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Woman Made $40K a Month While on Cruise Around the World, Here's How She Managed 3 Income Streams

Michelle continued running her online business, Making Sense of Cents, from the cruise.
Cover Image Source: michelleschro | Instagram
Cover Image Source: michelleschro | Instagram

In these high-inflation times, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner took a four-month-long cruise to more than 25 countries and six continents with her husband and baby. According to Michelle, it did cost a lot but also gave her great memories to cherish forever. From sunny Florida, Panama Canal, and French Polynesia, to New Zealand, Asia, and historical sites of the Mediterranean, it was an amazing trip, she said. 

However, what's interesting is the fact that throughout the trip, Michelle continued running her online business. Her company, Making Sense of Cents, started over a decade ago as a blog about her progress toward paying off her student loan. Today, Michelle is earning close to $40,000 per month in semi-passive income through different streams, affiliate marketing, sponsored partnerships, and online courses.

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A post shared by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner (@michelleschro)


"I direct some of my earnings toward personal investing and retirement accounts, and receive quarterly dividend payouts," she tells CNBC Make It. Michelle said that she worked just two to three hours per day, excluding port days. 

"I planned my work schedule carefully around our travel plans," she said."I answered emails, wrote blog posts, brainstormed new ideas, handed accounting, addressed anything urgent that needed my attention, and strategized new ways to grow Making Sense of Cents."


She says that she built most of her blog posts around affiliated marketing, a strategy that is responsible for about half of her blog's revenue. She says that she writes about products that he trusts and adds a referral link for the products that she likes. "If someone signs up through my link, I earn a commission," she said. "These links can be in posts that I wrote months or even years ago. I can write about a product once, and it can keep earning me money over time," she added. 

Michelle also earns quite a lot from sponsored partnerships which is attributed to 20% of her revenue. She says that she teams up with companies that can promote their products and services from her account. This content can include reviews, or educational posts about what the company offers. " It's a win-win situation: the company gains exposure, and I earn money for creating content and reaching my audience."


Lastly, she earns another 20% by selling the courses online. She talks about how it took her a bit of time before she realized that she could earn a lot of money by sharing her industry expertise. She says that she started her course only after hundreds of people approached her and asked to help them monetize their blogs. Michelle now has a guide which she says she should have started earlier. She published her online course platform called Teachable in which she explains how to use affiliate marketing effectively.

She talks about how, on the cruise, she regularly updated the lessons and also managed a Facebook community for the course. "I made sure I was active there at least a few times per week," she says. 

So, that is more or less how Michelle Schroeder-Gardner accrues her monthly revenue while also being on a ship enjoying delicious meals and stirring sunsets.