogging with Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents

About the Episode:

In today’s episode, we’re talking to Michelle Schroeder, the blogger and online educator behind the personal finance website, Making Sense of Cents.

Michelle got her start with personal finance in her own life when, after graduating from college and getting her MBA, she’d accumulated more than $38,000 in student loan debt.

That led Michelle to take a job in financial services industry and after realizing she wasn’t making much of a dent in her student loan debt, she started hustling hard to take on freelance gigs outside of her day job, and began getting serious about cutting costs & saving more money each month with the goal of paying down her debt, which she was able to do relatively quickly once she set her mind to it.

And that’s when her blog, Making Sense of Cents was born—to share her journey through the process of paying down her debts, and that blogging side project gradually started to earn her some serious income – mostly from affiliate commissions and the occasional sponsored post.

Today, Michelle’s blog and online course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing made her over $1.5 Million dollars fun 2017 with an average month looking something like $125,000 to $130,000 in revenue. What’s more, is that Michelle openly shares all of her monthly income reports with very detailed breakdowns showing exactly how she’s generating this kind of monthly income from her blog—so if you haven’t seen them yet, take a look.

In Today’s Episode, We Talk About:

[03:04] What book she’s reading at the moment.
[03:40] How she started
[05:28] What generated income for blog her after her first sponsored post.
[07:15] Why she started the blog in the first place.
[08:43] What her early traffic sources were.
[09:52] How she was able to get links and mentions to the blog.
[10:56] A breakdown of her major revenue sources today.
[13:25] How she created her first online course.
[16:52] What her marketing funnel looks like.
[17:58] What her traffic sources look like now.
[19:10] A brief look at her mailing list.
[20:01] How she manages her online courses.
[20:55] Her number one piece of advice for anyone who wants to start a blog today.
[21:17] Sacrifices she’s had to make to grow her business.
[22:26] Ideas she’s tried in the past that have failed.
[23:20] The best investment she’s ever made in growing her business.

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Resources Mentioned:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

My Ultimate Guide: How to Start a Blog (on the Side) and Make Money Blogging

Connect with My Guest:

Making Sense of Cents

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Michelle on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

Subscribe, Review, & Share:

If you enjoyed this episode of The Side Hustle Project, I would love your support. Head over to the show on iTunes or in the Apple podcast app and give us a rating please! And as always you can catch every episode on the Apple podcast app, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for tuning in.

Hi I'm Ryan Robinson

Full-time blogger, podcaster and side project aficionado. Join me here, on to learn how to start a blog, make money blogging and grow a profitable side business. I also write for publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Insider and more. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.

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8 replies to “#46: From Side Project to $130,000/mo Blogging with Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents”

  1. Love to listen and love to learn from her. The remarkable story turns on the light for us.
    As a young blogger with less experience, I am excited to learn.
    Again, thanks, Ryan.

  2. so she’s making serious money not from any real information from her blog but for SELLING her course on how to write a blog. Her whole blog is centered around getting readers to sign on to her course. Basically if you take away her course, she’d be earning hardly any money.

    • Well, having just listened to the podcast and checked Michelle’s income report for September (, looks like she’d still be making around $36,000 per month EXCLUDING the course… Not sure what job you have, but that’s not too bad to start with. Secondarily, I imagine anyone making it to that level would have an incentive to create content sharing the method through which they got there. Either way, seems like a pretty strong motivator from my perspective…