Welcome to another edition of MakeBlogging interview series.
As you all know, in the interview series, we get in touch with the finest bloggers, Internet marketers and SEO experts to discuss about various ways to build a high traffic and profitable blog.
Today we’re glad to feature Alex Nerney from Create And Go on making full-time income from blogging in 2023 and beyond.
Alex Nerney is one of the highest paid bloggers who blogs along with her wife Lauren and their blog Create And Go is constantly making over $100,000 a month.
Let’s find out what Alex Nerney has to say about earning full-time income from blogging.
Interview With Alex Nerney from Create And Go
1. Hi Alex, welcome to Bloggers Passion. Can you please introduce yourself to our audience?
Stoked to be here, thanks for having me.
Hello party people! My name is Alex Nerney and I’m a professional blogger typing away over at Create and Go. I was born and raised in Colleyville, TX and have always been interested in owning my own business.
My co-founder Lauren and I have built two successful six-figure blogs from the ground up. One is a Health Blog called Avocadu.com and the other is a making money blog called Createandgo.com.
I love what I get to do and think blogging has been the perfect career path for me. Some other facts – I love coffee, football (The Dallas Cowboys and Arkansas Razorbacks are my teams), and am a bit of a health nerd.
2. When did you get the idea of starting a blog and making full-time income from it?
You know, I had always dabbled around in various online ventures. I was selling my own eBook called a College Guys Guide to Getting Ripped back in 2013 so it was something I was always interested in.
I think what put me down the path of blogging for good was seeing the income reports of various bloggers online. I felt like if they could make $100,000/m certainly I could make 10% of that. And $10,000 a month working from anywhere in the word was a life-changing thought to me.
3. How do you earn $100,000 a month from your blog? Can you share how do you actually monetize your site?
Well there are quite a few ways. I’ll start from the top and work down.
eBooks and Courses: We sell a few different ones but our best performers are The 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge and Pinterest Traffic Avalanche. What we do is drive traffic to our articles via Pinterest, YouTube, and Google.
People read the articles and then sign up for our email list. The email list then sells our products and that’s how we make our money. This accounts for probably 75% of our income.
Affiliate Marketing: 15% of our income comes from affiliate marketing the products we use for our blogs and various items on Amazon. Things like themes we recommend (Divi), products we like (supplements, etc), and hosting (Bluehost).
Ads & the rest: We make the final amount through ad revenue on our YouTube channels and on our health blog Avocadu. We partner with a premium ad network called adThrive for Avocadu and it generates us anywhere from $2,000 – $4,000 /m just from that website.
Here’s the income proof of Avocadu.
Key takeaway: Majority of the income from Create And Go comes from selling online courses and eBooks. There are a ton of bloggers like Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn etc who are following the same monetization model to earn huge money from their blogs.
Apart from that, Alex and Lauren also uses affiliate marketing and ads to earn decent income every month from their blog. So you too can consider and follow the same approach if you really want to earn full-time income from blogging.
4. What are the major challenges did you face while building your blog Create And Go?
Clarifying our message. When we started out I had no idea we were “blogging.” I was just creating content with the idea of getting visitors to the site to read our articles.
I also didn’t understand that the person I wanted to speak to was not the blogging expert, but the newbie that needed guidance. When we originally made our Pinterest Course we were targeting medium to advanced bloggers, it was only later on that we realized the newbies needed our information wayyyyy more.
Our blog has evolved a lot and that’s a lesson in itself. You need to listen to where your customers/readers are directing you and follow that path. At the end of the day making money blogging is about them and not you.
Comparing ourselves to others. Create and Go was difficult at the beginning because of the comparison to others. We felt like we were teaching things better than anyone else, but our competition was making like 10x what we were for a while.
Sticking the path was the key to getting out of this. We just focused on creating the best we possibly could. The best products, the best articles, the best videos. That’s why we jumped so quickly in my opinion to the six-figure per month mark.
Key takeaway: You should know your target audience. If not, you’ll struggle a lot to build a profitable blog in the long run. Find out who you want to target, know their wants and needs so you can help them with the right content and products.
Also, never compare yourself with your competitors. Blogging is a marathon. Set your own rules. Break any blogging rules if you’ve to. Focus only on your path, not others!
5. If you had to start again, how would you start Create And Go?
Hmmmm great question. I would have called us “Blog and Go.” Again, we didn’t know we were bloggers so it just makes more sense now.
Also, Create and Go had a bit of an identity crises at the beginning. We were trying to be both travel bloggers and blogging experts. It was a weird combo and confused people. I would have just focused in on being blogging experts since that’s what we are. We are not travel blogging experts so trying to mix that in was just dumb.
Key takeaway: Think long term. Before you start your blog, find out your 2 year and 3 year goals. Where do you want to see yourself after 3 years or 5 years? Then, start going into that direction when you start blogging. That’s the key!
6. What common mistakes most bloggers make while starting their blogs according to you?
A few come to mind.
Spending too much time in your head is a mistake. Many bloggers spend time trying to “discover” their passion or come up with the “perfect” name for their blog. All this thinking leads to indecision which makes the their journey painfully slow.
Just do shit. Get out of your head and just create content and do things. Passions are not discovered they are developed with time. Spend more time doing and less time thinking.
Jumping from guru to guru. Like every young business owner in the 21st century, there are lots of shiny objects around trying to pull us in one direction or the other. Stick with one guru for a while and see their program through.
The jumping from path to path slows the progress for a lot of bloggers and they’d be better off finding one person they really liked and sticking with them!
Thinking it’s going to be easy. Listen, success in anything is going to be challenging. Not shocking, building a blog where you can casually work from home is going to take a lot of work. It’s not all laptops on the beach in the beginning!
Many newbies come into this thinking they can casually write a blog post once every full moon and make money. Not. A. Chance. It will take a ton of upfront work if you’re going to have any success so prepare yourself for that. Set the right expectations.
Key takeaway: Alex rightly said about “procrastination”. There are literally thousands of people who have a ton of ideas in their minds but they never get started. They just wait for the perfect time and you know what? If you’re waiting for the right time, it never comes.
Just start your blog. Don’t think about how to make it perfect or what design to use or what products promote. Start creating content. Network with others and you’ll find a way to succeed if you’re working hard enough for 1 or 2 years. It’s as simple as that.
7. Please share your favorite 3 tips to build a money making blog in 2023.
1. Start big and niche down: Our first blog Avocadu started off as a general health and wellness website. We posted about everything from Yoga to recipes to workouts. What we then saw was our readership really loved our take on yoga. So we niched down and focused on Yoga for a bit.
This process led to our first yoga product and first $3,000/m blogging. So start with a broad topic, see what your readers are responding to, then niche down and provide a product in that industry. Still works very well to this day and Create and Go went through a similar process.
2. Sales buttons at the bottom of your sales pages: Always. If you have a sales button at the top of your sales page, you are losing out on money. In copywriting this is “selling too soon.” I see TONS of bloggers making this mistake and if you move your button to the bottom of the page you’ll see your sales increase.
3. Use YouTube: YouTube is not only amazing because it’s a search engine and can provide you organic traffic, it’s also a better way for your audience to build a relationship with you by seeing you on video.
When interviewing our customers a lot of them said they tell us they “binge watched” our YouTube videos before buying. The more a customer trusts that you’re the real deal, the more they will buy – trust me 😉 The videos don’t have to be complex either. Something simple and authentic will suffice.
8. Where do you see Create And Go after 5 years down the lane? What are the future plans with your blog?
Want us to be the #1 resource for bloggers wanting to make money on the internet. Our current mission is to take 1000 students to making and extra $100/m, 100 students to making $1,000/m, and 10 students to making $10,000/m as of now. I’m sure that goal will increase after this year as we have many students already reaching these goals.
9. What are the premium blogging tools do you use to run Create and Go?
The main one’s that come to mind are:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Semrush (you can grab Semrush free trail from here)
- Genesis Framework for WordPress
10. What’s your #1 advice for someone who wants to make full-time income from blogging (without quitting their jobs)?
The goal should be to acquire as much cash as possible so you can eventually transition into going full-time. The truth is you’re not going to be able to make a full-time income without putting in full-time effort (especially at the beginning).
So start by using your nights and weekends to build your blog. Once you’re making half your current pay try to find a part time job that pays well and keep building up your blogging income.
Eventually when you have cash saved move to a full time! The sooner you go full-time the better because when you burn the bridges behind you, you’ll work crazy hard to make sure it succeeds.
We quit before we were making any money actually (which I don’t recommend to everyone), and it worked because we had to make it work. Here’s the blogging revenue chart so far.
Key takeaway: Alex is so right about money: acquire as much as you can. Don’t quit your job just after starting your blog. Make sure to earn decent income from your blog and then, you can think about jumping into full-time blog. Not everyone can burn all their bridges to succeed, right?
Final thoughts on the interview with Alex Nerney from Create And Go
So there you go, Alex shared a ton of useful tips and ways to earn full-time income from blogging. Definitely full-time blogging is not as easy as it sounds.
You need to be consistent. You should work extremely hard almost every single week for a couple of years to see “stunning results” with your blog.
Did you like this interview with Alex Nerney from Create And Go? Do you’ve any questions for him? You can ask in the comments below.