YouTube Affiliate Marketing Guide 2024

06 February 2024

When you’re scrolling through TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, have you seen any creators promoting a certain brand’s products? If the answer is yes, then you have experienced affiliate marketing in the flesh. While this concept isn’t necessarily new, it has become increasingly popular due to its high success rate and low cost. A main platform that hosts affiliate marketing is YouTube, the world’s leading video social network. 

In this post we will break down YouTube affiliate marketing, and how it is being utilized today as a way for creators to build their communities while supporting a brand’s products and services.

What is YouTube Affiliate Marketing? 

If you’ve stayed caught up with the social media world, you probably already know that shopping has been a main priority for many platforms including TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Product tagging, shop links, link-in-bio storefronts, and affiliate links have made this purchasing process seamless for customers. 

This has allowed brands and affiliates to come together in a mutually beneficial relationship, where creators post content to their social network of choice, to promote a brand’s product and receive compensation for their work and purchase orders. In other words, this is affiliate marketing. 

On YouTube specifically, many affiliates leverage their channels by posting videos and Shorts with product reviews, unboxings, testimonials, and try-ons. Then using the platform’s native features they can add product tags, affiliate links in the description, and other resources to drive viewers to purchase the product or service. 

How do I become a YouTube affiliate marketer? 

To get your foot in the affiliate door, you first need to apply to affiliate marketing programs. Many of these are free to apply to and don’t require you to have massive social media followings. Ideally, you want to find a program and brand that will mesh well with your brand. 

The network has an affiliate program, called the YouTube Shopping affiliate program. To be part of this, there are a few requirements such as being part of the YouTube Partner Program, having more than 15k subscribers, and being based in the United States. 

Since this criterion isn’t relevant to all creators, here are a few other free programs that are beginner-friendly: 

Amazon Associates 

This is the largest affiliate program, with over 58% of affiliates using this. Amazon Associate’s program is free and is perfect for those just getting started with affiliate marketing. Since Amazon has a wide variety of products, just about any industry is welcome. Plus, they make link creation and management very easy for associates to use and track. Affiliates can earn up to 10% in associate commissions. 


ClickBank’s affiliate program has been around since 1998, with mostly digital products for sale. While they do sell some physical products, they have a ClickBank Marketplace where you can browse through the products and services available. This is best for those wanting to do affiliate marketing but don’t have a website. However, this is best for those who prefer selling digital products over physical ones. 


ShareASale is another affiliate marketing program fit for those just starting. With thousands of products and services to choose from, this program is compatible with just about any industry. With tools such as their “Search for Merchant” function, you can narrow your searches to find the perfect program for you. 


Impact is a partnership management platform that hosts a variety of big-name brands such as Levi’s, Adidas, BuzzFeed, Shopify, Uber, and more. This program offers instant approvals, making it easy for affiliates to hit the ground running. Plus, there are a variety of payout methods such as PayPal and direct transfer. While this program is highly beneficial, it has a more complex interface and may be confusing for a new affiliate marketer. 

These are just a few examples of the many programs available for beginner affiliates. Before selecting a random program, conduct some intensive research to better understand what program will be best for you. If YouTube is your platform, you also want to make sure the program aligns well with YouTube’s capabilities, and what product you will be promoting. 

6 Tips to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

After you have found your ideal affiliate program and applied, it’s time to start creating your plan of action. This means what content you will be creating, how you will promote the product(s) or services, and how often you plan to post content. To help you create your YouTube affiliate marketing plan and execute these strategies, here are six tips that you can use to boost your sales and content visibility. 

Create authentic content 

To be successful in affiliate marketing, you need to create authentic content that your audience can trust and relate to. If your content is disingenuous or only focuses on selling the product, viewers will smell the fake promotion from a mile away. This is why aligning with a brand that you already use or are passionate about is encouraged. Depending on what the product is, think about promoting it in a way that fits into your everyday life. 

Optimize your videos for SEO 

YouTube is one of the largest search engines, making it possible to rank content in search results. By adding trending keywords and hashtags to your videos, you can create content that is more likely to reach your target audience. 

You can utilize keyword tools such as Semrush, vidIQ,, and Google Trends to see what searches and keywords are trending on the network. Then sprinkle these into your video script, in the description, and video title. You can use this YouTube SEO guide below to learn more about optimizing your videos: 

Utilize YouTube Shorts 

Shorts have taken off on the network, thanks to the rise of short-form video content. Viewers are using Shorts similar to TikTok, as a way to find out information quickly. Whether you take shorter clips from your long-form video or capture a video less than 60 seconds long, YouTube Shorts are a great way to promote products, encourage viewers to watch your long-form video or give a review. 

Catch the viewer’s attention 

To make product sales, you need to grab your viewer’s attention in the first 3 seconds. There are a few ways to increase the likelihood that someone stays until the end of your video. First, an eye-catching thumbnail is crucial to give viewers insight into what your video will be about. This can include a catchy phrase or title, (ideally that includes keywords) and a high-quality image. 

Consider adding video chapters, which break up your video into sections per topic. You can create a specific section for your affiliate promotion, so viewers can find this easily if needed. Take a look at this example from Modern Millie:

Also, if you want to organize your affiliate videos in one place, consider creating playlists on your channel. This will make it easier for viewers to find all your affiliate content.

Cross-promote your video 

Repurposing is encouraged now more than ever. Promoting content across multiple platforms is highly recommended to have your content reach new audiences. For example, if you run a blog or other social media account, try embedding or linking this video to your posts. Not only will this boost your profile’s visibility, but it can also increase sales as you are reaching a wider net of people. 

Analyze your content performance 

When it’s all said and done, analyzing your content will be the most vital part of improving your strategy and refining your money-making goals. Thankfully, there are two very powerful tools that you can utilize to analyze how your content is performing. The first is YouTube Studio, the platform’s native analytics tool. This management hub has a wide range of analytics that will help you understand which content has performed best. For example, see your total watch time, impressions, click-through rate, traffic sources, viewer demographics, transaction types, and more. 

To analyze your YouTube videos you can also use Metricool. This allows you to schedule videos and Shorts, view in-depth analytics, manage all your comments, and see what your competitors are doing, in one place. 

See a list of your top videos in the selected period, both videos with revenue, and those without revenue. View analytics such as watch time, average view duration, likes, dislikes, comments, shares, total revenue, partner revenue, ad revenue, impressions, and monetized playbacks. 

You can also access information about your channel demographics including countries, gender, age, and traffic sources: 

By creating your free Metricool account, you can connect to your YouTube channel and start scheduling content! As you begin to get the hang of YouTube affiliate marketing, you can use Metricool to save you time in your content creation process. 

Have any questions? Make sure to let us know in the comments! 

Anniston Ward Anniston Ward , 06 February 2024


The biggest news of social media, every Sunday in your inbox

We know how little time there is to stay caught up with the weekly social media news. However, we have collected it all, so you don’t miss anything.

Ir arriba
Send this to a friend