We started our debt-free journey…I guess you could say over 4 years ago. After moving into a big house, we quickly realized we weren’t spending our time or money in the areas of our lives that held the most value to us. So, we downsized. After we moved into our smaller home and reduced our cost of living we were determined to learn how to get our money under control once and for all. Here’s how we paid off debt and how blogging about paying off debt actually helped us do it faster.
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Creating an independent income
I started the blog in January 2017 with the determination to make money from it. For years I had heard that making an income from a blog was possible, but it was never something I considered until Tom’s job had him switching hours so often I was unable to hold down a part-time job while homeschooling our kids. I needed a money-maker that allowed me to be my own boss and also gave me flexible hours. That’s when I really started looking into blogging.
Now, I have seen the benefits of creating passive income online so much so that I created my Stay at Home Blogger course to help other busy parents learn how they can do it too!
Sharing the debt-free journey
When I originally started the blog I shared tips and recipes to help people improve their health. I was passionate about helping others, however, my own health was deteriorating and I had no idea why.
Feeling totally helpless, I decided to just blog about what I was doing that was actually working in my life. Paying off debt and learning how to manage my money for the first time in my entire life. Guess what happened? The blog took off!
I began sharing about my minimalist life makeover and how we paid off $6,000 of debt in 6 months with the Debt Snowball. For the first time in months, I started seeing traction with my blog and all I was doing was being totally honest about my lifestyle. How amazing!
Because I had begun living a more minimalist lifestyle, I had no idea how I would ever make money from a blog…there was nothing for me to sell to people.
When I started becoming more conscious of our grocery bill, I tried out a few rebate apps that I had heard about. Dosh and Ibotta. Each of these offers a $5 referral payment when you share it with friends. Not much, but I was happy to spread the word. Almost instantly, I made over $1,000 in only a month using those $5 referrals! Learn how to make your first $1,000 online.
Gaining more followers
As followers started building, I was able to grow my email list and improve the amount of money I made through ads on my site. I wasn’t always thrilled at the idea of using ads, but I really wanted to be able to help support my family and get us out of debt as fast as possible.
So, I signed up for a limited number of ads once I was consistently getting traffic each month. These ads easily began bringing in an additional $1,000 per month on autopilot. As soon as I would get paid, we would apply as much as possible toward our outstanding debt.
More on growing a blog:
- How I Created a Money-Making Blog While Homeschooling
- How to Make Money with a Minimalist Blog
- 13 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Blog
Getting paid to not write
As the blog took off, I was sent a request to have someone else write blog posts for me — and they would pay me $25 each time! I had heard this was something I shouldn’t do, but when you’re in debt payoff mode, it’s hard to turn down money for…literally nothing.
It wasn’t long before I stopped accepting requests. The posts that were being written were generic and not aligned with the messages I wanted to be spreading. Even though it was less work and more money, it just didn’t feel right. Why You Shouldn’t Accept Money for Guest Posts.
Changing my recommendations
As I began learning more and more about how to make money online I got swept away in recommending affiliates that I didn’t really know much about. In fact, I would say my sight started to look a little spammy with how many recommendations I was dishing out. Guess we all have to live and learn.
Thankfully, there are courses like, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers that teach you the best ways to manage and make money with affiliates.
I cleaned up the affiliates on my site (and still am) using only quality companies that I truly believe can benefit people.
As I began doing that I started seeing commissions of $50 and $100 — and I was helping people lower their debt payments and build savings! Guess honest money really is a thing! Join my free training to learn more.
Accelerate past debt payoff
Well, I’m happy to say that in March 2019, we became debt-free!! (Insert happy dance!) I am so thankful that I took the previous 2 years to set up a money-making blog that I could now take with me anywhere.
We celebrated our debt-free way of living by taking a 2-week road trip across the country from Minnesota to California. I was able to work a few hours in the morning and get consistently paid even when I didn’t
Not only has this little blog of mine helped us pay off debt and build savings, it continues to pay me even when I need a break. There is so much freedom in knowing that I have learned to make an honest income that also helps improve the lives of the people who read it.
Starting your own blog
If you are tempted to start your own blog, there are a few words of wisdom I have for you:
- Be willing to put in the work – Running a blog is not an overnight money-maker. It takes time and effort but is worth it in the end.
- Investing in it is key – So many people are afraid to put money into their blog/business which leads to them never truly making a profit.
- Get training – The very first thing I did before even starting the blog was to get trained in the right way to do it. (and then I still made mistakes — go figure.) Join my free training!