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There are times when someone wants to make money online without owning a business. Affiliate marketing gives you the chance to make money online by selling an existing product or service for a commission.
According to smartpassiveincome.com: Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
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The two opportunities
Affiliate marketing presents two opportunities for African businesses and individuals interested in making money online.
i. Marketing your product to a wider audience.
If you intend to reach masses of people very fast anywhere in the world, affiliate marketing could be the answer. You can get people to recommend your product to their audience for a commission. Probably the cheapest way to market since it requires very little investment up front.
ii. Making money from existing businesses online.
If you have an online audience, the wise thing is to offer them something they need. Often people know what their audience needs but they do not have the capacity to create the product. You could solve this by reaching out to someone who has the product, offer him or her to sell that product for a commission. Your audience will love you for being thoughtful and you will earn some money too.
How to excel as an affiliate marketer
For the affiliates, the greatest advantage of affiliate marketing is starting a business at zero cost. To do well with affiliate marketing consider the following:
1. What your audience wants you to provide.
Selling a high-profit product, which your audience is not, interested in, is a sign of desperation and being money hungry. You do not need anyone looking or thinking of you that way. Your affiliate program must be adding more value to your audience.
2. Products/services with recurring income.
This creates more money per successful sale than a once off sale. It also stabilises the income as it becomes a bit more predictable.
3. Consider the product or service’s reputation.
When you affiliate with a company with a great reputation, it raises trust levels with your audience. The opposite is also true. Affiliating with a problematic product or business has the capacity to ruin your credibility.
4. Consider the payment terms.
There are businesses that have great opportunities in affiliate marketing but have very hard and strict rules on pay-outs mostly around minimum withdrawal, frequency and channels of receiving the money.
Challenges with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has challenges, getting in there with open eyes would help everyone.
a. Manipulative affiliate programs.
There are many affiliate programs available on the internet, not all of them are tailored with a win-win intention. Some affiliate marketing programs are manipulative. There is a need for due diligence when choosing an affiliate program to participate.
b. Read the terms and conditions.
Many people miss the fine print because they are rushing to complete the sign-up process. With affiliate marketing, do not get into something that you do not fully understand. I would advise you to understand the full terms and conditions of the program before investing in it.
c. Figure out how to receive the payouts.
You can earn money and find out that the company you are affiliating with only pays via a certain service that is not available in your country. So make sure it is possible to receive funds when the payouts are made.
d. Choose something you know and use.
There is a temptation to sell products that have huge affiliate percentages. I would advise you to affiliate for something that you are using or have used. This gives you some authority to promote the product or service with confidence.
e. Affiliating is recommending.
Anything you are selling in an affiliate program you are recommending it. That means that any problems with that product may have an effect on your reputation. So very careful not to affect you are hard-earned reputation by recommending a problematic product.
This is not exhaustive but meant to get someone thinking about the possibilities with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can be the fastest way to either start making money online or make your product reach many people quicker and cheaper.
What has been your experience with affiliate marketing? Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.