Take five

This story first appeared in the fall 2018 issue of the Concordian, the official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin. Get to know one of our Uncommon Concordians, Sophie Zang, an interior architecture and design major.


She works hard … to work even harder. Don’t worry, though, Concordia sophomore Sophie Zang welcomes the bustle of a busy life. It’s what keeps her motivated to perform at her best while balancing her coursework with her personal life—oh, and a lifestyle blog that earns 130,000-plus views a month. She started BySophiaLee.com in 2015 and has since turned it into a profitable side hustle, earning between $1,000 and $3,000 a month as of this past summer, and the numbers keep growing.

1. You make it all look so easy, but your blog is also built on the tagline “Making Your Not So Perfect Life Look Perfect.” How do you juggle it all?

I’m extremely structured, and the more stuff I have going on in my life the better I do. I’ll put in upwards of 25 hours a week on my blog, so that means I regularly get up at 6 a.m., and I’ll keep on working easily until 5 o’clock or later in between my school load and other obligations. If I have more time in my day, I’ve just found that my grades start to go down, my website stats go down, and things start to slip.

2. So what brought you to Concordia?

I actually started out at UW–La Crosse, but then my world kind of blew up when my parents told me they were getting a divorce and I suddenly learned I’d have to financially support myself through college. I knew I needed to find a school that I could afford and that would still offer me everything I wanted. I wanted to stay close to home and be near my family, but I also wanted to major in interior design and architecture. When I found out about Concordia’s partnership with Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and that it would cost a fraction to get a degree through Concordia as it would to enroll directly through MIAD, I was sold. Plus, I get the added bonus of sports and the full typical college experience at Concordia.

3. What’s been the best part of your Concordia experience so far?

The people at Concordia are the nicest people I have ever met in my life. I don’t go anywhere in the school without someone smiling at me or holding the door open for me. It was honestly a little foreign to me coming in, but I’ve quickly grown to love it here.

4. What led you to start blogging for a profit?

I always followed blogs, but I didn’t realize how profitable it really was until the summer of 2017 when I found a woman online, “Making Sense of Cents,” who makes over $1 million a year on her website. came to find there was this whole group of people who were making that much on their websites, and it just got me really motivated to do the same.

5. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to anyone looking to start their own blog?

Be confident and don’t care about what other people think about you. I know that when I talk to other people they don’t want to start a blog because they’re worried about what other people will think. I was so worried when I started my blog that people would make fun of me, but I honestly have had such a great response. People are really so supportive.

The spring Concordian hit mailboxes the week of October 1. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, call 262-243-4333.

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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