Meet Sharon, an affiliate marketer

Meet Sharon, an Australian who travels the world with her two young kids and funds it by working online. To fund this dream lifestyle, Sharon runs several sites and makes money through affiliate commissions. Check out her interview below…

1. Please introduce yourself.

I’m Sharon Gourlay. I currently call Penang, Malaysia home. I grew up in Tasmania, Australia but Melbourne is where I call home in Australia now. I’m married with two preschoolers. I love to blog at Simpler and Smarter.

2. When did you start working from home? What inspired the change?

I started working from home in June 2014. I was working as a teacher and the amount of hours I was working was ridiculous. I wasn’t spending the time with my kids that I wanted to and something had to change.

The change was that I quit teaching and started working on my existing travel blog full time. I also started some other sites as well. It took a little while but by the start of the following year, I was earning enough to support our family to travel.

3. What different ways have you tried to earn an income working from home? What do you do now to earn money?

All my activities have focused around my sites although I have done a tiny bit of freelance writing. My main way to earn money is through affiliate commissions but I have also earned money through advertisements and sponsored reviews.

4. How long did it take you to earn enough money to quit your day job?

I quit first! It took about 6 months to earn a decent amount of money, but I always focused on more long term strategies rather than short term gains.

5. What tips would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started working at home?

Keep the faith! The hardest part of all of this for me was keeping up the belief that I would get to a decent point earnings wise. Working a zillion hours for the first 6 months without too many rewards was hard.

Working in the Dominican Republic

6. What has been the secret to your success?

It’s all about working hard and smart and treating my sites as a business, not a hobby.

7. What mistakes have you made along the way?

My biggest mistakes have been listening to the wrong people. So many people misrepresent themselves on the internet especially in the internet marketing area. I wasted thousands and too much time on courses and products that did not deliver.

8. What is the best part about working from home?

The flexibility to structure my time how I please.

9. What is the worst part about working from home?

It is hard to find the right balance between, work, travel and my kids and it leaves absolutely no spare time for myself. In an ordinary job, they would be in child care when I worked which often isn’t the case in my current lifestyle.

10. What advice do you have for anyone starting out?

Work hard, smart and be careful who you trust.

Check out Sharon’s blog detailing exactly how she makes money at home at

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Avatar for Shanon
[email protected] - December 6, 2015


Like you I wish there was someone honest like you, out there when I started this journey 12 months ago. I gave up trying as I had spent thousands, and worked hard, and seen nothing, but after reading your article I am going to have another go, I am passionate and willing to work hard to and make this my future. I would like to ask what affiliate marketing areas Have you been successful in.
Thank you again

    Avatar for Shanon
    Sharon Gourlay - December 6, 2015

    Hi Leonie!
    I make most my money from Amazon and hotel commissions. I have a whole site dedicated to exactly how – you can check it out here. Good luck!

Avatar for Shanon
Christiarna - June 17, 2017

Hi Sharon
I have only been with wealthy affiliate for two months so my first site is hosted on their platform and I havnt done anything with it yet as I’m stuck with Sourcing product etc. I am looking for other advice from local affiliates in Australia to help me get this site going . I will Look into your site digital nomad as well. Can we contact you there if need be.
Many thanks

    Avatar for Shanon
    Sharon Gourlay - July 21, 2017

    Hi Christiarna! I hope you checked out my other site,, where I discuss this in more detail. You can also find my free facebook group in the menu on this site where I answer questions :)

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