affiliate marketing success stories

Affiliate Marketing Success Stories {Motivation for Beginners}

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Some bloggers would have you believe that affiliate marketing is selling out. Don’t listen to that b.s!

Unless you’re a hobby blogger, writing about something for the pure joy of having an outlet, you’re probably looking for ways to monetize your blog. I grossed over $1500 my first-year income on this blog and you can make money blogging, too!

Affiliate marketing success stories can be huge motivation for those days when you’re struggling with low traffic or times when you’re feeling super overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel.

Don’t give up! When you think you’re ready to stop blogging because “maybe this isn’t your “thing”, remember why you started.

You can and should be compensated for your efforts. But making money blogging isn’t easy or for the faint of heart.

Now, let’s get to the exciting success stories of affiliate marketers who’ve nailed down a killer marketing strategy that works.


affiliate marketing success stories income reports

Affiliate Marketing Success Stories

1. Making Sense of Cents-Michelle Schroeder-Gardner


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the blogger behind Making Sense of Cents, a blog she started around 2010/2011. She started blogging as a way to improve her finances.

She had over $38,000 in student loan debt when she graduated with her Master’s Degree, and she was determined to pay it off quickly and help her readers achieve the same!

Michelle is such an inspiration to me because I, too, have a passion for helping others manage their money by paying off debt, saving more, and living the best life!

I only wish I’d started my blog years ago when I started dreaming of it! Fear of failure and judgment is such a real thing, Y’all!

If you’ve thought of starting a blog but don’t know where to begin, you can follow my step by step blogging tutorial to get started. You can be ready to write in 30 minutes or less, and you can figure out the rest along the way!

Michelle has become one of my absolute favorite affiliate marketing success stories and is now making an average of $159,000+ per MONTH blogging!

Michelle’s Affiliate Marketing and Blogging Income Breakdown Report

Here’s a breakdown of Michelle’s income sources in April 2018:

The majority of her income comes from 2 sources:

Total Income in April: $104,065.67

Note: April 2018 was Making Sense of Cents’ lowest-income month for 2018. Remember the average earnings per month was $159k plus. In March, Michelle earned over $241k! 

As you can see, she has figured out the art of providing value and offering products that she believes in which has resulted in a huge growth of income.

But I would argue that she knows what she’s doing. After all, she’s made millions in the past 2 years through her blogging and affiliate marketing efforts.

If you want to learn exactly how she does it, she’s created a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. She’s nailed down the exact strategy that works, and if you want to be the best, you’ve got to learn from and emulate the best.

I honestly can’t believe she sells this course for so little, but I am thankful because while $197 may seem like a lot of money, consider the cost of continuing education.

  • If you were to take a course at a local college, it would cost anywhere from $100-$400 per credit hour. 
  • My real estate broker post-license course cost me $200 just for the course, not to mention the cost of the proctored exams (another $100).
  • The cost to take the Series 6 and 63 exams are upwards of $360 for the courses plus the cost of the exams. 
  • Mastermind groups range from $300-$1500. 

When I was researching Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, according to many reviews and testimonials, Michelle’s advice in her private, VIP Facebook group alone is worth the $197 cost of admission. She also offers a payment plan.

You can find out more info about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing here.

2. Smart Passive Income-Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn is a well-known blogger, podcaster, author, and business coach. He’s been around for quite awhile, so you’ve probably heard of the Smart Passive Income podcast or his books “Will it Fly” and “Let Go”.

He’s another one of the extreme affiliate marketing success stories. Pat earned a whopping $2,171,652.55 in 2017 through his online businesses.

That averages out to over $180k per month! How does that break down for a typical month? Well, here’s a breakdown of his income for December 2017.


The top three income sources for Pat are Best Year Ever, Bluehost (same as Michelle), and ConvertKit. I also use ConvertKit to grow my email list.
  • Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt-$22,259.60

BOOK SALES-$2,246.50


COURSE SALES-$41,849.98

Pat sells a Power-Up Podcasting course for new and aspiring podcasters. His show “Smart Passive Income” has been one of the top podcasts for years!  He made $40,855.98 just from this course alone!

NICHE SITES-$3,866.96



Total: $167,553.31

Pat also had other miscellaneous income sources, but you can see his full income report here.

As you can see, Pat has multiple different sources of income! He has truly diversified his income, but if you look closely, about 65% of his pay is from affiliate marketing!  

It’s quite obvious that affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a healthy income by promoting products you enjoy using and feel comfortable recommending.

3. Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body: Tasha Agruso

Tasha is an attorney turned DIY/design blogger and now course creator and teacher! She now makes more from her blog than she did as a corporate attorney! Holy moly!

Tasha’s first month as an Amazon affiliate, she earned over $300! Now, $300 may not seem like a lot of money when looking at the income of Pat Flynn and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner above, but it was pretty impressive for a brand new affiliate marketer!

Now Tasha does not publish her income reports, so I was unable to find any to share with you, but she teaches her strategies in a course called Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers.

And people sing her praises of the course! She only opens registration once or twice a year, and I was lucky to be able to get in this year!

As a fellow student of Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blog Academy, I was able to receive a discount, so I had to see what this course was all about and compare it to Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I’ll review both courses when I’m completely finished!

An important thing to consider regarding these affiliate marketing success stories is that the bloggers aren’t spamming their readers.

They provide value to their readers and recommend products they know, love, and trust in an authentic way that makes sense to the reader. There’s nothing sleazy about affiliate marketing!

Regarding Affiliate Marketing Success Stories: The most important thing when is to provide value and offer supporting affiliate links as a means to help your readers, which in turn helps support your blog! Win-Win!


6 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing Success Stories {Motivation for Beginners}”

  1. I absolutely love Pat Flynn! I’m not big into podcasts, but I even took the time to listen to his and he has so much valuable information to offer, especially for people who are seriously considering an online business.

    I’ll have to check out the other affiliate marketers because I’ve never heard of them, but I’m excited to learn more about them and I’m forever thankful that you brought these bloggers to my attention.

  2. Affiliate Marketing definitely shouldn’t be a dirty word. It’s an amazing way to make money promoting the brands you use and love. I’ve established affiliates with Namecheap, Bluehost, Amazon and others. As long as you’re honest and promote in a natural organic type of way. So the question is how to promote the site and get the word out.

    1. That’s a great point, Rob! I use Pinterest and other social media avenues to share my posts with affiliate links in them. So I try to provide a value either via a tutorial or review and then share out to social media land and hope that it’s good enough to be shared 🙂

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