This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.
When I first started writing, I was a person filled with angst. I couldn’t quite place it exactly, not realizing that the unrest lied in my lifestyle as a millennial yes-woman. And so I did the only thing I consistently ever did since becoming a teenager filled with regret and discomfort – I wrote.
In that writing, I found myself – buried under all of society’s imposed expectations, fetal position underneath all the rubble and trash. When I first started this blog, I didn’t expect anyone to read it. I didn’t even think myself brave enough to share all the darkest parts. I couldn’t imagine myself coming out of it positive and vibrantly alive. And I certainly did not expect a following, nor did I think that my written word would turn into a business. It’s been two years in the making, but now I’ve been able to create a community and a space in this vast interwebs, while also make money on the side to fuel my goal of paying down my debt.
And it all began with Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing!
Where Blog Monetization Began
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner runs a personal finance blog called Making Sense of Cents and is the author of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I first heard of Michelle on ChooseFI, as an interviewer like myself, talking about a life of side-hustling via blog work. It was then that I was introduced to affiliate marketing, which allows someone to share useful products relevant to their blog or lifestyle in the interest of helping others, while receiving a commission from the company if purchases are made through you. Prior to this moment, my blog made no money. Since then, I have had the joy of receiving additional side-hustle income while doing what I love. My blog became my first side-hustle.
What I Liked About This Course:
- It taught me how to sell without compromising my values. I am very much against selling for the sake of selling. As a minimalist and a frugalist, what I choose to purchase is very important for me, and I wanted that to translate into my blog. I dislike sales-pushy people and am very much against excessive consumption. This course helped me to balance the implementation of affiliate marketing without feeling like I sold my soul. I use affiliate marketing as a means to share with others products or experiences that brought value to my life. I help others by directly linking them to note-worthy companies. I am very mindful about not infiltrating my blog with a cluttered handful of advertisements, generally limiting each post to one or two.
- It allowed me to invest in myself and helped propel us forward with student loan repayment. This course is an investment in your ability to make money. More than that, it invests in expanding your skill set and abilities. I knew nothing about growing a blog, but learning about affiliate marketing was a great introduction into running blogs as more than a digital day-to-day diary. I am the first to say that my investment into becoming a dentist (costing me more than $550k in student debt) was not worth the education that I received, albeit it was worth the life lessons I learned and the person that I became. But this course is worth every penny! If you are interested in increasing your income, speeding up your trajectory towards financial independence, or a flexible job that allows you to stay home, I highly recommend this course.
- It gave me a job that I love. I get to work as a part-time writer, staying at home working in my PJ’s, and doing what I love to do. All because affiliate marketing makes my blog a money-making venue. I always hear people say, “I don’t believe anyone can ever love their job”, and when I do, I feel very sad. I also feel guilty, because I DO love my job – in fact I love all my jobs! I love being a writer, a dog-sitter, a baker, and a dentist. However, if I never discovered how to monetize my blog, I do not think I would be able to make that statement. If I never fell into this sphere of making money on the side, I would have probably been stuck working as a dentist, five days a week, burned out from the emotional stresses and mental challenges with a crick in my neck and an aching back at the ripe age of thirty. This course gave me my first glimpse of what it means to step back from a traditional work-life. It gave me the opportunity to limit my time in other jobs, which prevents me from hating a mundane existence. If writing is your passion, then maybe it’s time to carve out a job for yourself.
- It gave me the confidence to start other side-hustle ventures. It’s hard to step out of a comfort zone. It’s hard to leave a job that promises stability. It’s hard to do what others are not doing. It’s hard to chase freedom, when it also involves the freedom to fail. But once you’ve left the zone, there is empowerment outside of it. Using what I learned in affiliate marketing gave me to confidence to believe in my ability to sell my skills rather than work for pay. I started to see value in my ability to take care of dogs. I saw value in the bread that I was making. I saw value in a lot of things. I left an egg-shell that was already shattered, I crawled out of a cocoon by putting myself out there. I think it takes one tiny step to fall fantastically forward into a black hole of bliss. This course was my one. tiny. step.
What I Like About Affiliate Marketing
There are many positives to affiliate marketing. In the interest of brevity, and in the hopes of allowing you guys to figure what you love about it yourselves, here is a list of the things I like most.
- It increased my income and quickened our pace with loan repayment.
- It taught me a lot about myself, in terms of what I wanted to promote and what I did not want to promote.
- It allowed me to share with my community what brought the most value to my life.
- It allows my readers to connect directly to the source, facilitating a sharing of useful resources.
- It shined the spotlight on small businesses and companies just starting out, especially those who I believe can have a great impact.
- It provided me with the lifestyle I wanted, and is a great opportunity for writers just starting out, or people interested in working from home, nixing a commute, or being with their family.
How to Start Making Money with Your Blog
So if you are interested in writing and earning money, start with this course! You will not regret it, I promise! It’s an easy transition for beginners like me, who knew nothing about starting a blog. Now I know frugalist followers will be rolling their eyes at this price, but do remember that it’s an investment for the FI lifestyle. When done right, you can make that money back quite easily, especially if you approach affiliate marketing from a mindful place.
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you need any help or would like to learn more.