Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hey! We are Kelan and Brittany Kline the founders and co-owners of the popular personal finance blog The Savvy Couple.
Our blog was started just over three years ago with the mission of helping families find their freedom by creating more time and money in their lives. We do this by helping couples learn how to budget together, pay off debt quickly, and make money online.
We also created our flagship course Bloggers’ Secrets helping beginner bloggers take their struggling blog from $0 to $1,000+/month through proven expert strategies.
If you are interested in learning how to make money online you can grab our free eBook with over 18+ Proven & Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online.
We are currently on pace to make over $250,000 this year alone with our personal finance blog!
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I was your average kid growing up wanting to be a police officer and changing the world one bad guy at a time. Brittany also knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, a teacher.
After meeting each other in 9th grade American Sign Language class the rest is history. We started dating at age fourteen and have never looked back. Best friends would be an understatement.
We both went to school together at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration while Brittany graduated with a Masters in Elementary Education.
I quickly found my first job as an insurance salesman and it lasted all of about 2 weeks. This process has happened many times over again from being a UPS driver, office manager, eCommerce drop shipper, and even my landing a job in my dream industry of law enforcement as a Jail Deputy.
I worked as a Jail Deputy for two and a half years. I fell into a deep depression, working in a stressful environment, long hours, forced overtime, and holidays. I had to let go of my dream of being a police officer and literally turn down an offer to move to a road patrol deputy. I knew deep down in my heart God had another plan for me. I wanted to be a family man and being in law enforcement makes that very difficult to do.
It was a tough couple of years of marriage never getting to see each other and transitioning to our new life.
We sat down and laid out a plan. We knew this was not working and we needed something better.
I was absolutely done working for other people and knew I needed to start a business that gave me more freedom over my time and money. I was on track to open my own home inspection business. Went back to school, got insurance, business cards, the whole nine.
Then, we somehow came across these personal finance bloggers making an absolute killing online working from home. Instantly THAT is what I wanted to do. THAT is the life we wanted to live.
We decided from that moment forward we were going to start our own personal finance blog and give it a shot. We had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
After nine months of non-stop hustling to get over the learning curve, we made our first $50! It was the spark we needed to know that we could make this work. I went to Brittany and told her I wanted to quit my job and work on our blog full-time.
Luckily, I married an incredible woman and she gave me her full support. We had been saving like crazy and had entire years worth of salary saved up to reduce as much risk as possible. We really followed as much of Dave Ramsey’s advice as possible when it came to using a monthly budget, living frugally, and finding a good side hustle.
I quit my job and within two months I had completely replaced my income working as a freelance digital marketer and online English teacher for VIPKID. God was continuing to guide this long journey of finding our freedom and now we just needed to continue to put in the work.
Keep it simple and commit to making it happen. If others are being successful, learn from them.
Less than two years in we hit our first $ 10,000-month blogging! It was the most incredible feeling in the world. It was validation for everything leading up until this point in our lives.
Less than three years after starting our blog we have both quit our jobs and are on track to make over $250,000 this year alone.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
We did not make our first product until we were in year three of running our business. We followed the normal revenue model most bloggers take using display ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships to make money in the beginning.
Now that we have an awesome following of dedicated readers we have been creating products and services to help solve some of their biggest problems.
We normally run some type of giveaway with a survey attached to it. This survey provides us with invaluable information for creating future products and courses.
We have learned that validating an idea and even selling it before jumping in and creating it is the best way to protect your time and make sure you are creating a winning product.
Describe the process of launching the business.
I am someone who takes action first and pivots later on. So, I simply read a post on how to start a profitable blog and jumped right in. The learning curve was huge, but little by little I knew together we could figure it out.
The beauty of starting an online business is that there is very little overhead. We spent less than $500 in the entire first year of running our business.
Obviously, as you grow so does your expenses, but we have been able to maintain our very low monthly expenses averaging close to 80% profit margin before taxes. Tell me any other business you can do that with? Go ahead, I’ll wait. Right, you can’t.
If you want to take complete control over your life and are willing to put in a lot of hard work to make it happen blogging is one of the best businesses you can start.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We made sure to always have a purpose with our content and know exactly who we are trying to serve with it. All of our content solves a specific problem. Whether it’s learning how to budget, make money as a stay at home mom, or learning how to live a more frugal life all of our content solves a problem our readers have.
Along with always having a purpose, we create three types of content. Making sure we focus on each article fitting into one of these categories social, SEO, and link building helped us significantly increase our blog traffic.
Social articles are created to go viral on Pinterest (our heavy hitter), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These are your more “listicle” articles that are short and sweet and fun to read. We are huge fans of starting with one social media platform and becoming an expert on it. We always recommend new bloggers start on Pinterest as it’s a visual search engine and is the most evergreen social media platforms.
SEO articles have one goal. Be the absolute BEST article on that topic on the entire internet. These are much longer in-depth articles that we pour our heart and soul into making the best they can be. SEO traffic is by far the best type of traffic because it’s very passive and most of the time the users are very warm and ready to take action (sign up or buy something).
Link building articles are created to have others share, link to, and collaborate on. Think expert roundups, studies, or awesome visuals others would want to link to. These types of articles are great because they can go viral and also are a huge SEO play with building out backlinks to your site.
The most important thing to focus on is being very purposeful with your content and not just writing about the things you want to write about. Your business is to serve others not yourself.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
This year we have been on a roll. We are continuing to grow our traffic each month averaging around 300,000 page views per month and averaging more than $20,000 per month in revenue.
Our income is generated in the following order sponsorships, display ads, affiliate marketing, and selling our own products in that order.
Our business is lean and means only having my wife and me as full-time workers. We do have two part-time freelancers that help us write articles and manage the day to day tasks that keep things running smoothly.
We have no intention of becoming a huge corporate blog. We love the family-style business we have as it lines up with the lifestyle we want.
We both read the book “Work Less Make More” and it changed our lives. We focus on growing our EHR (effective hourly rate) and only on growing our EHR. The higher we get our EHR the more time we get back in our life.
We currently both average around 20 hours of work per week. Leaving us plenty of freedom to pursue the passions that make us happy in life that include things like family, traveling, sports, camping, and more.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The most important thing I have learned in growing a business quickly is having good time management and focusing on high ROI projects. The goal is to make money fast so using your time efficiently is an absolute must.
We use the Eisenhower chart in everything we do. It helps us clearly see what is most important to work on and what we should be outsourcing. Before we go to bed we both write down the three big tasks we are going to work on the next day so when we wake up we are off and running.
We also make sure we have good life habits like eating healthy, staying active, and getting enough sleep at night. I am a big proponent and working smarter not harder.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
These are the tools that are necessary for us to use to operate our business at our current level.
- Social Pug
- Google Doc
- Google Drive
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Keep it simple and commit to making it happen. If others are being successful, learn from them and implement them. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn something new, implement, and take action.
I know this sounds cliche, but you are in complete control over your life. The only magic pill to be a successful entrepreneur is hard work.
Starting right now believe it and you will achieve it!
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Unfortunately, at this time we are not hiring any positions. But if you are a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, or freelancer I highly recommend you join our free Facebook groupto get connected with others.
Where can we go to learn more?
- The Savvy Couple
- The Savvy Couple Community
- Blogging With Purpose
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Want to start your own business?
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help others get started.
Interested in sharing your own story? Find out how!
Are you ready to boost your revenue?
Using Klaviyo will open up a massive, untapped sales channel and bring you closer to your customers!
Level up your email marketing with Klaviyo!