oh wow, this is awkwardly slow...
Make Money

Michelle Schroeder Gardner: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review – Is It Worth It?

 What you will learn:

  • What to expect from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course
  • Exclusive interview with tips on how to get the most out of the course
  • How much you can earn with affiliate marketing
It's review time Hustlers. Michelle Schroeder Gardner: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing  is being reviewed today after I personally went through the course myself.
 
Today I'm going to be reviewing Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Garner. Michelle is the person behind the amazing blog Makingsenseofcents.com.
 
 
You may have heard of the blog for its amazing personal wealth case studies. But just incase you haven't come across this amazingly business savvy lady, here is a quick intro on who Michelle is.
 
michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review
Michelle started blogging as a hobby to document her student loan repayment progress. She had no intentions of turning it full time until she experienced her first $100 from blogging, and that was enough for her to decide to take it more seriously.
 
 
As of right now her online empire is worth 7 figures annually. She shares monthly income reports on her site, which has greatly helped boost her fame within the community. It draws a lot of attention from sites such as Forbes, Lifehacker, CNBC and Time's.
 
 
Okay, so now you know Michelle knows what she's doing when it comes to making money online. Now it's time to see if she is any good at teaching her affiliate marketing skills, and is the course "Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing" worth the price tag?
 
 
Short answer is yes and yes, but long answer is it depends. Carry on reading the full review to understand what I mean.

What do you get?

 

The course consists of 6 modules and an extensive bonus pack. In total this course is split into a whopping 51 lessons! Some of these lessons include worksheets and workbooks to go through the lesson's material and prepare you onto the next lesson.

The exact module breakdown are as followed: 

Module 1: What is affiliate marketing

The title is pretty self explanatory on what this module focuses. It provides you the basic understanding needed to proceed with the rest of the course, which includes how it works, why it works well and a prompt to join the exclusive facebook group.

The facebook group is very active and people are very supportive and helpful. I received a lot of blogging advice from more experienced bloggers in the group. You can find me in the group if you have any questions!

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review

Module 2: How to find and apply to affiliate marketing programs

I think this module is a great resource for anyone who has limited affiliate marketing experience. I remember when I first started I had to really fumble my way around and make silly mistakes. This module makes the whole process painless and clear.

One thing many people don't talk about it needing to be approved by a program before promoting a product or service. Michelle really breaks this part down to help you get the best chance of approval for whatever affiliate program you want to join.

I found a lot of useful pointers in this module that I had never read about anywhere else. Michelle even goes down to the detail of how much traffic you need to start making money. This upfront honesty is something many new bloggers and affiliate marketers are desperately looking for. I think this alone makes Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing a great course to get.

Module 3: Follow the rules

This is another area that many other courses do not cover and Michelle does a great job in telling you exactly what you need to know. The module goes over the legal responsibilities bloggers have when promoting affiliated products and services, and what this all means to you and your potential customers.

However, this module will be more relevant to US based affiliates because most of the information in the module will be linked to US affiliate marketing laws.

Though, I still learnt some valuable tips on how to structure my blog posts and it also made me realise I need to find some legal answers for myself in regards to Hong Kong and affiliate marketing laws.

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review

Module 4: How to get your readers to convert

If I could summarise this section into one sentence it would be:

Work smart and not hard

This section is all about methods to increase your conversion rate. Michelle's approach to conversion is definitely  a work smart and not work hard approach. She shows you how to strategically create your offer and place them in effective places on your blog.

She goes through the basics here and it's not the most detailed, but it's enough for you to understand what works. Affiliate marketing is all about converting your traffic to paid consumers, so it's a bit disappointing that his module didn't include as much detail as I hoped. However, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is more towards beginners and it makes sense for it to not go beyond the beginner level.

Module 5: Strategies and ways to promote your affiliate links

I think this module was great. No single lesson was very outstanding on it's own, but the whole module comes together for a very comprehensive marketing strategy. And that's a consistent theme with this course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, the whole system works best when in tandem.

I've actually implemented this module into this blog, and I will continue to fine tune the strategy in the near future.

 

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review

Module 6: Rinse and repeat

This module is all about maintaining and building off your successes. Many people have this attitude of create-it and then leave-it attitude which just doesn't work for blogging. So I think this section is really important for anyone who is getting this course without an established blog already.

The best part of this module is the checklist Michelle provides. This checklist is a nice easy way to go through your blog and make sure everything is still relevant, working and effective. A great tool for anyone who neglects checking the health of their blog.

BONUSES!

This is the last part in the course. Michelle has always been very generous with her knowledge online and these bonuses shows how generous she can be. You'll find 7 bonuses in this section, each containing valuable information to help you get more sales. More specifically the bonuses show you how you can increase your traffic and thus increase your potential of making a sale.

 

WinnieMD Exclusive Interview with Michelle Schroeder Gardner the creator of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review

 
You often state on your blog makingsenseofcents.com that it took you a long time to start monetising your blog. What made you suddenly decide to take that step to monetisation after going without for so long?

I did not create my blog with the intention of making money blogging. It was all just a hobby and an outlet for me to talk about money openly. Due to that, I didn't try monetizing my blog.
 
I earned my first income through my blog through a sponsored advertisement. I earned around $100 from that advertisement and that was after around 6 months of blogging. Like I said above, though, I didn't start my blog with the intention of earning an income and never pursued that while I was blogging in the beginning. So, earning that first $100 was super exciting even though I had poured hours and hours into my blog before that, haha!
 
After I earned that first $100 from my blog, I became super interested in making money blogging. I believe that after just around one year of blogging that I was already earning a few thousand dollars a month through my blog. It grew quickly once I set a goal to actually start making money from my blog!

 

Your course is 100% text based with a lot of material to get through. Was there any specific reason to keep it to text and not have any video content like many other similar online affiliate marketing courses?

Personally, I like text more than video, so I decided that's how I would do my course as well. I like to be able to pick through things, read at my own pace, and so on, which isn't as easy to do with video - so I figured other people may like that as well.

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review
Just one of many of amazing income reports from Michelle

Video content and interactive content that has more instant gratification is dominating the way we behave online. Do you think affiliate marketing through blogging is still relevant for now and the near future of affiliate marketing?


Yes, it is definitely still relevant. People were saying the same thing when I first started Making Sense of Cents – that people who started a blog in 2011 were starting too late and that no one would ever be successful with it.

There is a lot of room for bloggers and there is plenty of room for growth well into the future. I believe that companies and advertisers are only recently starting to realize the value in online influencers, such as bloggers, which means that the blogging world will continue to grow well into the future and that income from blogging will continue to increase.

Your monthly income reports are amazing and a source of inspiration for many bloggers. However, you also say your page views are comparatively low to many other sites making similar amounts.What would you say is the one most important skill you developed to achieve this high income to page view ratio?

Passion - many people will say that you don't need passion to succeed, but I disagree. You need passion in some area of your business - whether that be the topic you are writing about, what your business allows you to do outside of work (such as traveling, spending more time with family, etc).

Passion in or for your business makes it much more enjoyable and can help keep a person motivated.

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review

If you could create your ideal student for this course to succeed, what attributes and or personality traits would they have?

Someone who is always interested in learning! There are always new things to learn when it comes to blogging and making money online. Other than that, though, the course is a great resource to take for anyone who wants to grow a blogging business.

The Honest Truth about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

I personally got a lot of valuable information and blogging knowledge from this course. A lot of the stuff was information I had never came across anywhere else online, and that in itself is worth getting the course for. The amount of information provided can be a little overwhelming at first but I appreciate that Michelle didn't take any shortcuts on creating this course.

However it did take me a whole month of contemplating whether I should get this course or not because it was 100% text based. Something about receiving "just" written words made me feel uneasy to handover my hard earned cash. My previous experiences with online based courses were all video based and I was use to getting  a bunch of video lessons. It seemed like the online standard and anything else was of "lower" production quality.

I was wrong and very stupid for having those ideas in my head.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing has honestly been the best course I have taken thus far in my online marketing career. It's not perfect, but Michelle has really taken the time to break down the whole process and create a very comprehensive affiliate marketing course for beginner bloggers. In fact I've only just finished the course myself and implemented a fraction of whats been taught, but already see better engagement and higher page view numbers. It's actually really crazy how effective doing a few little things can be. You just need to know what little things to do.

michelle schroeder gardner making sense of affiliate marketing review
Reading doesn't mean lower quality at all. The most effective way of sharing knowledge has always been through text.

So obviously I'm a big fan of the course and of Michelle, but let's be critical here. One course cannot meet the needs of everyone. So let me break it down below:

Pros

  • The text forces you to read it all and go through it all, making learning guaranteed
  • The text also allows you to skim through easily to refer back to on a later date
  • The course is incredibly well structured and comprehensive
  • The course provides very clear steps to finding and getting approved for affiliate programs
  • The course provides very clear marketing and traffic strategies you can follow
  • The course can be applied to any niche as long as the niche has enough affiliate programs
  • The course provides worksheets to get you to start working as you go through the material
  • There's a lot of details many other courses fail to cover or include

Cons

  • The effectiveness of the strategies provided in the course are reliant on the amount of traffic you already have
  • There isn't much hand holding in this course which means you do have to take your time with this course to make what you learnt work. Be prepared to do a lot more self studying after going through the course
  • There's a heavy use of Pinterest, which doesn't work for all niches

Conclusion

I would recommend this course for anyone thinking of using a blog to earn affiliate marketing commissions. But there's some limitations to the above. I think the course content is best for people that are prepared to show their face on their blog and essentially create a personal brand online. You don't have to but from the traffic building methods Michelle teaches it would be more effective. I also think this course works well if you are in the right niche because Michelle's methods are very dependent on having enough affiliate products that you can consistently weave into your blog. Which also means you have to write about topics that are consistently relevant to your products to do this successfully.

The best candidate to take this course is someone who already has an established blog with traffic, but has failed to make any significant money from it. This course isn't super advanced but there are a lot of small details to be had and learnt.

Overall I give this course:

Value for Money: 5 out of 5

Course Quality: 4 out of 5

Content Quality: 4 out of 5

Relevance: 3.5 out of 5

The course is priced at $197 which is a bargain in my opinion for what you're getting. You can get the course here and if you use my link I will be happy to give you my blogging set-up course for FREE. Just contact me with your proof of purchase and I'll send you a copy.

Other resources you should check out:

Good things need to be shared
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.