How to Create Clickable Subscribe Links for Your YouTube Videos

Today is day seventeen of the video blogging challenge, and we’re in the fourth week of a six-week challenge.

I created a video to show you how to create a “clickable subscribe link” for your videos by using the annotations feature inside of YouTube video manager.

If you don’t care to watch the video, I include the text too.

Watch the Video:



Start by going to your video manager, inside the Creator Studio. To do this, go up to your avatar, click on it and choose Creator Studio.

Click the Creator Studio Button

Click the Creator Studio Button

Once you get to Creator Studio, click on the Video Manager link to make your videos list on the screen. Choose the video you want to add a link to.

I created a video specifically for this exercise, so I’m going to click the “Edit” button for that video. Once you get to the next screen, click on “Annotations” and you’re ready to get started.

Click the Annotations Link

Click the Annotations Link

Next, click the +Add Annotations button and choose which type you want. All the selections add a link to your video except the “Title” one. Click the “Note” selection for now.

After you have clicked the “Note” selection, a blank box appears on your video screen and the timeline. Type your text into the note box to see the text added to the annotations box.

I typed in the word, SUBSCRIBE. You can keep the font normal or bold, white or black, and you have the option to change the background color or keep it transparent.

Type your note

Type Your Note

You can’t left or right justify or center align your text. Nor are you able to change the font style. YouTube offers minimal choices.

Additionally, you should see a box on the timeline that has a red marker on the front and the back of the box. The front red designates the starting time of the annotations and the back marker designates the end time for the annotations.

You can move it around with your mouse and stretch the box along the timeline to set start and end times for your “Subscribe” link. Play with it to get a feel for how it works.

Set the start and end time for annotations

Drag to Set the Start and End Times for Annotations

How to Add Your Subscribe Link

Click the radio box that says, “Link” to open more options. Under the Video pull-down menu, choose “Subscribe” as a type of link you want to create.

Type the name of your YouTube channel into the box under the Link radio box, and click the “Preview Link” to ensure that it hops over to your video channel.

Preview Your YouTube Channel Link

Preview Your YouTube Channel Link

If the preview link takes you back to your YouTube channel, the link is working, and you can click the blue “Publish” button to save your annotations.

Go Back to the Dashboard

Return to your YouTube video dashboard and click on the “Video Manager” link. Find the video you republished and play it to the annotations you added.

Click the “Subscribe” link and verify that the newly added annotation link is working correctly.

Do you add clickable links to your videos? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,

– Bonnie

P.S. Did you enjoy this message? If so, please share it with your friends so they can benefit from schmoozing. Then, if you want to get more messages like this one, connect with me via my social links below or hop aboard my notification list. I would like to keep in touch.

About Bonnie Gean

Bonnie is a full-time writer and marketer with over 20-years of experience as an entrepreneur. She loves helping people overcome the technical challenges associated with an online business. Need a step-by-step tutorial? Simply ASK her and she'll help you too.

Join the Discussion

  1. Great video Bonnie – I need to add this to my videos from now on. Thanks.

  2. I’m not quite at this point of videos, but it’s a great tool. I’m going to come back to this when it comes to adding the links if I struggle to figure out how to do it myself. Thanks, Bonnie!

  3. Very useful info thank you for sharing Im new to blogging and havent posted videos yet but am eager to try now

    • I hold video blogging challenges (and we’re doing one right now, which lasts for another 10 days), so if you would like the support for doing videos – I would love to have you join us!

  4. THANK YOU! I have been wondering for months how to do this! Your post makes it look so easy. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  5. This is a great tutorial, Bonnie. I love that it’s so easy to follow. I haven’t put up any videos yet but I’m sure I’ll be referencing this post when I do.

    • You could do video for your toy and game review site, Avery! Even if you used PPT presentation style videos, at least you would get more coverage in Google searches that lead back to your website.

      Why not add a LINK to the end of the video so people can click and go to your website to read the entire review?

  6. Bonnie, What a handy tip for adding a subscribe link to video. I will definitely reading this again when I get to doing my videos. :-)

  7. I’ve been using annotations and titles and playing with the editor on youtube for a while now. I haven’t done the link thing yet, though.

    • You’ve made several videos by now, Jenn. Why haven’t you used the annotations to send people to your website reviews? Are you doing affiliate marketing?

      Seems to me, this would be a great way to add visitors to your product review pages.

  8. A great simple tip Bonnie! I do use annotations, not enough though!

    • I’m enbarassed to admit it, but until I did this video to show others how to add the subscribe link, I never added a single annotations to my videos before!

      Can you say, DUH?

      Now I have more than 150 videos on YouTube… it means going back and adding subscribe links and/or CTA links to my blog. Good grief, sometimes it takes months for me to realize I missed the boat. :) Haha

  9. This is so cool! I am going to have to read the other videos in this series to learn how to maximize my content on Youtube!! Thank you so much!

  10. Excellent step-by-step tutorial, Bonnie! It’s good to know. I do have this on some of my videos, but need to make sure it’s on them all, at least the ones on YouTube. The ones on my blog are embed from Wistia.

    Thanks a lot.
    – Carol :-)

    • How is Wistia working out for you, Carol? What’s the reason you went with them rather than placing all your videos on YouTube?

      I heard about Wistia once before but never had a chance to check them out. Perhaps when I get a free moment, I can check into their services.

      Like you, I need to add more clickable links to the end of my videos! I just don’t like the job of doing it that’s ahead of me. ROFL

  11. I like Bonnie the way you present these How-To videos. They are clear and easy to follow. Providing video, text and pictures is awesome. I am sure that those seeking these skill can benefit from your blog. HUGS <3

  12. How interesting, Bonnie! Always wondered how videos had the clickable link! I am going to enjoy your blog! :) I just subscribed. Thank you!

    • Welcome aboard, Vidya! Glad to hear the tutorial was of interest to you! I love helping, so if there is something you want to learn – just ask! You would be helping me out (by giving me something to do) as much as I help you learn what you need to know! :)

  13. Thanks for this great demo, Bonnie Gean. I think I have tried a few times to add clickable links with no success. I will have to try again and see what happens.

    As you know, I love a good tip video and yours is right on target. I appreciate the step-by-step approach.

  14. Bonnie,
    You’ve solved a problem/question that so many people have. This is a great and simple tutorial. Thanks!

  15. Gosh, yes!
    These are really good tips Bonnie.
    I only use youtube for listening to music, but I could put it to better use!

    • When I can’t sleep, I will turn to YouTube and watch X-Factor videos. :)

      Do you create videos for your business, Sophie? If so, you could use the annoations to increase web traffic or get more subscribers for your YouTube channel.
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…TutorialsMy Profile

  16. A lot of useful info there. Great work. Dropping by from the UBC.

  17. Oh awesome! I’m not vlogging yet but that’s my next step and this is really helpful info! Thanks for sharing!

    • No problem, Ashley. I am glad you liked the tutorial. You might want to bookmark the page so you have it on hand when you start vlogging.

      Why haven’t you started vlogging yet? What’s holding you back?
      Bonnie Gean recently posted…TutorialsMy Profile

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