If you have a budget blog or budgeting YouTube channel then you can monetize your content through affiliate marketing. Today I’m going to share the best ways to make money from affiliate marketing on your channel (or in your blog, there are affiliate links in this post!).
I’ve been making money from my budgeting YouTube channel for a while and because of this I get a lot of questions from new Youtubers about how to make money or grow their channels. I’m happy to share the information I know so today I’m giving away all my secrets on how I’ve monetized beyond ads.
Why Use Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has made my channel more most months than I’ve made on ads. It makes this amount of money because people love to click through and purchase the budget stickers I used in my planner.
When you are a small channel you likely won’t have enough watch time to make money with ads but you probably have a dedicated audience that will support you by using links where you can make a commission. In fact, affiliate marketing is the BEST way for new YouTubers to get started because you don’t need huge amounts of views.
Affiliate marketing income from my channel has helped us pay down debt and I want to share this tip with all of you!
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Budget Planner Channels
There are three specific affiliate networks with multiple affiliate programs I’ve used very successfully that I want to share for any channels looking to monetize.
ShareASale – ShareASale is an affiliate network which means it is a platform where you can sign up for multiple affiliate programs within it. There are a couple great programs within ShareASale but for this specific niche of budgeting planners the best one is Erin Condren.
The Erin Condren affiliate marketing program gives you 10% of each sale you refer to them which is often quite high since their average sale is $73.71 and your viewers are likely to be planning to buy there anyway.
Things you can recommend from Erin Condren are planners, stickers, and other related accessories. It’s a great program and I routinely earn money from it even though I don’t use Erin Condren products! If you do you should get paid for your efforts instead of only getting free products through referrals.
To promote Erin Condren you should go start an account with ShareASale and search for Erin Condren under merchants.
Below is a video showing how to sign up for the Erin Condren program:
And here is a video about how to create links to Erin Condren products as an affiliate:
I’ve also written all about how to utilize and make money with the Erin Condren affiliate program!
Awin – This is another affiliate network where you can sign up for multiple programs in one place. There are many good programs here and Awin consistently earns me hundreds of dollars monthly, but mainly from one program: Etsy.
That’s right, Etsy has an affiliate marketing program! They offer their affiliates 4% of anything someone purchases through an affiliate link. While 4% isn’t much, it can really add up if people are buying budget sets monthly and more.
I highly recommend you use the Etsy affiliate program to link to your favorite budget sticker shops on Etsy. You get a small 4% kickback but it doesn’t cost the shop or the customer anything extra. It comes from Etsy’s fees and is a great way for you to earn money by promoting small businesses on Etsy.
To promote Etsy sticker shops you should go start an account with Awin and search for the Etsy affiliate program.
FlexOffers is an affiliate network that is geared toward many financial affiliate programs so it’s a great option if you have a channel about budgeting or any financial topic.
Within FlexOffers there are a number of financial programs on multiple topics about money:
- credit repair
- credit reporting
- debt services
- home loans
- investment services
- tax services
- wealth advice
Clearly FlexOffers is the place to be if you are running a channel about personal finances and want to find affiliate programs to promote!
To promote these financial products you should go start an account at FlexOffers and search for any of the programs in the
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where you promote products to your audience and then earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link.
You earn money by selling other people’s products.
The commissions for those sales can range from 4% to 70% of the product sales price.
As you can see, you can earn major amounts of money when you are earning 50% or more of a product price without having to create the product.
Affiliate marketing works in the same way as many old school referral programs and allows people to earn money through their blog or social media platforms by talking about things they love. It actually works well for all parties involved because you are only paid when you make a sale, it does not increase consumer cost, and the company providing the product does not have to pay upfront in case you don’t provide sales.
There are affiliate programs for all types of products and in every industry. There are affiliate programs where you can earn money promoting clothing, makeup, crafts, credit cards, bank accounts, ebooks, online courses and more. Regardless of what you plan to talk about online there will be an affiliate marketing program that will fit into your niche.
Affiliate programs will pay commissions in three different ways:
- Pay per sale – You will earn a commission only when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link.
- Pay per lead – You will earn a commission if someone signs up for a free trial or creates a free account or somehow otherwise gives a company their email address as a lead.
- Pay per click – This style of program is where you are paid money whenever someone clicks through one of your links.
There are many types of affiliate marketing programs but the most common one is pay per sale. That is what I will be referring to and giving tips to since it is what I use the most.
Is affiliate marketing scammy?
Affiliate marketing had a really bad rep for a while because some people abused the system in bad faith but generally affiliate marketing is now a much more popular and regulated industry. It is a great way to earn money and to help your audience connect with the products they need that you do not provide.
By recommending products you actually love and trust you are adding value for your audience.You are connecting them to something they need but didn’t know about until you made the introduction.
Personally I only ever recommend products I love or have used myself and think will add value to my audience. My motto is “if I wouldn’t recommend it to my mom, I won’t recommend it to you.” This lets an audience know that they aren’t stumbling through products by chance but instead are able to trust your recommendation.
If you are wondering whether you not you should promote an affiliate product, a great rule of thumb is to consider whether you would share it with your friends or family or not.
Affiliate marketing is amazing because you get paid for telling people why you love something!
Is affiliate marketing legal?
Affiliate marketing is a legal and common online practice where content creators and major companies earn revenue.
There are guidelines from the FTC about what you can and can’t do with affiliate links. You will need to include disclaimers on your site and disclose that your content has affiliate links included in the content.
The guidelines from the FTC mean you should disclose you are making a commision for the links on your site. It must be:
- Clear and conspicuous where it can be seen
- Easy to notice by anyone using your site
- Easy to understand and not confusing legal jargon
- Free of distraction
As long as you are being upfront and sharing information about your affiliate links then you have nothing to worry about when doing affiliate marketing.
How is affiliate marketing different from referral programs?
People are very used to “referral links” where someone recommends a product or service they use via a link inside their account. In return for the referral you may get a free month or other benefit from the referral. It’s a common way apps grow their user base.
An example of a referral program you can promote is Erin Condren. Within the website you can get a referral link where customers can get a credit and you get a credit too. This allows you to buy more Erin Condren products but it doesn’t earn you an income that goes into the bank.
In contrast, you can earn money with the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.
Affiliate marketing programs are different because they are special partnerships that not everyone has access to. Many have special requirements like a certain number of followers or website traffic and some even require a certain number of signups per month.
Affiliate marketing programs most often give affiliates cash or a similar form of compensation for their work to create sales through driving traffic through their links. An example of affiliate programs are when someone signs up for a program I’ve shared and I receive $50 in return.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?
There are so many benefits to using affiliate marketing as a way to monetize your online business / YouTube channel / blog. It’s a great source of income for content creators like bloggers and YouTubers (I know from experience with both).
A few of the benefits of affiliate marketing:
- Easy to get started. It’s the easiest way to get started making money online. You find affiliate programs you want to join either directly or through affiliate marketing program marketplaces (many listed below).
- Passive income. Once you’ve created your content containing affiliate links you are done with the upfront work. You can create one piece of content like a blog post that continues to earn you money every month because it gets good amounts of traffic and has affiliate links.
- Great for newbies. Affiliate marketing is amazing because it is one of the best ways to earn money before you have a huge audience. If you have a very niche audience or just a small audience because you are new then you can still earn a decent amount of money with affiliate marketing.
Those are a few of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing. It is definitely one of the best ways to monetize as a beginner and many people earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars withing a short time frame.
Why is affiliate marketing a great way to monetize for beginners?
I always recommend beginners start monetizing with affiliate marketing because it’s the best way to earn money with the best risk and reward ratio.
I say this because most new YouTubers or Bloggers are not getting much traffic so adding ads to their content results in very low rewards. It’s easy to use but ads do not earn much.
Creating products on the other hand is much harder, requires a lot of upfront work, and may flop because as a beginner you don’t have an audience.
Enter affiliate marketing, where you don’t have to create a product yet can earn a large commission if you can sell the product.
Affiliate marketing is also great because as a beginner it lets you try out different things. You can try multiple different affiliate programs and try promoting different products. Maybe you promote something and no one is interested, but that’s ok because it’s not your product and you can just move on to the next one.
Once you find something that works you can replicate your success and continue to grow your income with affiliate marketing. The great thing is that all the things you’ve done in the past that worked can be passive income as you continue to grow!
Affiliate Marketing Tips For YouTubers
If you are a YouTuber with a budgeting related channel and want to start use affiliate marketing to earn money then here are some of my favorite tips:
- Mention your links in the video and direct your audience to your description box.
- Include an affiliate disclaimer link in your description box that is clear you will make a commission.
- Link to specific products you use instead of the general page. The less steps between a buyer and the purchase the better. Specific links convert better than generic ones.
- Use products in the programs that you are promoting as an affiliate. If you have a choice to use products in the program or not, use the ones you can promote as an affiliate. People always want to know where you got things.
- Leave a link to what you used in the video in a pinned comment.
- Respond to any questions where people ask where you got something and give them the affiliate link. (This is just polite practice as well that builds trust with your audience.)
Those are just a few of my best tips for how I’ve managed to share products I love like my favorite budget stickers shops and cash envelope makers while also earning income for doing it!
Why share which affiliate programs I use?
The affiliate marketing programs I shared here are the top two programs I’ve used to monetize my budget planner channel and they’ve worked very well for me. I’ve made thousands of dollars over my two years of being on YouTube from these two programs in those affiliate networks.
Yes, giving them away does mean I have more competition for the links but I’ve also found that helping more people eventually benefits me as well. I will earn a small amount if you sign up for those affiliate networks as well which will help make up for some revenue I’ve lost. Plus, I like having good deeds on my side.
I also, really, really like helping people figure out ways to earn income online and improve their lives through doing things like affiliate marketing or making digital products. I’ve got a passion for helping other people make money!
Learn More About Affiliate Marketing
If you want a deep dive into how affiliate marketing works for both bloggers and YouTubers too you can take a more in depth class: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I took Michelle’s course when I wanted to grow my affiliate income on YouTube and it’s helped me grow that income source a lot even though I already understood the basics of affiliate marketing.
If you’ve signed up for the affiliate networks above and still feel lost on how to seamlessly use affiliate marketing you might want to try the course. It’s great for beginners to walk you through how to use and grow your affiliate marketing income. I will say that it is geared toward bloggers but the basics are the same for bloggers and youtubers.
Congrats on learning about and using affiliate marketing to grow the income for your channel! It’s so hard to make content and grow a channel so it’s definitely worthwhile to make sure you also are earning money for the time you are investing in your content!
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.