How I Earned $210,000 My First Year Blogging – an Interview with Amira Irfan

 

In this entrepreneur spotlight, we have the honor of interviewing a rockstar six-figure blogger, Amira Irfan from A Self Guru.

 

Amira is a lawyer and blogger that managed to grow her side-hustle blog into six figures in less than ONE YEAR, and she’s here to tell us exactly how she did it.

 

Be sure to pin this baby for later so you can come back for a refresher on how to make six figures from your blog in the first year!

 

 

{{ Our blog posts contain affiliate links. These don’t cost you anything extra, but they allow us to continue running this site and providing free content for our readers. Full disclosure here. }}

 

1. Amira, please tell us about yourself and your blog!

 

I’m a business lawyer and six-figure blogger from Florida.

 

I blog over at ASelfGuru.com where I teach entrepreneurs how to protect their online business legally and how to gain the business skills they need to become their own boss.

 

I’ve had the honor of helping over 10,000 bloggers and entrepreneurs with my affordable legal templates and coaching services. Blogging is my side hustle that I started alongside my full-time job as a lawyer. I started blogging because I wanted to create a business that allowed me to help entrepreneurs around the world while providing me the autonomy to work from home.

 

2. Where were you at in your life (personally and professionally) when you started thinking about blogging?

 

I was working full-time as a business lawyer for more than 9 years, helping entrepreneurs with the legal side of their businesses and representing them in a wide variety of legal disputes.

 

My passion to teach and help entrepreneurs protect their businesses legally (whether it’s an online or a traditional brick and mortar type of business) stems from the time when my dad got sued for $90,000 as an entrepreneur.

 

That lawsuit turned our life upside down but also ignited the desire in me to become a lawyer and help other entrepreneurs avoid making the same legal mistakes that leave them financially and emotionally broken.

 

This is what gives purpose to my life.

 

And before I became a lawyer, I was a teacher, so I’ve always been passionate about helping and teaching others.

 

I wanted to use all my skills to create an online business and help more people.

 

So, it all started when one day, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of two six-figure bloggers. That’s when I realized that blogging could be a viable way of making money online.

 

I decided to start blogging the next day because it was a low-cost investment and something I could pursue with my full-time job as a lawyer.

 

As a lawyer, I could only help one client at a time, but now, blogging allows me to help thousands of entrepreneurs at a time with my affordable legal templates and services.

 

That kind of huge impact could only be achieved with an online business and blogging truly turned my dream into reality!

 

{I love this so much Amira! I think a lot of us choose to start blogging because we can help more people and make money from anywhere, which is seriously like a dream come true. And it’s so great that you jumped right in the moment you realized that making money blogging was possible!}

 

 

3. How much time did you have to dedicate to blogging each week when you first got started?

 

A lot of hours!

 

I’d work on my blog every night after coming home from my day job and almost every weekend. So altogether, 35 or more hours per week. If you are blogging with a full-time job like me, then I don’t recommend you work this many hours because it affected my health adversely.

 

I wasn’t sleeping properly or eating right. And I was working 16 hours or more in a day so obviously, all that took a severe toll on my health.

 

I was being a workaholic because I didn’t have the luxury of time on my hands. Whatever little time I had after my job, I wanted to make the most out of it.

 

In the beginning, there was tons to learn and do!

 

I don’t think we ever ‘graduate’ as bloggers because just when you think you have mastered one thing, there’s something else for you to learn and tackle.

 

To be honest, I don’t even count the number of hours I work every week because that scares me! Lol.

 

I still work full-time as a lawyer and blogging is my side hustle, so my schedule is always a bit hectic. But now I do try to take at least one day off from blogging and legal work completely to unwind and recharge my batteries.

 

Otherwise, I’d experience burnout very quickly and at the end of the day, health is wealth.

 

{Thank you for this honesty, Amira! I did the same when I started monetizing my blog and do not recommend it. I worked myself so hard and did not take care of myself, and my health definitely suffered. It’s so important to find a balance of putting in that work, but also taking care of your physical and mental health. I’m so glad to hear you’ve found some balance in your busy schedule!}

 

 

4. Walk us through your weekly work flow once you got your blog setup (what did you do with your time each week to make your blog grow)?

 

Gosh, so much! I launched my blog in 7 days with my full-time job and the first thing I did was take off my perfectionist hat.

 

 

I’m a perfectionist as a lawyer, so I tend to analyze and think about things in detail. But I knew if I was going to maximize my limited time blogging, then I couldn’t be that person.

 

 

So, the first thing I did was invest in an amazing blogging course that taught me the A to Z of blogging.

 

 

I didn’t know a thing about blogging, so I wasn’t going to experiment on my own and waste time. This course allowed me to launch my blog quickly and after launching my blog, I started to work on creating my own products right away.

 

 

I saw tons of bloggers and entrepreneurs struggling with writing the legal pages for their blogs, and as a lawyer, I wanted to help them in the best way possible.

 

 

So, I created affordable legal template bundles while focusing on affiliate marketing as a way of making money from my blog.

 

 

I didn’t try to do everything. I just chose a couple of ways of monetizing my blog and decided to stick to those.

 

 

In the beginning, if you try to do everything and be everywhere, you will experience burnout and probably won’t be successful at anything.

 

 

It’s better to focus on 2-3 things and that’s what I did.

 

 

I focused on a couple of social media channels I wanted to grow, such as Pinterest and Facebook, and started working on it simultaneously. Those were important for bringing traffic to my website because without traffic, you don’t have a business.

 

 

Then a few months later, I started focusing on Google SEO. I wish I had started on that from day one but at the time, I didn’t know how important it was, so initially, I only focused on organic traffic from Pinterest.

 

 

In a nutshell, each week was different in the beginning. I was focusing on creating my legal templates, writing quality blog posts, promoting affiliate products, managing my Facebook group and other social medias, engaging with my audience and building an email list, and networking with other bloggers.

 

 

It was lots of fun because the work was never the same.

 

 

I was always challenged with new things, but at the same time, it was quite overwhelming sometimes because everything required A LOT more work and time than I had anticipated.

 

 

Running a business of your own is definitely rewarding but it’s also a lot harder than working for someone else in my opinion. You have a lot more responsibilities and you are in charge of everything.

 

 

 

{Sounds like you did the right thing by investing in solid education from the beginning. That is definitely something I wish I had done! I tried to do everything the cheapest way possible, and it took me a long time to work through all the trial and error to find what works. And all that time that I spent trying to piece everything together could’ve been spent actually making money! It’s a very difficult lesson for many new bloggers to learn, so I gotta say, it’s super refreshing to hear that you did things the other way and found success so quickly.}

 

5. Of course all of our little business investments add up and help us accomplish different things, but what would you say is the single-most useful and worthwhile investment that you made into your blog during the first year?

 

The best investment I ever made was purchasing the Pro Blogger Bundle by Create and Go to start my blogging journey. It is a bundle of their 3 best courses that walk you through everything – starting a blog and making money, to driving traffic, to becoming a six-figure blogger.

 

I spent almost $700 on this course. It was a lot of money at the time, considering I had no clue about blogging and whether I was going to ever earn my investment back!

 

But this was my very first investment to start my blog and if it wasn’t for this course, I would not have become a six-figure blogger in my first year!

 

It changed my life completely. I started to make $20,000 a month blogging in my first year then I jumped to $35,000 a month and then recently I made over $44,000 a month!

 

There’s no way I’d have been able to make this kind of money blogging if I had not invested in a blogging course to learn from successful bloggers out there.

 

As I mentioned above, I had no idea that you could actually make money blogging. But I was certainly intrigued to try it because Alex and Lauren, the creators of Create and Go, were making $100,000/month from, not just one blog, but two blogs!

 

So, they inspired me to give blogging a try at night while continuing to work as a lawyer during the day.

 

As I dived into their Pro Blogger Bundle and learned everything, I was hooked!

 

It was like a whole new world of opportunities just opened up to me that I had never thought of before.

 

Before I knew it, I had not only launched my blog in 7 days but also created 4 digital products in just 2 weeks after launching.

 

 

All this by someone with zero technical background, someone who had never blogged before and someone who was completely clueless about how to make money online!

 

 

I’ve owned businesses before in the traditional sense but the online world was uncharted territory for me.

 

 

That’s why it was super important to invest in the RIGHT blogging course with proven results to give me a roadmap. Otherwise, I’d have been completely lost.

 

 

The best part about investing in the right blogging courses and tools is that you don’t have to struggle and waste time figuring out everything on your own. You can follow the blueprint provided to you and really speed up your progress!

 

 

I see so many bloggers struggling and wasting time to figure out everything on their own because they don’t want to spend money on a blogging course. Meanwhile, all their questions could have been easily answered if they had taken a blogging course to begin their journey.

 

 

I know there’s tons of free information out there but honestly, that’s not the best use of your time. I didn’t waste valuable time surfing the internet for free information at all because I simply couldn’t afford to!

 

 

I knew better as a lawyer.

 

 

My time is money. So it was essential for me to invest in a course like this that was going to produce results for me. And it was totally worth it!

 

You can read how this course helped me go from 0 to $20,000 a month blogging in my first year here.

 

 

 

{This point is so powerful to me, because I was that blogger that wasted a lot of time just spinning my wheels, consuming allllll the free info, and trying to figure everything out on my own. I thought my marketing experience from my day job was enough to hold me over, but like you said, blogging is a whole different ballgame! It’s much better use of your time to invest in education from people that have been there, done that, and have a proven system that WORKS! And quite honestly, once I started investing in my blog like a business, that is when it started to take off, so they definitely go hand in hand.}

 

 

6. That’s a LOT of money though! What would you say to the person that doesn’t have that much money to invest in their blogging business right now? Are they just doomed to fail?

 

No, of course not! You are not doomed to fail without investing in a blogging course, but the thing is, if you do have some money to invest in some proper training, then that would definitely give you faster results!

 

After all, you got into blogging to make money, right?

 

So, you have to treat your blog like a real business from day one!

 

That means learning from the best entrepreneurs out there.

 

Just imagine how many HOURS and MONTHS I’d have wasted if I had never bought this course to begin my blogging journey. If I had let $700 stop me from buying the course, then imagine how much I’d have missed out on today. I made $1,000 in my first month of blogging so I earned my investment back pretty quickly!

 

 

I always say this: just ask yourself, do I want to be a six-figure blogger in my FIRST year or three years later?

 

Now, I’m not saying everyone who takes a blogging course like I did will automatically become a six-figure blogger. That’s not the case.

 

You’d still have to put in the hard work and the time. But at least you’d have all the tips and tricks, strategies you need to make money online quickly.

 

You AVOID all the frustration, mistakes, overwhelm of trying to figure out things on your own, and the likelihood of giving up because things don’t work the way you hoped they would!

 

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on your blog, then find a way to make money. You can offer freelance services, take on another side hustle in the meantime and earn the money you need to then invest in your blog.

 

If you think about it, blogging is the cheapest way to start a business.

 

I’ve invested much more into traditional brick and mortar type of businesses in the past. Any business you start whether online or offline, it comes with a cost.

 

At the end of the day, I truly believe that you have to spend money to make money. You will thank yourself for it!

 

Blogging courses and training tools that are designed to make your life easier and help you reach your goals FASTER, so why not take advantage of that if you possibly can?

 

Why go through the hassle of figuring out everything on your own when you can get the exact blueprint from experts who have already achieved the success you desire?

 

I think when you look at things from that perspective, it becomes a no-brainer to invest in yourself and learn what you don’t already know.

 

Also, there are tons of awesome blogging courses out there that are pretty affordable, such as Cate’s Becoming a Blogger course or Affiliate Marketing course, so don’t feel that you have to spend tons of money right away.

 

I didn’t invest in just one blogging course. Since then, I’ve invested in 50+ blogging tools, courses and resources here to grow my business and make over $44,000 a month. I look at everything as an ongoing investment that allows me to make multiple six-figures blogging.

 

As your business grows, it’s inevitable that you will invest in further trainings and new tools to improve things.

 

{So much truth here! I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuck, and I love how he always recommends FINDING A WAY and putting in the work! There is always a way, there are always opportunities out there. We just have to find them and work for them, and it’s soooo worth it.}

 

 

7. How much money did you earn from your blog during your first year?

 

I made over $320,000 blogging in 18 months.

 

In my first year, I earned $210,000 blogging. But in the last 3 months alone, I made $119,000 from my blog. It started with my big $35,000 a month blogging. After that, another $40,000 a month and then last month, I made over $44,000 from my blog.

 

Here are some blog posts that will show you my blogging journey with my full-time job as a lawyer-

 

How I Made $20,000 a month blogging

How I Made $35,000 a month blogging

50+ Blogging Tools and Resources I Used to Make Over $44,000 a month

 

 

There are tons of secret tips in these blog posts to help you!

 

 

8. Looking back, is there anything you would do differently for your blogging business during that first year?

 

I should have started building a team together sooner to make my life easy. I did hire a few freelancers to help me with my business but not soon enough.

 

 

I tried to do everything on my own and made great progress but that’s not the best way to run a business.

 

 

You need to start thinking about automating and creating systems and processes in place to free up your time as a creative entrepreneur. And for that, you need to start hiring the right people for different tasks.

 

 

I also didn’t learn SEO right away. That was a mistake that cost me money and valuable time. I had to literally go back and revise tons of old blog posts to optimize them for SEO and even hired people to help me with that.

 

 

This hassle could have been easily avoided if I had invested in SEO courses or books to learn the basics from the beginning. It’s so important to learn SEO right away, especially with all the Pinterest algorithm changes all the time. You need to diversify your sources of traffic and just relying on Pinterest alone for traffic is a mistake.

 

9. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a fellow blogger reading this article and trying to grow their blog into a money-making business?

 

Invest in your yourself and your business.

 

Don’t waste time learning through trial and error. That’s not the best use of your time, and it will take you much longer to reach your desired level of success that way.

 

Instead find a successful blogger you admire and learn from that person whether through blog coaching or investing in a course.

 

There are SO many bloggers who have already produced the results you want, so invest in their courses and speed up your progress. Learn from their mistakes instead of making those mistakes yourself.

 

There are so many different ways to make money online and you won’t know everything right away.

 

 

Trying to research everything on your own is an old way of doing things. Maybe it used to work but nowadays, everything is so competitive and you really need to stand out!

 

 

For that, you have to be smarter and produce more in less time. Obviously, the easiest way to make that happen is by following a proven formula for success and learn from the blogging professionals who have already grown their blog into a money-making business!

 

 

 

10. What can we expect to see from you in the future? Share whatever you’re working on or where we can find you online!

 

Whatever my audience wants! Every single legal template you see in my online store was created because bloggers and entrepreneurs reached out to me requesting it.

 

 

So, I will continue to focus on the most important thing in my business – my customers.

 

 

They wanted discounted legal template bundles, so I created these new packages to help them sleep better at night knowing their online business is protected legally. You can grab my Starter Legal Bundle, Premium Legal Bundle or become my VIP customer here to get complete peace of mind and legal protection for your business by gaining access to 16 templates + 16 bonuses (plus save thousands of dollars!).

 

 

I love working with my fellow bloggers to make sure they are thriving in their business and not bogged down by the legal aspects of blogging.

 

 

So grab your free legal guide here to find out if you are making these 3 legal mistakes in your business. And you can always easily reach me in my Facebook group here.

 

 

{Amira, thank you so much for sharing your story and all of this amazing insight with us! You’ve worked so hard and earned every bit of the success that you have, and I’m sure it will continue far into the future, because you are such a dedicated entrepreneur!}

 

 

Take it from a six-figure blogger, my friends: if you work hard, invest in the right things, focus on serving your audience, and treat your blog like a real business, you CAN build a successful money-making blog.

 

 

Related Reads: How we Made $61,915 from Our Blog in One Month – an Interview with Ben Huber.

From Firefighter to Mental Health Advocate and Entrepreneur – What to Invest in During Your First Year.

25 Comments

  1. Sahil K..

    March 24, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Oh my god, How can you write the content like a feeling? I read two of your articles and also Becoming a Blogger Course. You are awesome. I can’t describe it in words. thank you very much. Your courses are so easy to understand, no complex language, everything is so straight forward in a language that everyone can easily understand.
    I have a question for you – What do you feel when you are writing a post, I mean what is your state of mind? Keep up the good work.

    1. Cate

      March 24, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      You are too kind, thank you! I definitely try to make things as straight forward and simple as possible, because I remember the overwhelm of trying to figure things out in the beginning, and it all felt like a foreign language I would never understand! As for my state of mind when writing, all I can say is that I’m very focused on helping my reader. The only words I can really use to describe my feeling when writing is ‘focused and happy.’ Happy that I’m able to help someone and focused on making the content as easy to understand as possible!

  2. Kim

    March 25, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Great interview and straight forward. Both you and Amira put forth some excellent questions, answers and info. Thanks!

    1. Amira

      March 29, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks, Kim! Glad you enjoyed the interview 🙂

  3. Crystal Garman

    March 25, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    What an amazing blogging journey! So inspiring! I think I get caught up with the “so much information out there and too little time to digest it!”

    1. Cate

      March 30, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      There is soooo much information out there, it’s so important to choose a few trusted sources and ignore everything else, otherwise we get overloaded and overwhelmed!

    2. Amira

      April 11, 2020 at 2:35 am

      Thank you, Crystal! Yes, there’s tons of information out there and you don’t need everything. Just stick with a couple of blogging resources you trust and follow them diligently 🙂

  4. Breanne

    March 25, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    I love how this interview is straightforward with no fluff or empty promises! And I appreciate you being real about how blogging can take a toll on your health. It made me feel like I’m on the right track ^_^

    1. Cate

      March 30, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      You’re doing awesome! Thanks for reading and commenting, we appreciate you!

    2. Amira

      April 11, 2020 at 2:37 am

      Haha yes it can! It’s hard to balance your time when you blog with a full-time job but always remember, health is wealth 🙂 I learned that the hard way!

  5. Beth Elkassih

    March 25, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    I have read many blogs with guest interviews and Cate! This is by far one of the best if not the best I have had the pleasure to read! And Amira! She’s so amazing. I actually started about the same time she did and although I’m happy with my progress, I’m in no way in her league! That said, the one thing she hit upon that is key for beginning bloggers… you MUST treat your blog as a business… and if so… you MUST realize the importance of investing into your business and this means selecting the BEST courses for your money. Your courses Cate are always highly recommended. Best of the best!

    1. Amira

      March 29, 2020 at 9:19 pm

      Aww thank you so much for your kind words, Beth! I’m very happy with your blogging progress as well and keep up the great work 🙂

  6. Romit

    March 26, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Amira is awesome! Her consistency in delivering value is amazing and the need of the hour!

    1. Amira

      April 11, 2020 at 2:38 am

      Thank you so much, Romit!

  7. Kari

    March 27, 2020 at 4:22 am

    I can totally relate to Amira being a perfectionist but realizing they had to give that up if they wanted to get things done! In the beginning I would agonize over the smallest tweak and it would take me forever. Soon I had to just accept good results as I had to move on to the next task. Oh well:)

    1. Cate

      March 30, 2020 at 6:26 pm

      Yes, done is better than perfect!

  8. Geroge

    March 30, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    Wow! This is amazing. Can you please tell me how to get more traffic to the blogs? I am struggling to get traffic on my blogs.

    1. Cate

      March 30, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      Focus on SEO and take advantage of all the free and affordable training you can find in Facebook groups and on blogs like this one! Traffic takes time, so be patient with yourself. Thanks for reading!

  9. Blogili

    April 2, 2020 at 7:09 am

    Great job! I like your theme.Thanks for sharing this nice list !! The information you give will be of great value to me.

  10. Delta

    April 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    What are her sources of income that make her earn that much?

    1. Cate

      April 17, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      The article goes into detail about her earnings and links to many other resources that show where she earns her money from (mostly affiliate marketing and selling her own products).

  11. deep

    May 9, 2020 at 5:15 am

    Such a great post. I read from the beginning to the end!
    Arfa, you hit me when you say that most people don’t promote their blog posts. All they do is write and publish blog posts, but they don’t really promote their content.
    And looking at myself, you’re right. I only share my blog posts on social media, and that’s all.
    I need to come up with new strategies. I need to promote and repurpose my content and promote them. Cheers 🙂

    1. Cate

      May 31, 2020 at 7:39 am

      So true, we tend to be afraid to really promote our stuff, when ultimately that’s one of those most important parts of the whole process! Thanks for reading!

  12. ABHISHEK

    May 11, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Congrats Amira For Your Success !!

    1. Cate

      May 31, 2020 at 7:38 am

      isn’t she just amazing?! Feel so honored to know her!

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