Affiliate Marketing With YouTube: A Step-By-Step Guide
August 26, 2021

How much time have you spent on YouTube in the last few days? A couple of minutes? Maybe a few hours? Video content is becoming more popular every day. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have adapted to include video content, while new platforms like TikTok are taking the world by storm with their video-based content. However, when it comes to online videos, no other platform beats YouTube.

With more than a billion hours of video content being watched each day, and an excess of two billion users a day, YouTube rules over all other video content platforms. This popularity has brought with it a profitable new platform for affiliate marketers.

So, exactly how do you go about using affiliate marketing and YouTube to start making a profit? That’s what we’ll be uncovering in this article.

What Is YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re thinking about affiliate marketing on YouTube, it’s vital that you don’t confuse it with the YouTube Partnership Program. The Youtube Partnership Program is exclusively available for YouTubers with at least 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last year. For these YouTubers, ads will pop up while viewers watch their content, and the YouTuber gets paid for this. But what if you’re a new YouTuber? What if you don’t yet qualify for the YouTube Partnership Program?

That’s where affiliate marketing comes into play. Even new YouTube channels without a large following can start making money through affiliate marketing with YouTube. There are YouTubers across multiple niches that make good money through this method.

A good example is Lawrence Systems. This channel covers IT, computers, open-source software, and a few other topics related to technology. The channel currently has 187k subscribers and makes about $2,500 a month just from affiliate marketing.

To most people, it may seem daunting to even think about starting a YouTube channel, never mind monetizing it through affiliate marketing. However, when it comes down to it, it can actually be quite simple once you get the hang of it.

The best part is that you can use your YouTube channel alongside a website or a stand-alone platform. This gives affiliate marketers even more options!

How To Become an Affiliate Marketer

Before you can become a YouTube affiliate marketer, there are a few things that you’ll need to get started on your path to success. Don’t worry, we’ll go through all of these with you.

Google Account

The first thing that you’ll need is a valid Google account. You’ll need it to set up your YouTube channel. If you already have a Gmail account, then you can use the Google account linked with it. If you prefer not to use your personal account, you can set up a Google account and Gmail just for your channel.

YouTube Channel

Next, you’ll want to create a YouTube channel. All you do is log into YouTube with your Google account. Next, click on “Settings,” and finally on “Create Custom Channel.”

A Niche

Although some YouTubers just create random channels where they share unrelated videos, you’ll need to decide on a niche if you want to use affiliate marketing effectively. Make sure that the niche you choose is something that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. Additionally, try to make sure that there are offers that would be relevant for this niche. Don’t choose a topic just because it’s trending. Choose one for which you know you’ll be able to make a lot of great content.

An Offer To Promote

This offer will be what makes you money. If you haven’t signed up for any affiliate programs, now would be the time to do so. If you’re unsure which affiliate program to use, you can look at these options: NutriProfits.

Quality Content

Make sure that you bring out high-quality videos related to your niche regularly. This is extremely important. Without quality content, you won’t build a following, get traffic, or make any sales and income from affiliate marketing. If your content is great and consistent, you’ll start growing a following and making more money from affiliate marketing in no time.


Of course, you’ll have to make sure that there is traffic coming to your channel and that your videos are being seen. Traffic may be slow at first, especially for new channels. It takes a bit of effort and marketing practice to grow your traffic and gain a solid following. There are many ways to increase traffic. To start, make sure that you share your content far and wide across all your social media platforms, and get family and friends to do the same. We’ll share some more on getting traffic further in the article.

Tracking Software

Finally, you’ll need some form of tracking software to track every view, click, and conversion that comes through your channel. It’s vital for you to know what’s going on, where you’re losing clients, and what needs to improve. A great option is a program like Voluum Tracker.

How To Make Quality YouTube Videos

As we mentioned, quality content is king. If you focus on creating high-quality content, then all of the other aspects will fall into place more smoothly. There’s a learning curve to producing excellent YouTube videos, but it’s not so technical that only a few people can do it. After all, have you seen how many YouTube videos there are these days?

You may be wondering how you can start making quality videos as a beginner. You probably don’t have a lot of fancy equipment yet. We have you covered! Below, we’ll be sharing a few of our top tips for creating stunning YouTube videos, even if you’re just a beginner.

Choose the Types of Videos That Will Suit Your Content

Everything works better if you have a bit of a plan for it; the same goes for videos. Consider what type of videos will work best with the content you’ll be promoting. Will you be making “how-to” videos or is your content better suited to best-of compilations or ranking videos? Perhaps people value your opinion, and your content relates more to reviews or unboxing videos.

Take some time to think of the types of videos that will best complement your content, as well as the products you’re promoting. Deciding this early on in the process will save you countless hours and keep you from losing followers for being inconsistent. You don’t have to limit yourself to only one type of video. At the same time, don’t overwhelm yourself and your viewers by trying to do them all at the risk of your videos being subpar or irrelevant.

Equipment Needed

You may be thinking that if you don’t have recording equipment, you can’t make quality YouTube videos. Don’t let the lack of equipment put you down. There’s still ways you can make great videos, even without state-of-the-art equipment. The basics that you’ll need is a camera, decent lighting, and editing software.

You can use the camera on your phone to record your videos, though we recommend using the front-facing camera, not the selfie one. Perhaps you’ll be recording your screen, not your face. In that case, a screen recorder is ideal.

Always make sure that you record in a well-lit area. If the space you need to record in is dark, add more lights. Make sure that you have a tripod, selfie stick or some sort of camera stand to avoid shaky videos.

Prepare for Your Videos

Make sure that you have a script or outline of your video prepared before you start recording. Being prepared is the best way to ensure you get your message across. However, we don’t mean that you should robotically read your lines and bore your viewers. Be yourself and add some personality into your videos. Being prepared with an outline or script will help keep you on track so that you don’t ramble.

If you know your videos will be longer, you may consider using a prompter. If you’re worried about how much that is going to cost you, don’t stress. There are many DIY videos on YouTube showing how you can easily make your own.

Dedicate a Space for Shooting Your Videos

Unless your plan is to record a vlog of your daily life, which requires movement, it’s best to have a dedicated space where you can record your videos. The reason for this is that you can be comfortable and have all the equipment you need readily available. You can also make sure that the spot you choose is already well lit. Having a dedicated place will help you streamline the process and appear much more professional.

Don’t Forget the Audio

The audio is another essential part that needs to be considered when making quality YouTube videos. Recording in a space that has a lot of background noise isn’t a good idea. Make sure that your recording space is relatively soundproof and that you use a decent microphone when recording your videos. You don’t need to buy the most expensive microphone right away, as even a cheap mic will already improve the quality of your audio.

Use Video Editing Software

YouTube has its own video editing software that can help you with the basics, such as cutting videos and adding music. Most likely, you’ll need more tools to create high-quality videos. You could try some freeware, but chances are they’ll be limited in the functions they provide. In the long run, it‘s worthwhile to invest in some decent editing software. Luckily, most paid programs have trial periods so that you can test it before deciding to spend your money.

Getting Traffic, Views, and Conversions

YouTube is well known as the second-largest search engine, surpassed only by Google. As such, there’s more than enough traffic going around. So, how can you ensure that you get your chunk of the traffic? As with any other platform, you’ll need a strategy to get traffic.

Let’s take a look at some of the strategies you can implement to start getting some more traffic, views, and conversions.

Where Should Your Affiliate Marketing Link Go?

You want to make sure that you place your link in a clickable, easy-to-find spot. The first space that comes to mind is the video description. Make sure to place your affiliate link in the video description, above the cut-off line so that it’s visible without having to click down.

Also, make sure to tell your viewers to click the link. Otherwise, they might miss it. Also, don’t place hundreds of links into the description. Choose which ones are most relevant to the video, and include those in the video description.

SEO for YouTube

You may think that SEO is useless on YouTube because it relies largely on video content. However, just like other search engines, YouTube videos can be optimized for SEO, although the process is slightly different.

The number of characters for optimization in YouTube are much less than on most platforms. You’re limited to the video title, video description, and tags. Furthermore, each of these only shows a limited amount of characters, so you have to be creative with where you place your keywords and suggested terms.

Your video title can be up to 100 characters long, although only the first 70 characters will be visible without requiring viewers to click for more. Make sure that you use your keywords and suggested terms effectively within the first 70 characters.

The video description can be much longer. It can be up to 5,000 characters long, although once again, not all of these characters will be visible. Due to the default YouTube view, viewers will only see between 100-150 characters in the snippet view. So again, you’ll want to be careful how you phrase your description so that the vital information is easily visible without having to click to see more.

Tags are another helpful feature you can use to improve SEO and get more traffic. Although tags aren’t technically limited, you can use about 400 characters. This is a good place to include specific keywords, as well as more general and long-tailed keywords.

Encourage Viewer Engagement

Part of Google’s algorithm looks at viewer engagement. The more people interact with your videos by watching, commenting, and subscribing, the higher you will appear in Google search results.

Google might also start recommending your video in other feeds. The first way to achieve this is by reminding your viewers to comment, like, and subscribe to your videos.

We’ve all heard the phrase millions of times, but it’s important to remind viewers to interact with the video. Ensure that when people interact with your videos through comments, you interact back by responding. Viewers enjoy a channel more if they feel connected to the YouTuber; one of the best ways to achieve this is by interacting with your viewers every chance you get.

Build Up Your Social Media

Presence It’s important to build up a social media platform so that you can direct potential viewers from other platforms to your channel. By sharing your videos on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, and asking family and friends to share as well, you can expand your reach and bring more traffic to your videos. Who knows, your video might even go viral.

Pros and Cons of Youtube Affiliate Marketing

Do you still feel uncertain about YouTube as a platform for affiliate marketing? As with any form of marketing, there are positive and negative aspects to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using YouTube for affiliate marketing.


  • Setting up a channel with YouTube is easy and free.
  • The YouTube Creators Academy has free courses to teach you all about YouTube and how it works.
  • There’s a lot of traffic readily available with very little competition.
  • It’s easy to build a very loyal following by allowing viewers to subscribe to your channel.


  • There’s a learning curve to creating video content.
  • Since you don’t own the platform, it’s possible for your channel to get banned.
  • Your offer linking is restricted.

Final Thoughts

YouTube can be an especially lucrative platform for affiliate marketing for beginners and experienced marketers alike. Whether you’ve been thinking about starting a channel, have just created it, or even if you’ve had your channel for a while, there are many possibilities if you start using affiliate marketing to earn some money. All you need to do to get started is identify your niche, start with a plan, launch your channel, create valuable video content that includes links to affiliate products, and then work to increase traffic to your videos. It’s not an overly complicated process, so why not give it a try?

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