Make passive income from your blog or as an additional income stream for your business.
This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. I only recommend products, courses or services that have gotten me results, so if it was 💩 you wouldn’t hear about it from me. 💖
If you are looking for ways to make passive income as an additional income stream for your business, you will want to know about affiliate marketing.
Being an affiliate has increased my blogging income from $0 to $55,000 over the past 2 years alone!
This post is designed to help you avoid the masses of information overload about affiliate marketing. To get you started on your journey, I recommend taking a basic affiliate marketing course like Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
This post will give my opinion of the Making Sense of Affiliate marketing, an online affiliate marketing course for beginner bloggers. This is written by highly successful blogger Michelle Shroeder-Gardner.
What is affiliate marketing?
Neil Patel describes this well:
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s products).source: NeilPatel.com
My initial thinking about affiliate marketing
Basically, when I started out, I knew it was possible to make money blogging. I followed some major bloggers, and they were all talking about and publishing their income reports.
Two of them, including Michelle Schroeder Gardner and Kristen Larsen, were well into the $10,000+ a month realm. That was mind-blowing to me. I was determined that that was going to happen to me.
Michelle had always been generous with her free tips on how to make money blogging, as had Kristen.
As with everything, I knew I had to invest in my business to make a real success and make money. I decided, as an absolute beginner, I needed to invest in a good course to help me.
Why wait so long to write a review?
I waited over a year since purchasing this online affiliate marketing course because learning any new skill and being successful takes time. Also, the techniques Michelle has taught me, along with a great SEO course, has started to give me real results to share with you.
How much money can you really make from affiliate marketing?
Here are my affiliate marketing results. April 2020 is when I started making commissions. This proves that affiliate marketing is really profitable even now in 2023! To date, I have made over $50,000!
This has totally blown my mind – I never expected myself to achieve this. Here some of the results I have had. It’s worth knowing that this is one blog post I created about the copywriting course I studied to gain my first copywriting skills.
Is affiliate marketing still profitable in 2023?
Absolutely yes! Especially as people are making more considered decisions. They will be appreciative of your honest reviews on the pros and cons of products and services you use that you can share with them.
Is affiliate marketing worth it?
In my opinion yes. You’ll likely have an online business where you need to put out content to your audience. One way to do this is via high-quality blog posts (content). It’s an easy process to create some blog posts that review products or services you have purchased and your experiences of them.
Example – have you bought an online course recently? Most entrepreneurs will have an affiliate program for it, where you can earn up to 40% commission on average, for recommending it to your audience. It doesn’t take long to review the course and share it with your audience via email, social, blog post, or on your podcast.
Result? Potentially developing an income stream of $$$ for not so many hours of work every month.
My experiences of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – 2019 – 2023
I got through the course slower than other people. Some say they managed to complete it in a week. My work commitments meant I had to do it in bite-size chunks over three months. It was easy to do in short sessions.
Each lesson is computer-based but surprisingly no video tutorials. I really do prefer video format.
This didn’t put me off (although I did find it harder to learn this way), but I found this format easier to follow than the ebooks I had purchased in the past. Some lessons were backed up with printables – I found this helpful, especially when tracking improvements I was making to my blog.
The course taught me that I needed to talk more about my experiences with only a small range of products that I truly would recommend, even to my mum.
It helped me to develop my tone and be the true authentic me through my blog writing. By being herself, Michelle has recommended products and from one blog post alone, has made over $500,000 to date.
This was truly a powerful, inspiring example based on hard figures!
You could argue it has taken over a year to see true results – this is a long time to work at something without any returns.
But now I have three posts that are giving me passive income. I update them every so often with my authentic experiences to help other people see my honest opinion and how it develops over time.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: Pros
The course helped me organize myself and think about my content as part of my business for the first time.
Michelle taught me how to analyze my website data, so I could then figure out which posts were most popular. From there, she helped me think of ideas for things I could recommend wholeheartedly. The Facebook group was especially awesome, and I came up with some creative ideas to help me.
It helped me figure out three big mistakes I was making with links I had tried to put into my content prior to the course.
Michelle showed me that one of these errors was potentially going to get me kicked out of affiliate programs and also get me in trouble with the FTC. Her bonus section on the legalities really helped me edit my content and play within the rules.
The way it is taught didn’t scare me – it was just compelling and got me to take an instant action to sort these links out.
One other mistake that Michelle helped me fix was probably going to continuously affect my ranking in Google if I didn’t do something. That one tip alone has helped me avoid multiplying that error in other blog posts.
It helped me take the content I already had and make more money from it.
Michelle’s lessons on this took a while to action – I had quite a bit of content already, but afterward, it was brilliant to see my audience interacting more and clicking through my links once I had edited the posts. The organizational sheets Michelle provides made me feel like I was treating my blog like a business. This was a process to improve my results.
It provided me with a super supportive community
Michelle’s Facebook group is one of the best things about this course. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Everyone is on the same journey, and the spirit is very much of abundance. Like there is room for everyone’s success – and everyone shares ideas and is so supportive.
Michelle is available multiple times a week, so essentially you are getting her coaching for free for as long as you want. She also hosts a Saturday thread where you can ask her anything, and, from my experience, she gives in-depth answers and tries to understand your particular situation.
For such a successful blogger, earning more than $100,000 a month, to turn up and let you pick her brains, this alone is worth the $197 cost of the course!
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: Cons
It is for beginners new to affiliate marketing.
If you already have affiliate marketing experience, this is NOT the course for you. It contains no advanced-level affiliate marketing information.
The content of the course is EXCELLENT – but it will not teach you anything new if you have affiliate marketing experience.
This is not a video-based course
If you like being taught via videos, this course doesn’t really offer that.
It wasn’t ideal,but I was okay with that because the lessons are text-based but broken down into chunks that made sense. Sometimes I forget what I’ve learned if I hear it, but seeing it and reading it helps me learn more effectively.
It’s all down to the individual, but at least you have all the facts.
The social media aspect wasn’t covered in much detail
The Pinterest section was absolutely superb, but there was only a general overview of the main social media channels.
Would I recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, absolutely, unless you are already an experienced blogger or a business owner looking for an advanced course.
It was the knowledge I needed to start to make money from my blog content.
As you can see from my results above.
This was after a whole load of learning, implementing what I had learned, and a whole load of days, and months where I saw little in the way of results.
What I’m trying to say is that if you purchase this course, you need to be prepared to put the hard work in to get the results.
Purchasing Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is only part of three-point approach I used though.
When I had enough saved, I purchased MikeFutia’s Stupid Simple SEO course.
This enabled me to get into the habit of writing a blog post that would rank on page one on Google, no matter whether I was writing about personal finance on my blog, writing about copywriting for your business or writing for clients.
Pinterest with Ell transformed my Pinterest traffic. So Stupid Simple SEO and this Pinterest course got more eyes on my content. More traffic = more chances of affiliate income. Although I must admit – I’ve not spent more than an hour on Pinterest this year. I don’t believe it is worth my time anymore.
Are affiliate marketing courses really worth it?
The answer is yes, yes, and yes!
This has been well worth the spend for the passive income I am now seeing! Remember, this is PASSIVE income!! I am still blown away by the numbers.
The brilliant thing is – you can do this – you can achieve what I did – I am no one special. All I did was take a risk and really invest in courses from key people who really know what they are doing. Really know how to make money.
Latest progress and next steps for my copywriter website 2023
As a CEO of my own online business I use many amazing tools and products that I intend to share this year, so other course creators and business owners can save money, time and increase their joy.
Share affiliate reviews for products, courses or services I have used for a while, with great results.
Build a resource page so they are easy to access for people returning to look at what I recommend.
Support other entrepreneurs with their launches (products that I love like Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy)
Please note that this post was originally on my blog budgetingisachallenge.com until I sold it and moved my affiliate posts.
My blog is now making over $2000 a month, so bring on $10,00.
My mantra for 2021 is – consistency and return of investment.
So I’m working on things that will return the most income.
Next steps for my blog 2020
My next steps are all about scaling up my income.
I am going to carefully consider 2 or 3 more high-margin affiliate posts, and the aim is to make $10,000 a month by 2022.
There – I’ve said to you guys!
As my audience, you now have made me accountable to achieve this goal and show you my progress over time.
My Affiliate Marketing Philsophy
The rule is – only ever recommend things I am so passionate about being good, that I would say ‘Mom you should really buy this!’
If it would feel weird to recommend or talk about it with a relative, it’s as simple as this.
I wouldn’t recommend it to you, as my audience. Simple.
Underneath here, you will see examples of other questions I was asking myself, so you can get a feel for what’s involved with affiliate marketing, more information on the course and whether it is a fit for you.
If you have any questions, as always email me over at [email protected]
How does affiliate marketing work?
Basically, as a blogger, you write a blog post for example about a product or a service. Within this post, you will have your own affiliate links to the product.
If your audience clicks through these links, and buys the product, you get usually a percentage of the sale as a commission.
Even if they buy later in the week or two weeks on, most affiliate links will store a cookie on their computer.
This means you will be credited for the commission even then. A lot of affiliate programs have cookies that last 30 days, so if the buyer clicks on your link last, the commission is yours.
How do I become an affiliate marketer?
Michelle gives you a proven system for how to do this in detail, but this is basically how you can become an affiliate marketer:
– Set up a blog or website or both.
– Choose your niche
– Match your niche to the right affiliate networks.
– Research and select affiliate products you would geniunely recommend to your audience.
– Affiliate reviews are way more genuine if you have already bought, use the product and find it useful – so my advice would be to buy and test each product first.
– Write blog posts, social media stories to get more traffic to your site or blog.
Why is affiliate marketing a great business model to add to your business?
It is a super easy way for business owners to make money, even in your sleep! You can be recommending products 24 hours a day on your blog section and potentially sales can generate commission without you doing a thing!
(Well apart from writing an honest review initially about the product).
What is the best affiliate marketing course?
In my humble opinion, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is the best out there. You only have to look at my affiliate marketing results. I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing when I started, and so far my journey into affiliate marketing has earned me over $50k.
However, as I said before, if you are experienced in affiliate marketing it is not. If you consider yourself to have basic knowledge of affiliate marketing, or if you are already making more than $1000 and you need to scale up, you need to look for a more advanced course.
Why choose Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?
It is such a clear course basically for the overwhelmed and for beginners in terms of new to affiliate marketing! Michelle’s course broke down the basics, how to structure blog posts and what kinds of blog posts you could write to make money via affiliate marketing. Not only did she help me organize myself via superb organizational printables, she helped me see the possible products I could promote.
- 6 modules
- 30+ lessons
- Printable worksheets
- An exclusive Facebook group
Insider’s View – What You Will Learn
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works.
- Why affiliate marketing is brilliant!
- The exact steps Michelle took to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post.
- How to pick the right affiliate products to promote.
- How to increase conversions.
- How to build trust and not lose followers.
- Required disclosures that you need to know about.
- The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing.
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products.
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing (yes, this includes the newest Pinterest affiliate rules!)
Screen Shots of the Units:
The following photos are greyed out slightly on my dashboard.
How much does this online affiliate marketing course cost?
This was the hard part was the price at the time. I had little spare cash, and as a finance blogger, I was determined not to go into debt for a course.
The price was and still is $197 or $105 in 2 payments.
I set about my mission of side hustling and getting money for my Christmas present and also my birthday presents.
By February 2019, I had the money and had bought the course – yay!
Does the course have a money back guarantee?
Michelle is such a lovely, genuine person, who really wants to help people succeed. So in the spirit of giving you ultimate peace of mind as you sign up, she offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here is her refund policy, taken from the course landing page:
“We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund. But, you must show me that you went through the course and took action, because none of the tips and methods I share will work without you taking the time to implement them.”
Is affiliate marketing a scam?
Affiliate marketing is not a scam. It is a way of earning yourself some commission from promoting other people’s or other companies products.
You have to make sure your audience knows you can make a commission but that it won’t lead to them paying more for the product or service.
This is called an affiliate disclosure.
I have one rule with affiliate marketing: I only promote products I truly love, trust, and have worked for me.
Can I really make money with affiliate marketing?
It certainly is possible to make great money with affiliate marketing. Michelle Shroeder Gardner has become a millionaire, regularly posts her blog income reports, and now makes over $100,000 a month from her blog.
She is not on her own. Neil Patel makes over $378,000 a month, and most of this is in affiliate income.
That aside – smaller sites can do it too. Earning $2000 a month has been an exciting journey for me so far.
How quickly does affiliate marketing work?
Affiliate marketing takes time to build up. You need to have an SEO strategy in place to build traffic to your site, so you maximize the number of people who can see your content.
SEO takes time also – especially for new sites, so don’t be surprised not to see any traction for at least 12 months.
Benefits of learning about affiliate marketing in summary
- Know how affiliate marketing actually works.
- Understand and implement strategies within your content.
- Focus on your blog content like it is a business.
- Be truly useful to your audience by recommending things they will find useful.
- Make passive income – the sky is the limit!
I dare you to start your journey toward making passive income!