When I was a freshman sitting in my dorm room back in 2005, never would I have imagined that I would be making money via the internet.
In fact, back in 2005, I had just signed up for this new thing called “Facebook” and my roommate and I spent the next week trying to upload a photo so I could have a profile image for my page. Fast forward 12 years and I am starting my own internet company via blogging and media.
And while I might have been a little late to the party, what I quickly realized was that building an internet business is sort of like uploading a photo to your first ever social media account – you just figure it out!
While being a business owner of any kind is not always easy, owning an online company can be fun, exciting and as you're about to see – super profitable.
So buckle up, and get ready to read about how the creators of Create And Go became seven-figure bloggers!
If you didn't get a chance to read my first online entrepreneur interview with The Savvy Couple from a few weeks back, you should check that out here as they shared how they started a blog in 2016 and were pulling in over $250,000 per year by 2019.
And while that might seem crazy, today I am pumped to share with you a question and answer I did recently with Alex Nerney of Create And Go. Alex is the Co-founder along with is girlfriend Lauren McManus of Create And Go, which helps people create their own profitable blogs!
~Enjoy this read!
1. So Alex, what is your background?
I am a Texas man, born and raised. I grew up with a huge passion for sports, (that has definitely stuck with me through the years) and spent most of my childhood playing football. I am a Cowboys and Rangers fan through and through, with the odd team out being the Arkansas Razorbacks. I played collegiate football briefly at Arkansas so I’ll be cheering for them for life as well.
Since I always loved the world of sports I ended up pursuing a career as a personal trainer for a few years. But aside from this I also dabbled in digital marketing by selling an eBook and other different online pursuits that would eventually become successful businesses.
2. What did you do before founding your first blog, Avocadu and later Create & Go?
I worked as a Personal Trainer. Although the actual job wasn’t HORRIBLE, I will say that I always felt like there had to be something more. I never felt like there was enough adventure or any freedom to do the things I truly wanted to do. I was afraid that I may have to wait until I was old and grey to pursue the things I really wanted to do and that terrified me.
My life as a personal trainer was pretty much what I expected my life to be when I was in my teenage years, but I definitely knew I had the potential to do something bigger and better.
3. How did you step into blogging and the online business world? Was there a pivotal point that made you shift?
I actually dabbled in the blogging and online business world back in 2012 when I published my first eBook titled “A College Guy's Guide to Getting Ripped” (pretty solid title am I right?).
This was really the pivotal point for me in realizing the opportunities out there for someone who was willing to put in some work. It of course also opened my eyes to the opportunity for passive income.
With this sort of in the back of my head through the years, I knew that publishing content online and making money from it was something I could really get behind. (I didn’t even know it was called blogging at the time, but I knew it was definitely something I took an interest in.) So after reaching a point where Lauren and I felt like our lives were so monotonous and just… boring honestly. I knew it was time to make a change and start working on something other than just the daily 9-5 grind.
After attending an entrepreneur conference that had a ton of online workers and meeting some people making tons of money and seemed to be living the life I wanted, I decided to start a health and fitness website because I already had a lot of the needed knowledge from my personal training background.
I didn’t know what a blog was at the time but I was working on SOMETHING and I knew I would find a way to make it work.
With Lauren’s help, we actually turned that website into a blog called “Health and Happy Hour”. (This blog failed epically, but we did learn a lot of important lessons from it.)
We would eventually launch Avocadu with the lessons we had learned from our first failure and ended up finding a large amount of success from it.
This is how we found our way to building Create and Go! We wanted to teach people how to start a blog using what we learned from our journey and help them find the same success.
4. What was one fear or doubt you had when you made the jump to the entrepreneur side of things?
Honestly, there was always the fear that our efforts would be for nothing. But any of those fears I had disappeared when we made our first dollar from Avocadu. I knew that if I could just make even a dollar, then there was going to be a way we could grow that and make even more.
I did feel a bit of imposter syndrome when starting Create and Go with Lauren, but we knew that as long as we could make our products better than the stuff that was out there, then that was all that mattered. Those feelings eventually left as well when our students started to find success and began to make money blogging.
5. If you could go back to starting your first blog, what would you do differently?
Luckily for Lauren and I, we actually did get to go back and do things differently. Everything we did wrong on Health and Happy Hour, we did right on Avocadu.
The biggest mistake we made, in the beginning, was making the content all about ourselves rather than making the content valuable to our audience and writing about things our audience cared about.
When we changed that, the hard work finally began to pay off.
6. Wait you had another blog, Health and Happy Hour?
As a follow up to question #5, before Avocadu, you said you had another blog – Health and Happy Hour – what made you rebrand and how did you know that a restart was necessary?
I’d say the biggest thing is just “getting real” with yourself. We were in our 20’s and just thought we could get drunk and post healthy recipes online and rake in the money…
We had to really take a step back and ask ourselves, how is this benefiting any of our readers and how are we going to solve anyone’s problems doing this?
When you publish a post on your site, it should have a purpose.
It should provide some value and almost none of our articles did that. So we decided to toss it and start fresh and made sure that whatever we built in the future DID have a purpose and solved a specific problem.
7. What is your goal with Create & Go? Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Our goal with Create and Go is to be the number one blogging resource in the world. We want to help thousands of people become successful bloggers and achieve the life they dream of.
Our company vision actually reads:
We are going to help 10,000 people make a full-time income blogging so they have the time and resources to live “The Good Life.”
As far as where I see Create and Go in the next 5-10 years… I honestly see us hitting that target. I see us providing the most valuable content out there, having the best online team that can be built, and being at the top of every major platform.
By doing that I see us changing the lives of so many up and coming bloggers and helping them to achieve the success they desire. Hopefully MORE than 10,000 people!
8. In 20 words or less, what is your biggest motivator?
My biggest motivator is to help others achieve the same freedom and happiness Lauren and I have with our business.
9. Lastly, what is the best piece of advice you would offer to someone new to the blogging?
Share your story. There are always going to be other bloggers blogging about the same topic as you and there is always going to be competition and people that try and copy you or write content that is similar. But the one thing that will always set you apart is your story. Let your audience know who you are, connect with them, build a relationship with them, and they will keep coming back.
Not everyday do you get to picke the brain of someone making six figures a month +, traveling when the want to and helping others learn how to do the same.
Alex's story is certainly inspiring and perhaps the coolest thing is the fact that they share what they did to create such a substantial and profitable online company. That doesn't mean it is easy or doesn't take hard work, knowledge, and expertise.
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.