What You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing For Beginners + How 17 Bloggers Earned Their First Affiliate Income

Are you interested in learning about affiliate marketing for beginners?  Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize your blog because it’s somewhat passive, and it’s something that can truly help your readers when done well. That’s why, today, I want to talk about affiliate marketing for beginners. I’m going to start…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: September 8, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Are you interested in learning about affiliate marketing for beginners

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize your blog because it’s somewhat passive, and it’s something that can truly help your readers when done well.

That’s why, today, I want to talk about affiliate marketing for beginners. I’m going to start with some background on myself, why I love affiliate marketing, what affiliate marketing is, and how you can get started.

I’m also sharing what other bloggers have to say about affiliate marketing. I asked bloggers who took my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course to answer a few questions, such as:

  • When they started their blog
  • When they earned their first affiliate income (how long it took them to earn it, how much it was for, and how they felt)
  • Their top tip for bloggers trying to get their first affiliate sale.

Their answers are super motivating, and I am so excited to share them all with you.

Whether your first affiliate income is $1.00 or $100, it’s exciting to start earning affiliate income because it proves that all of your hard work is paying off.

Affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money blogging, and I’m extremely grateful that I can have a semi passive income source that allows me to earn money from my blog while having a better work-life balance.

That’s what many people love about affiliate marketing – because it’s a somewhat passive source of income, you can focus on other aspects of your blog or spend more time doing other things you love.

Earning affiliate income allows me to travel full-time, explore beautiful places, spend time with my husband and our dogs, all while earning a good income from my blog.

What some people don’t know is that I didn’t start my blog to make money – I didn’t even know it was possible at first. And, I definitely didn’t know what affiliate marketing was.

Here’s how I started: Back in 2011, I was reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of the articles. I was super interested because I wanted to be in control of my financial situation and pay off my student loans. I didn’t want money to rule my life anymore.

So, I decided to start Making Sense of Cents as a way to journal and keep track of my financial situation. I did not create my blog with the intention of making money – I just wanted to stay motivated. 

Before 2011, I had no idea what blogs were, how to start a blog, and that learning how to start affiliate marketing for beginners would change my life.

It took a lot of work, but in 2013, after a couple of years of blogging, I left my day job and became a full-time blogger. And I haven’t looked back once. Learning how to create a blog has completely changed my life for the better, and it’s something that I recommend everyone try if they are thinking about it.

I can’t imagine my life without my blog or earning semi passive affiliate income, and here’s why:

  • I now love what I do and look forward to working each day.
  • I am able to help others improve their financial situation.
  • It helped me pay off my student loans.
  • My husband and I were able to quit our day jobs.
  • We can retire early.
  • We now travel full-time.
  • I have a flexible schedule.
  • I’m my own boss.
  • Blogging gives me freedom.

Affiliate marketing for beginners: Answers to your top questions


What is affiliate marketing and how does it work for beginners?

If you’re not familiar with the topic of today’s post, then you’re probably wondering what affiliate marketing is and how it works.

Affiliate marketing is when you try to earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website, social media accounts, etc. and have people purchase a product through your link.

An affiliate is a person or business who promotes a product or service offered by other businesses, and you become an affiliate when you promote an affiliate product. Affiliates are given special links to use, and those links tell the company that a customer came from your site.

An example would be Amazon book sales, where you link to a specific book on your website or social media account and try to get people to purchase the book through your affiliate link. Amazon and other companies want quality affiliates under their belt because they want all the help they can get to promote the products and services they are selling.

If you get someone to sign up through your affiliate link, the company rewards you for promoting their product.

This is what is known as a conversion, and it’s when a person completes a specific action designated by the affiliate program. It may be when someone enters their email address on a company’s website, when they make a purchase, fill out a form, or some other action through your affiliate link.

There are different types of affiliates (online influencers, YouTubers, etc.), but what I’m talking about today specifically is affiliate marketing for bloggers. Affiliate marketing works so well for bloggers because there are many different ways to share affiliate links with your audience, such as:

  • By adding an affiliate link to your blog (you can do this by inserting a link within a blog post, page, email, etc.)
  • Promoting it on social media
  • Sharing it in a podcast or webinar
  • And more!

Note: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course. This course covers affiliate marketing for beginners to those who are more advanced.

You’ll learn so much important information in this course, from how to get your blog ready for affiliate marketing, the best affiliate programs for bloggers, and how to apply to them.


How did I get started with affiliate marketing? How do I become an affiliate marketer for beginners?

I’m going to be completely honest with you. When I first started with affiliate marketing, I had no idea what I was doing.

I had been interested in affiliate marketing since the beginning of my blog, but I never thought it would be possible for me. I always thought that you had to have a huge following and a ton of page views in order to be successful with affiliate marketing.

Well, one day I decided to give myself a goal of earning affiliate income. I had to do hours and hours of research, but it helped me work towards achieving my goal. I started by making a little bit of money each month, and then it just continued to grow month after month. I learned that you don’t need a ton of page views or a huge following in order to make a great income through affiliate marketing.

Now, you do have to enjoy and believe in the products you are promoting. But, if you do, then promoting those products to your audience is a no-brainer. Of course you would want to tell them about products that can help them in their daily life.

Think about it this way: If you already enjoy a product, why not get paid to promote it?

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing for bloggers, I recommend getting the free guide 10 Easy Tips To Increase Your Affiliate Income, which is a Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing free download. With this time-saving cheat sheet, you’ll learn how to make affiliate income from your blog. These tips will help you to rapidly improve your results and increase your blogging income in no time.

Content related to affiliate marketing for beginners:

Some other common questions I’d like to go over about affiliate marketing for beginners:

  • Can you start affiliate marketing with no money? If you already have a blog, you don’t need to spend any more money to start affiliate marketing.
  • How do affiliates get paid?  Affiliates are paid by the company whose products or services you’re promoting. For example, if you are linking to Amazon, then Amazon is paying you.
  • Is affiliate marketing easy?  Affiliate marketing takes hard work. If it were easy then everyone would be doing it! But, that doesn’t mean it all has to be hard either. It’s my favorite way to monetize a blog and I recommend ALL bloggers do it.


What is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners?

As a new blogger, there are affiliate marketing programs that you can qualify for, even though you are brand new! However, many people believe that a blogger needs to have a lot of blog posts and a high amount of followers before they will be accepted into an affiliate program.

That isn’t true at all.

There are many affiliate programs that you may be able to join right when you start your blog. Some affiliate programs don’t have many requirements, such as minimums for traffic or the age of your blog.

Some of my favorite affiliate programs and networks (these will depend on your specific niche) that you may want to look into as a new blogger include:

  • Amazon Associates – This is the most well-known affiliate program that I recommend a new blogger sign up for. This is because you can find nearly anything and everything for sale on Amazon, so there is probably something that you’d be able to promote on your blog from this affiliate program.
  • Awin – This is one of the largest affiliate networks in the world (with over 14,000 possible affiliate programs to join), so I’m sure any blogger could find something to promote.
  • Rakuten – Anyone with a Rakuten account can promote this service, so you don’t even need a blog. Rakuten can be great for many niches, such as finance, parenting, lifestyle, travel, and more, as Rakuten can be used for many different types of purchases.
  • Shareasale – Shareasale is another one of my favorites. There are many, many companies that are listed within Shareasale and you can probably find at least a few companies within your niche that will allow you to promote their product, even as a brand new blogger.
  • Courses and ebooks – If there are any courses or ebooks that you took in preparation of launching your blog, then you may be able to sign up as an affiliate for those right away and start promoting them. After all, someone like you is exactly who potential buyers want to hear from on this specific product!

If you’re a blogger and looking for a product to promote, I recommend looking at some of the things you already talk about on your website (or doing a quick brainstorming session on the things you like or that your readers like), and simply searching on Google “product name + affiliate program.” Fill in the product name for the product you’re looking for, and an affiliate program will most likely pop up.

Then, see how you can join!


How do affiliates get paid?

I’ve already talked about this a little bit above, but I want to explain it a bit more. Affiliates get paid by the company or the affiliate network that they received the referral link from. For example, if you’re an Amazon affiliate and someone buys something through your link, you are paid by Amazon.

When and how you’re paid depends on the affiliate marketing program. Usually you get paid once a month or sometimes even right after the sale.

You may get paid via check, PayPal, bank transfer, or whatever is agreed upon.

As your blog starts to grow and you’re an affiliate for several different programs, I recommend keeping track of how and when you get paid for each company because it may get confusing to keep track of everything.

How do I start affiliate marketing as a beginner?

To answer this question, I want to share what bloggers who took my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course had to say about how they got started. Their answers are super motivating and show that getting started with affiliate marketing for beginners doesn’t have to be difficult. 

In the answers below, you’ll be reminded that everyone has to start somewhere. The hardest part for most people is taking the leap to get started.

Your first affiliate sale is the most exciting one. It usually pays the lowest amount of money, but even if it’s just $5, it is motivating to see how your hard work is paying off.

Earning that first income always takes the longest time, but it gets easier from there!


“I purchased Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing two months after I hit the road full-time, traveling solo in an RV. I was almost out of money and was searching for ways to make an income as I traveled.

I remember sitting in my motorhome in the middle of the desert and spending 4 straight days at my computer, going straight through the course and taking notes as I progressed. Within a week, I had set up several affiliate accounts with companies I was already doing business with, so I was familiar with their products.

I wrote reviews and even created a video tutorial for one item I’d been using for two years.

45 days after putting the tutorial online I had my first sale of $65! I’ve been using Michelle’s suggestions religiously ever since, and my affiliate sales have become a large part of my current monthly income. Needless to say, I’m a believer! 😊

If you’re still aiming for your first affiliate sale, my suggestion is to utilize all of Michelle’s suggestions for one product or service at a time. For instance, write an authentic review, create a video showing how to use the product, highlight it in your social media posts and emails that go directly to your readership. That way the product is seen everywhere at once, like a well-planned marketing strategy, and you will be perceived as the expert. You are bound to attract customers with that plan!”

-Shelley Dennis from Photo Tripping America


“My wife and I started our blog in 2017 and invested in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course the same year. We rapidly built multiple blogs and implemented everything that we learned in the course. Within about 6 weeks we made our first affiliate sale completely out of the blue! This first sale was one of the most exciting and life-changing moments of my life. We were having a coffee in a Starbucks and Maleah randomly checked her email.

The first email read ‘Congratulations $44.99 affiliate commission awarded’. We were quite poor at the time, and we could not believe that we had made money while sitting drinking coffee! We realized at that point that if we could earn $44.99 then we could earn a lot more with some work.

Over the next few years, we worked hard and now we earn about $50,000 a month (profit) from affiliate marketing.

I think that the best way to get your first affiliate sale is to know your audience and their exact problem that you can solve. By offering them the best possible solution as your affiliate product, you will see the highest conversion rates. Combine this with using a social media platform to send targeted traffic to your affiliate post, you should be able to make your first affiliate sale quite quickly!”

-Russell and Maleah Barbour from StockAlertsReviewed.com


“I started my blog in June 2018 and really had no idea how to make money, but I kept reading Making Sense of Cents to get ideas. It wasn’t until I stumbled across some of your older income reports and one of them identified the majority of your earnings coming from affiliate marketing. In November 2018, I took the plunge and invested in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Prior to this I had a vague idea of what affiliate marketing was but didn’t really know the nitty gritty stuff like how to find affiliate offers, joining different affiliate networks and the types of affiliate offers there were. After taking a couple of weeks to make my way through the content I had a better idea about it and what I wanted to promote.

Once I found an offer I wanted to promote (another course that I found really helpful about Pinterest marketing) I was able to write a descriptive review about the course and what it had to offer! In about 4 weeks from writing this review, I got an email in my inbox saying someone purchased the course and I made a $63 commission from it! I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked and at the same time filled with excitement, this ultimately got me thinking that it is actually possible to make money with affiliate marketing! That first sale was like a light bulb moment that made me think if I could do this once, I could do it over and over. Now I have a couple of different blogs and niche sites, making about $200/month consistently and it all started by making my initial investment into Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.

My best tip for bloggers, especially beginners, is to be consistent! There will be days when you feel like giving up because it may feel like all your efforts and what you’re trying is not working out. However, we are all on different paths, so if you haven’t made a sale within 1 week, don’t feel discouraged the main point is to be consistent with your goals, this will allow you to accelerate your growth and lead to making your first sale quicker than most.”

-Marco Baatjes from Caffeinated Face


“I started my blog in March 2019. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing was one of the first courses that I purchased, however, I didn’t go through it until January of 2020, as I was focused on other streams of income.

Although you mentioned in the course that no matter how big or small your blog’s traffic is, you are leaving money on the table if you’re not doing affiliate marketing, I still didn’t listen, which was a big mistake.

After finishing the course, which was packed with great tips, I started searching for affiliate programs to suit my career niche audience and I was shocked to make my first affiliate sale of $12, only 3 weeks after taking the course. It felt unbelievable to wake up to an email notifying me that I have made a sale (while I slept 🙂 ). Now, 5 months later, affiliate marketing makes up 60% of my monthly income, which I would have never expected.

My best advice is: Try to find affiliate programs for products that make sense to your audience. Do not sign up for all the affiliate programs that you see other bloggers using. Make sure that the product you are promoting solves your audience’s problem.”

-Corina from Chasing our Financial Freedom


“I started my travel blog (Outdreaming) in January of this year. Funny timing, as a couple months later the pandemic stopped nearly all travel! So it has been a slow growth, especially as I currently work other jobs from home as well.

I took Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing in mid-January. I went through it within a week, and have been going back once in a while to review some sections when I need some extra guidance. I implemented the strategies slowly throughout the following months.

I made my first affiliate sale in May – around $70. Technically, it’s not a lot. But I was thrilled!! It made me believe in myself just that extra bit and it pushed me to keep going. Since then, I’ve made several other affiliate sales. It’s still a slow process, especially as a travel blog, but I know the long term goals will be achieved with each little step. It’s been fun to watch the numbers grow.

I have you and your course to thank for my knowledge of affiliate marketing! The Facebook group has also been a huge benefit to the course, since I’ve gotten plenty of guidance over there as well. Thanks for all you do!

My top tip would be to focus on products or services that are relevant to your niche and your audience in order to remain authentic and trustworthy. And in addition to this, adding in personal experience is a huge plus because it builds trust. I always like to imagine myself in the reader’s/buyer’s shoes — would I be interested in a product or service just because it is linked somewhere that is not relevant? Or would I be more interested after reading someone’s honest experience with it? The answer is always the latter.”

-Julie Nowakowski


“My blog’s first post went live on February 3rd, 2020, so I consider that Day 1. I began your course sometime in April I believe, however I had already made my first commission before then. Since taking your course, I have made more sales, however I will share with you my very first:

My very first commission took place on March 4th, 2020, via a Swagbucks sign-up through MaxBounty. I earned $3.60. I was honestly quite happy to finally earn a commission on something. Between Feb 3rd and March 4th, I had not even earned $1 in a day off AdSense. In fact, the only money I had earned in all of February up to March 4th was $0.78 from ad revenue, so this was a +400% (if I did the math right) increase in my all-time revenue. Not bad at all. Since taking MSoAM, I added several new affiliate networks and while I still struggle with conversions (low traffic), I have made many more small commissions since (about a total of $150).

I’d say my top tip is to always write honestly about the product or service you’re promoting. Know and support the product. Don’t write about a product you’re not personally behind just to get a quick buck, because your readers will figure it out and that hurts your integrity.”

-Dave from The Dollar Blogger


“I started blogging in June 2017 and took Michelle’s course only a couple of months later, in August 2017. As soon as I finished her course, I implemented her affiliate marketing strategies into my lifestyle blog Tinylovebug and made a few affiliate sales within the same month. The amounts were negligible as it was through Amazon which is notorious for not having the highest affiliate commissions. I think the first commission was something like $4 or so but it felt so good nevertheless! I was over the moon as it made me realize that I was into something and hopefully, on the right track to passive income. And in fact, from there, my revenue has consistently grown month after month and I now make $20,000+ blogging every single month!

If you’re only starting out now, pick a few products you would like to promote and focus on those only. Don’t try to promote too many products at once or you will get overwhelmed and it will be more difficult to achieve results. Always promote products of the highest quality that you have tested or used personally and found worth recommending. This will allow you to build trust with your audience and test that the system works in its entirety having gone through the process yourself.”

-Lucrezia from Blogging for New Bloggers


“I started my blog, Freedom Bound Business, in 2016, and made my first affiliate commission selling a self-publishing course that I had taken to make my first dollar online. I had created a review article and Youtube video about the course and earned my first affiliate commission! If I recall correctly, my first commission took less than a month because the course creator was big on YouTube, but there weren’t many product reviews about his course on Google or Youtube. So, it wasn’t too competitive. My first commission was in the 3 figure range – I was ecstatic! I knew I wanted to scale this, yet I struggled for a couple of years with strategy. It wasn’t until 2018 that I started to understand how to blog and how I’d continue to get traffic to my blog. This is around the time I found Michelle on Making Sense of Cents. It was one of the first blogs I came across in 2018 when I was trying to find different strategies to increase my blog’s affiliate income. Michelle’s blog content and her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course was helpful, inspiring, and contributed to my blog’s success. In 2020, I’m still consistently publishing content in the internet marketing niche and continuing to grow.

My ‘long-term tip’ for bloggers who are looking to make their first affiliate sale and continue to do so for years to come is to create blog content based on keywords that are related to the product or service you want to sell. Write a review article for your affiliate product or service you’re promoting and also write articles on long-tail keywords that relate to your affiliate offer and topic (i.e., questions & answer articles, how-to guides, competitor alternatives, product-to-product comparisons, etc.). Lastly, don’t forget to internally link your blog articles together, so they rank higher on Google and other search engines.”

-John Pinedo from Founder of Freedom Bound Business


“I started my blog, The Modest Wallet in May 2019. At the beginning, I was writing content about topics I thought people were searching for. However, I wasn’t getting any tractions with my blog, and I didn’t know how to monetize it. It was only after I took your course in July 2019 (bought the course on July 27, 2019), that I started to figure out what affiliate marketing was and how I could monetize my blog. I started implementing what I learned from your course in my blog. I earned my first commissions in May 2020 for $125 dollars. Now I’m making about $1000 per month just from affiliate marketing 🙂

My number one tip for a beginner blogger to achieve their first sale is to focus on low competition keywords with higher buyer intent. In my opinion, it’s better to target keywords with ‘high buyer intent’ as people who search for these queries on search engines are ready or almost ready to convert. Your first sale is just around the corner!”

-Ricardo Pina from The Modest Wallet


“My name is Belinda, I am a lifestyle blogger. I started my blog In April of 2018. I am a nurse currently in school studying nurse practitioner, single mom of 3. I took your course in January 2019. I remember a few days after finishing your course I made $1.16 off Amazon affiliate program. I know it was not a lot but I was so excited.

I jumped up and down and said ‘Yes if I can do this in a couple days, I can do a lot!”

I am ashamed to say I did not commit to my blog, health reasons and school and I let life happen. I am currently back in the game and feel so excited. I re-watched/listened to your course. And as of right now I have $62.10 in my account (pay out is $100) on AdSense.

It is so hard to explain the excitement I have seeing this because this was definitely passive income. When I started my blog back up, that money was there at the time it was $48 but each day whether it is 10 cents or more it is building back up. Your course is a must, easy to follow and truly works. My goal is to make $500 dollars by 9/15/2020.

I would say my top tip would be to start small, stay with 2 to 3 affiliate partners. Research will be key.You have to find the right fit, do not just sign up for any company. Most importantly, do not quit. It’s a lot of work but it will pay off. That sale is right around the corner.”

-Belinda from Down This Life Road


“I started my blog, After School Finance, about three months ago to share the financial lessons most people never learn in school. I was inspired to start this blog because, despite there being a wealth of information about personal finance on the web, I found that so many people I knew in their 20s didn’t have the key finance skills to prepare for their future.

While I am still making my way through the course, it has been a fabulous resource for knowing the dos and don’ts of affiliate marketing. There are so many small details to get right from how to find affiliate programs to abiding by the terms of the programs to creating inspiring calls to action. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing has made all of this a breeze!

My very first affiliate sale took place when someone clicked through an Amazon link on my blog. This happened about 2.5 months into my blogging journey. While the sale was only for a few dollars, it was massive validation that what I was doing was worthwhile. I started my blog because I want to help people, and I view affiliate marketing as a way to give people the tools that can help them the same way they’ve helped me.

My top tip for getting that first affiliate sale is that you have to build traffic first! It’s so easy to focus on monetization right away once your blog is up and running, but without people coming to your site, you’ll never make a sale! Put the affiliate link infrastructure in place, but make traffic a priority early on!”

-Connor Brown


“I started my blog in 2016 and took your course about a year later. My first affiliate sale (aside from Amazon) was from promoting a blogging course. I earned $10 for that sale and it was the greatest feeling in the world. It made me realize this ‘blogging thing’ might actually work and it gave me incredible motivation to keep going.

My tip would be to just be real with your readers. Talk about a pain point that product solved and be transparent. Readers connect with that. That’s exactly how I made my first sale.”

-Kim McGraw from Life Worth The Living


“I enrolled onto the course in May 2017, I started my blog roughly at the start of 2018. However, after a period of time learning and developing my blog, I changed my blog niche direction at the end of 2019.

In May 2020 (3 years after enrolling onto the course!) I received my first affiliate sale from Amazon which was amazing. After years of dedication and not giving up, continually studying and improving my blog, I was ecstatic to receive my first sale.

The commission from the sale was around £27 and it was for promoting a laptop that I use for day trading, which is my blog focus; day trading both the Forex market and the stock market.

Everything changed for me once I niched my blog and generated traffic. However, this being said, my top tip for bloggers trying to get their first affiliate sale would be to keep trying and growing! If something is not working, break it down, analyse, and review. Then create active steps to continuously move forward. It has taken me 3 years since purchasing Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing to generate affiliate sales, but I am very glad that I persevered and kept trying!”

-Emily Butler-Meadows from Mindfully Trading


“My name is Brooke and I started my blog Gaining Speed in March of this year. I then took your course at the end of May and I earned my first commission in June. It was $.44 but it felt amazing! Someone actually liked what I wrote enough to make a purchase. This was the article I earned my first commission on.

I think my tip would be to pick something to write about that you truly like or care about. The article that I made my first sale on was something that had meaning for me and my daughter, so I think that really helped.”

-Brooke from Gaining Speed


“My first affiliate commission – I believe – was from a survey site. I think it was for a few dollars. I was actually inspired by your blog income reports that you published at the time. I launched my blog Money Done Right in early 2017 and took your course around this time.  It wasn’t long after I started my blog that I got my first affiliate commission.

I was able to get a lot of traffic at that time using Pinterest tools like BoardBooster (R.I.P.) and Tailwind. I saw on your blog income report that you were killing it in the survey space so I decided to find survey sites to promote on my site, and it worked! I was ecstatic.

I remember the first time that I made $15 before lunchtime. I was hanging out with a friend and told him about it. He looked at me strangely – like why did I get so excited over $15? But what was so exciting about it was that I didn’t have to do any work that Sunday morning. My site eventually grew beyond $15 and for a time survey sites were a five-figure monthly revenue stream for my site.

My top tip would be to closely study other larger bloggers in your space and to try to reverse engineer their success – not to copy them but to test on your blog specific strategies they’re using on their blog. Ask questions like, “Is there a ‘money page’ that the blogger seems to drive traffic to? Which affiliate links are they including at the top of their most popular pages (though not a guarantee these are often the most profitable affiliate programs for them)? Which social media platforms are they active on – are they all over Pinterest but not so much on Instagram?” And so on and so forth. You can learn a lot just by studying others, but keep in mind that oftentimes large bloggers have success despite their shortcomings, so don’t necessarily take everything you see on a larger site as best practices.”

-Logan from Money Done Right


“I made back the money I invested in the course right away as I finally had clarity on all the different types of content I could make to share my affiliate content. That spider web graphic organizer was worth the price of the course for me. The other element that was a game changer was making a page to have all of my affiliate items in one place. This helps my readers but also helps me tremendously.

Choose the affiliate resource that will be the most relevant for your audience to start with. Set a google calendar reminder every 30 days to remind you to talk about your transformation using the resource on Instagram stories. When that reminder comes up, reflect about all that you have learned about that resource, and create one new asset to market the affiliate link in the future. Keep sharing about that one resource and making content for it until you have created all the different types of content your audience might need. While you are creating these assets, your consistency in sharing about them will attract the right people towards you as an authority for that item… and then you can move your energy to the next product that your audience needs.”

-Janice from Cook Family Resources


“I took your class back in 2017. It was very informative and completely revolutionized the way we were doing affiliate marketing. Instead of using a general affiliate website like Viglink, we started dealing directly with company affiliate programs. It got rid of the middle man and increased our earnings. Our first affiliate was with Bluehost (we just moved to them from iPage). We earned $100. We were so excited to finally make some progress in our affiliate sales.

Success is in the details. Following the road map Michelle has laid out is so important, there are no shortcuts.”

-Adam Olson from Wallet Squirrel


“I started blogging in 2016. I started making money with affiliate marketing around month 3 and I made around $80 from various sources, all affiliate marketing. I took the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course and in month 4, I made over $800 in affiliate income! I learned so many valuable lessons from you about affiliate marketing and I’ve put those into practice on the dozens of blogs I have created since then. Affiliate marketing has remained a staple among my income streams. My tip to bloggers to help get your first affiliate sale is to follow Michelle’s advice. Doing so helped me see exponential results with my affiliate marketing efforts.”

-Jenn Leach from Millennial Nextdoor


Are you interested in learning more about affiliate marketing for beginners?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Thanks for including us! It really is a great program. We look forward to continuing to grow our affiliate income in the coming years because of what we learned.

  2. Thanks for including us! It really is a great program. We continue to use what we learned to raise our affiliate income every month.

  3. Awesome post Michelle and thank you for including me :)! I’ve shared it on Pinterest with my audience.

  4. Belinda

    Amazing post!!! thanks for including my testimony… It truly is a great program. I love that I can go back to the course for reference . Best of all I am earning passive income. I cannot thank you enough Michelle

  5. Amazing post, Michelle! Thank you for including me!

  6. This really is a great post! Answered so many questions about when to start affiliate marketing that I have been trying to find. I will be signing up for the course very soon!

  7. Eric Ndunda

    Hi Michelle thanks for the piece, I started affiliate marketing this year and still working on it as my motivator. I’ll check on your page about 10 easy tips to increase your Affiliate income.

    From Kenya.

  8. Kevin

    It is great to read so many success stories. I just joined the Zazzle affiliate program and hope to enjoy some success!

  9. Sarah

    A very good read, thank you for the article. I’m current working on my blog and trying to find different sources of income as my blog is still new and doesn’t have much visitor. I’ve tried to apply to Shareasale 2 times but my blogs were still rejected. Is there any tips for getting their approval? Thank you so much.

    1. Jaswinder Kaur

      Why not try for Amazon Associates program?

  10. This really is a great post! Answered so many questions about when to start affiliate marketing that I have been trying to find. It really is a great program. We continue to use what we learned to raise our affiliate income every month. I just joined the Zazzle affiliate program and hope to enjoy some success. I think that the best way to get your first affiliate sale is to know your audience and their exact problem that you can solve.

  11. Thank you so much for this post Michelle. Really inspiring and lots of things to learn too.
    Such a great post I shared it on my twitter profile.

  12. Joquim

    Nice breakdown of what & where to start affiliate marketing. I’m inclined to start service affiliate marketing as I’m starting to play around with my marketing tools myself.

    One question though. When you have an affiliate with a product, do they actually send you the product? How will I be able to review it if I don’t actually have anything to review or show that I actually own? Or will I need to purchase the item to review it?

  13. Good thing to know affiliate marketing is here to stay! 🙂