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If you have ever made video content before, you may want to consider becoming a YouTube Affiliate. Now more than ever, YouTube content creators are making thousands of dollars from their videos content , with the most successful ones doing it as a full-time job.

YouTube Affiliate marketing has been around for many years, making it one of the most serious method of generating YouTube revenue streams for popular videos.

There is a lot of serious money to be made.

But as with anything these days, it requires dedication and time , some luck and a lot of hard work.

What is a YouTube Affiliate …?

You may be wondering that how does a YouTube Affiliate different from a regular YouTube channel ?

Normally, a YouTube Channel would make it’s revenue from adverts displayed on videos by monetizing the video . A YouTube Affiliate will make videos with the aim of getting you to buy the affiliate products from a 3rd party site, such as Amazon. Every time a user buys a product using your link, you get a referral commission for Amazon it may be around 2-7% depending on the category.

The video may be a review of the any product, an unboxing video of product , a let’s play video- pretty much any kind of video which can influence you to buy the product.

And it is very easy to get started. Once you have your video made, you have to sign up to an affiliate program (this can usually be instantaneous) and then start placing youtube affiliate links on your video (It may be in the description or in the video as annotations).

Well, same like website affiliates, you have to drive traffic to your videos in order to get people clicking on your affiliate links. Without anyone watching your content, no one is going to click your link. This is the most hardest part of affiliate marketing, but once you get a bit of traffic on your videos, it can snowball into a regular income

How to use YouTube for Affiliate Marketing

Starting your own YouTube Affiliate channel is very easy. You can start your YouTube journey today and start uploading videos within the hour if you really wanted to

Depending on what kind of videos you want to make (for example, real life footage versus game capturing ), you have to need a setup that is capable of performing well. Have a look at this list and see if there is anything you may need to get started:

1. A YouTube Account. It’s free and you have to sign up and takes less than 5 minutes to get a YouTube account . When you sign up, you get access to the Creator Studio section, which allows you to upload videos content, you have to write descriptions, upload thumbnails etc. This is where you will spend a lot of time analysing your video content, seeing what works and what does not .

2. An Amazon Associates account. This is your affiliate marketing network that will give you the products to promote on your videos. Anyone is allowed to sign up, but there is a review process. I was approved almost immediately, but it may take a couple of days sometimes. You don’t need to worry about this just yet; without any video content, you have nowhere to place adverts on. If you don’t want to use Amazon, you can check out these other affiliate networks too.

3.Video Editing Software. There are many different kind of video editing software programs on the market these days, but if you are  just starting out, there is nothing wrong with using good old free Windows Movie Maker software . It’s good for simple editing, voice over and making quality videos. If you want something with a few more bells and whistles, you can consider getting a premium product such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier etc .

4.A decent computer. Making  good videos can consume your computer’s processing power and RAM. If you want to  make a long videos, you have to do lots of editing and recording, your computer will need a good CPU and a sufficient  amount of ram. A good idea is to test your current computer out and see how you get on. If you find video capturing to be sluggish or video editing software keeps crashing, it’s usually a sign that you need a better computer. Upgrading RAM is very easy and cheap to do .

5.A large hard drive. Uncompressed video footage can easily eat up a 100 GB after a couple of videos, so I recommend buying a cheap 2-3TB hard drive so you could store all your data. Since the files are so heavy , I don’t recommend using cloud storage for this.

6.Optional: Microphone and WebCam. Depending on the type of videos you are making , you will want to invest in some decent peripherals when it comes to microphones and webcams. You may not want to even do voice overs or show your face, but the more interactive your videos are, the more likely viewers will find your content engaging.

7.Digital Camera. If you want to make your own real life footage, you will need to invest in a digital camera. The cost of this item depends on the quality of footage you want to take these days you can buy cameras which shoot 4k footage, but you may only want standard HD. If your budget is tight, an iPhone and other brand camera can do a good job these days, especially if you have one of the latest models .

8.Video Capture Software. If you are making videos about games, you have to some kind of video capturing software or scream recorder. Luckily, you can find some great free software that can do this for you. Take a look at OBS Studio, free to use and works great for recording and streaming content to sites like Twitch or YouTube.

If you use Amazon’s Associate Affiliate network, adding affiliate links to your videos is very easy.

The first thing you have to do is get your Amazon Affiliate link. You can do this by searching in the Amazon Associates Product Linking database; identify the product you want to advertise, search for it and then you will be presented with link options.

Since you’re creating video content , all you want is the simple text link. Amazon even provide a URL shortened version of their affiliate links to make it easier to link to

Once you get your affiliate link, head over to your YouTube Creator Studio and find your video. You’ll then want to decide how you’re going to place your Affiliate Link. There are two ways :

  1. As an annotation. Annotations are small clickable boxes that appear on your video as you watch. You can make them appear at any time- either for a short period or even the full video. Click on the End Screen & Annotation tab in Creator Studio and you will be given options to add linkable annotations.
  2. In the Video Description. You just simply paste the link URL into the description and YouTube will automatically convert it into a clickable link.

How much money can I make from being a YouTube Affiliate?

Like with anything, it only depends on your traffic and the product you want to sell. There is no magic number. It’s also hard to guess numbers because most YouTube Affiliate’s don’t share their earnings with their viewers, so you have no way of knowing how much effective being a YouTube Affiliate is.

We can however, look at some Affiliate networks and estimate how much you could potentially earn.

Amazon Affiliates typically pays between 3-5% commission for every product sold. What will really determine how much you earn however is your conversion rate. This number is depend on the amount of people that watch your videos and then go on to purchase a affiliate product you’re advertising. This can be as low as 1% but others have reported around 8%. It really depends on your niche and the products your advertising.

Using these numbers, let’s say you’re advertising a product that costs $50. You have a commission rate of 5%.  Your YouTube video gets 50,000 views. Of that 50,000, you have a generous conversion rate of just 2%.

2% of 50,000 is 1,000.
1,000 x $50 = $50,000.

You earn 5% of $50,000 which is $2500.

So you would have made $2500 off of one video. These numbers are being very generous of course, but it allows you to have some idea about how much other YouTubers can be potentially earning. You can see there is money to be made.

What are type of some good affiliate networks for YouTube?

When you want to start building affiliate links in your videos, you should consider the different affiliate networks available. Every network offers different rates, products and requirements for joining. Choosing the right and best one for you can increase  your earning significantly, so don’t be afraid to shop around.

  1. Amazon Associates. The most popular and the one most YouTubers go for. They offer an amazing catalog of various products to sell and they are a very reputable program to go with.
  2. Ebay Partner Network. If the products you’re promoting our “ebay” type items, you can sign up to this network. Each time you refer someone to a listing affiliate link and the item gets sold, you get paid.
  3. Shopify. If you refer to Shopify stores, you can earn commission based on sales people make to these merchants. Shopify Stores sell products which are usually quite niche
  4. Custom Affiliates. Many of sites offer their own affiliate program that is specific to their products. Take for example, ThemeForest. They allow you to become an affiliate and earn money when you refer people to their marketplace through the affiliate link. Take a look at relevant products to your channel and you may come across a site offering their own affiliate program.

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