How to do affiliate marketing on YouTube and make money?
Can you actually make money with YouTube affiliate marketing? Are there any constraints, advantages, disadvantages, or regulations that you need to follow?
You will find here a step-by-step, easy to follow guide on becoming a YouTube affiliate marketer and how you can leverage this huge platform and search engine for your own benefit.
And at the end, I will tell you the risks coming from relying solely on YouTube and how you can avoid being vulnerable to these risks.
Why to Use YouTube for Affiliate Marketing?
There are many reasons why you might leverage YouTube for doing affiliate marketing, here are few of them:
- YouTube has more than 2 Billion monthly active users.
- YouTube is the second search engine that people use in order to find information and look for solutions and products.
- In many niches, YouTube is still not that crowded.
- Using the right keywords and optimizing your video well, you can sometimes rank videos in few hours after uploading them.
And there are many other facts that make leveraging YouTube worth the time and effort.
So, now let’s answer our most important question:
How to Do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube?
Here are the main four steps that you need to follow in order to do affiliate marketing on YouTube:
1 – Research & Select a Niche or Target Audience
This is the first step in starting an affiliate marketing business from scratch, whether it was with YouTube or with any other method.
You need to select a niche that you will work on so that you can grow a loyal audience and gain followers that will trust you and will buy your recommendations.
And you need to research what this audience is looking for, or what problems they are facing, and that takes time, which means that you better create more content that is speaking to the same audience since you already invested the time into finding what helps them instead of jumping around from one niche to another and repeating the same process again and again.
I have already written a comprehensive guide on how to find a profitable niche for affiliate marketing, but a quick way to find niches is to visit one of the biggest online marketplaces such as: Amazon, eBay, ClickBank and see what product categories or sub-categories are offered, and brainstorm.
Also, you can think of a skill, hobby or passion that you have, or think of something related to your job or profession.
You need to research what problems are there and what products can help people in that niche solve their problems or improve their lives, which takes us to the next step.
2 – Find Keyword Opportunities to Create Related Videos
Now that you know your niche and audience, you need to research what keywords people are using in order to look for information, solutions or products on YouTube or on Google in your particular niche.
Ideally, you need to find keywords with high monthly search volume and low competition so that you can rank under them.
And usually, root keywords have high search volume and high competition, which leaves us the long-tail keywords that have a lower search volume, but they have a lower competition that allows you to rank and get traffic if you target them in your videos instead of targeting high volume but high competition keywords that won’t get you ranked in the first place.
Also, long-tail keywords are more specific and have a clear search intent since they usually contain more words in the search query, which makes them more commercially viable and easier to convert those who watch them into buyers.
And there are many other benefits of choosing long-tail keywords that I explained in my guide on how to find long tail keywords for SEO.
In order to find such keywords and study the search volume and competition, you can use different keyword tools such as Jaaxy keyword tool that gives the estimates based on Google searches mainly, but there are special tools for find keywords for YouTube in particular such as Tube Buddy and Morning Fame.
3 – Find Relevant Products & Affiliate Programs
After finding the keywords you want to target, now you need to find products that offer solutions to the problems that people in your niche are facing.
And after finding these products, you need to find affiliate programs from companies that sell those products or solutions.
And these affiliate programs will allow you to get a unique link (affiliate link) to their products that you can share with your audience in order to invite them to buy those products.
And when someone buys anything through your affiliate link, you get a commission from the company that sells that product.
The more sales you bring, the more money you make.
And there are many ways and tools that allow you to find relevant affiliate programs, such as the tools I mentioned in my article about the 7 tools and ways to find profitable affiliate programs in any niche.
But a quick method is to go to Google and type in the search bar: “the name of your niche or the product + Affiliate program” and it will bring you relevant affiliate programs from companies that sell products in that niche.
4 – Create Informative & Helpful Videos
This is an important step that most people miss when doing affiliate marketing.
Your job as an affiliate is not to sell the products, but to help people solve their problems or improve their lives, and through the process, you can recommend relevant and useful products that you found in the previous step by inserting your affiliate link in the description of the videos you upload.
For example, when someone asks on Google or on YouTube “how to save money on the electric bill?”, they don’t expect a blog post or a video that tells them to hire a company that will re-do the electrical design of their home or that will tell them to buy certain appliances without explaining why.
Instead, you need to explain what might be the biggest sources of consuming electricity, what might they do to reduce the consumption without having to buy new appliances or devices, and then, if they want to save more money, they can buy devices or appliances that you recommend, which may help further decrease the consumption on electricity.
And when you recommend something after genuinely helping people, they will be more acceptable into buying the products that you recommend through your affiliate link and make you money.
That’s how you make money on YouTube with affiliate marketing, it is by helping others and not by constantly selling on them without telling them why they need to buy something.
I have written a comprehensive guide on the top 13 tips on how to be a successful affiliate marketer.
And you don’t just create one video, upload it to YouTube, insert your affiliate links into the description and expect to make tons of money.
If you want to succeed with YouTube affiliate marketing, you need to be consistent and create many helpful videos and upland them to your YouTube channel.
That’s how you gain people’s trust and succeed and make money with YouTube affiliate marketing.
Can You Really Make Money on YouTube with Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, but you need to follow the same principles that you should follow when you try to do affiliate marketing as I mentioned in the previous four steps, be consistent and make your intention to help others.
However, there are some issues and risks that are associated with depending on YouTube as a main platform when doing affiliate marketing that I will explain shortly.
The Problem with Using YouTube for Affiliate Marketing
Using YouTube is one of the many ways to make money affiliate marketing without website.
But there are many issues that are related to fully relying on YouTube as a platform where you fully build your affiliate marketing business, such as:
1 – You Build Your Business on A Platform That You Don’t Own
This is a main issue with all other methods or platforms that you might utilize to fully build your affiliate marketing business on, such as Facebook, Clickfunnels, Wix, and others.
The problem is that you don’t own any of these platforms, and you don’t control what happens to these platforms, and you are at the mercy of their owners.
For example, you might get your YouTube channel or your Facebook page closed permanently for a small mistake that is interpreted as violating their terms and conditions, which might cause you to lose your entire business overnight.
Also, these platforms might change their terms & conditions at anytime, and you have to accept these changes.
For example, if YouTube decides that they don’t accept affiliate links to be posted in the description area of the videos, then you need to abide by the new terms, and if you don’t they might un-list your videos or even close your channel.
This is the problem with depending on a platform that you don’t own.
While if you have your own platform such as a WordPress website that you fully own and where you can create the content that will help others and make you money, then no one can take that away from you.
And you can optimize your articles to show up on Google search engine like you would optimize your YT videos.
And you can still use YouTube in order to create helpful videos and guide viewers from there to your website where you promote affiliate products and increase the traffic to your website.
Remember is that YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google.
2 – Some Affiliate Programs Don’t Accept YouTube Channels
As I explained earlier, before you can promote any product as an affiliate, you need to join the relevant affiliate program for the company that sells that product.
And each company has its own conditions and requirements that you need to comply with so that they allow you to join their affiliate program and promote their products.
And some of the affiliate programs don’t accept that you promote their products directly on YouTube.
They would instead require you to have your own website where you can place your affiliate links, and then, you can drive traffic to your website through the different ways, including using YouTube videos to drive people into your website where you have more content promoting the products that you promote.
However, this is not a must by all affiliate programs.
For example, Amazon allows you to use their affiliate links on YouTube, provided that you don’t use a link shortener or a link cloaking software, but they first need to check out your YouTube channel to see if it meets their guidelines.
This is an example of you use Amazon affiliate links in YouTube:
But you don’t know how long that will last, because if YouTube notices that many people started spamming YouTube with their Amazon or ClickBank affiliate links for example, then it might be YouTube that will start banning such links from being published on their platforms.
The solution to this issue?
Same as the previous issue, you are better off creating your own affiliate marketing website or blog where you have a better chance to get approved by affiliate programs, and then, you can use YouTube as one of the many free traffic sources to increase your blog traffic.
3 – YouTube Might Not Be for Everyone
Many people might not feel comfortable creating videos, like myself.
I prefer to write blog posts, even though they might take longer time to write, while some people might prefer to do videos.
It’s up to you which way to use, and most important, it is better if you use both, a blog or a website that is the asset that you own, and a YouTube channel that you use as a way of driving targeted traffic to your affiliate website.
A More Reliable & Profitable Alternative Instead of Completely Relaying on YouTube for Affiliate Marketing
As I explained in the section above, building your affiliate marketing business completely on a platform that you don’t own comes with many limitations and risks, which makes it insecure.
And my alternative here is to build your own affiliate marketing website on a domain name that you personally own and no one can take from you.
And when you create content on your website, you optimize it in order to show up in the search engine results pages when someone is searching for information or for help in your niche.
This way, you get the free, organic traffic form Google and other search engines.
And after that, you can also create relevant and helpful videos and upload them to your YouTube channel and drive people from these videos into your blog where you have links to affiliate products that you promote.
That’s how you use YouTube for affiliate marketing the right way and the long-term way.
But I Don’t Know Anything about Websites!
And that was the case when I first started with affiliate marketing.
And that’s fine!
Creating an affiliate website nowadays is easier that it has ever been.
You don’t need technical knowledge or to learn coding.
You can easily create a WordPress website without any coding skills and in only 30 seconds with the right website builder like the one I use like I show in this article.
Your role is not to do technical stuff, but rather, it is to create helpful content like what I’m doing here on this very website.
And inside your content, you can recommend helpful and useful products and make commissions when someone purchases through any of the affiliate links on your website.
You only need to get the domain name and a web hosting from a reputable company that will take care of the technical stuff.
For me, I don’t even pay for the hosting, because I get the best WordPress web hosting for FREE as a bonus at the same platform where I learned affiliate marketing, which is called Wealthy Affiliate.
This platform provides affiliate marketers with all of what they need in order to learn and start their affiliate marketing business from scratch, such:
- The complete step-by-step affiliate marketing training program.
- The premium web hosting with free SSL certificate for up to 25 websites.
- The keyword research tool that helps you find good keywords to target.
- The affiliate program research tool.
- The community that will provide you with all the support and help that you need.
- And much more.
And what is great about them is that they offer a free starter membership to try it before paying any money, even though they are already under-priced.
You can learn more about this platform through my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
Can You Use YouTube Ads for Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, but indirectly.
In general, Google (which owns YouTube) doesn’t accept using affiliate links in the paid ads through their advertising platform, especially the redirect type of links.
And this applies to all of the type of Google & YouTube ads such as: video ads, banner ads and text ads.
This means that you need to use a website or a landing page where you have your affiliate link, and then direct people from the ads to that website or page.
The Best Affiliate Programs for YouTubers
There are many great affiliate programs that allow you to post their affiliate links in the description of your YouTube videos directly without a website, such as:
- Amazon Associates.
- Web hosting services.
And Many others.
Which one to choose depends on your niche and on the products you promote on your channel.
And if you want to use a website for your affiliate marketing business, then that is even better and a more long term approach.
If you were to promote training courses or ebooks in your niche, then you can promote clickbank products on YouTube.
If you want to promote physical products through YouTube, then you can place amazon affiliate links in YouTube videos description area.
And if you want to promote a software or a web hosting platform such as Shopify or any other similar product, then you can create videos on how to use them and place your affiliate link in the description of the videos.
YouTube Affiliate Marketing Rules
It is better to read YT’s terms and conditions well before you start publishing content on your YouTube channel.
In general, affiliate links are allowed on YouTube, but some affiliates have spammed YouTube in the past with their links, which made YouTube ban some of the affiliate links that belong to some programs.
Here are some of the best practices that you need to abide by when you do affiliate marketing on any platform, including YouTube:
- Affiliate Disclaimer: this is a must by all platforms and all affiliate programs. You need to make people aware that you will be compensated if they purchases through your link are when you use affiliate links on your website or in your YouTube channel.
- Avoid Spamming: YouTube is after providing the best user experience to its users (viewers). Make sure that you place your affiliate link when it is relevant and useful for the viewer. Don’t go and spam affiliate links in all videos and in the description and in the comments’ area.
- Create Quality Content: As explained earlier, affiliate marketing is about helping and not selling. You need to create content that your viewers would love to watch and content that will make them trust you and take your recommendations.
That’s how you promote affiliate links on YouTube the right way. Think of the user and how you can help them and not annoy them.
How to Make YouTube Videos for Affiliate Marketing?
There are many ways that you use to create videos in order to use them for affiliate marketing on YouTube, such as:
- Using your mobile phone camera to record yourself talking to your audience, or to illustrate how to use a certain device or how to do a certain activity.
- Use your laptop’s camera in order to record a video talking to your viewers.
- Using a screen recording software such as Screen Castcast-O-Matic to record your computer’s screen while doing a certain activity or while explaining from slides.
And after you finish recording the video, you need to name it, uploaded to your YT channel and optimize it properly by creating a good title and description that tells people what this is about and it contains that target keyword of that video.
Necessary Tools for YouTube Affiliate Marketers
There are many tools that can help you do affiliate marketing on YouTube such as:
- Keyword research tools such as: Tube Buddy, Morning Fame, Jaaxy & others.
- Mobile phones, laptops or digital cameras.
- Screen recording and video editing software programs such as Flimora.
- Affiliate program research tools like the one at Weatlhy Affiliate.
How Much Money Can You Make on YouTube Through Affiliate Marketing?
Like any other method, it depends on many factors such as: your effort, your niche, how useful your videos are, the products you promote, …etc.
It will take time to build a following and start making a significant income, but if you stay consistent and treat it as a real business, it might pay back very well.
Some people might make tens of thousands of dollars a month with YouTube affiliate marketing, and some might never make a dime.
Consistency in helping others is key!
Conclusion & Your Next Step
As explained earlier, YouTube is a great platform that you can use in order to make money with affiliate marketing, with or without a website or a blog.
But due to the limitations and risks mentioned earlier, it is better that you create a WordPress website that you own, and consider YouTube as one of the methods of driving targeted traffic to your website and offers.
And above all, you need to follow the mentioned steps at the beginning of this guide in order to succeed in affiliate marketing on the long run.
And if you are just starting with affiliate marketing and you don’t know where to go, that you need to follow a proven training and get the necessary help and support from those who where there before you, and from those who succeeded with affiliate marketing.
And that’s why I recommend that you join Weatlhy Affiliate, the best place for learning and starting with affiliate marketing from scratch, with all what it provides from training, to research tools, to web hosting with full technical support, to community support from more than 1.5 million online entrepreneurs like yourself.
As I mentioned earlier, this platform offers full access to all of the detailed training, advanced tools and the best services at a very low cost, and even better, they have a FREE starter membership that you can get in few minutes from now.
And this membership will give you an access to the first ten lessons that will help you understand how the whole process of affiliate marketing works, which is important to understand even if you decide to rely on YouTube alone for doing affiliate marketing without a website:
I hope that you have found this guide useful and you learned how you can make money with YouTube Affiliate Marketing the right way.
If you have any question, or if you need any further help on how to do affiliate marketing on YouTube, then please, feel free to tell me in the comments’ section below, and I will be coming back to you asap 🙂