You already spend most of your day on WhatsApp anyway, you might as well make some money while using it right? When I first installed the app, I considered it to be massive invasion of privacy. Anybody who has your number stored on their phone can just forward you some random choreographed Chinese skit that they think is funny (but actually isn’t); and don’t get me started on those looong religious broadcasts.
I prefer the BBM model where you had to exchange pins with someone you really wanted to chat with. Ahh, the good old days of pings and stickers. Jeez! Remember Ama Kip Kip?
Notwithstanding its shortcomings, the WhatsApp app is the undisputed king of the IM platforms on mobile with over 1 billion downloads worldwide and it also has a web version that works on PC or Mac.
With its popularity, I’ve been wracking my brain about how I can use the app as a platform for my blog without being intrusive and being guilty of the very crime I abhor -spamming. I came up with a few ideas but while researching the topic, I also came across some interesting ideas about monetizing WhatsApp.
In truth, some may seem a bit spammy depending on your comfort level. I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable subjecting my friends and family to some of these methods, so these ideas are offered for information purposes only. I take no responsibility if you are deleted from any group or for any insults that are hurled your way.
WhatsApp Influencer Marketing
This method is being used extensively on Social Media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Influencers with millions or even thousands of followers can simply post a picture of themselves wearing a particular brand of clothing and suddenly, the sales of the brand shoots up.
This can work on WhatsApp if you are an administrator on a number of group chats since the maximum number of members per group is 256. You can make up to N5,000 per product endorsement, testimonial or advert. The most important thing with this method is the call to action. There must be a website to link to or a number to call so that the company paying you can measure your conversion. A high conversion ratio will justify paying for more placements.
For those of you who forward daily news headlines or just forward lots of links generally, this one is for you. There are services out there that will pay you for every link that you share that is clicked. These companies are called URL-shorteners. Not all URL-shorteners pay you for clicks, for example, google or twitter don’t but some advertising agencies out there have caught on and are selling ads for clicks.
So, here’s how it works: You find a link on say, an online newspaper that you think is interesting and you would like to share. What you would normally do is copy the link and paste into WhatsApp but to make money from these services, you would copy the link and paste on their site (you have to log in and create a profile so you can get your own custom links). They then give you a shortened version of the link which you then paste into WhatsApp.
When your friends or group members click on the link, they are first shown an advert for about 5 seconds before the actual page you want to share is loaded. As I said, this might get you thrown off a group because it is annoying and it can be rather painstaking to copy and paste links twice every time, but there are rewards. A service like LinkShrink for example pays $4.76 for every 1000 clicks. This link shows you how it works. It starts to make sense, if you are a member of many groups and you share lots of interesting links that people can’t help but click on.
You will need a blog or website first to make this work. It’s a lot more work but a lot more legitimate.
When you visit many websites and blogs, one thing you can’t miss are the ads. These ads are how many sites (including this one) maintain their hosting costs etc. Some popular sites are however making a killing from these ads.
There are typically three types of ads you see on websites: CPC, CPM and Affiliate ads. CPC mean Cost per Click. When you click on a CPC ad, the owner of the site makes a bit of money (usually less than $1). CPM means Cost per Mille; a fancy way of saying cost per thousand. The owner of the site gets paid a few cents for every 1,000 views of the ad. Affiliate ads are from companies like online retailers who pay the owner of the site a commission when users click on the ads and end up buying something from the online store. Commissions can be as high as 20%
So, let’s say you have a blog about cooking and recipes. On this blog, you have CPC, CPM and Affiliate ads. What you need to do to leverage WhatsApp is, write a brief summary of your most popular blog posts (one paragraph, max) and add a link to the post at the bottom.
Post this summary and link on all your group chats and broadcast to all your contacts (if you are comfortable doing that). If the post is “fire”, it will get forwarded to other group chats and to other contacts until it goes viral (like those bloody Chinese videos). The more people visit the page or click on the ads, the more money you make.
If you’ve got mad Gele tying skills, then you can make money on WhatsApp. Simply send out broadcasts advertising your Gele tying consulting services and add a bank account number to pay money into. For those who pay, they are added to a WhatsApp group where you teach Gele tying. This can include your uploaded videos, voice/video chats and regular chat.
This works for not just Gele tying of course. Depending on the type of service you offer, you can charge a one-off fee or monthly fee and as the administrator, you can remove anyone who doesn’t pay at any time.
There are no real start-up costs to making money on WhatsApp except the cost of the smartphone (which you already have) and the cost of data. If you do start a WhatsApp business, please share your experience below. I would really like to hear from you.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime