While many individuals still wonder how to make money online with affiliate marketing, the concept has become a huge part of business online, from the small hobbyist blogs all the way up to websites for Fortune 500 Corporations.  Even though many people find affiliate marketing questionable, for many other people and internet marketers, it has turned out to be very profitable for them.

Many people who wish to start an online business do not like the idea of having to sell products to people.  This is another reason that affiliate marketing has been able to make a big wave across the internet during the last ten years.

With affiliate marketing you do not actually sell merchandise.  Affiliate marketing is mostly a referral business and as an affiliate the main emphasis of your business would be referring individuals to products or services that interest them.  If a person that was referred by you purchases a product or service from a merchant that you are an affiliate of, you get paid a commission.

There are hundreds of affiliate programs that you can easily sign up with that represent 10’s of thousands of products that you can affiliate yourself with and earn a commission from.   

It is not necessary, but when promoting products to others having an interest in certain products can sometimes make it easier to promote.  Do some research of the different online markets and gather information relating to products that you would like to be affiliated with.  Research eBay and Amazon and see if any of the products that you would like to promote are already selling.

Put together a website based on the product you will be promoting.  Even though it is not required to have a website to be an affiliate, having one will make your online efforts more professional looking.

Sign up as an affiliate with any of the top affiliate marketing programs through services such as Clickbank, Paydotcom and Commission Junction.  These sites are payment processors and merchant marketplace directories for the actual merchants and products.  When you make a referral for a product your commission will be paid through these sites and not the merchant.  Check with each merchant that you register with for their commission offering which could be anywhere from $5 to $100 per sale depending on the product you become an affiliate with.

Begin your promotional campaigns that will help get the word out about your product offers.  There are many free methods that anyone can use to promote their websites from article marketing, blog posts, forum marketing, classified ads, social networking, social media, email marketing plus a host of other tactics.

As an affiliate marketer you can create an opportunity to make money online through many different methods as you are not limited to just a single avenue or approach. 

It is also recommended that you learn as much as possible about the affiliate marketing business, as it may be easy to set up and start, but there are many strategies and methods that will make money online for you if you follow them.