Let me explain with an example:
Let us assume that I have a website where I sell some cool T-Shirts. In order to increase the number of sales I tell my friends to bring in customers and if their customers buy any T-Shirts from my site then I will give a percentage of the income form that sale to my friends.
Thus my friends will earn commissions on the sales that are generated from the customers they bring. Such scheme can be called an affiliate program.
Affiliate program are simply schemes where people need to bring customers to some websites in order to do some desired task. And if a lead is made then commission will be given.
There are many sites where affiliate programs are offered. Some are related to shopping, some are related to hosting etc.
This work is easy to do?
Actually, this is a tough business. Bringing in targeted customers is not easy. If you do not want to wait for a long time and if you cannot take the risk of seeing no results even after hard work: then I suggest you choose any other business like freelancing, Forex etc instead of only relying on affiliate business.
What do you need to start this business?
The first thing you need is a website where you can promote the affiliate program. This website needs to have excellent/informative content. And this website needs to get targeted traffic.
The second thing that you need is the knowledge about the products that you want to promote. There has to be a very good reason for the customers to first visit your site and then from there they will go to the site where they can actually buy the product.
If your site does not provide real, neutral and useful information about the products that you are promoting then why will users come to your site instead of going directly to the site where they can purchase the products?
In order to be successful in affiliate business you will need lot of targeted traffic. If content in your site is excellent then it will automatically attract visitors from search engines.
Honestly speaking: earning money via referring affiliates is not a Joke. Many people suggest entering this business only if you already have a well established website that gets lot of targeted visitors. The better thing to do would be to first learn about building websites and then learn what SEO is and then slowly move forward.
How much money can you make?
There are so many factors which will determine your earnings. For example: how much targeted traffic does you site gets? How much money will you earn per Lead or Sale?
It is not possible to tell exactly what you can earn but if you work hard and if your site gets lot of targeted traffic then earning $3000+ per month just from affiliates is quite possible.
Can you really do this kind of work?
Do you think that you can write some really good information about a niche/topic?
For example: Let’s say that I love to play PC games and that I can write some really useful reviews of PC Games. Now I can start a website about game reviews and I can join an affiliate program of a site that sells different kinds of games.
So if you can make a very useful and informative website And that you are willing to learn SEO then Yes you can be successful in affiliate business.
Remember: in order to be successful in affiliate business, you may have to wait for a long time before you will see any good results.
Step one is to make a useful website:
Step two is to do SEO: you need organic/targeted traffic.
Step three is to search for any affiliate programs that are related to your website. One excellent website is CJ: this website manages Affiliate programs of thousands of Advertisers. You will surely find relevant affiliate programs at CJ that will convert well in your site.
And if you are interested in making your own site to start affiliate business: then you can go here to learn how you can build websites.