When I first started monetizing my blog back in the spring, one course kept coming up on searches and blogger recommendations: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.
If you have been blogging long enough, you have probably heard of it too and are possibly curious whether it is worth spending your hard earned money on.
I wanted to provide you with a full review here because the course is definitely the most expensive one I have bought and I thought long and hard before taking the plunge.
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I took the course back in April and implemented what I learned throughout that month.
What is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is an in-depth course on monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing. Using the information you learn in the course, you can earn a passive income through selling and recommending products to your readers and promoting products on social media.
The course is quite long and very detailed and it covers everything you need to know from the basics of affiliate marketing to keeping it legal.
About Michelle Schroeder-Gardner
Michelle is a blogger at a personal finance blog called MakingSenseofCents.com. Her blog is so successful that she is able to travel full-time in her RV.
Michelle started the blog in 2014 and in March 2018 she made $241,659 just from her blog!
$187,785 of that was from affiliate marketing!
You can check out all her blog income reports on the site. I like that she breaks down exactly how much she earned from each affiliate which a lot of bloggers do not do.
Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing Review
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is taught in course form on the Teachable platform. You do need to create an account before you can start.
There are 6 modules in all. There are 20 worksheets and over 30 different lessons.
I would say you really need at least 1-2 hours per module plus there are 6 bonuses at the end of the course which will take a couple of hours to complete.
The course covers the following:
- How to find and apply for affiliate programs
- The legal aspect – Nexus states, no-follow links – this is all broken down in plain English
- Getting readers to convert
- How to use affiliate links
- How to increase page views
- What do to when a post goes viral
- How to get approved by affiliate programs
One of the best bonuses of the course is the Pinterest Strategy Guide from Rosemarie Groner.
She normally sells it on her blog for $139 so it’s a great free extra when you buy the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course and I found it very useful.
What I like about the Course
This course is by far the most thorough course I have bought. It is clear that Michelle spent a lot of time creating it and making sure to include as much information as possible.
For me, these the best things about the course::
- Michelle explains everything very clearly and I grasped a lot of ideas that I had been struggling to understand such as no-follow links.
- In most cases, Michelle shows how she has used specific affiliate marketing techniques in her blog and it was good to see “real-life” examples that I could use and make my own. I’m a visual learner and seeing things in action really helped me to grasp the concept.
- I learned many different ways to market my affiliate links and products that had not occurred to me and that I hadn’t read anywhere else.
- As I mentioned above, the free bonuses are actually really worth it and not just “filler” freebies.
One thing to mention is that I was expecting that Michelle made all of her $187, 785 affiliate income from personal finance products.
In fact she makes most of her money from a “how to blog” tutorial which surprised me and was a little disappointing although it doesn’t take away from the lessons learned in the course.
Despite this, I think the course is good for all niches. There is not really any niche-specific content and Michelle does make over $5000 from survey sites alone so she definitely knows her affiliates.
The Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing Facebook Group
Access to the private Facebook group is the best thing about the course!
The group members are helpful and engaged. There are are a number of different weekly threads that are great:
- Blog Share
- Pinterest repin
- Post feedback
- Affiliate Post Review
Michelle is also very active in the group and hosts “Ask Michelle” sessions which are awesome.
I have not seen a big blogger that is so active in their Facebook group before and for me this is a huge value with this course.
This course will be great for you if:
- You have a blog or are thinking of starting one. (get my free tutorial here)
- You have been blogging for a while but are not making any money.
- Self-paced learning is your thing and you are prepared to spend time on each module
- You want to monetize your blog and will spend some time setting it up
- You’ve read a ton of free guides but are having trouble getting conversions
- You want a really in-depth guide to affiliate marketing
The course might not be a good fit if:
- You have already had success with affiliate marketing: the first couple of chapters are geared more towards new bloggers.
- You don’t have the money to invest. The course costs $197 or two payments of $107 without a coupon code.
- You prefer quick reads or video based learning. The modules do take some time to go through. I am a quick reader but still spent about 2 hours per module.
My Results with Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
As I mentioned, I bought and took the course in April 2017. By the end of May I had made my first affiliate income from my blog.
Read my May 2017 income report here.
Since then my affiliate income has grown and I consistently make $1000+ from affiliate marketing alone. I don’t think I would have made an income so quickly without Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Having the information at my fingertips from the get-go really sped the monetization process up.
Read my July 2017 income report here.
Find out more about the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course here.
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