Lauren and I overcame debt, crippling anxiety, and our soul-sucking corporate jobs to make over $100,000 per month blogging and travel the world to amazing places like Portugal, Peru, Bali, and others.
I want to assure you that it was certainly not all sunshine and rainbows getting there. We dealt with multiple failures, massive amounts of stress, family ridicule, and all sorts of problems on our way to making our dreams happen.
We are writing this so you know the real us. Like the honest to God, rough around the edges, US that our friends and family see. We are the opposite of the button up suit wearing “entrepreneurs” that you probably envision. We curse, drink too much, and have many flaws.
You need to know the stories to understand how we got to where we are. The time we ate eggs and rice every day for months, the time we sold all our belongings and quit our jobs before we had made a single dime blogging, and everything in between. This is our story and I hope it gives some serious insight into who we are. The real us.
WARNING: If you’re offended by language, this story may not be for you. This story isn’t censored on purpose, because again, we’re just trying to be real. No candy coating here.
Before We Met
I came out as an 11-pound baby in Arlington, Texas on June 5th, 1989. I’m not kidding about my size. The nurses ran out yelling in the halls for other people to come in, “You gotta see this giant baby!”
Here are some basic highlights about me:
- Grew up in Colleyville, Texas (I bleed Texan and am as every bit obnoxiously in love with my state as you imagine me to be)
- Attended the University of Arkansas for my BSBA and also played some football there as well
- Always hustling (I did network marketing and cold calls as a kid, sold AdvoCare in college and became a personal trainer for my friends in sororities. I also did door-to-door sales to make side money collecting leads to paint houses.)
- Failed corporate America twice (Quit after 3 months both jobs because of stress. One was for my dad’s business. I’m not really the shining star of my success-focused family — more like the black sheep.).
- My favorite drink is a Moscow Mule double vodka (less sweet). If you see me drinking this, be warned… I’m trying to get lit.
Some basics highlights before I met Alex:
- Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and also grew up in Tampa, Florida
- Went to the University of Central Florida (UCF) and graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting
- Got my MBA from Louisiana Tech University and then my CPA license in Dallas, TX (specialized in tax and auditing)
- I absolutely LOVE living in the South and now consider Texas my home
- I’m also a lover of red wine, yoga, and coffee (about as basic as it gets).
July 26th, 2014 – How We Met: Two Fatal Swipes
Tinder, in case you’ve been living on the moon, is a dating app that young people use to meet others. Well, nowadays they use all sorts of apps… but Tinder was at the height of its popularity in 2014 when Lauren and I both swiped right.
Call it a shallow hookup app, call it a dating app, whatever. We don’t really care. All we knew is that we met and we IMMEDIATELY clicked. One of those laugh all night until your face hurts relationships, where you know almost instantly that the person is going to be important to you.
So if you’re single, make sure to get on Tinder because you may meet your future business partner and go on to build a multimillion-dollar company together…
July 27th, 2014 – Relationship Ensues and Life Frustration Builds
At the time, I was 25 and started to notice some things about my life that I was not too thrilled about…
- I was trading my dollars for hours working for clients as a personal trainer (no health insurance, vacations, etc.) – with no real way to make more money except to own my own gym, which sounded miserable to me.
- My job made it impossible to socialize working nights and early mornings. It’s hard to party with friends when you have to be up at 4:30 am for your 5:00 am client the next morning.
- I made a great money, but I still felt incredibly poor when I looked at my bank account (between rent, driving to and from clients, having fun…).
Overall, Lauren and I have had pretty easy lives so far compared to the rest of the world. We have both had abusive people in our lives, so don’t feel like our lives were perfect. But expanding upon those experiences in this post feels a bit disingenuous.
We were blessed and plenty thankful for what we had, but there was one feeling we couldn’t escape.
Is this really it?
Really… Is this really IT???
Yeah, getting drunk on the weekends when you’re young is fun and who doesn’t love going to the movies for the bajillionth time in your life, but we couldn’t escape the feeling there had to be more to life than this.
We were hustling hard but still had to come to terms with some harsh realities about our world:
- We wouldn’t be able to afford to travel OR have the time for it until we were 50+ because of our jobs.
- Forget affording a house for YEARS…
- Would we ever actually make enough money that we could truly ENJOY our lives and not just enough to survive on?
At this point, we were basically drowning ourselves in coffee just to keep ourselves alive and able to get out of bed and do it all over again each day.
Am I really going to die begging overweight clients to stop eating cake every night???
What about adventure? Exploration? Freedom? Fun?
What about traveling the world and seeing other cultures while we’re young enough to really enjoy it?
I was just so fucking frustrated because I felt like I was running the hamster wheel of life so damn hard at times, but was never really getting anywhere. I worked my ass off but had built nothing. I ground hard, but for what…
Lauren didn’t have it much better busting 80-hour workweeks during tax season and getting paid pretty mediocrely for an MBA with a CPA license.
Like this woman has an MBA and a CPA, is as sharp as a tack, and is still fighting to stay out of debt.
So, you have to understand, at this moment in time, the frustration and disappointment that came from following the rules of society were maddening to us…
March 2015 – The Conference Ticket
I had a client named Justin O buy a ticket for himself to the meetup for the Millionaire Fastlane. (Great book if you haven’t read it yet!)
He ended up not being able to go and offered it to me. I really didn’t want to go, but I ended up convincing myself to book my flight less than a week before we went. I mean, it was in sunny Arizona in March. Worst case scenario – I’d get a tan and have a quick weekend getaway.
What I didn’t expect was what would happen to me after being around other entrepreneurs.
Here’s a little excerpt from our feature in Forbes about that experience:
“The conference was a game changer for me,” says Nerney. “Seeing successful people, both young and old, share their stories and connect was amazing. It lit a fire under me that I have to build something better for myself than being just a personal trainer.”
I look back at that decision today as one of the best random opportunities I ever took. I literally knew nobody there and my roommate even jipped me out of half the bill for the room, but it was 100% worth it.
I came back with a vengeance. This wasn’t going to be it for me. This wasn’t going to be it for us. I was going to do whatever it took to build a better life for myself.
April 2015 – Failure #1 (Lyte)
My first failure coming back to Dallas, Texas after that conference was a business called Lyte.co, which was a text messaging app startup.
Actually, there were a ton of business failures before this one, but this is the first one truly relevant to the story.
I basically spent a couple months building the idea with a buddy and going person to person on the street promoting it.
It took about a month or two to realize that the idea was not going anywhere and my business partner was not going to be a good fit.
It’s important if you have read this far to realize that failure is a common part of any great journey. Accept it. Embrace it. Learn From It. Move on.
May 2015 – I Started a Blog (and Lauren Jumps on Board)
My next thought was that I should start a health and fitness website because of my background as a personal trainer. I didn’t even know what I was doing was called blogging at the time truth be told.
I just thought I should write about topics young people would enjoy – like getting healthy while still having fun on the weekends and people would just show up.
Lauren saw me CRUSHING hours into this blog and was always asking questions about it. She knew I had been pursuing the online stuff for a while now, but I think the fire in me really got her attention this time.
One day, she saw me working on something and said: “Hey, I can help with that.” Neither of us knew it at the time, but this was going to be her first step into entrepreneurship and her life was about to do a complete 180-degree shift.
Lauren continued to help more and more and we became a team devoting most of our nights and weekends to our new blog.
Fun story during this time: We took recipe photos a lot at my dad’s house while making this first blog. One time, while we were trying to create recipes with my new lighting equipment I had just purchased, my dad came home early (unexpectedly) from a flight. We had our lights set up in his kitchen and it totally looked like we were shooting some sort of porno. He was in shock. We were in shock trying to explain the situation. We still all laugh about this to this day.
Caption: “Not a porno dad, I promise”
August 2015 – Failure #2
The truth is that the original version of this blog failed, miserably.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact we thought we could just get drunk and post recipes on the internet for profits… MAYBE…
We probably spent 3 straight months of nights and weekends (ALL of them) on it to have it completely flop. We began to see that among other things, we sucked at making recipe photos even with our fancy lights.
We saw the writing on the wall with the blog and decided that we should start over with something new. Something not so selfishly about us, but the major difference would be that this blog would be about what other people wanted and needed.
We saw a demographic, we made content for THEM, and things began to change.
September 25th, 2015 – Registered the Domain Name Avocadu.com
It’s not that we knew exactly what we were going to do with this damn thing at the beginning… All we knew was that we needed to make a different blog that was targeted at an audience.
We started spending DAY AND NIGHT pumping out content for Avocadu.com.
Keep in mind that we were both still working our full-time jobs as a personal trainer and CPA during this time.
Avocadu actually started off as a blog where we were going to try to make a ton of money on Google Adsense. That plan did not work, but we kept going with it as the content was beginning to attract a readership.
People started to read the blog and enjoyed the content. We gradually got more and more people’s eyeballs on our blog and began to build an audience.
November 2015 – We’re Not Going to Make It
Lauren and I were on a hike in Seattle with her family at the time in the beautiful Rainer National Park.
This is actually a photo of us from that exact hike.
For a moment on that hike, we had this realization/awakening that we were not going to make it unless we did some insane. Avocadu had started getting some readers and that was awesome, but we needed this thing to go faster. Way faster.
At the current rate, it would take us 5+ years to become successful bloggers.
I don’t know who pitched the idea, but one of us suggested quitting our full-time jobs and moving to Seattle.
At first, when presented with any insane idea, your brain naturally rules it out as ludicrous because it comes up with 8,000 reasons why it won’t work.
We were not making any money, had full-time, steady jobs that we had worked hard to secure, and nobody would understand.
Why would we quit before we were making any money? How would that even work?
That being said, it made some fundamental sense because…
- A job takes up your best hours of productivity. Yes, working at night is possible and is the start of many entrepreneur’s journeys, but our best hours in the morning were getting creatively burned by our work. Hours that could have been put into our blogs.
- If we put the 80 hours a week we were working into our blogs, this thing would surely grow a ton faster.
- What was the worst that could happen?
An old trick I learned from a Tim Ferris book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was to write down the worst thing that could happen when considering a new idea or scenario.
We thought about it and the worst case was that we would spend a year trying to make this work and if we failed, we’d go right back to our regular jobs. I could pick up new clients easily and Lauren could just go to a different accounting firm. Our friends and family may tease us a bit, but other than that, we’d come out pretty unscathed.
Didn’t sound so bad actually…
I mean, we were already putting in the work. We had been eating eggs and rice almost every day (sometimes two times a day) to save money. It sounded like it would be worth a shot.
It took a few weeks to metastasize in our brains and despite every reason why we shouldn’t, we just said “fuck it” and did it anyway…
Jan 7th, 2016 – Quit Jobs and Move into Dad’s House
This next move was by far the most ballsy, but it’s like I always tell Lauren, “You gotta risk it to get the biscuit!”
In this month, we:
- Quit our full-time jobs (Lauren had JUST gotten her CPA license a couple months before quitting!)
- Sold almost everything we owned (furniture, clothes, etc). Everything we owned to our names fit into just a few bags.
This is literally everything that we owned – packed up and headed out for Seattle.
- Moved into my dad’s house to save money on rent.
- Became full-time bloggers!!!
Trust me, this is all said a lot easier than done. We were NERVOUS and TERRIFIED and EXCITED all at once.
Just sit down for a second and imagine me explaining to Lauren’s dad why she’s quitting her job… Two months after she had gotten the CPA license she had been studying for MONTHS for. I’m looking across the table at a man who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her education to quit her full-time job to make money on the internet (doing some “blogging” thing).
It was not an easy chat.
My parents were not too excited about it either, but hey – they didn’t think me being a personal trainer was a good idea either so… I was already a bit of a disappointment! LOL
January – March 2016 – The Light at the End of the Tunnel
I tell people that they are not really an entrepreneur unless they have gone to bed with anxiety only to wake up, drink a cup of coffee, and get after it once again like past failure didn’t exist.
As an entrepreneur, it helps to have a selective memory of your failures.
Because it’s only the act of getting punched in the face every day (with ridicule, doubt, and failure), trying your best to conquer it, going to bed, and waking up ready for the next ass-whipping that is the definition of a true entrepreneur in my mind.
This was our life for a while.
It was filled with anxiety, hope, fear, stress, desire, doubt, and all sorts of emotions.
We put all these emotions on ourselves by quitting so soon, but we felt like the only way out was through and we did NOT want to wait another couple of years to finally achieve success.
Up to this point, we had already spent thousands of dollars on shitty internet products and courses that didn’t work for us. It sucks to pay $1,000 for a “life-changing” digital product that doesn’t end up working out for your business.
We didn’t know it at the time, but this ended up being a blessing in disguise as we would one day be teaching OTHERS and needed to see what people were doing wrong in order to best help others succeed.
It was how these products failed us that allowed us to truly help others.
The other funny thing was that Lauren and I were two complete health freaks at the time who found ourselves binge-eating cinnamon toast crush and Reese’s Puffs cereal at night because we were so fucking stressed out. It’s hard to put into words how difficult it was at the beginning – both mentally and emotionally.
But it wasn’t all downs. Intermixed with the negatives were some of the highest highs you can ever imagine…
March/April 2016 – Our First Real Sale
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I had just configured a new email funnel based on a mix of techniques I had seen people use plus some of my own ideas.
At this time, we had tried probably a hundred different ways to monetize the blog. From ads to funnels to eBooks and everything in between.
At one point, we were trying to make 5 different free video courses for 5 different affiliate products – ALL AT ONCE.
Almost all of which were ultimately failures.
But for the first time after trying hundreds of different techniques from gurus and marketing experts, something WORKED.
Like really worked.
Guys, I can’t stress to you what that felt like. I almost started crying. We’re were only making about $5 per sale on this digital product that we were selling but it felt like we were millionaires.
It was the first time I truly felt like we were going to make this thing happen. I remember looking out the window after a few minutes staring into the night sky thinking, “We are going to make this thing happen. We are actually going to do this.”
It may not sound like much to you, but it was everything to us.
I’m getting chills just typing this out.
Once we started consistently selling that $5 affiliate product and knew that the topic was something our audience was interested in, we decided to make our own product. The affiliate product that we were selling at the time was a decent product, but we felt like it was lacking in a lot of ways as well.
We wanted to create our own product filled with EVERYTHING our audience had been asking and hoping for.
So, we spent a couple of weeks busting our butts to create this product. We set it up be go “live” just a few hours before 6 of our best friends showed up at the airport to visit us in Seattle.
We spent a lot of time hiking the trails at Rainier National Park, whale watching, exploring the city, and even taking a quick trip to Portland.
During their week stay, I would check my email every few hours to see if we had made a sale. I thought for sure we would get one during that week.
Unfortunately, during that entire week, no sales came through.
It was a HUGE bummer considering the time we had spent making the product and the potential impact it could have on our business.
Later that week, when we got back to our place after visiting Oregon, I was messing around with Stripe (the third-party payment processor we use to collect payments) and realized that my Stripe account was not set up to receive email alerts.
I thought for sure it was on, but I must have made a mistake when I set it up.
I checked the stats and re-read the thing like 5 times just to make sure there was no mistake.
Over the course of the week, we had already made our first 5 sales of our $37 product! And this was all without doing much at all to promote it!
I ran up to Lauren yelling that we had made 5 sales and she screamed and we jumped around yelling like teenagers in a mix of hugs and excitement.
We were doing it. We were making money with our blog.
We became chronically addicted to our phones, checking every few hours for new sales. When we did, it always came with some crazy excitement. That refresh swipe down motion on my email became an addiction.
I won’t tell everyone to quit their jobs, but let me tell you one thing… Quitting when we did was the best move that we ever made.
We doubled our revenues every month for that first 5 months after quit our jobs. During that time, we had wins both big and small, huge failures, and everything in between.
It was pivotal to our success.
And it didn’t stop there…
July 2016 – The Mega Viral Pin
By this time, we had launched our second digital product on Avocadu and it was doing really well. I had a lot of experience as a personal trainer and my insight combined with Lauren’s meticulous nature was getting people really awesome results:
One of our testimonials from Shawna that literally made us cry.
We had a large number of people interested in weight loss on our blog, and we decided to make them the best damn product we could.
At this time, we were pretty close to making our first $10,000/month but had not reached it yet.
One day, Lauren and I were about to go to bed and we made about 5 sales in an hour… That was a very strange and unusual spike, but we didn’t think more about it at the time.
Every morning, we would wake up and Lauren would hop on my back and I would look at the sales overnight. Like two teenagers giddy with excitement.
Perhaps the best part about this was the ability to put your income on autopilot and make sales while you slept.
Anyway, we had like 10 sales overnight and were confused. This was REALLY out of the ordinary. Like unheard of.
Honestly, we were excited but we thought that something must be wrong somewhere!
The crazy thing was that we didn’t even work that day. We already had plans to go out to brunch with my best friend, Brock, and his wife, Bethany.
As we were out having fun, we kept refreshing our email and it seemed like every time we did, new sales were in there.
It was too good to be true…
What happened was that we had a Pinterest pin to one of our articles go “mega viral” – leading to over 97,000 website views in one day. This led to an avalanche of sales that led to us making over $5,000 in a single day.
That month, we earned over $40,000…
Our minds were blown and our worlds were completely shaken, AGAIN.
A real blogger or entrepreneur will always tell you success is a mix of luck and preparedness/hard work colliding on one another. This was the day the collision happened for us.
We were now successful bloggers and our minds were open to so many more possibilities.
August 2016 – Living in Nicaragua and the Beginnings of Create and Go
Yes, you really can work like that in the right pool if the sun is in the right spot — although it’s still not an ideal working condition.
We went to Nicaragua for a month with a group called the Wifi Tribe, a group of young, co-living, co-working, co-partying entrepreneurs.
It was a blast.
Lauren and I basically realized that at this point, we had made some sort of insane pipe dream happen and that we HAD to share with others. I mean, it sounds like a scam right? We started a blog, made a ton of money, had no bosses, slept in as long as we wanted, never battled traffic, and had started to travel the world.
We decided that we needed to help people achieve this life too and that we needed to start a blog about our journey and teach others how to do this.
This was where getting ripped off by those courses and other marketers helped so much. It made us truly realize how much of a need there was for this kind of information from people who had done it (and quickly).
People who had found success and not just in a blog about making money either. Our success was completely different from others and not just some marketer marketing about marketing. We could be that honest, trustworthy source of information that could get people actual results.
And to be honest, we were far more attracted to the “business” side of our blog. We both went to business school and enjoyed the sales and marketing far more than the whole “writing health and fitness articles” thing.
We wanted to teach others about how to build their own blogging business using these methods that had worked SO well for us (minus the mistakes along the way, of course).
Create and Go (this website) was born.
We originally thought the website would be about travel and blogging. So that’s why we called it Create and Go. Now, we just focus on helping people make money blogging because we want our website to be focused.
At this point, took on the task of juggling two blogs, but amazingly enough – working on Create and Go was so damn easy for us.
We LOVED our business and knew EXACTLY what we were talking about from our rent successes and failures, which really helps speed up the writing process.
This does not mean that our journey had ended. It really had only just begun.
Sept – Dec 2016 – Falling from Grace, Mockery, and Darker Times
I don’t think Lauren and I will ever forget a very close family member’s comment about when we were going to finally get real jobs again. This combined with the overall feeling you got when friends, family, and other people asked about what you did was not a good feeling.
You could feel the condescension, disbelief, and mockery. It was palpable, and it happened all the time.
Why would you want to go to Nicaragua?
When are you going to get a real job?
Oh, it’s just some silly internet thing they are doing right now…
It’s such a strange phenomenon of human nature when you chase your actual dreams. People usually won’t outright say something truly mean or purposely hold you down, but they’ll say subtle things like “When are you getting a real job?” and “Is there really any money in that?” and pretend to listen to what you say while already just making judgments in their head.
This process is how people keep others from growing or making themselves feel uncomfortable because you’re having more success and fun than they are.
It’s very easy to tell when someone is genuinely curious about what we do and when someone is pretending to care while judging behind our backs. It’s so easy for us to spot now because it happens so often.
How quickly someone writes you off because you’re not a part of the norm or have a high-status job (lawyer, accountant) is usually a great indicator of who they are. These people judge others by the assumed size of your wallet/status and not by what is in your heart. (Not good people.)
This really was a weird time for us.
Over the course of September through December, we watched our income with Avocadu steadily decline back down to around $8,000/month.
Yes, that’s still a LOT of money, but it was a tough pill to swallow after a $40,000-month and a couple of $20,000-months.
Doubts crept in. Fights ensued. The pressure started building again.
- Did we just get lucky?
- Is this thing going to come crashing down around us?
- This is where our luck runs out, right?
We just couldn’t help shake feeling like we were just pretend-bloggers. Like we were foolish and didn’t deserve to be here.
BUT – we pressed on despite the falling numbers. We had faith and that necessary eternal optimism all entrepreneurs must develop to win and win big.
We also created our first course on Create and Go during this time and called it Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
You see, we were looking around the web and saw that some courses on Pinterest were selling for $400 a pop. This seemed insane to us since we were getting wayyyyyy more traffic than the people selling these courses (like over 300,000+ visitors than them), so we decided to make our own.
Later on, we learned that health and wellness websites just naturally get more traffic than others, but we still created what we believe (and our followers have agreed) is the best damn Pinterest Traffic Course on the market.
It didn’t sell well at the beginning because we didn’t know that selling health and wellness products for $47 was a very different process than selling high-priced courses.
But this 4-month stretch was filled with more doubts and more lessons and ultimately was a very important part of the journey.
January 2017 – We’re Back, Baby!
We knew that health and fitness traffic generally spikes like crazy in January with the new year and everyone wanting to shed their holiday weight, but we didn’t know just how awesome it would actually be. Even search terms like “Greek Yogurt” go way up during this time and it’s like clockwork year after year.
On top of the awesome sales we were getting on Avocadu, some of our first testimonials started to come through the pipeline for Pinterest Traffic Avalanche:
People were getting amazing results:
Maria and Alyssa from Spinach for Breakfast got 50,000 page views their first month of using the course!
These results led to more and more people purchasing our course and continued growth over the next few months.
Eventually, we would hit exponential growth later this year that we had absolutely not planned on.
February 2017 – We Made $31,694.08 Blogging
Avocadu started to make more and more sales, while people kept discovering our Pinterest course. We were living in Austin, Texas and life was good.
That being said, we had our sights on Create and Go also making $10,000 per month on its own and it wasn’t doing that much just yet. We needed to expand what we were doing, including our current product line…
We needed to create more blog posts and really get focused on figuring out how to sell high-priced courses without running webinars (just not our thing).
March 2017 – Published te Launch Your Blog Course
Our Pinterest course was now getting lots of traction and eyeballs, but we were noticing that we had a lot of brand new bloggers visiting our blog as well as people hadn’t started a blog yet but were interested in it. Not shockingly, these readers wanted to learn how to make $30,000/month blogging too.
The problem was that a lot of our readers were complete newbies. They had no idea how to navigate WordPress much less how to create a compelling article, publish it to Pinterest, and drive traffic to their website.
We decided that if we wanted Create and Go to succeed, we needed to help more of these people navigate the basics of designing a blog that COULD be profitable. And then they could grab the Pinterest course when they were ready.
More specifically, they needed to know how to…
- Start a successful blog the RIGHT way
- Navigate WordPress
- Design their blog
- Write their first few blog posts
- Collect emails and build a raving fan base
We basically dedicated the entire month to creating this new course. In epic Create and Go style, we entered “product creation mode” as we call it and overate and overdrank to get this course pumped out as quickly as possible.
We throw our minds, bodies, and spirits into the products we make. We basically ignore everything else until it’s done.
The Launch Your Blog Course was finally given life late that month and it was almost an immediate success. Our readers started taking it, building their blogs, and LOVING IT.
April 2017 – Our Trip to Peru
Without a doubt, this was one of the most epic trips of our lives. We decided we were going to go over one particularly boozy brunch. We started calling this process Planning Under The Influence and it has actually led us to a bunch of really great decisions. This is probably because we are reserved hard workers by nature and need that extra push to get out there and do crazy shit from time to time.
On that trip, we got to visit Machu Picchu, go sandboarding in the desert, and live in the beautiful Miraflores for a month. Here is a video of those adventures:
Dale (Lauren’s brother) and I also decided to start a new YouTube channel called WANDR. Feel free to go check it out and subscribe if you’re into photography or traveling.
May 2017 – Our People Wanted to Make Money…
Okay, now we have all these people starting their blogs and getting traffic via Pinterest, but they also need some more guidance on how to MONETIZE their new blogs.
We basically had people BEGGING for us to create this course at this point.
We spent the entire month of May creating this absolutely epic course called Six-Figure Blogger teaching people how to sell and scale using their own digital products and services.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but this course was actually a little advanced for our new readers. It did end up attracting a group of loyal, more advanced bloggers which would become very important for us later on. But we definitely didn’t understand that our core audience was new bloggers, not intermediate or advanced level bloggers.
July – August 2017 – Living in Nicaragua, Costa Rica
Another crazy move for us (seeing a pattern yet?)… We decided we would go from Mexico to Nicaragua to Costa Rica and finally to Portugal back-to-back-to-back-to-back. In hindsight, it was not the best idea while trying to grow our business, but we had a blast!
We stayed in Nicaragua for an entire month in a beautiful resort and got to go volcano boarding!
Then we went from there to Costa Rica. We stayed in the surf town of Santa Theresa and spent time on the beach, went zip lining, and explored jungles.
Sep 2017 – We Made $75,000 While Living in Lisbon, Portugal
This was also the first time that we started reporting the income that Create and Go was making. At first, we just wanted to keep things focused on our health and wellness blog because we didn’t want people to see us as just another blog blogging about blogging.
We ended up changing our mind for a couple reasons:
- It would help cement us as authorities in our field of helping other bloggers succeed.
- It seemed deceptive to hide it because it represented a massive amount of our total income.
The crazy part was that we had made $75,000 while living in the beautiful Lisbon, Portugal for the entire month.
It was our best month ever and we did it while living in my [current] favorite country in Europe.
Nov 2017 – Earnings of $90,000 but Newbie Bloggers Need More Help!
At this point, we had a lot of people take our Six-Figure Blogger Course and we were getting a lot of feedback. While most people loved it, we were starting to realize that a lot of the content was going over the head of the average beginner. They just weren’t ready for that information yet.
The most important thing for a beginner to have success is to get those first few wins — aka make some smaller money quickly and know that this whole blogging thing is for real.
Six Figure Blogger is amazing at helping people with some experience get to six figures blogging, but not so much at helping a beginner make their first $500 – $1000/month.
So, we decided to create our final blogging course for at least a little while – Make Money Blogging for Beginners.
It was another big success for both us and our students. We also decided to package all of our courses at a big discount into what we call the Pro Blogger Bundle. It comes with all of the tools, resources, and lessons that you need to do everything from starting a blog to driving traffic to earning six figures with your blog.
We have had a few students buy it and already reach $5,000 per month!
Jan 2018 – Hitting Six-Figures a Month, Featured in Forbes
This month is too much, really.
Like there’s no way we’re making this kind of money doing something we enjoy THIS MUCH. For perspective, it was just two years ago at this point that we had quit our jobs and were still make $0 blogging.
January represented our first six-figure month where we made $144,166.48 blogging.
Guys, I need to emphasize this. Lauren and I are NORMAL people just like you. We drink too much, fight, have embarrassing habits we’re ashamed of (me biting my nails, Lauren playing with her split ends), etc. There’s nothing insanely special about us.
Blogging success is just about hustle + a great plan + a lot of dedicated and focused time.
That’s it. That’s the magic formula. Cat’s out of the bag. I truly believe that anyone can go this as long as they are a hustler and don’t give up.
We even got featured in Forbes this month: Want to Make $75,000 Per Month and Quit Your Day Job?
This was kind of funny because I noticed the people who shamed us before for being bloggers quickly shut up and start treating us with a lot more respect.
Not going to lie – it felt good. Not that I ever spiked it back in their face with an “I told you so” but a quiet confidence and photos of us traveling to Bali sufficed my ego.
February 2018 – $140,000 and a New Team Member
Nothing really happened in this month, except that we had another incredible month and got a new blog dog (aka derp pup).
He is going to be a regular on the blog from now on. You’ve been warned.
March 2018 – Our First Student Became a Six-Figure Blogger
In March of 2018, our first student reached Six-Figures blogging online – Natalie Bacon.
I think this is more important than the success or income we personally make.
We have now not only found success, but we have truly helped others reach what we have. Talk about a full circle journey.
Our current goal is to help a tribe of bloggers (25-100) reach six figures or more using our courses.
Fun Fact: we have quite a few more about to reach this level as well. I think Lauren and I are stoked for this final phase of blogging success – reaching back and helping others along through their journey as well.
April 2018 – December 2018
The rest of 2018 was a year of traveling for both of us!
Our blogs are finally at a place where we can enjoy a lot of time off. Not that they weren’t before, but we genuinely ENJOY working every day on our business.
We’re proud of it and it makes us happy!
That being said, we also love to travel!
So, we decided to take some time off and travel this year. I, Alex, have always wanted to travel to all 50 states, so I started that journey and finished it a few months later in Hawaii!
I was fortunate enough to travel internationally with my parents when I was younger, but Lauren hadn’t, so she did a lot of international travel this year with our friends at the Wifi Tribe.
She went to many different countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and even Africa!
Here is a post from her Instagram account from her recent trip to Cape Town, South Africa:
View this post on Instagram
At the end of the year, we met up again in Arlington, Texas at my dad’s house to discuss our business goals for 2019.
View this post on Instagram
This is the house where everything started for us. It’s where we formulated the ideas for our first blog and spent countless nights and weekends trying to get it off the ground.
It’s the house that we have come back to many times over the last 3+ years between the various states and countries we have visited.
It’s where we learned most of what we know and where we always felt grounded throughout the entire journey. It holds a special place in our hearts and always will.
In 2019, our main goal is continued growth — both personally and professionally.
We want to continue growing our online business and see how far we can take it, but we also want continued growth for ourselves as individuals.
I, Alex, am going to take salsa classes and work on learning a few other fun skills! 😉
Lauren is spending a few months in Colombia to [finally] learn Spanish!
We’re learning how to balance our work and personal lives as we continue to press forward, and we that we can help you do the same along your journey!
Thanks for taking the time to read. If this message impacted you, please feel free to leave a comment below or shoot us a message at [email protected]!
P.S. If you’d like to know more about how the blogging world and how to start your own blog, you can sign up for our FREE 7-Day Start a Blog eCourse!
We’re so happy that you are here on this journey with us!
Alex and Lauren
Co-Founders, Create and Go
How to Start a Blog: FREE 7-Day eCourse for Beginners
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