Is Youtube a good platform to start Affiliate Marketing? Is Affiliate Marketing a good way to monetize your Youtube channel?
Youtube is not only one of the second biggest social media channels but also the world’s second-largest search engine with over 1 billion users (2nd to Google, who owns them).
Not only that but also 6 billion hours of video are viewed on YouTube every month. So going back to our questions, yes and yes!
Youtube is one of the best platforms to get started with Affiliate Marketing today and if you already have a channel, implementing Affiliate marketing is the best strategy to multiply your profits.
In this article, we’ll explore why the combination of Youtube and Affiliate Marketing is a match made in money-heaven and give you a step-by-step guide on to stop wasting time and get some of that yourself!
What is Youtube for Affiliate Marketing?
Let’s get started by defining what Affiliate Marketing is so we are all in the same page.
Put simply, Affiliate Marketing is a technique that companies use to increase their sales in which other people can promote their offers and receive a commission in exchange (for every sale).
While not very known to the average person, affiliate marketing is super common. In fact, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers use this tactic as part of their marketing strategy so most of the brands you know most likely have an affiliate program.
So, how does Youtube for Affiliate Marketing works?
Affiliate marketers can use different platforms and techniques to promote their offers. From blogs and forums to social media ads and… Youtube.
Youtube is an ideal platform to promote any product or service. Since it works as a search engine, people who watch the videos are already interested in finding our about one specific product or looking for a solution to a certain problem.
When using Youtube for affiliate marketing, content creators make videos related to their offers and place their affiliate links in the description of the video. This way when people go the link and —some of them— buy it, they get a commission.
You have certainly watched a tutorial or product review where the Youtube has mentioned they’ll leave the link in the description. You might have even bought some through an affiliate link.
Take the video above for example. The YouTuber has created a camera buying guide and has left not one but 6 affiliate links in the description.
If he managed to gain the viewers trust and they got interested in the cameras he recommended, there is a high chance they’ll click on the links and he’ll get a commission for every sale.
In a similar way, Youtuber use product reviews, tutorials, and ‘best of’ videos to redirect traffic to an affiliate landing page.
Some wiser Yotubers will instead direct users to an email sign-up form so they can promote not only those but many other products forever.
Recommended: Create a Landing Page for Affiliate Marketing in 6 Steps
Why should you use Youtube for Affiliate Marketing?
Whether you are a new affiliate marketer trying to choose the best platform for your business or a Youtuber trying to increase your earnings, here are some of the reasons why pairing youtube with affiliate marketing is a winning combination.
- Is free! One of the hardest parts of affiliate marketing is getting traffic to your offers or links. Since Youtube works as a search engine, you can get very targetted traffic of people with high purchase intent to your videos without spending any money on ads.
- Youtube is also a social media platform so if you produce high-quality content you will be benefitted by the engagement people have with your videos. If Youtube notices that viewers are enjoying your content, it’ll reward you by suggesting them to more people and helping your channel grow as a result.
- A lot of YouTubers get into it thinking the ‘main’ way of making money is by placing ads in their videos. However, you need A LOT of subscribers and views to be able to make a decent income from ads. On the other hand, many small channels make from a full-time income or 6 figures a year.
- A video that gets 1M views/month will earn you between $1K and $15K depending on many factors. If you do the same but adding an affiliate offer, that makes you $5 per sale, even if only 1% of viewers buy it, you’ll end up with $50k at the end of the month!
- With Youtube, is way easier to build trust and loyalty with your followers that it’d be with a blog or through ads. You are more likely to create a connection and build a loyal following that’ll be happy to buy what you recommend.
- Last but not least, Youtube allows affiliate links. That is not the case with other traffic sources like Google or Facebook ads and forums. Having the ability to place your link directly in your description is an easy way to get started quickly and send traffic to your offers. Although I’d recommend sending them to an opt-in page and building your email list asap.
How to use Youtube for Affiliate Marketing?
1. Choose your niche
If you haven’t yet started your Youtube channel, you might still be in the process of deciding what should your channel be about.
One of the good things about Youtube is that it works for almost every niche and there is a lot of niches with low competition.
The niches or markets that are the most competitive across the board are those related to personal finances, relationships and health/wellness. That is not to say you should not get into those niches but if you do consider that it will take more time and effort to grow your channel and you should have a unique aproach to the topic anyway.
Some general tips to consider when choosing your niche are:
- Make sure the market has related products and services that you can promote and can generate decent commissions. For example the photography or sports niches can grant you better commission than crafting or recycling to give you an idea.
- Consider that the industry has a consistent and potential interest. This means that it is not too seasonal e.g. skiing and that is also not dying e.g. cigarettes.
- Think of the buying process of the related products. For example, if you would make a channel about hot tubs or saunas, people might click on your links and check the products online but they will most likely go to a store to see them and buy them in person.
- Finally, choose a niche that you like, you don’t need to be super passionate about it but you do need to enjoy it and have some experience with it. Youtube is a long term business so you want to make sure you are investing your time in something that keeps you motivated.
2. Choose your affiliate programs
Once you decide on your niche or if you have already started your Youtube channel, the next steps are to research and apply to the affiliate programs of your choice.
Some brands will manage their affiliate programs independently and some will do it through affiliate networks but the process of applying is similar.
Here are some ways to find what affiliate programs are available for your niche:
- Google “niche + affiliate programs”. This is the most obvious but still worth mentioning options. Start with a quick search and you will most likely find some interesting and popular programs in your niche.
- Check out what your competitors’ are promoting. Browse through Yotube videos in your niche and look out for the links in their description since those are probably affiliate programs you can join.
- If you are familiar with the niche, you probably know some of the brands and companies so you can also try going on their websites and look for an affiliate porgram usually in the links at the bottom of the page.
- Check out the popular affiliate programs and networks. Starting with Amazon’s you will already have a huge variety of products to promote. But also check out Clickbank for digital products and networks like Shareasale, JVZoo, CJ Affiliate, and M4trix, to name a few.
3. Make ‘money-making’ content
While you can technically include affiliate links in any type of videos, there are some that are better to incentivize clicks and purchases as well as for targetting people with high-buying intent.
A product review for example is more likely to attract and persuade people to buy the product than let’s say a ‘day in a life’ vlog where you include some affiliate links in the description.
That being said, let’s explore some of the best types of Youtube videos for affiliate marketing:
3.1. Product Review Videos
While obvious, product videos are definitely some some of the most affiliate-friendly.
You can elaborate on a product’s features, benefits, or disadvantages while providing the viewer with the value they are looking for at the same time and not being afraid of being too ‘salesy’.
When people are looking for a product review is usually because they have the intention of buying it but they want to get some trusted opinions before investing on it so they are often ready to make that purchase.
You don’t need to give a positive feedback of every product you review, you can totally say you don’t recommend a certain product for some reasons and use the opportunity to recommend an alternative product.
3.2. How-To Videos
How-To videos are also a great chance to provide value to your viewers while including a product or service that might help with their needs.
When people are looking for a ‘how-to’ video is most likely because they have a problem to solve and when you tell them how to fix them, they’ll be happy to check out whatever offer you recommend as part of the solution.
From ‘how-to’ lose weight videos while recommending a meal replacement shake; to ‘how-to’ find cheap flights while using an affiliate app and ‘how-to’ decorate your room while including all the product links.
How-to videos work in all sorts of niches.
3.3. Haul/Collection Videos
This type of videos include anything from a ‘shopping haul’ to ‘what I pack for…’ and ‘what’s in my bag’ videos.
As you can imagine, it works better for niches like fashion, travel, makeup, fitness and lifestyle but you can apply to your niche if you have a collection or recent purchase you want to show.
3.4. Favorites/Best Of Videos
This type of videos are really easy to make and attract people with a high purchase intent.
There are some Youtube channels making millions out of this type of videos and some just show pictures of the product with a voice in the background.
Whether you show yourself on camera is not really relevant for Youtube. But you do want to gain your viewers’ trust by including valuable information and taking your time to really learn about the products on the list.
3.5. Unboxing Videos
Similarly to review videos, unboxing videos attract a very specific crowd who is already interested in said product.
While this type of video is very popular, there is also a lot of competition and thousands of ‘unboxing’ videos being uploaded for every important electronic product being launched.
To be able to differentiate from others, make sure to show your personality through the videos and provide extra value that your viewer’s can appreciate.
3.6. Educational Videos
When it comes to affiliate marketing, educational videos can help when the niche or topic is quite complex and information is the main resource people are looking for.
Think of topics like investing, making money online, learning a new language, etc. You can create content that provides great value to your viewers in this context and direct them to a certain app or course where they can continue to learn more about it.
3.7. Gaming videos
This type of videos is obviously specific to the gaming niche but if that is something you are interested in, there are lots of affiliate programs for gamers that you can profit from by streaming yourself playing a game or making a review of one.
4. Make good content
This goes without saying but yes, making high-qualit content is essential for people to engage with your videos, for getting you more views, growing your channel and ultimately making more money.
Here are some tips of how to make content your visitors and Youtube will love:
4.1. Plan ahead
Having a script or at least a structure to follow is a great way to make sure you stay on course and your video makes sense for viewers.
Stay focused on the topic of the video and avoid don’t ramble about repetitive or irrelevant subjects.
You can have an intro since viewers are used to that, but failing to get to the point of your video fast can cause people to leave and Youtube flagging it as bad quality.
4.2. Get decent image and sound
You do not need any expensive equipment to begin with, you might not even need a camera if you plan on doing faceless videos.
But if you plan on filming you should be uploading your videos in at least 720 HD or 1080 HD if possible. Most high-end phones like the iPhone 11, Google Pixel, or Samsun Galaxy S10 can give you that sort of quality.
Even more importantly, you want to be very careful with your sound quality. People might watch a video with low quality but if they can’t heard it well they’ll definitely leave.
Unfortunately, phones tend to do a poor job when capturing sound so if you can, investing in a low-cost microphone like the Blue Snowball will make a huge difference.
4.3. Get some editing skills
Editing is a huge part of what your final product as a Youtuber will be. If you have never edited before, it might be overwhelming to learn while you try to master all these other skills but it is definitely a skill that will be of huge impact on your journey.
You can take advantage of Adobe Premiere Pro 30 day free trial to get some hands-on training or if you rather someone else to do it you can find great editors for a fair price on fiverr.
4.4.Get those clicks
When you first publish a video, Youtube is going to start testing it to see how people react to it. One of the ways they do that is by measuring its CTR or Click Through Rate meaning what percentage of people that saw it in their timeline of results, actually clicked on it.
One of the factors that most impact your CTR is the video’s thumbnail which is basically the cover photo that represents your video. A CTR above 2% is good but of course you want to always aim for more.
To design your Youtube thumbnails you can use Canva which is a free tool with lots of templates. Also make sure to notice what type of thumbnails catch your eyes when you are on Youtube and always continue to test and repeat what is working.
4.5. Get your engagement rate up
Another factor that Youtube considers when evaluating your videos is your engagement rate which includes, likes, comments and sucribes.
When creating a video don’t be afraid to ask your viewers to comments, like and subscribe and even better, make sure to reply to their comments since Youtube also see this as a good indicator.
You can get creative and give them an extra reason to engage like a contest, give away, or just a question they can reply to motivate them to comment. It is shown that videos, where viewers are asked to engage, can definitely increase the rate.
4.6. Post consistently
Last but not least, make sure to keep a consistenty rtyrhm when uploading your videos.
There is no definite answer on how often you should upload but the average seems to be 2 or even 3 times a week for the fastest growing channels.
Whatever speed you decide just make sure you can keep maintain it, it is better to do 1 video a week consistently than do 3 one weeks and none the next.
If you fail to upload on a fairly consistent basis, your subs and views will drop and the competition will eat into your portion of the pie.
5. Optimize your content for traffic
Unfortunately, making good content is not enough to get viewers on your videos. You need to work with Youtube’s search engine and algorithm to make sure you succeed.
Here are the main ways of getting traffic to your channel and videos:
5.1. Organic search
Organic search is exactly what it sounds like, it refers to the results that appear when people look for something directly on Youtube’s search bar.
Appearing on the top results comes down to factors like how competitive the topic is and how optimized your video is for those ‘keywords’.
The best way to make sure you have a chance of ranking for a certain keyword is to use a keyword research tool. There are a few out there but I personally like TubeBuddy. It is a free chrome extension you can use to see how competitive a topic is.
When you go into the app you can type in a keyword and it will show you a result like the one below.
The regular result will tell you how competitive that topic is. They also have a paid version where you can get a ‘weighted’ results specific to your channel but the free one still works to give you an idea.
You obviously want to go for a keyword with a score ‘very good’ or more but at the beginning, you can go for ‘good’ ones if you have a new channel.
If that is your case you’ll also have better results when going for ‘long-tail keywords’ which is a fancy name for longer search terms.
E.g. you’ll have more chances to rank for ‘How to use Youtube for affiliate marketing for beginners’ than for ‘Affiliate Marketing Youtube’ because logically, the more specific a topic is, the less competition there’ll be.
Once you have chosen your keyword, you need to use it on your video’s title and tags as a way of ‘telling’ Youtube what your video is about.
After Organic traffic, the best way to get viewers to your videos is to grow your subscriber base.
Every time you release a new video, your subscribers will be notified and see it in their subscriptions tab. They will also see it in the home page so even if you didn’t rank for a specific keyword with that video, you have the chance of all your subscribers watching it.
Your subscribers will become your most loyal fans and will be excited to watch your next videos. They will also trust you and be happy to check out whatever product or service you recommend.
5.3 Youtube related videos
Remember all the tios I mentined about creating good content with high ctr and high engagemtn rate (if not, feel free to go back to the prebious section).
Well, Yotube uses those indicators as a sign your content it good and therefore, it will keep people on their platform which is ultimately what tehy care about.
Yotube makes money though ads and the more time people spend on the platform, the more ads they’ll be shwon and the more money they’ll earn.
So if Youtube thinks your videos can help them achieve that, they’ll start showing them on the related videos and user’s timelines.
5.4 Social Media and forums
While optional, you can also get traffic to your videos from other platforms like social media and forums.
You can create an account for your channel and use it as a way to promote it and bring extra traffic. This will require extra time and effort so only do it if it will not cut down on the time you could be using to make new content.
You can get enough traffic from the sources previously mentioned and once you are making some money you can always hire someone to help you with social media.
5.5 Email list
Any entrepreneur or content creator will tell you how important it is to build your email list. Without exagerating, It is the most valuable asset you can build to future-proof your income.
And email list guarantees you can bring people to your channel even if Youtube decides to change its algorithm or in the very unlikely case they decide to s=hut down your account and you need to start from scratch.
Unfortunately on Youtube you do not really own your content or subscribers since it is also hosted in their platform so building your email list from the beginning will not only help you bring traffic to your new videos but you can also use it to promote affiliate. offers directly.
6. Promote your affiliate links
Finally, when promoting your affiliate links, you want to do it discreetly so that it doesn’t feel spammy but also making sure that the viewer will actually notice them.
You can place the link your video description while making sure to mention it in the video or you can also use some image overlays when you talk about certain products but I prefer the description in most cases.
While Youtube doesn’t have any policy about affiliate links, it is best that you put a simple affiliate disclosure next to your links so your users know you are being transparent. After all, you are giving them value and the cost of the offer is the same for them.
When possible, see if there is a discount available you can give them since that will incentize them much more to buy through your links.
Pros Of YouTube Affiliate Marketing
- Massive audience: With over 1 billion users and growing fast, Youtube has a hungry audience waiting to consume content and buy.
- Video is king: It is estimated that by 2019, 80% of all content online will be video. It also has one of the highest engagement and conversion rates which means that not only will you get tons of views and profits but those will continue to grow over time.
- Lower competition: contrary to blogs or websites, there are lots of niches with still low competition and opportunities to build a massive audience if you can get in early with some quality content.
- Works for all offers: Outside of a few no-go niches (gambling and adult offers), you have the freedom to choose and promote any offers you want especially if you have built a loyal audience and have established yourself as a non-spammy, high-quality channel.
- Can build a loyal audience: Since you can create a close relationship with your followers, people who like your videos can “subscribe” to your channel will be hungry for any new content you publish.
- Faster results: While it does take some time to see your channel and views growing, it is definitely faster when compared to building a website or blog. With Youtube, you can start getting views and sales in your first month and see a significant growth by month 6. In comparison, it can take double or more in the case of a blog.
Cons Of YouTube Affiliate Marketing
- Content creation: It takes time and dedication to create interesting and engaging content but at the same time it is also a bigger entry barrier that weeds out those who are not willing to put in the effort.
- Niche-specific challenges: Depending on your market, your content will be easier or harder to produce. For some niches, you will only need to screen-record your computer, while for others you’ll have to show a hands-on training on how to repair a bike. This also means the easier niches, will usually have higher competition.
Youtube For Affiliate Marketing | FAQ
Are affiliate links allowed on YouTube?
Yes! At the moment affiliate links are allowed on Youtube but they have strong anti spam policies so your affiliate links are save as long as you are providing value with your videos and not simply using them as an excuse to promote a lot of unrelated link.
How much do YouTubers make from affiliate links?
It will depend on the affiliate offer. Affiliate commission vary from 1% to 40% depending on the product and niche so the profits for each offer will be very different.
Do you need 1000 subscribers on YouTube to get paid?
That is the requirement to be able to place Youtube ads on your videos but you can do affiliate marketing from day one without any restricitions.
Youtube For Affiliate Marketing | Takeaway
Using Youtube for Affiliate Marketing is a winning strategy.
Not only you can make much more money than through ads but the contet you create will make you money for years and usually it continues to grow over time.
This is as close as. it gets to passive income. You can literally out a couple of hours to create a video and it can generate sales for 3-4 years without any extra work required
Video is the future and there is no better time to get started than now.
Do no waste more time trying to get it all perfect at the beginning. Your first videos might not be perfect but they can still bring on views and sales and help you learn as you go.
Finally, make sure to build an email list since you don’t want to rely only on Youtube’s platform and algorithm. Your list will allow you to diversify your traffic, future-proof your business, and sell to your audience when the time and products are right.