If you’ve ever wondered how to make money with affiliate marketing or how MUCH money you can make from affiliate marketing, this guide will provide some answers!
Learning how to make passive income with affiliate marketing has been a complete game changer for us here at Primal Video.
But this took years to build out & lots of mistakes as well – it’s not a get rich quick scheme and doesn’t come overnight.
Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
To be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to provide REAL value for your viewers. It’s not just about finding the high ticket affiliate marketing programs.
In this guide, we’ll share a behind the scenes look into our affiliate marketing revenue as well as the best affiliate programs for getting started. If you’re looking for passive income ideas or lucrative side hustles, this could be an awesome way for you to make money online.
You’ll see how we make over $20,000 per month from affiliate marketing, plus you’ll learn how to make money online with affiliate programs in your business too!
Here’s exactly what we’ll cover:
- How does affiliate marketing work?
- How much money do affiliate marketers make?
- #1 focus of affiliate marketing
- Our affiliate revenue breakdown
- Why you shouldn’t rely on affiliate marketing
- Finding affiliate program partners
- Building an email list to grow faster
- Why we love affiliate marketing
Let’s get started.
How does affiliate marketing work?
Affiliate marketing is when you’re paid a commission for referring a sale of a specific product or service.
If a company has an affiliate program, you can register to join. Then the company will give you a unique affiliate link or URL. When people click those affiliate links and sign up or purchase, you will receive a commission.
You can include that affiliate link in YouTube video descriptions, emails, etc. But more on that later!
How much money do affiliate marketers make?
The amount you can make from affiliate marketing varies HUGELY. So we’re just going to share how much we make from affiliate marketing to give you an idea of what’s possible.
But first up, you need to be aware that your total revenue in affiliate marketing can fluctuate a LOT from month to month.
Last month we made US$23,685.20 from affiliate marketing.
But we’ve also had months in the past year where affiliate revenue came close to $50,000 (more than double what we made last month)!
#1 focus of affiliate marketing
Here at Primal Video, we have a very particular way of doing affiliate marketing. We say ‘no’ to a lot of opportunities that could make us a lot more money.
So this dollar amount definitely isn’t as high as it could be. And that’s because our number one focus is never just making money. It’s maintaining integrity, objectivity and acting in the best interest of our viewers.
We’d never be affiliates for something just because they offer the highest affiliate income.
There are lots of affiliate marketers out there that give affiliate marketing a bad name because they’re opting for the highest commissions.
You need to think of affiliate marketing like you’re giving your recommendation to your closest friends and family.
You don’t want to recommend bad stuff that will waste their time or money. That will give them a bad experience and they won’t listen to your recommendations ever again.
Our affiliate revenue breakdown
We’ve broken our affiliate revenue down into 10 different categories:
- Affiliate Networks – Services like Trade Double or Impact Radius are known as affiliate networks, they allow you to manage multiple affiliate programs (e.g. under Impact Radius we have programs for Envato Placeit, Canva, WeVideo, TechSmith, Best Buy, the list goes on!)
- Amazon – This is all the Amazon Associates programs we’re apart of (in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, etc.)
- Courses – Any online courses and programs that we recommend
- Design Tools – Services like Snappa that you can use to design channel banner art (for example, we share a tutorial on how to create banner art using services like Snappa)
- Email Tools – This includes email marketing services like ConvertKit & ActiveCampaign
- Live Streaming Tools – Options like Ecamm Live, Evmux & StreamYard (we create dedicated reviews, tutorials or we include the top options in a roundup e.g. Best Live Streaming Software in 2023)
- Other Gear – Thing that don’t fit into other categories
- Productivity Apps – Tools we use in the day-to-day running of Primal Video such as ClickUp & Agorapulse
- Video Tools – Anything related to video creation and YouTube growth e.g. stock music sites (Epidemic Sound, Artlist), tools to grow your channel (TubeBuddy, VidIQ), etc.
You can see that we’re a part of a lot of different affiliate programs! But they’re all things that we use or recommend for a specific use case or outcome. So each affiliate program is perfectly in line with the direction and goals of our channel.
If there’s a free option for any of these tools or services that will get people the result they’re looking for, we’ll always include that. In some cases, there could be a paid upgrade and that’s where we’ll include our affiliate link.
Why you shouldn’t rely on affiliate marketing
If we compare the above month to the two months prior, you’ll see there’s quite a difference in revenue.
There could be multiple reasons for this but a big one is that some affiliate programs don’t pay out monthly. For some, you need to reach a certain amount of affiliate sales before they’ll pay you.
That’s why here at Primal Video we have three different income streams – but we’ll share more about that later!
We strongly recommend making sure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
We’ve been a part of affiliate programs that were generating a considerable amount of revenue for us that have been shut down overnight with no notice.
An example of this is with ConvertKit. Check out the graph below to see how our revenue with them has dramatically dropped over the last few months. The big dip is the point that ConvertKit made changes to their affiliate program.
But, that doesn’t stop us from recommending ConvertKit because it’s still a really good option for a lot of people!
It’s just worth knowing that any of this stuff could change.
We started our YouTube channel EIGHT years ago. So it’s taken us some time to get to this point. But that doesn’t mean that it will take you that long. This is something you can achieve much quicker.
One of our goals here at Primal Video is to help people have success much faster AND easier than we did! Because we did it the hard and long way, learning a lot of lessons along the way.
Finding affiliate program partners
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for the best affiliate programs, tools or services for your audience, there’s a simple exercise you can do.
On a piece of paper or in an empty Google doc, write down all the tools, services, programs, courses, books, and anything else you’d recommend to ideal clients, students, friends, family to help them with the stuff you want to help them with.
Once you’ve got that list, it’s as easy as going to those companies’ websites and checking if they have an affiliate program or referral program.
Most of them will be free and easy for you to sign up to. You might find they have a dedicated affiliate program or that they are a part of one of the affiliate networks that you can join.
If you can’t find an affiliate program on a company’s website, you can do a Google search with the company name or product and ‘affiliate program’.
Or if the company doesn’t have a program yet, you could always reach out via email or DM them on Instagram. Let them know you love their product or service and you want to promote them.
In that case, they might create an affiliate marketing program. We’ve had this happen so it’s definitely worth a shot!
Even if they don’t, you can still create a video that mentions that product or tool. Down the track if they end up creating an affiliate program, you can just grab your affiliate link and insert it into the description of that video. This means you’re able to turn on a new revenue stream really quickly.
Once you’re a part of an affiliate program, you can generate affiliate links. That referral link can then be used on your website, in your video descriptions and in emails.
You can also use other marketing tools and run involved affiliate marketing campaigns to drive traffic and more sales.
Building an email list to grow faster
If you want to see results with this faster, the top thing we’d recommend is utilizing an email list.
You can build out automated email funnels to help drive traffic to your YouTube channel. This doesn’t just have to be to your latest videos, you can also link to your backlog of previous videos.
Growing our email list off the back of our YouTube channel has been a big focus in our business.
But how do you grow an email list?
We start by offering some quality content – something specific that’s designed to help our audience achieve a specific outcome. This could be a free PDF guide or advanced training. Our audience is able to access this in exchange for providing their email address.
From there, we can send out some automated emails to help them have success with whatever that pain or problem is that they’re trying to solve.
Wherever it’s a fit, we also include affiliate links for resources that will help people achieve their desired outcome.
Want to learn more about growing an email list? Check out our complete guide here.
PRO TIP: It’s also a good idea to work on search engine optimization and other marketing efforts to increase website traffic.
Why we love affiliate marketing
As we mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing is just one way to make money. It’s one of three income streams here at Primal Video which generate us over seven figures annually.
Those three streams are: affiliate marketing, our digital product (Primal Video Accelerator) and YouTube ads.
PRO TIP: If you want to learn more about how we make money here at Primal Video, find out How We Make $1M+ From YouTube.
But the reason we love affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to have a ton of different affiliate programs or constantly be promoting for every single business or jumping from sponsor deal to sponsor deal. You can create something that’s a win-win-win.
It’s a win for the viewer because it helps them with a specific outcome or a buying decision.
It’s a win for the company because we’re not just sending them random clicks, we’re sending them qualified leads – people who are already interested in that product or service.
And that’s where it becomes a win for us too, because if the viewer signs up and the company has an affiliate program then we’re able to receive a commission and generate income.
That’s why we love affiliate revenue and why we don’t do sponsored videos on our channel, so we can remain totally objective!
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, check out our complete guide on How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners.