How Bloggers Earn a Living Online: The 12 Minute Athlete

Customer Stories State of Blogging
4 min read

Welcome to the first installment of the How Bloggers Earn a Living Online Series! In our unending quest to break down barriers and show bloggers that there is no one way to do things (no, really, there isn’t a formula, friends), we've partnered up with some incredible ConvertKit users to show you exactly how they do – day in day out, the costs, the challenges, and the major wins. 

Pull up a chair (or maybe you're already seated…) and let's take a peek behind the curtain together!

krista header

What’s your name and what do you do?

I'm Krista Stryker, I run a site and app called 12 Minute Athlete, a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout regimen consisting of incredibly short, effective workouts based on calisthenics, cross-training and functional fitness.

How long have you been in business?

It's been about three years now! Crazy how time flies.

krista sitting

What is your typical day like?
I usually get up around 7:00, make breakfast and work at home for an hour or two before taking a short break and getting my dog out for a walk. I’ll work for another hour or so before working out in my garage or my backyard and having lunch while reading a book or watching part of a course I’m taking. I’ll then pretty much just coffee shop/park hop the rest of the afternoon.
I’ve found this way of working and breaking up the day a ton allows me to focus in short bursts—anything much longer than that and I can’t focus at all. There are also certain types of projects I just can’t do at all when I’m at home, such as writing or long-term dreaming/planning. I need the distraction of a coffee shop or sunny park to keep me on track.
How many different revenue streams do you have? 
Currently, I have about 5 streams of income broken up into the following percentages:
iPhone/Android apps/In-app purchases: ~50%
Ebooks/programs/etc: ~20%
Affiliate marketing: ~20%
Sponsorships:  ~5%
Coaching: ~5%
My goal is at least 7 streams!


Do you have a plan to grow your business more? Why or why not?
Yes, I’m constantly working to grow my business. I want to reach more people with my brand and to really be able to focus on the parts of the business that I love and am good at and let other talented people take care of the rest. I have big plans for growth, and it’s hard to stay patient sometimes!

What was the biggest mystery to you about making money online as a blogger when you got started?

I think the hardest thing about getting started is to get over that feeling of being a fraud. At first, you really don’t know what you’re doing, but you have to project enough confidence that people take you seriously, and that’s tough, and often discouraging. Even my family didn’t take me seriously until about a year and a half into my business.
As for making money, I didn’t even try to make any money until I was about six months in, and the idea of working really hard for free for that long is just crazy to some people. At that point, it’s a little hard to know where to start. Most people would come out with an ebook or product of some sort, but I started with the iPhone app because that was the project I was the most excited about. I think really following my passion and creating products I believe in is what’s helped me be successful so far.
Do you run the business alone or do you have other people on your team?
I currently have two part-time employees, one focused on day-to-day tasks and the other more on content creation and big picture thinking. I also hire a multitude of freelancers for things like app and web development.
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If you could change one thing today, what would it be?
I would have taken a risk and hired other people earlier, at least a part-time assistant. Hiring someone can be pretty scary when you’re first starting out, especially if you don’t have much income yet. But freeing up your time working on day-to-day tasks is really the only way to grow your business. I did pretty much everything myself for the first two years—looking back I wish I would have hired my first employee way sooner.
What is your definition of success?
I really love the book “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks and how he promotes the idea of living in your “Zone of Genius,” which is basically the point where we’re maximizing our full potential in life and operating in a place of talent and passion. So for me, once I really feel like I’m living in my Zone of Genius, that will be success.

Thanks to Krista for sharing the inner workings of her blogging business!

What was the biggest takeaway you got out of this interview? Share in the comments and be sure to say hi to Krista and let her know you liked her post. You can find her on Twitter at @12minuteathlete and check out her inspirational Instagram feed at @12minuteathlete over there. And don't forget to read Krista's blog at!

Val Geisler

Val is a yogi, mom, military wife, and avid podcast fan. She is ridiculously obsessed with sharing and creating content that actually makes a difference in the world, connecting with her fellow bloggers, and doing more with less effort. Val is based on Columbus, Ohio (O-H!) and can often be found oversharing on Instagram at @lovevalgeisler.

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