In some of my previous digital marketing and online entrepreneurship posts, I mentioned affiliate marketing as an effective way of monetizing your activities online. But I did not explore in detail how affiliate marketing works. In this post, I will share how to create one or more income streams online and make money through affiliate marketing. Let’s indulge now, shall we?
A few years ago after graduating from campus, I decided to move out of my parents’ house. I moved to the city hoping to find greener pastures. With the little money I had, the only essential household accessory was a mattress. In the city, you must know a guy who knows another guy to get quality products or services. The phrase, ‘your network is your net worth’ is interpreted as literary.
I called my friend who in turn called his friend who worked at a mattress wholesaler. A few hours later, my mattress was delivered and the transaction was complete. But I was curious about what motivated these people to cater to my needs with so much dedication so I asked my friend about it. Apparently, the wholesaler gave commissions for every sale. Out of my 5000 Kenya shillings purchase, my friend and his friend were given 250 and 500 Kenya shillings respectively which totaled a 15% commission.
They are very good at it because they are very social and connect with people easily and deeply. I admired this easy way of making money without investing any capital. I admired them but knew I couldn’t be successful because I’m a very antisocial person. My personality was my enemy in this instance. But I am very good with computers and social media so I decided to research how this commission model would help me make money. That’s when I came across the term affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is similar to what my friends do. It mainly entails driving traffic and leads to a company’s products or services in exchange for a commission for every successful conversion. You are simply paid for every complete transaction you incentivize or encourage. The more people you can convince to purchase products or services from a company, the more money you stand to make. Enough about that, now let’s indulge in how to actually make money using this commission model.
Most e-commerce or rather online businesses allow affiliate marketing. They have a system that allows individuals to advertise their products and services at a fee which is often a percentage of their sales or conversations. But how do you make money from this?
Make Money via Affiliate Marketing
First, you sign up in their affiliate program. Go to the company’s website and click on the affiliate program. After signing up and setting up your account, you can access materials that help you advertise products and services. These companies often have banners that help you advertise graphically. They also give you hyperlinks with tracking codes that allow them to track the traffic you drive and the number of conversions you make.
After accessing these banners and links, it’s time to market. You don’t need to be an influencer with many followers. However, you need to have a trusted brand either on social media or on your blog.
You can make money through affiliate marketing by sharing your link on social media. Most people believe that you must have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media to make money through affiliate marketing. However, this is a myth because the quantity of your reach is not as important as the quality of your reach. Well, the numbers are important but you can have a large following of uninterested followers while another person may have a less following of interested buyers.However, in my opinion this is a myth because the quantity of your reach is not as important as the quality of your reach. Click To Tweet
The key is to build a trusted brand surrounded by people who trust you and your brand. There are various ways of building your personal brand as outlined in this article. A trusted brand assures people that they are buying high-quality products or services because they can trust you. Sharing this link and banners on social media and driving traffic will help you make money for every successful conversion.
The other way of making money through affiliate marketing is by sharing your links on your blog website. There are various ways you can do this. The most important thing for me is to adhere to all ethical considerations associated with affiliate marketing. First, you must acknowledge to your audience that you will receive a commission from their purchases. You must also tell your audience that they will get nothing in return. Transparency is key. It is unethical to promise your audience discounts from the company just to make sales since lying is unethical.
That said there are two ways of approaching this. First is creating an affiliate page where your audience or visitors visit to check out the products and services you are advertising. Check out my affiliate page here. The other way is by reviewing these products and attaching a link for your audience to buy these products. This is my most preferred method for various reasons. Most times, reviewing products means you must buy them first to share the unboxing process, features, functionality, and user experience in the review.
I love this technique because it emboldens your audience and helps them trust the product thus making sales. The more sales you make the more money you make from affiliate marketing. It also means that you spend some money so it’s not just making money with zero investment. I acknowledge that at the beginning I said this is a mode of making money without investing capital. However, spending money motivates you to improve your marketing strategies to make more money from commissions. It incentivizes you to put more effort.
One important takeaway is that you do not need to know a lot of people instead you know people who are likely to make purchases. The focus is not on the quantity of your network but the quality. You might know many people who rarely buy anything. Knowing few people who make purchases is more important. This applies to your online and your offline network.
Second, it helps if you market the products or services you use. The main reason for this is that it increases the trust of your audience in the product or service compared to when you motivate them to purchase products you don’t use.
Finally, if you have no idea where to start with affiliate marketing I got you. You can check out Amazon, Jumia KOL, and Mochahost affiliate programs. I have not used Amazon but I know of friends making three figures through its affiliate program. I have used Jumia KOL and Mochahost on this website. With Jumia KOL you can make money advertising various products on the Jumia e-commerce platforms. With Mochahost, the website hosting and cloud services allow you to earn commissions on each conversion. You can check them out.