AS the cost of living crisis continues to put a strain on more and more people up and down the country, it seems that many are looking for alternative ways to earn a living than the standard 9-5.
One woman has proved that you don’t have to sit in an office chair for eight hours a day to fill your wallet.
33-year-old Michelle Schroeder-Gardner quit her job in 2013 and took the plunge to work on her blog Making Sense of Cents full-time.
She was just 22-years-old and was working as a financial analyst, struggling to pay off her student loans.
But Michelle didn’t want to let the debt get her down and decided to take a risk and puruse her side hustle full-time.
“I was a 22-year-old financial analyst making £34,680 a year and struggling to pay off my student loans.
“But my debt was actually a large part of why I started blogging — I wanted to track and share the progress of my financial goals.
“Eleven years later, Making Sense has grown beyond my wildest dreams.
“Over the last five years, I’ve grossed an average of £660,000 per year in passive income by providing advice on how to start investing, which financial products to use, and how to tackle other money decisions.”
Michelle and her husband have now reached financial independence and have saved enough money to retire whenever they want.
Michelle works just 10 hours a week and travels with her husband and their six-month-old daughter full-time on their sailboat.
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She enjoys her spare time snorkelling, exploring and hiking and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Making Sense began for her as a hobby, but about six months into writing, her friend connected her with a company that wanted her to write a sponsored post for them.
She wrote the post and they paid her £86 to reach 50,000 monthly site visitors.
Following this, Michelle started studying other bloggers who made money off their blogs.
She started posting more frequently and set up display advertisements on her website.
She continued writing sponsored posts by reaching out to brands that she saw other bloggers working with and in just two years, she was earning around £4,336 to £8,673 per month — more than what she was making at her day job.
Once she fully paid off her student loans in 2013, she decided to quit her job and blog full-time.
For the first few years, Michelle focused on the blogging element of her business and published new posts almost every day.
Over the years, she leveraged her audience to create several passive income streams and in 2016, she launched her first blogging course.
Today, she writes and publishes blogs just once or twice a week, and has earned over £3,468,020 gross revenue in the last five years.
Michelle now has three main passive income drivers: affiliate marketing, course sales and display advertising.
Michelle said: “I’m always trying to increase my passive income.
“On top of blogging, my husband and I invest in both individual stocks and investment accounts to add our retirement fund.
“Since I live and travel on a sailboat, there’s not always reliable internet.
“So without passive income drivers, my family and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this wonderful nomadic lifestyle.”