How to do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube – Step by Step.

I have earned over $30,000 in affiliate marketing sales on YouTube through a pretty simple step-by-step process and this guide will show you how to do it.

how to do affiliate marketing on youtube step-by-step

And I promise you that you will see that video that made me $16,000 (and others) as examples of the potential you can accomplish with affiliate marketing on YouTube.


There’s 5 important things about this YouTube affiliate marketing guide:

Before I show you this guide, the proof of it working and so on, please read these 5 things, because I want to be honest about what I teach and my credibility:


The $30,000 I earned was over a period of a few years. 99% of the other income I made through affiliate marketing was through blogging and paid ads (see income reports) and by 99%, I mean over $1 million.

But as for the videos, I am still making sales with them to this day.


Most of the sales that made up the $30,000 was through promoting 1 online program and yes, there will be proof coming up shortly.


Despite most of the sales I made promoting the 1 program, I did also apply the same strategy to selling other products, which is proof that this formula that I’ll show you works across the board.


I have made this guide on affiliate marketing through YouTube very beginner friendly, but it obviously requires that you actually apply the steps I’ll be showing you to get results. 


I’ve included a YouTube video showing an example of these steps, but the details to applying them, are below that video, in this article, so make sure to read it and ask me questions about it.

How to do affiliate marketing on YouTube: The summary of the strategy I use.

1) It really just comes down to reviewing popular products that you ideally own, on YouTube and signing up with affiliate programs that allow you to promote those products.

The best reviews should be done on products that:

2) All you really need to do is create a videos reviewing those popular products and you’ll be very likely to get waves of traffic and visitors viewing the videos you create.

That is how the strategy works and I’ll be showing you this step by step in this article.

Aside from that basic strategy, I’ll also be giving you examples of this stuff and tips on how to make more sales with this formula, since it’s something I’ve become better and better at over the years and I’ll show you how to turn this into a potentially huge income generator for yourself.

The key is to apply the formula I’ll show you again and again and the better you become at using it (which will come with practice), the more results and sales you will make.

Even the ugly review videos you make (and I’ll show you some of mine) can and will make you sales if you do them correctly and again, I’ll give you simple tips and strategies to increase that:

  • Will increase the number of people who view your videos.
  • Increase the odds that people will click your affiliate link and buy from it.
  • Increase the odds that you will get likes and comments (this helps the exposure of your videos increase).
  • And I’ll show you how to scale that into more long term online business ideas that make you more.

So whether you want to use this step-by-step guide to make a few affiliate sales or possibly grow that into a larger income source that works long term, you will have either or both options with this guide.

Just make sure you watch and read everything, and ask me about any part of it you don’t understand.

How to do affiliate marketing with YouTube, this video explains the process:

Here is proof of the $30,000+ I made in affiliate sales through YouTube:

Let me give you a quick pretext before I show you the sales.

So I have over 100 videos I have made across 2 different YouTube channels. Of those 100 videos, there are 2 videos that have made a majority of the $30,000 in sales. Here is info on these 2 videos:

  • One of those videos was made in 2013 and has over 22,000 views (I show it above in the video I made). 
  • The other video was made in 2018 and has over 5,000 views. 
  • Both of these videos promote the same program on the back end which makes me about $170 a sale on average.

Here is an estimate of about how much these 2 videos earned ($28,390):

  • The first video that received 22,000+ views made 95 sales overall, which multiplied by $170 equals $16,150
  • The second video that received 5,000+ views made 72 sales overall, which multiple by the same $170 commission equals $12,240
  • In total, this equals to $28, 390.

Now I had to look at my affiliate reports and add these sales up, but this number is more or less how much these 2 videos made for me.

And I had to estimate it because the program I am promoting pays me recurring commissions every month for each lead & sale and doesn’t tell me how many months the lead stayed. The average number is 6 months, so I used that in this report.

These 2 videos, especially the one which has over 5,000 views is still earning money in 2019 and likely will continue in 2020, so it’s working for me even now as I write this article and as you read it, which is something you will also likely experience when you follow the steps I’m going to give you.

Here is screenshot proof of the affiliate sales I made with YouTube ($16,150):

The affiliate program that gives me these reports isn’t as clear cut as Amazon or Clickbank for example, in which it actually shows you the exact, total numbers, but it’s a legit program and I highlighted the most important parts, such as the sales and math to show you the proof:

youtube affiliate marketing income report 1

For this video, I actually showcase it above in the YouTube video tutorial giving you examples, so that one shows more proof if you need it.

youtube affiliate marketing income report 2

What about the other affiliate sales? How did it go over $30,000?

So as I said before, there are over 100 public videos I have (my main YouTube channel) and while these 2 I just showed you, there are miscellaneous ones from the remaining 68 that make a few sales. 

There is also one that I showed you above, which got 28,000 views+, but the value of each sale I made in that video was very small (a few dollars each time).

I decided not to go over each and everyone because it would take me a VERY long time to do, but I estimate the amount of money made from those videos combined is several $1,000+, putting the overall income report to well over $30,000, and growing.

And like I said earlier, you are welcome to read my income reports to get proof that I know affiliate marketing. 

For this month alone, here is how I’m doing in this business (most of these sales are from blogging, some come from YouTube):

sales reports for november

So with this income report…

If I have done enough to prove to you that I know this material, read on:

Because now I’m going to get into the written, step-by-step details on how you can get started on YouTube and successfully do affiliate marketing there.

And this is something I am doing more and more in recent years and getting better and better at, using this same formula I’ll be showing you right now and as I said before, even if you are a complete beginner, you can do this too.

Just follow the guide. Here we go:

The step-by-step guide to doing affiliate marketing on YouTube (my way):

In this section of the guide, I’m going to get into the details and steps I took to get the income numbers I showed above.

Step 1: First, here is what you need to get started with this:

There’s a few mandatory ingredients to starting affiliate marketing on YouTube and here they are:

1) Your own YouTube channel.

Making your own channel is easy and if you already have one, good, use that. If not, then you have to decide on a name. Using your full name or some sort of catchy brand name works fine here.

In my case, for my main channel, I use my full name, Vitaliy Gershfeld.

2) You need to be signed up with an affiliate program.

And ideally, you also want to be signed up with a program that:

  • Sells the products you want to promote.
  • Sells products that you already own (so you can review it better).
  • Sells products that are already popular.

Make sure you are signed up with a program that has these 3 things. Usually, the best program that will help you with having all 3 things down is Amazon Associates

You’ll likely find that any physical, popular product you own can be bought there and you can promote it as well if you’re signed up with this program.

Here are other affiliate programs you can consider joining:

Besides these 5 examples, which should be ample, there are also individual affiliate programs out there which you can sign up with as well. You just need to Google the name of the product you want to promote and add the word “affiliate program” to get a list of results. 

I would stick to one of these 4 (Amazon Associates is best for starters) because they are legitimate and easy to get started with.

Note: Not all affiliate programs will accept your application if you don’t give show them a website/blog. You can still resubmit your application if you get disapproved initially and possibly even provide a YouTube channel link.

3) You need something to record videos with.

Because you are going to reviewing products on YouTube, some of them will be physical, like phones, while others will be digital products that you will need to use a screen recorder to do. Sometimes you may want to show your face (it helps gain trust) while recording. 

So with these 3 scenarios, here is what I suggest you do:

If you are reviewing a physical product:

Use something simple, like a phone camera. It’s more than enough. iPhones and android phones are more than good enough for this.

If you are reviewing a digital product:

I suggest a laptop/computer camera like the one I use, a Logitech capture. If you are shy about recording your face, don’t worry, as this camera has a feature that records your screen and voice, without showing your face.

And as for digital products you review, I would suggest a good microphone like the Yeti. I use it whenever I review digital products. It makes hearing my voice far better and improves the quality of my video reviews.

In my case, I have used all of these options to do reviews.

Step 2: What should I review on YouTube as an affiliate? Where to start:

For complete beginners, create a list of topics and hobbies you like and call it list A.

And then for list A, create a new list, call it list B and have that one have products you own for each hobby. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical or digital.

Let me give you a few personal examples (video above also shows some too):

My list A: For hobbies, I have a lot, but I’ll keep it short, because you’ll see, even 1 hobby is enough to find tons of products:

  • I take care of 2 turtles.
  • I do martial arts.
  • I do a lot of hiking.

My list B: With these 3 activities/hobbies I do, here is a list of products I own and can promote as well on YouTube:

For the 2 turtles I have, there are a number of things I own:

  • An aquarium that they can swim in. It costs about $200.
  • Lamps that are specialized for turtles. Each costs about $95.
  • Turtle food. The price for this ranges at about $5-$30.

For martial arts that I do, here is a list of products I own and can promote on YouTube:

  • Boxing gloves. I have some that are about $200
  • Martial arts accessories like chest pads I use when I train people. They cost $100-$500 each!

For the hiking topic, there are a ton of products I own and can promote:

  • A special waterproof jacket called the REI Coop 850. This jacket costs about $240
  • Hiking sneakers called Salomons. They cost $130 a pair.
  • I have numerous action camera like the GoPro Hero 5 ($200) and an Osmo Action camera ($300+).
  • A small backpack that has space for filling drinking water in ($70 and I did a review on this already).

So what is the point of us making this list? 

Your goal especially if you’re just starting out is to review products that you know about and become comfortable at doing so. 

By making a list of hobbies and products you own, you are more likely to create a more quality review and get sales from it.

The list I made above is my personal one you can use for reference, but of course, you should ideally make your own and while I included a number of examples, if you own more products and have more hobbies than I do, make your list as long as you want.

The more products you include on your list, the more you can review and the more money you can make through affiliate marketing on YouTube.

Once I make my list, which product should I start reviewing?

I prefer you pick the one which:

  • You are most comfortable using and are happy with.
  • The one you know most about.
  • The one which costs a decent amount of money ($50 and up in my experience is fine).
  • You can also consider promoting high ticket products as well.

Update: See a full tutorial on creating video product reviews on YouTube here. I lay examples for you to follow.

Step 3: Getting your affiliate links ready.

When you create a list of products you are going to promote, the next step is to go to one of the affiliate programs I provided links to above and create one or more affiliate links. You will then save these links and put them in the description of the YouTube videos you create.

Since I said Amazon Associates is one of the best programs to get started with, that is the one I’ll use as an example for this guide. 

How to create an Amazon affiliate link (video instructions):

  • First, got to Amazon Associates (you have to be signed up to it in order to go to the next step).
  • Next, type in the name of the product you wish to promote in the search box, and click search. 
  • Find the product you wish to promote from the results, and click get link.
  • Then you have will 3 ways to get the link. I recommend the text one. Click that. Then scroll down and click “Short Link”.
  • You will get the short affiliate link to insert into your YouTube video description.

In my case, I have 1 link ready, and that’s really all you need to get your first video review going, so select a product you own and like, get the affiliate link for it, and move into the next step once that’s done…

Step 4: Creating your video review (Or reviews):

This is one of the most important sections of the tutorial so please read it carefully! The better of a review you create, the more affiliate sales you could potentially make (which is what you want).

Now this statement alone may put a lot of pressure on people, especially beginners, but I assure you that you don’t need to make the most overly professional videos or pretend to be someone you are not to sell stuff on YouTube. 

  • Creating your first review comes down to taking a product you own and recording yourself talking about.
  • Or if the product is digital, use a screen recorder program like I recommended above and record your voice going over the product.
  • I have an article which carefully explains the keys to making a successful affiliate review but on a blog. However, you can use the same tips there to apply to your video review of the products you’re promoting and I guarantee you, they will help a lot as well.

Here is one of my most viewed videos to date. Use it as reference:

Another GREAT tip is to see how others are reviewing a product you wish to review.  Check them out, see if they have many likes and take notes on how they did it. Use these techniques in your own unique video review too.

With the video above, because I kept it simple, short and explained the product very well, with a NICE background and a nice video title, I got it to get over 30,000 views. Not only that, but it still works and makes me sales today.

Another great tip you can use is that you can use a screen recorder and put up reviews and ratings other people give the same product. This basically is a form of showing how other people rate the product and if it’s high too, this will help the viewer feel more confident about your particular review.

Step 5: Correctly putting up the video on YouTube so it gets views! 

There’s more than just uploading involved when it comes to YouTube videos. How you get this part down also plays a BIG role in how the video will do with viewers.

Now while the very first video above showed you an example of how to upload videos on YouTube, this section will get into a little more detail. The most important parts of this step are this:

1) Upload the video obviously.

This is the easiest part.

2) Make a title for the video.

This is where it gets SUPER important. Whatever product you are promoting, use that as a title, the word review and something spicy to get people to see it.

If I am reviewing boxing gloves like the Hayabusa example in the video above, I can make this kind of title:

“Hayabusa Boxing Gloves Review. 10 Reasons They Are Awesome!”

And obviously the video would have to explain 10 reasons they are good, but the title should match the context of the video, so think about that when you do your titles.

3) Upload a good thumbnail:

Thumbnails are pivotal for success. Click here to see how to make good YouTube thumbnails if you’re new to them.

4) Make a good description for the video and include the affiliate link there.

This is also important, it’s literally where you’re placing the affiliate link you got! You have A LOT of space to write stuff in the description, but the most important parts are the first 2 lines of text space! 

It is in one of these lines that you will insert your affiliate link and it’s VERY important because people who view your videos will see that link without having to click “Show more”. You want them seeing your links without having to do that.

Now you will also want to add a nice description to make them click the link so let’s use my boxing gloves example. Here is a sample description I could add:

The Hayabusa Boxing gloves are amazing! You can get them on Amazon here: Insert the affiliate link.

Here’s another example, using my video of the backpack:

where to put your affiliate links on youtube videos

Side note: There’s free programs like Tubebuddy that can help you optimize your YouTube videos so they perform better. It may help your YouTube video get more views.

4) Use proper tags for your product (keywords).

Tags are keywords you want your product to show up for in YouTube’s search, so if I was reviewing the Hayabusa boxing gloves, here are the “tags” I would use:

  • Hayabusa boxing gloves
  • Hayabusa boxing gloves review

The more relevant tags I put up the better it’ll be! Here is a full tutorial on researching keywords on YouTube that I personally use for my videos.

5) Ensure your video is set to not show for kids. Here’s why:

A new FTC rule in 2019 is hitting YouTube where you have to identify if your video is “kid friendly” known as the COPPA rule. In my experience if you are promoting products, you should list your video as not being kid friendly.

You want adults to see your product promotions since they are the ones who buy stuff, not kids.

6) Make sure your video is set to show publicly! 

You have 3 options when you upload a video:

  • It can be shown properly (what you want for affiliate marketing).
  • It can be unlisted (this is advanced stuff so don’t do it).
  • Private (You don’t need this).

Again for reference on all these steps, see the video I put up above.

7) Publish your first video review and move onto the next.

This is a practice and I promise you that you will get better at doing affiliate marketing on YouTube proportionally to how many videos you upload.

  • You will become less shy about having people hear your voice.
  • You will become more confident in showing your face when reviewing products.
  • You will become more confident and productive at uploading video reviews.
  • You will make more and more sales the more often you practice this.

17 final tips on successfully promoting affiliate products on YouTube:

  1. Create authentic reviews (don’t be fake or an unethical affiliate marketer).
  2. Try to keep videos under 10 minutes. Long videos tend to bore people.
  3. Get to the point! Make sure you cover the most important points of your review within 10 seconds.
  4. Be up front with the product you are promoting.
  5. Show people you love the product and why.
  6. When speaking, don’t act, be genuine.
  7. It’s more than fine to use just a phone and upload that to make sales.
  8. The quality of the review is what matters most.
  9. By quality I mean the clearer you sound, and the better you cover the product you are reviewing, the better it will sell.
  10. Tell people you are linking them to the product in the description! Most people miss this unless you tell them!
  11. Don’t expect ever video review you make to sell well. Most won’t, but it’s OK.
  12. Don’t worry about being perfect on your first video, it’s a part of the practice.
  13. By just going through this process and making the videos genuinely, you WILL get better.
  14. Again, watch how other people are doing video reviews you like and take notes on their style.
  15. I do not recommend outsourcing YouTube videos when you can’t make your own video.
  16. Use some basic SEO YouTube tips when making your videos (the benefits add up quickly).
  17. Try to monetize your videos with YouTube, but don’t rely on it. Lots of times, YouTube videos can get demonetized, but if it does happen, don’t let it bother you. Affiliate marketing will make you far more with YouTube than regular monetization.

Thinking long term growth: The potential of YouTube & affiliate marketing:

My advice when you start doing this stuff isn’t to think of it as an easy way of making money, that’s a common mistake affiliates make.

Think of this as a business where you do consumer reporting and help people choose stuff that makes you happy.

Eventually I do recommend you focus the YouTube channel you create on turning into an authority in a particular niche field. Here’s an example of what I mean.

In my experience the most successful affiliates in blogging, YouTube and overall this business are those who become an authority in a field they know a lot about.

Let’s take my boxing gloves example and suppose I create 10 videos reviewing a different kind of boxing glove and in doing so, I make $100 in affiliate sales every month. That’s not bad at all.

But now let’s suppose I decide to go further with this:

Let’s say I move into making videos on martial arts topics, self defense techniques and things of that nature. Now I’m not going to be reviewing products each time I do a video, but that’s OK, because in creating videos on the topic, I can get more subscribers, trust and grow my channel.

Later on, when the channel’s popularity grows, every video I make can get a larger exposure and more sales in affiliate marketing.

I can also move into blogging and start linking people to the blog to grow it and sell stuff there. If you’d like to see how I do use blogging to do affiliate marketing, click here.

With a larger subscriber base and following comes more opportunity. This is how you may want to proceed if the YouTube channel you have starts to get sales. It can become a full time earning channel if you follow this idea.

That’s actually something I’m doing on my personal YouTube channel.

When I began it, I was only covering reviews on make money online products.

Eventually, I began seeing the potential YouTube has and started creating topic videos, some of which you saw in this article and it’s these types of topic videos which increase my popularity and authority and can help me grow my affiliate business and take it to new levels.

I hope this article has been eye opening to you! And if you have any questions or personal strategies for doing affiliate marketing on YouTube, do let me know!

4 thoughts on “How to do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube – Step by Step.”

  1. You’ve given me so much motivation and real facts to show that YouTube product reviews really work. The step-by-step approach you’ve used to show what works is great. I know that not all the videos will generate affiliate income but some will and that’s enough for me to get started on this right now. Thanks so much!

  2. You know, I didn’t know that that it was actually possible to make that much on the video platform. All I know is that I see people with ads showing off their products and those products most of the time are digital products. 

    I feel really optimistic and this is mostly because you showed a proof. Do I need to use paid ads to boost my sales?

    • Hi Henderson, I am going to say a few important things before I address your question on paid ads and affiliate marketing:

      So first of all, the ads you see on YouTube from people who sell digital products are likely affiliate marketing promotions of the high ticket sort and those are programs I normally tell people to avoid because they are VERY expensive and often very bad in quality, but these people use the ad system in YouTube to drive tons of leads to their offers knowing that just 1 sale will help them break even, but either way I wouldn’t trust every single ad you see for these offers.

      And secondly, in regards to using ads, that is something you should only do later in affiliate marketing when you are already able to make money through blogging, YouTube and other beginner friendly strategies that don’t cost so much money. 

      Paid ads work and I do use them personally and I will make tutorials on them soon.


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