I will admit, the first time I heard the term blogging I pictured this:
Tucked behind their computer late at night, diligently typing away, you would find some person writing about their day and talking about their feelings.
However, I couldn't be further from the truth. Sure there are diary/journal type bloggers, however, what I have come to learn is that a blog is not some glorified diary –
It's a business medium that adds perspective. Instead of traditional media companies, blogs are just written in an informal, conversational manner.
And blogging happens to be a lucrative business venture for many pro bloggers! Such the case couldn't be truer for Kelan and Brittany, the founders of the blog, The Savvy Couple!
Today, I am excited to share with you the first of what I am dubbing – the Online Entrepreneur Interview Series!
My interview today is with Kelan and Brittany, aka “The Savvy Couple” who are a financially independent family who created $250,000+ annual blogging business!
I have really gotten to know Kelan over the past year in some online blogging communities and what I can say is that he is always helpful and willing to lend a hand. And even with all their blogging expertise – they're better people!
1. Can you tell MLW readers about your background and upbringing?
Kelan – I had a great childhood! I grew up in Rochester, New York which is about an hour away from Niagara Falls. I feel like I have the greatest parents in the world. Always super supportive, motivating, and patient with all 3 of us kids. I loved playing basketball, football, and volleyball growing up and continue to play to this day.
When it came to school I was never to into it until college. I have dyslexia and ADHD which made sitting in class learning about subjects I didn’t care about brutal. I was always daydreaming and thinking of ways to make money.
From an early age, I would run lemonade stands, car washes, selling candy in school, and eventually, flip items on eBay for profit. My dad showed me eBay when I was 13 and I was hooked. I was mesmerized that you could make money online right from home. I always had a knack for coming up with ways to make money.
Brittany- I also grew up in Rochester, New York. Kelan and I are high school sweethearts. From a young age I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Every choice I made from high school clubs to college was to set me to be a teacher.
When I turned 16 and I had to start paying for things that I wanted and I started selling Avon. After college I was a substitute teacher, a technology teaching assistant, and a dance teacher. I landed a fourth grade teacher position and thought it was going to be history as a teacher.
2. What was work like before starting your blog The Savvy Couple?
Kelan – My dream was to become a police officer. After college, I jumped around to 5 different jobs. I had a very rough transition to adulthood. Finally landing a job in law enforcement as a Jail Deputy and quickly learned that law enforcement was not the career path I thought it was going to be. The work environment, long hours, awful schedule, forced OT, and never really seeing Brittany our first year of marriage put me in a deep depression. It was completely suffocating. We needed to completely change our trajectory and reevaluate what our dream life looked like.
Brittany – I was a fourth-grade teacher. I would have been a teacher forever and most likely worked past normal age retirement. Kelan and I would have traveled during school breaks and summers.
3. What inspired you to start The Savvy Couple and was your initial motivation behind starting a blog?
We started a blog for a couple of reasons.
The first was to start a side hustle that earned a couple of hundred dollars every month that we could put towards our $40,000 worth of student loan debt. We also knew I was done working a normal job and had to figure out a way to work for myself and have the freedom of my own time.
The second was to create something together as a passion project.
Brittany had off during the summers as a teacher and would start to get bored a few weeks into the summer break. We both LOVE personal finance and our friends and family were always talking to us about it.
4. What was one fear or doubt you had when you took your leap of faith to quit your job?
Kelan – As weird as this sounds. I had quit so many jobs up until that point that it was not all that scary. Of course, there is the little voice in your head that is saying “you’re going to fail” but I have learned to turn that off and commit making things happen.
We also eliminated as much risk as possible before I quit my job. We saved up close to a year’s worth of salary, reduced our monthly spending to the bare minimum, and Brittany was at a full-time stable teaching job that we could essentially live of just her salary.
So although quitting my job after our blog only made $50 sounds absolutely insane. We took a bunch of steps and it was well planned out.
I also knew that there is endless opportunity in freelance work online. I was quickly able to start working for VIPKID teaching English online and landed a remote digital marketing job.
Brittany- Leaving my 9-5, I was worried about having good health insurance and benefits. Health is such a scary thing and you want to make sure you are being covered. We have decided on a health share program and so far we have been very satisfied.
5. Ok, $250,000 is a lot of money. How exactly does a blog make that much money?
Great question! One thing we really had to help us is how long we have been blogging for.
It's been over three years since we started our blog and started building our readership. There has been a lot of trial and error in growing our business but last year things started to click in a big way.
We finally started putting everything together and run on all cylinders if you will.
Here is a rough breakdown of our income last year:
- Ads – 25%
- Affiliates – 25%
- Sponsorships – 40%
- Products/Courses – 10% (For example, Blogger Secrets Course)
We were pretty diversified with our income streams which we love to see as business owners. This year we plan to increase our products/course income and rely less on landing partnerships or sponsorships with other brands.
If you're interested in landing sponsorships, here is a free training I put together on how to land sponsorships with your blog: Land Blog Sponsors!
We also have a course called Bloggers' Secrets (that Josh took) where we help struggling bloggers take their blog from $0 to $1,000+/month through proven expert strategies.
Brittany and I remember how frustrating it can be at the start of your blogging journey so we put our course together to really take all the guesswork out of blogging and focus on what helps you grow and bring in money.
5. If you could go back and start The Savvy Couple right now, what would you do differently?
I would treat it like a business from day one. I would have been more strategic with a business plan and figuring out what part of the market we can help the most.
I think the biggest thing that really helped us along our journey was creating our ideal reader and avatar. This helped us understand their biggest pain points in life so we can create content, marketing, and solutions to all of there problems. This is something we teach in our Bloggers’ Secrets course.
At the end of the day, we are just problem solvers. People tend to overcomplicate it at the beginning and it holds them up. If you have it in your heart to start blogging, DO IT! There is no better opportunity out there for such a low barrier or entry.
6. Where do you see The Savvy Couple in the next 10 years?
Our mission with The Savvy Couple is to have as big of an impact as possible helping bring family, finance, and freedom together.
We are SO passionate about helping couples improve their marriage/family, simplify their finances, and find their freedom.
We get ONE precious life to live. God gives everyone a purpose in life and far too often people ignore it and settle into a life they don’t really love.
We want to leave an amazing legacy helping others become financially free.
7. Can you share your favorite quote or affirmation in 20 words or less that helps you stay steady?
Fail = First Attempt in Learning
Love your family, work super hard, live your passion!– Gary V
8. What is one unique productivity tip or hack you use?
We use the Eisenhower chart regularly to know exactly which tasks will give us the highest ROI on our time. We also make sure to plan out our tasks the night before we go to bed so when we wake up we can get the right to work with no pause or wasted time thinking about it.
I always highly recommend people read Work Less Make More. That book changed our lives.
9. Social media is a necessary evil at times. How do you manage it & time as an entrepreneur working from home?
Social media is a rough one.
We rely on it heavily for our business so we do spend a good amount of time on it. But we all know that scrolling endlessly on social media is not healthy mentally.
It’s a highlight real of people’s lives and when you fall into the trap of comparison it can lead you to a dark place.
So, recently I (Kelan) have removed all social media from my phone other than Instagram. It’s been a breath of fresh air to not have so much noise in my life. I like to view social media platforms as tools we use not tools that use us.
10. Lastly, where is the best place people get in touch with The Savvy Couple?
You can also find us on all of the following social media platforms. We love connecting with our readers so don’t be shy sending us an email or direct message =).
If you read my earlier words about blogging being an online diary, you (like me) probably now realize that blogging is not just a powerful medium – it's a scaleable business opportunity for some!
I can't thank Kelan and Brittany enough for sharing their story and perspective on how they got started blogging and results it's helped produce for them and their beautiful family!
- Assess your time, see where you can find time to start a side hustle or money-making adventure online
- In a relationship? Include each other – common purpose & common vision like The Savvy Couple
- Don't be afraid to take the leap of faith!
- Grab a copy of the MLW Side Hustle Action Guide below that helps you learn how to start and scale a side hustle!
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.