make money on YouTube, YoutTube Income

How Do You Make Money On YouTube

Youtube’s really on fire. There are more people spending more time on the platform more whether it’s through the increase in Smart TVs or larger mobile devices. It’a become more mainstream for all ages especially teenagers, who are watching more YouTube than TV.  But how do you make money on YouTube? 

We know that video is such a dominant player that entrepreneurs and anybody that wants to build their influence online should be leveraging it.

However, it is not always obvious how you can make money on YouTube. Unless you are PewDiePie or Casey Neistat, you are or unlikely to pull in a huge endorsement or sponsorship deals.

But, you can still make money, if you know how to do it. I am going to show you how using real examples of YouTubers who are doing just that.

Free Guide

If you would prefer to read this information in your own time, please download my free guide on How to Earn an Income from your YouTube Channel.

Affiliate Marketing

This is probably the easiest way to generate serious income from YouTube when you are just starting out. You don’t need to spend time making your own products. Instead, you are promoting and selling other company’s products for a commission.

Affiliate Marketing on Video falls into two main categories:

  • Promoting Physical Products
  • Selling Software and Information Products

Affiliate Marketing – Physical Products

No matter what niche you choose, there are likely to be physical products that you can promote through YouTube videos. By far the easiest way to earn an income, from being an affiliate for physical products on YouTube, is by producing unboxing videos and product reviews.

This can be electronics, jewelry, kitchen equipment, even garden furniture. With larger items, that need to be assembled, you can add ”assembling the product” to your video portfolio. This is especially useful if you are promoting a product that is great when assembled but is a little tricky to build.

A good starting point is to sign up as an Amazon affiliate (Amazon Associate). You can then provide links in your video notes so people can go to Amazon to by the product you are showing them, earning you an affiliate commission.

Although he is now known more as a YouTube marketing expert,  Sean Cannell’s Think Media channel was primarily set up on the back of promoting physical products as an affiliate.  

Check out his YouTube video ”Gift Ideas for Him”. The video is clever in that it addresses a real need – how to buy gifts for the men in your life – but also promotes affiliate product sales. This is a really good example of an affiliate marketing video that promotes physical products, but in a helpful way to the audience.

Sean offers a free Masterclass: 3 Strategies for Growing Your Audience and Income with YouTube in 2018

He also has a $7 course on how to make profit from reviewing physical products: Video Product Review Profits

Both are worth checking out.

What Products Can You Promote As An Affiliate?

You can promote, un-box and demonstrate pretty much anything. The higher value items such as TVs and digital cameras bring in higher commission but may sell in lower volume. Other items may be high volume but only for a short period, like new mobile phone releases or fashion items.

Amazon Affiliates

The commission rates Amazon pays aren’t the most exciting, ranging from 1% for video games and consoles up to 10% for some fashion items. Even so, you only need to make one video to promote a product to multiple buyers. If the product is a long-running item, this can keep on giving.

Etsy Affiliates

Etsy is another platform that offers affiliate commissions. If you are not familiar with Etsy, it is an online marketplace where people can sell products they have created, mostly arts and crafts. As an affiliate, you can make 4-8% commission by selling other people’s products.

The process is similar to Amazon, but the video process should focus on product detail and quality and maybe showing how the product looks in your home.

Affiliate Marketing – Software and Information Products

This is an area where many online marketers make their first income, including me. The commission rates paid for this type of product are usually much higher and can be recurring in the case of subscription software and membership sites.

As an example, if you get someone to sign up for a $100 per month software subscription that pays 40% commission, that can earn you $480 per year, per customer

Best Software Affiliate Programs

Here are some of the top software affiliate programs. As well as paying out excellent recurring commissions, they are also great products you can use in your business.

Kartra40%YesMarketing Automation Suite - Page Builder, Email Autoresponder, Membership and Course Host.
Clickfunnels40%YesSales Funnel Building Software
Spyfu40%YesGoogle Keyword and Ad Research Tool
ConvertKit30%YesEmail Automation Tool
Leadpages30%YesLanding Pages Software
Drip30%YesEmail Automation Tool

You will notice that all these products have recurring commission programs.  Remember, that if you want to make a full time income from YouTube, you need to look for recurring income sources. 

The best way to promote this type of product is through tutorials, that show people how to use the product, or a review of the product’s main features. A comparison of two or more products is also a good idea.  Here are some examples of tutorial videos I have made for Kartra.  These videos are primarily educational, but they also demonstrate the features of the product, which may encourage people to purchase it through my affiliate link.

If you watch these videos, you will notice the links in the description. These take viewers to my other relevant content, but they also include affiliate links for people that want to sign up for a Kartra trial.

If you would like to learn more about how to build a business around Affiliate Marketing, I recommend that you check out Pat Flynn’s course,  1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing

Note: I am an affiliate for this course.  This is because I have gone through it and recommend it to anyone looking to learn from someone who has built a sizeable recurring income through affiliate marketing. I do earn a commission if you sign up through this link, but it doesn’t cost you any more. 

Selling Courses

This is more of an indirect result of using YouTube, but it can be quite lucrative. You use YouTube as a traffic source to drive traffic to a landing or opt-in page, where people can sign up for your course.  This may start by using YouTube to grow your email list

There are many examples of people showing their expertise and track record of success in YouTube videos. They then take people off YouTube onto their website and email list to sell courses.

People will also use YouTube to host mini training courses that give a taste of what is available in the paid-for course they sell.

On his YouTube channel, Sean Cannell shares advice on how to get more views on YouTube.  He then links out to information about his course, ”Video Ranking Academy” which he sells to people who want to grow their YouTube channel.

Pat Flynn has a series of YouTube videos giving people tips on starting a podcast. People who want to learn more can sign up for Pat’s ”Power Up Podcasting Course.”

It is possible to combine this with Affiliate Marketing and sell someone else’a course. If you have gone through a particular course and found it useful, you can ask the course owner if you can be an affiliate, like I did with Pat’s courses on Affiliate Marketing, Starting an Online Business and Starting a Podcast.  If you want to check any of these out, please click here.  I highly recommend them.

Selling Membership Programs

This is similar to selling courses. You use YouTube as your traffic source. People view your videos, which may be examples of what is available in your membership site. This gets people interested and wanting more.

If they want more, they can become a member of your program and get access to more useful stuff that is constantly being updated and added to.

Again the key here is that this is a recurring income source. If you keep your members happy and wanting more, they will keep paying you to be part of the membership.

What Can You Earn From A Membership Program

Here are some numbers that you might find interesting.

If you charge $25 per month for a membership program, if you have 100 members you will be earning $2,500 per month

If you charge $49 per month for a membership program, if you have 100 members you will be earning $4,900 per month.

If you charge $99 per month for a membership program, if you have 100 members you will be earning $9,900 per month. That is a full-time income.


Advertising, by signing up for Google Adsense, has been the staple income earner for many YouTubers over the years. However, Google has recently changed the rules on this as follows:

“You can apply for monetization at any time. To be reviewed, all channels need at least 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. This requirement allows us to properly evaluate new channels and helps protect the creator community.”

So this is no longer a way to make income from your videos from day one. If you do have a sizeable audience and subscriber base, you can choose to sign up and get yourself some ad revenue. It isn’t going to make you rich on its own unless you find the next ”Gangnam Style”, but it will add to your other YouTube and YouTube-related income streams.


If you don’t know what Patreon is, check out the video on their home page:

What is Patreon?

Patreon allows you to get paid by running a membership platform for your fans. With the patron platform, you can offer exclusive experiences to your viewers that they pay for via a membership. It’s like a VIP club for your most devoted followers.

It is much more effective when you have built up a following, but I have spoken to some YouTubers who say they earn several thousand dollars through the platform each month. You do need a fan base to really make an income from it, but it can work and is also a way for your fans to “give back”.  Also, if you can make money from Patreon, it demonstrates that you have a “loyal” fan base, who is happy to be a part of your brand.

Further Reading

I hope this gives you some ideas of how you can earn an income from your YouTube channel. If you want to learn more, please

download my Free YouTube Sales and Marketing Funnels Guide, which will take you through the actual steps you need to take to turn your YouTube viewers and subscribers into customers so you can start earning an income.

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