A Definitive Guide to Affiliate Marketing in Kenya[2021]

infographic on affiliate marketing in Kenya

Back in 2016 when I was still working as an online freelance writer, there were these Kenyans who started this hype about earning money in your sleep.

They called it affiliate marketing.

It seemed crazy. It was unbelievable and for sometimes I ignored them as another bunch of scammers who were praising some sort of pyramid scheme.

But then seeing how hard I was struggling to raise my family, I decided to give this affiliate marketing fad a try.

I have never looked back.

Affiliate marketing in Kenya does work.

But you need to separate the wheat from the chaff because there are some guys who are in some sort of pyramid schemes that have been baptized as affiliate marketing.

How to do affiliate marketing in Kenya

photo showing a workstation of an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make money online. Bloggers and social media influencers are making a kill from this model.

Personally, I have used it to affiliate blogs to make money from Amazon, Shareasale and Moreniche affiliate programs.

While all these are international companies, one can also make money from Kenyan companies such as Jumia, Killmall and any other ecommerce platform that offers bloggers a chance to promote them for money.

The model of affiliate marketing through a blog is the same whether you are doing it on Amazon or Jumia. So how does it go?

  1. Create content on your blog around a product to serve to your online audience
  2. Register as an affiliate marketer with the model
  3. Convince your audience to buy the product from the platform using the affiliate links assigned to you
  4. Get a commission once a sale is successful
process of doing affiliate marketing in Kenya

Affiliate marketing jobs in Kenya

Let’s explore the different affiliate marketing programs that you find in Kenya. The beauty of the Internet and affiliate marketing jobs is that you are not limited to companies in Kenya. You are also not limited to promoting your products to an audience in Kenya to earn as an affiliate marketer.

No, you could be somewhere holed in Kakamega promoting amazon affiliate products to your readers in New York and you will still earn.

Personally, I have been working as an amazon affiliate marketer to an US audience while I am still here in Kenya. There are a lot of Kenyans doing the same.

Popular Affiliate Programs in Kenya

So, lets look at the popular affiliate programs in Kenya:

  1. Jumia—Jumia is an ecommerce platform that sells all sorts of products all the way from electronics, school stationery, clothes and furniture. They also invite affiliate marketers to their program to help them promote their products. Once you sell a product through the affiliate links that they assign you, they give you a commission.

How to register as a Jumia affiliate marketer

Registering as an affiliate marketer on Jumia Kol is pretty easy. Just click on this link to go to the jumia affiliate marketing sign up page.

Here, you will be required to give your personal details:

Once done, you will be expected to verify your email, provide your payout details and you are done. You are now a Jumia affiliate marketer.

But you will not earn from this.

You need to start promoting their products.

Lets say that I have an audience interested in buying the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, I would go to the Jumia.co.ke page, get the url for this product which is this one:

https://www.jumia.co.ke/samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-smartphone-g935v-g935f-5.5-4gb-ram-32gb-rom-12mp-quad-core-lte-4g-cellphone-white-23571877.html

I will copy this url and go back to my Jumia affiliate dashboard.

I will then click on the ‘Advertising’ tab then ‘Custom Links’ under it.

I will copy the url of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on the Web Page Url text box.

The program will generate an affiliate link which I can then use to promote the product.

It looks something like this

  1. Kilimall—Kilimall is another ecommerce platform similar to Jumia and they also have a way of rewarding their affiliate marketers with commissions. You can join the program here.
  2. Kenya web experts—Kenya web experts is a hosting and domain registration company. They have an affiliate marketing program where if you refer people to their services and they end up buying, you receive a commission.
  3. Using International programs such as Amazon, Payoneer, Shareasale, CJ, Moreniche etc.

Now let’s look at the nitty gritties of how to go about it.

I have pointed out that you can use social media to convince your followers to buy products. I always see influencers doing this. But since I am not famous, I use blogging as my platform.

So how do we go about it? Let’s say we want to earn from promoting electronics on Jumia.

We will create blog in the electronics niche. Since we want to market locally, we could as well buy a .co.ke domain

How to register a .co.ke domain for affiliate marketing in Kenya

I will be using Kenya web experts as my domain registrants.

Before registering, you need to make sure that your domain is brandable.

Lets say for example that I wish to register a domain where I will be promoting smartphones.

I could come up with a domain name such as smartphonegeek.co.ke or something like techgeek.co.ke

With smartphonegeek.co.ke, the domain suggests that I will only be blogging about smartphones. That is limiting because I might as well decide to blog about other household electronics such as TVs and woofers.

Techgeek.co.ke seems a better choice.

The next thing is checking whether it is indeed available.

So lets head over to Kenya web experts to check for the availability

the techgeek.co.ke domain is available on Kenya web experts

Kenya web experts shows that the domain techgeek.co.ke is available and is going for Kshs.999

I should click on continue to claim it.

In the second step, they will ask for the nameservers that the domain should be pointed to.

If you already bought a hosting service, you will have these nameservers which you can change. If you have not yet bought hosting, use the default nameservers since you can change this later.

Then click continue.

They will ask me to provide my personal details as well as complete the order by paying.

After we have bought a domain and configured our hosting with WordPress, we are ready to start blogging.

Related: How to start a blog in Kenya

Keyword Research

We will niche down to a certain field in electronics say for example smartphones

We will create content around ‘best phones in Kenya under 15k’.

This is just one keyword that I quickly thought about. It has a search volume of 110 people per month according to Keyword surfer.

To arrive at a bunch of good keywords, you need to spend time doing proper keyword research.

Although you can use paid tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush for this step, I have found some really nice free keyword research tools that internet marketing noobs who are low on cash can use.

Content Creation and Building Topical Relevance

We will have one top 20 smartphones to buy on Jumia post with 20 phones reviewed. We will then break down and review each of the phones where each of the product review post will then be linking out to our main post.

building topical relevance on a blog

This is called building topical relevance through interlinking.

In the main post, you could have a comparison table that looks into details the features of each of the smartphones. You also need to have some good call to action buttons that attract people to click their way to Jumia.

Backlinking

A backlink is like a vote from other websites that say that if you are interested in a certain topic, you should go to this site.

Through backlinks, search engines are able to give you a better ranking on their result pages.

So once we are done creating content and uploading it onto our blog, we need to create authority by backlinking using directories and guest posts on local blogs. You could create guest post links if bloggers are willing to guest post you or rather just buy links.

There are also business directories such as yellow pages where you list your business and create a backlink to your site.

Other backlinking methods include creating blog comments with a url pointing to your site. You could also create a private blog network (PBN) if you have the resources and know how to do it.

Wait to rank on search engines

Search engine optimization is a game that requires patience. You do not create content today and rank tomorrow No, it takes time. Sometimes, you might have to wait for more than a year to see results.

Yes. When you have a new blog, Google places in a sandbox where your page does not rank though your content is great and there is low competition for the keywords you are blogging about.

As you wait though for Google to recognize you as an authority so as to rank, you could be working on getting your business on social media platforms. Work on creating great pins and uploading them on Pinterest. You could also join Facebook groups where your niche is discussed and start sharing your informative pages.

You could also try to answer questions on Quora that relate to your niche topic while sharing relevant pages on your blog to enhance your answer.

Get traffic and link out to affiliate products

Once you start getting good traffic on your blog, it is time to monetize your efforts.

Go to the Jumia affiliate program, generate affiliate links for the products you have listed and link out to the product pages.

This way, anytime someone clicks on your affiliate links to Jumia, you will awarded a commission.

Conversion rate optimization

Now that you are being paid for your efforts, it is time to better your review pages. Work on creating highly converting content that convinces readers to take an action and go to Jumia to buy off your affiliate links.

If you do not have comparison tables, use tablepress plugin to list your products in a tabular format. Readers will be able to easily compare the products you have listed and make informed choices.

You could also try to A/B test the colors on your call-to-action buttons so that you find the winning color.

How to start a Business blog in Kenya and run it successfully [Case Studies Inside]

how to start a blog in kenya

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that setting up your business using the traditional brick and mortar model is not the way to go. You seriously need to think of having an active online presence.

How better to have this than setting up a website with regular content uploads, being active on social media and regularly creating content that reaches your audience via email.

In this no holds barred article, I will show you how to set up your blog in Kenya and use it to reach a bigger audience and transact with your customers online.

How to start a business blog in Kenya and run it successfully

I have segmented the article into a few sections which are:

  1. Identifying your niche
  2. Doing proper keyword research for your blog
  3. Leveraging on social media and paid ads to drive traffic to your blog
  4. Create powerful and converting content that is SEO optimized.

I will use a few Kenyan based blogs as my models to explain everything. They are:

  1. AIKenya—blogs on data science
  2. AMG realtors—sells real estate property
  3. Stawi—lends out mobile loans

So, lets look at the steps you need to take to create an online presence.

1. Identify your niche

A niche is nothing but the topic that you are blogging about. The niche of my freelancinghackers.com blog for example is how to make money blogging. I therefore should try to limit whatever I am posting on my blog to this topic.

If you have been following me on Facebook, you will also note that I have mapped out this to be my niche from now on and all I post is related to making money through your blog.

I might confuse my audience and search engines when I blog about making money blogging today, only to diversify tomorrow and write how I went to pay my wife’s dowry tomorrow.

  • If you are a real estate company, the niche for your blog would be properties in a certain area. AMG Realtors has for example been selling most of their property at Nanyuki to a diaspora audience. This is their niche.
  •  If you are a fintech company, the niche for your blog would for example be mobile loans. Stawi is a good example here that lends out mobile loans through an app. Their niche, therefore, is blogging about mobile loans.
  • AiKenya has data science as their niche. They should therefore be blogging about financial modeling, machine learning, R, python, Excel and opportunities for people in the data science field.
  •  If you own a boutique, you could have your niche as official suits. A plumber would have their plumbing repair services in a certain location as their niche.

Other online ideas that you could explore in Kenya

Some other excellent online business ideas in Kenya that you could try out if you do not have a niche to blog yet include:

  • Finding a product which you will be promoting as an affiliate marketer— You could for example decide to promote electronics on Jumia and when you sell the products, the eCommerce platform will award you a certain commission based on the sales you have made.

  • Starting a jobs board where you charge companies to post their available jobs and earning ad income when the site attracts lots of job applicants–If you look at job board platforms such as fuzu, careerspointkenya and jobs in kenya, you will find that they all target to attract job seekers, give them information about new job opportunities and earn ad income from Google adsense based on the many people who interact with their sites.

  • CV writing company

  • Freelancing writing company–If you are good in copywriting, you could start a blog where you attract local clients looking for content writing.

  • Online shop where you sell your products

  • Information site where you give people valuable information on a certain topic. You will target to earn through ads.

  • A site where you sell courses such as ‘how to learn data science’, ‘how to learn R’, ‘how to learn web designing’, ‘how to learn web designing etc.

2. Do your keyword research

Once you have selected the niche that you are to blog about, you can go ahead to conduct your keyword research. One mistake that many business bloggers make is to blog about anything without first interrogating what people are searching on search engines.

Tools that you can use for keyword research include:

Ubersuggest

Keyword Surfer

WMS Everywhere

If you want a constant stream of passive traffic streaming into your blog, you seriously need to think your keyword research strategy. Let us look at how to do it using a free keyword research tool called Ubersuggest.

3. Create a blog

A blog is nothing but a website that receives content upload on a regular basis.

Though you can use different Content Management systems, WordPress is the easiest and most popular. You do not need any coding experience to blog on WordPress.

So what do you need to have a blog?

  1. Buy a domain name—this is what identifies you for example: google.com, nation.africa, freelancinghackers.com or speechtherapytotos.com
  2. Buy hosting—a hosting company keeps your files online. Every content piece you do be it an article, image or video is saved by your host.

You will have to pay annually for domain renewal or else it expires and gets re-registered by another person. For hosting, you could either pay for it annually or monthly.

I have written a comprehensive guide on how to buy your blog domain and hosting which you can look up.

My friend James Njoya has also done a great job detailing how to configure your domain and hosting. You can see his post on starting a blog in Kenya here.

4. Create social media accounts

Other than using search engines, some of your audience are on social media platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram. You need to meet them by being active on these platforms.

Post relevant information that sets you as a brand so that people can always look up to the information that you provide them with.

5. Claim a google my business account

If you are running an online shop, you really need to claim a google my business account so that when people are searching for recommendations similar to your business, they are highly likely to see your business, see your reviews and even see the location picked by Google.

6. Create content that is focused on your keywords. Write for people

Once you have your set of keywords to work with, you can go ahead to create content that is laser focused on informing your audience while at the same time being SEO optimized.

You need to craft nice content that is going to inform and convert your audience. You could use lots of images, videos and lists that help to break the boredom in your content.

7. Build trust and an excellent online reputation

Since you will be meeting your audience online, you need to do everything to make sure that they trust you.

Have a list of testimonials to create good social proof. You could also write about your company, team members and give relevant contacts.

If you are able you could create a chat interface where clients can come, ask questions and you can message them either realtime or later on.

8. Create local citations on business directories

You can create local citations on business directories such as yelp and yellow pages. These are nothing but backlinks that tell search engines where you are located.

Some people might also visit these local directories to search for companies in a certain niche within an area. Someone interested in dental services in Nairobi might type that on Yellow pages and see your business listed among other dental service companies in the area.

9. Build Topical Relevance around your keywords

Once you identify a keyword in your niche and blogged about it, things are not done. You need to build topical relevance.

Building topical relevance just means creating related content to the main keyword you are trying to rank for and creating interlinks that point to these main pages.

We have for example seen that AMGRealtors would like to rank for land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki. Well, once they have a page on this, they can then go ahead to create other blog posts about Nanyuki and link out to this main page.

With these interlinks, they will be passing lots of authority to the target page that will be able to rank.

They could for example create content on:

  • History of Nanyuki
  • Tourist attractions in Nanyuki
  • Social amenities in Nanyuki
  • Why invest in Nanyuki real estate properties. etc

10. Spy on your competitors and beat them at their own game

Using keyword research tools such as ahrefs or semrush, you will be informed of your top competitors and how many keywords they are ranking for. With these information, you can go ahead to try and beat them at their game.

Case Studies of Sample Blogs in Kenya

I sampled some blogs in Kenya to see how they were faring online and how they could improve their SEO game. Here we go:

AMGRealtors

I did a simple search for land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki and from my settings, I found out that Ubersuggest reports that this keyphrase gets roughly 50 searches per month.

I was interested in finding out how well AMG Realtors ranks for this keyword. From my desktop, I found out that they are ranking at position 19 while on my smartphone, they came position 22 on Google.

It is good to note that local Google rankings can vary depending on the device you are using, the Gmail account you have logged in using as well as your search history.

All in all, AMG realtors is not ranking on the top position for this keyword which I believe could fetch them a good number of customers.

The sites ranking at the top included ryden.co.ke which has used the word Nanyuki 31 times in this page. There is also mitula.co.ke that has mentioned the keyword Nanyuki ’54 times’. The star classifieds is also in the first page of Google according to my results and uses the word Nanyuki 52 times.

AMG Realtors has used the word Nanyuki 9 times only.

Url rankingNumber of times the word ‘Nanyuki’ appears in urlSerp position
https://www.ryden.co.ke/properties.php?id=2&rid=3&lid=8311
https://property.mitula.co.ke/lands-nanyuki-laikipia545
https://www.buyrentkenya.com/land-for-sale/laikipia/laikipia-east/nanyuki434
https://www.the-star.co.ke/classifieds/land-plots/land-for-sale-in-nanyuki.html533
https://www.amgrealtors.com/921

It is important to note that none of the sites ranking on the first page of Google have the word ‘land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki’.

The Star, BuyrentKenya and KnightFrank are however using related terms such as ‘land for sale in Nanyuki’ in their SEO titles which would give them some competitive advantage over AMGRealtors.

If I was therefore consulting for AMGRealtors, I would advise them to use the word Nanyuki more times in their homepage as well as use the keyword ‘Land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki’ in their copy.

Other interesting things to note is that sites such as BuyrentKenya, The Star and Ryden.co.ke have listed many pieces of plots in Nanyuki with their prices and very short descriptions about the pieces.

I would advise AMG Realtors to do this. If it does not seem feasible to do it on their ranking homepage, they could have one page dedicated to these listings that will receive an internal link from the homepage.

Stawi loan app

I tried to look at how Stawi loan app could increase their online audience through SEO.

One thing I found out is that they do not have a valid SSL certificate. For a fintech company, this is a big shame.

The lack of an SSL certificate could be denying them lots of customers who want to learn more about the app before they go to Google Apps store to download it from there.

Installing one does not take that long. It is really a short process.

stawi site lacks ssl certificate

I went on to research on keywords that they could hunt for:

From this ubersuggest snippet, you can see that the content marketer at stawi needs to blog about keywords such as credit hela app, loan apps without crb check and online mpesa loans in Kenya.

One might wonder why blog about credit hela on the stawi app. Well, you might have seen websites comparing their products to those of their competitors. It is a really nice strategy where you are able to not only rank for keywords related to your competitors but you have the opportunity to show your audience why your product is better than that of your competitor.

So as the content manager on Stawi, I would go ahead to compare stawi with credit hela. I would even compare it to all other popular loan apps in Kenya such as Tala, Okash, Zenka etc.

For the second keyword on ‘loan apps without crb check’, a simple Google search shows you that loans.info.ke is the top page ranking on the search engine. I would contact the blogger at this platform to link out to Stawi since they have not reviewed it yet.

AIKenya

To get more traffic to their site, the AiKenya site should target on ranking for this keywords

Other keywords related to data science that the site could target to rank for include:

How to start a blog in Kenya for free

You can also start a free blog in Kenya using different platforms. The most popular have to be WordPress or even Google blogger. They will give you a free domain name plus hosting. The only problem with these free platforms is that you are not able to customize the layout to your liking.

Your audience might also not take you seriously since you are using a weird domain name for example jamesnjenga.wordpress.com as opposed to having a simple one like jamesnjenga.com.

So while it is possible to start a blog for free in Kenya, I would not advise you to do it for business purposes. Not unless you are doing it for personal reasons where you used the wordpress or blogspot blog to familiriaze yourself with the nitty gritties of blogging.

Ahref free keyword generator

Did you know that ahrefs has a free keyword research tool?

It is called ahref free keyword generator.

Yes, a completely free tool.

Am not talking about the $7 – 7 days trial program.

No, am talking about a keyword research tool where you pay zero but get data on the search volume of your keyword as well as related terms.

It was cool to discover this because well, Ahrefs must be one of the best SEO tools that one could ever dream about.

How to use the ahref free keyword generator tool

  • Just go to ahrefs keyword generator
  • Enter keyword.
  • Set your needed location
  • Hit the Find keywords command button
  • Prove that you are not a robot by checking the Captcha checkbox
  • It gives you upto 150 phrase matches as well as related questions related to the term you searched.
  • It will also show the aggregate searches per month, their keyword difficulty (KD) and when last this data was updated.

Using this free keyword research tool is easy peasy.

Why I like the ahref keyword generator

  • You can use it to research on searches per month for keywords in Google, Youtube, Bing and Amazon.
  • It shows searches per month
  • It also gives you the keyword difficulty
  • Gives you a long list of related search terms.
  • You can use it to search terms in different localities.

Related: You can also check WMS Everywhere free keyword research tool.

WMS Everywhere Review

After keyword everywhere retired their free keyword research plan, in came WMS Everywhere and judging by the reviews that I have gone through, it is an equally good tool.

It is very similar to keyword surfer in that you are able to tell the search volume per month for a keyword as well as its related terms.

What is WMS Everywhere free keyword research tool?

WMS everywhere is a free chrome extension tool that newbie bloggers can use for their keyword research needs.

I hope that they keep it free and not act up like those Keyword Everywhere guys who gave us the tool for a certain length of time before they went premium.

To get it, all you need is go to chrome extensions, search for it and add it to your Google chrome browser.

How to use WMS everywhere

  • Add it to chrome

  • Sign up your WMS account
  • Start using the tool.

My WMS Everywhere review

Though I like that it is a free chrome extension that will give you a keyword search volume per month as well as related terms, I feel that it is not as good as keyword surfer.

For one, you will have to sign up to use it which I feel not to be so cool.

At the same time, it lacks some of the features that Keyword everywhere and surfer have. It will for example not tell you the word count for the webpages on your SERPs.

At the same time, it lacks the beautiful visual data that Surfer shows with its correlational charts.

Keyword Surfer: Best Free Alternative to Keyword Everywhere

If you are a beginner blogger, you must be looking for ways to rank your website without too many costs. One way is to rank without backlinks while another way is to do keyword research at low costs.

Using free keyword research tool: Keyword surfer

One of the free keyword research tools that I am currently using is keyword surfer. I discovered it just the other day when I was researching on free keyword research tools.

I would recommend keyword surfer to any newbie owing to the fact that it is free as well as easy to use.

The tool is able to give me the search volume per month for a keyword as well as terms that are closely related or similar to the phrase that I have searched for in Google.

It also gives me an estimate of the amount of traffic that each of the webpages is receiving as well as number of words that are in each of the pages.

For people who like visual data, it has a correlation chart that shows the estimated traffic for each site, its number of words as well as the exact match keywords in the first 10 results of the Serps.

What is keyword surfer?

Keyword surfer is a free Google chrome extension. It is a product by the guys who own surfer SEO, a cool on page optimization tool. They have assured us that the tool will remain free.

Lets just hope that they will keep it that way lest they also start charging like Keyword Everywhere did.

How to use keyword surfer?

To use keyword surfer, you only need to head over to chrome extensions and search for keyword surfer.

After typing it, hit the enter key to search and you will get a populated list of extensions that are related to that term.

We are interested in the puple one. Click on it and then click on add to chrome blue button.

There you have it. You have just added keyword surfer to your chrome.

Everytime you now search for a phrase on Google chrome, you will get its search volume and correlation graphs.

It supports datasets from upto 70 countries.

Keyword surfer firefox

For those who love Firefox, you can still add the tool.

You will however need Mozilla Firefox 57 to enable addittion of web extensions.

Go to your firefox browse and search for keyword surfer web extension and follow the procedure to add it.

Keyword surfer for android

You can also add the extension on your android phone.

It is not that straightfoward though because you will first have to go to Google Play store, look for Yandex browser.

The Yandex browser once installed will allow you to add chrome extensions. So after installing it, look for keyword surfer chrome extension.

Related: Using Ubersuggest free keyword research tool

6 Absolutely Free keyword research tools for Newbie Bloggers

Sometimes back when I was starting SEO, things were very much easy. Tools like Ahrefs offered us a free two week trial period.

I signed up to their trial tool with as many Gmail accounts as possible.

And then most recently, there was Keyword Everywhere which would show you the searches per month for a keyword, give you related terms to the keyword as well as the word count in web pages.

Things are different now. You will have to cough at least $7 to try Ahrefs for 7 days trial. And then from there, you can decide to start the subscription at a higher cost or ditch it all together.

Keyword Everywhere also introduced charges for using their tool.

Ahrefs and Keyword Everywhere are great tools for keyword research.

But for newbie bloggers who might be hard on cash, getting these fees no matter how small they may seem might be a tall order.

They therefore want free tools that they can use to do their keyword research.

Well, I am your guy in this.

Keyword surfer

This is a free chrome extension tool.

It gives you the search volume per month for keywords you search on Google as well as the number of words in each of the search results plus the estimated number of visitors each of the domains on the SERPs have.

Ubersuggest

We saw that Ubersuggest is a freemium tool meaning that you can use for a limited number of times and as a paid tool if you want to use all its features.

I have found it to be a great tool and have been using it for most of my keyword research works.

WMS everywhere

This is a chrome extension tool similar to Keyword everywhere.

It gives you the search volume of keywords you search on Google while at the same time giving you related searches and their search volumes.

Keywords nowhere

Again this is similar to Keyword everywhere. But it will not give you related search terms.

Google Keyword Planner

Sometimes back, bloggers would use the Google Keyword planner to dig the searches per month for keywords.

All that one needs to sign up for is Google ads as though they are about to pay for ads.

However you need to skip this part and move ahead to expert mode so as not be charged for setting up campaigns.

Ahrefs Keyword Generator

After cutting out their free two weeks trials, Ahrefs still offers what they call keyword generator that gives you a maximum of 150 keywords related to the seed term you enter into this tool

Say for example that I am interested in the keyword ‘free keyword research tools’.

I will head over to ahrefs keyword generator and enter the phrase into the tool search bar and hit the find keywords button.

I could also specify from which country I want to do the search:

How to do keyword research for your blog with Ubersuggest free tool

Succeeding in affiliate marketing does not need a degree in rocket science. It is easy but needs to be procedural.

Steps You Follow to succeed in Affiliate Marketing

Here are the steps that you need to take:

  1. Select a good niche that has an audience. A niche is a topic or subject matter that you blog about. Say for example that I am interested in pregnancy as my niche of choice. We have looked at tips on niche selection here.

2. Do your keyword research. We will be looking at that today using free tools.

3. Buy domain, host your blog, enter correct permalinks and get a custom made logo. You could also add your premium theme at this point. Personally though, I wait till I am making some good money from the site before I can invest in a good WordPress theme.

4. Create content and upload it making sure that it is well optimized and topically relevant.

5. Create backlinks and social profiles. There is however a group of people that do not create backlinks but still do well.

6. Wait for the traffic to stream in. As you wait, you could be creating more content and interlinking it with your previously uploaded articles. At this juncture, you will also be tracking everything using commercial SERP tools, Google analytics and Google Search Console.

7. Once the traffic starts streaming in, you could sign up to affiliate marketing programs and once approved, tweak things a little adding call to action buttons, comparison tables and featured products lists to push your audience to buy off your affiliate links.

8. If you are getting good traffic on your informative articles, you could go ahead and sign up for ad networks so that you can monetize your traffic with ad networks such as Google Adsense, Ezoic and Mediavine.

9. Make money. Better your sites by working on your conversion rate optimization. Rinse and repeat.

NB: The first two steps can make or break you.

Select a bad niche that has no audience and you are doomed.

Work on wrong keywords and you will never see a dollar stream into your bank account.

It is therefore important that niche selection and keyword research be done really well.

But what is a keyword?

A keyword is a phrase that your audience is typing on search engines so as to answer their needs.

Say for example that a pregnant woman is looking for free apps to track how her baby is growing. She might type ‘free pregnancy apps to track baby growth’ on Google search. This is a keyword.

What makes a good keyword?

My rule when hunting for keywords is get those that have high search volume but low competition. It is however never that easy.

Often keywords that have high search volume also have the highest competition. Why? Because the big boys are chasing for them. And since they have better authority than a newbie, you are better off throwing in the towel.

To fix this, we have the keyword golden ratio. Here you get low search volume keywords but at the same time with an incredibly low competition.

How to do keyword research with Ubersuggest

One of the free tools that you can use for your keyword research is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. The tool is able to show you the search volume of a keyword as well as the difficulty in ranking for it.

Ubersuggest is a freemium tool meaning that you can use some of its features without paying a dime. If however you want all its features like unlimited keyword searches per day, then you could pay up

I am still interested in the pregnancy niche and so, let us research for the keyword ‘free pregnancy apps to track baby growth‘ to see whether it has 1. A good search volume and 2. Low competition using the KGR strategy.

So I head over to Ubersuggest, type my keyword into the text box saying enter a domain or keyword and go on to hit the search button

Here are the results:

You will find that the keyword has 0 search results.

I therefore do not need to work with it.

But how about I look for ‘free pregnancy apps‘.

Here are the search results for that on Ubersuggest:

Awesome! It shows that it has some 320 search results.

But I still do need to check for its competition using the KGR technique.

For KGR technique, I need to do the computation below and if it is below 0.25 then, that is a low competition keyword.

So, I go to Google and search for the term ‘free pregnancy apps’ with the allintitle search tag so that whatever I search for on Google is “allintitle:free pregnancy apps” without the quotation marks.

It shows that we have 1250 search results that have ‘free pregnancy apps’

Doing the KGR calculation for this

We get a figure of 3.90625

That is way higher than 0.25.

So, our efforts were futile. Should we give up?

Nope.

If you search for the term, ‘free pregnancy apps’, you will see that at the bottom of the 10 Google search results on your first page, there are other searches related to free pregnancy apps.

One that captured my attention was ‘best pregnancy app for dads’. So, I want to examine whether it is a good keyword.

Again, I go back to Ubersuggest and see whether it has a search volume.

And yes, it does have a search volume of 210.

Let me see its allintitle search results

It has 6 allintitle search results.

Does if fit the KGR compliance calculation?

Yep. Because 6/210=0.028

So that makes a good keyword. If my niche was pregnancy, it would be one of the keywords that I would write content on.

If I do a Google search for ‘best pregnancy app for dads’ so as to see related search results, I get this

Maybe this other related searches could make some good keywords for my niche site on pregnancy.

So, I grab ‘pregnancy app to share with partner’, ‘best pregnancy app for couples’ and ‘pregnancy app for mom and dad’ to examine their search results and KGR compliance.

This has a search result of 30 . Lets see its allintitle search results

Woo hoo, it seems we have another keyword here. Because KGR=1/30=0.033

So, that’s another keyword, we could focus on in our pregnancy niche blog.

Lets go to another keyword

And the allintitle for this

This shows that there are 0 allintitle search results.

Wow, another good keyword there to blog about!

I will leave you to carry out the analysis for the last keyword ‘pregnancy app to share with partner’

Other Considerations to be made in Keyword Research

Though the KGR technique works (and I have indeed proved that it really does work), you need to observe the following.

  • Search for each keyword. Look at who is ranking and check out their content for gaps. Make sure that your article is way better than theirs.
  • See how many backlinks they have. If possible to replicate them, do it.

Lets examine the first example keyword on ‘best pregnancy apps for dad’.

A simple Google search for that keyword shows us that the site that scooped position one for that keyword is this:

Infact this webpage https://redtri.com/5-pregnancy-apps-every-dad-to-be-should-be-using/ scoops the featured snippet.

If we use the ahrefs free backlink checker tool to see the backlinks built for this site, we will see this:

19 backlinks! That is a lot, right?

But on further examination, you will find that some of the backlinks are somehow spammy and do not have that high authority.

The content is not that long form. If I were to compete with this web-page, I would make sure that I do more content than them.

At the moment, there are about 703 words in this post.

In the site, they have reviewed only 5 apps for dads. I would try to do more in my article on ‘best pregnancy app for dads’

I would also go ahead and write reviews of each of the apps and have those reviews linking back to my main content. That way, I would have better topical relevance.

How to rank A Website without Backlinks

Lets face it, most of the websites that are doing well on the first pages of search engines have backlinks.

Or it could be that even though the ranking pages do not have backlinks pointing to them, the sites have great domain authority owing to the links pointing to the root domain.

And so newbies who are starting out their SEO games can do nothing but covet the experts who seem to be ranking without too much effort.

To be honest, I always like cutting corners in SEO.

I am a grey hat who will build all sorts of links be they comment backlinks, guest posts or even the more riskier PBNs.

And so the concept of ranking a site while beating down the temptation to build backlinks was new to me. Not until recently.

But hey, the guys at incomeschool seem to always preach about doing SEO without having to rely on backlinks. They claim that newbies can outrank the experts without having to invest in building links

So is it posibble to rank a website without backlinks?

The simple answer is yes.

You can do it.

But there is a caveat to that yes.

You have to flesh out great content, bringing in new ideas to your readers and have a topically relevant website.

So lets look at strategies that you can use to rank without relying on backlinks

  • Sound social media presence

Of late, I have been exploring other sources of traffic such as Facebook and Pinterest. And I have found out that once you start receiving lots of traffic from Pinterest, Google also gives in and starts awarding you with organic traffic.

So, do not ignore social media. Especially Pinterest.

I would not say the same about Facebook unless you have a way of creating viral content. With Facebook, you share a post in a group, it generates over 200 views in one day but that plummets the next day to less than 10. And that number goes to 0 the next.

So, it is not a reliable source of passive traffic. And Google knows this. They will therefore be a little bit reluctant to award you with organic traffic if your only source of traffic is Facebook.

  • Great content that have good user experience

The guys at Incomeschool say that to get organic traffic without building backlinks, you need to make sure that you are consistent in your content creation as well as make really good content.

And that is true. Google also says that content is king.

So, go out there, research and make the best of contents that have ever been found in that niche that you have selected.

  • Topical relevance

If you are not building backlinks, you really need to show Google that your site has trust on the topic. And how do you do this?

You build topical relevance.

If you are writing about video cameras, have at least 5 pages that are talking nothing else but video cameras. This way, search engines will start trusting you on the topic of video cameras.

And once you have the 5 pages on video cameras, make sure to interlink them so that as Google crawls from one page to the other, they will be able to see that you indeed do have topical relevance.

  • KGR keywords

I swear by Keyword Golden Ratio(KGR) keywords in all my keyword research strategies. If a keyword is not KGR compliant, I just leave it and go hunt for others.

Now for those who are wondering what KGR keywords are, I would refer you to Doug Cunnington who came up with this concept. KGR is nothing but a formula where you check the number of times a keyword appears in the titles of pages divided by the search volume per month.

In short KGR=allintitle:keyword/searchvolumepermonth

Now if this number is less than 0.25, I will comfortably go for that keyword with the assurance that I will appear in the first 100 pages of Google once I am indexed.

If it is more than this number, you will have to hustle for backlinks before you can appear in the first 100 results of the search engines.

  • Great on page optimization

Of late I stumbled on a keyword tool called Surfer SEO. Now this is not your average SEO tool that spies your competitors telling you which backlinks to build or keywords that have low competition.

No Surfer SEO shows you how to optimize your on page.

It tells you how many times to use a certain keyword based on how the top ten competitors are doing it.

It even tells you of how many words your content should have based on the word count that the top 10 sites ranking have.

Some years ago, SEO gurus would tell us to make sure that our product review pages should have at least 1800 words while support pages ought to have at least 600 words.

Related: Free Keyword Research Tools for Beginners

And we believed it.

But Surfer SEO tells you that one size doesn’t fit it all.

Which is true because for some niches, you are best looking at the word count of the top ten sites before you go ahead to build a hell lot of content yet Google wants to rank shorter pages.

Blogging 101: Do Not Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

I know that I will sound like a broken record when I say this but I just have to say it:

In blogging, you should never put all your eggs in one basket.

Yes, things can get crazy.

Anywhere and anytime.

But in the blogosphere anything can happen and they frequently do occur.

Traffic on your site can tank. Your hosting could fail. Your affiliate marketing program could start paying you peanuts for your hard work. Your payment method could also fail.

And you have no one to blame.

And is there something you can do to mitigate some of these risks?

Of course, there is–diversification and having a safety net.

Traffic

Traffic is what drives blogging. If you are not getting any traffic on your blog and do not have a plan on how you will get it, then you should ditch blogging and look for a job.

Without traffic, there will be no money that you will make.

Search engines

One of the most popular traffic sources that bloggers rely on is search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

To get traffic from these sources, you need to optimize your blog for SEO. I have looked at various tips that you can use to better your blog for search engine traffic.

Overeliance on search engines though poses a danger. Personally, my first site that was in the bodybuilding niche went down because of over-relying on Google for all my traffic. The site was attracting a constant stream of at least 100 pageviews per day.

And then the August 2018 Google Medic update came and wiped it out. The traffic tanked to 20, 10 and then 0.

It was frustrating but I learnt a lesson.

Never trust one traffic source.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another good traffic source for people who create visual content and then have it pinned.

How Pinterest works is that you create content. It could be an article, image or a video. Then you have an image with an attention grabbing image within your blog.

You pin this image to Pinterest and when you capture the right audience, they are going to click through the image to visit your blog.

Pinterest though has lots of updates and as such, you can never know how things are going to be tomorrow.

Quora

Quora is a question and answer forum like site. People ask all sorts of questions and experts in those topics answer them.

You want to be the expert answering questions related to your niche. As you answer the questions, you sneak in links to your blog post so that when people want more information, they will be going to your blog.

Of course, it will take lots of work and time to gain good traffic on quora and therefore, you should not entirely depend on its traffic.

Email marketing

You must have seen those optin and pop up email subscription forms on most websites requiring that you supply them with your email address so that they can send more content related to the niche they are blogging about.

As a blogger, you will then be directing these people to your other blog posts everytime you publish content. You could also try to sell products to them.

Email marketing is a good source of traffic especially for information niches. I have however not seen it to be so effective when you are doing affiliate marketing posts where you review a list of products. Your readers want to click on your call to action (CTA) buttons but never subscribe to your emails.

Affiliate marketing programs

Amazon

Amazon associates program was a good source of passive income for affiliate marketers until they started slashing commissions without any consultation. If you are in the program, you know that you are just a pawn.

You never in control of your income.

Shareasale

Shareasale is a good alternative to Amazon affiliate marketing owing to their higher commission rates and monthly payouts but their conversion rates are not that good. People do not trust their merchants sites that much and so you might be driving so many clicks with zero sales made.

Ad networks

Adsense

Google adsense is a good ad network where you will earn depending on the number of people who see ads on your blog. Their RPMs are however not the best; they are very low.

Google adsense has also been known to ban publishers with a high frequency especially when you violate their terms.

Ezoic

Ezoic is a good alternative to Google Adsense but they require you to have at least 10k pageviews per month and be Google Adsense approved. The major problem with Ezoic is that they will slow your site speed so much.

Mediavine

Mediavine have a great reputation for better RPMs but it will take over 60 days before you get your payouts. At the same time, they require at least 50k sessions before you join the platform.

Payment methods

Payoneer

Payoneer are a good payment method for receiving your affiliate cash from the amazon associates program especially if you are from a non US country, shareasale and even ezoic.

Last week though, users received information that Wirecard AG, the company that supplies them with Mastercards had filed for insolvency and therefore they could not withdraw their money.

Paypal

Paypal is a good option for receiving online payments but they are also well known to limit and suspend accounts.

Beginner Guide on How to Make a SEO friendly Website in WordPress

how to make seo friendly website in wordpress

The main purpose why most small publishers are starting a business blog is to earn money through selling their own products, affiliate marketing and earning ad income. However, to make money, you first need to get traffic. If you do not have traffic, nobody is going to see your well designed website or wonderful products.

So you will not make any money blogging!

An Austin SEO consultant suggests that traffic is therefore something that every blogger should hunt out for.

There are many ways to get traffic to your blog: you could get it from social media marketing, email marketing campaigns, paid ads or organically through search engines.

For the purpose of this post, I will only look at how to get organic traffic from search engines and in particular, Google to your wordpress site.

So, let’s look into it.

Strategies you need to implement to get organic Google search engine traffic

You get Google traffic by ranking for search terms/keywords.

Google organizes its search results into pages with each page containing 10 search results.

So when a user searches for ‘wordpress seo’, Google will look at different web pages on ‘wordpress seo’ submitted to its index and using its secret algorithm, organize those web pages so that those it finds to have the best relevant information that will solve the readers question come first.

doing a google search

Any blogger who wants to get Google traffic should try and understand how this secret algorithm works. When you learn how it works, you will make sure that your blog is able to rank on the search engine. We say that you are optimizing for Google and that is why we have the term search engine optimization (SEO).

The long and short of the matter is that to rank in Google, you need to have some knowledge on search engine optimization.

So how do you do SEO on your blog?

On page optimization

The very first thing you need to do in your blog SEO is optimize the very article you want to rank. Let us look at how you do it.

  • Long form and relevant content is great because it shows that you are an authority in the field. You therefore need to write in depth information in your article so that your reader’s question is fully answered.

Expert SEOs like Matt Diggity have however argued that for some niches, you would want to limit yourself to a word count that Google has been shown to love. He gives an example of local seo for plumbers where those who rank do about 300 to 500 words. Were you then to do 5000 words for such a niche, you would look like the black sheep which is not something you want to do.

  • When you are starting out, I would advise that you target long tail keyword golden ratio compliant search terms.

The keyword golden ratio is a concept introduced by Doug Cunnington and it states that if you find a low search volume but long tail keyword whose ratio of allintitle keyword to search volume per month is below 0.25 then you can easily rank for the keyword without so many struggle.

Say for example that when you use keyword research tools such as ahrefs for ‘best mattresses under $500’ you find that it has a search volume of 200 per month.

At the same time, let us assume that when you search for “allintitle:best mattresses under $500” without the quotation marks you find that the allintitle shows 10 web pages that have the term ‘best mattresses under $500’ in their titles.

The ratio then is 10/200=0.05

Then that keyword is KGR compliant and you are assured to rank without so much competition or hard work.

  • Have the focus keyword in the right places such as the url, heading, SEO title, meta description, alt text in images, within the body of your article.

You can always edit the meta data ie SEO title, slug and meta description by using third party plugins such as Yoast and Rank Math SEO.

Below here are my meta data for this post which I can edit using Rank Math SEO which is what I am currently using.

SEO title and Meta description for this post

Permalink or slug for this post

  • Other than using exact match keywords, you need to work with partial match keywords. For example if you want to rank for the keyword ‘best mattresses under $500’, you could also use partial matches such as ‘cheap mattresses on a budget’, ‘great mattresses that sell cheaply’ etc.
  • Link out to other authoritative pages that are covering the same topic. This way, the algorithm is able to tell what your blog post is all about. Caution should however be taken that you do not link out to your competitors since they might beat you at ranking. I like linking out to authoritative sites such as Wikipedia or educational studies that have covered the topic in depth.
  • Nice looking and short permalinks

By default, wordpress has this ugly permalinks that contain the date when you made the post as well as its id. You really do not want this for SEO purposes. You want the permalinks to be short and sweet and to contain the postname with a keyword.

We looked at how to do permalinks containing the postname here.

Off page optimization

Other than optimizing the exact page that you want to rank, you also need to do some other off-page optimization.

So how do you do it?

-Interlink the article from other related articles on your blog that are already indexed. This way, you will have the web page getting indexed faster and at the same time you help the Google algorithm tell what your page is all about.

– Create topical relevance for your page by creating 3 -5 new short posts interlinked to main article.

If the article that I want ranking is ‘best mattresses under $500’, I would go ahead and create 3 new posts related to mattresses. Say for example articles on ‘how to clean your mattress’, ‘how to repurpose an old mattress’ and ‘tips on choosing the best mattress’. This new articles would then link out to the pillar ‘best mattresses under $500’ article.

how to create topical relevance for seo
Image showing How to create topical relevance for seo

  • The basis of off page optimization is relevant and authoritative backlinks.

Every time I create a new website, I try and hunt for backlinks from various sources. They could be 1. blog comments, 2. guest posts, 3. forum links and private blog network links.

I know most SEOs will argue that Google wants link acquisition to be a natural thing. It should not be something that you build. And this is where people who build links unnaturally are nicknamed as either gray hat or black hat SEOs.

But hey, look here, building links has been working for me. Why should I not continue doing it.

Let us look at look at how to do blog comment links as well as private blog network links.

Blog comments

Blog comments establish relations between bloggers.

They have however been labeled as spammy by most SEOs. Google has gone ahead and introduced the rel=nofollow for all blog comment links.

Despite all this, I still find them to be important especially for new sites when you want Google to index your blog.

To do blog comments, I would only search for bloggers in my niche. Say for example, I want to build comment links for this post, I would search for blogs talking about how do do seo.

I searched for ‘how to do seo ‘blogspot.com’ because I want to find blogspots since they are the easiest to leave comment links on.

I was lucky to find this blogspot that talks of seo ‘https://destinedboy.blogspot.com/2019/12/google-blogger.html’ and so I go ahead to read the blog content and then leave a comment.

This is how you leave a comment to ensure that it is a link

And then after writing that, I need to click on publish.

Voila, my comment with link pointing to this post went through.

PBN links

The acquistion of Private blog network (PBN) links is one that has been debated in so many SEO circles.

There are those who say that it is black hat and would not touch PBN links with a tne feet pole.

But hey, they work and that is why I continue using them.

A private blog network means that you have a group of privately owned blogs whose purpose is to link out to you only.

The private blog networks should themselves have authoritative backlinks pointing to them so that they can then pass the link juice to your blog that you want to rank.

You can acquire blogs for your pbn by scraping for expired domains or buying from brokers who have scraped them.

But before buying, you need to make sure that the expired domain does not have spammy backlinks and had not been penalized by Google before expiration.

how to get google love with seo