I just finished the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing — where Michelle shares how she makes over $50,000/month from her personal blog. 

While I certainly benefited from the course (it’s already more than paid for itself — as you’ll see when I launch my first monthly earnings report), I don’t believe that it’s for everyone. The following review will hopefully help you decide if the $197 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is right for you.

Who is Michelle and how did I first come across her website?

Making Sense of Affiliate MarketingI first “met” Michelle when she responded to my request for contributors for the article How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad: 35 Experts Share.

It’s amazing how fast you click on a link when it says “I earn $50,000 a month through my blog”.

When I clicked through to her site, I found a 27 year old blogger who earns $50k/month while traveling around in an RV with her husband. As a fan of the digital nomad lifestyle, that’s definitely the kind of story that catches my eye!

As I explored her site Making Sense of Cents I discovered that, indeed, for the last 6 months Michelle’s blogging income has consistently hit about $50k per month! In other words, she makes as much in a month as the average American earns in a year.

But here’s what’s crazy about it. She doesn’t push sell and she’s not part of any sleazy multi-level marketing scheme. There are an awful lot of bloggers that get rich by selling worthless books, courses, and advice on how to get rich.

That’s not the case with Michelle. She’s a personal finance blogger and simply mentions products that she values – such as Blue Host for creating a website, Motif Investing for stock trading, and Ebates for online shopping (Michelle earns about $1000/month from Ebates alone).

Which brings me to the purpose of this article…

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

Here’s how Michelle, and many other bloggers, make money... Each of these companies listed above (and many others) have an affiliate program that gives bloggers the opportunity to earn a commission when their readers click through a link to sign up or make a purchase. Many bloggers do this (including myself) as it offers a way to share products that the blogger actually uses and appreciates – while simultaneously supporting their writing.

And the beautiful think about it is that there’s no extra cost for the customer! So, whether you go straight to Amazon yourself, or whether you decide to shop Amazon through my link (hint, hint), you pay the exact same amount. But, with the latter option, I earn a 4-6% commission on what you spend.

Meanwhile, businesses love affiliate marketing because they only pay when a sale is made – making it very low-risk. While a TV ad costs a fortune and might not bring in a single sale, an affiliate is only paid once the business has money in the bank.

Of course, just because you link to affiliate products on your website doesn’t mean you’ll make money. First off, we’re all repelled by websites that are overly promotional. If you perpetually tell readers to >>>>>>SHOP HERE<<<<<<  without providing any real value, they’ll likely stop visiting your site.

Secondly, if you try to be too polite – placing a single link in your website footer – you’ll never make any money.

The key is finding that healthy balance between getting people to use your links without making it obnoxiously promotional. This is where Michelle’s course comes in.

My “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” review

Affiliate Pinterest ImageSince I first came across Michelle’s blog this last March (2016), I’ve been fascinated with her success and (obviously) would love to follow in her footsteps.

So, when she launched her course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, I decided to check it out!

I don’t usually buy online courses (although I have invested in a few), but this one was definitely worth the money! In fact, I’ll be sharing my first income report this month and the course has more than paid for itself over this last month. I’m finally earning enough from my blog to call it more than just a hobby.

That being said, Michelle’s course isn’t for everyone. Because I already have a decent amount of traffic and understand the basics of writing website content (it’s how I make a living after all), this course was able to help me monetize what I’m already doing.

However, if you’re just starting out and have no traffic,  it may not be your best first purchase – although you’ll have to make the final call yourself.

Here’s what you get from Michelle’s course

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing helps you do exactly what the title suggests – maximize your affiliate marketing revenue. You’ll discover how to guide readers towards your affiliate links, manage affiliate programs effectively, and do this all legally (yes, there are laws that bloggers have to follow).

If you have an established website (or are committed to making yours a success), and want to discover how to improve your affiliate income, then this course is incredibly valuable.

In my opinion, there are three benefits to this course that make it worth $197:

  1. The course has a lot of great information: As I mentioned before, you discover how to encourage readers to click on your links without spamming them, keep track of all of your affiliate programs, and much more. There’s a lot of valuable content – which is the obvious reason to buy any course.
  2. You gain access to an exclusive Facebook mastermind group: Everyone who joins the course gains access to an exclusive Facebook group where we all can ask questions, offer advice, and compare strategies. In short, you are able to experiment with, and learn from, an active group of people at various paths in their blogging journey. You’ll even come across me on occasion!
  3. You are able to ask Michelle questions: At $600,000 a year, Michelle earns more than the majority of CEOs in America (despite what the news tells you). Not only does this make her an incredibly valuable mentor, it also means that her time is worth $300/hr! And when you sign up for the course, she often responds to your questions and comments directly. Essentially, you gain the ability to ask a $300/hr consultant for advice at any time (but please, don’t go overboard).

Considering the three benefits above, for someone eager to excel at affiliate marketing, this course is definitely worth the $197 investment.

What this course is not

As I mentioned above, for me this course was a great investment. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.

Why? Because it’s a course on affiliate marketing – not a course on blogging, writing great content, or growing traffic. Although a new blogger could benefit from the information shared, it’s a pricey purchase for someone who’s simply experimenting with a new hobby.

Before you decide to make an investment in this course, realize that it will only help you with one piece of the blogging puzzle. Unless you’re also willing to put the time and energy into learning how to grow your traffic and improve your writing, this course will offer you little value.

Is the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course right for you?

Thanks largely to what I’ve learned from Michelle, my affiliate earnings for this month are on track to pay for this course five times over! And I’m just getting started. With more money coming into my blog, I now have the ability to invest more into it as well – leading to further growth.

So, if you already understand the basics of blogging and are committed to making your blog a success, then Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing could help you turn your hobby into a business.

Michelle’s process hasn’t only helped her make $50,000/month, it’s also played a valuable role in helping dozens, if not hundreds, of other bloggers improve their blogging income as well – and that includes me!

So thanks, Michelle, for sharing – and I look forward to seeing many more successful blog income reports around the web.

For the comments: What are your thoughts on affiliate marketing? Have you been able to benefit from it, or has it felt like a lost cause? I’d love to hear your tips and thoughts in the comments below!