How to start Affiliate Marketing in South Africa
If you are from South Africa, or anywhere in the world really this is for you. If you want to know How to start Affiliate Marketing in South Africa, or anywhere in the world, then stay tuned. This will be jam packed, from my experience as a beginner.
This is a response to one of our readers, who have specifically requested this, and also some others of you who have contacted emailed. So thank you IB, and for those of you that asked. Its easy to forget that not everyone possesses the same knowledge, and there is a ton I wish to share. Some of these points, I will go into deep tutorials in the future, so stay tuned, sign up to the mailing list, and get notified when I release them.
Also, I have created a nice freebie you guys can use, to get the ball rolling a bit. Download link will be provided below.
Why start Affiliate marketing
There is really no better time to do it then right now. In general, its a really good time to start moving your business, or seeking a secondary income, or move toward a full time income online. The sooner, the better. More and more companies, are shifting their focus online.
The internet is connecting our world, and the golden age of the internet has not yet passed. I don’t believe it will pass for a very long time. Establishing yourself now, can build you a good reputation for later, and secure your slice of the market.
Online purchases have also drastically increased. There are a ton of reasons why. Third world countries, who were previously at a disadvantage, now have an ever increasing working class, and also an increasing upper class. Their needs change, and they purchase products, and services online, which are not available locally.
It is also that many products and services online, are not available in a store at all. There is also a huge rise in use of the internet. People would rather use Google to find answers, then actually ask someone in person. The world is changing, and we have to change with it and adapt, or we lose out.
A website is launched approximately every 1.2 seconds. YouTube process tons and tons of data every minute. So you cannot ignore the growing popularity of online shopping, trends and following. Over 75% of the data we as humans produced, was in the last three years. People and businesses are catching on, and we have to do so too.
Learning from scratch
This is very important. For some of you that read this, you may already have been exposed to tons of fake marketing online, and tons of fake gurus, whose only intention is to sell you a course. You will also have been fed many lies, highly exaggerated income, and methods that may really not work for you, or in reality, not work at all.
Tons of these courses, set you up for failure from the start. A majority of these courses, will also be packed with even more affiliate offers. They also make one key mistake, they GUARANTEE YOU SUCCESS, BUT HIDE THE INCOME DISCLOSURE. You should be very careful, and diligent of who you choose to follow. Many of them will tell you of the millions they made and show you fancy cars, expensive watches, even vacations. DON’T FALL FOR IT. They are doing it purposely to trick you.
They are taking advantage of your situation. I am not saying that they don’t make money with what they teach, but the fact is, if they sell a course, then you are the one paying for fancy cars, houses and vacations. They couldn’t care less if you fail or make a success of yourself. Be careful, and forget what they have taught you.
They purposely use words like, secret method, passive income etc. There are secrets everyone keeps to themselves. That is your niche, and how you write your emails and content and planned content. The courses that most of these people sell, blatantly use black hat methods, that can get you banned from platforms. Not only will you waste your money, but your time. Time which you can never get back. When placing ads, there is really no secret method, there is no secret traffic source, just remember that and keep it in the back of your mind.
Avoid the Shiny object syndrome, and get out of their trickster effect, and the hold they have on you. Unsubscribe from their email lists, and start fresh, from scratch. Clear your mind, accept the past, and look forward.
Watch these three videos, if you have time, and especially subscribe to Miles Beckler. This is video one, here is video two and this is video three. Video number three, you may already have seen, but I added it anyway.
Choosing your niche properly
This can seem like something simple, but if you start wrong, you are bound to fail. You have to choose your niche properly, and scope out your competitors while doing it. Many of you may have been told, choose weight loss, choose cooking, choose make money online. Truth be told, all those niches, are saturated, and you are going to face some very stiff competition, and you may very likely not succeed.
Your niche should be choosing a category or topic, you are familiar with. You should also be able to make some money, with your niche. I am not saying that weight loss is a bad niche. I am saying, that if you have extensive knowledge about it, then do it. BUT, you have to choose a specific angle, and choose a very select market to target. Example, weight loss for teens, weight loss for moms over 40.
If that fits your description, then you should do it. If you have lived the experience, and saw success, then document how your journey was, and what you did. People love success stories, and people love being related to. You will have an extreme advantage over competitors. You will know how it feels to be in their shoes, and you will know how to guide them to make the proper changes. That is where the ball starts rolling. Get them to do your tips, then refer them to a specific product.
After that, you will refer them to meal plans, then building muscle, etc, all depends how far you plan to carry that flag. This can also be applied to cycling. Some of you may have seen websites about cycling, or specific types of cycling. That’s an affiliate site, and you are highly likely to find them referring you to a specific product or service. That’s how it works. It all works by your choosing the proper niche to go into. And being able to add value to peoples lives.
Don’t do something you are not comfortable with, and where you just plan to sell something. You will start at an extreme disadvantage, and you will very likely fail. Its also true, that not all niches are very profitable, and you will need to find some other form of monetizing your niche.
Example here is one I would really love to pursue. Which is military history, specifically ww2. My biggest competitor I have seen, is TIk History on YouTube. He does not have a website, but what am I going to offer them to purchase? Easy, sign ups, to online services, or running Google AdSense on your website. However, I still need to work on that site, you can take it if you like, just be aware, that you need to niche down. Focus only on one sector of the war, and you will succeed. Use him as an example, and expand from there. I may never get to launch that site, as it will be really time consuming, and I have a bad habit of typing long posts (6700+ words) and never posting it.
I hope you see now how choosing a niche works. Niches can be tempting to try, for profit gain, but you are not the only one that thinks so, and you have to think clearly about where to start with your venture. Choose your target market, and start building content around your topic.
Avoid spam, add value
Just as the heading says. Avoid spamming your affiliate links, or posts all over the place. You need to add value. You will start building a following, slowly over time, and you will see consistent results. Nobody likes being sold things. If you are going into a store, you know exactly what you want to buy. You don’t want to be run after, stopped and sold something.
A an example of this, is when I went to the mall, and some of these guys in stalls tried selling me shoe cleaning products, carpet cleaners etc. I am really not in the mood to be stopped and sold, I don’t really see the need for it, and I know exactly where I want to go. – Just a bit further down, another one stops me, and tells me, “Hi there sir, your shoe is dirty, sit down, and let me give you a good free clean.” I was immediately interested, not only for the free clean, but he noticed, that I needed something, and I didn’t take proper note I needed it (I don’t really like to dress up for the mall, and I just slap it on, as long as its not broken). He cleaned my shoes, and he explained me why his specific foam spray is so good. He also told me on what types of materials it works, and its even possible to use it on leather couches. I bought 6. He added value, made me see the problem, created a need and I trusted him enough to buy six (when I arrived home, my wife was not to impressed with my pitch lol).
Some of you may have been told, to go into Twitter, and Facebook, even websites, and spam with affiliate links, and add really crap value (This is why comments on my websites are disabled, sorry) . This will not make you money. They don’t know you, they won’t trust you, and lastly, don’t go selling to your family, Affiliate marketing is not a scam, MLM or a pyramid scheme. You need to add value to peoples lives, help them solve problems, and make them see that the solution is your affiliate offer. Some of you may not want to go this route, I will list down below the methods you can do affiliate marketing, so just stay put, there is more information coming that you need to know.
A ton of people have problems, or want something, they don’t always know it yet. This is where providing value comes in. You help solve their problems. She is he or she wants to stop smoking, but does not know where to start, or how to commit to it. If you have not smoked before, I would not advise you to attempt answering them. If you have, and successfully stopped, then go ahead.
Start by telling them your story, and all the problems you faced. Add more and outline the problems, and what effects they had on you, and had on them (relating to them). Then start by providing value, simple methods that can help them reduce smoking, or set up some challenges. People like having support, and someone who they can talk to about this, especially if you have been through it before. Build up the value, and refer them to a product. Simple.
I provided value to him. That video does not get a ton of views, I don’t need a ton of views. I only need the right people who are asking the right questions to see it. Videos and posts on that channel and this website, give me real good income. I am not only making money, but I add value. I am truthful about my experience, and all the pros and cons involved. They may not have it, but they should tell me, so I can update my posts on pros and cons and look for something better. That is how it works, be updated, add value and all the rest will come.
Choose your method of marketing your content
There are various methods, that you can go ahead with affiliate marketing. You have to choose the method that works well for you, and that you are comfortable with. Be prepared to take some action, that may require you to shift from your comfort zone.
For myself, I prefer websites. I am kind of an introvert. So I prefer typing away by myself. I chose to do video, due to the fact that I can reach a larger audience. So I had to shift out of my comfort zone. Here are some methods to start your journey, and how you should go about doing them:
- A website (You should have known this would be first lol) – A website, is and always will be a very powerful marketing tool. It can generate a long passive income, and also solidify your content, as being legit. Start thinking about getting a website. There are free options out there. I highly suggest you start free options, so you can get the feel of operating a WordPress website, before you spend money on web hosting, and quite possibly make disastrous mistakes with your paid website. The best free option is Wealthy Affiliate. You can sign up, and get two free websites. With exception that your domain name, would include siterubix (yourwebsitename.siterubix.com). If you are ready for paid, then you need to read up on a2 Hosting, or you Eight Web hosting. Both have their pros and cons. a2 hosting is a bit more expensive, and the cheapest hosting option limits you to one website. Choosing the second option, will have you get unlimited websites, so your future growth is secured. Eight Web hosting, is very cheap, up to $0.97 pm for eight years, hence the name, at a one time payment. However, you can only have up to 16 websites maximum, with limited space to upload pictures etc. Wealthy affiliate free hosting, does not allow you to add any plugins, so you just get your website. You can check out a2 hosting here, eight web hosting here and wealthy affiliate here ( for petes sake, do not sign up to the paid version of wealthy affiliate, just use the free website, and get used to it). Also note, that you have to start learning SEO, this is to start ranking your website in Google. You also need to sign up to Google Webmaster tools, so google can index your content and make them visible in search engines. I will leave some content in your bonus packages.
- Using video – Unlike websites, Video uploading, can help you rank much faster. With free websites, you ranking will likely never be a reality (only use it to get the feel as I said). Video is also a much better way for people to learn. Think about it, we get taught our whole lives, by using our eyes to see how its done and see who we talk to, so we can build some trust in that regard. So video will always be a market to dive into. You can even make videos, without showing your face. For that, you will need an advanced course such as this one. You will also need some tools for video, to make it high quality, and give you more options. Tools you will need is a pc or laptop capable of operating certain software. You will also need OBS, which is a very powerful free screen recorder and its free. Also, software like Mediacloudpro video editor, you can read on it here. You will also need some music and stock images. Music you can find in YouTube royalty free music, and stock images on pexels. Stock video you can find on Videvo. Why use MediaCloudPro? Well, it has picture editors, video editors all built in online and there is no monthly fees. You also get tons and tons of free stock images (7 million+), videos and etc. You can read up on it here. However, there are free options, but they do come with limitations. Read this article on free online video editors. With video you will also need to create intro and outros to add to your content. You will also need to follow basic SEO and make use of thumbnails and channel art. Also, do not forget to upload to other video platforms. There is not only YouTube. There is dailymotion, dtube and metacafe. Don’t leave money on the table. Use the same video as for YouTube, for those other platforms.
- Social Media – Another great way to start for free. However, this works very well in conjunction with a website. There are also many social media platforms you need to consider. Don’t always stick to one. Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and most importantly, Pinterest. With Pinterest, you should consider using Tailwind (join tailwind here) as well. Tailwind allows you to join groups, who will repost your pins on their boards, and vice versa, so you can get more visibility. Tailwind also has a free version, which allows you 30 posts a month, thats one post a day, and should be enough. On platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can expect spammers and fakes to drop affiliate links and spam within your helpful advice. So think twice before joining groups, or starting a Facebook page. Be ready for it, and know exactly how you are going to deal with it.
- Paid Traffic – All of the above methods, are very time consuming, and will need you to expose yourself in some way to the public eye. Paid traffic is by far the fastest way to earn affiliate offers, but also very expensive and risky. Firstly, you cannot just go running ads targeting everybody. Targeting everyone is as good as targeting nobody. You need to know who and where you are targeting. There is a list of top countries to target, and then run ads to them. You also need an email autoresponder, which you will need to collect their emails, and start sending them well written emails, leading them to an affiliate offer. This is called a workflow, of automated emails. However, autoresponders get pretty expensive, pretty fast. The more email subscribers you get, the higher the price goes. You will also need to build custom landing pages, and create engaging add templates. You will need advanced knowledge on how to structure your ads, A/B split testing, tracking user movement etc. If you are not good at this, you should really consider reading up on this course. It is by far the most advanced paid traffic course, which focuses on all add networks, and has tons of tools even free ad credits to help you get started. It is pretty pricey, so just be ready to spend some cash. You will also need additional money to purchase your tools needed to run successful ad campaigns.
Get the ball rolling
Now the fun part comes. I will list these in bullet form for you guys, to help break it down in easy digestible chunks.
- Size up your competitors – You need to find the biggest competitor in your niche. If you don’t have direct competition, then kudos, you have landed on a potential gold mine. If you do have, and even if you don’t have direct competition, its nice to size them up. See how big they are, what they are doing, all the platforms they use, and the type of content they create. Then start asking yourself questions about their content. Read it, watch it and you will see, they may miss a ton of points. Especially if you are sizing up two or three big players, you will see that there is a ton of points each one misses. There are also a ton of questions which they may not even answer at all. Look through their comments, and see questions people ask, don’t answer them. Start creating your content around that question, your first post. Make sure you jam pack it with tons of information.
- Plan and schedule properly – You need to plan and schedule your content, and posting days properly. Don’t start yet, at least get a topic to discuss, and try to answer that specific question as best as you possibly can, and have it ready. Make sure you know what you want to say, how you want to say it, and to whom. The trick to posting here, and grow fast, is to do it every day and consistently. You cannot associate yourself with people who have already started and see success. They put in their hard work, and they are reaping the rewards. You need to get busy with your methods, on a daily basis. The best way to do this, is follow the 90 day content challenge. It really works, its a method I use to boost new websites off the ground fast. I usually stop around 45 to 65. This is due to the fact that I know what I am doing. You may still need to learn that. Also consider using content syndication tools. This is very useful to have your content posted on multiple platforms with one click. Check out this one. Tip: A really good method of content planning, is making some notes on your phone or a notepad so you can brainstorm over it later. Some good ideas come, and then they go, so jot them down as soon as you get them.
- Change your habits – I don’t want to change the person you are, I believe that everyone is unique in their own way, and that is what makes this world so diverse. However, there may be a few things you need to teach yourself, if you don’t already know it. You need to have work ethic. This needs to be done PROPERLY and ON A DAILY BASIS. You need to make mistakes here and there, and find solutions. I don’t know what type of person you are, and I don’t know how badly you want to succeed. I can give all the tips I want, but you need to start, learn and take action. Its like riding a bike. You need to fall, and you need to have someone at least helping you. I am not as successful as affiliate marketers who have been doing this for many years, however, I want to provide you a clear blueprint of pitfalls, and information others will never tell you. This is the most important one, doing it on a daily basis. All of us have stuff to do when we get home. I know that, but if you can put aside one to two hours a day, I promise you that you will start seeing results in some way. You will be faster to note any mistakes you made, and correct them. If you start seeing your first commissions, you will know that what you are doing is right, and that you will have to scale this up, and start branching out. That is the way the cookie should crumble. That is also why I provide you with the 90 day content challenge. You need to start learning this new habit. Its not easy at first, but it becomes easy over time. It feels less like a chore, and more like a hobby. Creating content becomes very addictive over time and when you are doing it right and you are generating your first sales, it becomes easier, and most important of all it becomes fun.
- Choose your product or network – When you get the above right, you need to start looking at a product or affiliate network. Choose one product. Choose it, and run with it. If you are not seeing much success, change it up. Do your homework on it, see what real people who have used it say, if you cannot buy it yourself. Then create your content, not always focusing on referring them to the product, but at times, just general information and real helpful tips. Send them to an article, a well written article that at the end will lead them to purchase your product. Remember, you need to give value first. People don’t always know that they need it, you have to create the need (remember the shoe cleaning guy?). I will do a very in depth post about affiliate networks and how to navigate them, so stay tuned.
- Get your accounts read – Start getting your accounts ready. You will need a service like PayPal. For South Africans, FNB and PayPal integrate very well, with no hickups. I will do a tutorial for you on how to go about it. When singing up to these affiliate networks, you will need to submit a W8-Ben form at some point, especially if the affiliate network is not in your country. You will also need to go to your respective revenue office, and find your income tax number, and international income tax number. Keep all those documents safe. There will come a time when you need to fill it in to those networks, or risk getting taxed by a foreign government, or worse, pay withheld from you. Some affiliate programs also require that information from you. And be sure to declare any income you make from your affiliate commissions.
- The costs involved – Please read this part carefully. I know that most of these methods I told you are free, but there are associated costs. Firstly, there is the cost of your time. Then there is the cost of energy spent, and electricity etc. Some of you may even pay upfront for some services. So be ready for it, and make it work. Don’t let your efforts and finances go to waste. Make it work. Clear your mind, and don’t postpone. Set your goals accordingly, and make them easily achievable goals. Make your time or financial investment work for you. A time will come when you will need to make a purchase. Make sure it is the right product, or software, at the right time. No more running after shiny objects. Start building your assets, and watch it grow. Once you find success, scale it up, and fund another venture. Like I said, it becomes easier over time. If you fail, DON’T WORRY. It is not the end of the world. I failed multiple times, due to the fact I took bad advice. Sit back, and see what you did right. Look at what you have learned, new skills you gained, what worked for you, and the results you got. Then sit and see what you did wrong. From there, work on ways to either avoid those pitfalls, or learning a skill or using a tool to overcome them. Set some new goals, and reward yourself with every small victory or goal you achieved.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing in South Africa Conclusion
Okay, so that is basically affiliate marketing, and how to get started with it. There are other methods, that may work better for you, and thus I recommend some courses .These are what worked for me. I will also be going into much more depth on most of the approaches, except paid traffic, I am not very good at running paid ads, I am a novice, and only use them for one purpose.
You can read this list on my top picks for affiliate marketing courses and why. I will be covering some of their methods, because I took what worked for me from them, and made it into my own. However, if you do want to know a bit more on any of them, feel free to ask.
Also, I will be adding some free and paid tools you can use in your methods of choice. Look forward to getting them. And here are some freebies for you to get started on. Some of them, I have not included, as they would really conflict with what I want to share, and they are also the wrong way of going about some of the methods.
You can download your freebies below, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more jam packed information.