YouTube affiliate marketing is yet another online business model where you earn revenue by inserting affiliate links into videos you make and promote goods or services you recommend inside the video.

You’ve seen people make a lot of money from YouTube affiliate marketing, but is it possible for “the little guy” who doesn’t have a huge channel or a lot of content to share to actually make money from YouTube affiliate marketing? Is it possible to make money on YouTube if you know how to get around YouTube’s powerful algorithm? Let’s find out!

The first good news is that affiliate links are allowed on YouTube.

The even better news is that you can learn how YouTube operates and how to use YouTube in conjunction with affiliate marketing to make money as a YouTube Affiliate… even if you don’t actually have a YouTube channel or subscribers, and even if your YouTube video making skills aren’t the greatest.

Of course, if you are already good at making videos – more power to you.

YouTube Marketing  getting started

If you’re unsure how to make it happen for yourself, don’t worry. Continue reading this article to learn how to become a YouTube Affiliate and start earning money from your YouTube videos and channel (you can even make money without ever recording your own YouTube videos, which we will discuss later).

You’ve been using YouTube for years and have learned that people will make money off it, but how? Are all of these people using crowdfunding to create their videos? There has to be more to it than those 10-second commercials that you instinctively avoid whenever possible. There is more, and it is known as YouTube affiliate marketing.

What Does YouTube Affiliate Marketing Mean?

YouTube affiliate marketing is the process of making videos for YouTube that contain links and details that lead to the items being promoted. The YouTube content you make allows viewers to purchase items from third-party websites, which earns you a commission.

With over 2 billion active logged-in users per month, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and one of the top 5 most visited websites.

If you are committed to making YouTube videos that people want to see, you have the opportunity to receive a decent amount of commissions as an affiliate marketer. An affiliate is not required to produce, stock, or ship goods. When compared to the actual companies you are supporting, the barrier to entry is relatively low.

Affiliate Marketing camera filming the blogger

If you have another job that takes up most of your time, affiliate marketing can be used as a passive source of income to augment your current salary.

There are a few things to keep in mind before diving into the world of YouTube affiliate marketing, as some promote it as a get-rich-quick scheme. This endeavor will entail a certain level of commitment and efficiency. It takes time to produce traffic that converts into profit.

The time it takes between launching and earning money is determined by a variety of factors. The success of the goods you’re pitching, the volume of your uploads, promotions via other social media channels, and interaction should all be considered. Before you receive your first dollar from an affiliate link click, it could take anything from four months to a year.

It is also essential to conduct thorough research on the goods and services you wish to promote. If the company you’re referring to has a bad reputation or a sudden problem with quality management, your reputation is also jeopardized. As a result, before producing material, it is critical to conduct extensive research on the companies on which you will depend for commissions.

Using YouTube to Increase Affiliate Sales

Do you think you could get a few people to visit your YouTube page, watch your YouTube video, click on an affiliate link, and make a purchase, considering that over 1.8 billion people using YouTube? 

When we put it that way, it doesn’t seem so difficult, does it?

You might have the lifestyle you’ve always wanted by just getting a few people to watch several YouTube videos and then nudge them to buy the stuff they want.

YouTube is a strong advertising tool because it allows you to easily interact with and speak to an audience about the goods and services you enjoy. When you want to make sales, you can post various types of videos on your YouTube channel. Let’s go over a couple of them now.

Types of YouTube Affiliate Videos

camera filming the bloggers review for affiliate marketing product - YouTube Affiliate Marketing - The Ultimate Guide

How-to Tutorials

One of the most important ways to be an affiliate marketer is to create valuable content with links to the items demonstrated. These examples all share a few main elements: They are product experts, have engaging personalities, and are entertaining to watch while providing content that is useful to the viewer beyond a simple “click to buy” link.

The “Best of” Videos

The best videos are simple to create. What you need to do is compile a list of “the best of” whatever you’re supporting. You should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each product in the video.

To ensure that people watch the whole video, go from the least decent to the best of the best. All of the goods or services listed in the video can be linked to.

Evaluations and Reviews

The affiliate marketer focuses on one commodity and does extensive research on it. Getting into the nitty-gritty of a product is a perfect way to set yourself apart from the competition. Consider yourself the person who has read the manual, used the product, and has something to say about it. Assert yourself as an expert if there are minor details or technical quirks that a beginner may overlook.

The Live Unboxing

In terms of content, one of the simplest videos is one of an affiliate simply taking a product from a package and describing what they find when they show the viewer. Tech journalists have been perplexed by the success of these videos. 

When millions of people watch someone take a product out of its packaging and narrate what they see, the appeal may seem odd. In practice, it is typically the first time audiences see a new product outside of a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign. 

The presenter is just like everyone else, expressing their joy at obtaining the desired object in real life. Seeing a real person in a casual setting taking a new item out of a box puts the product into context and can encourage them to buy it for themselves.

When performed in an engaging manner, there is an element of suspense and a birthday-present vibe.

Lists of gear

Gear list videos will hold an audience’s attention throughout the entire clip by putting into film what sites like Wirecutter, Kinja Deals, and The Strategist do in written form. This format is useful for promoting a variety of items in a single video, such as a list of suggested products for a particular subject.

Fitness equipment

These models, which are partly motivational videos and partly product recommendations, have an upbeat vibe that encourages viewers to purchase goods and get going.

Getting Traffic to your Youtube Videos

Basically, it’s all about increasing your visibility. But how?

YouTube Affiliate Marketing - The Ultimate Guide - web traffic

 Even if you have the most awesome videos on the internet, if no one sees them, you won’t get any results. Getting traffic is one of the most difficult obstacles people face while trying to make money with affiliate marketing.

The good news is, however, that many people already use YouTube, so simply being on the web with well-optimized videos will get you some traffic. This is referred to as related videos, and we will discuss it further below. You can also try optimization calculator.

You’ve probably seen more than one video on a given subject. You watch a video on YouTube and then see a similar video that appears to be interesting enough so that you click away to that video.

Youtube screenshot

This happens all the time, which is why you want to appear in YouTube-related videos. Improve the readability of your content by including important keywords in the title, definition, and tags sections.

Tip: YouTube allows you to use 5,000 characters in the description of your video… So make sure to have as much viewer (and SEO) friendly content as possible. Remember to include your affiliate link in summary!

Make sure you have catchy thumbnails that draw viewers and entice them to click once they see the thumbnail to get more traffic from YouTube-related videos.

Google Search Engine Results

Google search results can be an extremely effective source of traffic for your videos. Depending on the keyword phrase, YouTube videos are more or less likely to appear on Google’s first list.

YouTube Affiliate Marketing  keywords

Tip: Posting your video on your blog is an excellent way to begin with video SEO… as well as to drive targeted traffic to your blog and videos.

Before you begin ranking videos (or any other type of content) in Google, perform keyword research to see if any videos are currently appearing. If no videos appear, this may not be the best keyword to target for your video when it comes to Google’s organic search.

Loyal subscribers

Subscribers who have the notification option activated will receive updates when you publish a new video. If they do not choose that option, your video will still appear in their feed in the list of channels to which they are subscribed to.

If people can press the little bell and receive updates, the subscription page is still a strong source of traffic. When people watch your videos, be sure to ask them to hit the bell to receive notifications; this way, you’ll get even better results in the future from the initial traffic from your subscriber audience.

Concentrate on acquiring viewers who enjoy your videos. As this number increases, you’ll be able to get more traffic faster each time you publish a new video.

Is It Possible to Make Money with YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

Of course, the shortest answer is ‘Yes.’ 

The longer answer is how you get to that yes. 

making money with affiliate marketing on youtuube

You’ll need a lot of patience and perseverance to monetize your affiliate channel.

Spending time producing quality content would give you the best chance of making real money with an Affiliate YouTube channel. People will return to your channel if you present yourself as a trustworthy, friendly voice that demonstrates and educates about worthwhile items.

There are several ways to expand the audience on the YouTube platform:

  • React to user feedback.
  • Contact other YouTubers about possible partnerships.
  • Make video responses to trending items and topics.
  • Give your viewers a discount or a prize for sharing and engaging with your channel.

Incorporate calls to action into your videos, such as requests to subscribe, share, and click on affiliate links. Make it simple for your viewers by using easily accessible buttons and links in the captions and in the video as it plays. 

Including an annotation or a clickable link inside the video is a powerful tool that allows the viewer to continue watching the video when searching for the product. Make it as easy for a customer to locate the product as possible!

You must push traffic to your channel to make money with affiliate videos. People may discover your channel through a variety of social media channels, so it’s critical to promote your content on all of them. Promotions rely heavily on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They will give you the option of posting video clips and special promotions in order to drive traffic to your channel.

Advantages and disadvantages of YouTube Affiliate Marketing


  • Start-up costs are low, and there is a lot of potentials (Over 2 Billion Users as of June 2020)
  • Lower competition than Facebook and a more stable search algorithm than Facebook
  • Subscribers will help you build a loyal following.

The disadvantages

  • Affiliate companies have the ability to immediately halt your earnings
  • It is far too simple for competitors to enter the market. 
  • Content creation is time-consuming.
  • It is difficult to direct traffic to specific videos.
  • Google’s Terms of Service has very strict affiliate link restrictions.

Conclusion – Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

If you’re worried about being too late to the YouTube affiliate marketing game, don’t be. Every day, more people come online, and they want to learn from you on the web. Even though affiliate marketing is a highly competitive area, there is no need to become overwhelmed. Maintain a realistic set of goals, be consistent, and provide authoritative, high-quality information about the products you feature/review/promote.

You will gain viewers’ respect if you maintain a relatable and straightforward tone of voice. You can receive commissions and scale your affiliate marketing company by providing them with valuable information and links to well-reviewed products. Continue to produce quality content, and your customers will be anticipating to see what you’ll be suggesting next.

YouTube viewers appreciate consistency, a personal touch, and, most importantly, integrity. You’ll be well on your way to being a great YouTube Affiliate Marketer if you combine all of these factors with a clear growth strategy. Don’t forget to check out Starbucks’ marketing strategy to learn from this case study. Good luck!

Will affiliate marketing on YouTube get you enough exposure?

YouTube’s revenue (which belongs to Google) has went from $1 billion in 2012 to $15 billion in 2021. Prominent YouTubers and influences nowadays get more views-per-day than celebrities on mainstream TV channels.

How to do affiliate marketing on YouTube?

We have already touched on the most common ways people make money through affiliate marketing on YouTube, you can get creative and come up with your own ideas, or use any of the methods that already work well for many successful affiliates who earn a living on Youtube.

Last Updated on May 24, 2023


Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.