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Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner: An In-Depth Course Review

In December 2016, I took a big step towards achieving my affiliate marketing goal of earning $10,000/per month. The main reason I did it was because she consistently earns – in one month – numbers that I can scarcely wrap my head around (way more than $10K!), and I’ve been dibbling and dabbling in affiliate marketing since 2008.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

The most I’ve ever earned in one day as an affiliate marketer is $900. I’ve had plenty of $200, $300 days, and even some $400 and $500 days – but it’s not consistent. More on my affiliate marketing journey later. Let’s just suffice it to say that even though I’m no newbie online, my financial head was literally rocked when I read about Michelle’s success.

Learn how to get this course for free!

Note: If you want to skip everything and just get to the review, scroll down to the “PROS & CONS OF MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING: MY REVIEW” section below. I wanted to give some context though so you could have a fuller appreciation for my review.

Michelle’s Earnings: High 5- & 6-Figures Months are the NORM

See?

  • November 2016: $106,383.89
  • October 2016: $99,607.18
  • September 2016: $102,911
  • August 2016: $90,188.40
  • July 2016: $112,594.97
  • June 2016: $68,440.23

You can find all of these right on her blog. And get this, Michelle is very young (in her 20s) and hasn’t been doing affiliate marketing for that long.

Heck, she just started blogging in 2011 and didn’t get into affiliate marketing until a few years after that.

So I was like, “How the heck did she do it? What am I missing? I’ve been at this so much longer and I’m earning peanuts as an affiliate marketer compared to her.”

My Affiliate Marketing Story

I’m a freelance writer who specializes in online content (SEO content). If you google my name (Yuwanda Black), you’ll see that I’ve been around for awhile and am quite widely known in freelance writing circles.

I’m a traditionally published author of one book (so far) and have self-published almost 100 fiction and non-fiction ebooks.

I say all this not to brag, but to let you know that I’ve been doing business on the web for a long time. I know SEO. I know how to select affiliate products to promote. I know how to drive organic traffic online . In short, know a “lil sumthing sumthing” about this online marketing thing.

But after taking Michelle’s course, I realized that there was a helluva lot I didn’t know – obviously! Or, I would have been earning a lot more after all these years.

So when I decided to get serious about making affiliate marketing a viable, consistent income stream, I knew I was gonna need some help. And I looked for someone who could teach me who was the real deal.

Why Affiliate Marketing Should Scare the Heck out of Newbies!

That is … if you don’t know who to trust online. Knowing who to trust and who not to trust can literally make or break your affiliate marketing success (and shake your confidence).

As I said, I’ve been around for a while. I know how the web works and I can spot a scam a mile away. But let me tell ya, affiliate/internet marketing is a whole other ball of wax. It’s like an underground club of professional schemers and scammers who prey on what online newbies don’t know – and they come off sounding so legit.

Online newbies shoulder some of the blame for this too though. How/why? Because many fall for one get-rich-quick scheme after another.

Are You Sabotaging Yourself as an Affiliate Marketer?

They want to “make easy money online,” or “just do this and the money will come rolling in.” I know, I’ve tried some of the plug-and-play programs, but it’s not that easy folks.

There will always be more work involved than what some program creator is going to tell you. Always. And if you commit to putting in the work, then you won’t be such easy prey. You’ll be rightfully skeptical. What your mama told you is right, “If it’s sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Even with all of my knowledge, I’d look at some programs and think, “Mmm, this looks good.” But, I also know enough to dig deeper and then I’d find out, “Ok, this is the hook. That’s why this is highly unlikely to work.” And the thing is, many of these programs are pushed by high-profile online marketers and they cost thousands of dollars, eg, $1,000; $1,995; or $5,000 or more.”

And if you’re a newbie, you think, “Well they are well known and it must work if they say so. I mean, look at how successful they are.”

Strangely enough, I found that in many cases, the more expensive a product/class/webinar was, many times it was just regurgitated, repackaged information that you can find in other places for a tenth of the price.

What I Learned about Affiliate Marketing by Shopping for Jeans

I’m American, but I currently live and work from Jamaica. I point this out to say, I don’t need a lot of clothes. A few sundresses, some swimsuits, one or two pairs of jeans, some shorts and t-shirts, and I’m good to go. Oh, don’t forget flip flops! Love my “slippers” as they call them here.

I wear the same clothes over and over again here because it’s hot as the dickens and really, the best outfit is a swimsuit, which many wear under their clothes to jump in the sea at a moment’s notice (the ocean is accessible almost everywhere here in tiny Negril.

When I do shop for clothes, usually, I do so at the Salvation Army. One of my favorite finds is a pair of Levi’s that I paid like $6 for – eons ago.

What’s the difference between a $6 pair of jeans and a $200 pair? Oftentimes, it’s not the quality (I mean, what beats Levi’s in the jean department, right?). No, it’s the name – usually a designer name that’s stuck on the butt somewhere.

My point: The difference in the high-priced affiliate programs you’ll run across is almost never that the program is better. It’s just some guru’s name attached to it. And, I don’t take lightly to a stranger’s hand being attached to my butt!

I know Levi’s. I trust them. My butt proudly sports them!

The Simple “Secret” to Making Money Online

The formula for making consistent money as an affiliate marketer is amazing simple:

Good Offer + Website + Traffic

That’s the “secret” in a nutshell. And no matter what program you try, eventually, you will see that it all boils down to this.

People use different methods and tools to make this formula work for them, but it’s the same formula, trust me. I knew that. Michelle’s program underscored that – yet one more reason I knew it was legit; not that I doubted that. I trusted Michelle’s info from jump because she’s very transparent.

Over a Year of Researching Affiliate Programs

I started putting together my internet marketing site in September of 2015. I thought it would be up and going in a month or so. But once I started researching programs that I wanted to use/recommend, I realized that there’s a lot of garbage out there. Literally, finding the right products and services – from a trusted provider that actually works – is hard.

This is why it pays to do your research. Most of those “plug and play” programs you hear about that promise to start earning you money almost instantly – well it just doesn’t work like that. And that’s why when I found Michelle’s program I was so excited. She’s the real deal.

Special Free Report

You can trust her and her program taught this “old dog” quite a few new tricks. In fact, I wrote a report entitled. Increase Your Affiliate Earnings: 7 Things I Did Immediately After Finishing Michelle’s Course That Can Help You Earn More.

It’s free to those who order via my affiliate link. THAT’S how effective the course was for me. Now, here’s my in-depth review.

PROS & CONS OF MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING SENSE: MY REVIEW

Even with all my so-called affiliate marketing know-how, I was still dropping the ball on so many levels. Here’s my review, which I broke down into pros and cons as I saw it.

Pro: You Can Pay In Two Installments

I loved this because even though you pay roughly half for the course, you get all the materials right away.

Con: No PayPal Payment Option

Like I said before, I’m American but currently live and work from Jamaica. When I shop online, especially from here, I like to use PayPal. But I used my credit card and it was easy/breezy to sign up and get started.

Pro: Text Lessons

The course is broken down into 6 modules, which consist of over 30 lessons, 20 worksheets and more bonuses.

I realize everyone has different ways they like to learn and I like text, not video. Maybe it’s because I’m old school. The lessons were easy to navigate. You just clicked “Next Lesson” and you are immediately brought to the next one.

Pro: The Lessons are Easy, Breezy

I have an e-course I developed on SEO writing, and one recent student gave feedback telling me to break up one particularly hairy model. After taking Michelle’s course, I see the difference. She gave you just the information promised in that section, and moved on. You never feel bogged down with too much info.

Con: Worksheets are Not Fill In

As in, you have to download them and print them out. You can’t fill them in right on your computer. I advise printing them out and putting them in an official “My Affiliate Marketing Binder.” Think of this as the bible of your budding online business.

Pro: You Stay “Organized to Earn” from Day 1

The worksheets are extremely helpful and will help you stay organized and productive as an affiliate marketer from day one. You won’t be “forgetting” x, y, and z because you’ll have a worksheet that tells you, for example, all the affiliate marketing programs you’ve signed up for.

It’s detail like this that can make or break your income because if you’re just willy nilly signing up for programs without keeping track of them, it’s highly unlike that you’re invested in effectively promoting them, tracking the results you’re getting, and swapping out ineffective ones for ones that work.

Con: Not Enough Depth/Explanation on Some Subjects

In one module, Michelle mentions Google Analytics without explaining what it is. She addressed it in a later module, but if you’re new to affiliate marketing, you might be confused until she brings it up later and explains why it’s so important.

Of course, as an SEO expert, I knew what it was, but it stood out to me because I was thinking from a newbie standpoint and thought, “I’d be confused right here as to what she was talking about.” Again, she does address it in another module, so you don’t stay confused for long.

Con: Content Repetitive in a Couple of Areas

This is being a nit picky (can’t help it, I’m a writer), but she obviously cut/pasted a paragraph or two from one section to another. This happened a few times. Where she did it, it made sense because she was underscoring the same point, but IMO, she should have reworded it.

Pro: You Will Learn the Foundation of Affiliate Marketing & How to Build a Sustainable Mobile Biz That Makes Money for Years

Following is some of what’s covered in the course:

  • The exact steps Michelle took to earn over $40,000 per month (every month) from a single blog post
  • What affiliate marketing is and how it works
  • How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
  • How to get approved to any affiliate program
  • How affiliate programs pay out
  • How to build trust and not lose followers
  • Legally required affiliate marketing disclosures you need to know about
  • Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
  • 10 mistakes to avoid as an affiliate marketer
  • Useful tools to help automate your business so you work less but continue to earn more
  • The exact strategy one blogger uses to earn almost $25,000 per month from her online / affiliate marketing efforts on Pinterest (and get this, she only spends about 4 hours per month on the site!)

Nuggets, Nuggets, and More Nuggets

As I said, I’m no newbie and I got a great foundational knowledge of how all the pieces of affiliate marketing fit together. One little nugget of info can totally change your biz. Via Michelle’s course, I got more than a few useful nuggets to help me take my biz to the next level!

Before, I knew a little of this and a little of that and I’d managed to cobble it together to do ok in affiliate marketing. But my goal is to earn $10,000 per month – just from affiliate marketing; not ebook/eclass sales, or writing for clients (my other two income streams).

I’ve been wanting to hit the five-figure per month sales mark as an affiliate marketer for some time now. But, I never devoted time to learning how to do it.

When I did decide to front burner my affiliate marketing business, I knew that if I wanted to accomplish my $10,000 per month goal, I was going to have to learn from someone who was a lot more skilled than I was. And Michelle is the real deal.

I learned stuff I didn’t know – one little tidbit I learned was worth the price of the course alone. I’ve gone back and done some things to my existing blog, and moving forward for other blogs, will work with this tip in mind.

I tell ya, it was revolutionary – not in the sense that it was something new; it’s just the way she explained it – and showed her proven results, that it hit home for me. And the only reason I’m not spilling the beans here is, of course, I can’t tell you the guts of her program.

But trust me when I say, when I read this, I had a eureka moment that forever changed how I view and will treat my affiliate marketing business moving forward. It’s explained in the free report you get when you purchase via my affiliate link.

Pro: Traffic-Driving Pinterest Strategy

The strategy outlined in this course is worth the price of the course alone IMO. I’ve had a Pinterest account for years. Once  I started working the strategy Michelle outlines in her course, I immedately saw traffic spike upward on my site.

I was simply flabbergasted that I’d been missing out on this kind of easy traffic all along! Even before I implemented her strategy to the fullest, my traffic from Pinterest increased almost immediately and dramatically.

Pro: There Is a Facebook Mastermind Group

It’s a private group and you have to use the link in the course to request permission to join. It’s an amazing group of over 1,300 very active participants (at the time I took the course).

I’ve gotten immediate answers to questions I have about affiliate marketing from those earning thousands per month. And, I’ve even gotten help promoting posts on my blog and contributors to my blog. So you’re literally never alone. You can get help 24/7/365 with almost any question you have about affiliate marketing.

Pro: Lifetime Access

Once you purchase the course, you have lifetime access to it. And Michelle’s says she’s going to be continually updating it, so it’s not like you’re getting access to old material. You’ll constantly have access to the most updated version of the course – and new stuff that comes down the pike.

Before I even put this review up, she’d already added another lesson; one I could access without an additional charge.

Pro: You Can Make Money Telling Others about This Great Course (Become an Affiliate)

You have to go through the course and request to become an affiliate. I like this because you can trust that the reviews you read about it are honest. I’m thinking about re-implementing my affiliate program (I had one years ago and shut it down in 2014).

If I do open it up again, I’m going to follow this model.

FAQs ABOUT MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING

Following are answers to some frequently asked questions you may have about the course.

1. Are there any upsells?

No. Just pay for the course and you get access right away. She doesn’t push other products on you. In fact, she goes over and beyond with some free add-ons.

2. How long will it take me to start making money after I take the course?

That depends on your skill set; your niche; how much time you have to invest to get up and going; how much you already know about affiliate marketing – and a whole host of other factors.

But the thing is, you’ll have all the tools at your disposal. All you’ll need to do is implement because they work – if you put in the work.

3. Are there any other costs?

You’re going to want to get a website and an email list service provider (like AWeber), but really, you can get started without these.

These are very low-cost by the way. For example, via my web hosting company, you can get a website for less than $4/month as of this writing. You can get started with AWeber for free. These are tools you’re going to need to run a successful affiliate marketing biz.

BUT, I advise getting the course first and going through it. It’ll give you a good idea of how all the pieces fit together, then you can decide what you need, and when.

4. I’m not very tech savvy. Can I still make this work?

OMG yes! And you’d be amazed at just how much you’re going to learn once you start your affiliate marketing biz. Then, you’re going to be like, “Man, if I’da known it was that easy, I woulda started a long time ago!

Most of the web stuff that non-techies think are so hard is not really hard at all. There are so many automation tools out there right now that you can literally just push a button and stuff magically gets done.
Now initially, the learning curve may throw you a bit, but once you get a foundational understanding under you, it’s easier than ever.

I understand SEO (a technical field), but I don’t understand the behind the scenes of how a lot of stuff works – and I don’t need to thanks to automation tools. So trust me, you’ll be fine.

5. What if I get lost or confused? Where can I find help?

Again, Michelle offers a Facebook Mastermind group. As stated above, it has over 1,200 active participants (at the time I took it), and she’s in there too. If you need answer to a question, you will undoubtedly either find the answer to it in the group, or you can outright ask and others will most likely chime in. I’ve done it a few times, and always gotten an aswer to my question — and I answer questions from others who are less experienced than me.

So again, you’re never alone.

Conclusion

It’s been a long time since I’ve spent money to make money online. When I came across Michelle’s course, I read through the reviews about it and did further research.

I got busy with other projects, and delayed the purchase for about a week. It had been pulling at me and pulling at me. So I finally pulled the trigger and purchased. I look back and know that it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. In a few years, I’m quite sure I’ll be saying it was a defining moment in my affiliate marketing career. It was that useful.

Here’s wishing you luck if you decide to do the same.

My Interview With Michelle: The Course Creator

After taking the course I reached out to Michelle and asked her if she would answer a few questions for readers of my blog. She was more than happy to do so. Read it here.

P.S.: Don’t forget the free report you receive when you sign up via my affiliate link.

Increase Your Affiliate Earnings: 7 Things I Did Immediately After Finishing Michelle’s Course That Can Help You Earn More. To get it, just send me a copy of your receipt (email: GetaMobileCareer–at–Gmail.com), and the report will be on its way.

If this course can teach a somewhat experienced online marketer like me more than a few things, it can definitely help you on your affiliate marketing journey.

P.P.S.: Remember, you can get this course for free.

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