Here’s the number one concern we hear from new and seasoned bloggers – I want to monetize my blog, but I don’t want to come off as scammy. No blogger does! And, many have this concern when it comes to running sponsored posts, but you can make money blogging with sponsored posts in a way that is legit AND audience friendly. If that sounds difficult, the Making Sense of Sponsored Posts Course will teach you everything you need to know about running successful brand campaigns on your blog.
The Laptop Empires Making Sense of Sponsored Posts Course Review
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is a five-module text-based course that takes you from the basics of sponsored posts (what are they?) to building a media kit and appealing to brands, to maintaining brand relationships.
Because sponsored posts round out a healthy and diverse blogging income and are a step towards affiliate income, you’ll want to learn how to do them well from the beginning. Making Sense of Sponsored Posts was created by two bloggers who are doing well with sponsored posts, earning a combined average of $15,000-$25,000 a month from sponsored posts alone.
The bloggers behind Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
The course creators, i.e. the bloggers crushing it with sponsored posts, are sisters Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents and Alexis Schroeder of FITnancials. Both bloggers write about personal finance, but they’ve both found their own niches – Michelle also blogs about traveling full time and Alexis also blogs about fitness.
You’ve probably already heard of Michelle from her super popular Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, or you may just know her from the personal finance blogging community. She’s won awards, taking the Plutus Award for Blogger of the Year in 2016, and she’s been featured everywhere from CNBC, Forbes, Business Insider, and many more. Michelle started her blog back in 2012 as a hobby, but it quickly turned into a side hustle that allowed her to leave her financial analyst job, and she’s earned over $3 million from Making Sense of Cents in the past two years alone.
Michelle’s primary blog income comes from affiliate marketing – in one just month, she took in $180,000 from affiliate income alone – but she diversifies her income with sponsored posts. She manages to continue building her audience and uses sponsored posts to tell her readers about products that will actually help them in their daily lives. Michelle currently averages $10,000-$20,000 a month from sponsored posts.
Alexis is using sponsored posts in the same way Michelle does, helping her audience, which is why her blog, FITnancials, has continued to grow its readership and income. Like her sister, Alexis started FITnancials as a hobby, and it helped her document her journey to better wealth and health. She transitioned to full-time blogger back in 2017 and is earning an average of $15,000 a month with nearly half of that coming from sponsored posts.
What you’ll learn from Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
Because they have different backgrounds and are at different points in their careers, Michelle and Alexis teamed up to teach bloggers how to make sponsored posts work for nearly any type of blogger. They use the Teachable platform, which is what you’ll see many of the higher quality courses using. It’s what our Facebook Side Hustle Course and Facebook Ads for Bloggers are taught through.
Michelle and Alexis separated their course into five different modules, which are:
- Module 1: What Are Sponsored Posts?
- Module 2: How To Find Sponsored Posts Opportunities and How To Apply For Brand Deals
- Module 3: Money, Money, Money
- Module 4: Rules For Sponsored Posts
- Module 5: Strategies To Get More Brand Opportunities
These modules include over 20 different self-paced lessons. The lessons are text-based and are very similar to reading blog posts from either Michelle or Alexis. They both write clearly and to the point, cutting out any extra nonsense that you don’t actually need.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts covers the basics to advanced level sponsored partnership lessons. You’ll learn when you can start running brand partnerships, how to prepare for them, how to build and maintain audience trust, pitching brands, how much to charge, understanding nofollow links, and more. This course basically takes you through the process of finding your first sponsored partnership and maintaining that relationship for years to come.
Buying this course comes with lifetime access and lifetime updates.
Sponsored posts feel tricky to bloggers because no one wants to be a sellout. This is where Making Sense of Sponsored Posts shines. Michelle and Alexis teach you how to ALWAYS keep your audience as your top priority. That means featuring the brands and products you love and know will genuinely help your audience. To get there, you need to really know your audience first, and they talk about that too.
The other difficult thing is pricing your sponsored posts. Most bloggers will start out too low, and this course helps you understand your value and create competitive pricing. All of this information is in the section “Money, Money, Money,” which also covers important information like accepting “free” products, negotiating for higher rates, and whether or not you need a contract.
The free bonus material you’ll receive
Michelle is known for offering some seriously valuable free bonus content, and she and Alexis are giving you that same bang for your buck with this course.
Here are the six pieces of bonus content you’ll receive with Making Sense of Sponsored Posts:
- Exclusive access to the private Making Sense of Sponsored Posts Facebook Mastermind Group. This bonus is valued at $200+, and it’s where you can connect with other bloggers who have taken the course (and Michelle and Alexis!) to get feedback and learn even more.
- How To Increase Your Page Views. This bonus lesson will help you grow your page views to increase your chances of earning more from your blog. And, page views are important for more than sponsored posts!
- Editing And Writing Strategies That Will Take Your Content To The Next Level. This bonus actually comes from our editor, Ariel Gardner, and it’s full of tips for improving your writing, which will help engage your readers and give you a more professional style and tone. We love Ariel, and she works with Laptop Empires, Millennial Money Man, Making Sense of Cents, and more.
- How To Grow Your Traffic With Google SEO. SEO is an important part of growing your page views with organic traffic, and this lesson helps you get started. At this point, learning SEO is basically a must for bloggers.
- How To Blog With a Full-Time Job. This bonus is from another amazing blogger, Natalie Bacon. She shares the strategies that she used to balance her life as a full-time attorney while growing a six-figure blog.
The private Facebook mastermind group will probably end up being your favorite piece of bonus content because it’s where you can connect with other bloggers who are learning the same thing you are. You can find newbie bloggers to more seasoned ones in the group and get direct access to both Michelle and Alexis who answer your questions and post on a regular basis. Remember, other bloggers aren’t competition – they offer support, motivation, and networking opportunities!
The cost of the Making Sense of Sponsored Posts course
Michelle and Alexis wanted to make sure they could help as many bloggers as possible while ensuring there is value in their course, so they priced their course at $159 or in two installments of $88. When you add in the bonus content, this course is worth way more.
If you’re nervous about spending that much money on a course, remember that to successfully monetize your blog, which is what will help you go from side hustle to full-time job, you’ll occasionally need to spend a little to help you get there. If you land just one brand partnership after taking this course, you will have earned your money back plus some.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
The reasons Laptop Empires loves Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
If you’re a reader of Laptop Empires, you know that we love helping you build your side hustle or online business. We help side hustlers, bloggers, and solopreneurs of all types. That means we take seriously the practice of telling you about products and tools that will help you succeed, so here are some of the course’s strongest features:
- Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is accessible. From the cost to the level of instruction, this course is accessible for bloggers of all levels. It takes the sometimes daunting process of monetizing your blog and makes it more approachable.
- They cut the crap. The course creators know what you came for, so that’s what they’re giving you. You won’t get lost in material that doesn’t add value.
- Social media influencers will find value in this course. Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is for more than just bloggers. Michelle and Alexis frame the material you’ll learn in a way that works for both bloggers and social media influencers. This is especially helpful if you are doing both.
- You can start running sponsored posts without a huge audience. Many bloggers are afraid that they don’t have the page views to monetize their blog, but that often isn’t true. Sponsored posts don’t require the size of the audience that you’ll need for affiliate marketing, and the course shows you how to engage the audience you have and grow it further to be successful with sponsored posts.
- You’re not going to sell out when you learn from Making Sense of Sponsored Posts. Again, the most common concern when running brand partnerships is of selling out, but this course teaches you how to work for your audience, not the brands.
Where the Making Sense of Sponsored Posts Course falls short
Just like Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, it’s hard to find many flaws in this course, but if we had to find one, it would be that the course is only text-based. Now, there are some images to help you with media kits, but there aren’t any videos. If you are a visual learner, you might want more, but the lessons are written in a way that makes the material easy to implement for even visual learners.
I’m going to get rich from this course, right?
Ha, you know better than to ask a question like that!
Putting money into your blog is like any other investment – returns aren’t guaranteed and if someone does make the promise of becoming rich, then back away quickly.
To earn money from your blog, you’ll need more than one strategy, and the whole process just takes time. You’ll need to build your audience, consistently create epic content, and keep all of that going. Sponsored posts aren’t passive income either. It’s the work you’ve already put into your blog as well as finding new deals and creating and maintaining posts.