Affiliate marketing, no doubt, is one of the best ways to make money online.
It’s a simple and straightforward way to earn income online: make a sale and get a commission.
Simple as ABC?
Well, not so simple, as the system and process of making a sale, acknowledging a sale and getting a commission is quite different from program to program.
In Nigeria, many affiliate marketing programs are marred by issues such as low commission, unacknowledged sales, and high withdrawal thresholds which makes withdrawing earned income difficult.
That’s why the question persists.
Does affiliate marketing still work in Nigeria?
Should you still be bothered to try affiliate marketing as a way of making money online?
Here’s what I think.
In my opinion, affiliate marketing in Nigeria is dead.
Affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria don’t work. Many affiliate programs in Nigeria are structured to enrich the owners while using the affiliates to create awareness for their products.
Publicity Campaign in Disguise
Today, most of the affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria are just publicity campaigns in disguise.
They get millions of affiliates to litter the webspace with links back to their products and websites, but only a handful of those hard working affiliates would actually get paid for their sales.
The proof is always in the pudding.
Many affiliate programs in Nigeria would set low commissions and high withdrawal thresholds so that it would be difficult to withdraw your earnings.
For example, if you earn 50 Naira on the average as a commission per sale, and the withdrawal threshold is 20,000 Naira, you will have to sell 400 products to hit that threshold.
That is quite difficult to meet without spending reasonably on digital advertising, which would then eat into your profit.
Most people who are struggling financially cannot even invest in advertising, which means they’ll likely struggle to make sales.
This is because most of the affiliate products are either shelf items that people can buy in supermarkets near them and have no need to buy online and wait for delivery.
Some items could also be digital products that are difficult to sell because people either have no real need for them or they are considered too pricey.
The Rise of DIYs
Someone recently told me that there are no fools on the streets anymore.
The biting economy is making people smarter and willing to try things out themselves instead of waiting for someone else to do it for them.
The same applies to affiliate marketing.
Most people are now wiser and prefer to buy and sell products themselves.
Instead of waiting to sell products for an affiliate marketing program that imports goods for sale in Nigeria, many people are now importing products themselves and making huge profits.
Would you rather import products yourself and make over 200% profit or join an affiliate program that offers you 0.005% per sale?
Your guess is as good as mine.
On the digital side, many affiliate products, especially information products are ridiculously priced.
Imagine an ebook about relocating to Canada costing over 50,000 Naira.
You would have to toil to make even one sale.
Most people who make sales are those willing to spend on digital advertising. They would need to reach at least 1,000 people to get a sale.
That’s a 0.001% conversion rate!
The compensation is that these types of affiliate programs offer affiliates a huge commission of sometimes up to 50% of the sale.
So, you could make up to 25k for selling an ebook for 50k Naira.
But then how much would you have to spend to get that sale?
Most people would prefer to go DIY instead.
That information can easily be gotten over the internet if you have good research skills and can make one or two calls or send emails to some offices.
So, they could create an ebook themselves and sell it for huge profits.
Imagine pricing that ebook for just 5k and making just 100 sales per month.
That’s actually better than toiling with any Nigerian affiliate marketing program.
The Rise of Influencer Marketing
In my opinion, influencer marketing is the killer of affiliate marketing.
While digital marketing is old school, influencer marketing is the new school.
Around 2005, if you wanted to make money online, affiliate marketing would have been the default way to do so.
But right now, with the rise of social media and viral content, many people now have online influence via social media platforms.
You can’t tell someone who has 100,000 followers on TikTok to join an affiliate marketing program that pays 80 Naira per sale.
That would be a joke!
Most people want to be paid per post rather than per sale.
You pay them for each post they make on their platform, and they would charge you based on their perceived brand value, not based on how the audience responds to the advert or buy a product.
These influencer marketers don’t care if a product makes any sale or not. They would only provide visibility to their audience and get paid for that.
I had a recent experience where someone chatted me on WhatsApp about making an advert on my site, Bizvestor.
He wanted to put a code on my site to ascertain my traffic volume, which would determine how much he pays me per click.
What a joke!
It was laughable because I wouldn’t do any direct advert on my site based on pay per click not to talk of putting a potentially malicious code on my site.
Most content creators today either running their own websites or social media pages are now tending into influencer marketing.
They want to get paid based on their brand value and for giving advertisers exposure or access to their audience.
Today’s influencer marketers no longer want to press a calculator before being paid.
They simply tell you their fees and their terms. An advertiser has to either pay or get lost.
It’s only a matter of time when more people would have their own platform and that would be the total end of anything affiliate marketing or pay per sale programs in Nigeria.
The Affiliate Marketing That Works in Nigeria
If you’ve fallen in love with affiliate marketing and really want to get involved, then there are some possible ways to make it work for you.
Direct Sales Affiliate
Direct Sales affiliate marketing involves getting a hold of the product and selling it directly.
For example, a brand gives you 100 products and prices each for 500 Naira. However, you are allowed to sell each for as high as you want.
You could sell each product for 1k Naira and make a 100% profit or 1,500 Naira which is a 200% profit.
Here, you have more control over what you earn and how you earn it.
A typical example of direct sales affiliates are sellers on classifieds platforms like jiji.
They partner with local shops to market, sell, and deliver their products while making a cut from adding their own markup to the price.
Foreign Affiliate Programs
Unlike many affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria, foreign affiliate programs are designed to put money in your pocket if you can help make a sale.
And apart from that, they offer products and services that are easy to sell to buyers that are willing to pay.
Here are some interesting affiliate marketing programs:
- Amazon Associates
- Market health
You can research any of them to find out which one you can thrive in or build a platform around.
Career Digital Marketers
While we’ve seen the rise of influencer marketers in Nigeria, we’ve also seen the rise of career digital marketers.
These career digital marketers are affiliate marketers who use digital marketing to boost their affiliate sales.
These guys have a huge budget and are willing to spend to make a sale. They also understand the industry and the business, and are niche focused.
If you really want to make money with affiliate marketing programs in Nigeria, then you have to be willing to become a career digital marketer.
You should be willing to put your money where your mouth is and push to become a top-tier affiliate marketer who does not just wait to make a sale but work to make the sale happen.
And don’t forget that you need a deep pocket because online marketing ain’t cheap.