I'm a mum who earns over £600k a year in side-hustle working only 10 hours a week after racking up massive debts | The SunJune 2, 2023
A MUM has told how she turned her side hustle into a six-figure earner – and she only works just ten hours a week.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner remarkably used her massive debts to her advantage by starting up a money and lifestyle blog.
After graduating from college with a business administration and management degree in 2011, she was keen to claw out of the red.
The then 22-year-old had bagged a job as a financial analyst, but was only scraping in £32,000 a year and was struggling to pay off her student loans.
With a mortgage and car to fork out for as well as everyday living expenses, Michelle was veering into dangerous territory.
But she had a eureka moment when she combined her hobbies of writing and economics to start up her blog, Making Sense of Cents.
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It aims to provide advice on how to start investing, which financial products to use, and how to tackle other money decisions.
Michelle created her online journal to keep herself accountable on her journey to achieving financial security – before realising it could help her bring in substantial revenue.
She told CNBC: "My debt was actually a large part of why I started blogging – I wanted to track and share the progress of my financial goals.
"Making Sense began as a hobby, but about six months into writing, my friend connected me with a company that wanted me to write a sponsored post for them.
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"They paid me $100 (£80) to reach my 50,000 monthly site visitors."
The entrepreneur was motivated to make more money off her posts and began ploughing all her energy into growing her online audience.
She reached out to brands to collaborate on a string of sponsored posts while researching the blogging world and its potential financial reward.
Michelle said: "In just two years, I was earning around $5,000 (£4,040) to $10,000 (£8,080) per month — more than what I was making at my day job.
"Once I fully paid off my student loans in 2013, I decided to quit my job and blog full-time."
The mum focused on growing her blog, sharing new posts almost everyday, as well as expanding her social media presence.
Making Sense of Cents soon gained hundreds of thousands of followers, prompting Michelle to consider what other side hustles she could branch out to.
She continued: "Over the years, I’ve leveraged my audience to create several passive income streams.
"And in 2016, I launched my first blogging course.
"Today, I write and publish blogs just once or twice a week, and I have earned over $4,000,000 (£3.2million) gross revenue in the last five years."
Her three main passive income streams from the blog are affiliate marketing, course sales and display advertising – which earn her £600,000 a year.
Michelle says she and her husband Wes also invest in individual stocks and investment accounts to bolster their bank balances.
Now the couple have "reached financial independence and have saved enough to retire whenever they want."
Michelle's lucrative side hustles have allowed them to ditch their home and travel the world on their sailboat with their young daughter.
She continued: "Making Sense has grown beyond my wildest dreams.
"This has allowed me to live my ideal lifestyle: I work just 10 hours a week and travel full-time on our sailboat.
"I am regularly out snorkeling, exploring and hiking. But making passive income from a blog doesn’t mean that you never have to work.
"You are always going to have to manage the accounting side of your business, maintain your website, and create fresh content.
"But you can do a lot of work upfront and earn money for years with little maintenance."
She encourages other people debating taking the plunge with their side hustle to use the online world to their advantage.
Her four top tips for bloggers looking to make a buck are writing like you talk, posting consistently, being a valuable source for readers and diversifying your income streams.
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We previously told how a university graduate said he rakes in £1,000 a day and claims he will be able to retire by the age of 35.
Jeevan Singh, 30, dreamed up his own business while studying more than a decade ago and says he's made more than £2.5million to date.
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