If there are two groups of people who have really tarnished the name of internet marketing, it is these guys who are doing pyramid-like multi-level marketing in Nairobi and those other guys who are sending spammy referral links that will make you rich overnight.
Multi-level Marketing Scammers
MLM marketers are these guys who wear these matched suits and crisp ties in town and tell you about their companies based in the US that get you money in your pocket by referring other people to the company. They will call that internet marketing. Now you know them, don’t you?
They will send these “earn 10000 to 20000 per week” messages to your phone, Facebook and WhatsApp. The advanced ones will have a blog where they post the story of this young girl earning millions per week to whet your appetite. When you attend the training, people will thump their chests claiming that they have hit the business jackpot.
They no longer need to be tied to their 8 to 5 jobs. When you go through that business model though, you smell a rat. You are not selling anything but referring people. The big founders will continue getting as much as possible from the guys down there. It is not sustainable at all.
So yesterday I get invited to one by a former high school mate. I did not know what he was inviting me to because he had asked that we meet for a business talk at Moi Avenue at 11.00 am. Had I known, I would not have burned my money on fare.
When I get there, I find a hall full of seats and these oldies wearing these linganisha suits and clasping on files talking to excited newbies. My friend invites me to a seat and goes on to explain how the business works.
I am to invest Ksh. 23,000 in buying the said products which are mostly health products and every time people join through my invitation and buy the package, I will earn a cool Ksh.1100. These my tier one referrals will then go on to invite their referrals and I will earn a cool Ksh. 1500 from the tier two referrals. This is supposed to go on and on that way till I become a millionaire.
I am shown a bank statement of one of the best earners who is making Ksh. 500,000. My high school mate is swearing this dark Bilsan suit and saying that he joined only in January yet see how far he has come. We are like 100 newbies in the hall getting explanations of how we will earn millions in a year.
“You see engineers have left their jobs, doctors their clinics to come and internet market” he struggles to explain. If I were straight from college, I would have bought the crap. But I know better.
Hoax Referral Link Senders
The other group painting internet marketing in a bad light is these guys who are ever sending you referral links with the promise that if you click and join, you will earn at least $2500 per week. Now who earns that kind of crazy money by clicking on links and referring other people to try the links? The Kenyan youth is in a bad place where their gullibility is taken advantage by all.
We are one generation that wants to make money now—kama sio sasa ni sasa hivi.
Internet marketing or what is popularly known as affiliate marketing is never easy. Well, there are guys who are making over $1000 a day but before they got there, they needed to do a lot of work. They burnt the mid-night oil, scraped and saved to be where they are. And they are not sleeping—they are working on their websites daily to better them.
Affiliate marketers earn their pay through referring customers to merchant websites. Let’s take for example that Amazon, one of the best known online retails is selling baby toys. As an affiliate marketer, I would write a review on the best baby toys which customers will read and when they buy through my links, I will earn a commission.
Here are summary steps of how it is done:
Identify a niche and set up a website
The first step in affiliate marketing is identifying a niche. A niche is a field which you think has many Internet searches. For example in my case, I chose men’s health. But since men’s health is such a broad topic, I narrowed this down to testosterone boosting.
In choosing your niche, passion and search volume should be your guide. Let’s take for example that I am passionate in the niche blindness and go ahead to set up a website on it targeting to sell glasses to blind people.
If Google search volume for the glasses is low, then my affiliate marketing is doomed. It will only attract little traffic and as such, I will not make good money.
After identifying your niche, you set up your website by buying your domain and hosting from companies such as namecheap.com, godaddy.com, webhost.com among others.
Once you have bought your set up your website, you need to move on and do keyword research. When people are looking for products or information online, there are words that they type on search engines.
These words are known as keywords. Take for example someone who wants to buy testosterone products, they are likely to type words such as ‘testosterone boosters’, ‘low T treatment’, ‘best testosterone products’ etc.
As an affiliate marketer you need to capitalize on these keywords so that you get as high traffic as possible. You can do this using keyword research tools such as kwfinder.com, semrush.com and keywordeye.com
Building content and customer psychology
Once you have found your winner keywords, you can go right ahead and create content. This involves writing authoritative articles. If you are not a great writer yourself, you can outsource from people whom you know are good in the craft or hire writers at iwriter.com, contentmart.com or any other freelance writing platform.
The bulk of affiliate marketing lies in backlinking. A backlink is a link on another website that points to your website showing that it is indeed authoritative. Google advocates for earning backlinks but it would take you lots of time and great content to earn high quality backlinks.
Affiliate marketers have realized that they can earn backlinks by guest posting, answering questions on quora, editing Wikipedia pages or attracting social proof on authorative websites. There are also opportunities for you to buy backlinks on fiverr.com.
Once you have a functional website, you can start earning some passive income. You can receive your payments through methods such as Paypal, Visa, Mastercard or even Mpesa depending on which service you are affiliating for.
About the Author
Jim is a blogger and marketer. He prides himself in being an accomplished internet marketer. Find out more on his site.