Too young for what?! … In my series “It’s in the family: The new blogging generation” I interview blogging families as well as young bloggers, who have already built and run their own successful web site.
Today teenage blogger Alex Mergler and his mom, Janine Mergler from Australia answer my questions. Whoop, whoop!
Both run successful pages individually, both making money from it. Janine runs a family magazine, which is available both print and online, teenager Alex runs a travel blog on traveling with kids in Australia and Asia.
About Alex and Janine
The mother-son-duo is located in Brisbane, Australia, and lives in an apartment which they share with 2 lovely cats. In 2019 both traveled around the world together for a full year and got a ton of input for both their pages.
She says: “Our website kind of grew out of the necessity to have a digital presence. And I realised quickly that to be competitive in that space, I’d need to know what I was doing. I’ve been running the print mags for 10 years. I’ve been developing the website for around 6.”
Now, the online magazine has become the more important source when it comes to making money.
Alex is a 13-year-old who grew up with a passion for content and storytelling through his mother. End of 2018 he started his own website, Get out with Kids, which he now runs mostly by himself, but of course, he sometimes asks Janine for advice or help. Nevertheless, his site clearly bears his signature and he decides what he writes about.
In 2019, 11 months later, he was accepted into the advertising network Mediavine which is known for being a bit picky with the pages they accept. What a success! Today he makes his own money with his blog at the age of 13.
An inspiration for all young bloggers out there!
Interview with young blogger Alex Mergler
Enough of me talking. Let’s jump right into the questions, starting with Alex.
Alex, your mom is running a blog also. Did you get into blogging through her or did you start on yourself before?
Alex: My mum runs a business and has a website that needs constant content creation, and she was the reason I wanted to start blogging. When I was about 7, I started a private blog that only I could see, and I would write really random articles about anything that interested me. In December 2018, I started Get Out With Kids, with the help of my mum, and have kept that website ever since.
How much time are you spending on your blog in an average week?
Alex: On average, I would spend about 2-5 hours a week on my blog, and spend most of my time after school working on it. If I think of an article that I think would do well, I might do that on the weekends or spend more time after school instead.
Do you also have other hobbies?
Alex: Because of our websites, we travel a lot. When we are at airports I like to watch the planes and take pictures of them. I also like to play Minecraft.
Have your friendships changed since you started to blog?
Alex: I don’t think they’ve changed much. I might go down after school to a café with them and spend more time (on the blog, Ed) the next day, to replace the time I missed on the day before.
Can you talk to your friends about the challenges of blogging?
Alex: I do talk to my friends a bit about the challenges, but I don’t dominate the conversation. If I am particularly proud of an article, I will send it to them and ask them to read it.
Where did/do you get your knowledge around building a blog from?
Alex: I ask my mum about pretty much all of my questions, but if she isn’t sure or if she’s busy, I’d google to find out on my own.
What was the very first post you wrote fully by yourself on your current blog and how old were you?
Alex: When I was 10, I wrote an article for my mum’s website called “Handball Rules for Kids“. I think the first post I wrote fully by myself on my website was “Feeding the Bowing Deer at Nara Deer Park Japan“. I was 11 years old when I published it.
Editor’s note: Wow! Ok, when I was 10 or 11 years old, I probably sewed horrible looking clothes for my dolls (sometimes for the horses) or just hung out, a cookie in my hand. Respect!
What social media channels are you most active on, sharing and posting?
At what point did you start making your first money with your blog and how did you earn it?
Alex: I think in November 2019 I started to make money on my blog, with advertisements on the website. I remember the first day of adverts on my website, I made USD$ 0.83. Ever since I’ve been working harder, and now I’m averaging about USD$ 10.00 a day.
Nice. What did you do with the very first money you earned?
Alex: I was saving all the money I earned, and by March 2020, I had saved enough to purchase a pair of wireless earphones from Apple, which cost a few hundred dollars. Including the cost of a case. 🙂
What is your financial goal for your blog?
Alex: I want my blog to be earning about USD$ 1,000 a month, so I can have money to support myself when I go to university.
How has your relationship changed now that you are both involved in the same field?
Alex: I don’t think our relationship has changed at all. The family routine hasn’t changed either. We’ve always travelled, now when we go travelling, I have to be more aware of things I could write about.
Janine, how did things start when Alex showed interest in blogging for the first time? Has he been involved in some parts of your own blog?
Janine: Right from the start, my son was keen on doing videos for my website and business. He liked being in front of the camera, as well as editing the videos, I think if he’s honest, he’d say he wanted to be a Youtuber when he was younger. I told him he would need to have a website as well as creating the videos, to ensure the long term viability of his passions.
How does a typical weekend look like in your family?
Janine: I would say there are 2 types of typical weekends. Number 1 is when we go out, to a place or activity, to have fun and take photos. The 2nd type is a mixture of improving old articles, writing new ones and hanging out with friends.
Alex, final question: What are the most important tips you would give to other young people who want to start a blog?
Alex: Don’t spend all of your time on it. Allocate time for yourself. Put some of the money you earn back into your blog, for example: outsourcing additional content and paying for faster website hosting if required.
Thank you guys for the interview!