Youtube Affiliate Marketing: Easy Way To Earn $125+ A Month

In the start of 2017, I was trying out some new things in order to gain experience and (hopefully) set up more income streams.

One of those things was affiliate marketing on Youtube.


At that point, I’d already had some success with building a branded channel for one of my blogs.

However, I wanted to try a different, more passive approach as well.


What if I published a handful of videos, optimized them as well as I could, placed affiliate links in the descriptions and just left them there?

With no buyer keywords or preselling whatsoever, would I even get any sales?


Well, here’s what happened.

 

affiliate marketing on youtube

The Game Plan

My game plan was quite simple — it consisted of 5 steps:

  1. Find a good product on Clickbank.
  2. Search for popular Youtube videos in the product’s niche.
  3. Create a bunch of similar, but higher-quality videos.
  4. Place affiliate links in the descriptions of these videos.
  5. Wait for them to rank (and, hopefully, start getting commissions).

Pretty straightforward, right?

Still, there’s some important details you should know about.


Let’s go through each step, one by one, and I’ll tell you more about what I did and how it all went.

 

Step 1:

Find A Good Product On Clickbank

Before you start creating content for affiliate marketing, you should first check if there’s any offers available to promote.

For this little side project, I decided to check Clickbank.


In order for this to work, the Clickbank product had to:

  • Be in a niche I could make videos about.
  • Have a higher-than 20 “gravity” score (an indicator of recent sales).
  • Come with a professional sales page.
  • And, of course, be of decent quality.

After scanning through Clickbank for a few hours, I finally found a prime candidate.

 

Step 2:

Search For Popular Youtube Videos In The Product’s Niche

Next, I went to Youtube to look for successful videos I could model.

For this project, I was looking for videos that:

  • Were related to, or in the same niche as, the Clickbank product.
  • I could easily produce a series of.
  • People would tend to share and re-watch.
  • Had a high average view count.
  • Contained unoriginal content, yet were never taken down for copyright.
  • I could re-create with similar or better quality.


I first started typing in keywords associated with the Clickbank product.

After a while, I found a couple of “maybes”, but nothing too great.

Finally, after some time spent browsing through the suggested videos feed, I found exactly what I was looking for.

 

Step 3:

Create A Bunch Of Similar, But Higher-Quality Videos

As soon as I found the right videos to model, I began the creation process.

Here’s everything I used make my videos:

  • Various footage and small clips from other Youtube videos.
  • Free stock photos.
  • A few stock photo clips from Videoblocks.com (already had a subscription).
  • Creative Commons music found on Soundcloud.com.


As you can see, I spent exactly $0.

Timewise, it took me about 1-2 hours to edit together each video — I ended up making 11 of them.

All in all, this little side project cost me no money and only 15 hours or so to make.


To increase the videos’ chances of ending up in the “suggested” feed, I copied a lot of tags from other popular videos (using the “Youtube Keyword Hack” explained in this post).

 

Step 4:

Place Affiliate Links In The Descriptions

After the videos were fully rendered and uploaded, I went ahead and added the affiliate links.

I didn’t just add the raw URL’s, though.

Instead, I bought a domain on Namecheap that was related to the niche of the Clickbank product.


I then made a new WordPress install on my Bluehost account, and made some clean-looking links with the plugin “Pretty Links”.

This plugin lets you create a custom link that redirects to another address — in this case, the affiliate offer I was promoting.


So, instead of my links looking like this:

“http://91859812abf2a4messycode72jf2y9r0214.hop.clickbank.net/”


They looked something like this:

“www.mysitename.com/productname”


Much more clickable, don’t you agree?


When that was sorted, I added them to the top of every video description, along with a short call to action.

(If you don’t want to buy a domain, you can at least shorten your affiliate links by using bit.ly for free.)

 

Step 5:

Wait For The Videos To Rank

I had already decided not to spend any time promoting the videos on social media, forums etc.

My other e-ventures were much higher on my priority list.


So, after I optimized the titles, descriptions, tags and thumbnails, I shifted my attention elsewhere.

After about a week, I checked the analytics…

 

 

youtube affiliate marketing case study

Getting Things Moving

As I looked through the numbers, I felt a bit disappointed.

If you’re experienced with Youtube, you’ll know it takes a while for brand-new channels to gain any momentum.


Still, with all of my 11, high-quality, keyword-optimized videos, I barely averaged 30 views a day.

youtube affiliate marketing views

And, worst of all, not a single person had clicked on my affiliate links!

Ouch.

 

A Sudden Rise

The next 2 weeks showed similar results — between 20-30 views a day, and still no clicks on my links.

But then, one month in, I noticed a sudden burst of views on two of my videos.

71… 138… 261 views in a day!youtube algorithm

And it just kept more or less doubling as the month went by.

Finally, in the start of June, it came…

The spike of all spikes — 1306 views in one day!


By the end of the year, my videos were getting a total of 1000-2000 views every single day.

And, best of all, people were finally clicking on my affiliate links.

 

 

youtube affiliate marketing earnings

How Much I Made

Just a few days after the big view spike, I got my first affiliate commission.

I already had some experience making money with other Clickbank accounts.

Nevertheless, I had created a new one for this little project of mine, and this was my first sale on it.

That’s always a good feeling.

 

My cut was only 26$ each sale, but the product came with some upsells I could earn from as well.


On the 14th of June, 2017, I received my first weekly payment from Clickbank — $231.44.

 

Not exactly life-changing money.

Still, I hadn’t paid a single dollar to make the content, and I only spent around 15 hours total.

With that in mind, getting this so quickly was encouraging.

 

2017

My videos more or less kept their rankings throughout the year, resulting in a pretty consistent flow of extra income.

 

Unfortunately, there were a fair bit of refunds, but that’s to be expected when you don’t do any preselling whatsoever.


Remember, all I did was put a link in the descriptions of my Youtube videos.

Plus, my call to action didn’t directly mention any buying.

Because of this, most people didn’t know what to expect when they clicked it.

Maybe they thought it would be an article, another video, or a newsletter signup page…


All things considered, I was happy with what I was making.

After all the Clickbank costs and refunds had been accounted for, I earned $752.56 from my little Youtube channel in the last 6 months of that year.

That boils down to an average of $125.24 of extra income each and every month.


Again, not really mind-blowing numbers.

However, considering how little effort went into it, and that I did absolutely no additional work after that, I felt good about it.

 

2018

As I write this, it’s the start of October, 2018.

youtube affiliate marketing

So far, the Youtube channel has given me $1162.43 in affiliate commissions this year.


When we break it down, we get an average of $129 per month.

In other words:

Really stable results!


That means that I’ve already earned $1915 from this quick little project of mine — and there’s definitely more to come.

Was it worth the 15 hours or so of editing, optimizing and uploading?

I’d say so.

 

 

ebook title ideas

What I Learned

All in all, this was a fun side project that validated some earlier observations and taught me a few lessons.

 

Point 1:

It Takes Time To Grow A New Channel


During this project, my earlier experience with Youtube was more or less repeated.

For the first month, all my videos were pretty much dead in the water.


It takes time, usually 1-2 months, before the algorithm starts picking up your brand-new content.

If you’re completely fresh to the game, don’t give up if you’re not seeing progress right away.

Just look at this graph:

youtube views for affiliate marketing


Assuming you’re publishing high-quality, optimized content, your videos will start getting more views eventually.

As with all other money-making strategies:

Persistence is key, so hang in there.

 

Point 2:

Even Though Cold Youtube Traffic Can Be Easy To Get, It Converts REALLY Poorly


All things considered, almost $2000 in profit isn’t too shabby.

However, in theory, if you’d get the same 700 000 views on a series of product review videos, for example, you would be making some serious bank.

(And you could monetize those videos as well, since it’s original content).


But that was part of the deal with this experiment, after all…

I knew it would be much easier to get views if I made some trendy videos with a broader appeal.

However, the affiliate sales will then obviously be much, much lower.

This is because the average viewer has no intention of buying anything (or even clicking on links) when they’re watching these types of videos.

 

Point 3:

I Could Easily Have Done More To Earn More


If I wanted to invest more time into this, I could have created a landing page, a lead magnet, and built an email list.

This would let me warm up viewers before sending them to the sales page.

Also, I could have followed up with them later by using an autoresponder — possibly leading to more sales.


If you want to do something similar to what I did, and maximize your commissions, I suggest you go through these additional steps.

Once it’s all set up, it can be just as passive as the Youtube videos themselves.

 

Point 4:

Targeted Traffic Is POWERFUL


This kind of ties into point number 1.

Looking at all the views my channel got compared to the affiliate commissions, one thing became clear:

The difference between targeted, warm traffic and unfocused, cold traffic can be astronomical.

This obviously varies between niches and products, but consider the following example.


In the end of 2017, I did a video review of a newly-launched digital product and posted it on Youtube.
youtube affiliate marketing product review

I gave a short call to action at the end, and added an affiliate link in the description.

With just 0ver 9000 views, that video gave me $542 in affiliate commissions.

Compare that to the $1900 I made from almost 700 000 views…


Of course, the review video took some effort to make, but still — the difference in money earned per view is simply huge.

 

 

affiliate marketing on youtube

How To Do This Yourself

So, despite the nice passive income, this method has a really poor conversion rate compared to regular marketing strategies.

With that being said, it’s:

  • Very easy to set up.
  • Requires little-to-no money.
  • Requires little-to-no experience.
  • And is completely passive after the initial work has been done.

Also, you get the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of Youtube and affiliate marketing — without committing to anything big.


So, do you want to give this a shot yourself?

If so, remember the 5 steps I told you about:

  1. Find a good product on Clickbank.
  2. Search for popular Youtube videos in the product’s niche.
  3. Create a bunch of similar, but higher-quality videos.
  4. Place affiliate links in the descriptions.
  5. Wait for the videos to rank.

 

Finding The Right Videos To Imitate

I’ve covered all of the above steps already, but I can give you a bit more info about number 2.

I won’t reveal my videos here, since they still make me money.

However, to make things easier for you, we’ll look at a prime example of what I’m talking about.


Keep in mind that I haven’t tested the following niche myself, so I can’t promise that it’ll work for you.

With that being said, as long as the criteria are met, you should be able to make some money.

 

A Prime Example

Now, I want you to look at this Youtube channel.

This is not an official channel belonging to any basketball organization, such as the NBA.

It’s actually ran by one or more people from Australia.


The entire channel is built upon taking clips from other sources and mixing them together with minimal editing.

Many of the videos get hundreds of thousands, if not millions of views.

And, yet, the channel has not been taken down for copyright infringement.

How come?

 

Why It Doesn’t Get Copyright Strikes

The truth is, certain rights holders do not issue copyright strikes (in the majority of cases).

Instead, they let most of the videos stay up, but lay claim to them.

youtube copyright claim

This way, they get to put their commercials on the videos, and all the money generated from Youtube ads go to them.

So, the one who’s running this channel probably doesn’t earn much, if anything, from regular Youtube monetization.

 

How It Makes Money

If you pay attention to the descriptions of their videos, though, you’ll notice something…

youtube affiliate marketing example
An affiliate link, right there!

And you can find it on pretty much all of their newer videos.

So, this person is sending lots of traffic to an affiliate offer, using nothing but unoriginal content.


That’s
what I’m talking about — one of your links could be placed there.

In this case, since we’re talking about basketball, you could easily promote the Clickbank product “Vert Shock” — a popular jump training program related to basketball.


Just look at all the views these videos have:

youtube affiliate marketing examples

If you created just a handful of videos that got this kind of exposure, you could make some good extra income.


Could YOU make a channel like this?

I bet you could.

 

The Bottom Line

There are no secret shortcuts when it comes to making money online.

Persistence, goal setting, constant improvement— all of it is needed if you want to succeed in the long run.

The best thing you can do is to build something that lasts — something that’s yours.


With that being said, the method I’ve shown here could be a great entry point if you’re a beginner (or if you just want to try something new).

You probably won’t get rich by doing this.

Still, as demonstrated, you can definitely earn some nice extra income.

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