Are you familiar with YouTube stars like Hannah Hart, Jenna Mourey (Marbles), The Gregory Brothers, or even Justin Beiber? The online video platform has really come into its own, serving as a launchpad for many now-mainstream stars as well as grooming its own web celebrities and original content. Many bloggers now use YouTube as a supplement to their written material or host their blog exclusively on Youtube (video blogging, aka “vlogging”). Using video can be more than just a supplement to your content, though; monetizing your vlog can supplement your blog income.
YouTube’s monetization strategy relies on display and video ads (which often have a “skip” button). Users can join the Youtube Partner Program, as long as they meet certain criteria. In the program, content producers are invited to host ads on their videos in exchange for a cut of the ad revenues from YouTube. Part of the partner agreement is that you keep your revenue rates a secret, so estimating potential income can be difficult, but current YouTube advertisers speculate that it is around $0.80-$2.50 per thousand views.
First, check out this example from Juicy Couture where they use product links to make what is a mix between a video catalog and an interactive shopping experience:
Channels in good standing can use annotations to easily add clickable elements to their YouTube videos, too! Once you upload the video, just click “Add Annotations” and start linking. There are limitations on what can be linked to (most outbound links are a no, unfortunately), but you can include links to your website so it’s a great way to drive traffic. More advanced users can add corresponding graphics over which they can place the links that they want (check out this how to video). You can also add affiliate links to the “Info” section of your videos with the Skimlinks URL shortener.
As with most affiliate linking, as long as the links are value adding, YouTube won’t remove them. Be sure that you are linking to relevant products and merchants. And remember- disclosure is everything! Be sure to include a note in your video’s information section or on your profile that tells your viewers that you are using affiliate links!