YouTube Affiliate marketing is a method of earning money online by referring products to others with the help of videos. You’ll get a commission on every sale you generate.
In this article, you’ll learn the complete procedure to become an affiliate marketer on YouTube. If you’re keen to learn more about affiliate marketing you may want to join the BuzRef community.
Now, let’s start the affiliate marketing journey on YouTube.
Table of Contents
Choosing a YouTube affiliate marketing niche
Affiliate Marketing on YouTube begins with choosing a niche. Choose the wrong one and you’ll struggle to grow.
You’ll have to create continuous videos and bring traffic to those videos. YouTube search and recommendation are the main traffic sources.
The views of your videos on YouTube are highly affected by the niche you’re in. A very big mistake you shouldn’t do is publishing random videos on varied topics that aren’t related.
For affiliate marketing, it’s important to stick with a single niche, especially at the beginning when you don’t have enough audience.
Uploading random videos makes it hard to gain subscribers and engagement. The goal is to be an authority in an industry, rather than getting lost in the crowd.
It’s hard to grow if you can’t relate to every video you put on your channel.
There are a lot of niches to choose from:
- Personal Development
- Beauty or personal grooming
- Pets such as cat & dog
- And so on.
These are just a few broad topics. Within computer, we have PC and Mac. Within health, we have tens of microniches. The list will never finish.
Initially, it’s better to start with a micro niche for example cats instead of pets, watches instead of gadgets.
Sticking to a single niche has the following benefits:
- Builds authority
- Builds targeted audience
- More engagement
- More subscribers
- Higher ranking on YouTube search
- More affiliate product sales
- Gets more recommendations from YouTube
- Faster growth
Now let’s look at how you can choose a niche for affiliate marketing on YouTube.
Recommended Reading: 6 affiliate marketing secrets that are super important for success
#1 Things to consider
You should choose a niche that satisfies the following four points.
- Low competition
- High traffic potential
- Your interest in the topic
- Higher potential earning from affiliate marketing
#2 Brainstorming ideas
Take a pen and a piece of paper or open a text editor on your computer.
Now, write down all the topics that interest you. Think about what you consume most on the internet (types of blogs you read and videos you watch); activities you do more often such as going to the gym, playing basketball, etc.; things that you like the most such as food, computers, gaming, grooming, landscaping, etc.
Make a long list of topics related to you somehow. Don’t consider any other thing at this time.
#3 Your expertise
Now it’s time to filter your list.
Go through the list and erase/cross any topic that you don’t know much about. For example, you have a computer but you don’t know much about computers. You use it for basic office work and internet browsing.
You don’t need to be an expert on a topic to choose it for affiliate marketing niche for YouTube. However, basic knowledge is required to start.
#4 Researching the competition
The next filter is the competition. To check the competition search a few long queries for example “how to disable windows update medic service in windows 10”.
Search at least five such queries for every topic in your list. If you can find a decent number of quality videos for such queries, you can assume that this topic is competitive.
Filter out topics with higher competition.
#5 Estimating the Traffic potential
You may now have a few topics on your list. Another factor to filter it furthermore is the market size. If more people are looking/searching for something, it means it has a large market.
To get the estimated traffic potential, search the topic on YouTube and check the number of views to the top-ranking videos. Again search a few queries related to that topic and see how many views the top videos are getting.
It is just an estimation because a single user watches a video more than once. The actual number of users is less than the number of views.
A very narrow niche with low traffic potential shouldn’t be pursued.
#6 Guessing affiliate products
Almost every niche with a decent market has some kind of affiliate program. On this occasion, you just have to make a rough list of products that can be promoted within the topics leftover from the above iterations.
If you can’t think of any products for a niche, it’s better to omit them from your list.
#7 Content Ideas
Only a few topics in your list might be left. Now write down the titles of 10 videos you’ll make for each item left on your list.
Choose a topic as your niche for which it was easier to write the 10 video titles.
Must Read: 10 Disastrous Affiliate Marketing Mistakes that Must be Avoided
Setting up an Affiliate Marketing YouTube channel
After choosing a niche, it’s time to set up an affiliate marketing YouTube channel.
Creating a channel isn’t a hard job. This section will talk about a few more contexts related to a YouTube channel that can affect your affiliate marketing journey.
#1 Naming the channel
You might ask what’s the big deal with naming a YouTube channel. But, it has a lot to do with how your channel will perform.
The ultimate purpose of doing affiliate marketing on YouTube is to earn money. It’s like an online business. Everything was done correctly, you can make your full-time income. So, it’s very important how you name your business.
There are two ways you can name your YouTube channel. One is to use a word that describes what the channel is about. For example, “Super Computer Tips” (not sure if it really exists).
The other way is to use a brandable name such as Google, Twitter. You can’t tell what’s Google is about by just looking at the name.
Both of the approaches have their own pros and cons.
Pros of using the keyword as an affiliate marketing YouTube channel
- Highly target audience
- Traffic converts more
Cons of using the keyword name
- Hard to expand the YouTube channel
- Limited market size
Pros of using a brandable name
- Builds a strong brand
- Easier to expand
- Huge market size through expanding
- Easily recognizable
Cons of using the brandable name
- Less targeted audience
- Comparatively, traffic may convert less
If you can think of a brandable name that’s…
- not confusing,
…I suggest you go with that.
Otherwise, get a two or three-word non-brandable name that’s memorable and not confusing.
Recommended Reading: 10 Must-Have Affiliate Marketing Skills in 2021
A business without proper branding rarely performs better. If you think long-term, the case is the same with a YouTube channel as well. Branding helps to generate more affiliate marketing sales.
A consistent logo, color, name, and tagline are very important. Give yourself time to build a logo, choose a name, slogan, and color.
A logo is the identity of a business. People remember the logo more than the name because of human nature to pay more attention to visuals than texts.
If you have the skills, you can create the logo yourself or find someone on freelancing websites to create one for you. A logo needs to be simple and clear using one or two colors. Don’t try to make it fancy or stylish that’s hard to remember.
Have a look at a few logos of famous brands for general ideas. One thing that is common among all famous logos is that they are so simple.
Similarly, make a slogan for your brand that well defines what users can expect from your channel in a single sentence.
Another important thing to remember, never change your logo and name unless it’s very necessary. Take time to come up with a good name & logo, but don’t change it later.
#3 Setting up an alternate website
Setting up a website using the same name as your YouTube channel has a lot of benefits in the long term. A website can help a lot with affiliate marketing.
In the beginning, you should at least register a domain name. Otherwise, you’ll find that someone has already registered the domain using your channel name after getting a few subscribers.
You don’t own a YouTube channel but you can own a website. You can use YouTube to send visitors to your website.
You can increase your affiliate marketing income ten times in the future if you invest some time in setting up a website and creating content for it.
Also Read: How to Write Content for Affiliate Marketing? Step-by-Step Guide
Planning & Getting Started with Affiliate Programs
A Business Plan is a blueprint you’ll use to run and grow your business. As I mentioned earlier, you should treat your YouTube channel as an online business.
Your plan doesn’t need to be formal. However, there are a few important things that should be answered.
- What are the keywords you’ll target for the next 50 videos?
- What’s the traffic potential and competition for each keyword?
- What type of content you’ll create for those keywords?
- What will be your video uploading frequency? (It is recommended that you should create at least one video in 1 or 2 days)
- How will you relate each video together so that when a person watches one of your videos also wants to watch another video?
- What are the playlists you’ll create in your channel?
- How will you get views to those videos?
- Where do you promote your videos except on YouTube?
- What types of affiliate products you’ll promote in your videos?
- What different are you going to do than your competitors on YouTube?
- What’s the basic SEO you’ll do to each of your videos?
- How will you manage your time to work on your YouTube channel?
- What would be the reasons for your success?
- What would be the reasons for your failure?
- How many views and subscribers do you expect to get in the next 1/3/6/9/12 months?
- How many affiliate sales do you expect to generate in the next 1/3/6/9/12 months?
- How much do you expect to earn by the end of 1/3/6/9/12 months?
- What are the obstacles you’ll face in a year’s journey? How are you going to solve them?
After you have planned which keywords to target and what type of videos to create, you can plan which affiliate products to promote.
It’s not necessary to plan for every video right now. It’s possible that you’ll promote a different product in each video.
You need to be familiar with affiliate programs, networks, and links. That’s why you need to join some affiliate programs and get affiliate links.
An affiliate network is a platform where you can find affiliate programs from different merchants. A few popular affiliate networks are:
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Network
- Cj affiliates
You can create an affiliate account with these networks. You can find different affiliate programs/products that you can promote in your videos.
You’ll have to generate a unique affiliate link for each product you want to promote. It is a simple process you’ll know after signing up for the networks.
Later, you can include the affiliate links in the description of your YouTube videos and mention the product in the video.
If anyone buys the product by visiting your affiliate link, you will get a commission. Amazon Associates is the best place to begin. You can promote any product that’s on Amazon and get up to 10% commission.
Also Read: How to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money in 5 Simple Steps
Creating & Promoting Videos
You’ve set up your affiliate marketing channel with satisfactory preparation. Now, it’s time to create videos and promote them.
One thing that I like to say is the quality of videos is more important than the quantity. 10 high-quality videos will generate more subscribers, views and earn more than 100 low-quality videos. So, the goal is to create as many videos as possible without compromising the quality.
Quality videos are the types of videos that users want to watch. This is a simple definition with deep meaning.
Users want to watch videos that fulfill their expectations. They watch a video with a purpose such as get entertained, learn something, make a decision, etc.
To be high-quality, your videos should help users to accomplish what users expect. For example, when I search “how to remove an OS from a PC” on YouTube, my purpose would be to learn to remove an OS from a PC. I want to watch a video that makes me able to do that.
If I can’t do that after watching a video, I’ll never subscribe, like, share or buy anything from it.
Another key thing is how users feel while watching your videos. How a user will feel depends upon:
- How you capture videos
- How you edit them
- And, how you present them
A few things you want to do is:
- Use the same static background in every video
- Improve your presentation skills
- Improve your video editing skills
- Capture HD videos
Recommended Reading: How Hard is Affiliate Marketing? 5 Challenges You’re Likely to Face?
Here are a few more things that you can do to improve the quality of your videos.
#1 Watch competitor’s videos before creating yours
Your competitors’ videos teach you a lot of things. It helps you to decide the types of videos you should create. It also helps you to create unique videos to stand out from the crowd.
All the ranking videos on YouTube search for the query you want to target are your competitors. You want to watch every competing video before creating your own.
#2 Make user-centric videos
Don’t create videos just for the sake of creating. Create them to make user’s life easier by providing some kind of value. Always keep users in mind.
#3 Create videos consistently
Be consistent. Ideally, publish at least one quality video in 1 or 2 days. Never skip a week without publishing a single video.
#4 Make professional-looking videos
Brush up your video editing skills and give a professional look to your YouTube videos. This makes you look like an expert.
When you are just starting, it’s harder to get views to your videos. YouTube doesn’t recommend any videos from a new YouTube channel in the beginning.
To get views to your videos in the initial days, you can use the following three methods.
#1 Social media
Social media such as Facebook or Twitter and Q&A sites such as Quora can be used to generate traffic to your videos.
Join Facebook Groups, add more Twitter followers and answer Quora questions. Embed your YouTube videos where it makes sense.
Moreover, you can run social media ads to get more exposure.
#2 Ask bloggers to embed your videos
Search your targeted query for each video on Google and open the top blogs on the search result page. If you find any blog that can fit any of your videos, contact the blogger through the contact page and ask them to embed your videos on the blog.
If anyone embeds your video on their blog, you will get good exposure to their audience.
#3 Existing Audience
Promote your videos to your existing audiences such as social media followers and your friends. This is a good start to get a few hundred subscribers to your new YouTube channel. Ask your friends to refer/share your videos with their friends.
#4 YouTube ads
If you have the budget, you can easily get tons of views to your videos by spending a few bucks. Be sure to promote only high-quality and top-performing videos. Low-quality videos that rarely convert cause you to lose money.
Must Read: 80+ Mind-Blowing Affiliate Marketing Statistics in 2021
Generating Sales & Getting Commission
Now that you’ve created videos, it’s time to generate sales and get the commission. After all, the ultimate goal is to make income by providing value to the users.
Once you make some sales, you can get your commission from the affiliate network/program you’re into. Generally, direct deposit & PayPal are the primary payment methods. Every affiliate program/network has a minimum payment threshold ranging from $20 to $100.
Below are a few tips that will help you to generate affiliate sales.
#1 Focus on providing value
People buy only when they feel like the value they’re getting is greater than the money they’re spending. You’ve to create enough value for any user to click on the affiliate links you’ve put in the description. Ask yourself what the users are getting in return.
#2 Give before taking
Never be a selfish person. Before asking for anything you should have a habit of giving. Freebies such as courses, eBooks, or any other digital products make users get familiar with you.
#3 Don’t confuse users
Showing users a lot of similar products and giving multiple opinions on something get users into a dilemma. They get confused about what to do. And, they end up doing nothing. So, always have a single best product and a clear idea.
#4 Never promote products that may harm users
Trust is a very important thing in any business. Your business can never grow without it.
For a short-term profit never give up on long-term benefits. Always promote a product after doing research or test. Never promote any product that has no value to the users.
#5 Promote no more than 2 products in a videos
Promoting a lot of products in a single video significantly lowers the conversion rate. That’s why you should only focus on one or two products in a video.
#6 Reasons to choose a product to promote in a video
You should note down the reasons to promote a product in a video. To generate an income is never a good reason to choose a product. You need to point out why a user would buy a product after watching your video.
#7 Reasons why someone might not visit your affiliate links in a video
Similarly, point out the reasons why a user might not buy through the affiliate links in your video.
#8 Promote relevant products only
Never promote any irrelevant product in your videos. Affiliate marketing doesn’t work that way. Choose affiliate products that are completely relevant to the topic.
#9 Love your audience
Loving your audience is the only way to get love from your audience. Reply to every comment on your videos even if it’s negative. Never be rude to your audience and show respect to everyone.
Moreover, never make videos about religion, race, society, country, gender, politics, etc. It’s not necessary for affiliate marketing. Choose a niche that doesn’t include any of such things.
Must-Read: 10 Best Affiliate Marketing Books | Crucial for Success
From the YouTube analytics, you can get a lot of data about your channel. You can see how each of your videos is performing.
The important metrics to analyze how a video is performing are:
- Watch time of a video
- The number of subscribers, likes, dislikes, comments, and shares the video generates
Look for the top-performing videos and analyze them. What’s common among all those videos? Find out why only those videos are performing better. Then replicate the same to your new videos.
Continuously analyze the data about your old videos. Apply what’s performing the best to your new videos. Adjust how you create videos or do affiliate marketing based on the data available.
After reading this article, you surely have learned a lot about affiliate marketing on YouTube.
Learning is important, but implementation is even more important. So, apply whatever you’ve learned.
If you follow all the steps correctly, you’ll surely be able to generate a consistent passive income through affiliate marketing on YouTube.
I’ve described every step from choosing a niche to generating sales and analyzing data. However, there’s always more to learn. You can find a lot of resources related to affiliate marketing on BuzRef.