Using Amazon Affiliate Links on YouTube to Power Your Income

by Josh Koop | Last Updated: April 9, 2020
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete disclaimer information for more details.

One way that people don’t think of often when they have a YouTube channel is how to monetize it outside of YouTube itself. Instead of waiting on Ads, take a second and evaluate options like Amazon affiliate links.

Can I use Amazon affiliate links on YouTube? This is a yes, there is no issues with wanting to use your Amazon affiliate links inside YouTube in the video or in the description but make sure to put a proper disclaimer before the links. In addition you MUST list your YouTube URL in your websites settings in your Amazon settings.

Now that you understand it is a valid and useful way to add additional monetization to your website lets take a second to dive into how to get the best return on the addition of these links. Including proper declaration of the links so that Amazon doesn’t shut you down do to the FTC and improperly notifying of visitors.

YouTube and Amazon a match made in heaven - use Amazon Affiliate Links on YouTube to Power Your Income

There are a great many possibilities how people will use YouTube to place affiliate offers, many of which you will know but maybe haven’t paid a lot of attention to.

The most commonly used location is the description block for each video which is the most basic way, but YouTube hides the description block so the viewer needs to be very interested to open it and search.

In addition many YouTubers feel the need to list their “video equipment” as links in every post when most likely this isn’t of interest to 99% of their viewers.

I propose a much better utilization of Amazon affiliate offers driven by the actual content of your video.


This means you may have much less links out to Amazon from each video but they will be on target to your intended audience which will gain you more clicks and with more clicks comes the chance at more sales, change your mindset!

This is typically done via annotation placement within your videos, which are also known as overlays. These can pop up over the video while it is playing which can then be right in the viewers eyeline and can pull a click.

This requires more effort to build, place and use effectively versus the two most common methods which are done below. This method can work REALLY well when the link is sold and perfectly on topic to the discussed topic perfectly in sync with your video content.

This is the default manner that most YouTubers will use, instead of setting this up with each video they will instead make a generalized description which will be auto placed into each video.

This general description can then be updated much easier than making each description manually from scratch. Please if you do this make sure to customize the description and don’t just include generalized links as you will get very few clicks when you don’t sell a reason to click.

The Core Benefit to Description Field Use – This allows you to build out the disclaimer along with the sections you would have to fill in each time that will cut down your overall time to manage.

Core Drawback To Description Use – Many viewers will not open the description area which can lead to no one ever seeing the notes you added into the description field.

This method may be a good mix as almost everyone checks out the first couple comments at a minimum on a video they enjoyed or were pulled into. So building a pin with very specific and targeted information and then pinning it to the top may help in getting far more traffic to the links you add.

Benefits To Pinned Post – Much higher visibility to the information put in the description, can help get more clicks or at least impressions on your call to action.

Drawbacks To Pinned Post – Is going to require being created after posting and is fully a manual process which doesn’t have any automation ability, you have to focus on each video as they post.

Proper Disclaimer Is REQUIRED not a Choice

The FTC guidelines state that the disclaimer needs to be clear and MUST come before the link and ability to be sent to another URL. In addition the wording required by Amazon needs to be met, check the guideline here, as it changes semi-frequently to ensure you stay within the TOS.

Section 5 – Identifying Yourself as an Associate

You must clearly state the following, or any substantially similar statement previously allowed under this Agreement, on your Site or any other location where Amazon may authorize your display or other use of Program Content: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Except for this disclosure, you will not make any public communication with respect to this Agreement or your participation in the Associates Program without our advance written permission.

You will not misrepresent or embellish our relationship with you (including by expressing or implying that we support, sponsor, or endorse you), or express or imply any affiliation between us and you or any other person or entity except as expressly permitted by this Agreement.

Amazon TOS

There are many video types which can be successful with affiliate links, what I am going to speak about below are videos which target specifically getting people to click links for commissions.

Product Review Videos

Exactly what the title says, these are videos which target a searcher looking for more details on their planned future purchase, and looking to ensure they are making the correct decision.

A large chunk of purchasers have been shown to have watched a review or read a review before making a purchase, these are a video which can help you help your viewers along with help you and your wallet.

How To Videos

These are instructive videos which are to help someone complete a task successfully. These work well for affiliates as you can link out to all the major components in the video allowing you multiple chances for a click from the viewer.

Best Of Videos

Personally I don’t make these style of videos currently. If I was to do this style of video then I would make individual in-depth reviews on each of the items included so that you become a trusted creator and people know your opinion comes from a point of knowledge and not making money only.

These are also called “round-up” videos but can be done easy in many niches:

  • Best Fishing Poles
  • Best Camping Tents
  • Best Family Trampolines
  • Best WordPress Hosting
  • Best UTV / ATV

Pros Of YouTube Affiliate Marketing

There are many benefits to YouTube that will help you more than just standard blogging. These are some of the key ones which I find will help you grow fast!

Absolutely Gigantic Audience Size – YouTube is a tremendously large search engine, in actuality it is currently the second largest search engine to Google. You will be able to find an audience for almost any material on YouTube and this is why it has such a pull for new affiliate marketers.

Much Lower Competition For Many Niches – Unlike Google which is jammed with competition for a lot of niches YouTube is still very much a Wild West with lots of openings and places to get viewers and to gain subscribers without months and months of waiting.

Video Growing Exponentially – There is more and more video searches each month and year as more people gain higher speed internet and devices. This growth means new possible viewers which are looking for information and topics!

Ability To Build Subscriber Base – YouTube has the ability to grow and alert a subscriber base without the need to sign up for email lists and other items. This means you can get repeat visitors when your content stays in alignment with their interests.

Cons Of YouTube Affiliate Marketing

As with the pros above there is some cons which make it more difficult or more strenuous to others.

Content Creation – Unlike running a blog where you can write or hire out a writer to create content and then just time to rank, YouTube requires some skill. Many are so worried about having themselves in a video they skip YouTube altogether which is why it can be so lucrative.

If you can’t create content which is interesting or compelling in some way you won’t get many viewers and hence no clicks to the links you add.

Niche-Based Problems – For many this will be the biggest challenge, your videos will have to be about the niche itself to get the best click volume. The issue is many niches will require a lot of gear and setup to film and make them compelling.

Due to this the more “simple” niches that don’t require the same level of setup are typically overdone. For many this is things like web hosting reviews, there is 10000s of posted videos all to get a commission, not because they are helpful but because the video can be done with little thought and gear.

Link Restrictions – Google has within the terms that the sole purpose of your video can’t be to send someone to another page, be it a website or an affiliate link. They want high quality video content that is there to help out the viewer and obviously, keep them on YouTube to make Google ad income.

How to Apply to Amazon Associates With Only a YouTube Channel

Most people mistakenly believe a website is a requirement for an Amazon Associates account to be validated. While this may be the most preferred version for most people to build and have as a central location for web based traffic it is not a requirement.

In addition to a website you can enroll with the following:

  • Mobile App – This would be any app which could be on the iOS or Android stores
  • YouTube Channel – Like we have discussed above you have a URL for YOUR YouTube channel that can be listed.

You will be required to submit a link to the YouTube channel or mobile app when you enroll. Then, just like with a website, Amazon will give you your id at the end of the signup process. After you make your first 3 sales they will typically come and audit your website, channel or app.

Make sure these first videos until approved are not poor quality videos to help your chances at getting approved as a full Amazon Associate.


Final Thoughts

I would say the future is now for video and getting in soon will get you some amazing results and can help catapult you up into an authority. Many times this will be months faster if not years faster than a blog on the same topic.

Since this is where we are as a society today I would say everyone should build a YouTube presence along with start a website. This way they can work together to build you as an overall authority and get you moving within your niche.

I would love to have you Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and take a look at our videos, leave a comment below if you have input or have ideas that would be helpful for future blog posts and videos.

I love technology, I have plenty of technical side experience but never really thought of blogging as a way to earn an income. With everything that has gone on in the last couple years and the instability of the job markets I started to learn how to blog and build affiliate niche sites to add more income channels to give me the chance to break free from the financial chains that bind me and find real freedom!