Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reality check - make R500 to R1000 p/m extra in your spare time

You will notice that I added a couple of banners on the right-hand side. These are the affiliates in South Africa that I am trying out. Some of them I started trying out recently, some of them I've been trying for a couple of months. I mainly use them on my websites that generate proper traffic, but stuck them on here for the purpose of this blog - to inform others and to show the income (if any) they generate.

For now I am only trying out 7 or so different companies. I don't really intend using more than that and I have several reasons:

  • I don't want to clutter my websites with kak, as the info on my websites are more important than something that looks shitty and just shouts "CLICK ON ME!". That will drive people away faster than Pirates fan at a Blue Bulls game, rendering my website useless and taking away the main purposes of my website, which in my case is having fun doing a hobby whilst entertaining others.
  • I want to promote companies that I frequently use myself and find useful, not pyramid schemes.
  • This is experimental and a hobby - I don't want to use too much time administrating something that will bring in a few couple of Rands. Obviously if it starts bringing in a little more bucks I will spend a little more time on it, but its not something I am losing sleep over, and you should approach it in a similar way, unless you sit at home and have absolutely nothing to do but scrathc your balls or smoke dagga. Remember that there is a world outside there as well. Do you know what the sun looks like?

Lets go through the list quickly:

  • Take2 is an online shop, much like Kalahari . They offer a wide range of books, electronics, DVDs and games. To sign up with them, you need to e-mail them and request to be an affiliate partner. They will mail you back in a day or two to inform you if your application was succesful, ie, if you have a decent website and not Google Ads surrounded by white spaces. I found them to have lots of scarce movies and more recently a wide range of Xbox 360 games (since I only bought my Xbox recently). Service is excellent and delivery prompt and affordable. I added them as an affilaite today, actually, so we will see how that side of things go.
  • Lottofun is a South African online lottery service and they have a referral system for any member who signs up with them. I use them on a weekly basis to order my lotto tickets online, check results or get informed via SMS. I added them as a referral partner today. They offer R15 per paid signed up customer, so nothing really to lose. Some people reckon they are pricey, but I just find it convenient, not queueing at an Engen on a Saturday night. I am a lazy bastard. Also I only order when I really feel like I have some money to burn.
  • Next up is PC Mall, an online South-African IT superstore. I added them this week, partly because I have an interest in IT products and frequently shop around for bargains, be it laptops, hard drives, PC components etc. I also found a nice section on their site selling Xbox games and they compare well to Kalahari and Take2. Their USB sticks also seem not too pricey. I am yet to place an order with them, but on the surface it looks good. I will hopefully report back soon, once I've placed an order and received my goods.
  • I read about Synergy on another blog and thought I'd give it try as well. They seem to be similar to Google's AdSense although they also cater for South Africans and they pay in rands. You will sometimes see rotating banners on websites such as News24 advertising Dial Direct, Outsurance, NetFlorist and so forth. Those are done through Synergy and they aparently pay you per click or a percentage of sales that go through your referrals, depending on the campaign you choose and deploy. Set-up is fairly quickly and painless. You can get started within 30 minutes or so. I added them today.
  • Loot is similar to Kalahari and Take2 - an online shop with books, CDs, DVDs etc. If I remeber correctly, they pay a percentage of total sales on a quarterly basis. Visit their site for more info regarding this. It seems more like a long-term thing, so I will let them run for a while and see how that works out. If it doesn't, I'll can it and look for something else, or just keep my affiliate links donw to six. Applying for an affiliate ID is as easy as becoming a regular customer by opening a normal, free user account. They also seem innovative as far as their banners and links go. You can for instacne easily set up an HTML link in your outgoing mail if you feel like it, not that I would do it - my e-mail is still my e-mail and I dont like "selling" it. I've seen worse though - people with smiley faces and other kak scattered at the bottom of their e-mails. If you are one of those people, you might as well replace it with a banner from Loot. At least you will get a couple of cents. I am yet to order DVDs or music through them, but pricing seems fair.
  • The first ever affiliate program I joined (roughly around 4 months ago) and so far most "lucrative" one is Kalahari. As with the other online bookstores like Loot and Take2, they pay a percentage, Kalahari's being on a monthly basis. Since I started using them, I've made around an average of R400 per month - enough to cover the hosting of all my websites or to order a new Xbox game per month. Applying online is easy and if I remember correctly you will be ready to roll within 48 hours or so. Definitely worthwhile checking them out. I've been using them for a couple of years now, almost on a monthly basis, so the extra cash I make from them, I regard as a discount towards my purchases. Also, buying items through your own affiliate link gets you a further 6% discount, so even if you're not into affiliate marketing, you can save yourself some cash if you use them as frequently as I do.
  • Google's AdSense could be a source of income, although I am not a big fan of it. Personally, the text adlinks plastered all over websites is an eyesore, often advertising kak that you yourself will never be interested in. Have a look at the links on the right for instance. Interested? I didn't think so. Go read up on it if you want - there are many different aspects to it if you really want to get into it. The only reason why I stuck one of their ads up is because you can just leave it there for a year or so, as they pay out once you've reached a $100 threshold. With the current R/$ rate it would pay out close to R1000 once reached. Not too bad if you consider that you can just leave it there and possibly have a R1000 payment at the end of the year to spend on petrol, booze or condoms - whatever you do over the festive season. One of my friends reached the $100 mark this month with a South African website (after about 8 or 9 months), so I will report back here as to how easy/painfull/at all the payout was. I also added it yesterday to see if there will be any activity or click-throughs.
You are welcome to leave questions or comments or share your experiences if you've also just started or tried it out. Within the next week or so I will post screen shots of the little income that I've made from the list mentioned above.

Like I said, there is no such thing as easy, quick money, unfortunately. My aim here is to give people reality checks with some concrete proof. Do it part-time for fun as part of your existing websites to fill empty spaces strategically and don't get all hung up on something that could possibly waste your time. The best way to make money is still through an honest day's work.

1 comment:

Headspace said...

I agree fully. There are a lot of folks that have the percewption that it's quick and easy.

It's hard work to make a comfortable living online if you're starting out.

Only time, persistence and a little luck pay off in the end.