YouTube is a great platform to build an online business around. If you want to build a career off of YouTube, you need to learn how to use it to generate recurring income. Here, we show you how.

 If you want to learn how to be successful on YouTube, please download my FREE GUIDE.  YouTube Success In 3 Steps.

Affiliate Marketing

One of the quickest ways to start earning an income from your YouTube channel, is through affiliate marketing


You don't need to spend time developing your own product, instead you review and recommend ready-made products as an affiliate.  


You sell a product, the product vendor (or affiliate platform) pays you a commission

1. Amazon Associate (Affilate) Program

When you see people unboxing or reviewing products on YouTube, you are also likely to see a link in the video description that takes you to Amazon to purchase the product. 


This is the Amazon Associate program and the video host will receive between 2% and 10% commission for each item purchased.  This doesn't sound much, but if you are recommending high ticket items like cameras or drones, it can add up.


Also note that the Associate gets paid a commission on any other item the customer purchases in the same transaction.  So if they also add a tripod, a lens and a camera bag, then they get commission on those.


I know of YouTubers that earn several thousand dollar per month in Amazon commissions and remember that a video can stay on YouTube for many years so it can keep on giving. 

2. Software Affiliate Marketing

This is my particular favorite, mainly because it can be a source of recurring income.


If you make a video tutorial or do a review of a software product, you can add an affiliate link in your video description for viewers to sign up for a trial or purchase the product.


Most software products are delivered as a monthly or annual subscription and you get paid a percentage for as long as your referred customer keeps using the software.


Here are links to some of the products with the best affiliate programs.  And yes these are affiliate links so I will receive a commission if you sign up for a paid product.


Kartra:  40% recurring commission.  All-in-one marketing software (this page is built using Kartra)

ClickFunnels: up to 40% recurring commission. Sales funnel building software

ConvertKit:  30% recurring commission. Email autoresponder software

Drip:  30% recurring commission. Email autoresponder software

Leadpages:  30% recurring commission. Landing page building software

RightMessage: 20% recurring commission. Web chat software and segmenting tool.

TubeBuddy:  30-50% recurring commission. YouTube research and optimization tool.

VidIQ:  15-25% recurring commission. YouTube research and optimization tool.


If you like the product, sign up to use it, sign up as and affiliate and make a few sales and the cost of the product is covered. 


If you want to learn more about Affiliate Marketing, I recommend you sign up for my good buddy Pat Flynn's 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing course using the link below.  Pat built up a 7-figure online income just through promoting affiliate products.

Don't Forget Your Free Tools to Help You Grow Your YouTube Channel


Free Edition

Free tool to build landing pages and build your email list


Free Edition

Find the best video topics and beat the competition


Free Edition

Best tool for video SEO and optimizing your videos

The Digital Economy Truly Arrived In 2020

Like it or not, we are now in the digital economy.



The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown around the globe changed most people's daily habits to something unrecognizable. People had to work from home, others couldn't work at all because their job entailed close physical contact with others.



But, for some people, it was business as usual.



These were the people who had built an online business or knew how to take their business online.



Now, I not talking about Amazon or Facebook, I am talking about thousands of entrepreneurs who have chosen to build their business in the digital economy.



They have built their audience and find their customers through podcasts, blogs, and YouTube.



They communicate to that audience through Instagram and Facebook.



They sell products and services exclusively online. These range from online courses and membership programs to e-commerce operations selling skincare and health products.



Some, don't have their own products, instead, they are affiliates for other companies. They promote online courses, software, and electronics for up to 40% recurring commissions.



These are the Silent Earners

Building An Online Business

Many people have built highly successful online businesses using YouTube as their principal traffic source, and you can too.  


Unlike Instagram and Facebook, videos posted on YouTube can continue to appear in peoples' searches and suggested video feeds for many years. This can provide a consistent source of leads for an online business. 


So let's look at the process for doing this.

1. Start With Your Product Or Service

This may seem counter-intuitive, but bear with me.


If you are serious about building an online business and the income that results from it, you need to focus on where that income will come from.

Brendon Burchard recently sent me an email. In it he gave me his viewpoint on what is needed to succeed in 2020 and beyond. Here is what he said:


I think there are only THREE skills required to majorly win in this digital economy.

Those skillsets?

  • Create for online
  • Serve online
  • Sell online

These used to be for "lifestyle entrepreneurs." Now it feels like they are the modern equivalent of job security.


But what should you DO with that? How do we deploy these skills for a more abundant future for our families?


If you are going to create a product, there are only *FIVE things* that I would create and sell if I were you.


You don't need to create and sell all 5, but knowing these are the most popular and 100% virtual - no travel, no inventory, no office required - will really help you.


These are:

  • Virtual group coaching,
  • Paid live training,
  • Online courses,
  • Webinars (usually free, but often present the option to sign up for a paid program)
  • Monthly paid memberships/subscriptions.


Brendon is a New York Times Best Selling Author with a multimillion dollar online business, so I tend to listen to his advice.


You have to decide which of these products or services you have or want to create


From there you can build the sales funnel to drive traffic to this. 

2. Sales Funnels

If you downloaded my free e-book, you will know what a sales funnel is.  If you didn't, do it now.  The link is below or just click here.


Every successful online business has one or more sales funnels. 


So let's take a look at an example.


This is a funnel I built using Kartra.  It is designed to work in partnership with a YouTube video.  You make a video about a particular topic.  During the video, you offer the viewer the chance to learn more by clicking a link to register for a Webinar.

Once registered, the viewer turns into a lead on your email list and they are sent a series of emails reminding them to attend the webinar (pre-webinar reminder sequence). 


They watch the webinar where you educate them on the subject you cover in your paid course or membership. During the webinar, you offer them the opportunity to purchase the paid program for a special, limited time price and they are taken to a sales page.  


If all goes well, they become a customer.


If this all looks like a lot of work, don't worry I have this all built out in Kartra as a Done-for-you funnel.  It is available free to anyone who signs up as a Kartra user using my affiliate link. 


I like to look after my Kartra customers. 

3. List Building - The Leadmagnet Funnel

If you would like your audience to get to know you better, before you sell them a product or service, you may want to start by offering them something free to join your email list.


This is called a leadmagnet.  It is typically a PDF guide or e-book.  Sometimes it is a mini-course.


There are two things that are important about leadmagnets.


  1. They need to connect people to your paid product.

  2. They should be of high quality.


When I say they should connect people to your paid product, your leadmagnet needs to give them a taste of what they could learn if they purchased your paid product


There is no point offering a leadmagnet about fly fishing if your paid workshop is about gardening. Maybe that's an extreme example. but you get my drift. 


When I say "high quality" I don't mean it needs to be long.  In fact, it really should be short and easy to digest. People are short on time these days.  What I mean is that it should really help people and deliver great value so they come away thinking - "wow, if that is the free product, the paid product must be amazing!"



Again here is an example of a funnel that you can use to get people onto your email list using a leadmagnet.

Again you make a video about a particular topic.  During the video, you offer the viewer the chance to learn more by clicking a link to access the leadmagnet.


This link goes to an opt in form where they enter their name and email.  


They are automatically entered into an email sequence where they are immediately sent the leadmagnet followed by a series of emails.  


You are building your email list, which is a key component of every successful online business. 

Recommended Courses

To Build Your Online Business

Free Brand Building Course

Build You Own Brand


Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income takes you through Building Your Online Brand

Find Your Buisness Niche

Smart From Scratch


Pat Flynn's Course for Online Beginners Who Need Help Finding their Business Idea.

YouTube Masterclass

Video Ranking Academy

Sean Cannell's  premium course in building a successful YouTube business

Learn Affiliate Marketing

1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing

A comprehensive course on how to build a recurring income though affiliate marketing

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