Towards the end of last year, the Kenyan ICT Ministry kick started the popular Ajira Digital platform that promised to provide 10,000 online employment opportunities per year to jobless Kenyan youths. The ICT Ministry Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, said that these jobs include article writing, data entry, transcription and academic writing. Of course this raised a ruckus with most youths arguing that the said youths do not have the required infrastructure such as internet and computer hardware to help them achieve this dream.
While I have my personal misgivings on whether the ICT ministry is ready to offer the said 10,000 jobs per year to jobless youths, I would rather have them taught on online passive income streams such as affiliate marketing other than active online earning. Before I explain that, let me give my own short story.
I started freelance writing on iwriter.com in 2013 when I was still a third year in college. For two years running, I wrote web content, press releases, academic articles, social media marketing content, reviews and anything else that clients demanded. On average, I earned $5 to $10 per day. In 2015, I felt lethargic and stopped writing. I got a job as an ICT consultant in an NGO. It is there that I heard of these guys who are earning big money online in their sleep. In their sleep you ask? Yes, in their sleep.
I was interested to learn how these guys were earning and it is then that I came to terms with the phrase affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing involves setting up a blog where you refer your online traffic to a merchant’s website where they can buy products that they want. You do this by writing reviews of the products on the merchant website and if they are convinced to buy through your referral links, you earn a commission from the merchant websites. Internationally, companies such as Amazon, Avangate, Ebay, Moreniche and Walmart offer this kind of marketing. Locally in Kenya, there is Kilmall and Jumia online.
What you need to be a successful affiliate marketer:
Affiliate networks are the merchant platforms that give you the opportunity to attract traffic to their websites. The most popular globally is Amazon. To be an affiliate marketer therefore, you will need to join and register an account with them.
To start with, you will need a niche blog. A niche blog is a website that has content revolving around your field of interest. For example, I am passionate about men’s health and decided to start a niche blog on testosterone boosters. In my blog, I review anabolic testosterone boosters and advise my readers on the best. For you to be successful in a certain niche, you need to be passionate in the field, be sure of a good number of people interested in the topic and be ready to conduct a lot of research on the topic.
Good Content that drives traffic
Once you have researched, write your content in an easy to understand way. In my case for example, though testosterone is a medical field, I have to explain all my medical jargon in a lay man language so that they can understand.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing as opposed to active freelancing
When I was working at iwriter, I had to burn the midnight oil and also wake up at the crack of dawn to take jobs from clients. With affiliate marketing though, I do not need to do that. As long as my website is up and attracting traffic, it will get me some money whether I work on it or not.