How I Make $20,000/Month And Paid Off $68k In Debt

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

I’m often asked if only certain niches can make money, and in today’s post I’m sharing proof that you can make money blogging in almost any niche.

There are full-time DIY, knitting, farming, printables, drawing, and flooring bloggers. 

Debbie from The Flooring Girl started a blog back in 2011 and now makes $20,000+ per month with her business. She’s sharing how she makes money from her blog, what to do if you’re struggling with traffic, and what she would do differently if she got the chance to start over today.

Blogging isn’t for everyone. I’ve shared this before and I’ll share it again. Many people give up on blogging because you’re working for free for a few months (and maybe even up to a year). Those of us that stick it out for the long haul get to see the awesome benefits. Blogging as a business is really worth the work. We’re definitely going to see that today in this inspiring interview! 

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get tons of free printables to save money and build wealth.

1. Can you share a little bit about yourself and your blog, The Flooring Girl?

I’ve been blogging since 2010 and started in 2011 for my local flooring business. 

It was a marketing vehicle that allowed me to rapidly grow while saving on marketing costs.  I learned how to do SEO in 2010-2011 to grow a strong foundation. 

Years later, I was able to turn the blog into a major money machine after my life took an unexpected turn.

2. What inspired you to start The Flooring Girl?

In the beginning, it was purely a marketing vehicle for my flooring business.  I blogged about hardwood flooring, sanding, carpeting, tile, etc.

Many years later, I expanded to include painting and home decor (as I worked part-time selling painting jobs and doing in-home design consultations.

The idea for the name came to me based on one of my customers.  The 2 little girls called me, “The Flooring Girl,” and I thought it was catchy.

It was an easy way for my customers and for real estate agents to remember and refer me.

3. When and why did you shift towards monetizing your blog?

In December 2016, I had an unfortunate turn of events and I unexpectedly had to shut down my business. 

I had a non-compete so I was not allowed to do flooring for 2 years.

In January 2017, I tallied up the damage and I found myself $68,000 in debt and without a means of income (as I wasn’t allowed to do flooring).  I was single and living in a very high cost of living area just outside NYC.

I had to figure out how to start over and pull myself out of this huge mess.  So I decided to try to monetize my blog. 

I already knew SEO but had no idea how to make money from my blog, and I knew it would take a long time to make a significant income.

So, I got 2 part-time jobs so I could pay my bills and avoid losing my condo. 

One job was freelancing as a ghostwriter and doing SEO for a couple of clients.  The 2nd job was doing paint estimates and color consultations. (I later translated this learning into many blog posts on my blog).

2017 was very tough.  I felt like I worked and learned non-stop.  I did not have any money to spend on almost anything including coffee just to network. But somehow, I muddled through.

My key asset was understanding how to do SEO. This enabled me to grow my traffic to over 500,000 pageviews a month and do very well with affiliate marketing.  SEO traffic is more targeted so it converts much better.

I now have 2 SEO ebooks for bloggers.  The first one is called Easy On-Page SEO and it’s the first step in getting a post to rank well on Google.  It’s perfect for beginners and intermediates and even goes into some advanced techniques and little known tricks.

Side note: If you’re already enrolled in Stupid Simple SEO, Debbie’s guides are complementary to Mike’s Stupid Simple SEO course. I recommend both.

4. How do you make money from your blog? How much money do you currently make blogging?

My blog has been earning over $20,000 net profit for the last 4 months. 

While the percentages differ month to month, about 50% of that income comes from affiliate marketing (with Amazon in the lead – see how I earn over $7,000 a month on Amazon here), followed by ad revenue (30%) and then my SEO ebooks (20%).  You can read my full income report and my full story here.

I get over 500,000 pageviews/month with about 60% from SEO and 40% Pinterest.  80% of my affiliate sales come from SEO. That is the power of SEO.

Everything took longer than I expected.  I was lucky as I already had an established blog, so right away, I was making $1,500 a month but then flatlined.  I needed to learn how to monetize with affiliate marketing and how to write articles for items that could convert.  Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course helped me with that.

It wasn’t until month 11 when things just started to click and affiliate marketing really kicked in.

From there, it kept going up until I hit $10,000/month at month 18 or so. 

Writing my SEO ebooks took me up another notch while affiliate income and ads just kept growing.  I hit $20,000 for the first time at month 27.

Because of all of this growth, I was able to tackle all my immediate debt and get it paid off the following month.

Note:  The numbers I reported here are all net profit numbers (not revenue) and all of them are income directly from the blog.  They do not include any “active income” such as freelancing, SEO consultations, sponsored posts, design consults, etc.  The numbers are completely generated from the blog itself and are relatively passive.

5. How did you find your niche?

It originally found me as this had been my business, and I was an expert in flooring. So I wrote articles from a unique perspective and included the products that we actually used for 1000s of customers.

But, it was challenging because flooring is generally bought locally and not online. 

So I broadened my topics to painting, home décor, and accessories that people can buy online (unlike tons of hardwood that have large shipping expenses).

6. What are your favorite business tools you use to run your business?

Google Analytics for sure as well as Google Search Console. 

I really don’t use the keyword finders much, because Google Search Console is much better.

I also get blog post ideas from the hundreds of comments and questions I get on my blog each month, as well as in-home consultations.  I try to be a real subject matter expert.

I also love Tailwind for Pinterest.  It saves me so much time and makes sure my pinning is consistent. I don’t have time to sit around pinning when I have so many other higher return items I can be working on.

6. What would you do differently if you could start your blog & business over?

I wish that I had realized sooner that I could make money from my blog.  If I had realized this, I would have started monetizing years earlier and been in a much better position now. 

I’m glad I started with SEO first, as it’s much more impactful on bottom line and much more passive than Pinterest. 

I’m glad I did Pinterest after and I’m glad I postponed email  (I just started email 2 months ago, and it was a smart choice for me/my blog as SEO is much more impactful for my type of blog).

I strongly believe in diversifying your traffic and income. 

So I keep adding layers. Layers of traffic, layers of income streams.  One step at a time.

I recently bought a second blog with a friend, and we are hoping to turn that into a new income stream. Hopefully, we will see the results of this next year.­

7. If someone is struggling with traffic, what do you recommend doing?

If you are a new blogger, for most categories, I’d recommend you start with Pinterest. Then, by month 3, I would start SEO.

SEO is a slower build, but it has much more potential, generates much more income and is much more passive than Pinterest. 

It’s also more consistent and sustainable over time. 

Once you start getting SEO traffic, think of each of your blog posts as another layer.  For those that want to get started on SEO, I have a new FREE SEO course, that you might want to check out

8. Where can we see more of you?

You can read more about flooring and home décor on my main website, The Flooring Girl or our new website at Healthy Savvy & where I share blogging tips. 

If you sign up for my FREE SEO course, you’ll also be able to see my future income reports.

What to read next: How To Blog Without Breaking The Law

Don’t forget to sign up for the free resource library and get exclusive access to free printables & planners related to saving and making money, meal planning, and more!

Do you have any questions for Debbie? Share them down below in the comments.

Like this post? Share it!

Leave a Reply