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She started a blog with absolutely no knowledge of what a blog is. She started making a few bucks, then a few more. Today that blog Michelle Schroeder-Gardner started in 2011 has made her a millionaire. “Making Sense of Cents” is her finance blog. She teaches visitors how to become debt free, how to save money, how to earn money and how to blog.
“I left my job as a financial analyst to blog full-time and I’ve been blogging full-time…I guess it’s been almost 6 years now,” Schroeder-Gardner told me from her sailboat in the Bahamas.
“Once I realized I could make money blogging, I sought out all the different ways to make my blog (earn money), so I started reaching out to advertisers and started responding to their emails and stuff like that. I was earning around $1,000 a month one year after starting my blog and it all quickly grew from there.”
How much did it grow? Aren’t you going to be impressed?
“I earned a little over $1.5 million in 2018 and in 2017 I earned around $1.5 as well, so around $100,000 a month,” she said.
100-grand a month? Where do I sign? Schroeder-Gardner told me it isn’t that easy. It takes a lot of work to create a successful blog. You have to constantly create content and attract visitors. The topic of money and having more of it is something that attracts visitors. “Making Sense of Cents” has over 300,000 page views each month. By building an audience, Schroeder-Gardner was able to use the blog as an income generator.
“Affiliate marketing is definitely my favorite and that is how I earn most of my blogging income. If I refer or talk about something on my blog, something simple like digital antennas, I’m always telling people to cut their cable, get a digital antenna so you can watch local channels, just me promoting something like that, I will earn a commission if a reader decides to purchase an antenna.”
Sponsorships are also important in which a company will pay for her to review their product. Advertising is also a big part of her income as are the blogging courses she writes and sales. So what does she say to someone thinking of starting a blog and dreaming big?
“My first tip is always just to start. Blogging is super affordable. When I first started my blog I spent less than $100 for that whole first year,” she said. “Blogging isn’t for everyone. It’s not a get-rich-quick-scheme or anything like that. It’s a lot of work. It’s a business. So even if you think you’re just a tad interested, I just recommend starting one.”
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Three of my favorite things from CES Week that you can buy now.
When I heard that a foldable phone would be officially introduced at CES 2019 I believed it was going to be a fake-out. No way a company had developed a way to bend or fold a smartphone screen to the point it could double as a tablet.
I was wrong.
The FlexPai phone from the company Royale was introduced the day before the CES floor opened on Tuesday. It drew applause, oohs and aahs, and everyone holding up their own one screen smartphone to take pictures to be uploaded quickly to Instagram.
The FlexPai appears to be a tablet, but applying some pressure, it folds down the middle to turn it into a rather thick smartphone.
“We have rated this phone at 200,000 folds and bends,” said William Strand who was a very popular guy at the Royale booth. “It didn’t even fail at that point, we just said ‘okay, that’s the lifetime of a phone'”.
Not many people actually got to try bending the phone or holding it for that matter. Just a few journalists and a select number of people from other companies that might be interested in knowing how it could be done.
“For sure, this is going to be some kind of trend in the near future,” said onlooker Alejandro Rivera. He’s right. Several companies have been attempting to do what Royale accomplished but as far as we know, those companies haven’t advanced for enough to bring a tablet/smartphone to market as Royale has done.
Not only that, but the flexible material that allows it to be a smartphone screen can be implemented in other devices.
“The flexible sensor technology can find its way into any aspect of our lives,” said Strand. “We’ve put it into lamps, smart speakers, hats, t-shirts and purses.”
Strand says this while wearing a top-hat with the flexible screen built right into the front. It was playing video from a soccer match, allegedly recorded from a smartphone and streamed live to the hat.
Royale is taking pre-orders now in the United States for a yet-to-be-determined shipping date. But if you’re an early adopter who can’t wait to get their hands on the world’s first bendable smartphone screen, you can buy one now. In China.
CES is underway in Las Vegas where hundreds of thousands new gadgets and electronics are being showcased for the first time. A common theme I’ve noticed is technological advances in the area of health and wellness.
“A lot of the technology we have today is designed to be used in the home or around the home.”
Jeff Ray is talking about a new way to track blood pressure.
Omron is in the blood pressure business. You may have even heard about their blood pressure cuffs that send the results to your doctor. But now, you can get the same information, all day long through a smartwatch.
“Blood pressure isn’t static, it’s changing constantly throughout the day,” said Ray. “So we wanted to build a device that allowed people to take continuously throughout the day to understand how the decisions they make actually impact their blood pressure.”
It’s something no other smartwatch can do. As you take the blood pressure, the watch contracts just like the cuff you’re familiar with. It’s approved by the FDA, meaning it is as accurate as blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office.
Not everything at CES is a good idea. One guy was walking the floor wearing a full-body suit that sort of looked like a skeleton costume you see Halloween night.
I also found a wearable that tells you when you need to go to the bathroom with a notification on an app.
But some products that might sound odd actually makes a lot of sense. The Welt is a very fashionable men’s belt that sort of acts like a fitbit.
“Because it’s on your waist you can track more things than a Fitbit.”
Dr. Sean Kang told me, it more accurately records steps and if your sitting or standing in a way that might cause back problems. and it’ll detect if you’re getting fatter.
“If the waist size changes one day, suddenly, we check the day as a day of eating too much,” said Kang
There are thousands of other health-related products being debuted on the show floor which opened Tuesday.