I waited ONE full year after taking the course to write this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review. That’s because as a blogger, business owner, and online course hoarder (?), I know what it’s like to purchase a pricey online course—and then feel cheated because it wasn’t useful. (Yup, it’s happened to me.)
So I wanted to wait for one year to really be able to give this affiliate marketing thing a shot and see what happened.
*This post has affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide (at no extra cost to you!). Thanks so much for supporting the work I put into this site.
My Experience Taking the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Online Course
I’ve been following Michelle for over a year because she posts insane income reports and is always generously giving her tips for free. When I found out about her affiliate marketing course, I jumped on it! In fact, I bought TWO logins for her course, one for my dad and one for me. My dad is an entrepreneur too and when I learned he wanted to learn about affiliate marketing, I bought him the course for his birthday. :)
I devoured the course in two days, taking notes in a Google Spreadsheet so that I could check off items to complete and implement the strategies recommended. Because the course has no videos, I found it easy to go through it really quickly, and it wasn’t overwhelming. At this point, I’d had affiliate links on my blog for over a year—but found out I was doing several things wrong! I created a checklist and started fixing those mistakes immediately. I remember feeling pretty bummed that the course didn’t have any crazy advanced techniques, but I did appreciate that it taught me new things that I could implement right away.
My Results After Taking the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Online Course
I took the course one year ago, and in that year, I have increased my AFFILIATE income (not advertising, freelancing, or products) by 964%! Here is a screenshot of my affiliate income tracking spreadsheet:
Now, you’re a wise shopper—take that with a grain of salt. I cannot attribute ALL that success to ONE course. I did a lot of research outside of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and I took other blogging courses. This isn’t a perfect scientific experiment because I cannot isolate the variable—there are many variables, such as:
- I took Pinterest Traffic Avalanche and 5X’d my Pinterest traffic. That traffic probably helped my ad revenue and likely helped my affiliate revenue too. By the way, it’s the ONLY Pinterest course I recommend! Check out my full Pinterest Traffic Avalanche Review here.
- I was more active on my blog and published more SEO-friendly posts, which increased my Google traffic. You’ve GOT to have great, in-depth content if you want to get traffic to your site. Some people like to publish short, light posts every day. I prefer publishing long-form, thoroughly researched posts maybe once a month, and organic search traffic still makes up the VAST majority of my site’s traffic.
- I took the Pajama Affiliates Home Blogging Courses, and that taught me some pretty advanced affiliate marketing and SEO tactics that I believe helped my growth. It’s crazy that so few people know about this cheaper course. It’s got tactics that were not mentioned in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Scroll down to read more about this.
As you can see, I’m nowhere near earning $100,000 a month like Michelle, but I am earning 10.6 TIMES MORE than before taking the course, so I’m pretty proud of that. :) Here’s to keeping up with the growth!
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: The Pros
- The course helped me identify TWO areas I was doing wrong in affiliate marketing, which could have gotten me fined by the FTC or booted out of one of my favorite affiliate programs. The huge reason I took this course was actually to figure out some of the legal considerations for affiliate marketing. Michelle is NOT a lawyer, but she researched this area heavily and offers some practical tips in plain language that helped me understand I was doing two things wrong that I needed to fix to cover my tail legally. I feel the course was worth this alone because you get a lot of information out there when you just Google it.
- It helped me point out one MAJOR mistake I was making with my affiliate links that could’ve been hurting my blog’s search ranking. I was able to fix this thanks to the suggestion made in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.
- It gave me a solid, actionable tip that helped me boost my affiliate income in the FASTEST way possible. It’s crazy what you can’t see that seems so obvious after you read it. What I loved about the course was it came with workbooks that let you plan out how to implement the exact strategies Michelle talks about in the course. There was one strategy that was genius, didn’t require new content creation, and helped me maximize my affiliate earnings instantly.
- THE PINTEREST BONUS blew my mind! It was the most easy-to-understand, yet also advanced, technique that helped me boost my Pinterest traffic fast. The tactics were new to me, and I didn’t find them anywhere else.
- MY FAVORITE PRO: The exclusive Facebook group for students of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Okay, you know like EVERY online course includes an “exclusive Facebook group” as a “bonus” for buying the course, right? And then, often, you get into this Facebook group and see that the admin has posted a couple of times, but no one engaged with the posts, and no one really participates in the group at all. It’s useless, just a vanity bonus.Well, I’m happy to say the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook group is NOT like that! It is my FAVORITE Facebook group, and here’s why:
1) It’s very active. The group members actively engage with posts, ask questions, and provide help.
2) Michelle is very responsive in that group. She answers questions AND hosts a Saturday thread in which you can ask her ANYTHING. Take a minute to let that soak in. This is one of the top-earning bloggers out there on the internet. Her blog rakes in over $100,000 a MONTH, and she’s letting you pick her brain FOR FREE pretty much anytime. That’s like having a high-powered consultant on speed dial. I’ve loved being able to get tips from her that are specific to my situation and help me earn more affiliate income.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: The Cons
- It’s a pretty basic overview, not some advanced-level affiliate marketing training. This was probably the only letdown of the course for me. The content IS GOOD, but it wasn’t anything mind boggling or advanced. This is a good thing for beginners, but if you’re intermediate or advanced, I think you won’t learn anything new.
- The social media section was very light. She does a very basic overview of different channels—BUT the Pinterest bonus is definitely something that helped me increase Pinterest traffic FAST. So I do like the Pinterest bonus that’s included, but the actual social media section itself was a bit lacking.
- There are no videos. Personally, I don’t like videos. I prefer text because it’s faster to skim through and I can search for certain words. But I know others like videos, and if you do, this might be a negative for you.
Would I Recommend This Course?
Maybe. It really depends. I think the course is good for you if:
- You already have a steady stream of visitors to your blog OR an email list. Without actual readers, you can’t sell anything. So I’d wait until you have an email list of about 100 or at least 1,000 monthly visitors to the blog (those are kind of arbitrary numbers, but give you a starting point.)
- You can afford it. If you’re hesitant to purchase the course because money is tight right now (I KNOW how that feels), I strongly discourage you from making the purchase. Michelle offers a payment plan, but personally I am against those because in my mind, if you can’t afford the full price, you can’t afford the course. Please just use the free resources Michelle generously offers on her blog or check out my blogging tips. When your budget is ready for it, THEN you can purchase the course.
- You are an absolute BEGINNER to affiliate marketing. If you are even intermediate level or advanced, I don’t think these tactics will be new or useful for you. However, I still think you’d benefit from having access to Michelle and other income-earning bloggers in the Facebook group. The networking in there is great.
If You CANNOT Afford Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, Here’s What I Would Recommend:
- Okay, there’s this secret course out there on the internet that no one really talks about, but it’s WAY cheaper and I think the tactics are more in-depth and advanced: Pajama Affiliates blogging course. I bought the Pajama Affiliates Home Blogging Bundle in February and it blew me away. BUT, the caveat: Yes, the content is more advanced and more helpful, I think, BUT it’s horribly disorganized! In fact, some days I can’t even figure out how to log into my course account. The design looks like something from the 1990s, and it’s not even on a sophisticated platform; it’s just a series of password-protected blog posts. On top of that, the demographic is different. It’s not the shiny, millennial bloggers with cute Instagram accounts. It’s filled mostly with older moms and grandmothers, but they are genuine and very kind. So it’s up to you. The big draw is Pajama Affiliates is SO much cheaper, just $37 when I bought it. Again, don’t be fooled by appearances. The tactics in this course are way more advanced, and they’re what I used to get my product review blog posts in the #1 spots in Google search. It’s worth a try (especially at such an affordable price!)
- Check out my free blogging tips posts. I offer free blogging resources here, and I hope they can help you!
Final Notes on my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review
I LOVE Michelle and my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing community. There’s the notion out there that you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with. When I started “hanging out with” high-income bloggers on the interwebs, my blog income started to skyrocket. I firmly believe you need to surround yourself with people who share your goals and are at least one step ahead of you. It encourages you to step up your game.
Having said that, you probably came to this blog post because you are hesitant to part with your hard-earned cash. You’ve felt cheated before by overpriced online courses by bloggers just looking to get rich. I feel you. I would say to that: One, Michelle is a genuine person who knows her stuff and will go out of her way to help you. Two, she offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so that should lend you peace of mind. Here is her refund policy, taken from the course landing page:
“We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund. But, you must show me that you went through the course and took action, because none of the tips and methods I share will work without you taking the time to implement them.”
And three, if you are STILL hesitating over the course because money is tight—then don’t buy the course. You shouldn’t go into debt or risk not meeting some bill because you think this ONE course holds the KEY to making your riches online. No course holds that key. You have to work hard, try different things, fail a lot, and then keep learning.
I hope you found this Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review helpful, because it’s the review I would’ve wanted to see if I were struggling to make a decision.
My Honest Take, In Short
I had a really hard time writing a review because Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing isn’t the first course I’d recommend to bloggers who want to make money. I’m way more enthusiastic about Pinterest Traffic Avalanche or Pajama Affiliates. BUT, having said that, I DO NOT regret buying Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and I am glad I did buy it. So, I’m on the fence. I think it is good, but I think only for certain people. I’ll let you decide. But I just want you to know I am being totally honest, and I never would let a blogger buy a course if I thought it was a BAD course (and trust me, I’ve taken bad courses, and I never recommend them to anyone—even when the course is crazy popular).