There are a number of ways to make money on YouTube:

  • Advertising Revenue
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Brand Deals
  • Selling Your Products and Services
  • Donations…

The one I’m most excited about it “selling your products and services.” Essentially, you can use YouTube as a marketing engine for your business, which I will talk about in a different blog post. But this post will be about Amazon Affiliate (or Associate) Revenue.

I’ve been an Amazon Associate for about 2 years. In year one, I made $40. In year two, I’m on track to make $400.

Here’s how you can earn money with Amazon Affiliates

You start by creating a free account. It’s a really simple application.

Then you promote products to your audience. If someone you refer buys, you get a commission. Product promotion can be done via social media posts, blog posts, you can buy advertising or you can use YouTube.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world – and people love seeing product reviews before making a purchase – especially video reviews. You don’t need to buy the product before promoting it – but I only review products I own (it’s kinda hard to make a video about a product you don’t have in your hands.) And it’s possible to get products for free in exchange for an unbiased review – but I’m not going to cover that here.

When you find a product you’d like to promote, you can get a unique short URL from Amazon and paste that in to your blog post, YouTube description, etc. When someone clicks that link and makes a purchase within 24 hours, you get a commission on everything they order!

BTW – you need to disclose that you have an affiliate relationship, or if you get the product free. Transparency is expected – and the law requires it.

Now there are some complexities that I’ve glossed over, but you can start making money today following this system. What are those complexities? Things like a purchaser clicking different affiliate links before their purchase, or buying from other countries. You can read the details on Amazon’s website.

So how much can you make? Typically 4%-8% of a user’s purchase. So reviewing high end items can be more lucrative. But I’ve found that people add lots of random stuff to their cart when they shop. I’ve gotten commissions on toilet paper, beauty products, even a harness for walking a rabbit.

Rabbit Harness Listing from Amazon

Your revenue will depend on a couple things:

  1.  Your audience size. How many people are seeing your affiliate promotion?
  2.  Your product price. Are you selling Kleenex or Video Cameras?

Also think about the lifespan of your link. How much are products changing in your niche? YouTube is a long-tail platform. My best commissions continue to come from a video I posted January 15, 2015. If you’re promoting a current fad or style, it won’t be as valuable long term compared to promoting a product that’s not changing much (maybe chapstick.) My revenue grows each month as I add more products – while my existing products continue to pay dividends.

If you are and Amazon Associate, let me know in the comments below. And if I’ve just convinced you to give it a try, let me know that too!


OK – this is something new I’ve never tried before. But I thought this post was a good place to experiment. Below is a “Native Shopping Ad.” I’ve specified that my website is most related to Video/Photo. And please note – Amazon is picking these suggestions – I can’t vouch for them 🙂