Today’s post is a little different … when I started Cobalt Chronicles a little over two years ago, I had just gone from working reallllly long hours practicing law to a “normal” 9-5 job. I read tons of blogs at the time, and I was already taking lots of photos with my DSLR camera (well, not of myself, but you get the point). With all of the extra time on my hands, I decided to start a blog of my own to share my passion for style and travel.
When I started Cobalt Chronicles I was pretty clueless on how sharing my passion through blogging could actually bring in an additional income stream. The fact that I get to do what I love and make a side income doing it still blows my mind. I love blogging and love sharing my new style finds and travels with you!
Today I wanted to share a little behind the scenes information on what is affiliate marketing and how it has helped me grow as a blogger. If you happen to be a fellow blogger, I hope this post provides some value to you, and if you’re not, maybe you’ll find this part of blogging interesting enough to keep reading. 🙂
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when a company pays its affiliates (me/bloggers) a small commission for bringing sales to its site. It’s very popular, as you can see from this wealthy affiliate review. For a lot of bloggers, it is their main source of income and it’s how they keep their blog running. You can tell if they use affiliate marketing by looking for a disclaimer saying they will profit if you use the links on their blog. For example, one of my main sources of affiliate income is through rewardStyle, which is a third-party company that is affiliated with tons of brands. RewardStyle also owns the LIKEtoKNOW.it platform. Through rewardStyle I’m able to link to lots of different items (like the ones featured in today’s post!), and when a reader clicks on those links, goes to the retailer’s site and makes a purchase (it doesn’t have to be the original linked product), I earn a small commission on that purchase. My commission on the sale doesn’t affect your purchase (or purchase price) at all.
With that said, I feel like I need to mention that I never link to products that I don’t love nor do I ever link to brands that I don’t trust.
Affiliate Marketing Programs
While rewardStyle was my first affiliate program to be a part of and is still my biggest source of affiliate income, there are a million different affiliate marketing companies out there. For example, Amazon has it’s own affiliate program. So does ShopBop. The list goes on and on. And to be honest, it gets a bit overwhelming trying to keep up with them all. I try to focus in on just a couple.
I blogged for a good eight months before I started in on the affiliate income game. There’s so much information out there on affiliate programs that I really wanted to get my feet wet with blogging and do all of the research that I could before diving in. While I’m still learning all of the ins and outs on how to best use affiliate marketing with my blog, there’s one course I recently took that really helped me to understand affiliate marketing and how to use it to my advantage to grow my blogging income.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
I’ve been an avid follower of Michelle’s blog Making Sense of Cents even before I started blogging. I like reading about personal finance, and her story and her blog have always struck a cord with me. Since Michelle’s blog is all about personal finance, she publishes a monthly income report. In just five short years, Michelle has gone from brining in $672 in affiliate income in May 2012 to $56, 918 in affiliate income in May 2017. Yes, you read that right! $56,918 in ONE month.
So when I was looking to up my affiliate marketing game earlier this year, I saw that Michelle had created her first online course, a course on affiliate marketing. While I was curious about the course, I waited a while, read other’s reviews on the course, and then about six months ago I decided to take the plunge and buy the course.
The course is a six module course FULL of information regarding affiliate marketing. The course also includes nine bonus worksheets including my favorite, Pinterest Strategies – How to Receive Hundreds of Thousands of Visitors from Pinterest a Month. Still working towards that goal … haha
I completed the course, but still reference it often. It’s worth every penny, and I easily made back the cost of the course through what else but affiliate marketing! And in the spirit of full disclosure, I do receive a small commission if you sign up for the course through my link. But please know that I would not be sharing the course with you if I didn’t truly believe that it’s helpful and completely worth the investment. I’m not being paid to promote this course, I just wanted to share something that has helped me and can hopefully help you too!
If you have any questions at all about affiliate marketing or the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, visit the Salesforce website as I’m sure they explain the process well, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
And if you’re just interested in the outfit today, I linked all of the items below! 🙂