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Updating affiliate links in YouTube video descriptions in bulk – TubeBuddy

Affiliate programs change their affiliate links

Affiliate programs tend to change their platforms, including the custom links you use to get sales under your name. I know this because it has happened to me too many times. When you have a YouTube channel and you have these affiliate links in your descriptions, it’s very painful to go to all those videos and start changing the links one by one. In this video, I will show you how you can save a lot of time and do that in bulk with TubeBuddy’s Find and Replace tool. 

Additionally, at the end of the video, I’ll show you another way you should start using now to avoid even the need for using Find and Replace when affiliate programs change their links. This Find and Replace tool is also handy when you have a new website or landing page you want to add to all your videos. It could be that you uploaded the videos without adding descriptions and links, and now you need to go to all your old videos and add those links to your website and social media. In that case, TubeBuddy’s Find and Replace can also help you do that very quickly. Here is how to use it.

So, to start with TubeBuddy, you need to download the free app. The free app is for some other tools, but if you want to use the Find and Replace option, you need to have the paid plan, and for this, you need the Legend plan. You can see the link to the pricing page in the description. So first, download the app. It is free for other tools; you can do that by clicking on the download app, and then clicking on get.

Now, you return to the TubeBuddy website, and you need to sign in with your Gmail account. After you are in your new dashboard, you need to connect your YouTube channel. For the free account, you can have a few channels connected, but for the paid one, you need to choose one channel that you are going to work on. Then you need to upgrade your account to Legend if you want to use this tool and others. Now, pay for it and connect your right channel because you can connect only the channels for any paid plan. If you by mistake connected to a different channel, then you need to contact customer service so they will change the channel for you.

Now, when your channel is set, go to your YouTube Studio for this channel and find the Content tab. Here you have a few buttons for TubeBuddy. You need this one; click on it and find the Find and Replace Text tool.

Before adding the text for find and replace, you have a few choices for where to place the new text. You can find and replace, or add at the end of the description, or before or after the text you add in the first box. You can also completely remove text without changing it. Just choose what you need.

For example, if you have a promotion for a short time, you can add the text at the beginning of the description of all your videos. When the promotion ends, you can remove them in bulk. This also works if you have videos created about an affiliate product with a coupon and sale. You can add that coupon and remove it when the sale is over.

Next, there are two boxes. The first box is for the text you need to find. I copy it from my oldest videos so it will be the same words and links as I created it first, so it will recognize what I want to replace. Then, I copy the text from the default upload, but you can add any text you want to replace here. It’s not easy to edit, so I suggest you write it on Docs before you add it here, so you can see all of your text if it’s long.

After that, you have a few options under the text boxes. If you want to change the description or titles of videos, most of the time, you probably are going to use only the description option. Then you have a few examples and then click on the continue button.

On the next page, you have a few options on how to find the videos you want to replace the text. You can choose to find it on all of your videos, or you can limit this to 10 videos each time for faster processing. Another option is to use the video ID, and I’ll show you how to use this later in the video. You can also add playlists if you want to replace text in a specific playlist, which could be handy for adding text to videos on a specific topic. Alternatively, you can search videos with search terms in the last option.

After that, it will scan your channel to find the videos. Now, you get a list of all the videos that match your criteria. In my case, it’s based on the text I want to replace on all of my videos. You can see that videos that match have green text at the end of the line. You can choose manually which video you want to process for this find and replace, or you can click on the “All” button to select all the eligible videos. Now click on continue. If you didn’t find the right videos, you can go back and change the search terms.

Now it will start processing. This can take a few minutes, especially if you encounter some problems like I did. Some of the videos got errors. When I checked, it happened because I had longer text to replace, and on those videos that got errors, I had reached the maximum number of characters YouTube allows. So, it didn’t process them. But you can see on the other side, that other videos did process.

When it finished, before I closed it, I copied the ID list (you can see the blue text here), and then I pasted that on a document just to keep it for now.

Next, I opened this find and replaced the tool again. This time I made the text shorter so it would fit in the description even when it is almost at the maximum 5000 characters.

Then I got to the next page and put that ID list I saved from the other task and pasted it here. On the next page, it recognized this list, and I got all the videos right. Then I processed it again, and only one video didn’t pass this time. Again, it was because I reached the 5000-character limit YouTube has on descriptions.

Of all the TubeBuddy tools, I like this one. It saves a lot of time and can make money if you put links for affiliate products or your new product to sell.

If you use different affiliate programs, you might find yourself in a situation where they change the program, and you need to update all the links in your content. Sometimes, it’s not just on YouTube where you can use TubeBuddy’s Find and Replace. For such situations, I highly suggest using a service like Switchy.

With Switchy, you can use custom links of your own that redirect to the affiliate link from that company. When they change the links, you only need to go to the tool and update the link in Switchy, and it will change it everywhere you have your affiliate links.

This is also beneficial for your landing pages. If, in the future, you use different services or change the website for your landing pages, you’ll only have to update the links in Switchy. If you want to learn more about Switchy, you can watch the video in the description.

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