You can make money on YouTube by doing affiliate marketing, which is including links to products you review and use in your videos that will track a purchase. If someone makes a purchase using your affiliate link, you receive a small commission for the sale. Melea is an expert in affiliate marketing and joins us to give us some tips for how to make money on YouTube with affiliate links.
Review: If you're a do-it-yourselfer running your own Shopify store who doesn't have much website coding experience, are working with a limited budget, or want to test the waters with an affiliate management software that's easy to setup and get running, I recommend checking out Affiliatly. Plans begin at $16/month after a free 30 day trial and every plan offers the full suite of features, limited only by the number of affiliates allowed. Even though I recommend this software for budget-conscious startup stores, it's actually quite feature rich and would be great to run your mid-sized affiliate program too. I use Affiliatly to power the affiliate programs on a couple of my print-on-demand t-shirt stores. Anytime I've needed help, the support team has responded back within a few hours, and I've never had any hangups with the software. Affiliatly is one of the first places I recommend looking for new store owners.
This ratio applies to all of your social content, including affiliate links. What this means is that you should be sharing 20% of your own content and 80% of curated content. Rather, 2 out of 8 posts should be promotional in nature. Affiliate links are included in that 20%, so make sure you don’t go overboard. Of course you want to increase your passive income with your social affiliate marketing, but you also don’t want to drive followers away with any incessant promotion of your links.
Once you start getting a bit of traction and you're spending many hours a week doing this, that's when I'd recommend to start building affiliate links into your videos. It's the same case as making a new website- there's no point in adding ads to your page when you don't have any page views. Work on content first, then once you have a decent traffic stream, then start to work on monetization.
If you’re running WordPress, I use a plugin called Thirsty Affiliates to cloak, manage, and track my affiliate links (you have to pay Thirsty Affiliates for their add-ons if you want extra features). The free version is still good… just install the plugin and find the “Affiliate Links” tab on the left of your dashboard. Add the link name and destination URL, save it, then copy the cloaked version of the URL so you can add it to your Youtube video annotations.
Just like in our lemonade example, a good affiliate marketing program reduces overhead costs and reduces risk. Since it can be quite expensive to hire sales & marketing employees, having an army of affiliate partners can give you the reach and sales you’re looking for, without the staffing investment that many e-commerce businesses can’t afford in the first place.
I recommend that you start with affiliate marketing first in order to identify the vertical/product that you want to pursue. You will want to use native advertising as it is the best and most efficient way to drive traffic to your landing pages. There are many native advertising networks each with their own strengths, though I recommend finding a platform which allows you to aggregate your media buy under one account. These aggregator platforms also offer CPA optimization tools and also offer much better personal support.
So where do you start? Firstly, find online communities dedicated to your topic of interest (related to your website or a product you’re trying to promote). Join Facebook groups, Twitter chats and forum boards. Start to engage with people, but don’t go straight into promoting yourself or a product. Be nice, be fun and give genuine advice. When you feel like the conversation calls for it, insert an affiliate link and say why this product would help in this particular situation. That way people will trust you and will be more inclined to buy the product.
One last thing to consider: even if your product listings point to reputable retailers, visitors might be confused or freaked out when they’re sent to other sites when trying to purchase your curated products. By being upfront about your affiliate relationship and how the site works, you’ll increase trust and remove any doubts they have about shopping with you.
Unfortunately, many people in charge of affiliate programs believe that they do have to be some sort of Facebook whiz or Twitter wizard, and as a result end up ignoring the platforms completely. Luckily, with how things are set up at LeadDyno, you don’t have to know very much at all about social media in order to get your affiliates up and running on the most popular platforms of today.
Hi Kate, on Pinterest, you can add the affiliate URL when you create the new pin on your account. If you already have the pin made and want to add the affiliate link, you can just “edit” the pin and change the URL. Hope that makes sense. In the book, Elise has a step by step tutorial with photos on how to add the URL to Pinterest in case you need more help.