You’ve used it for years and heard people can make money from it, but how? Not all of these people are using crowdfunding to make their videos, are they? There’s got to be more to it than those 30-second ads that you reflexively skip over whenever possible.There is, and it’s called YouTube affiliate marketing.
YouTube affiliate marketing is creating videos to be hosted on YouTube with links and information that lead to the products being promoted. The content you create for YouTube encourages viewers to buy products from third-party websites that will earn you the commission.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, and one of the top five most visited websites with over 2 billion logged-in users per month.
As the affiliate marketer, you have the potential to earn a good amount of commissions if you are dedicated to creating YouTube content people want to see. An affiliate does not need to manufacture, stock, or ship products. The barrier to getting started is relatively low compared to that of the actual businesses you are promoting.
If you have another job that occupies most of your time, affiliate marketing can be used as a passive form of income to supplement your existing salary elsewhere.
There are a few things to be aware of before entering the world of YouTube affiliate marketing as some tend to pitch this as a get rich quick scheme. A certain amount of dedication and quality is required to make this endeavor work. It takes time to generate traffic that turns over into profitable income.
The time between launching and earning money depends on various factors. The popularity of the products you’re pitching, the frequency of your uploads, the promotions via other social media platforms, and engagement are all to be taken into consideration. Anywhere from four months to one year can be expected before your first dollar is earned via commission on an affiliate link click.
It is also very important to do your due diligence on the products and services you intend to promote. If the business you’re referring to has a poor reputation or a sudden problem with their quality control, your reputation is also on the line. Therefore, before creating content, it’s important to do a deep-dive into the companies you will be relying on for your commissions.
There are many forms of YouTube affiliate videos; the most popular are:
Creating useful content with links to the products demonstrated is one of the most effective ways to be an affiliate marketer. These examples all have a few key elements in common: They’re experts on their product, they are engaging personalities, and they are fun to watch while offering information that is valuable to the audience beyond a simple ‘click to buy’ link.
Makeup tutorials are some of the most-viewed videos on YouTube. Daisy Marquez has over 1.4 million subscribers in the competitive world of beauty product videos. This example of her demonstrating a trend-setting makeup application has over 1.5 million views:
Joshua Weissman teaches viewers how to season and restore cast iron cookware, while adding the description useful links to products and services:
The affiliate marketer chooses one product to focus on and do a deep-dive into the product. Delving into the details of a product is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Be the person who has read the manual, used the product, and has something to say about it. If there are little details or technical quirks that are easy to miss by a novice, assert yourself as an expert.
Here, Shane Starnes gets to the point right away without too much pre-amble
Kai W gives a charismatic ‘man on the street’ review of Canon products. With high energy, London scenes, and a good sense of humor, he holds the audience captive:
One of the simplest videos in terms of content is that of an affiliate literally removing a product from a box and explaining what they encounter as they show the audience. The popularity of these videos has baffled tech journalists. When millions of viewers eagerly watch someone taking a product out of it’s wrapping and narrate what they see, the appeal can appear quite strange. In practical terms, it is usually the first time viewers will see a new product outside of a highly managed marketing campaign. The presenter is just like everyone else, sharing in their excitement over acquiring a coveted item in real life. Watching a real person in a casual setting take a new item out of a box brings the product into a real situation, and can inspire them to purchase it for themselves.
There’s an element of excitement and birthday-present vibe when done in an entertaining way, such as this video from DJ TLM TV. He creates a charismatic presentation of media player equipment with a lot of links and options in his captions:
Sony PlayStatio n Unboxing from The Relaxing End takes a broader approach that is still well-presented while making it easy to find the affiliate purchase links:
Putting into video what sites like Wirecutter, Kinja Deals, and The Strategist do in the written form, gear list videos can keep an audience’s attention to see what the next product will be throughout the whole clip. This format is a good way to promote a number of items in one video, a listicle of recommended products for a specific topic, such as Teck X’s camping gear:
The Endless Adventure demonstrates while listing favorite travel cases. Their affiliate strategy offers coupon codes and referrals:
Part motivation video, part product recommendation, these videos have an upbeat vibe that motivates the viewer to buy products and get moving.
Obi Vincent has the energy and knowledge of a personal trainer while motivating the audience to buy workout gear:
Stephanie Buttermore talks to her audience like a best friend, creating a familiarity with her audience:
Study the examples shown above, then take a deep-dive into the YouTube world connected to the products you want to promote. Noticeable in these videos is an attention to detail and technical expertise. The presenters are engaging, excited about the products, and well-lit. The products themselves are clearly shown from multiple angles, without any confusion as to how they’re used.
While some affiliates have fancy animation and motion- graphics, that is not necessarily a must-have to get started. Especially when beginning on a budget and working for commission, you’ll want to have some basic tools at hand.
Keep the overall feeling of your affiliate videos conversational, friendly, and candid. The audience will want to feel like they are not watching an advertisement, but rather having a chat with a trusted friend about a product they’re interested in learning more about. When it comes to earning an audience’s attention span, authenticity is the key.
For example, if you’re promoting gym gear, having the energy of a personal trainer will create excitement around purchasing the product with the aim of using it in the near future. The personality aspect of your performance when talking about products is an important part of your channel. Practice being in front of the camera to get comfortable and ask your friends and family for their opinions before launching your videos.
The review portion of your video will combine calls to action with a friendly and knowledgeable vibe. This is where you’ll not only mention how to purchase in your monologue but also add in links within the video portion as a visual tool.
The lighting, sound, and overall quality should be as professional as possible. Take note of some affiliate youtube videos that fall short of this mark. By comparing and contrasting good quality to bad, you can easily learn what mistakes stand out, and how to avoid them yourself.
Think carefully about how long your video needs to be. Extended introductions or personal stories are not going to hold an audience’s attention so be quick to get to the heart of the matter, the product. If you’re demonstrating the product’s use, be as clear as possible in your explanations and don’t assume your audience’s technical expertise or familiarity is at your level.
Best practices checklist for your first videos:
When you’re ready to upload:
Choose a strong thumbnail to feature as a still-image before the user hits play.
The simplest answer, of course, is ‘Yes’. However, how do you get to that yes is the longer explanation. In order to monetize your affiliate channel, you’ll need a lot of patience and perseverance.
Time well-spent on creating quality content is going to be your best chance of making serious money with an Affiliate YouTube channel. Focus on presenting yourself as a trusted, friendly voice that demonstrates and educates about worthwhile products, and people will return to your channel.
Within the YouTube platform itself are many methods to grow your audience:
Include calls to action in your videos with requests to subscribe, share, and go to the affiliate links. Make this easy for your audience by featuring easy-to-find buttons and links not only in the captions but also throughout your video as it plays. Adding an annotation, or clickable link within the video is a powerful tool that enables the user to keep watching your video while finding the product. Make it as easy as possible for a user to find the product!
In order to make money with your affiliate videos, you must drive traffic to your channel. People may find your channel through a number of social media platforms, so it’s important to promote your content across these sites. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are key components in promotions. They will allow you the option to post video clips, and special promos to drive traffic to your channel.
Namecheap’s Affiliate Program tech experts and aficionados monetize their work. The high conversion rate of domain purchases, SSL, and web hosting services are a great way to refer customers and earn money while talking tech to your followers. Namecheap affiliates earn a commission when a customer makes a purchase via your referral link.
In addition to Namecheap, there are other popular choices when it comes to affiliate programs. Amazon leads the pack, but it’s best to look around a bit before deciding on which to join. All three are powerful players in e-Commerce, and whichever one you choose will depend on the products you feature in your videos.
Amazon Associates is the most trustworthy, popular network that reaches the largest global customer base. That said, eBay Partner Network is most useful if the products you’re promoting fall under the definition and type of auctions or second-hand. Another network that is growing fast is Shopify. This network is useful if you’re promoting unique products that may be off-brand or difficult to stock via Amazon.
Amazon makes it very simple for new affiliate marketers to join. It’s free and a trusted name with audiences. Simply go to the Amazon Associates homepage and follow the steps to build your profile and get started.
How much money you want to make as an affiliate marketer depends on the time you’re willing to put into the effort. It is completely reasonable to use affiliate marketing as a second or third form of supplementary income. Considering the competition out there, concentrate on growing your audience and seeing how many views come in to gauge how far you want to take the effort.
There are pros and cons to any endeavor, and weighing these will help you make the choices of how to scale your YouTube channel.
Time is of the essence. If a user clicks an affiliate link but does not make a purchase within a short period of time, the commission will not go through. This is something to think about when creating content and pushing the urgency of making a purchasing decision quickly.
There’s no need to get overwhelmed, even if affiliate marketing is a vastly competitive arena. Keep your goals realistic, be consistent, and offer authoritative, quality information on the products you feature.
By keeping your tone of voice relatable and honest, you’ll earn the respect of viewers. By offering them information of value with links to well-reviewed products, you’ll earn commissions and scale your affiliate marketing business. Keep shooting good content, and your customers will return to see what you’re recommending next.
Audiences appreciate quality, a human touch, and, most importantly, honesty. If you combine all these things with a consistent growth strategy, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful YouTube Affiliate Marketer.