Disclosure: My posts contain referral & affiliate links labeled with "(aff.)" to products and courses that reflect supporting side hustles. I serve as a "lead" and potentially make a commission when readers make informed decisions to purchase or sign up for a service using these special links. I am legally disclosing that I am an Amazon affiliate and a proud affiliate to products I make references to on Side of Hustle. With integrity and credibility on the line, it benefits no one to direct to crappy products. I am more than happy to field questions about products I endorse and how to best serve you.
Tasha Agruso's (Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body) Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers course (AMFB) goes over a way to incorporate passive income into blog posts that we are already creating. Once in place, links live on forever and have the potential to generate revenue in the background.
Passive income means a blogger is no longer chasing page views for ad earnings. In her course, Tasha makes strategies extremely accessible for the affiliate marketing newbie (including seasoned bloggers with mostly ad traffic).
Who is Tasha Agruso?
- Medical office lawyer turned DIY/ home decor blogger. Aside from her main blog, she also has courses for bloggers focusing on affiliate marketing.
- Her blog started as a passion project to show off her home decor skills and DIY persona. Within four years time, she has OUTEARNED her stressful lawyer income and has since left corporate life in January 2016.
Who is Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers for?
- Anyone interested in learning affiliate marketing and monetizing a social media platform. One doesn't have to be a blogger, but has a social media following should look into affiliate marketing. It's a lead generating commission!
- Teachable Online Course
Tasha also has a video training series: Build Your Blogging Income to give you ideas and additional revenue outside of serving ads. She is insightful, warm and tactical (doesn't go for the low hanging fruit).
- She recommends Bluehost here, so my only disagreement here is starting with Siteground instead for their customer service alone. You end up paying about the same as Bluehost to start. My plan was a few dollars more a month than Bluehost's starting price. Tasha spent about $12/month, which is reasonable and you'd expect issues here and there. A common complaint with Bluehost is customer service *could be* better, and for me, I value fewer outages and faster load times.
- She drills home why you should be on a self-hosted website. Think (some domain).com, not a (some domain).wordpress.COM or Blogger. Why? Well, the cleaner layout looks “more professional” and allows plugins and widgets that you need.
- Setting up the proper disclosures (which I'm finishing up).
- As a DIY/ Decor blogger, her site has to remain friendly to the eyes (not overwhelming) and aesthetically pleasing. Her posts are organized a certain way, so the delivery of the message flows better.
- Social Media! The heavy hitters are going be Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram in that order. Outside of any platforms, your mailing list. Both Pinterest and Instagram are image-heavy. Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube are going be video-centric.
- Saving the best FOR last are case studies (fancy word for “learn by examples”) on the power of affiliate marketing. She goes over the ranges of earning potential here. A blogger with modest viewership can do just as well as someone who is more established.
- One takeaway is setting up a good foundation. Once everything is in place, you're going be in a place where you can set it and forget it. Traffic is important also, but it allows you to grow steadily and revisit the “oldies but goodies” pieces.
- 7 hours to walk you through. I wouldn't want to spend more than 7 hours on Youtube or Googling how to do sign up for affiliate avenues or tinkering with my site.
- The videos are going be more helpful after you read the eBook. She gave sound advice to read first, then go into the Teachable Platform. That said, the book will go into greater detail. Once armed with the technical knowledge, then you won't have to watch the videos like a hawk. It also all makes sense that she uses the videos to tie in areas of affiliate marketing that's easier to explain visually than read.
- Binder – I found a 1/2 inch binder is excellent to store your printouts so you can jot notes down as-you-go in the Teachable course. It has been super helpful for the instances she makes references to the eBook for additional info. Plus I used it as a way to track progress and understanding.
- Kindle or iPad where you can take notes. Kindle is an excellent alternative reading away from the computer screen (that works too!). The flip side is because of smaller screens; you'd need to zoom in-and-out for the visuals.
- Laser Printer
- Chromecast – My favorite weapon at home. I have managed to put one on every large screen TV at home. Can be controlled via a Google Extension and any mobile device with a wifi connection. It takes a minute to set up!
- Videos! Something that Michelle Schroeder-Gardner's Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course lacks. Every video comes with a downloadable transcript with the exception of the intro video.
- Comprehensive coverage of tools and plugins to install.
- Real life examples/ case studies. Great usage of pictures and sample content from her most successful posts
- Chapters are short and focus on one central idea. At the time of this post, there are 22 Chapters in her 2nd edition eBook. That sounds like a lot, but sitting down minimally distracted (!), I was able to get through about half those chapters in about 2hrs.
- Unlike Facebook ads, it's not an ongoing fee to get more eyes on your page. Sharing organically with your people is free. You are not reliant on page-views or clicks and interaction from your audience. Ads earn cents, I've made more pennies than I care to admit (see Swagbucks to date: ~750000 pennies over the years) for skills I can't quantify. The longer you're in that game, the harder you work as rates drop. It's not a practical long-term hustle). Good hustles by design allow you to work smarter, not harder.
- To quantify her numbers: In 2016, Tasha earned $61,000 (or roughly $5083.33/month rounded down). At the time of her launch in September 2017, she's at $53000 (or $5888.89/month rounded up). It's steady, and from the last year alone, she's earning nearly $1000 more per month. That's one good source of income rewarding longevity in the game. That's a 15% “raise,” if you may. My first Best Buy position was a pitiful 3% (or $0.36/hr).
- Effective affiliate marketing doesn't judge you if your traffic goes down, heck, your rate of return goes up if you're generating more for fewer products/ sales.
- Private Facebook group with access to Tasha's mind. Since the last launch, she has monthly hotseats for the brave souls who wants blog and affiliate marketing critiques.
- Does cover Pinterest in detail, but says offhand that affiliate links on Pinterest are new, so it's unknown how much it makes towards earning. I don't have a Pinterest strategy yet (relatively new to the platform), so it isn't a bad idea to look into other courses that are Pinterest specific.
- Constant upsell of the Master Course in the eBook.. but to be fair, if your first exposure to Tasha was through the eBook, it makes sense for her to be pushing the Master Course. Every mention connects where the Master Course would fill in potential gaps where the eBook or Fundamental Course doesn't. A reader needs multiple exposures before they warm up to a pitch, I know I did!
- When readers click on a link, they don't pay more by using a blogger as an intermediate. The client or retailer pays the blogger a commission whenever they generate a lead. It is one of the best ways to support a blogger you like, so they can keep writing for you.It's a win-win, the blogger curates a search lead (say a particular seat cushion).Side note, you can tell I like this portable seat cushion (I've shared about it in a different post). It goes everywhere! On desk chair, on a light padding kitchen chair (decoration more than functional), when I'm sitting on the floor, in the car or even traveling! As someone with a flat bottom, uncushioned surfaces get uncomfortable fast!The cushion itself is nothing special. You can find a similar product in a brick and mortar store.By clicking through, you'd see that thousands of others (like myself) on Amazon also RAVE about this cushion. I assisted in bringing in a potential sale on Amazon for this seller.The seller is a private label, most likely you wouldn't recognize this exact model/brand unless you have previous exposure as they aren't available any retail store that I know. If you're curious, they do have a website and sell directly on their site but probably not moving as many products without brand exposure from Amazon.
- Originally found her in the Genius Blogger Toolkit and she is also a VIP in EBA (aka “success story”). Her Fundamentals Course for the Genius Blogger Toolkit 2016 (review) is about half of the Master Course + eBook. The Master Course contains additional material (hence “Advanced”) that she didn't charge up the butt for.As an EBA member (shh), her eBook is a bonus. So when it came time for one of her launches, she offered a discount for a fellow EBA member. The cherry on top was because I already took part of her course (via. Genius Blogger Toolkit) that I got another discount on top of that. She didn't have to, but she took care of us. 🙂
- I feel that Affiliate Marketing is one of the topics in the blogging community that videos (visuals are key when affiliate websites have confusing navigation!) are crucial.
- Her immediate “competitor” is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. I have purchased both courses and feel that I've gotten more value out of Tasha's course. Tasha's eBook is much more detailed in areas that Michelle glosses over. Respectfully, Michelle does have the large readership numbers to back up her course. The videos also made it no contest for me. Tasha does briefly mention Michelle about the importance of diversification. A sizable bucket of income does come from one product and astutely points out, if this was a retailer or affiliate discontinued this stream of income, then what happens?I think Tasha is more approachable if you're a beginner. Michelle's course is better suited for others with a more established blogger background.
- Affiliate income works just like “referral bonuses.” For me, it's a low/no pressure to talk about products and services I'm excited for. As a hustler, I love to test, learn and share insight to help make the world a more enjoyable place to live. To overcome the love to buy and hate others pitching to.. is why I write.
Other Related Courses
- Michelle Schroeder-Gardner's Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
As a newer blogger, embracing affiliate income is a fantastic way for me to begin earning steadily while sharing products I happily use and can provide a service for both product AND readers. The links are curated based on readers' interest (or hey, scroll along). I am a proponent of a near ad-free experience for my readers. Rather than bombarding readers with ads that distract them (and possibly taking them away from my site) and presenting them ads they might not want, I am shifting my attention to affiliate marketing which I believe is a much more viable way to grow.