Do you want to make money from product links in your blog and YouTube descriptions, but you just don't know how people do it? That's ok! We all start somewhere. Let's break this down into a few easy to follow steps.
I'm going to pick on Amazon for this example, but most of these guidelines apply to other affiliate programs as well. Amazon does a good job making it easy for us to access their program and start earning without having to know a ton of boring stuff.
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is just a fancy way of saying "money-making link". Let's say you use a certain product (blue paint by Liquitex Basics). You use this specific blue paint in your art videos or in your how-to blogs. Rather than simply putting a link to this paint from Amazon in your description, you use your "money-making link". With this "money-making link", both you and Amazon benefit from someone buying this product.
Tip: You could use websites like Bit.ly to shorten the Regular Amazon Link.
Amazon Affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2DGGnW8
Who can get affiliate links?
You can convert your personal Amazon account into a business account, or sign-up with a new business account. When I signed up, I converted my personal account to a business account and used my EIN to sign-up.
With a business account, you can track analytics and metrics easily.
How do you get an affiliate link?
After you have signed up and are signed in, go to the Product Search page and type in your product. From there, find your product in the list, and click "Get Link". You can choose the long or short version of the link.
Copy this link and paste it in your description. Done!
Make it clear the links you are providing may contain affiliate links!
This is from Amazon's Appropriate Conduct page:
"[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com."
How much do you get PAID?!
The more people click on your affiliate links, the more likely you are to earn some serious cash. Amazon has an extensive fee schedule that explains in detail how much you would make if someone buys an item. You even make money from other products they buy within the first 24-ish hours.
Just like every other major program from a major company, the rules are complicated and they might change from time to time. It's best to read up and know what you're in for if you want the fine print:
Should you sign up?
All in all, this is a good program to be part of. There are thousands upon thousands of products to choose from, and you can make a percentage of someone's purchases just because they clicked on your link. Sounds like a good deal to me!