How This Woman Created a Blog That Generates $1.5 Million a Year
Around six months after I started my blog, a blogging friend of mine asked me, hey, do you want to make a little bit of money off of advertising something on your blog? Back then, I didn't know that blogs could make money or how they made money.
I made my first $100 after six months of blogging so there's definitely a lot of work that went into it. But then, after that, everything quickly grew from there. I think my third year I made $120,000 from my blog, my fourth year I made $320,000 and then last year, I tripled that to $980,000 and this year, I'll probably make around $1.5 million from my blog and from other blogging related businesses, activities that I do.
It's a lot of fun, it's definitely grown exponentially over the years. I'm actually working less than I used to in the beginning, I was working like 100-hour weeks and right now I'm working anywhere from 10 hours a week to 40 hours a week. It really varies but it's definitely not as much as I used to.
Farnoosh Tobari: Would you say that a lot of the strategy is understanding the marketing behind marketing the blog but also marketing your products and your services?
MSG: When you first start out blogging, I mean, blogging is not something that you can exactly learn in school so there's a ton of learning that comes along. You need to learn how to market your blog, how to reach followers, how to write better for your audience and other things like that.
Over time, things have gotten easier and when more people know about your blog, obviously word of mouth is a big thing so that definitely helps over the years as well.
FT: Last year, you earned $979,000. This year, you're saying you're approaching $1.5 million. When it comes to saving your money, do you have a philosophy? Do you save half? Are you and your husband trying to "retire" early, how do you look at that income and understand how to stack and how to prioritize it. Do you have a spending budget? Like, tell us a little bit about the inner workings of that income.
MSG: Yeah, we save over 90 percent of our income. A lot of people think it's weird that we live in an RV. I often get the question, you make over $100,000 a month, why would you live in an RV? You'd have to be crazy to do that. No, we love RVing, we love—we're happy even though we're saving over 90 percent of our income.
We're just saving as much as we can and the plan is to retire before we're 30 if we want to. Basically, the plan is just to have enough saved, just in case anything happens in the future. We just want the stability and the comfort of having enough saved. Especially since we can save it. It just makes sense to.
[My partner] works with me on the blog a little bit but his main thing is that he does all the RVing stuff, he drives us—he takes care of the RV, cleans, helps out around the house and then the main thing is that he forces me to stop working occasionally because I'm so into my work. He will—he's basically in charge of the fun part of our lives.
FT: What motivates you? Is it the dollars and cents? In other words, next year—you're saying this year—you're on track to make one and a half million. Is next year's goal to make three million, do you have financial goals for yourself, earning goals or are you okay plateauing at some point? This is a lot of money, some would say, for a couple that doesn't have kids and doesn't have a mortgage. But, I don't know your goals, so tell us what your financial goals are.
MSG: Yeah, I actually—I'm not super strict when it comes to financial goals for the business, my financial goal for 2017 for the business was just to earn $1 million and a lot of people said, "Well, you made almost $1 million last year, why would you increase it?"
My main goal is to improve my work-life balance. I didn't want the year to be focused on earning money. My main goal for the year is just to be able to take a break from the blog. Take a full day off, not feel like I have to answer every single email, every single moment [something] comes in, just to really enjoy the day, that's my main goal.
Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance expert, the author of When She Makes More, and the host of CNBC's Follow the Leader and the award-winning podcast So Money.
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