This is my honest review of the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course by Making Sense of Cents.  If you are considering taking this course, read this review first! I will give you many reasons why you should (and shouldn’t) take this course!

All successful bloggers know that in order to make a good income from your blog you have to diversify and have many different sources of income.

One of the best sources of income as a blogger is to be an affiliate for other people’s products and services.  You promote that product or service, and if a sale results from your promotion you will get a percentage pay-out or commission.

But where do you start with affiliate marketing?  What is involved in affiliate marketing?  Where do you find products and services to promote?   These are all the questions many of us have when starting out with this source of income.

That is why I took the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course by Michelle Schroeder Garner of the blog Making Sense of Cents.  This course taught me very early on everything I needed to know about to be successful be an affiliate, and bring in extra income to my blog.  

Promoting other people’s products is a lot easier than creating your own products to sell. They have already done all the work with creating the product and marketing it.  You are just promoting it for them and receiving compensation for doing so.

You don’t have to be the one worrying about technical support, handle cancellations, manage customer service, and everything else that comes with creating your own product or service. Being an affiliate for somebody’s else’s product lets you bring in money without doing all that hard work!

Woman wearing black trouser suit with hands in pocket.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link in this post and make a purchase via that link I may receive a small commission, at absolutely no additional cost to you. You can view my disclosures here.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing simply means that you are promoting somebody’s else’s product or service, and in return you receive a commission payment.

This usually consists of putting your own affiliate link inside an article or blog post and publishing it. Then when somebody reads your post/article and makes a purchase via your affiliate link you receive a monetary commission payment.

Your affiliate link is usually a special url or coupon that is issued by the company you are an affiliate for. It is unique to you – nobody else has your same affiliate link.

Each company has a different payment structure for affiliates. It is usually a percentage of a sale – for instance you may get 25% of a sale.  If the product costs $100, you would receive a $25 commission payout!

There are many ways you can do affiliate marketing.  You can write a product review, send an email to your readers and subscribers, and also do a social media post. There are so many ways to promote affiliate products and your affiliate link (and these and other ideas are all covered in the course).

Affiliate marketing is passive income to a certain extent. You can sit back and watch your commissions roll in.

Who is Michelle from Making Sense of Cents?

Michelle Schroeder Gardener started a blog in August of 2011 called Making Sense of Cents.  Her blog completely took off (it is in the money saving finance niche) and since then Michelle has been quite frankly killing it! 

Making Sense of Cents has won many awards, and consistently earns over $100,000 a month, half of which comes from affiliate income.

Michelle and her husband both left their day jobs and just concentrated on her blog. They travel, a lot.  They spent some time living and travelling in an RV, another time living and travelling on a sail boat for example. All while still running a blog that keeps bringing them income.

Michelle claims that she herself is earning over $50,000 a MONTH from affiliate income – that is promoting other peoples products and services. So she is therefore in a good position to know what works, and what doesn’t work for affiliate marketing and promotion.

The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course

There are 6 total modules in the course, which includes 50+ lessons, including 2 videos. The majority of the course is however written text only.

The course also comes with numerous worksheets, that you can download as you go along. They help you define your needs and goals, and are an integral part of the course.

The modules and lessons in the course are as follows:

Introduction to the Course
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook Group

Module 1: What is Affiliate Marketing?
Why affiliate marketing is great
The basics of affiliate marketing
How affiliate links work

Module 2: How to Find & Apply to Affiliate Programs
The amount of traffic you need
How to determine what your readers want
Worksheet: Brainstorm what your readers want
How to find affiliate programs
80+ affiliate program ideas for different niches
Worksheet: Affiliate programs you are interested in
Affiliate tracking spreadsheets

Module 3: Follow the Rules
Requirements & disclosures
Understanding no follow and sponsored links
What to do if you live in a Nexus state

Module 4: How to get your Readers to Convert
The tool you need to master affiliate income
How to build trust
Worksheet: How to pick the right affiliate product to promote for your brand
Deep linking 411
The importance of your click-through rate
The value of a bonus
Worksheet: My bonus ideas
How to have affiliate marketing success
Improving your top 10
Worksheet: Improving your top 10

Module 5: Strategies and ways to Promote Affiliate Links
Introduction to the different strategies
Creating successful affiliate reviews
Worksheet: Creating the perfect affiliate review
Teaching with tutorials
Having a helpful resources page
Using interviews to drive sales
The money is in the list
Your average blog post can lead to affiliate success
How to rock affiliate marketing on social media
The crazy impact Pinterest can have
How I’ve earned over $500,000 from one affiliate product
Worksheet: Strategies to promote affiliate products

Module 6: Rinse and Repeat
The importance of a strong relationship
Maintaining your affiliate marketing strategy
Worksheet: Regular maintenance checklist
The things you do not want to do
Making your affiliate marketing strategy long-lasting
Tips to improve your affiliate income around the holidays
Worksheet: Tracking your affiliate marketing income

How to always get approved for an affiliate program
How to drive thousands of visitors to your blog with Pinterest
9 things you must do when something goes viral
How to increase your page views
Worksheet: My affiliate products and services
Worksheet: The perfect affiliate link checklist
How to maximize your reach, your impact, and your revenue with Facebook ads
Editing and writing strategies that will take your content to the next level.
How to legally protect your blog.

This also includes:

Lifetime access to take the course at your own pace.
24/7 access to the private Facebook community for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

White keyboard on white desk.

Who is the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course for?

The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is for all bloggers, whatever level  of experience you are at.  However beginners and intermediate bloggers will be better served by this course.

If you are new to blogging you may be looking for ways to bring in money for your blog. If you have been blogging for some time, you may be looking for more ways to increase your income and diversity, and you are considering affiliate marketing. Or you may be an experienced blogger who has done some affiliate marketing in the past, but you need to expand on that and potentially earn more.

I would really recommend this course the most for  beginners and those with a small amount of blogging experience.

What will you learn from Taking the Course?

If you are wondering where to find affiliate programs to promote, and also what your readers really want this course will help you determine that, as well as show you some great affiliate programs to join, and show you where to find those affiliate programs that are right for you. In fact Michelle gives you 80+ affiliate program ideas for all different niches.

You will learn how affiliate links work, what conversions are and how they work, and how to get a unique affiliate code just for you.

You will learn how to track your affiliates and income.   You need to have all your affiliate information in one go-to place, and Michelle shows you how to do this using spreadsheets. In fact she gives you those spreadsheets to download and use for yourself.

You will also learn about important disclosures and requirements for affiliate marketing. You need and want to do everything legally and the right way, and Michelle shows you what disclosures you need and where you need to place them.

Your links have to be seen and be enticing to click on, so Michelle will show you how to make your links stand out, and how to get people to actually click on those links. This includes the best placement within an article or blog post and more.

In short, you will learn how to start being an affiliate, how to find great affiliate programs, all the rules and regulations you must follow, how to manage your affiliate partnerships, how to best promote your affiliate links, and so much more.

I went through the course in a couple of days.  But since I first bought the course several years ago I have continually dipped into it for refreshers on things.  Michelle also updates the course every now and again with new content.

My Results After Taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

I first bought and took the course several years ago. When I first took the course I had only just started blogging, and I knew nothing about affiliate marketing, apart from what the concept of it was.

In the past few years I have brought in a steady income to my blog of at least $1,000 a month. This has been done through affiliate income, advertising, Etsy, and some other sources of income.

My affiliate income has been gradually increasing over the years, due to me getting more traffic to my blog, and more page views. Therefore more people have access to my affiliate links.

So I would have to say, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing gave me the thorough grounding that I needed about affiliate income. But subsequent increased traffic and therefore page views has brought me more income, due to the fact that I can reach more people.

But that grounding in affiliate marketing knowledge is what you need, to know how and why with affiliate income, and then you can take things from there.

Incidentally, I credit my increased traffic to two amazing SEO sources:

Stupid Simple SEO by Mike Pearson.  This is an amazing and thorough course covering everything, absolutely everything about SEO (search engine optimization) which by implementing will bring you more traffic and page views to your blog.(You can read my review of this course right here).

Easy SEO Revamp by Debbie Gartner.  This course teaches you everything you need to know to leverage the power of Google Search Console to improve your post rankings.  (You can read my review of this course right here).

Why you Should Buy & Take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course: The Pros

You can master a new source of income for your blog and business. Affiliate marketing can bring in a steady income source for you.

The content of the course is very good and thorough. There are many lessons and modules, and pretty much all aspects of affiliate marketing is covered in the course.

The Facebook group, which is free for all members to join, is very active and engaged. Michelle is also active in this group. It is a great resource for you to connect with others, ask questions and get answers.

You can constantly dip into this course to refresh yourself on information. Michelle also adds new content every now and again, and updates existing content frequently.

Why you Should NOT buy & take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course: The Cons

This course is pretty much text/written only. There are only 2 videos in this course, and the rest of the course is written material. If you are somebody who learns better through watching videos, you won’t like this course.

The course is very good, but the content isn’t advanced and revelatory. It is a pretty basic course setting out all you need to know when starting out with affiliate marketing. There aren’t any mind-blowing revelations here that you make you go wow – nobody else has ever covered that.

If you are a very advanced blogger and already have affiliate marketing as part of your strategy, this course probably won’t teach you anything you don’t already know.

Michelle’s affiliate marketing experience is mainly in the personal finance niche (and also in promoting some blogging products). She does not have experience in many other niches. But most of what she teaches applies to any niche.

If you are not going to follow through and take this course, don’t buy it. Seriously – you will be wasting your money. Just like any other course or book that you purchase – if you don’t take it or read it you won’t learn anything, and you may as well just throw your money out of the window. 

How Much Does Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Cost?

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing costs $197.  There is a payment plan available also, and there is a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not happy with the course.

How can you Enroll for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?

You can sign up for the course using my affiliate link here.   


If you are a complete beginner to affiliate marketing, or blogging in general, I would highly recommend this course.   It will teach you everything you need to know to get started in affiliate marketing.

This course is very thorough and covers every aspect of affiliate marketing, from how to find affiliate programs, to how to promote your own affiliate links for your affiliate partners.

If you are looking for a course that will teach you everything about affiliate marketing – this is it.  You can very quickly make back the money you spent on this course once you start promoting affiliates.

If you are still not sure about signing up for the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course try out a freebie from Michelle first. Just click here to receive a free e-book : Affiliate Marketing Tips for Bloggers.

This is a 36 page e-book that Michelle will send you absolutely for free.  It will give you a great introduction to affiliate marketing and will get you started.

This is my honest review of the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course by Making Sense of Cents.  If you are considering taking this course, read this review first! I will give you many reasons why you should (and shouldn’t) take this course!


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