I've been blogging since 2010. And like many others, I never set out to do it as a full-time career - and honestly I can't claim that it is mine.
I consider myself instead, to be a full-time webpreneur. Someone that makes money online in a diversified manner. My first and foremost title is freelance writer and I recently took my business full-time (after quitting my job and selling my small practice at the end of 2014).
The advent (and subsequent dependency) of the Internet, has unleashed a whole new way to do business and make money for the average person. More than ever, it seems that we're working our way towards a 1099 economy (rather than that of the W2 variety).
It's my belief that more and more people will take their career futures into their own hands - and more and more will identify themselves as being self-employed or as freelancers.
Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents is a great example of someone that has successfully done this. She's a fellow webpreneur, who has built up quite a successful online business in the last few years. Last month, she actually clocked in a new all-time income high of nearly $24k, which she shares publicly via her monthly income reports.
Michelle's income comes from numerous places, but the majority is website or blog related. Her record earnings from last month, actually came in part from her first website sale, which she herself purchased awhile back. Since this isn't something I have much experience in (but a lot of interest in learning about), I thought it'd be fun to ask Michelle some questions about her online business activities.
How did you get into blogging?
I first got into blogging back in August of 2011 purely as a hobby. I never thought it would turn into what it is now and mainly just started it as a way to track my financial progress.
Back in 2011, I didn't know much about blogging. I came across a blog in a comment I read on a financial website, and I quickly became addicted to them as I started hopping from blog to blog.
How/when did you make your first cent from it? Were you trying to?
I believe I made my first sale from blogging at around the six month mark. I made $100 and I was ecstatic. I actually wasn't trying to make money back then. A blogger emailed me and said she knew someone who was interested in placing an advertisement on my website and I quickly said yes to the deal.
At what point did you realize you could make a living from it?
At about one and a half to two years in, I realized I could make a living from it one day. My income from freelancing and blogging was steadily growing and I loved what I was doing, so it was hard to not think about it.
How did it feel to quit your job? How long was this after you go started blogging?
Quitting my job felt amazing. While the people I worked with were great and the work was okay, I knew that it truly wasn't for me. I quit my job a little over two years after I started blogging.
Can you disclose how much you purchased websites for? How many have you purchased vs. how many have you sold?
I have bought two websites and they were both less than $1,000. I have sold one website.
What did you do differently to build them up? I.e. what did you do that was more impactful than the previous owner?
For both websites, the previous owners weren't active with the websites at all. They let them sit for a long time, and that's why I was able to buy them for so cheap.
For building them up, I published high quality content, posted content on a consistent basis, I was active on social media, I networked with other bloggers, and more. These were all things that the previous owners stopped doing.
How did you find out they were for sale? How did you sell them?
For both websites, I found out they were for sale on a blogging forum. Someone contacted me and that's how I sold one of my websites.
One of my freelancing clients was on the hunt for a website and I told them that I was possibly interested in selling mine if they were interested in buying. And it turned out they were.
What's been one of your more successful moments blogging?
Oh, this would be hard to pick just one! I love just receiving emails from readers saying that I have helped them get out of debt, that I have helped them live a better life, and more. Those emails are truly amazing to receive!
What's been the most challenging?
The most challenging would have to be the negative people out there. These are the people who give excuses for why things aren't possible. Pretty much, just the haters are the most challenging.
Becoming a webpreneur (someone who makes their living online) is a viable option for many. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy and it takes a lot of time, but it is achievable.
One way to get started is, to launch your own blog or website. Another avenue is to buy one that is already established and do the work to build it back up. Michelle has successfully done both and I'm grateful that she shared her experience with us today.
Are you a blogger? Would you ever want to make a full-time income online? Tell us about it in the comments!