Mike Pearson has been blogging and building websites since 2015, and his latest project is Credit Takeoff, which he started in January 2019 to help people take control of their credit scores so they can take back their financial lives.
Here is Mike’s story…
When my wife and I got married in 2013, we were not in the best financial place — we had racked up over $10,000 in credit card debt to pay for our honeymoon and my wife still had more than $15,000 left on her student loan payments.
While we both had decent-paying corporate jobs, we were living in a very expensive city, our expenses were sky-high, and our money wasn’t going as far as we had hoped. Month after month we were running a “deficit” and we knew our expenses would only get much higher because we were planning on having our first baby.
Now, in this situation, the vast majority of personal finance advice would be to cut back on your expenses, which we in fact did. But, I knew that would not be enough. We would also need to earn more money!
I knew that would not be enough. We would also need to earn more money!
I wanted to “grow the pie” of our income, and so I started researching different ways to make money online. I knew that if I could make even an extra $1,000-$2,000 per month, it would have a significant impact on our day-to-day finances, give us some breathing room, and allow us to actually start saving a good chunk of money each month.
And my research led me to blogging, creating niche websites, and making money with affiliate marketing. It took a bit of trial and error, but with my second or third try I had created a blog in the hiking and camping niche that was earning $7,000-$8,000 per month — and ended up selling that site for multiple six-figures.
I had created a blog in the hiking and camping niche that was earning $7,000-$8,000 per month — and ended up selling that site for multiple six-figures.
The way that the site made money was 100% through affiliate marketing.
For example, on my new credit website, I have a post about the best credit repair companies that people can try if they’re struggling with a low credit score. If one of my readers ends up signing up with one of those companies through my affiliate link, then I make a commission on the sale. It’s a simple, effective way to monetize a blog and can make you a significant income if you have enough traffic and an attractive affiliate page.
But, my credit site is pretty new and it isn’t making much money yet, so I have another “side hustle” that provides us with an additional source of online income as well. I started another blog where I teach other bloggers how to grow their traffic with Google search traffic.
And the way that I monetize that blog is that I sell an online course to my readers, where they can go through 60+ video lessons that shows them all they need to know about Google. I started selling that course last year, and it brings in several thousand dollars on “side hustle” income as well.
I started selling that course last year, and it brings in several thousand dollars on “side hustle” income as well.
In fact, with my various websites, my side hustle income has recently surpassed the income I make from my day-to-day corporate job — a job I plan on leaving in the next year or two. And the timing could not be better. My wife and I recently welcomed our second child to our family.
My experience has taught me a couple of things.
One, if you’re in debt, it’s not the end of the world — you CAN get out of it if you have a plan.
If you’re in debt, it’s not the end of the world — you CAN get out of it if you have a plan.
More importantly, though, what I realized is that while it’s absolutely important to examine all your expenses and cut back where you can, there’s an even better approach to digging yourself out of a financial hole: find a way to make more money!
While it’s absolutely important to examine all your expenses and cut back where you can, there’s an even better approach to digging yourself out of a financial hole: find a way to make more money!
With today’s online word, there are endless options for starting a side hustle online and earning a decent side income from it.
My biggest transformation is that I now have a growth mindset — instead of focusing on what I have to cut back, I focus on how I can grow my business and grow my income, because (as Ramit Sethi says) while there is a limit to how much you can cut back, there’s no limit to how much money you can earn.
Pinyo Bhulipongsanon is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.