As part of our Vlog Nation community Q&A, we recently received the following question:
“I’ve seen other YouTubers use affiliate links on their channel to make money on YouTube. How does that work?”
Good question! So, what is affiliate marketing? Traditional definitions of affiliate marketing read something like this: “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
Do you see the beauty of this system? You don’t have to pay to develop a product for a specific market. You don’t even have to invest in initial marketing efforts. Instead, you simply begin selling and earning returns on your sales as quickly as you develop an outlet for selling it!
To learn how to make money on YouTube with affiliate marketing means learning exactly how affiliate marketing works. It is, at its heart, a relationship between three different groups – the brand, its affiliates and the buyers.
You, as the person interested in earning money via marketing the product or service are an affiliate to the company. The source you will earn commissions through is the brand, and the buyers are those you communicate with to share the product or service.
Brands with an affiliate marketing program structured for people to join will usually have a page on their official website that provides information regarding the requirements to join, as well as the instructions to become an affiliate. Once you’ve found a brand who’s products and affiliate commission rates interest you, complete the necessary steps to join and you’ll receive a unique affiliate link to share with your audience when promoting the brand.
This unique url will be used to track sales that should be credited to your marketing efforts. For example, let’s say you made a video about your favourite handbag designs, and then directed viewers to them via affiliate links in your YouTube description. If someone visits the brands through your affiliate links, and completes a transaction, you will get a percentage of the final sale. It is just that simple.
Lastly, when it comes to affiliate marketing, keep these two things in mind:
Disclosure: Just like with YouTube sponsorships, you should definitely disclose affiliate links by notifying your audience that the urls provided may lead to a percentage of the sale being credited to you, if they decide to buy from the brand, while coming at no extra cost to the viewer. There’s nothing wrong about partnering with a brand because you genuinely believe in them, and because it helps support your creative efforts.
You can let viewers know that they are free to check out the product(s) either way, even if they don’t want to use your affiliate link, because you genuinely believe in the brand. The price should still be the same, but purchasing through your link would fairly credit the brand’s product sales to you.
Relevancy: If you want to be successful with earning revenue through affiliate marketing, then you need to join programs of brands that are relevant to your YouTube channel’s niche. For example, if you’re a beauty vlogger that focuses on content with a specific style or theme that goes well with a brand’s product line you truly enjoy, then that would be a great fit. Know your niche, and understand your viewers to join affiliate programs that would be the most effective at converting into revenue.
Thanks for your question! – Team Vlog Nation
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