Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: How to Start Making Money in 2019

Have you been wanting to make money from affiliate marketing, but wonder if it's just too hard or maybe even a waste of time? In this post, I’m sharing everything I've learned from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course to help entrepreneurs and bloggers get started with ease! Click through to see all the course highlights!
How to Make Money from Affiliate Marketing | Have you been wanting to try affiliate marketing for your blog, but wonder if it's just too hard or maybe even a waste of time? This post is for you! I’m sharing everything I've learned from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course to help entrepreneurs and bloggers get started with ease! Click through to see all the course highlights!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners | Have you been wanting to try affiliate marketing for bloggers, but wonder if it's just too hard or maybe even a waste of time? This post is for you! I’m sharing everything I've learned from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course to help entrepreneurs and bloggers get started with affiliate marketing! Click through to see all the affiliate marketing tips! #affiliatemarketingGuess what, friends! I cracked the code!

If you remember in our Blog Profit Plan series, I promised to be back with the scoop on affiliate marketing for beginners.

Bump. Here it is!

I just finished this amazing course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and today I’m sharing what I’ve learned, why I (finally!) decided to buy it, and why I highly recommend it.

Here’s what I’m going to cover in this post:

  • A quick bit about Michelle
  • How affiliate marketing fits into our Blog Profit Plan
  • Why we even need a course for this
  • What I’ve learned from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

If you don’t already know the basics of affiliate marketing, no worries, let me explain. Affiliate marketing is when you earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website or social media account, and have people purchase through your link. Basically, as an affiliate, you promote a product offered by another business.

Before we dive in, this post includes affiliate links! That’s my disclosure and one of the first things Michelle explains in the course. FTC regulations require you to let people know if you stand to benefit from recommending a product. No biggie here, right? We’re just being transparent and honest!

Ready to do this? Let’s dig in.

First, who is Michelle?

affiliate marketing training course with Michelle Schroeder-GardnerHands-down, Michelle is the go-to authority on affiliate marketing for newbies. She’s been blogging for about 6 years now, and from her income reports, it looks like she’s making about $100K a month from her blog. I call that an expert!

Before I share what I’ve learned from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, if you’re ready to dive right in, I highly recommend Michelle’s course. It really helped me understand how to approach affiliate marketing the right way, with a full-blown success strategy. Click here to find out more about it!

How does affiliate marketing fit into our Blog Profit Plan?

Seems pretty obvious, right? Money = Profit!

If you missed the Blog Profit Plan series, here’s what we covered:

Hmmm… Should we call this part #4 of the series?

Seriously, you may be thinking about skipping affiliate marketing altogether. Maybe it sounds like it’s too hard or that it will be a waste of time, or that your followers just won’t be interested.

If you ask me, that’s leaving money on the table! And if we’re going to build hugely profitable blogs, we just can’t do that. We have to at least give affiliate marketing a try, right?

As long as we’re truly providing value for our audience, this shouldn’t be an issue. I say focus on creating epic content first, which is what Michelle recommends too, and then find affiliate products and programs that fit your content. Think of it like this: Your content dictates ev’rything.

Here are just a few reasons why I think affiliate marketing fits perfectly into our Blog Profit Plan in 2017 and beyond:

  • Affiliate marketing is an inexpensive way to start earning money from your blog. You don’t even have to create a product yourself.  Woop woop!
  • You can create just one blog post or social media post, and potentially earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it.
  • You can earn a passive income doing what you already do, while promoting products that you already use and benefit from.
  • Affiliate links are much cleaner than ugly banners and ads. Ugh.
  • You actually don’t even need a website to get started. You can use social media to build your business by promoting affiliate products!
  • Most importantly, you help your readers find quality products that they will love and find useful.

The trick here is to approach how to start affiliate marketing for beginners the correct way, and that is exactly why Michelle’s course is so helpful.


Next up, why do we even need a course?

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why do we even need a course, Sandra? Isn’t this stuff we can figure out on our own?

I hear ya! I’m a huge DIYer, so anything I can figure out on my own is where I’m headed first!

Here’s the thing, though. I started poking around for guides and articles on affiliate marketing and just couldn’t find what I needed. It was mostly all fluff and no stuff.

What I really wanted was a complete guide to getting started with affiliate marketing, which is exactly what Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is.

These are the specific questions I wanted answers to:

  • How much traffic do I need?
  • What’s the best way to get started?
  • Which affiliate programs should I use for my niche?
  • How are referral sales tracked?
  • How will I get paid?
  • Which affiliate programs require more/less traffic than others?
  • How can I make more than $500 a month as an affiliate?
  • Which affiliate programs are best for new bloggers?
  • How can I write the perfect affiliate post?
  • How can I get even more traffic to an affiliate post?

Phew! That’s a lot. Michelle covers all of this and more in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course!

What really made me decide to take Michelle’s course?

Ultimately, I decided to dig into my pockets because I take my blog (and my time) seriously. And I wanted a book-ended strategy, not just a nugget here or there.

Ok, in truth, I probably would have been able to make sense of affiliate marketing without Michelle’s course. It would have taken weeks to find what I needed and make sense of it all, but I think I could have done it.

HOLD UP: Weeks?

Uh, no. Nope. Why would I waste my time when Michelle has made sense of it already with her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course? It’s all there in the title, friends!

This is another one of those things that, when you do it right, you will make back your investment…and more!

Remember, most bloggers make little to no money from affiliate marketing. Michelle, on the other hand, is killin’ it. We’re talkin’ tens of thousands a month!

That’s who we want to learn from, no?

If you’re as fired up about this as I am, click here to find out more about Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, and let’s both start putting affiliate marketing to work for our Blog Profit Plan, sound good?

What I learned from Michelle’s course as a beginner in affiliate marketing

Wow! There’s a lot. Let me try to break this down:

1) Anyone can start affiliate marketing

You don’t have to wait until you have thousands of followers or page visits. Even if you have a handful of followers or if you are a brand-new blogger, you can still be successful at affiliate marketing. Michelle even shows you which affiliate programs’ website to apply for if you’re new to blogging.

2) There’s a strategy for success

There are certain things you need to do in order to be successful with it, and there’s also a way not to do it, which is what I think most people do. For instance, it’s much better to go narrow and deep with affiliate marketing. This is a case where less is more! Start with a few affiliate programs and immerse yourself in the products; test promotion strategies and channels, get comfortable with them, and then tweak, update, and modify before you move on.

You also want to let your content and your audience dictate your affiliate programs. Don’t just go spamming your posts with 50 different products! Why not create a series from your blog posts first, focusing on content that your readers really love and value, and THEN research products and solutions to offer them?

3) The right way to leverage your blog and social media

There’s a wrong way, a ‘meh’ way, and a golden way to promote your affiliate links. It’s important to know which is which. We’re talking strategic placement, A/B testing landing pages, blog posts, interviews, tutorials, adding direct referral links in social media, and more.

4) How to crush affiliate marketing with Pinterest

Because Pinterest is such a huge component to all of this, Michelle gives you an entire module on how to use Pinterest, in combination with email marketing, to get the highest affiliate sales and conversions.  We already know what a bump Pinterest is for traffic. The strategies included in Michelle’s course take it to a whole other level. Picture this: You create a stunning pin and include a direct link to your affiliate’s product page and that pin goes viral. Or, you direct people to a freebie and follow up with an email sequence that includes your affiliate link. It’s all in there. Promise.

5) Choosing the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners

Think affiliate marketing won’t work for your niche and focus? Think again! Just about every niche is included…new bloggers, parenting, finance/money, travel, crafts, DIY, food and recipes, healthy living, fashion, beauty, wedding, blogging, business…all of them.  No more excuses friend!

Michelle breaks down dozens of affiliates by niche, so you will definitely find programs that are ideal for your blog.

6) How to choose affiliate products

To be successful with affiliate marketing, you have to choose products that will truly appeal to your audience. This seems like a small thing, but is actually a biggie. Sometimes you can think you’re spot on with what your audience wants, when in reality, you could be completely off-the-mark. Michelle walks you through how to research your audience to make sure that the program aligns with your brand message. She also explains why you should only promote products that you actually use and love. The more focused and authentic you are, the better your conversions will be!

7) Tracking, worksheets, and spreadsheets

One of the things I’ve learned with online marketing is that you need planners and spreadsheets in order to reach your goals. You have to be specific with what you want to achieve, who you’ve reached out to, systems to track your affiliate programs, affiliate links, commissions, and more. This is one of the things I love most about Michelle’s course!

8) Why you need disclosures

I mentioned this above and it’s worth a nod here too. Some bloggers include their disclosure in a Privacy Policy page, others add it to the top of every blog post. You can even add it to the end of your posts to make it easy for people to spot.

Oops, one last thing!

I almost forgot to mention my favorite part of the course. Michelle breaks down exactly how she earned six figures from one single blog post! She shows you the strategies she used, including interlinking, cross posting, email sequences, interviews, social media, and more. That alone was worth it! Michelle’s course is a perfect step-by-step affiliate marketing course for beginners.

I’m soooo excited about this, friends, I really am. This is definitely going in our Blog Profit Plan series!

I can’t wait to share our successes. If you’re ready to make money with affiliate marketing but haven’t known where to start (or how to win at it!), I highly recommend Michelle’s course. You will love it!

Here are the details again:

To find out more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, the course curriculum, and what you can expect to learn, click here. It’s very easy to follow. If you’re like me, you’ll want to comb through it at least 2x to grab all the juicy nuggets!

Let’s celebrate our successes! How have you made affiliate marketing work for you?


25 replies
  1. Mia
    Mia says:

    What an awesome opportunity! As someone looking to pursue blogging full-time, I would love to learn more about affiliate blogging! Bookmarked and pinned 🙂

  2. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    Great info! I’ve been look into taking this course for quite some time now. I just wanted to make sure that it’ll be worth the money. I’m already taking another course for blogging but haven’t made any money yet. And I’m kinda getting impatient. Haha. 🙂

    • Sandra Clayton
      Sandra Clayton says:

      Thank you so much Claudia. If you’re on the fence at all, I’ve made 4x my investment already, so the course is entirely worth it. Probably my biggest takeaway is to start small and dig deep with 1-2 affiliates, then branch out from there. Good luck with it!

  3. ryan pellumbi
    ryan pellumbi says:

    Very nice post, Sandra. I’ve started getting more intentional about affiliate marketing this year, and it really pays off. Being a valuable resource is key to affiliate marketing success…Shared

  4. Gareth Griffiths
    Gareth Griffiths says:

    Lots of useful information there, Sandra!

    I think affiliate marketing is often done poorly. Peole tend to think that if they throw some affiliate links, they’re half-way to buying themselves a mansion. There’s seems to be a really big craze currently about doing this, and shock-horror, it doesn’t work.

    I’ve often found that the best way to make money from affiliate links on a blog, is to not put affiliate links on a blog.

    The best way is to build a site around a passion and just over-deliver with as much value as possible in every single post. The goal should be to turn the visitor into a lead (subscriber on the mailing list), then from there, send them several days worth of value emails, one a day. At the end of say 4 days (seems to be the magic number), pitch an affiliate product to them.

    This is where the real money is. Trying to get them to buy a product once, isn’t as good as getting them into an email funnel and then pitching them multiple products after building a relationshhip wit hthem where you’re seen as an authority and they trust you.

    (Might help you sell more of Michelle’s course, by the way) 🙂

    • Sandra Clayton
      Sandra Clayton says:

      Thanks for your tips, Gareth. I agree, affiliate marketing can be done poorly. I’m experimenting with different ways to offer affiliate products, one of them being through a challenge. I like your method too and will have to give it a try.

  5. Samuel Jose
    Samuel Jose says:

    Loved your post and some of the effective ways to start affiliate marketing right away. Thanks for sharing this article. I have also found some other ways by which a beginner can build its business through affiliate marketing. You can view them here:

    Thanks again. Regards

  6. Debra Purchase
    Debra Purchase says:

    I am glad I came across your post, I’m in Australia, have recently moved to a rural area where jobs are hard to come by. I really want to work from home and create a decent income, or more, while still enjoying my bush enviroment. What a maze of information to go through when you start looking into this. Wow! I like the way you convey your information. Us newbies really need it “dumbed down” so we can get a hang of it from the beginning. It’s a scary thing to jump into, but I’m up to the challenge. I’m going to look at the course you’ve reccomended. Thank you

    • Sandra Clayton
      Sandra Clayton says:

      I know what you mean, Debra. It’s so overwhelming when you’re starting out. The only way you can survive is to break it down step by step. I’m really glad I took the course. Michelle makes it so easy to understand and implement.

  7. Justin Barrett
    Justin Barrett says:

    What a wonderful and insightful post! Affiliate marketing is full of “get rich quick” posts, but not here. I love this article! I have utilized the same techniques to create my own blog.

    I look forward to your future articles! We appreciate your post!

  8. Jay
    Jay says:

    Some great info here. Really nice to see that you shared such an in depth post. I have used some of these techniques and are truly satisfied with the results. Happy to point others to this post.
    Thanks again.

  9. Mike
    Mike says:

    Hey Sandra, Really liked it much and just pinned it. Coupon Feeds can also increase the revenue of affiliate marketing for websites and niche business. Looking forward for next edition on this.

  10. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    Hi. I really enjoyed reading your article. Lots of good info. I am new to everything. I want & need to change careers. I want to write, blog & venture out into affiliate marketing. I love social media & have several accounts, so, advertising won’t be a problem for me at all. My problem is not having any money to invest into anything. I would love to take courses on how to blog & how to have a successful affiliate marketing business but have nothing to invest. Any chance you know of any free courses?

  11. pooja
    pooja says:

    Wonderful article and today you have clearly make me understand affiliate marketing. I will definitely try to follow your tips and soon come back to you with results.


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