Generating income online through affiliate marketing is probably the simplest way to start making money online in South Africa today. (If you’re looking for other ways to make money online in South Africa, I wrote this post that you may find helpful)
It’s important to say upfront however, that just because something is simple doesn’t make it easy.
Like any business, building an affiliate marketing business takes time and hard work, but if you’re willing to put in the effort there is a lot of money to be made through affiliate marketing.
Before I dig into how to make money through affiliate marketing, let me cover a few of the basics…
What is affiliate marketing?
Learning how to make money online is a new concept for many people so I think it’s important to have a solid foundation of knowledge to build your online business.
There are many definitions of affiliate marketing out there so I’m going to share my understanding of it.
In very basic terms, affiliate marketing is a type of marketing where an end producer or service provider pays a third party (the affiliate or YOU) for referring them a client or potential client.
We’ve all been affiliate marketers at some stage of our lives whether we knew it or not.
How many times have you seen a fantastic movie or had a great steak and told everyone about it?
I’m guessing you’ve done it a LOT! (I know have)
NuMetro or your local steakhouse, unfortunately, don’t pay you a referral commission when your friends or family spend money with them, but there are many companies that do…
How to start making money through affiliate marketing in South Africa?
The first thing you need is a list of products that you can promote that pay an affiliate commission.
My suggestion would be to start with the list of products and services you already use & love.
Write down everything you can think of.
From the device you’re reading this article with to your electric toothbrush (more on this one later) and everything in between.
Once your list has been made, Google is your friend…
How to find companies with affiliate programmes?
Not all companies are great at advertising the fact that they have affiliate programmes.
The easiest way to find companies that have affiliate programmes is to simply Google their name and the word affiliate or referral like this:
The example above is one of my businesses, Coach Parry. We have a training app in the running coaching niche and offer a 20% recurring referral or affiliate commission to anyone who sends customers our way.
Many of the businesses you Google won’t have affiliate programmes, but some of them do.
If the company themselves don’t have an affiliate programme there are many platforms the sell other people’s products (Like Amazon) that do have affiliate programmes.
I’ve also created a very extensive post that includes ALL the affiliate programs in South Africa that I could find. (There are a LOT more than you think there are!)
Once you’ve found the products and companies to promote, it should be a simple process to apply to become an affiliate. Once approved, you’re in business…
How to promote products online to earn affiliate commissions?
Once you’ve got the products and services you’re going to promote, it’s time to get down to work.
There are numerous ways to promote the products and services you are an affiliate for online.
Before I delve deeper into them, a warning…
…Most, if not all of the companies you will be representing have a set rules that guide what you can and can’t do when promoting them.
It’s vital that you play within the rules. The last thing you want to do is refer a whole bunch of customers that purchase from them only to find out that the way you did it was not allowed so you’re not paid your commission.
For one, disclosing that you’re an affiliate in many parts of the world is a legal requirement. You need to tell people if they use your referral link to purchase, the company pays you a commission.
3 Simple ways to promote your affiliate product or services
When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are literally hundreds of ways to promote products and services.
I am going to share the 3 that I have found to be the easiest (and most effective):
The lowest barrier to entry as an affiliate marketer is to write a blog post. There are so many different ways you do this. Writing a post in which you reference the product or service is one.
Reviews, comparisons, tutorials etc are all fantastic ways to write about the product or service and when someone clicks on the link to buy, you’re in the money.
If you’re comfortable creating videos, then Youtube is another great platform to generate an affiliate income off of.
Just like blogging, the types of videos you make is limited to your imagination. Once again reviews, comparisons and tutorials are a great start.
If you’re not comfortable being in front of the camera, you can create screencasts that demonstrate you using the product. I use a tool called Camtasia to record my screencasts.
The third way that I promote affiliate products and services is through my network of podcasts.
This episode of The Kona Edge below is a good example…
…In the introduction, I say that it is ‘brought by Wheelscience’. If a listener uses the discount coupon I mention in the podcast, Wheelscience pay me a referral commission…
If you’re interested in starting a podcast, I wrote a post called how to start a podcast in South Africa that you may find helpful.
How to boost your affiliate sales and sign ups
There are many ways to boost your affiliate signups and sales, but the one I have found the most effective is to add a bonus if someone uses your affiliate link to sign up.
Let me explain what I mean…
…As you read more of my posts and watch my videos, you’ll realise I am a MASSIVE fan of email marketing (it has had the single biggest positive impact on my online business).
I am an affiliate of a tool called Convertkit (see what I did there? I’m an affiliate for Convertkit, so if you purchase access to it, they pay me a commission).
I have created an online course on how to use email marketing to grow your online business in South Africa and if you sign up for a Convertkit account using my affiliate link, you get access to the course for free.
(If you’re interested, I have created an extensive guide to creating online courses in South Africa)
Doing things like that adds enormous value to your users and allows you to stand out from the crowd…
Is Affiliate Marketing for you?
As I mentioned at the start of this post, affiliate marketing takes time and effort but if you’re willing to do the work, there is a LOT of money to be made…
A fabulous example of someone who has built a very successful business around affiliate marketing are the guys over at Electric Teeth.
Yip, they’ve built a business around electric toothbrushes and brushing your teeth!
Every time someone googles the Oral-B Pro 2 2500 for example and then click through from their website to Amazon and buy themselves one, Electric Teeth get a commission.
Over the years, Electric Teeth have created hundreds of reviews and comparisons for hundreds of products that people around the world are Google’ing and buying every day.
The reason I shared that example with you is to show you there is opportunity EVERYWHERE online.
You simply need to pick a niche and serve that group of people better than anyone else is.
Only you can decide if affiliate marketing is for you, but I can tell you that there is no better time than now to start!
In future posts, I will be digging into each of these topics in more detail in the coming weeks and moths. I’ll also be showing you exactly how to build affiliate marketing income in various video tutorials that I’ll be uploading to my YouTube channel.