AdvertisingAffiliate Marketing

YouTube Affiliate Marketing: How It’s Done


This post is also available in: PT

You definitely saw video bloggers recommending some products, companies, or websites. How it’s usually done? They say a few positive words about a brand and ask you to follow the link in the description, usually with their promo code.

This is exactly how YouTube affiliate marketing works. And you can do the same: all you basically need is a YouTube channel, great video content, and offers to promote…

…wait, it doesn’t sound that easy anymore.

Let’s slow it down and look at what and how you can do it step-by-step. 

Why YouTube is Worth Trying

First of all, you might ask: why should I bother with creating video content? Will it be profitable, after all?

Well, it will mainly depend on you and your strategy, but a quick look at stats will help guess if there is potential at all. 

Here it is: the most important statistics for YouTube in 2022:


So, what are the main things to learn? 

YouTube offers you a large audience worldwide — with all sorts of interests and behaviors to target.

And, as the cherry on top, you can attract a large part of this audience without paying for promotion! YouTube’s smart algorithms automatically recommend your video to people who might like it.

So, if you have great unique content, you might spend literally nothing for making your channel popular.

Alexander Yakobson, a YouTube affiliate marketer: I own a channel related to NHL news. It has 120k subscribers, and the top popular video has gained over a million views within 2 years. I didn’t pay a cent for any subscribers: it was only organic promotion. The thing is that I was one of the first to start such a channel in this niche: it was 2017, and YouTube had 2-3 similar projects. I didn’t quite expect it, but people just started joining my channel — without any paid promos from my side!

Possible Workflows

Now that you are inspired enough and a click away from uploading your first video, let’s speak about how exactly you can work as an affiliate marketer on YouTube.

To make it clearer, we prepared several nice pictures to show you – scroll the gallery!

Have any more ideas? Share them on our Telegram Channel

Besides, YouTube pays you for popular videos, too: if you enable monetization for your channel, YouTube will share 55% of its revenues from Google ads that will appear in your video.

The average rate is something about $0.01 — $0.03 for an ad view.

Verticals and Channel Ideas

So, you know how to run offers on YouTube. But knowing it might cause even more questions, for example:

And we have an answer for literally all of these. Let’s look at the top converting verticals for YouTube and the best ways to promote them.

Gaming Offers

Statistics show that YouTube is a great place for advertising mobile and PC games. Why so? Mainly because gaming is one of the easiest ways to create very native ads. You just show a gameplay video — and users already want to try playing! 

Besides, the nature of gaming allows you to create bright clickbait titles that won’t be really misleading: 


Channel ideas:

  • Game reviews and opinions
  • Games and level walkthroughs
  • News about the latest releases
  • Let’s Play videos

A tip: try sticking to new games — the gaming audience has most likely tried the old titles and won’t be impressed.

Where to find offers?

In fact, there are plenty of mobile gaming offers in CPA networks.

Besides, some gaming-related companies also have their direct affiliate programs, and you can even go beyond gaming as it is. 

For example, you can advertise various devices and praise them while you are playing:

This new Razor mouse is so nice, see how much better I’m playing now?

Or something like this. Here are some options:

  • Logitech
  • Razor
  • Zygor Guides
  • GameFly

iGaming Offers

iGaming is another profitable niche — and it’s also an easy one to promote with videos. As we already mentioned, this vertical is a perfect match with sports-related channels, be it football news, match predictions, or game reviews.

Offers can be easily integrated into such videos and will look more than native. There are two ways of how you can attract users:

  • Give a promo code for a special welcome bonus for new customers
  • Mention a special bonus promo code for existing customers

Still, you need to be very careful with the copyright here. If you promote a channel dedicated to NHL, you can safely use NHL video materials from its official website. It’s allowed by the NHL copyright terms. 

However, if you want to post, say, some highlights from a FIFA soccer match, your video can be banned. FIFA, like most other sports organizations, is not so generous when it comes to sharing its materials.

A quick note: if your channel has monetization from YouTube, and you are using NHL game films, all the ad revenue will be transferred to NHL and NOT to your channel.

Channel ideas

  • Sports news
  • Latest games reviews
  • Match forecasts and predictions
  • Best moments from sports matches

Where to find offers?

Again, you can search for some in CPA networks, or join direct iGaming websites’ affiliate programs. Almost every iGaming platform has an affiliate program and will be willing to give you an affiliate link and a special bonus promo code for your viewers.

Alexander Yakobson:  If your channel has stable traffic and you post engaging content, there is a big chance that offer owners will contact you themselves. For example, one of my channels promotes the only iGaming brand: they came to me for a long-term agreement, and we have been working successfully for a while. Our main task is to mention the brand in the video and promise a special welcome bonus for all viewers who follow our affiliate link.

eCommerce Offers

eCommerce is probably the most extensive niche. It can be about clothing reviews (yes, all these bloggers showing what they purchased on ASOS or Aliexpress), new gadgets unboxing, or just honest ads of some random products, like a 3D printer:


Channel ideas: 

  • Product reviews
  • Product comparison
  • Daily routine with native integration of products
  • How-To videos
  • Gadgets for Food and Cooking

And many more. Keep in mind the top profitable product niches to make the right choice: currently, they are Fashion, Food, and Baby&Kids.

Where to find offers?

According to experts, here is the list of the top popular affiliate programs related to eCommerce for YouTubers:

  • Bob’s Watches
  • Amazon Associates
  • Etsy
  • Purple Mattresses
  • Aliexpress

Dating Offers

How is it possible to promote Dating on YouTube? Well, it’s probably the easiest: posting vids with attractive girls, and adding some links to dating websites might take no more than a couple of minutes. Just be careful with copyright and make sure the girls are…hmm… dressed.

There are also dating app reviews and funny dating stories on YouTube, but might be harder to promote.

Fun fact: When YouTube was just launched, it was supposed to be a dating site, where people could post their videos and speak about themselves and what they are looking for in a partner. With such roots, it must be good for Dating ads ?

Where to find offers?

First, you can try to go with mainstream dating Smartlinks — it will broaden the GEOs you can target and overall simplify the workflow. And, as usual — some direct offers:

  • eHarmony

By the way, here is a full guide on Dating offers

Educational Offers

Education is one of the few niches that are always actual for almost all kinds of audiences: from students to elderly people. Online schools, courses, and learning apps with cost-per-install conversions will suit almost every channel — and especially popular science and educational videos.

For example, the ASAP Science channel is all about short videos answering complicated questions in a simple way. Short animated voice-over videos tell about how to memorize things quicker or how to fall asleep in two minutes. 

At the beginning of every video, the channel owners mention the sponsor: for example, science-learning courses:


Channel ideas

  • Popular science 
  • Free educational videos
  • Maths Tricks
  • Myth-busting

Where to find offers?

There are some education affiliate offers you can find in CPA networks. However, they might not be the best ones for promotion via YouTube: many of them come in the form of surveys, which makes the whole sales funnel more complicated. 

Direct programs will do much better: here are the top ones to sign up for in 2022:

  • Rocket Languages
  • Treehouse
  • Udemy
  • Pluralsight

The best thing about YouTube is that its algorithms allow you to promote your videos without any investments — or combine both free and paid promotion methods. 

Free Promotion

Of course, content is the key to success here: the better videos you create, the more people will generate views. A full guide on creating a great YouTube video is worth a separate article, so we won’t focus on the video-making process as it is. 

Instead, here are some tricks that might not be so obvious:

  • Your video thumbnail (the picture a user sees before they start watching) can be a key to its success. It must catch the attention within a second or less:
  • Make video titles short. In a perfect scenario, your title must be a direct reply to what a user searched for.
  • SEO is important: remember that YouTube is a search engine, too. Use relevant keywords in video titles and descriptions.

Of course, organic promotion takes time. If you are more into saving time than money, you can safely make your channel grow using paid ads.

Note: avoid various YouTube promotion services that claim to bring you real users and organic growth. In fact, most of them will just send bots and fake views to your channel and spoil it all.

So what are the optimal ways of paid promotion?

Ad Networks. It’s easy: instead of running an offer, you just promote your YouTube channel, and that’s it. For instance, some of PropellerAds’ partners successfully attracted new channel subscribers via our Push ads. Important! You can’t promote politics-related channels like this.

Bloggers. Yes, cross-promo is very popular among YouTubers: you can just order an ad from another blogger, and they say a couple of words about your channel in their video.

Alexander Yakobson: Our friends from a big soccer-related channel once made a free ad for us. We had similar audiences — and this free promo brought us about 8,000-10,000 subscribers — with no investment!

YouTube Affiliate Marketing FAQ

You might have run across tons of guides on promoting a YouTube video or getting your first 1000 subscribers, or how much you can earn. 

We collected proven and working tips and answers to the hottest questions like these: thanks to Alexander Yakobson, who shared his experience in YouTube affiliate marketing.

Q: I want to run a sports channel. Is it a good idea to create a channel with three playlists: Ice Hockey, Football, and MMA?

A: Don’t try to embrace all possible topics in a single channel. The golden rule is ‘One channel — one topic’ — otherwise, what will be the difference with the TV? In the described case, creating three channels dedicated to one sport will be much more efficient.

Q: Do I need to create viral videos?

A: Don’t strive to create viral videos all the time. Yes, they might boost your channel once, but for long-term play, you need to focus on relevant and valuable evergreen content that will constantly attract the audience you want to target.

Q: Is the number of subscribers important?

A: Not really. Your videos can get much more views than the number of subscribers, so if this video contains your affiliate link, it doesn’t really matter how many subscribers you have, after all. And, if your videos get many views, you will most likely grow your subscriber base, too.

Q: I am sure I create great content. What if nobody watches and subscribes to my videos?

A: There can be plenty of reasons. If you think your content is already great, pay attention to details. For example, it’s essential to have an attractive customized thumbnail for your video. Besides, you can try to work harder on your keyword choice. Finally, your niche might be overloaded: check how many big competitors you have before you even start a channel.

Overall, testing is still the king. Try various approaches until you find the one that will rock. For example, compare how various thumbnails perform or add new video formats to see how your audience reacts.

Q: How much can I earn doing YouTube affiliate marketing?

A: Obviously, it depends on the offer, your channel topic, and how many viewers you have. For instance, my Ice Hockey channel works with a brand that pays from $1 to $5 for 1000 ad views and can bring about $6,000 per month.

If you work by RevShare, when the offer owner gives you a part of its income, numbers can grow even higher.

Already have a YouTube channel, or we inspired you to start one? 

Boost its views and expand your YouTube affiliate marketing efforts with top-quality traffic from PropellerAds.

By the way, don’t forget to join our Telegram channel, where you can discuss anything related to affiliate marketing and media buying.


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