How we went from poor newlyweds to successful bloggers.

(Featuring embarrassing photos from before we were good at the internet)


If we are going to talk about how we became successful we have to tell you a little about our story, mind you this is all coming from my perspective (Taylor here).

In 2015 Riley and I were both business students in college and we decided to get married, so we just did it. We eloped at the end of July in 2015. We were living in a tiny one bedroom apartment that was super crappy.

It looked like it hadn’t seen a coat of paint, or new appliances since 1970 but it was ours.

We also had one car, it was an early 2000’s Pontiac Grand Am it was purple and the paint was peeling and the drivers side mirror had fallen off.

Riley worked from home doing data entry, and I worked on our college campus managing a staff of students who worked at the dining hall.

I had to wear a uniform that essentially made me look like a farmer, and I came home from work everyday smelling like an onion.

I wanted so badly to be able to travel, be able to eat out, and be able to live in a nice home.

So I decided I needed to do something…

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I became obsessed with researching how I could make money from home. I applied for work from home jobs. I never got them.

Riley would make fun of me for just how much research ways to work from home.

Then I started seeing stuff on Pinterest about people who made thousands of dollars every month working from home taking surveys, and transcribing audio.

So I was like “HECK YES” when I found out I can answer questions, and listen to podcasts as a job. So everyday of April 2016 I headed over to the survey sites, and transcribing audio sites and I would work.

On the last day of the April I went to see how much money I made, and it was $9.

I worked a whole month everyday on top of being a business student, and working nearly full time.

I freaked out.

So I kept searching, and I found a pin that said “How I Make $20,000/mo Blogging” and I thought to myself heck, $20,000 is a lot more than $9.

So I kept researching, and kept researching, and a few weeks later in May 2016 I turned to Riley and asked him If I could use his credit card to spend $70 to sign up for Bluehost so I could start a business blogging.

he looked at me and said “If you think you can make it back” so I took his card and signed up for Bluehost and picked the domain name “Smartandsimplistic.com”.

I thought I was going to login, and somehow someone was just going to start giving me $600/day… that didn’t happen.

I didn’t make any money for what felt like forever, I became obsessed with researching.


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I was blogging about life, travel, saving money with no luck for a while…

(not what you wanted to hear? the good parts coming up now)

I had told Riley I would make his money back so I had to, I was determined.

So, In a crazy attempt to figure out how I could get people to my blog so I could start making “real money” I switched my major to marketing with a focus in digital marketing, I started interviewing successful bloggers and asking them for their best advice, and I started taking every course on blogging, writing copy, and digital marketing that I could afford.

I worked like a madwomen to implement all the things I learned, and a then next thing you know by February 2017 I quit my job to blog full-time.

And we were able to kick the old Pontiac Grand Am to the curb for a brand new car.

I was making money through affiliate marketing, offering services, and selling products like courses, and e-books on topics like finances, business, and budget shopping.

Plus I didn’t run a single ad to do it, I had built my business through organic traffic only so I didn’t have to spend a dime to get to that point.

We kept building up our income and by September 2017 Riley didn’t have to work anymore either.



2017 In many ways felt like a dream, but we were also drowning. Riley and I were full-time marketing major’s in college running a blog that had turned into a successful business.

Then In early 2018 changed my website from Smartandsimplistic.com to TaylorStanford.com and in the process lost every blog post I had ever written… I thought it was going to be the end of my blog.

But it wasn’t the methods I had learned about business, and blogging were so good that it didn’t matter soIn 2018 we went from making enough to survive to making enough to thrive. We were able to move from our crappy apartment into the place of our dreams.

I then made it my mission to travel and learn about business from the best of the best in business, personal development and marketing and after going to conferences, and seminars, our business kept exploding organically from what I had learned, tweaked and implemented.

Then as we started to share with our friends, family and the community we built online how we had become successful through our blogging business and we started to get questions, a lot of questions.

Like “How can I do what you do?” “How do you make money online” “How do you get traffic to your website?” and “How do you get people to buy your products?”

So I created a free course about how to start a blog and offered it on my website…

I didn’t realize doing that was going to change our lives forever because next thing you know we had thousands of people signing up to take course.

And then… the emails started to roll in with more questions…

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I knew we needed to serve this huge new audience I brought in so I created a super cheap course teaching people how to start a profitable blog and I offered it at a price real people could afford to pay for it at not the $300+ I had seen other courses out there for.

And next thing you knew we had thousands of people in that too.

They all wanted “more” “more” “more” tips and advice, so I decided in April of 2019 to create and dedicate a whole website just to teaching people how to actually build and grow a successful blogs.

That is this very website.

I also brought Riley along to help me here so give him a warm welcome! He is a top business school graduate, and the best ever so he will totally be a great asset to this website.

If you ever want to check out what I am doing on my personal website you can see that here: taylorstanford.com

I hope this website helps you change your life and build a super successful blog.


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