Can a New Blogger Really Make Money?

September 26, 2016

Can a New Blogger Really Make Money?

This post may contain affiliate links.

If you are like most new bloggers, you didn’t begin blogging with the intent of making money. You have a message. You have a passion. And so you begin.

Then you quickly learn that blogging can also be a source of income. You mean I can make money from this? But how?

When you want to learn how to do something, look to someone who is already doing what you want to do — and doing it well. Learn from them, pick their brain and emulate what they do.

I did just that. Today’s post is an interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents. Michelle has grown her blog successfully over the years from hobby to full-time job and has been able to pay off her student loans, quit her job, and now travels the country full-time while blogging!

Michelle recently launched her course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, where she reveals the strategies she has learned and implemented over the years to grow a profitable blog. Michelle kindly allowed me to pick her brain and discuss how a new blogger can benefit from pursuing affiliate marketing as a source of income.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your journey as a blogger.

Hello! My name is Michelle, and I run the personal finance and lifestyle blog, Making Sense of Cents. I started my blog in August of 2011, after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. I got hooked on that website (DailyWorth), and everything just quickly grew from there.

My husband and I travel full-time and absolutely love life. We earn around $70,000 blogging each month, with around $50,000 of it coming from affiliate marketing. Our blog isn’t just full of advertisements either — we know how to effectively promote without being annoying. It’s all about being helpful!

When you began blogging, did you have any idea that it could lead to where you are today?

No, I honestly had no idea! I started my blog purely as a hobby. I never had the intention of earning a living. I didn’t even know that you could make money with a blog when I first started. I then realized how much I loved blogging and realized that it was for me, so now I am a full-time blogger! It’s funny how life can change so drastically.

At what point into your blogging journey, did you begin to make money?

I made my first $100 at around the six-month point. Like I said, I never started my blog with the goal of making money, so I never once tried to make anything. At around six months, a blogger emailed me and said a contact of theirs wanted to place an advertisement on my blog, so I said yes! Everything quickly grew from there.

Is it possible for a new blogger to make money from their blog?

Yes, it is definitely possible for a new blogger to make money from their blog. More and more companies are starting to see the value in promoting their products through blogs, so there is room for everyone.

What are some ways a new blogger can make money?

A new blogger can make money through affiliate marketing, advertising within a blog post, banner advertising, and more.

What is your favorite or most effective way of earning income from your blog, and why?

Affiliate marketing, of course!

Affiliate marketing can feel quite passive, and it’s a great way to earn income from a blog. You can create just one post and earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it. This way, I can have fun in life, and I know that I am still able to earn a living. This makes full-time traveling much more enjoyable for my husband and me!

Plus, you’re probably already promoting several products on your blog and talking about them all the time, so why not earn an income? It’s a no-brainer!

How can a new blogger earn income without affecting their mission or why they started blogging in the first place?

It’s all about gaining the trust of your readers and keeping that trust. My course teaches you exactly how to do this so that you don’t negatively impact your mission.

Can you tell us a little about your course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?

In this course there are six modules, over 30 lessons, several worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful and exclusive mastermind group, and more.

I go through everything that you need to know about affiliate marketing, such as:

  • What affiliate marketing is and how it works
  • Why affiliate marketing is great
  • The exact steps I’ve taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
  • How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
  • How to increase conversions
  • How to build trust and not lose followers
  • Required disclosures that you need to know about
  • Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
  • How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing (Yes, this includes the newest Pinterest affiliate rules!)
  • And much more!

The course is valued at over $500 but is priced at an affordable $197.

Would you recommend this course to new bloggers? How would they benefit from taking the course?

Yes, I definitely recommend this course to new bloggers. And, there are several new bloggers who are taking the course and are already seeing great results.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a great learning tool, even if you are a brand-new blogger. By taking this course, you will start off blogging the correct way. You can learn from my affiliate marketing mistakes and learn the best ways to start making an income by being an affiliate.

Through taking this course, you are sure to grow a profitable blog quicker than the average blogger, as you’ll learn exactly what you need to know about affiliate marketing. So, even if you only have one blog post, you are ready to get started with this course! I believe that a brand-new blogger can earn money through affiliate marketing, as long as they follow the lessons in the course that I teach.

This course also teaches you how to improve your traffic, build a loyal following, and more!

What would you say to a blogger who has implemented some monetization strategies but has not seen the results they expected?

I want potential students to know that you don’t need a huge audience or an insane amount of pageviews in order to make money with affiliate marketing. I know bloggers who receive 10 times my pageviews yet don’t make anywhere near the amount that I do with affiliate income, and that’s because they don’t spend the time to learn the different strategies.

With this course, you can succeed at affiliate marketing even if you are a brand-new blogger. I teach you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, plus many other things as well that can help you!


A huge thank you to Michelle!

I love hearing the success stories of others because they shed light on what is possible. Regardless of your niche, or whether your goal is to blog on the side or to eventually have it be your primary source of income, you can learn from the strategies Michelle has put in place to take her blog from hobby to six-figures.

If you’d like to learn more about Michelle’s course, check out my full review of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

Are you a new blogger? What do you think about making money as a new blogger? Impossible? Not for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.