About Me

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Hi, I’m Shelley — and I’m a travel blogger
shelley about me

That’s right — I earn a full-time living from my travel blogging business, and have eight employees… so yes, blogging can be a legitimate business.

I started my first travel blog in April 2020, at the height of global lockdowns, when no one was even traveling, but I didn’t let that stop me.

Though I enjoy a degree of success today, I started where everyone starts — at zero.

Like most beginner bloggers, had no clue about what I was doing… and worse yet, I assumed blogging would be easy. (Spoiler: It’s not).

It’s a long game, and you’ll often hear people say “Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.” However, speaking from experience, if you stick it out, you will see success.

(Partial) Year 1 income: $0

In 2020, my first year blogging I made exactly $0. (I actually call this my first partial year blogging, as I started my first travel blog in April 2020).

Actually, rather than make money, I spent about $1,500 starting the blog. As they say, you gotta spend money to make money — however, I now know I made the grave mistake of trying to figure things out on my own.

I flailed around for about six months, consuming as much free content as possible, until I wised up and invested in myself by investing in travel blogging courses.

To date, I have invested close to $15,000 USD in courses because I believe they are the fastest way to level up.

(Full) Year 1 income: $8,540

Though not as fast as I would have hoped, my investments slowly started to pay off. (🗣️ Repeat after me: Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.)

In 2021, my first full year blogging, I made $8,540. Beyond income, my site was growing, and it saw 432,139 web page views that year — and got some pretty cool features.

shelley marmor features

While the money wasn’t exactly at any level to brag about (yet), even the smallest upward movement was enough to make me see it was possible to go bigger.

In July 2021, I made my biggest, scariest investment to date — paying a private blogging coach $997 to work with me (Laura of Scale Your Travel Blog to Six Figures). At this point, I had only made $1,693 from blogging… and I was about to hand nearly all of that over to someone else.

It was scary af, but I did it. Needless to say, it paid off, and it paid off quickly. Why?

Because working with a professional, works… and even coaches have coaches. Free info is great, but only if it’s good free info. Sadly, so much of it isn’t — and this is part of the reason I started offering travel blogging courses and 1 on 1 private coaching.

Year 2 income: $272,769

They say: Those who pay, pay attention… and with all my money on the line, I was more determined than ever to make real money from my blog. The $997 I paid Laura of Scale Your Travel Blog made me accountable, but my determination made my unstoppable.

In 2022 I made $272,769 from my blogging business. My main blog* had more than 2.6 million page views that year. (*Note: I have several blogs now, but this story only focuses on the growth of one.)

Month-by-month income breakdown for 2022:

  • January: $4,291 — My lowest month
  • February: $8,780
  • March: $13,347
  • April: $17,661
  • May: $20,278
  • June: $23,786
  • July: $20,650
  • August: $26,069
  • September: $28,166
  • October: $40,168
  • November: $28,131
  • December: $40,499 — My highest month
  • 🤑 TOTAL: $272,769

I always want to be completely transparent when it comes to money, so in full disclosure, I made $272,769 gross, and $177,125 net. Living in Mexico, I only need a small salary for myself, so I have a high profit margin, which is all being re-invested in the business.

Year 3 Income: $557,902

I had an ambitious goal for 2023, and that’s $500K. Half-a-million dollars was a “stretch goal” for me. It was also a bit terrifying to dare to think I could make that much in my third full year as a blogger, and first-time business owner.

However, I was confident I could get there (Spoiler: I did 🤑)… but why was I so confident?

As some bloggers have published what they make, like The Blonde Abroad, Nomadic Matt and One Step 4 Ward, I knew it was 100% possible to make A TON of money from blogging.

I knew that since they’ve done it, so could I. In fact, my mantra throughout this blogging journey has been If they can, I can.

This is why I shared my story so openly — to affirm for you that if I can, so can you.

I wish you unlimited success on your path… It might not be an easy path (mine wasn’t), but if your goal is to make real money from your blogging passion, it’s absolutely do-able.

Month-by-month income breakdown for 2023:

  • January: $55,473
  • February: $39,558
  • March: $75,197 — My highest month
  • April: $52,709
  • May: $49,779
  • June: $54,528
  • July: $36,277
  • August: $39,379
  • September: $34,327
  • October: $29,316 — My lowest month
  • November: $52,777
  • December: $38,083
  • 🤑 TOTAL: $546,874


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