If you’ve been around the blogging world for a while now, you might have heard about the online course that teaches you how to earn $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing. That’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I just completed it.
It’s my biggest investment in a product like that so far and I’m happy with spending the money on this exact course. It all started by learning how Michelle built her online empire over at MakingSenseOfCents.com.
Nothing is more inspiring than her income reports. She earns over $100K/month from her blog but half of it comes from affiliate marketing. She started from nothing and is now a full-time blogger traveling the world all year long.
What motivated me to purchase Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing was all this information. Once you like the creator of a product, you’re more likely to buy. I also saw so many other bloggers recommending it that I just had to have it and see what it’s all about.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing really does teach us anything important we need to know to start making money from our blog (and other places) with affiliate products. But I also remember what questions I had before I actually bought it, and I’m sure many of you can be asking the same thing.
- Is it worth the money?
- Who is the course for?
- Can the strategies in it work for me?
- Should I trust Michelle and her knowledge?
- Does she share behind-the-scenes details about her blog and journey to making $100K/month?
- What if I’ve been blogging for years already and haven’t been successful at affiliate marketing?
- What’s in the course?
- Will I be able to follow the tips if I’m a beginner blogger?
All these are questions I’ll try to answer in this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review. I’m writing it to share my experience with Michelle’s course, talk about the importance of monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, share the pros and cons of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and help anyone out there having doubts take the decision whether this course is for them or not.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this review. Feel free to skip to any part by clicking the link.
What is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?
Who is Michelle?
Is it possible to earn $50,000/month from affiliate marketing?
What you’ll learn in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Who is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Not For?
What I Loved About It The Most
My Experience with Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
How to Enroll in The Course and Start It
Your Questions About Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Answered
This article contains affiliate links.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a step-by-step online course teaching you how to start making money from your blog through affiliate marketing.
It’s for beginners as well as those who’ve been blogging for some time now but haven’t earned any money from affiliate marketing.
You’ll learn what exactly affiliate marketing is and how it works, how to pick your affiliate products, write reviews for them, mention them in all your other blog posts and on social media.
You’ll see how to bring more traffic to your blog, build trust, promote products you believe in to your audience, and make money on a monthly basis from all that.
This can become passive income if you do the hard work in the beginning and can allow you to live a pretty enjoyable life as a full-time blogger working from home.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing sets the foundation for your journey, but it can also be the only course you’ll ever need to monetize your side hustle.
In the course, you’ll also learn a ton of strategies to increase your affiliate earnings, how to disclose your relationships with brands, how to make your links pretty and where exactly to add them in a blog post, how to leverage Pinterest and start earning money directly from it through affiliate marketing, and much more.
Michelle is the creator of one of the most successful blogs in the personal finance niche – Making Sense of Cents. Her income reports are one of the most favorite stops of her readers as she shares exactly how she earns over $100K/month blogging while traveling.
She learned all this the hard way.
I love success stories of bloggers and entrepreneurs who started from nothing. It’s amazing to see their journey. In this case, it’s a journey from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month.
Michelle paid off her student debt of nearly $40,000 in just 7 months. That was one of the main reasons why she started her blog. To share what she learned on the way to being debt-free and help others manage their money better.
Now, she’s also a master of making, saving and investing money and is a personal finance blogger with a great reputation.
Since the day she started her blog and paid off her debt, her online income has only been increasing. In 2013 she made her first $100K blogging, and just 3 years later that turned into one million in yearly profits.
Here’s an article on Forbes sharing more about her journey over the years: How This 27-Year-Old Made $1 Million Last Year
What I personally like about Michelle is that she’s authentic. She always reminds her readers she too was making $0/month from her blog back in the days but didn’t stop until she saw those first dollars coming in.
Affiliate marketing has always been her favorite income stream as it has allowed her to do so much with her life while being helpful to her audience.
She saw that so many others wanted to know her best tips and actual steps she took to begin making money from affiliate marketing. So she created her first digital product (and added yet another big number to her monthly income report).
That’s her course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and it helps hundreds of bloggers around the world make their first affiliate sale every next month.
Yes, and that’s one of the main reasons why I purchased that exact online course on the topic. Because that’s exactly what Michelle has been earning for years now.
Her full income is over $100K/month from blogging, but often half of it comes from affiliate marketing.
I was leaving money on the table by not adding affiliate links to my older blog posts. And that’s just one of the many things I opened my eyes for (and began doing) after taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
It will be a long journey for me but I’ve already started writing practical content for affiliate purposes, and am constantly updating old posts on Let’s Reach Success. I’ve mentioned great products in my guides back in the days, I just never went back to add an affiliate link.
This is something anyone can do, whether you’re a beginner just starting a website, or someone who’s been around for a year or a few.
Whatever you niche is, you can monetize your blog with affiliate marketing and start earning. Add to that your newsletter and followers on social media. There are so many opportunities to genuinely promote your affiliate products or articles where you write about them.
Once you hit your first $1,000 from affiliate marketing, you can make it a monthly thing. Once that’s a stable income, you can grow from there by bringing more traffic to your site, writing quality and optimized content, and joining new affiliate networks.
It takes trial and error and what works for one blogger might not work for another. But the basics of affiliate marketing are the same for everyone and we all need to learn them.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is the way to go if you want to earn $50K per month from your blog. If you want to learn more about the course, check it out here.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: An Honest Review
I’m trying to make this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review as detailed as possible. So, let’s begin with what’s in the course:
In this course, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, over 20 worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful exclusive Facebook group, and more.
Michelle goes through everything when it comes to affiliate marketing, such as:
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works;
- Why affiliate marketing is great;
- The exact steps she’s taken 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.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a course for anyone who wants to make money blogging without millions of visitors or selling their soul.
It’s for beginners who are about to start their blog and grow it. For those who already have a website and want to monetize it through affiliate marketing. For the busy bloggers who are looking to create a passive income stream by being helpful and publishing valuable content.
And for anyone who’s made their first money blogging but wants to grow their monthly income so they can turn that into their full-time career.
However, in this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review, I also want to point out who the course is not meant for.
It’s not for the lazy bloggers looking for a shortcut as this takes a lot of work. It’s not for those wanting quick cash or who’d promote any possible product they get an affiliate link of.
It might also not be for you if you’re an advanced affiliate marketer as you’ll already be familiar with the content in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Now, let’s move onto the benefits of the course (my favorite part of the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review).
1. You can really learn all you need about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of those aspects of online business that you need to learn all you can about in order to do it right and make money for the rest of your life (often passively).
Starting is not easy, though. It’s a whole new skill that needs to be built.
That’s why this is the first online course I ever purchased. Because I needed to learn from someone who’s mastered the art of affiliate marketing already.
I wanted to know the exact strategies and what worked for them, as well as the simple definitions and principles of this type of marketing and making money online.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing covers it all and is what we need to actually make our first affiliate sale, get to $1,000/month in affiliate earnings, and double that over the next few months.
The first module of the course is titled ‘What is Affiliate Marketing’ and it covers exactly that. Then, Michelle moves onto explaining how to determine what readers want and find the right affiliate programs.
There are lessons about following the rules, driving traffic to your site and making readers click on your affiliate links.
I also finally saw all the possible ways to promote affiliate links. You’ll see some interesting examples from Michelle’s blog, such as:
- How to teach with tutorials;
- How to use interviews on your blog to drive traffic;
- How to have a great Resources page and add all affiliate links in one place;
- How Michelle earned over $300,000 from one affiliate product;
- How to optimize your average blog post so it can drive affiliate sales;
- How to double your affiliate income around the holidays;
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing really is the go-to resource for anything related to this fantastic passive income stream.
2. Michelle shares great examples from her blog with screenshots.
Another one of the pros of buying Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing this month is the many great examples you’ll find inside that you can’t anywhere else.
I liked how authentic Michelle is. The secrets of the trade are actually not so secret. It’s the little things bloggers do for months or years in order to have results in terms of income. But we don’t get to read about this most of the times as it happens behind the scenes.
Well, Michelle discloses it all in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and spares no detail.
You can see screenshots from her traffic, the places she adds affiliate links, the earnings, the affiliate companies she’s involved with, her disclosures (both on her blog and social media); what email she sends for an affiliate sale; what she includes in an affiliate review; her Pinterest analysis dashboard; how she asks her affiliate managers for commission raises; etc.
All these real-life examples, just like her actual income reports over at Making Sense of Cents, are what really makes me believe I can achieve similar results.
3. The course gives you the names of the best affiliate companies and teaches you how to apply.
One of the lessons in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is 80+ Affiliate Program Ideas For Different Niches.
I loved this resource and went through each of the programs given in the list (that related to my niches) and applied to some of them right away.
You definitely don’t need to be a blogger in the personal finance niche like Michelle to make money from your blog. Whatever your field of expertise is, apply to programs related to it and include links throughout your web pages. The results will come.
4. You can take the course at your own pace.
Usually, that’s the case with all online courses. But this one is only text and can be consumed in a day or two if you’re eager to go through all the strategies at once.
Or it could be done over the course of a few weeks so you can actually take action upon each lesson once you’ve completed it.
I suggest you take the second approach. That’s how I did it when I enrolled in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
I wasn’t in a rush. I wanted the things I learned to sink in. I was also taking notes, filling in the worksheets Michelle included in the course, and making plans on what actions to take in the next few months on a weekly basis to start making money through affiliate marketing.
5. The Bonuses
The bonus materials in the course are so good that they deserve a section on their own in my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook Mastermind Group
I haven’t really joined the group yet (which makes me one of the few who completed Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing but haven’t done it). But still, that’s the biggest bonus as it gives you direct access to Michelle.
All other bloggers who’ve taken the course say she replies to threads there and starts discussions. Also, with all the other members, it’s a pretty active Facebook group and there’s a lot you can learn from it.
How to Always Get Approved To An Affiliate Program
This bonus material is written by an actual affiliate strategist who’s been involved in affiliate marketing for nearly a decade. She’s managed affiliate programs for companies like Shopify and FreshBooks and in that time, have processed thousands of affiliate applications.
In this bonus section of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, she shares her best tips so that bloggers can always get approved for any program.
The next thing I can’t wait to include in my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review is Pinterest Strategy – How To Receive Hundreds of Thousands Of Visitors From Pinterest a Month.
That’s the next bonus material in Michelle’s course and my favorite one.
It’s something I immediately took action upon, loved the idea, and have already seen progress. I share how I doubled my Pinterest views in a month here. Currently, I get 50K/month.
This bonus material is filled with actual tips that work and is shared by Rosemarie Groner from The Busy Budgeter. She’s a big name in the personal finance niche and is also Michelle’s inspiration when she was starting out with Pinterest.
9 Things You Must Do When Something Goes Viral
The next bonus in the course is a worksheet with actions you have to take when something goes viral.
Be it a pin or a blog post, you need to immediately act upon it to make the most of the traffic.
How To Increase Your Page Views
The more traffic your blog receives, the more exposure your affiliate links get. While that doesn’t necessarily mean conversion, you need to always be looking for ways to grow your blog. In this bonus lesson, Michelle shares what she does to keep the blog growing.
Worksheet – My Affiliate Products And Services
There are many practical worksheets provided in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and this is one of them.
To be honest, it’s downloadable docs like that which actually made me set aside 10 minutes and think it through, then write some things down.
That led to picking my top affiliate products and sticking to them.
The Perfect Affiliate Link Checklist
I loved this checklist and am definitely including it in this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review as one of the pros of taking the course. It’s an actual checklist you can print out and use every time so you don’t miss out on something important.
When we start adding links to old blog posts, it’s so easy to forget to make the link nofollow, to forget to go back and check it if the affiliate program has made changes. To make the anchor text too short and thus not visible enough, to forget to disclose it, and so much more.
How to Maximize Your Reach, Your Impact, and Your Revenue with Facebook Ads
While Facebook ads are something Michelle is pretty good at, for this bonus section she invited someone who used to be her coach.
That’s Monica Louie, a Facebook ads coach and strategist who helps ambitious online entrepreneurs grow their impact and their profits with the power of Facebook ads and has worked on more than 100 Facebook ad campaigns.
Editing And Writing Strategies That Will Take Your Content To The Next Level
Many bloggers don’t take content creation seriously. Some, in their desire to start making money from affiliate marketing as soon as possible, can easily start writing content often without editing it properly.
But poor grammar will lead to a bad reputation for your brand and site and people won’t trust you enough to click your affiliate links.
In this bonus section, Michelle brings our attention to the importance of writing error-free content that provides value. For that, she invited the editor of Making Sense of Cents to share her editing process and best tips.
If you’re sold on the idea and want to start the course already, here’s the link to purchase it (that’s my affiliate link as I became an affiliate for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing right after completing it).
Let me continue my complete Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review with a few things about the course that I specifically loved.
The focus on Pinterest.
I’ve been blogging for years now, and although I got to earn over $4,000/month from my blog and business, I never leveraged social media.
I tried StumbleUpon, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in the past. But nothing happened so it was just a waste of time.
I was on Pinterest but never invested the time to learn how it works for bloggers. Turns out, it’s a pretty big deal.
As you can see from my last income report, Pinterest is now something I see progress with on a weekly basis and which can even turn into an actual income stream in the future.
The whole idea to get started with it, though, was inspired by Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. And especially the bonus Pinterest Strategy – How To Receive Hundreds of Thousands Of Visitors From Pinterest a Month.
I then checked Michelle’s Pinterest profile, together with other bloggers in the same niche. They are bringing hundreds of thousands of Pinners to their blog on a monthly basis and a lot of that traffic converts into affiliate sales. How awesome is that!
I started creating my own affiliate reviews (like this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review – informative and full of details).
Instead of writing a few short blog posts about a product or how it works, I now prefer to invest hours into writing the ultimate resource on the topic.
I did it with my WPX Hosting review and it’s now on the WPX Hosting site as an example of a happy customer. And I’m indeed happy with their services.
One of Michelle’s rules for making affiliate marketing work for you is to only promote products you believe in.
And that’s what I’m doing.
I also created a new How to Start a Profitable Blog guide, following her example. I want it to be practical, optimized, with images, etc. It’s an actual tutorial.
No need to do any more research on affiliate marketing, it’s action time now.
I’ve been putting off reading in-depth guides on affiliate marketing for months now. But this online course provided all the necessary details, so I don’t need to worry about this now.
Currently, I’m focused on updating old blog posts to add affiliate links, creating practical reviews and tutorials, and being active on Pinterest.
This Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review won’t be complete and honest enough without at least a few disadvantages. While it’s a great product and absolutely worth the money, here are some things not everyone might like:
1. It costs $197.
I’ve never paid that much for a product before, but now was the right month for me to do it.
As of the beginning of the new year, Let’s Reach Success had a new premium theme and design, a better hosting provider (WPX hosting), and became a registered company in the Netherlands (where I moved as part of my lifestyle design project).
I also doubled my blog income and was ready to start investing in my progress.
If you’re starting out now as a new blogger and have just invested your first money to start a blog, then you might not want to buy a course like that.
In this case, I suggest you start reading about affiliate marketing from all the free resources available online.
When things change and you start earning from your online business every month, you can check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing again.
2. No video.
While this is great for me as I’m more of a reader, some people prefer videos. They say it’s faster to consume and that’s why most online courses have them.
If written content really isn’t your thing, maybe you should choose another course on affiliate marketing.
3. Some bloggers might find it basic.
I know a ton of things about blogging as I’ve been doing it for more than 5 years now. And still this course was great for me and I learned a lot.
However, if you’re already earning from affiliate marketing (although the course can help you double your profits), you might not need all the lessons in it.
It was the push I needed.
The course opened my mind to how I was leaving money on the table by not earning through affiliate marketing.
It’s Michelle and her course that led to my realization.
Anyone with a blog like Let’s Reach Success (with a ton of content and good reputation) must be adding affiliate links to almost any piece of content (naturally, of course) and should be publishing reviews and tutorials.
But I wasn’t doing it. So I was missing out on many opportunities for income.
However, the moment I enrolled in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and started the course, I also applied to many networks and started adding links to old blog posts.
Made a list of my top affiliates.
Turns out, I was distracting myself with tens of affiliate products. It’s much better to have no more than 10 that you mention all the time.
These are products I should believe in, which I’ve used before or am currently using, and whose features I’m familiar with. And that’s exactly what I did.
Started updating old blog posts with affiliate links.
That’s such a crucial process and yet there I was focusing on producing and publishing new content daily.
But going back to old posts that have potential, adding content, fixing errors (using Grammarly, in my case), updating the images, changing some paragraphs, and adding affiliate links, was something I decided to do from here on.
With over 1700 articles in the archives of Let’s Reach Success, that might have scared some bloggers. But I look at it as a journey I’ll take one step at a time.
I can’t say I will have updated all articles by the end of the year. But I just need to begin with my most important posts, the ones that get traffic, are closely related to my affiliate products, or just my favorite ones.
Paid attention to my 10 top performing posts.
In the course, Michelle asks you to go to your Google Analytics dashboard, find your top performing posts, update them and add affiliate links.
That’s exactly what I did over the course of 3 days (while leaving the next lessons of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing for later).
These are the pages giving me the most traffic (organically), so it was important to fix them first now that my new income goal is affiliate earnings.
I stopped being afraid I’ll appear salesy.
If I didn’t let go of that fear, this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review wouldn’t exist. Many people don’t earn through affiliate marketing because they don’t add their links often enough.
But Michelle says you should do it where it’s relevant and makes sense and people will never complain.
Learned how to mention products in posts.
That’s actually something I enjoy already.
For instance, when I write an income report, I always mention my guide on how to start a profitable blog so others too can start earning money online.
Also, I sometimes add a list of resources with links. It’s when the article is on anything related to freelancing, online business, blogging, etc.
I either link to a product or an article of mine that links to affiliate products. It’s all natural and anything mentioned is actually a resource that can help the person out on their journey to making their first money blogging and freelancing.
You’ll then be prompted to choose a payment plan (you could pay at once or in 2 installments.
You can then choose to pay with a credit card or via PayPal and proceed with the payment.
Once it’s done, you’ll be able to enter your dashboard on Teachable (that’s the platform for the course) and start with the first lesson.
Is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing still relevant in 2018?
Absolutely. Michelle goes back to the course and updates it whenever something important changes in the affiliate marketing world or there’s something new she learns that she wants to add.
Is there a coupon code for discount?
There are every now and then and I’ll keep this article updated whenever Michelle sells the course for a lower price (which might happen 1 or more times per year).
Do you recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and why?
Yes. This whole Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review exists because I had a great experience taking the course and wanted to share it with my audience.
Do I have to be in the personal finance niche?
No, and all the information in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing applies to any niche and type of online business.
Should I be an established blogger to make money from affiliate marketing?
No. Even if you haven’t created your blog yet, you can benefit from the strategies shared in the course. They will help you make money down the road.
How long would it take me to complete the course?
The course is self-paced. I suggest you take your time and don’t finish it in a few days, but that too is possible and you can go back to it whenever you want to.
Do I get lifetime access?
Yes. I, for instance, like to go back to some of the lessons again and re-read them.
Is there a refund?
Yes. Michelle offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
My Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: Final Words
I hope you enjoyed my review of the online course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.
It just hit 5,000 words and I believe it’s the most detailed review on the topic you will find available online.
Best of luck with your blogging goals and earning through affiliate marketing. It’s okay if you decide that Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing isn’t what you need right now.
You can always head to the page and purchase it whenever you’re already an established blogger or feel like your income can use a boost with affiliate earnings.
If there are others you know who are wondering whether this course is for them, share this Making Sense of Affiliate Review by pinning the image below.