How Sara Made $3,800 Her 3rd Month Blogging

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Today, I have an interview with one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Sara from Gathering Dreams.

Sara created an incredible business in such a short time, and it’s something to be admired. She’s sharing how she found her niche, how she makes money blogging, and the advice she gives to bloggers who struggle to make money on their blog. 

You don’t want to miss this incredible interview! Let’s get started. 

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get access to exclusive printables all about saving money and building wealth, meal planning, and more.

1. Can you share a little bit about yourself and Gathering Dreams?

I am Sara, a travel lover, healthy food addict and blogger at Gathering Dreams.

I devoted the last 5 years of my life to finding ways to make money outside a ‘normal job’ and to become financially free.

I reached financial freedom 2 years ago, and I now share everything I learned in the process and everything I am passionate about on my blog!

2. What inspired you to start Gathering Dreams?

I always loved reading other people’s blogs. It really helped me in my journey to financial freedom and I will be forever grateful to people like Mr. Money Mustache and Millennial Revolution.

When I discovered you could actually make money with a blog, I wanted to give it a go.

I wanted a passion project to share everything I loved with others. I hoped my journey to reach financial freedom and a great life-work balance could help others doing the same.

I wasn’t really sure I could make money blogging, considering that:

  • I had no clue about digital marketing.
  • I never wrote anything in my life (except for work emails and essays at school).
  • I pretty much avoided social media like the plague.

I gave myself a year to make $1,000 a month.

But I was blown away by what happened after only 3 months: I earned over $3,800!

I still have to pinch myself every day!

Start a blog today for just $2.95/month with my step-by-step tutorial here. It’s easy, painless, and takes less than 20 minutes to start a blog of your own. With my link, you get a discount from $7.99/month to $2.95/month.

3. How do you monetize your blog?

I monetize my blog mostly through affiliate marketing (around 60% of my income) and advertising (40%).

This is my second year of blogging and I am on track to make over 6-figure!

Related: 9 Ways To Boost Affiliate Income On Your Blog

4. A lot of people struggle with finding their niche; what is your niche and how did you find it?

I have to admit I didn’t struggle at all! If anything I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.

I read a lot about how you should niche down and become an authority in one topic, but Gathering Dreams is my passion project.

As much as I wanted to make money with it, I didn’t want my blog to turn into another job.

I needed to write about everything I loved:

  • Food
  • Travel
  • Money (because without it you can’t do the other 2!)

I really believe that people can feel the passion in your writing. If I were to write about only one topic, I would get bored very quickly.

So: Make sure it is possible to monetize your niche, but also pick one (or two) that you truly enjoy if you want to create a sustainable business.

Related: 7 Effective Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out in a Crowded Niche

5. One thing I truly love about you and your blog is your ability to stand out in what many believe is a crowded space. How do you do that?

Thank you for your kind words, Alexis!

I think (and I hope) it’s because people can feel how much I love what I do through my posts and that I sincerely want to help them.

Blogging is the first ‘job’ in my life that I actually look forward to every day. And I truly want to help people to find their passion.

That’s why I reply to every single comment and emails.

When someone asks for help, I am there for them. And I do think this makes a difference.

When I was working in an office for over 60 hours a week, I felt trapped. I didn’t know it was possible to escape. I had no clue that you could earn a living doing something you really enjoyed.

It’s possible to quit a job you hate, do what you love and make money at the same time.

6. If you could start over, what would you do differently with your business strategy?

I think I would do exactly the same!

I believe that everything we do, every step we take, teaches us a lesson. And it’s only thanks to everything we’ve done in the past that we become who we are today.

Sure, I could have started a blog 10 years ago, but I wouldn’t have had the drive that wanting to quit my job so badly gave me.

With blogging, I learn new things every day, but I wouldn’t change anything because every mistake I made in the last 2 years brought me where I am today.

Related: 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read To Grow Their Business

7. If someone is struggling with monetizing their blog, do you have any tips?

Make sure you know exactly what you are trying to achieve with every post you write.

When I see bloggers struggling to make money, there are usually a few common reasons:

  • Make their blog about them and not about solving their readers’ problems. Even if you are just writing a recipe, instead of writing 500 words about what you did last Saturday, try to explain what are the best ingredients to use, why you should marinate the vegetables for 30 minutes, if there are alternative ingredients people with allergies can use. Be as useful as possible!
  • Try to sell too hard, and forget about writing useful content. It’s much better to promote one or two affiliates than to add lots of random links to a post, hoping that someone will click somewhere.
  • Jump around too much with their content and overall brand message. I have a lifestyle blog myself, and I know it can be hard to be consistent. But you cannot write about completely different things and expect your readers to stick around and buy from you. For example: I often write about the importance of being mindful with your money. So I am not going to write about spending $10k on a luxury holiday because I can get a higher commission on!
  • Promote everything! What really works for me is to promote products that I use and love. Every time I try to promote anything I am not passionate about, I fail! I learned to only endorse products that I believe in and to research extensively everything I promote.

Where can we see more of you? 

You can, of course, find me on my blog Gathering Dreams. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram.

And feel free to drop me an email at sara@gatheringdreams.comany time!

Final Note: Start a blog that makes money

If your dream is to become a full-time blogger and start a blog, I recommend starting a blog with Bluehost.

I started this blog in college and graduated my senior year making $80,000 a year. Now, I work from home, spend time with my family and dogs, and I get to take my family on nice trips and donate to my favorite charities. 

Start a blog today for just $2.95/month with my step-by-step tutorial here. It’s easy, painless, and takes less than 20 minutes to start a blog of your own. With my link, you get a discount from $7.99/month to $2.95/month. Do you want to get started with your blog now? I recommend checking out this course roadmap to figure out where you should get started first!

If you need a little more help starting your blog, I even have a free How To Start A Successful Blog course that shows you step-by-step what to do AFTER you started your blog. This quick course is filled with a TON of value giving you everything you need to get started the best way.

What to read next: How Natalie Built A $100,000 Blog With A Full-Time Job

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