As a busy mompreneur, trying to find balance between my work and my family can be pretty tough–even now that I work for myself full-time!
Not long ago, I was working a full-time day job and trying to focus on growing my online business in the evenings but only after I tended to my family (which of course included my two rambunctious toddlers who had no chill or pause button that allowed mommy to get anything done.)
It's an understatement to say that after a long day at work and then family time, I was often short on energy and creativity, and consequently short of productivity. Sound familiar?
I know that as entrepreneurs many of us create these grand schemes in our mind for the amazing products or services that we plan to create and sell. And there's nothing wrong with this–actually, it's great to plan for your success.
However, it can be very disheartening to see your income reports stuck at $0.00 each and every month because you haven't had the time or energy to put into creating your amazing product idea–which of course means you have nothing to sell in order to earn income.
So what's a busy working mama to do?
Give affiliate marketing a try!
Yep! Promoting high-quality affiliate products (aka affiliate marketing) is one fantastic way to start to earn some income from your blog or website while you develop your own brainchild.
Affiliate marketing? Really Kari, Really? **You ask with a wrinkled brow and scrunched -up nose.** YES. REALLY.
In October, I helped a couple of moms start their own blogs using the same service I use for my own blog. Because I'm signed up as an affiliate partner with that particular company, I received a commission payment of $240 for simply sharing a blog post about a service I use and love. That's $240 from one product in one month! I didn't spend hours of time and energy on it nor did I spend bucketloads of dollars creating myself. I helped someone to help themselves. Pretty simple, right?
Imagine–What could you do with an extra $240 in your pocket. Now, imagine that amount doubling, then tripling month after month as you help more people to help themselves.
If this small example of mine is not enough to win you over, keep reading sister!
Here are 5 reasons mompreneurs should seriously consider affiliate marketing…
- Reason #1. You can make money without creating a website.
- You can promote products using an email list, your social media accounts, etc. Your own personal website is NOT MANDATORY–but if you want to create a website you can read my how to start a blog post.
- Reason #2. You don't need a huge online following to be successful.
- Even I was guilty of believing that I needed hundreds of thousands of social media followers and email subscribers to be successful in selling products, but this is simply not true. Having even a small online following can result in sales, especially if the affiliate product you are offering is very specific to your audience's needs and solves a problem.
- Reason #3. You don't have to spend money on product inventory.
- Affiliate marketing doesn't require you to make any upfront purchases of products to then have to resale on your own. You're not keeping track of inventory. You're simply sharing a referral link that allows someone to purchase the product directly from the company.
- Reason #4. You don't have to spend time creating your own product.
- Again, as mompreneurs, we tend to be extremely short on time. Creating your very own digital product is a process that takes time. Why not make some side income promoting products that are already created, especially if it's a product you love and use anyway?
- Reason #5. You don't have to worry about paying for shipping or customer service.
- Dear God this is a big one! Once you start selling your own products and services, you become responsible and liable for shipping and customer service…which can become a time drain in itself. Affiliate marketing means you are hands-free in those two aspects.
The crazy thing is that it took me a while to really embrace affiliate marketing. I kind of put it off as a primary income source because I was stuck on the notion that I needed MY OWN PRODUCT in order to be super successful. But I need you to understand that this belief is false. You can start generating income quickly, and the reasons listed above shed light on how this is possible with affiliate marketing.
When I came across the story of Michelle, a twenty-something regular gal who started with affiliate marketing in 2013 and now earns over $50,000 a month from that one income source–well, let's just say I literally wanted to kick myself for not working on this sooner.
Her story was extremely intriguing to me, so much so I signed up for her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course just because I was dying to know how the heck she was making so much money from one source.
Now, I've taken a lot of online courses in recent years, but there was something special about Michelle's course.
I finished Michelle's course in less than 10 days and within 30 days I was seeing results–increase in online followers, increase in traffic, increase in income.
Then came an opportunity for me to do a Q&A session with Michelle and I had to hold back from asking her A MILLION QUESTIONS. Instead, I settled on just a handful of questions that I felt would be an inspiration to other busy moms out there who are looking for ways to ethically monetize their brand.
So, without further ado, please enjoy reading this Q&A session with Michelle who was gracious enough to share her candid thoughts with me!
Q&A session with Michelle, creator of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Hi Michelle! Please share a little about yourself and how you got started with blogging.
Hello! Thanks for letting me take part in this interview.
My name is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I own and manage the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents. I have three finance-related college degrees and I used to be a financial analyst before I quit my job to blog full-time.
In the summer of 2011 (I can't believe I've been blogging for over 5 years!), I started Making Sense of Cents with the goal of teaching people how to save money as well as talking about my personal finance situation. This all came up after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. I became extremely interested in that website and my interest in blogging grew crazily after that. This is interesting and hilarious because before that same summer, I had no idea what blogs were, that they even existed, that they could make money, and so on.
Blogging and especially affiliate marketing has changed my life for the better and it's something that I recommend everyone try if they are interested.
Making Sense of Cents is a blog where I write about the numerous ways to make extra money, the best ways to save money, reaching your dream life, traveling (me and my husband RV full-time), and more. I love running Making Sense of Cents and I am very happy that this is now my full-time career, my business, and pretty much my life.
What was your BIGGEST DOUBT about affiliate marketing before you got started and what (or who) inspired you to overcome it?
I've always been interested in affiliate marketing since I started blogging, but I never thought it was possible before. I was always very doubtful about affiliate marketing because I thought that a blogger or online influencer had to have a huge amount of readers and a lot of traffic in order to be successful.
However, that all changed just around two years ago. One day I gave myself a goal of earning affiliate income, and I worked towards achieving that goal. It wasn't easy, but it was well worth it. I started by making a little bit each month, and then it just continued to grow month after month. I now know that you don't need a ton of page views or a huge following in order to make a great income through affiliate marketing.
I enjoy earning affiliate income because it can feel quite passive. You can create just one blog post or social media post, and potentially earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it. With affiliate marketing, I can enjoy life more and know that I am still able to earn a great living promoting products that I use and enjoy.
Think about it these terms: If you already enjoy a product, why not get paid to promote it?
Some bloggers think they need a fancy website and a huge following to be successful with affiliate marketing. What are your thoughts on this?
No, you do not need a fancy website or a huge following each month in order to be successful with affiliate marketing. I believe that anyone with a platform (whether that be a blog, social media, etc.) can be successful with affiliate marketing, whether they have a small or large amount of page views. Successful affiliate marketing is all about approaching your audience and affiliate marketing in the correct way so that you can do it effectively and efficiently.
Strategy and approaching your readers correctly are all topics that I teach in my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course.
For bloggers (like me) who hate the idea of being the “icky” sales person when it comes to promoting a product, what advice can you give?
There are plenty of ways to promote an affiliate product without being icky. And, due to this, you cannot just slap affiliate links on your blog and make affiliate income. You have to have some sort of strategy, which is what I teach in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
So many people are afraid of affiliate marketing because they are afraid of being too “salesy.” I have never had someone tell me that I'm salesy or pushy, and I've even had people ask me how I make money through affiliate marketing because they never see me try to sell things.
You don't need a ton of followers in order to make money with affiliate marketing, but you definitely need a loyal audience that trusts what you have to say. If they don't trust you, then they won't purchase anything through you. So, you need to build trust with your readers and only promote products that you truly believe in.
How important is it for bloggers to diversify their income streams? What was your biggest income stream before you started with affiliate marketing?
It is extremely important for bloggers to diversify their income streams, and this is actually one of the big reasons for why I started trying to earn affiliate income. Nearly all of my income was coming from advertising on my blog (such as sponsored posts) and through freelancing for other bloggers. It was tiring work, and I wanted something more passive. Plus, by diversifying my income, I wasn't as reliant on one form of work for my earnings.
What's your favorite compliment, so far, that you've received from a student of the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course?
The best compliments are the great testimonials! With my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course:
- One blogger went from $87 a month in affiliate income before taking the course, to over $1,700 a month after!
- One blogger received their first affiliate sale just two days after taking the course (and they were a brand new blogger too!).
- Another blogger doubled their monthly affiliate income from $2,500 to $5,000.
If Michelle can't convince you to give affiliate marketing a try, I don't know what will! The crazy thing is that she's not the only one making money from this type of income stream. There are many examples/success stories of people who have been able to ‘make it happen'. Maybe it won't be on a scale of 6 figures a month–but 4-5 figures per month is certainly a realistic goal!
Don't be afraid to give affiliate marketing a real try. I'm extremely inspired by Michelle. There were other affiliate marketing courses I considered, but I'm so thankful I chose Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Even the people in the private Facebook group for her course are awesome! I'm so happy I invested in myself by enrolling in her course.
I hope this post has inspired you to incorporate affiliate marketing into your monetization strategy and also to invest in yourself and your business!
Cheers to your success!