This 27-Year-Old Blogger Made $1M Alone Last Year, and Enough to Retire Next Year

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner graduated with an MBA, an entry-level annual salary of $50,000 (plus an estimated $12,5000 annual bonus) as a financial analyst, and had a goal of paying off her $38,000 in student loan debts in six months.

The recent graduate set out on a path to increase her income each year. In August 2011, Schroeder-Gardner started her blog, Making Sense of Cents, about personal finance as a hobby — an idea she acquired while reading a Cosmopolitan article featuring the personal finance site, Daily Worth.

She first profited off of her blog when her blogger friend connected her with an advertiser. After making that first $100, she sought to make deals and sponsorships, charging fees anywhere from $100-$150.

In 2013, she quit her full-time job but without it, had made $117,000 that year from her blog and from immersing herself in the blogging community.

"Before I was making money from sponsored posts and by writing for other blogs, and now the majority is through affiliate marketing — $50,000 a month is from that, and that’s the bulk of my income. There are 15-20 companies I actively promote on my social media and blog platform," she told Forbes.

Forbes reports that in 2014, her income increased to $164,000, and then jumped to $321,000 in 2015.

Last year alone she made $979,000.

"Even though I make $100,000 a month, I'll still wear my favorite shirt even if it has a hole in it," Schroeder-Gardner told Forbes.

Her second big revenue stream is her affiliate marketing course where she teaches other bloggers how to affiliate income, she told Forbes, accounting for $38,000 of her income in November 2016.

"Now it's more a form of passive income, since I already created the source and people just purchase it and all the instructions and lessons are already done," she said.

In 2015, she gave up all other freelancing focusing on only her blog and the three driving sources of revenue. Now she spends 40-60 hours a week on the blog.

"My third biggest source of income from my blog is advertising. In those instances, maybe I partner with a bank and they ask me to advertise a certain service or product that they are currently selling. Or I participate in a Twitter chat with the company, or they do some kind of advertisement on my social media platforms," she said.

The 27 year old is a full-time traveler with her husband Wesley, working from the road and residing in an RV after the sale of their home in Missouri in July 2015.

"We invest a lot in Vanguard funds and are saving for retirement one day. By next year, we should have plenty of money to retire early if we chose too. But I still love blogging, so I don't see that ending anytime soon," she said when asked about wealth management.

Schroeder-Gardner says that being a millionaire hasn't changed her perception of life.

"It's not below me to use a coupon. I just don’t like to be wasteful. If there's a way to save money, I’m not going to waste time to find ways to save money, but if a money saver is there, I'll go for it," she said.

Read the full article on Forbes here.

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Photo Credit: Facebook/ Making Sense of Cents