Being a YouTuber is not easy. You have to come up with original content, be true to your audience, and somehow make money out of it. For some, it might seem like mission impossible if your voice doesn’t reach thousands of followers to be able to earn from ad views or brand partnerships. But believe us – it’s not as bad as it seems.
There are several strategies that help YouTubers boost up their bank account and maybe even follower count. And one of them is a little thing called affiliate marketing.
To say that affiliate marketing is little would actually be an understatement. Business Insider estimates that by 2022, affiliate marketing content will generate $8.2 billion in revenue in the US.
In addition, about 7.5% of all online purchases are made by using affiliate links or codes. And, as it seems, the number of affiliate purchases will continue to rise as cross-border online shopping keeps on growing, which means – more people will shop online.
Still, you might wonder what is affiliate marketing and how can you use it for your channel?
Defining affiliate marketing
To put it simply, affiliate marketing is a business strategy where you promote another company’s products or services with an affiliate link or code that you’ve been assigned from the company.
By each sale made from your link or code, you’ll be receiving a commission, which depends on the conditions of each company’s affiliate program.
In YouTube, affiliate marketing works somewhat like this:
- Join an affiliate marketing program
- Post the link or code you’ve been assigned on your profile and/or video descriptions
- Encourage your audience to use your link or code to purchase something from the brand you promote
- Continue growing your viewership so that more people use your affiliate link
Sounds good, right? Now all you have to do now is find a program that works for you and your audience.
To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list with 11 best YouTube affiliate programs representing a variety of niches out there. In addition, we’ve listed the pros and cons to ease your choice.
11: Amazon Associates
This might be one of the most popular YouTube affiliate programs out there. Why? Because nearly 200 million people across the globe visit and shop at Amazon every single month.
The Amazon associates program might be a good choice if your channel doesn’t have a specific niche, or on the contrary – has a very specific niche. Because on Amazon, there’s something for everyone – beauty lovers, tech gurus, reading fans, gardening enthusiasts, etc. Just choose the products that will work best for your channel.
- Wide product selection for every niche
- Recognizable brand
- Holiday spikes in sales
- Commissions differ between product types
- The terms of services are not easy to understand
Here’s a detailed guide on how to become a member of the Amazon affiliate program.
Home is where the heart is. With Airbnb, you can add coziness and authenticity to your travels. Airbnb is a website where you can book an apartment or a room in almost any destination in the world.
If you are a travel vlogger or you simply travel a lot, ditch staying at boring hotels and enjoy your vacation at someone’s home instead, so you could share the real flavor of the city to your audience. Or – show your audience how awesome it is to become a host and meet new people from all around the world, and encourage them to become hosts themselves.
- Airbnb offers two types of affiliate programs – you can either become a host or guest affiliate. That means you have the option to choose the program that fits best for your audience and channel
- Airbnb brand is well-known and loved
- As travel is a very popular niche on YouTube, you can expect stiff competition
- There is no information about precise commission rates. So you’ll just have to wait until you’re approved
Join the Airbnb affiliate program here.
Help your audience ace a test with Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community that offers thousands of classes in design, photography, business, etc. It has more than 24 000 online classes and about 60 000 student projects that you can share with your audience.
With Skillshare, you can share some tutorials in photography that you use or suggest tips on how to prepare for exams. Then, encourage your followers to do something great with their newly acquired knowledge.
- Monthly commission payouts
- Trail sign-ups count as referrals
- Fixed commission – $10 per each customer that signs up for a Premium Membership or free trial
Join the Skillshare affiliate program here.
Ready, set, action! Movavi is an easy-to-use software that helps you edit and upgrade the video content that you create.
There are many ways to promote Movavi to your viewers. For example, if your audience is interested in creating video content, you can offer a tutorial on how to edit videos in Movavi.
- An easy-to-use tool for video editing beginners which can appeal to a wider audience
- At first, Movavi offers a 30% commission rate that can increase up to 50% as your sales increase
- If your average sales are lower than in the previous two months, your commission reverts to the lower rate
Join the Movavi affiliate program here.
Listening is the new reading. Audible is a seller of digital audiobooks, TV programs, and other audio entertainment. Although Audible is an Amazon associates product, it deserves an honorable mention due to its popularity in the YouTube community.
Share your favorite audiobooks, tell about your day’s routine and which Audible Original Podcast you usually listen to while on your way to class, work, etc.
- A well-known affiliate program with a good reputation
- Works for all niches
- You’ll receive no more than $10 for each site visitor who signs up for an Audible membership plan and no more than $0.50 for every audiobook purchase
Join the Audible affiliate program here.
Online shopping has become the new reality in our lives. But how to make it as affordable as it is comfortable? By using Honey.
You can share your online shopping experiences with your audience or show how Honey helps you to save up and spend smarter.
- The web extension will automatically find the best deals in your favorite online stores, so you won’t have to do that manually. Since about 73% of Internet users shop online, the Honey affiliate program lets you reach an unlimited online audience – because who doesn’t want a better price? It doesn’t matter if you’re running a niche channel – you’ll be able to earn commissions from every Honey extension download via your affiliate link
- The minimum payment threshold is just $10
- Operates only in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia
- Honey is a desktop-only extension. If your subscribers watch your videos via their mobile devices, they will not be able to add Honey to their browser – hence, you’ll receive no commission even if they click on the link
Become a Honey affiliate here.
The fun and games never end in Twitch. Twitch is a streaming platform that offers live and unique experiences complemented with a built-in chat feature that allows everyone who’s watching to become a part of the show.
So, if you’re into video games, creating artwork, music or anything that can be defined as creative, the Twitch affiliate program might be the perfect fit for you.
However, in Twitch you’re earning with Bits, not clicks. Bits are buyable virtual goods that people buy to cheer (support) their favorite affiliates. Your goal as a Twitch affiliate is to “earn” as many Bits as possible to turn them into cash.
- The rules to become a Twitch Affiliate are not so strict – you’re required to have at least 50 followers, 7 unique broadcast days, and an average of 3 or more concurrent viewers
- The affiliate program has a level system – Twitch Affiliate (relatively easy to reach if you can execute the rules mentioned above) and Twitch Partner (for the most popular and viewed streamers)
- 60-day waiting period for payout
- You’re required to have at least $100 threshold to get paid
Join the Twitch affiliate network here.
TripAdvisor is a website where you can find travel-related content starting from hotel and restaurant reviews to accommodations, etc. As everybody loves to travel, TripAdvisor affiliate program will work for every YouTube channel – no matter what your usual content is.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that you’ll be making your commission of the revenue generated from the user clicking on commerce links throughout the TripAdvisor site.
- 50% commission of the gross revenue generated when a user from your video clicks on a commerce link that sends them to a Tripadvisor’s partner site
- Anybody can apply
- Approves international affiliates
- It’s not easy to understand the terms
- Revenue comes from the user clicking on other commerce links from the site. This might be tricky because it’s not guaranteed that a user coming from your link will click on the ads and/or commerce links on the TripAdvisor website
Join the TripAdvisor affiliate program here.
Additional income never goes out of style. However, you don’t have to be a fashion blogger to show your great sense of style. ShopStyle Collective is a program that helps you earn money from posting links to several online fashion shops.
With the ShopStyle Collective program, you can share what you’re wearing with your audience and earn a commission by doing so.
- You can earn a 75% revenue share on your first 90 days
- By becoming an affiliate, you get unlimited access to many widgets, which can improve your followers’ experience with interacting with your content. For example, the “Shop the Post” widget lets your followers shop the items in your post themselves, thereby heightening your engagement with your audience
- Some affiliates say that their commission rate went down drastically without any explanation after they received their first $100
Apply to the ShopStyle collective here.
Adobe is a name that needs no introduction. Every creative has used at least one of their products either for editing, building web applications, etc.
As Adobe offers you to promote either Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock, or Adobe Document Cloud, you can choose whichever program suits the interests of your audience and make a review, tutorial, or anything else that comes to mind with using this program.
- Easy to join
- Access to exclusive Adobe deals
- High commissions (even 85%)
- Cumbersome affiliate program setup
- If you’re not from selected countries, the minimum payment threshold is at least $100
Join the Adobe Affiliate Program here.
Sharing is caring. Sellfy is an e-commerce platform for creators and businesses who want to sell their digital and/or physical products online.
Encourage your followers to make a profit out of their photo presets, notes from high school, or basically anything they’re good at. Share your experience with creating an online store and open the doors to new opportunities both for yourself and your audience.
- Recurring revenue – you can earn 25% for every payment the seller makes for the first 12 months or as long as he or she is with Sellfy
- Every YouTuber from every niche is accepted
- Annual plans – affiliates have the opportunity to earn high one-time commissions starting from $57 if the seller chooses the annual pricing plan
- Easy to start, easy to use
- Your audience has to have the potential to sell something online
Join the Sellfy affiliate program here.
When it comes to affiliate marketing on YouTube, there are a lot of great choices.
Keep in mind that in order to succeed, you need to be authentic and promote sites that you believe in and tools that you use yourself. That way, you won’t lose your audience’s credibility because you’ll be promoting genuinely useful products or services. And the best part? You’ll be able to earn some coin in return.
Good luck and have fun!
Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy.