Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
I hear your concern. However, one reason I love affiliate marketing is because it tends to be the most affordable marketing channel. This is because you are only paying affiliates for people that converted on your site into an actual customer. It’s CPA — cost per acquisition. When you compare this to other paid marketing channels like Facebook or Adwords, you’re going to end up paying CPM — cost per impressions, or CPC — cost per click. In these cases you end up wasting a lot of money on people who do not become actual customers. This won’t happen with affiliate marketing. You do need to have some form of budget in order to be able to payout affiliates for the leads they send, but you’ll want it to be a percentage of the revenue you are making, so that your margins are high enough that you’re making money. I have seen affiliates make anywhere between 5%-40% of revenue. Keep in mind, the higher the commission rate, the harder affiliates will work to promote you and prioritize you as a partner.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.