What if I told you it was possible to make money in your sleep?
I mean, after blacking out from excitement, what would you do?
It’s a really provocative statement… I get it. And I know that I sound like an absolute maniac right now, but hear me out: through the magic of affiliate marketing, making real money from your blog is not only possible, but you can do it without insane traffic and without selling your soul to sponsored posts.
Long story short, affiliate marketing is when you earn commissions for recommending products/services to readers (or people you know). When you join an affiliate program, you get a unique link that’s tagged with your affiliate ID. If someone buys something through your link, then you get a small slice of the profit. This can go from things like clothing and travel insurance, all the way to website hosting and even hotel bookings.
Now, you guys should know me by now, I don’t believe in wishy washy advice. That’s why I started The No BS Guide to Travel Blogging in the first place. I also know where my shortcomings are, and I knew that I couldn’t lie to you all and pretend to be an expert in monetization. As I said in Week 1, I’m far from one of those top bloggers who make tens of thousands from their blog, an impossibility that I wrote off ages ago. But then the emails and comments started pouring in, and it seemed clear that you guys wanted advice on how to effectively monetize and create some financial freedom for yourselves through writing and travelling.
… so, I swallowed my pride and enlisted the help of an expert.
For the first time in my life, I purchased an e-course. I’ve been so wary of e-courses in the past, because I figured there was nothing I couldn’t learn on my own… and the high prices just never seemed worth it. But, after struggling for eons with monetization (and affiliate marketing), I realized it wouldn’t be possible for me to crack this code alone. After many hours of obsessive research, I decided to enrol in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, created by legendary blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents. This badass woman has been featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, Business Insider and more, and last month literally made over $100,000 from blogging, over half of which came from affiliate sales.
I can hear you all shaking your head. Just like you, last week I sat in front of my computer, calmly took a sip of my tea and called “bullshit”.
But against all odds, it’s for real. She even has detailed income reports on her blog that outline how she does it, and it’s in this course that she dishes out the actual strategies and steps that got her there… including how a single blog post has netted her over $300,000.
I’m a very skeptical person by nature. Click baity promises like this usually send me running in the opposite direction, and I’m sure that’s how you feel too. Making that much money online just doesn’t seem possible… but I’ve been following Michelle’s blog for a while, and this woman knows what she’s talking about. After learning that the program has a 30 day money back guarantee, I went for it, and no joke guys, I’ve made 40x more money this past week from affiliate sales than I have for the past two years.
My experience with Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Less than a week into the course (before even finishing it), I’ve already increased the amount of affiliate income on this site by over 4000%. Before you freak out, let me confess that the most I’d ever made before was a measly $1.84, but going from pretty much nothing to 40x that in less than a week? That to me is the most exciting thing in the world. All this was done through only a few hours of strategically optimizing my site for affiliate sales.
What the course teaches you: You’ll learn the basics of affiliate marketing (e.g. what it is, how to use it, etc.) but most importantly, you’ll get critical information about what programs to sign up for, how to build trust with your readers, how to properly disclose your links and different strategies that you can immediately implement. This bit is crucial, because it teaches you execution, which is something that most of us have to fail at time and time again before getting it right.
Handiest of all though were a variety of bonuses for the course including a Pinterest Strategy module (which was incredibly helpful), a guide on increasing page views, and even a list of what to do when your post goes viral. There’s also a Mastermind Facebook group (my favourite bonus), where Michelle is always around to offer solid tips and encouragement. There are so many smart bloggers in here it’s insane, and I’ve learned so so much just from lurking around.
I have to be honest though: no, this course will not make you rich overnight. It is not some get rich quick scheme, because like all good things, it takes work and time. As someone who has done a lot of research about affiliate marketing, there was a lot of information that I knew already. Even so, I highly recommend this course for intermediate affiliate marketers. Why? Because what Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing does is offer an actionable list of strategies and more importantly, a structure and blueprint for you to follow to replicate the success of those incredible 6 figure bloggers. Even though I had all that knowledge sitting in my head, I didn’t know how to put it into practice… and taking this course was like the ultimate lightbulb moment.
Is this course relevant for travel bloggers?
This course goes over all the basics of affiliate marketing, along with strategies that are applicable in every niche.
But I can’t lie to you… if there is one criticism I have for this course, it’s that on its own, it might not be as helpful for travel bloggers as for other niches. Fact: a travel blog is one the toughest niches to profit in. This is because people are far less likely to purchase things like a hotel or flight after reading just a blog post, as those are huge expenditures. Plus, travel is simply a luxury that many people can’t afford (unlike smaller items like clothing or cosmetics).
That’s why I’ve created a supplemental eBook that details how Michelle’s strategies can be applied in a travel blog context, including a checklist of smart content ideas that you can turn into big $$$ drivers for your blog.
If you purchase the course through my affiliate link, send me an email with a screenshot of your confirmation after you’ve completed the course. Once you’ve got those basics down, the eBook will be all yours!
Why affiliate marketing?
- (Mostly) passive income. One of the most suffocating parts of travel blogging is juggling your incredible time abroad with lonely work sessions behind a laptop screen. Imagine if you could write a post, forget about it, and still be making money from it for months and even years down the road. Michelle has made $300,000 off of one post alone. (seriously. what??)
- Freedom from sponsored posts. One of the first dreams of a travel blogger is to get complimentary hotels, trips and more in exchange for content creation… But what many bloggers don’t discuss is how exhausting this can be, both mentally and physically. There is a lot of stress tacked onto creating sponsored content (the pressure to be positive, for one!) but with affiliate marketing, you’re able to make tons of money without creating all this sponsored content… which means you can actually enjoy your holiday like a normal person.
- It’s work you’re doing anyway. Bloggers recommend experiences and products all the time. You’ve probably done the same, either on your blog or in-person with friends. If this is work you’re already doing, then why not make some extra income from it, without compromising your integrity? With affiliate marketing, you are in full control of what you promote, so you can (and should) choose to promote what you love and would recommend regardless!
Why buy the course?
Because you have nothing to lose! The fact that this course comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee speaks for itself. If you’re not satisfied with the course, you’ll get a full refund. This was the biggest factor in my decision to buy.
Now, a harsh truth is that blogging is an investment, not just in time but in money. Sure you can teach yourself many of the techniques found in books and courses, but it takes you a ridiculous amount of time and effort. For some reason, many bloggers have an aversion to investing money in blog training, yet will happily spend $100 on a mediocre meal or a new pair of shoes. The way I see it now: $200 was a worthy purchase for something that can transform the way I make money. In just a week, I’ve managed to make almost half of the cost back… so is it worth it? I’d say 100% yes.
Even more importantly however, enrolling in a course makes you accountable. How many times have you put your blog on the back burner, with a long to-do list that you’ll ‘eventually’ get to? This is super blunt, but true: when you drop $200 on something, you become hella determined to not waste that money. Two hundred donuts worth of money, guys.
So, if you’re sick of Adsense and busting your butt for sponsored posts, this course is an absolute gamechanger that can help you earn income literally overnight. For the first time ever, I can actually see the potential of real income from this little hobby of mine… which honestly, is the most exciting thing in the world. Curious? Read more about the course here.
That’s all for today, guys. Stay tuned for the last chapter of my Blogtoberfest series, coming out this Saturday! Until then, feel free to comment or email if you have any questions about affiliate marketing. Talk to you all soon!
PS: The link for Michelle’s course above is an affiliate link (lol go figure), but I promise you that I would never promote something I didn’t genuinely believe in. Through this course, I’ve managed to see results in just a week, and I know that the same results are possible for you too! Feel free to comment or email if you have any specific questions about the program.