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The two of us on a Loch Ness research boat – just after getting engaged in April 2019!

Hello and welcome!

Our goal here at Blog Empire Builder is to help you reach your blogging goals – whether you want to earn a little extra money or a very healthy full-time income. The two of us have each been self-employed for 10+ years, and while we've made money doing everything from consulting to self-publishing to Amazon sales, blogging has always been our favorite way to make money online. It's also our primary focus these days.

Who Are You Guys?

We're just two regular people who have been earning a living online for what seems like an eternity in internet years. We met and started dating back in 2009 while both speaking at an online marketing event at the Harvard Club in Boston.

After 10 years of dating and frequently partnering on projects, we finally decided to create this site to answer the questions we're always getting:

How do you start a blog?

How do bloggers make money?

How much money to bloggers actually make?

How do I get to the point where I can quit my job?

If you've ever wanted to know more about how to build a blog and actually make money from it, you're in the right place.

David

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I've always been an entrepreneur at heart. When I was 4, my family moved into a new house where some mint plants were growing. In my 4 year old mind, this was going to be a goldmine.

Around the year 2,000 I was working a job doing tech support. I liked the job well enough, but after a few pay raises I was at the top of the pay scale and realized my income wasn't going to increase anymore. I was a single dad with a young daughter, and the thought of just getting by or spending my days stuck in a job I hated for the next 70 years wasn't exactly my dream.

I started looking around online for ways I could make extra money. Nowadays you have endless choices of courses, blogs, and forums to learn from. Back then, there wasn't much information around.

Looking back, I think this was actually a good thing. I didn't have a lot of choices to distract me, so once I found something that worked I just kept at it.

After work, I would pick my daughter up from school. Once she went to bed, I would start my online work and go well into the night (or next morning!). I made nothing for a while, but when I made my first bit of income I was beyond excited.

It felt like the most fun video game ever. Every little bit I earned was like a win, and it drove me to keep going.

The first year I ended up making about as much as I did in my day job which felt great – I basically doubled my income!

The second year I made triple what I made in my day job – while working fewer hours. Eventually I got to a point where it made sense to quit my job and focus on my business full time. I took the plunge and never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

I've had the opportunity to do a lot in the online world over the years. I've been the top affiliate of several programs, given speeches and private workshops at industry events, and helped others grow their business and leave their day jobs.

I launched an affiliate marketing training forum back in 2009 which quickly became the go to place for people to learn affiliate marketing. Through the forum, I made lots of industry friends and colleagues which helped me continue to learn and grow. I've been invited to speak all over the world, and thousands of students have been through my training.

I've been teaching people various ways to make money online for over a decade. Every time a student emails me with a success story, it's like that ‘fun video game' feeling for me all over again.

Stefanie

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This photo was taken just before a massive chocolate shopping spree in San Francisco…

If you really want to go all the way to the beginning, my first experience in online business involved mass-emailing tens of thousands of people and crashing my hometown ISP. It was the 90s, and said ISP was housed in a single-wide trailer in the middle of a cornfield. The ISP was annoyed, and my parents were both amused and puzzled as to why I needed to email 50,000 people at once.

I abandoned my “marketing career” for years until I was getting close to graduation with a painfully dull degree in economics. It was a sensible major, but the idea of becoming one of those women who walk to work in suits and sneakers made me want to jump off a cliff. I'd been dabbling in things like eBay and consulting and making websites, and I used that experience to get my first real job as an e-commerce marketing director. You can check out my horrific over-acting at 2:49 in the product video below…

Shortly after I started my one and only “grownup job”, I saw the movie Click and I was completely traumatized. I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it, but it'll definitely make you re-think how you spend the time you have. I always knew self-employment was my goal, but now I was done messing around.

It took a little longer than I'd hoped, but in 2008, I worked my last day. Since then, I've built hundreds of income-generating websites and worked with hundreds of clients – including companies like Sears, Menchie's, Steak N Shake, SportClips, TCBY…and a Russian dating company.

My current favorite project is one of my own sites, I Heart British TV – because I DO love British television, and it's been really fun watching the site grow.

The most important thing about self-employment, though, is that I've had fun – much more than little kid me would have imagined was possible. What's the point of a life you don't enjoy?

A few highlights:

  • Releasing rehabilitated pelicans by the Golden Gate bridge
  • Flying eagles and owls at a castle in Scotland
  • Attending a clown camp run by counter-culture icon Wavy Gravy
  • Playing with otters
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He otter get out of there…

  • Meeting Kenny G. And Air Supply. And Stan Lee.
  • Saving thousands of dollars by getting dental work done at a high-end dentist in Costa Rica (and getting in lots of exploring at the same time)
  • Going to circus camp in the Dominican Republic
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Yep, that's me!

  • Multiple trips to the UK, my favorite place in the world
  • Going to Comic Con…twice.
  • Taking random classes in woodworking…and screenwriting…and gemology
  • Participating in the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia
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I was wearing roughly 15 layers to make this costume fit…

  • Meeting my now-fiance when both of us were in Boston to speak at a conference
  • Spending loads of time with my pets and fiance
  • Spending weeks and sometimes months at a time back home with my family in the Midwest

You don't have to be a complete lunatic like me to enjoy self-employment, but it doesn't hurt.

Who is Blog Empire Builder Meant For?

Broadly speaking, this site is for anyone who's sick of the typical struggle – condescending bosses, crappy work schedules, long commutes, jobs that don't pay enough, and LOST LIFE. As far as any of us know, we only get one shot at this. Why spend it scared, stressed, and basically enslaved to a life you don't love?

More specifically, this site is aimed at people who are sick of the usual guru make money online crap. Sometimes, you'll find my answers a little more complicated than the usual advice. We don't skim over the hard or tedious parts. That's because we've actually DONE the things I'm talking about – often, many times over with sites and businesses of varying sizes.

If that's what you're looking for, then welcome –  join the newsletter, check out a few posts, and let's get started!