How to Use Affiliate Links Effectively
So, you want to use affiliate links, and you’d like the potential for a larger income, but you don’t want to alienate your audience. How can this be done? First of all, in spite of what’s been said above, if you’ve got nice equipment, list their affiliate links beneath your content. You don’t need to talk about it, and you shouldn’t expect it to pay the bills, but you show off your tech every time you stream, and if your audience thinks your content is of a high quality, they’re going to want to emulate you, should they ever decide to step on the other side of the mic themselves.
Also, when you do talk about your affiliate links, be honest about them. Fans know you'll be making a percentage off of these purchases, so don't hide that fact. When you can, embrace it as another way fans can support the content they love. For those that can't provide ongoing support through subscriptions, making sure part of another necessary purchase goes to the creator can provide another way to contribute, to be a part of the team, and embracing that narrative is the best way to talk about affiliate links without coming off as a shill. It's just another optional way to help.
Beyond that, though? Find unique stuff that fits you, things you believe in that also match your content, your brand, your personality. Need an example? Oh, I’ve got examples!
There’s a streamer I’ve followed. I won’t name names, but the important thing is his beard. His glorious, majestic, downy-soft beard. This guy’s facial hair is a big part of his brand. It’s on his channel’s logo. It’s in his emotes. He talks about it, how he takes care of it, makes it look glorious. Beneath his content? Affiliate links for beard care products. The ones he actually uses. Nobody accuses him of being a shill, because it’s clear he loves the stuff and makes regular use of it. This means he gets to talk about it, gets to tell his audience that, hey, if you’re going to buy the same stuff, use the link below so I get a cut. And, instead of getting grief, those that want to jump on in. It doesn’t hurt his brand, his content; it makes his voice stronger.
What makes you, you? Beyond the regular stuff, the equipment, the games, what’s unique to your world? These are the things to focus on when it comes to affiliate links. This will push you towards products that aren’t being sold by every other content creator out there, towards a marketplace that isn’t already oversaturated. And, as a bonus, it strengthens your voice, your public personality. It makes your content better.