Affiliate Disclosure: Look, I'm working my ass off delivering value to you. So, yes any links that you see in this post are probably affiliate links to help keep this blog going. They are true recommendations and if you click on them and purchase, I probably earn a commission (at no additional cost to you).
Welcome to this article about affiliate marketing on YouTube in which you will learn about;
How affiliate marketing on YouTube works
Affiliate programs that YouTubers can join
Strategies & Types of YouTube channels
Keyword research for YouTube
Growing Your YouTube channel
Content that converts
Keeping Existing viewers
As you see, this article will be pretty in-depth. So, you should be able to get some sort of value out of it, especially if you are just starting out with affiliate marketing on YouTube.
Let’s get started!
How Affiliate Marketing On YouTube Works
So, how does affiliate marketing on YouTube work? Affiliate marketing on YouTube is pretty simple, you create content around products and link to them with affiliate links. You will get free traffic, leads, and customers from YouTube which is what makes it so great.
We can make content such as reviews, how-to guides or even just include our affiliate links in regular content. When somebody goes and makes a purchase through our link, we earn a commission.
Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great, but it doesn’t happen over-night. You will need to be very consistent with your uploads before you start to gain traction unless you do something like launch jacking.
Affiliate Programs For YouTubers
In this article, I am not going to go too in-depth about affiliate programs. However, I will give you three marketplaces on which you should be able to find at least a couple of products in your niche. For a more in-depth guide, read this list of best affiliate programs.
First on our list is ClickBank. ClickBank is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) affiliate marketplaces for digital products. You can sign up for a free account and find products in your niche. However, you should be careful and research products before promoting them, as some are not very good quality.
With that being said, you can find a lot of high-quality products too.
Amazon Associates is the affiliate program for the amazon marketplace. There isn’t really too much more to be said, apart from that I recommend checking out the table of commission levels as you don’t want to spend your time promoting products with very low commissions.
Lastly, we also have ShareASale. ShareASale offers a wide variety of products that you could promote ranging from fashion to garden products. So, if you are looking to promote physical products, then you could definitely go and check them out.
Strategies For YouTube Affiliate Marketing
Before you jump into starting your YouTube channel, you will want to pick a strategy.
To help you with this I have broken it down into three different types of channels that you could grow. The three examples below are just examples. I’m sure there are other types too, but I think most people will fit into one of these three categories.
Of course, you could also make a mixture of two different channel types.
1. Growing a Niche Channel
The first type of channel is a niche channel.
This is a channel where you really focus on one specific niche and aim to create content around that niche. So, maybe it’s around a fashion-related niche, maybe it’s around computers or maybe even around books.
With a niche channel, you usually target as many keywords related to that niche with different videos and try to rank them. Also, there is often a little less work involved than in an “authority channel” which we will talk about later.
2. Launch Jacking
Our second type of channel is around launch jacking.
In case, you don’t know what launch jacking is, it’s when you create content around products that have just launched and then you profit off the buzz (through your affiliate link). In case this sounds like something that you are interested in, I recommend checking out my launch jacking guide.
The benefit of this type of channel is, that it’s usually speaking one of the quickest ways to earn money with YouTube videos. With that being said, you will need to put in a lot of work and it also requires a lot of frequency.
3. “Authority” Channel
The third channel type is an “authority channel”.
When you grow an authority channel, you grow a following that sees you as an “authority” in that niche. It’s a little bit different from growing a regular niche channel, but it’s not too different.
Some YouTube channels are a mixture of both. What I notice with a lot of “Authority” channels is that they are usually there to educate their audience in their field of expertise.
With an authority channel, you also want to focus on creating the highest quality content. I would also say that you should upload at least once a week. If you were to create a niche channel about vacuum cleaners or something like that, you could probably only upload once a month.
With that being said, as I always say the more you upload the better.
Other Types Of Channels
Of course, there are also other channel types that are not listed above.
For example, music or entertainment. With those sorts of channels, it can be a little bit trickier to create content around affiliate links, but it’s not impossible. You can still upload reviews of products that your audience would be interested in, or your favourite products, something along those lines.
It’s a little harder, but it’s definitely not impossible. There might also be some other channel types that don’t fall into any of these examples, which is fine also.
Keyword Research For YouTube
Now, let’s talk about keyword research.
If you are a relatively new channel, you will want to go for low competition keywords. Otherwise, you will have a hard time ranking.
You can find these keywords either by just typing in keywords into the YouTube search bar and looking for ones where not a lot of others have created content, or you can use tools such as:
Or even Google trends to determine search volume. You can use a combination of these to find keywords that you would have a good chance of ranking for. When you spot opportunities, create content!
Growing Your YouTube Channel
So, let’s talk about growing your channel because it’s not going to grow itself.
As we said earlier, you need to be spotting those low-competition keywords that will allow you to rank, this will help you grow your channel. But there are more things that you can do in order to grow your channel.
1. Title & Thumbnail For CTR
The first little tip that I have is to optimize your thumbnails and titles for CTR (Click-through-rate). This is one of the most important metrics on YouTube and if lot’s of people are clicking on your video, your video will go and get suggested to more users afterwards.
So, having a great thumbnail and a nice title can actually help you get a lot more views. With that being said, watch time is also very important and if everybody is clicking on your videos, but then leaving straight afterwards, YouTube will probably stop recommending it.
2. Well-optimized YouTube SEO
You’re probably not going to rank if you don’t optimize your video well. So, add some tags and maybe even some keywords in the description. Although, if you are going to add keywords into description, make sure to make them look NATURAL.
So, for example: “In this video, I will show you how to start a website.” That had the keyword “how to start a website”.
Don’t just spam the description full with keywords and say stuff like “ignore” or “tags”. Although a very limited amount of people actually get penalized or even banned for this, you don’t really want to be taking that risk.
It’s better to just build them in naturally.
3. Self-promote for engagement
Another ranking factor is engagement. This means you could just wait until users naturally find your video and engage with it, or you could be clever and speed the process up. Promote your YouTube videos on:
Your social media platform (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
And just try to get some early engagement, as well as some subscribers who will watch your future videos. This can help you get the snowball rolling faster. Otherwise, you could spend a long time waiting for organic traffic, unless you have found some really good keywords to go after.
Keeping Existing Viewers
Part of growing your channel is also keeping existing viewers. This is important, otherwise, it will be harder to get more views on your future videos.
The first way, the obvious way is to ask your viewers to subscribe. This can easily be forgotten, but it will make you more money in the long term. So, do it! Another way is actually by collecting emails. This is really important too, as you can not only send out your newest content, but also make sales inside of the emails.
It’s really easy to do this, you set up a GetResponse account and you create a landing page and an email sequence. If you want to do this, but you are a little unsure how to do it, I have a guide on setting it all up here that will take you through it step-by-step.
Content That Converts
That’s all great, but what kind of content converts best?
From my blogging experience, I can tell you the following pieces of content convert well:
Product a vs Product B
With this kind of content, the user is already presold. Most of these are self-explanatory but I will just give you an example anyway. If a user searches for “how to make a website” they already want to make a website.
If they land on your video where you explain how to make a website and you explain why they will need hosting, you will get quite a lot of conversions on your hosting as an affiliate (assuming that your content is well-explained).
Should you only create this kind of content?
You can, but other content is great too, especially if you spot keyword opportunities. Whatever content you produce, I would always recommend focusing on giving value, whether that be this sort of content or other content.
How To Add Affiliate Links & Disclaimers (Ethically)
So, lastly, we need to talk about adding affiliate links and disclaimers. This is pretty simple, but it’s important too.
First of all, when you add affiliate links you need to make sure to cloak them. For YouTube, you can use a free service such as Bit.ly or Pretty links if you use WordPress. Although, you should not be using bit.ly in emails due to deliverability issues.
The reason you will want to cloak your links is that affiliate links look disgusting. Some of them (for example ClickBank links) look so bad, your viewer may not even feel safe clicking on them. Cloaking affiliate links should be a pretty standard procedure.
You can do it for free, so just do it!
Affiliate disclaimers… something that all affiliates hate. After new guidelines, you need these in every single video description. You can google and find a standard affiliate disclosure.
However, my personal recommendation is to put some personality inside of them. Maybe something like: “The products mentioned in this video are honest recommendations, so all those links are probably big scary affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them, I probably earn a commission”
Something along those lines. Usually, this doesn’t hurt conversions at all. How you do it is really up to you, but the important thing is that you do it.
I hope that you have enjoyed this guide on using YouTube for affiliate marketing and found some value in it.
If you did make sure to leave a comment and/or share the article. Just remember to stay consistent and eventually it should work out for you.