Honest Review of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

If you’re a blogger or have been researching starting a blog you’ve probably heard of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the author of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.  She is an extremely popular finance blogger who made almost $1,000,000.00 from her blog last year!  If you haven’t seen one of her income reports check out this one from December of 2017!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review

She consistently makes around $50,000 per month from affiliate marketing alone!  That is the sole reason I decided to purchase this course.  I wanted my blog to be a source of passive income through affiliate marketing.

Who better to learn from than Michelle, who is clearly doing everything right?

If you need help getting your blog started check out this post for instructions.

I decided to put together a totally honest review of what I thought was helpful and what really wasn’t.  I wanted you to have all the information (that I am allowed to share…obviously, I can’t show you actual content to help you decide) so you can make an educated decision of whether purchasing this course would be beneficial for you.

$197 is not pocket change for most people (including me when I was first starting out) and I loved reading all of the reviews that helped me decide that I should spend my hard earned dollars on this course.

This post contains affiliate links.  You can read more about that here.  This means that I earn a commission if you choose to purchase something through one of my affiliate links.  This is at no extra cost to you and I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in.  There is a whole module in Michelle’s course dedicated to explaining disclosures and why they are so important.

My Honest Review of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Let’s go over what is in each module of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and how helpful it really was.


  • Introduction to the Course
  • Workbook (this is printable and designed to help you set goals for this course)
  • Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook Mastermind Group

Module 1: What Is Affiliate Marketing?

  • Why Affiliate Marketing Is Great
  • The Basics Of Affiliate Marketing
  • How Affiliate Links Work

If you are brand new to affiliate marketing then I believe this section would be very beneficial for you.  Michelle even provides ideas of things to promote just in case you need a little help getting started!

If you are not brand new then it’s a completely different story.  I immediately thought I had wasted my money because I had been researching affiliate marketing online for months and had a pretty good understanding of it.  I felt like this chapter was no help to me at all. 

That’s not to say it wasn’t great and super informative…it just wasn’t great for me.

You can sign up for my free e-course on Pinterest affliate marketing here!

Module 2: How To Find and 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

What I think is most helpful in this section is the list of affiliate program ideas for niches.  It includes suggestions for things like fashion, beauty, finance, parenting, and travel as well as a few others. 

These are things that you can find pretty easily on your own once you are more familiar with affiliate marketing.  However, when I first started out, it would have been insanely helpful to just have a list to go by.  It can become pretty time consuming researching to find companies that work with affiliates.

Module 3: Follow The Rules

  • Requirements & Disclosures
  • Understanding Nofollow Links
  • What To Do If You Live In A Nexus State

Important:  This section is a must read…probably 2 or 3 times to make sure you are disclosing everything properly!  I figure if a blogger is making around $1,000,000.00 per year and the FTC hasn’t come knocking on her door, then she must be doing it correctly and I will most definitely take her advice! 

Module 4: How To Get Your Readers To Convert

  • The Tool You Need To Master Affiliate Marketing
  • 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

This module provided information to help me improve my blog posts so that I could increase my conversions.  I actually removed affiliate links that did not provide an option for deep linking.  If possible, I replaced them with ones from other companies that did provide deep linking and my conversions increased almost instantly.

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 $300,000 With One Affiliate Product
  • Worksheet – Strategies To Promote Affiliate Products

When I bought this course I was not brand new to affiliate marketing so when I first read through this section, it wasn’t an “OMG…I am so thankful for that” kind of moment.  I was slightly disappointed because I thought I would be learning more advanced techniques that maybe I hadn’t read about yet.

However, Michelle makes almost ONE MILLION DOLLARS per year from her blog and I don’t, so I read it again…and again!

Obviously, I didn’t find a new paragraph telling me things that I had never heard of, but I did have several “aha” moments where I realized that there were changes I should make or additional things I should be doing to be more successful. 

I changed some of my wording to make my readers more inclined to click my links.  I am not a natural born writer so the bonus she includes for writing and editing strategies was super helpful for me.

I started paying closer attention to my social media statistics to make sure I was giving my readers more of what they were interested in.  Learning how to leverage my social media content was very eye-opening and helped increase my conversions.

I added a resources page to my blog with all of the programs I use and why I love them because sometimes people are just looking for simple advice.

I’ve read this section over and over and by the end of the module I have usually decided on a new idea to try or new topic to write about that may be successful with affiliate links.  Sometimes when I sit down to write I just draw a blank (feel free to comment below and tell me I’m not alone…please)! Rereading these lessons seem to help jump start my brainstorming process.

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 Income Progress

Before reading this module I had not given much thought to building a relationship with my affiliate managers.  I knew they were there for me to ask questions if need be but there are so many other ways that they can help that I had not thought of. 

Since finishing this course and making some changes I have had a couple of blog posts that started converting very well.  I contacted my affiliate managers and asked for an increase in my commission rate and they gave it to me!

Also, using the Regular Maintenance Checklist was a great way to make sure my top performing posts were still current and that all of my links were still working properly.  I never really thought about links changing without my knowledge.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Bonuses

1. Bonus: How To Always Get Approved To An Affiliate Program

2. Bonus: Pinterest Strategy – How To Receive Hundreds Of Thousands of Visitors From Pinterest A Month  This is Rosemarie Groner’s Pinterest Strategy!  She currently sells the Pinterest Strategy Guide on her blog for $139! 

3. Bonus: How to Maximize Your Reach, Your Impact, & Your Revenue With FB Ads

4. Bonus: Printable: 9 Things You Must Do When Something Goes Viral

5. Bonus: Printable: How To Increase Your Pageviews

6. Bonus: Worksheet – My Affiliate Products & Services

7. Bonus: Worksheet – The Perfect Affiliate Link Checklist

8. Bonus: Editing & Writing Strategies 

9. Bonus: (and the best one…IMO) 

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Affiliate Program

  • You have to have been a student of this course to become an affiliate.
  • You will earn you 40% commission on every course purchased. This means that you earn $78.80 for each person who buys the course through your link and pays the full price.
  • If a person signs up through your link but chooses to use the two month payment plan, you earn $84 which will be divided into two $42 payments.
  • Customers have 30 days to request a refund so payments are made 30 days after each month has ended.
  • Info about what to do after you have joined the program (like how to find your affiliate link)
  • How to promote the course on social media with several examples to help you get started
  • How to promote the course to your email list with an example to help you get started
  • 2 downloadable Pinterest graphics so you can start promoting the course immediately.  (Super helpful in making your money back as quickly as possible)

Bottom Line:

I think Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is worth every penny and here are my 3 reasons why:

1)  You can become an affiliate which is the whole point of all of this right!!! I made my money back (plus some) in two months by 3 people signing up with my link. This was before I had written a blog post reviewing the course. I simply took the Pinterest image provided by Michelle and shared it on Pinterest.  This course is so popular that it really doesn’t need a whole lot of advertising to convince someone to purchase. Michelle’s success speaks for itself!

2)  Rosemarie Groner’s Pinterest Strategy!  This is an amazing bonus!  When someone doing as well as Rosemarie talks (or writes), I listen (or read)!  This is the guide I used to set up my Pinterest account and my BoardBooster account.  I immediately started seeing repins of my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing pin (as well as several others) and quickly had my first sale.  Sales since then have continued to climb pretty consistently because Pinterest is simply amazing!

3)  Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook Mastermind Group – You get access to a Facebook group filled with people (including Michelle and Rosemarie) who have the same goal as you…to make a passive income with affiliate marketing! The members are very helpful and active and try to answer each other’s questions.  There are share threads that are designed for motivation, feedback and more visibility for your work.  Also, two Saturdays each month Michelle hosts an “Ask Michelle” thread.  You get to directly ask her questions!  This is my favorite even though I have only used it a couple of times!  I have bought other courses where I felt like they collected my money but didn’t provide the support they claimed they would.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review

If you are totally new to affiliate marketing I think this course is a perfect fit for you.  It starts at the bottom and works its way up.  You complete the modules at your own pace.  One thing I should mention is that there are no videos, just text.  That doesn’t bother me at all because I do better when I have to focus on what I’m learning and reread if I need to.  If you are more of a visual learner that likes videos that could be an issue.

If you are an experienced affiliate marketer then this course is not going to give you any new advanced techniques to really boost your income.  That was kind of a letdown as that was what I hoped for when I made the purchase.  However, the things that I did learn and the changes I made because of it really helped increase my income over the course of a few months.

With all that being said, knowing what I know now, I would buy it again.

I think that the Pinterest strategy from Rosemarie and the Facebook group full of like-minded helpful affiliate marketers is worth the $197 alone.  Add in the fact that I made my money back quickly and continue to earn…that is an incredible investment with a solid ROI.  If you listen to Rosemarie you know she is all about Return On Investment!  If you have no clue what I’m talking about, here is a free video that I highly recommend watching!

Please ask any questions you may have in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer them!


  1. Great tips from a great writer. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I personally find this article really useful, because I’m planning to launch an affiliate blog anytime soon. Can’t wait to use your tips in my own reality!

  2. This is great! I have heard of this before and thought about purchasing but it is really hard to know what you are getting. It would be helpful for me to know more about optimizing affiliates on my blog./

    1. Thanks! It certainly is a tough decision to spend that much money on a course not knowing much about it. Hopefully this review helps you decide whether it could help you or not!

  3. I am pinning this so that I can keep coming back to this as a resource. Thank you for all this great information. I’ve had such a tough time figuring out affiliate marketing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.