How to Do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube: Step-by-step Guide For 2023

Do you want to make some extra money? Maybe you're looking for a new way to make money online? If so, affiliate marketing on YouTube may be the perfect opportunity for you!

In this step-by-step guide, I will show you how to get started with this lucrative business venture. I'll cover everything from showing you how to do keyword research to providing tips to make as much money as possible.

So what are you waiting for?

Start reading now and learn how to become a successful affiliate marketer on YouTube!

What are the Benefits of YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

While YouTubers make money on YouTube with the Partner program. they also make money with affiliate marketing. There are a few benefits of doing affiliate marketing on Youtube.

One of the benefits is that YouTubers can make more money with affiliate marketing than with ads. This is because they get a commission on every sale they generate, rather than just a few cents per view.

Another benefit of affiliate marketing is that it's relatively easy to get started. You don't need to create hours of content or spend months building a following before you can start making money.

Finally, affiliate marketing allows YouTubers to build trust with their audience. If your viewers see that you're recommending products that you use and love, they're more likely to take your advice and buy those products themselves.

Now that we've gone over some of the benefits of YouTube affiliate marketing, let's take a look at how you can get started.

6 Steps on How to Do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

1. Choose a Niche

The first step to being a YouTube affiliate marketer is to choose a niche. Make it something you are passionate about and have a good knowledge of. This will make it much easier to create videos and build a following.

Niche examples: video games, beauty, fashion, fitness, cooking, etc.

2. Competition Research

Once you have decided what your niche is about, you'll need to drill this down further. The first step is to look at other YouTube channels in your niche and see what topics they are talking about.

You can do this by subscribing to other channels, looking at their most popular videos, and taking note of the topics they cover. This will give you an idea of what is already being talked about in your niche.

You should also look at the number of views and subscribers they have. This will give you an idea of how much competition you are up against.

What kind of videos is your competition making? Are they making explainer videos, product reviews, "best of" videos, or just pure entertainment? Are these channels personal brand-type channels or do they make videos without going on camera?

You do have the option of making faceless YouTube videos if you're too shy to get on camera.

3. See What Products They are Promoting

Pay attention to channels that have been around for a while if they are doing affiliate marketing. This is because they will likely have more experience and you'll get insights into what products are working well in your niche.

You can see what products they are promoting by looking at the links in their description box. If they aren't using affiliate links, they may still be promoting products through other means such as product placement or verbal mentions.

Some YouTubers also create entire videos dedicated to a single product. These are usually called "unboxing" videos or "haul" videos. If you see a channel doing this, it's a good sign that they are making money from affiliate marketing.

The rule of thumb here is to not copy but to do a similar format. This comes down to both what kind of videos they are making and what exact products they are promoting. Take note of the products they are promoting.

4. Set up Your Affiliate Links

Now that you have a list of products from YouTubers that get a lot of traffic and participate in affiliate programs, it's time to set up your affiliate links.

To do this, go to each product and look for something like "affiliates" or "affiliate program" in the footer of the page. If you can't find it, Google the product name + affiliate program.

For example, if the name of the product is "Mailchimp", then search "Mailchimp affiliate program".

You might find that some products have their own affiliate marketing program or could be part of an affiliate network like Clickbank, Amazon, JVzoo, or some other program.

Once you find it, sign up for the program. Some might require you to provide a link to where you will promote their product. If you don't have a blog or YouTube channel yet, then you might want to set up your channel first which will be the next step.

5. Set up Your YouTube Channel

Your next step is to set up your YouTube Channel. If you have a channel already, you can skip this step.

Step 1 - Create a Google Account

You will first need a Google account. If you have one already, I strongly suggest creating a separate account, especially if your Gmail account is used for your personal email. To do this, go to (make sure you are signed out) and click on "sign-in" at the top right.

You can choose either "for myself" or "to manage my business" - it won't matter.

Step 2 - Create YouTube Account

You will then go to At the top right, click on "create account". You will then sign in with your new Google account.

Step 3 - Set up Your Channel

You will then be prompted to set up a username for your YouTube Channel. You'll want something that closely resembles your niche. If you plan to go broad at some point, you could choose something generic. Keep in mind people will see your channel as more legitimate if it is named something close to what you're talking about.

You will also be asked to upload a photo or video for your channel icon. This is important because it's how people will recognize you across YouTube. Choose something that represents you and your brand well.

After you've done this, click on "Use as Channel Icon." You can always change this later.

On the next screen, you'll be asked to verify your account through a phone number. Enter your phone number and click "Submit." You will then be sent a verification code via text message. Enter that code into the box provided and click "Verify."

While this is just basic information on setting up a channel, you can learn more details in my post on how to become a successful YouTuber.

6. Make Your Videos & Include Affiliate Links

At this point, you should already have your channel set up, understand what type of videos to make based on competition research, and have signed up for a few affiliate products.

Now it's time to make some videos!

There are 3 types of videos that you should be making in order to be successful with affiliate marketing on YouTube. These are:

  • Product or Service Reviews
  • Best of or "roundup" Videos
  • Tutorial Videos

Let's discuss:

Product or Service Reviews

This type of YouTube video is the easiest to do to make affiliate sales. Product or service review videos basically tell everybody about this wonderful product that solved some kind of problem.

Then at the end and during the video, you tell there where you can get this miracle product and provide your affiliate link.

Why does this work so well?

It's because most people do this anyway. I am sure you have a friend or family member that told you how great a particular product is and you should also get it. Chances are you did.

The only difference is that you're a YouTuber. You're not exactly a trusted friend. So what you need to do here is to build trust with your audience. That's why I said earlier don't just do promotional videos. Teach them something!

When you build trust, people will think of you as a friend and take your advice. When they do that, they will likely buy from you using your affiliate link.

As your channel grows, you'll be approached by brands that will send you products for free. For example, Marques Brownlee, a very well-known tech reviewer on YouTube gets a lot of products for free from manufacturers.

I'm not saying that you need a few million subscribers to get free stuff, but you'll likely be able to get items sent to you that are of lower value. I'm not sure if Marques got that iPhone for free but that would be pretty sweet if he did!

You can even reach out to brands and ask if they'd like to collab with you. See if they are willing to offer your audience a coupon linked to your affiliate ID so you can get your audience a discount that they'd normally not get. This will help you get a lot more sales and make more money!

Best of or "Roundup" Videos

This concept is similar to single product reviews as mentioned above, but it involves a few products in the same category.

You simply show the products and discuss the features, benefits, and cons of each. In the end, you choose the one that you feel is best.

It's better that you have all the products in your video. This can be an expensive option for you when starting out because you'd have to buy all the products to show. If you just show pictures or talk about it, no one is going to believe anything you say. You have to prove that you tried them out yourself.

Tutorial Videos

Tutorial videos are where you teach your audience something. In fact, besides entertainment, these videos are hugely popular on YouTube. I am sure you have searched for "How to..." whatever it was on YouTube before.

In these videos, you would show somebody how to do something. For example, you could show someone how to do an oil change.

Just to show you how popular "how-to" videos are, look at how many different options people are searching for when it comes to changing oil. It's not just about cars...

Here's a screenshot from Scotty Kilmer, one of the most famous car repair YouTubers that makes a lot of money not just from ads (YouTube Partner Program) but from affiliate marketing.

So, using the example of this video, Scotty shows you how to do an oil change. In the description box below, you'll see a ton of Amazon affiliate links:

He not only provides the affiliate link (on Amazon) to the oil he uses but to other products as well.

You can see he has both "Scotty's TOP DIY Tools" and "Things I used in this video".

This strategy is very effective because chances are there will be other products that people will need. In this case, a drain pan, disposable gloves, toolset and other products besides the oil could be bought using affiliate links.

So if you're an expert in something, or are at least willing to learn how to do something, you can showcase this to the world and recommend products that you mention in your video - and others, just like Scotty does.

11 Pro YouTube Affiliate Marketing Tips

To take your YouTube affiliate marketing success to the next level, be sure to incorporate the following:

1. Be Transparent With Your Affiliate Links

When you do affiliate marketing on YouTube, it's important to be transparent about your affiliate links. This means letting your viewers know that you're using an affiliate link, what the product is, and why you're recommending it.

This can be done in the video description, as well as verbally mentioning it in the video itself. By being upfront with your audience, they'll be more likely to trust your recommendations and click on your links.

2. Pick the Right Products to Promote

Not all products are created equal, and this is especially true when it comes to affiliate marketing.

You want to pick products that you believe in and that are relevant to your niche audience. If you promote products that nobody wants or that isn't a good fit for your audience, you're not going to make many sales.

3. Do Your Research

Before promoting a product, it's important to do your research and make sure that it's a quality product.

There's nothing worse than promoting a product that turns out to be a dud. Not only will this reflect poorly on you, but it will also turn your audience off from your recommendations in the future.

4. Invest in Good Graphics

If you want people to take you seriously as an affiliate marketer, you need to invest in good graphics.

This means having a professional-looking logo, banner, and thumbnail for your channel. You don't need to spend a lot of money on this - you can find plenty of affordable options on

It's important to have something that looks polished and professional.

5. Be Active in Communities Related to Your Niche

There are likely many online communities related to your niche.

For example, if you're in the weight loss niche, there are forums, Facebook groups, and subreddits dedicated to this topic.

You can participate in these communities by answering questions, providing valuable content, and mentioning your channel. This way you're not pushing products, but just recommending your helpful video content. The rest will take care of itself!

6. Produce YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are a new type of content that is taking over the platform.

They're short videos (15 seconds or less) that are perfect for watching on the go.

Because they're so popular right now, it's a good idea to produce YouTube Shorts as part of your affiliate marketing strategy.

Not only are they more likely to be watched, but they're also more likely to be shared. And the more views and shares you get, the more affiliate sales you'll make.

7. Create Related Playlists

Finally, don't forget to create related playlists for your videos.

This is a great way to keep people watching your content and clicking on your affiliate links.

For example, if you have a cooking channel, you could create a playlist for "Easy Dinner Recipes" or "Quick Lunch Ideas". This will help people find more of your content, and increase the chances that they'll click on your affiliate links.

8. Add Chapter Markers

If your videos are long, you can break them up into smaller sections with chapter markers.

This makes it easy for viewers to skip ahead to the parts they're most interested in.

It also makes it more likely that people will watch your entire video since they know they can easily jump to the parts they care about.

Plus, chapter markers make it easier for people to find the specific information they're looking for, which means they're more likely to click on your affiliate links.

9. Optimize for YouTube Search

Just like with Google, you want to optimize your videos for YouTube search. This means using keywords in your title, description, and tags.

It also means creating engaging thumbnails and titles that will make people want to click on your video.

If you can get your videos to rank high in YouTube search, you'll get a lot more views and, as a result, more affiliate sales.

Start by creating a list of keywords that are relevant to your niche. Then, use these keywords throughout your video content. Make sure to use them in your title, description, and tags.

The more relevant keywords you use, the higher your videos will rank in YouTube search. And the higher your videos rank, the more views, and affiliate sales you'll get. Use YouTube Analytics to review the numbers and see where you can improve.

10. Use Annotations and Cards

Finally, don't forget to use annotations and cards to promote your affiliate links.

Annotations are little popup boxes that you can use to add links to your videos. Cards are similar, but they appear as a small thumbnail image next to your video.

Both of these features are great for promoting your affiliate links since they're less intrusive than regular ol' text links.

Plus, they can be used to direct viewers to specific parts of your videos, or to related videos that you think they'll be interested in.

To use annotations, simply click on the "add annotation" button while you're editing your video. Then, enter your text and link, and choose when you want the annotation to appear.

You can also customize the appearance of your annotation by changing the color, font, and size.

To use cards, click on the "cards" button while you're editing your video.

Then, select "add card" and choose whether you want to link to another video or website.

You can also add a custom thumbnail image and title for your card.

Remember to use cards and annotations sparingly, as too many can be annoying for viewers.

A few well-placed links, however, can be a great way to promote your affiliate products and make sales.

11. Embed YouTube Videos in Blog Content

If you have a blog, you can also make money by embedding your YouTube videos in your blog posts. Embedding is good for SEO and ranking videos.

This is a great way to get more views on your videos and, as a result, more affiliate sales.

If you don't have a blog, what's stopping you from doing some outreach?

There are tons of bloggers out there who would love to feature your videos on their blog. All you have to do is reach out and ask!

Let them know that having videos will keep people on their page longer which will decrease their bounce rate. So it's a win-win for you both!

Now that you've got some great tips, Here are answers to some common questions:

What is YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

YouTube affiliate marketing is just another way to make money on YouTube. Think of it as a secondary income stream from the revenue you are making from the YouTube Partner program, where YouTube pays you based on how many views you are getting.

You simply recommend products that have been mentioned in the video. When people click on your links and make a purchase, the vendor will know it came from you and award you a commission.

How Does YouTube Affiliate Marketing Work?

YouTube affiliate marketing works by adding affiliate links to your videos.

To get started, you'll need to sign up for an affiliate program. Once you're approved, you can start adding links to your YouTube affiliate marketing videos.

Smart affiliate marketers understand the value of this type of marketing. So, you'd be missing out if you don't incorporate affiliate YouTube videos in your strategy.

What Are the Best Products to Promote on YouTube?

The best products to promote on your own YouTube videos are those that are relevant to your niche and that your audience will be interested in.

Do some research to find out what products or services would be a good fit for your channel.

Once you've found some good options, test them out by promoting them in your videos and see how well they do.

Why Do People Use YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

The simple answer is money. But it goes beyond that. For new channels that have not yet met the threshold to be enrolled in the partner program (where YouTube pays them for views) or for channels that are not eligible for the program, affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize their content.

It's also a good option for established YouTubers who want to diversify their income sources and make more money from their channel by including affiliate videos.

What Courses Teach YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

Check out my list of YouTube courses that I recommend. The ones that include affiliate marketing training will be noted. 

Remember there are different strategies to doing YouTube marketing and these courses cover a broad range. In other words, there's something for everybody.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

So if you're thinking of doing affiliate marketing on YouTube, I hope you found this guide useful.

Just remember to do your research, test out different products, and be creative with your approach. There's no reason not to do it because YouTube allows affiliate marketing on its platform. It doesn't violate any rules and creators are thriving with this additional income stream.

So go ahead and give it a try.

And if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below! I'll be happy to help.

You can also share this article to help others!

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Drew Mann

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