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How to Make Money on YouTube

March 27 2017 27 Mar 2017 12 min. read
How to Make Money on YouTube

Right now, the true global superstars aren't on our televisions or our cinema screens - they're on YouTube. The video-sharing site has been a great way for countless entrepreneurs and personalities to make themselves, and their products known. Surely it should be a goldmine for affiliate marketing? Well, yes, and we're here to show you the real way to make money on YouTube.

Along the way, we're going to explain some of the misconceptions people have about YouTube, the mistakes that people have made in the past while trying to make money, and then how to set up a system that works, and get the profits your YouTube videos deserve. Then we're going to show some examples of publishers that use YouTube to its full potential, explaining what they do well, and how you can get inspiration from them.

Let's dive into the complete guide to making money on YouTube, looking at affiliate marketing, which we believe is the best way of leveraging the things you do best, and bringing you the success you deserve, while also maintaining your credibility with your audience.

Common Misconceptions and Mistakes

Common mistakes on YouTube

Thinking it Should be Easy
If you've been reading our earlier articles, you'll know that one thing we often say is, don't expect instant rewards. It's all about putting in the hard work over a period of time, then seeing the benefits of good-quality, targeted content. For every successful YouTube channel, there are tens, maybe hundreds, of YouTubers who gave up when they didn't see subscriber and viewer numbers going through the roof in the first month or two. You have to stick at these things for them to be worth it.

Trying too Hard to be Controversial
There is another route that some video-makers choose to go in order to get views. Some YouTubers have made their name through drama and controversy, because they know they'll get talked-about, whether it's good or bad feedback. A bit like the angry columnists in newspapers and magazines, these polemicists have made a career out of rage, forthright opinions, and the fallout that follows when people disagree with them. Think of them as the Jeremy Clarksons of YouTube.

Examples could include the "comedy" output of people like Nicole Arbour (I'm not linking to her, it'll only boost her view count), who has made a selection of videos addressing groups that annoy her, like "Dear Fat People" and "Dear Instagram Models," all of which have earned her aggressively polarized responses in various reaction videos on YouTube.

The problem with this approach is that it doesn't work at all well with affiliate marketing. When you're promoting affiliates, you want to show yourself and your brands in a positive, and crucially, a professional light. Most affiliate-programme contracts say that if the publisher does not promote the brand in a way that is considered conducive to good marketing, the advertiser has the right to pull the agreement, there and then.

It's not something you want when you're getting started in affiliate marketing. While controversial YouTubers may become stars off the back of their infamy, you're looking to build trust in your own brand and those you are promoting. So stay away from those fireworks.

Selling too Hard
If you're not careful, you can go from one extreme to another: you can be TOO polished in your approach to affiliate marketing. It's fine to incorporate affiliate products into good-quality content that people will want to watch - but you can't make it too obvious that you're looking to convert interest into clicks on your sponsors' websites, or entry of those bonus codes.

Think of good affiliate marketing like a beef stew: the main element is the meat; without that, it's nothing. Your meat is the quality content you would plan with or without the support of advertisers. Within that stew, you can throw in vegetables for flavor. These can be ways in which you show your own personality, perhaps using humor, or by providing a commentary that reaches out to the audience.

Finally, you have seasoning; this is what gives the food taste, and makes it nicer to eat. This is your affiliate marketing; it runs through the whole video, but it's not so obvious as to overpower what else you were trying to do.

How to Successfully do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

We've told you how NOT to do it, but here is a step-by-step look at how you SHOULD do affiliate marketing on YouTube.

How To Do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube: A Guide

How to successfully make money on YouTube with affiliate marketing

Start by performing the Google-related tasks to set up advertising on your YouTube channel. If you have a Google account and use it to log into YouTube, you already have a channel. You don't have any videos on there, unless you've uploaded them yourself, but it will show any subscriptions you have, and your profile picture.

When you've joined the YouTube Partner Program, and set up an AdSense account (the latter can take up to five working days for the approval process to be completed), you're ready to start monetizing videos, if you have any. Your videos must meet the video monetization criteria ( set out by YouTube.

What to Remember
The thing about making money on YouTube through posting adverts on your videos is that you're not actually monetizing the content itself - you're just monetizing the space around it. What's the problem with this? For starters, many YouTubers who feel they have done their utmost to fit in with the given definition of acceptable content have run into problems.

An example of this is the large YouTube channel Channel Awesome, which produces movie and popular culture-related fan videos. They apply a legal definition of "fair use" that says that it is okay to show clips of a few seconds without incurring copyright law, as it is for educational purposes. However some of their videos were removed from YouTube in 2016, and the platform also suspended their monetization for weeks, a problem which led the channel to consider whether or not it was viable to continue making videos.

The Way Around This
Being very careful to say that you are promoting affiliate content in the videos, the way around this is to make your video about a topic, like the playing of online casino games, while promoting one or more of those online casinos. That way, you're monetizing your time, and your content, rather than just slapping ads in front of the video.

Think of YouTube as part of a multi-platform presence online. Use other social channels, for example Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to further extend your content's reach, and to get the message out there to other sets of potential followers. Of course you can promote your videos on these other platforms - it's a great idea to do that, in fact, because not everyone will know that you're on YouTube, and some people may be excited by what you're showing online.

Influencer Marketing
Some YouTubers and social media users who have a lot of followers are taken-on by companies as "influencers." This means that their following is large enough and they have good enough content that a company can gain a great deal in terms of sales and online presence by partnering with them. It's not easy to become a true online influencer, but if you produce enough quality content over a long period of time, and you promote it fully, you can become one.

An example of influencer marketing in action is fitness expert Lex Griffin, who also promotes the gym-clothing brand Gymshark.

Who Does iGaming on YouTube Well?

There is a very large iGaming community on YouTube, and they do a superb job of promoting games and sites they like. Here are some examples of people who do it well - you would be advised to take inspiration from them if you want to make money on YouTube through affiliate marketing.

LetsGiveItASpin - Casino Streamer

This Swedish YouTuber really gets the excitement across of playing casino games online. He makes you want to be part of the game, but also brings you into his community of fans with his easy style.

TheBigPayback - Slot Machine Videos

This guy takes his cameraphone up to coin-op casino slot maches, and shows himself playing the game. Although we're focused on online casinos, you can still gain a lot of useful information about how to get thousands of subscribers on YouTube from watching what he does well in his videos.

The camera shows the game for long enough to allow the viewer to see its mechanics, and you get occasional commentary too, which brings the YouTuber's personality across.

DPROXIMA Slot Machine Videos

This American slot-player lets you get in on the action, talking constantly as he plays, and making you feel like a friend, very much like the legion of Minecraft and Call of Duty YouTube gamers do. He's honest and forthright in his opinions on games, and he's a thoroughly compelling presence.

Making Money on YouTube: The Bottom Line

Use YouTube as a tool to leverage and increase your online following. Don't see it as the be-all-and-end-all, but make videos to promote your affiliates, and to leverage the platform's enormous reach. This will help build up your network. Think outside the box - and be open to new money-making opportunities - but use YouTube as a way of growing your followers, while not forgetting to also have a website, and social channels, that promote your affiliate programs.

An affiliate platform made for you

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