Affiliate marketing is probably one of the easiest way to make money on the internet. You are basically acting as a commission only sales person on behalf of a company, and when you achieve a sale on their behalf you are paid a percentage of that sale. Depending on the type of product, and the program you are promoting, this will be anywhere from 5% right up to 75%.
When you join any affiliate program you will be given a link to promote. Your job is basically to send traffic, or visitors to that link. Anyone that completes the action required, be it a sale or completing a form or registering with a service, will result in you gaining your commission payment.
What makes the affiliate model so great for the complete beginner is that you do not need your own product and do not need to deal directly with the customer in any way, as order fulfillment and any customer service tasks are dealt with by the merchant you are representing. Often you do not even need your own website, as you can send traffic in many cases directly to the merchants website. This is called direct linking and is by far the easiest way to start.
As you progress however the best way to grow and build a business is to send the traffic to your own website, and from there to the merchants site. This will also allows you to possibly capture more details about the people you are sending to the merchant. Including their e mail address, and by doing this build a mailing list. This will give you the advantage of being able to send them follow up messages, and also allow you to pitch related products to them.
However assuming you are just starting in the affiliate marketing world, by using direct linking to a merchant web page, there is no reason why you couldn’t be up an running within a few hours. It’s just a matter of registering with an affiliate program and getting your link to promote.
Finding affiliate programs you can promote is very easy. You can go to almost any company website scroll down their homepage and find a link that says something like affiliates or partners or make money, this will be a link to their program, most will have one. Alternatively join an affiliate network like commission junction or ClickBank, there you will find thousands of companies or products to promote. Commission junction being mostly physical products or services and ClickBank being mostly digitally delivered informational products and software. Both these networks are great places to start looking.
There is much more to learn, but these are the basics of affiliate marketing. There is no shortage of advice available on the subject. Including books, websites and internet forums, all of which can help you to expand your knowledge and make a success of your online business. Give it a try and start looking forward to spending your first commission check.