Does affiliate marketing really work? What is affiliate marketing anyway? Can it be a real career for stay-at-home moms or dads? Can you fit it in your spare time and still make an income? Can you do it from anywhere? Michelle Schroeder-Gardner answers all these questions and more in this interview about affiliate marketing and her new course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Michelle, could you give us a little history and tell us how you got into affiliate marketing?
I started my blog in August of 2011, after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website within one of their articles. I got hooked on that website (that website is DailyWorth) and everything just grew from there. I did not create my blog with the intention of earning a living – it was all just a hobby. In the beginning, I talked about things in my life, and it was more of a journal than a personal finance website. Eventually, I realized how much I loved blogging, and made the switch to full-time blogging.
It was the greatest decisions ever. I now travel full-time with my husband, and we will have enough money to retire before 30 as well. Life is great and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Around 1.5 years ago, I decided to look more into affiliate marketing. I had always skipped over it because I thought my blog was too small to make worthwhile money from affiliate marketing. Instead, I thought only the “lucky” bloggers made that work.
I also just did not think it was possible to earn a living from affiliate marketing.
I started applying different affiliate marketing strategies to my blog, and they were working. I saw my blogging income increase dramatically every single month. Now, I have my affiliate marketing strategy running very smoothly with little effort. So, even though my affiliate income is increasing, I'm actually spending a small amount of time on it!
What exactly is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you try to earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website, social media account, etc. and have people purchase a product through your special referral link. If you get someone to sign up through your affiliate link, you are then rewarded by the company for promoting their product.
Does it only work for people who have blogs?
No, affiliate marketing can be used anywhere, such as if you have social media accounts. There are many people with large social media accounts and no blog, yet earn a great living through affiliate marketing.
Is this something that a stay-at-home mom can do in her limited amount of time? Is it a flexible career?
Yes, definitely! Affiliate marketing allows you to be your own boss. You can create your own schedule, work as many or as few hours as you would like, and more. Plus, there is no limit to how much money you can make – it's all up to you.
Realistically, what is the minimum amount of time you would need to devote to this on a daily basis?
It doesn't take much time at all. Once you know what to do (which I teach in my course), it all happens very easily and in a small amount of time.
Can you make a decent income doing this part time?
For sure! This can be a great way to make a living part-time.
Is this something that a stay-at-home mom could make into a full-time career once the kids are older and she has more time on her hands?
Yes, definitely. Affiliate marketing can be as few or as many hours as you would like. It's all up to you.
What kind of skills do you need?
My course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing teaches you the exact skills that you need. You need good sales skills, writing skills, and more! The key to great affiliate marketing is that you want to help your readers, not sound like an advertisement.
What kind of office equipment do you need besides a laptop and an internet connection?
There's not really anything else that you need. That's one of the great things about it. Very low startup costs!
What are the basic start-up expenses?
There are really not that many start-up expenses. Except for a laptop, my course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing could help you learn how to do everything with affiliate marketing. It's a very affordable stream of income as it's all about effectively promoting products you love to your audience.
My course is a great learning tool, even if you are a brand new blogger. By taking this course, you will start off blogging the correct way. You can learn from my affiliate marketing mistakes and learn the best ways to start making an income by being an affiliate. Through taking this course and applying what you learn, you are sure to grow a profitable blog quicker than the average blogger, as you'll learn exactly what you need to know about affiliate marketing. So, even if you only have one blog post, you are ready to get started with this course! Due to the above, as long as you have a blog, social media accounts, an email list, or some other type of following, you are already ready to start this course.
What is the best part of this career for you?
I love blogging, and affiliate marketing makes it much more enjoyable. This way, I can promote products that I love and use, while helping my readers. It's also a somewhat passive form of income, it's affordable to do, you can work from anywhere, and more.
My husband and I sold our house and we now travel full-time. It's the greatest thing ever!
Any advice for moms (or dads) who want to give it a go?
My course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, is for you if any of these apply to you:
- You want to build a profitable blog
- You have a blog and want to improve your income even further
- You want to learn how to earn income 24/7
- You want to know how you can write a blog post and then earn money from it for years down the line, with minimal work
- You haven't had much luck with affiliate marketing but are determined to make it work
- You want to have more time for your family and have a better work-life balance
- You love blogging and want to be able to grow your blog, build trust with your audience, and help more people!
Thank you, Michelle!
What are your previous experiences with affiliate marketing or your fears about trying it? We'd love to hear them and answer any questions!