Review of affiliate marketing courses and training for online business owners
A review of 5 affiliate marketing courses I’ve actually completed
My first money as a self-employed person came from affiliate marketing.
Back in 2010, I was making money from blog posts with titles like ‘where can I buy a vuvuzela’ (if you’re a football fan you’ll understand).
Ah the good old days, when all you had to do was be the first one to write a blog post for a keyword term, and Google treated you like a prince, with high rankings and plentiful traffic would flow your way (and then the affiliate commission would follow). And then various updates sent my blogs tumbling down the rankings and I had to think of a new way to make money.
But you didn’t come here to read my tales of SEO-woe.
I’m just trying to set some context.
The first affiliate marketing course I took was Elizabeth Goddard’s Lazy Guide To Affiliate Marketing. I already knew plenty about how affiliate marketing worked, and how to make money doing it by chasing keywords but that was boring, no fun and didn’t fit with my business (which had evolved into copywriting and digital marketing).
I bought her course because I wanted to see how I could seamlessly incorporate affiliate marketing into my existing business, in a way that felt good and easy.
The other three courses, I bought for the purposes of this review, because I wanted to be able to give you a few different options.
They’re presented on this page in the order I bought and completed them - not in order of preference. And yes, I have completed all of the courses. And yes, of course, ALL the links on this page are affiliate links.
OK, context set?
(I tried and failed to find a standard way to present these five reviews, some have bullets, some have a stream of consciousness, it was just whatever worked to communicate what I wanted you to know).
Oh, wait, one last thing.
Some people think affiliate marketing is spammy, slimy, and a bit grabby.
And that’s because some people use spammy, slimy, grabby techniques to make their commissions.
You don’t have to do it that way to successfully make passive income.
And all of the courses listed here teach you how to do affiliate marketing in a way that feels good to you and in alignment with the way you want to do business and interact with your online audience.
All the links to the four courses below are affiliate links, which means if you go on to buy something from the websites, I may get a thank-you commission.
I have completed all four of the courses, and the reviews reflect my genuine thoughts about them.
If I thought they were turds, they wouldn’t have made it into this blog post.
This is an actionable introduction (plus some advanced ideas) for anyone who wants to add a passive income stream to their existing business with the least amount of effort possible (hence the name).
This is for you if:
- You already have an existing business
- Have a good understanding of basic marketing
- Whether you are a total beginner or have some experience of affiliate marketing, but are yet to implement it in your business.
What you get:
- Explanation of how affiliate marketing works, industry standards and what to expect
- Ideas for how to find products to be an affiliate for
- Ideas for how to make affiliate income without needing to be a prolific blogger - most of the ideas are non-blog related
- Behind the scenes look at Lizzy’s experience of being an affiliate during a major programme launch
This is a sledgehammer of a course for anyone who is thinking of making affiliate marketing their main business.
It takes you from basic marketing concepts behind your business and applies them as if your affiliate marketing commissions are going to be your main income stream and the main focus of your business, instead of creating your own offers.
It tends to lean more towards promoting physical products, but it does cover software too.
And there is a lot of research needed upfront before you get started with the money-making part.
This is best suited to you if you want to make affiliate marketing your main focus (it would’ve been great for me in 2010), or if you’re already making money from affiliate marketing and want to give it more focus.
Leanne has had tremendous success making passive income from her travel blog - and this is where she draws her knowledge from.
This course is well suited to people who enjoy creating content, especially if their business’s main focus has been content creation (blogs, podcasts, videos) and they’re looking to monetize that.
It starts with the basics and takes you right through to some more advanced techniques that you can use once you’ve really got hooked on affiliate marketing (it is lovely seeing those payment notifications).
This is a great course for beginners who want to add passive income to their existing business without making it their main focus.
Ruth explains everything you need to get started and gives a handful of ideas for how you can get your affiliate links seen (and clicked on) by your online audience.
Detailed breakdown of how Faye created a blog post for the purpose of attracting search traffic and making affiliate income.
This is for you if:
- Have a blog on your website and are new to the idea of using affiliate marketing to make money.
What you get:
- Inside tour of how Faye created the blog post, optimised it to get search traffic, stats on money made, and how she’s driven traffic through her affiliate link.
Could you already have some free affiliate training available to you?
If you’re just starting to think about affiliate marketing, you may have access to a course to help you already.
If any of the services, memberships, courses or programmes you’ve bought have an affiliate scheme that you can join, they may also have a course showing you how to make money from affiliate marketing.
Leonie Dawson has a course called Affiliate Star, which I got access to when I became an affiliate (I am in, and love, her Brilliant Biz Academy*).
And Elizabeth Goddard* has a course called Lizzy’s Street Team, which also includes a bit of training on how to make money from affiliate marketing.
So it might be worth signing up to become and affiliate for some things you love, and seeing if there’s any free training that comes with that.