Making sense of affiliate marketing review my brutally honest opinion. My successes, highs and lows. How I made over $8000 using the strategies in this course.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review – My Honest Opinion

Make Money Working from Home by Becoming an Affiliate Marketer!

Take your Opportunity to Work From Home in 2021!

This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If you are looking for ways to make passive income by starting a blog, or monetize your blog, you will want to know about affiliate marketing. 

Being an affiliate has increased my blogging income from $0 to $30,000 over the past year alone!

This post is designed to help you avoid the masses of information overload about affiliate marketing. To get you started on your journey I recommend taking a basic affiliate marketing course – Making Sense of Affiliate marketing.

This post will give my opinion of the Making Sense of Affiliate marketing, an online affiliate marketing course for beginner bloggers. This is written by highly successful blogger Michelle Shroeder-Gardner.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
  • Step by step guide on how to promote affiliate products 
  • How to get accepted onto affiliate programs.
  • How to promote via social media and Pinterest
  • How to rinse and repeat your process
Find out more
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

What is affiliate marketing?

Neil Patel describes this well:

He says:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s products).source:

My initial thinking about affiliate marketing

Basically, when I started out, I knew it was possible to make money blogging. I followed some major bloggers and they were all talking about and publishing their income reports. 

Two of them, including Michelle Schroeder Gardner and Kristen Larsen were well into the $10,000+ a month realm. That was mind-blowing to me. I was determined that that was going to happen for me. 

Michelle had always been generous with her free tips on how to make  money blogging as had Kristen.  

As with everything, I knew I had to invest in my business, to make a real success and make money. I decided, as an absolute beginner, I needed to invest in a good course to help me.

Why wait so long to write a review? 

I waited over a year since purchasing this online affiliate marketing course, because learning any new skill and being successful takes time. Also, the techniques Michelle has taught me, along with a great SEO course, has started to give me real results to share with you.

Is affiliate marketing still profitable in 2021?

Here are my affiliate marketing results. April 2020 is when I started making commissions. This proves that affiliate marketing is really profitable even now in 2021! To date I have made over $30,000!

This has totally blown my mind – I never expected myself to achieve this. This is May’s results! 

Read my blog income reports here: 

How much money can you really make from affiliate marketing?


Update on affiliate commissions for one blog post that I used Michelle’s strategies on.

My experiences of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

I got through the course slower than other bloggers. Some say they managed to complete it in a week. My work commitments meant I had to do it in bite-size chunks over three months. It was easy to do in short sessions. 

Each lesson is computer-based but surprisingly no video tutorials.

This didn’t put me off and I found this format easier to follow than ebooks I had purchased in the past. Some lessons were backed up with printables – I found this helpful, especially when tracking improvements I was making to my blog. 

The course taught me that I needed to talk more about my experiences with only a small range of products that I truly would recommend, even to my mum. 

It helped me to develop my tone and be the true authentic me, through my blog writing. By being herself, Michelle has recommended products, and from one blog post alone, has made over $500,000 to date.

This was indeed to a powerful, inspiring example, based on hard figures! 

You could argue it has taken over a year to see true results – this is a long time to work at something without any returns. 

But now I have three posts that are giving me passive income. I update them every so often with my authentic experiences, to help other people see my honest opinion and how it develops over time.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: Pros

The course helped me organise myself and think about my blog as a business for the first time.

Michelle taught me how to analyze my website data, so I could then figure out which posts were most popular. From there she helped me think of ideas for things I could recommend wholeheartedly. The Facebook group was especially awesome and came up with some creative ideas to help me too.

It helped me figure out three big mistakes I was making with links I had tried to put into my content prior to the course.

Michelle showed me that one of these errors was potentially going to get me kicked out of affiliate programs and also get in trouble with the FTC. Her bonus section on the legalities really helped me edit my content and play within the rules. 

The way it is taught didn’t scare me – it was just compelling and got me to take instant action to sort these links out.

One other mistake that Michelle helped me fix was probably going to continuously affect my ranking in Google if I didn’t do something. That one tip alone has helped me avoid multiplying that error in other blog posts.

It helped me take the content I already had and make more money from it.

Michelle’s lessons on this took a while to action – I had quite a bit of content already, but afterward, it was brilliant to see my audience interacting more and clicking through my links, once I had edited the posts. The organizational sheets Michelle provides made me feel like I was treating my blog like a business. Like this was a process to improve my results.

It provided me with a super supportive community

Michelle’s Facebook group is one of the best things about this course. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Everyone is on the same journey and the spirit is very much of abundance. Like there is room for everyone’s success – and everyone shares ideas and is so supportive. 

Michelle is available multiple times a week, so essentially you are getting her coaching for free for as long as you want. She also hosts a Saturday thread where you can ask her anything and, from my experience, she gives in-depth answers and tries to understand your particular situation. 

For such a successful blogger, earning more than $10,000 a month, to turn up and let you pick her brains, this alone is worth the $197 cost of the course!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review: Cons

It is for only for beginners, new to affiliate marketing.

If you already have affiliate marketing experience, this is NOT the course for you. It contains no advanced level affiliate marketing information.

  The content of the course is EXCELLENT – but it will not teach you anything new if you have affiliate marketing experience.

This is not a video based course

If you like being taught via videos, this course doesn’t really offer that.

 I was okay with that because the lessons are text based but broken down into chunks that made sense.  Sometimes I forget what I’ve learned if I hear it, but reading it for me is more likely to sink in. 

It’s all down to the individual, but at least you have all the facts.

The social media aspect wasn’t covered in much detail

The Pinterest section was absolutely superb, but there was only a general overview for the main social media channels.

Would I recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?

Yes absolutely unless you are already an experienced blogger looking for an advanced course.

It was the knowledge I needed to start to make money from my blog.

As you can see from my blog making $3600 in May 2020. 

This was after a whole load of learning, implementing what I had learned and a whole load of days, months where I saw little in the way of results.

What I’m trying to say is that if you purchase this course, you need to be prepared to put the hard work in, to get the results.  

Purchasing Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is only part of three point approach I used though. 

When I had enough saved, I purchased Mike Pearson’s Stupid Simple SEO course.

 This enabled me to get into the good habit of writing a blog post that would rank on page one on Google. 

Pinterest with Ell transformed my Pinterest  traffic. So Stupid Simple SEO and this Pinterest course got more eyes on my content. More traffic = more chances of affiliate income. Although I must admit – I’ve not spent more than an hour on Pinterest this year. I don’t believe it is worth my time anymore.

Was it worth investing my hard earned cash?

The answer is yes, yes and yes!

This has been well worth the spend, for the passive income I am now seeing! Remember this is PASSIVE income!! I am still blown away by the numbers. 

The brilliant thing is – you can do this – you can achieve what I did – I am no-one special. All I did was to take a risk and really invest in courses from key people who really know what they are doing. Really know how to make money.

Next steps for my blog 2020

My next steps are all about scaling up my income.

I am going to carefully consider 2 or 3 more high margin affiliate posts, and the aim is to make $10,000 a month by 2022. 

There – I’ve said to you guys! 

As my audience, you now have made me accountable to achieve this goal and show you my progress over time. 

Update 2021

My blog is now making over $2000 a month, so bring on $10,00.

My mantra for 2021 is – consistency and return of investment.

So I’m working on things that will return the most income.

My Affiliate Marketing Philsophy

The rule is – only ever recommend things I am so passionate about being good, that I would say ‘Mom you should really buy this!’

If it would feel weird to recommend or talk about it with a relative, it’s as simple as this. 

I wouldn’t recommend it to you, as my audience. Simple. 

Underneath here, you will see examples of other questions I was asking myself, so you can get a feel for what’s involved with affiliate marketing, more information on the course and whether it is a fit for you. 

If you have any questions, as always email me over at  [email protected]

How does affiliate marketing work?

Basically, as a blogger, you write a blog post for example about a product or a service. Within this post, you will have your own affiliate links to the product.

If your audience clicks through these links, and buys the product, you get usually a percentage of the sale as a commission.
Even if they buy later in the week or two weeks on, most affiliate links will store a cookie on their computer.

This means you will be credited for the commission even then. A lot of affiliate programs have cookies that last 30 days, so if the buyer clicks on your link last, the commission is yours.

How do I become an affiliate marketer?

Michelle gives you a proven system for how to do this in detail, but this is basically how you can become an affiliate marketer: 

– Set up a blog or website or both. 
– Choose your niche
– Match your niche to the right affiliate networks. 
– Research and select affiliate products you would geniunely recommend to your audience. 
– Affiliate reviews are way more genuine if you have already bought, use the product and find it useful – so my advice would be to buy and test each product first. 
– Write blog posts, social media stories to get more traffic to your site or blog.

Why be an affiliate marketer?

It is a super easy way for bloggers to make money, even in your sleep! You can be recommending products 24 hours a day on your blog and potentially sales can generate commission without you doing a thing!
(Well apart from writing an honest review initially about the product).

What is the best affiliate marketing course?

In my humble opinion, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is the best out there. You only have to look at my affiliate marketing results. I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing when I started, and so far my blog has earned $30,000.

However, as I said before, if you are an experienced blogger it is not.  If you consider yourself to have basic knowledge of affiliate marketing, or if you are already making more than $1000 and you need to scale up, you need to look for a more advanced course.

Why choose Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?

It is such a clear course basically for the overwhelmed and for beginners in terms of new to affiliate marketing! 
I had heard about the potential to make money via affiliate marketing, but I didn’t want to be salesy – I hate that!

Michelle’s course broke down the basics, how to structure blog posts and what kinds of blog posts you could write to make money via affiliate marketing.
Not only did she help me organize myself via superb organizational printables, she helped me see the possible products I could promote.


  • 6 modules
  • 30+ lessons
  • Printable worksheets
  • Bonuses
  • An exclusive Facebook group

Insider’s View – What You Will Learn

  • What affiliate marketing is and how it worksWhy affiliate marketing is brilliant!
  • The exact steps Michelle took to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post.
  • How to pick the right affiliate products to promote.
  • How to increase conversions.
  • How to build trust and not lose followers.
  • Required disclosures that you need to know about.
  • The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing.
  • Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products.
  • How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing (yes, this includes the newest Pinterest affiliate rules!)

Screen Shots of the Units:

These following photos are greyed out slightly on my dashboard.

 Click each of the images to enlarge.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing what you will learn 1
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing what you will learn 2
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing what you will learn 3
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing what you will learn 4

Course Bonuses:

Bonus #1: Access to the private Facebook Mastermind group

Bonus #2: Free Group Coaching Sessions 

Bonus #3: How To Drive Thousands of Visitors To Your Blog With Pinterest

Bonus #4: How to Always Get Approved To An Affiliate Program

Bonus #5: 9 Things You Must Do When Something Goes Viral

Bonus #6: How To Increase Your Page Views

Bonus #7: My Affiliate Products And Services

Bonus #8: The Perfect Affiliate Link Checklist

Bonus #9: How to Maximize Your Reach, Impact, and Revenue with Facebook Ads

Bonus #10: How To Legally Protect Your Blog

How much does this online affiliate marketing course cost?

This was the hard part was the price at the time. I had  little spare cash, and as a finance blogger, was determined not to go into debt for a course. 

The price was and still is $197 or $105 in 2 payments. 

I set about my mission of side hustling and getting money for my Christmas present and also birthday present. 

By February 2019 I had the money and had bought the course – yay! 

Does the course have a money back guarantee?

Michelle is such a lovely, genuine person, who really wants to help people succeed.  So in the spirit of giving you ultimate peace of mind as you sign up, she offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

 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.”

Is affiliate marketing a scam?

Affiliate marketing is not a scam. It is a way of earning yourself some commission from promoting other people’s or other companies’ products.
You have to make sure your audience know you can make a commission, but that it won’t lead to them paying more for the product or service.
This is called an affiliate disclosure. 
I have one rule with affiliate marketing : I only promote products I truly love, trust and have worked for me.

Can I really make money with affiliate marketing?

It certainly is possible to make great money with affiliate marketing. Michelle Shroeder Gardner has become a millionaire regularly posts her blog income reports and now makes over $50,000 a month from her blog. 

She is not on her own. Neil Patel makes over $378,000 a month and most of this is in affiliate income. 

That aside – smaller sites can do it too. Earning $2000 a month has been an exciting journey for me so far.

How quickly does affiliate marketing work?

Affilate marketing takes time to build up. You need to have an SEO strategy in place to build traffic to your site, so you maximize the number of people who could see your content.

SEO takes time also – especially for new sites, so don’t be surprised not to see any traction for at least 12 months.

Benefits of learning about affiliate marketing in summary

  • Know how affiliate marketing actually works.
  • Understand and implement strategies within your content. 
  • Focus on your blog content like it is a business.
  • Be truly useful to your audience by recommending things they will find useful.
  • Make passive income – the sky is the limit! 

I dare you to start your journey towards making passive income!

Make the leap!