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by Mike Vestil 

How to Start YouTube Affiliate Marketing (The Complete Guide)

YouTube affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make money from your favorite hobby. It’s a great idea for anyone who wants to start their own business without the hassle of building an eCommerce site or hiring a team.

In this post, we will discuss what YouTube affiliate marketing actually entails.

We will look at how it can be good for you and your followers, as well as tips on maximizing sales and conversions using this platform!

What Is YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

YouTube affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy that allows content creators to make money by promoting other products. Usually, you put an affiliate link into your YouTube video description so viewers can click on it. 

If they liked the product, they will most likely click on the link in the description and buy.

After that, you earn a small commission and make money!

The whole monetization process, sales tactics and everything else will stay the same as the traditional affiliate marketing — except the content type, which is strictly YouTube videos.

What Are the Benefits of Using YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

YouTube affiliate marketing has a lot of benefits.

It’s incredibly easy to set up, and if you know what you’re doing, you can earn a nice passive income. 

With that said, here are the biggest benefits of starting YouTube affiliate marketing.

#1 It’s Super Simple

Starting affiliate marketing on YouTube is an easy task.

You don’t need to do anything special, you just find an affiliate offer to promote in your YouTube videos, and you are all set.

You don’t need any coding skills or a complicated setup. In fact, it’s so simple that many YouTubers can start making money in less than an hour after reading this post!

This is how easy YouTube affiliate marketing can be.

#2 It’s Very Cheap

The best thing about it is that you don’t need expensive equipment, to build your own website or hire copywriters for a marketing campaign.

Instead, you just need to have a YouTube channel, set up an account with the affiliate program you want to promote, and you’re ready.

This is how cheap YouTube affiliate marketing can be!

It’s so simple that you don’t even have to invest any of your own money — all it takes is a little bit of time.

You’ll spend more hours in the day promoting products and making money than you will actually be working for your income.

And the best part is that it’s an easy, low-risk way to start an online business!

#3 It’s the Future

There are many ways to start affiliate marketing. But, none of them have potential that’s as big as YouTube.

This is because YouTube videos are consumers’ favorite type of content.

They are the future, and people want to see more new videos from the brands they follow. That’s why starting YouTube affiliate marketing is an excellent idea, especially now.

And even if videos become less popular, you don’t need to worry, as there are many other ways that this strategy can be applied, and it will still work just fine!

How Can You Make Money With YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

Before you can start earning thousands of dollars, there are a few things you need to have. They are a must for every successful youtube affiliate marketer.

Here is a list of the things that are necessary for you to start YouTube affiliate marketing.

YouTube Channel

This is a no-brainer.

If you want to become a youtube affiliate marketer, you need to have a YouTube channel. To make a lot of money, you need a place where people will see your videos and promote the offers.

YouTube channels can be free or paid — it doesn’t matter as long as you have one!

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for a free YouTube account and start working on your channel.


The second thing is the number of your subscribers.

If you want to make a steady income from your affiliate marketing efforts, you need to have traffic going your way. The number of subscribers and viewers is highly relative, though.

There is no actual number that when you hit, you can start promoting affiliate products.

You can start affiliate marketing even with only 1,000 subscribers.

You will not earn much, but as you grow, your revenues will rise, and you will start seeing higher revenues.

Offer / Affiliate Program

Lastly, you need affiliate products to promote to make money online.

And the place where you can find these offers and products to promote is the affiliate program. There are many affiliate networks offering an affiliate program, such as Amazon affiliates or ShareASale, and they differ in prices, affiliate commission rates, payment terms, and types of products offered.

It’s essential to pick one with a good balance, so it will be worthwhile for both parties: the affiliate and the business owner.

You can check a complete list of the best affiliate marketing programs right here.

The Best Types of Videos to Generate Affiliate Revenues

Now that you have everything you need to start, it’s time to create videos that drive affiliate sales. There are many types of videos you can create. However, only a few will actually help you make the most sales.

Here are the 5 best YouTube affiliate marketing videos to make money.

#1 Product Review Videos

Product reviews are one of the best ways to supercharge your affiliate marketing sales. This type of video is great for beginners as it’s simple to create, and they don’t need any special skills or equipment. Plus, once you have created this video, all you need to do is post it on YouTube — that’s it!

And the best thing about it is that you’re reviewing a product you are actually using.

You can pick something you love, share it with other people to improve their lives, and generate affiliate sales at the same time.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that 52% of customers are more likely to purchase a product featured in a YouTube product review video.

In essence, they are a must for everyone looking to make sales.

Just make sure to keep it honest.

With various affiliate programs for beginners, monetizing this type of content is easier than ever. You can sign up for an Amazon Associates account, and start promoting products from the world’s largest online retailer.

#2 How-To Videos

Another excellent video content idea for YouTube affiliate marketing is how-to videos. They work exceptionally well because they present something people are looking for.

These videos help customers with their problems, and many times, you can suggest a solution by buying a particular product.

It also helps that these videos come in handy when there is a new release of products from different vendors and companies, which is why they are also one of the most popular video types on YouTube.

You can use these videos to cover everything from makeup tutorials, hairstyles, cooking recipes — you name it!


The only thing is that you need to give viewers a reason why they should purchase your affiliate product instead of picking another competitor’s item or service. This way, they will be more inclined to buy your product.

You can also combine it with the previous video type to boost sales.

For instance, you can review marketing software and create step-by-step videos on how to use it. That way, you become more valuable and skyrocket your revenues.

#3 Unboxing / Product Haul Videos

Unboxing videos are always exciting.

You can see a new gadget or product in one, and in the other — products already released. These videos are great for affiliate marketing, as they help viewers decide on which product to purchase to match their needs.

There’s nothing more annoying than purchasing something without knowing what it does first!


That said, these types of videos are perfect for affiliate marketing because they will help your viewers find the best product to buy.

Plus, you need nothing more than a camera and good lighting! You can film them in one take or edit them afterward with video editing software. You can even add some music as well. On top of that, this type of video content is perfect if you’re just starting and don’t know a lot about YouTube affiliate marketing.

It’s also worth mentioning that unboxing videos have a high retention rate — around 84%.

That means it will keep viewers coming back to your channel every time you upload them. It’s popular among children, teens and adults.

It’s also one of the most popular types of video content on YouTube — and still growing!

#4 Best of Videos

The best of videos are for those people who don’t know which product to choose. And that’s why they turn to you to make a decision.

What makes them unique is that they simply show people their favorite products and give viewers an idea of which ones suit them, so they can buy them.

The best thing about it is that viewers are already looking to buy. They have transactional intent and need just a tiny push to do so. Plus, these videos are often very catchy and can help you grow your YouTube channel very quickly, too.

In fact, it’s been growing by an average of 100% every year for the last three years! 

These videos will help you make money if you’re already doing affiliate marketing or simply want to start one. You also don’t need any special skills, either — just show people the product and tell them why it’s good.

Most of the time, viewers will believe you rather than a company they don’t know anything about because your opinion is more trustworthy.

#5 Promotional Videos

Lastly, there are promotional videos — A.K.A. promos.

This type of video is great because it has only one purpose — to make customers buy from you. But, to make it successful, you must show your viewers that you care about them, not only that you want to sell them a product. 

You must touch them on a more personal level by showing them the affiliate company’s story.


If you seem like a salesperson, it most likely won’t be that successful. So, make sure to be genuine and provide value to your viewers. Promotional videos are incredible for affiliate marketing because they will lead viewers to buy right from you.

It can also improve your YouTube channel by making it more popular among customers who want to buy products you promote, which will pay off big time.

Where Can You Put Your Affiliate Links?

When most people think about a place to put an affiliate link, they immediately start thinking of video descriptions.

And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s an excellent place to put your affiliate links for viewers to buy from you.


But, that’s not the only place where you can put your links.

There are other places that can work just as great, if not better, as your video description. These are mainly pinned comments and YouTube cards.

Pinned Comments

Pinned comments are fantastic and can be superb if you want to keep your YouTube video description clean but still need a place to put your affiliate marketing links.


All you need to do is put all your links in a comment, pin it, and you are good to go. 

YouTube Cards

YouTube cards (formerly known as annotations) are wonderful.

They allow you to show affiliate links to your viewers at the right time, making it more likely for viewers to buy from you.


That’s why I highly recommend using them with your affiliate marketing business on YouTube.

Ideally, you’d combine it with the pinned comment or video’s description.

Using YouTube cards is excellent, but your readers may want to see the complete list of affiliate links at some point. However, it’s not possible by using only YouTube cards. So, make sure you combine it with one of the two ways we’ve talked about above.

3 BEST Tips to Boost Affiliate Marketing Revenues

Creating high-quality affiliate videos will lead to a lot of sales and a big affiliate marketing success. But, if you want to break through, you need to maximize your potential.

And that’s what you’ll discover here.

#1 Perfect Your Video Title, Description and Thumbnail

The first thing you should do is make sure your video title, description and thumbnail are on point. They are the first thing a searcher sees — the first impressions.


And if you fail to perfect them, a searcher may not even open your video, let alone buy from you. That’s why we recommend working on all these things. Use the right long-tail keywords, make it catchy, and add an irresistible thumbnail that a searcher must click on.

It’s the only way to drive substantial results over time.

#2 Have a Clear CTA

No matter what strategy you use with your YouTube videos, you won’t make a lot of sales if you fail to include a CTA.

Having a clear call-to-action is the first thing you need to do.

And not just for affiliate marketing videos — make sure that every video has a call-to-action so it can be successful in the end, whether it’s for viewers to like, comment or subscribe.

There are many ways of doing this.

I suggest telling viewers exactly what to do — go to the video description, click on the link and buy the product. You should also say it multiple times throughout the video. That way, you get it inside your viewers’ subconscious minds, and they will be more likely to buy.

#3 Use Affiliate Tracking Software

Knowing your numbers is vital.

More importantly, if you cannot track your clicks, purchases and sales, you will fall short very quickly. And that’s why I recommend using affiliate tracking software.


It will make your life easier by telling you exactly how much money you make, what your CTR is, and so much more. You can then decide whether you should change your strategy or if it’s fine as it is.

It’s one of the best ways to keep moving forward and boosting your sales.


YouTube affiliate marketing is excellent for driving additional revenue and growing your affiliate marketing business.

But, with so many things happening on the platform, it’s tough to know where you should put your links or what types of videos to produce — how-to, product reviews or unboxing?

Fortunately, now you know exactly how to start your own YouTube affiliate business.

Follow the advice above, learn how to make money online with affiliate marketing, and build your way to financial freedom.

Also, if you want to learn more about what you can do with affiliate marketing, check out this post on the Affiliate Marketing Challenge, a program that can help you get started with this type of marketing.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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