If you're new to affiliate marketing, one of the easiest places to not only learn about affiliate marketing from some of the great products but also how to get started promoting products is Clickbank. This is a marketplace of electronic products that you can start promoting any number of different products from dozens of different categories. It's good because they have a relatively high payout per sale. Unlike some affiliates that pay a small percentage of a retail product, you'll typically be making about $20 - $60 per sale which allows you to get less sales to achieve your financial goals.
Most affiliate networks require a website and an application process. One of the more well known affiliate networks is commission junction. Google now has an affiliate program as well. You can also find dozens of other affiliate networks by doing some simple searching on the internet for keywords like affiliate network or affiliate programs.
CPA Networks are another type of network you can use to generate revenue. These can be easier to get a conversion because you're not asking someone to buy something, instead, you're asking someone to take some action, like fill out a form or complete a survey. Companies will pay you for this information or the work to get the leads.
You can promote affiliate programs through classified ad websites. Some easy ones to use for affiliate programs are backpage.com, usfreeads.com, adoos.ca, and check out as many local classified ad sites sponsored by either local newspapers, tv or radio. The benefit to these types of sites are that they have built-in promotion. The radio, tv and newspaper will typically promote through advertising their own classified sites which means they will get traffic. Craigslist is also a good option but must be used with care simply because Craiglist will "ghost" your ads which basically means they won't make it to the category listings on Cragislist which will severely limit their visibility.
Article marketing is one of the best ways to promote affiliate products. Depending on which article directories you use, the idea is to write the article on a topic that is related to the product you'll be trying to promote and submit that article to article directories. The idea is to submit unique articles so that the search engines rank those articles which gets traffic to the articles and clicks to the links in your "resource box" or "author profile". I've found from personal experience that the click through rate for people who click on the links in your resource box is anywhere from 5 to 15 percent depending on the article and the specific call to action in the resource box.
You can use social media websites to promote an affiliate program as well. Some social media sites that are easy to use and easy to setup are Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, Ning.com and several others sites similar to this that allow individual users to setup free accounts and create pages with whatever content they choose. These social sites typically have guidelines and some have regulations that might affect what you do to promote specific affiliate products. If you provide good solid advice and content, you'll be ok with most of these types of sites.
Blogging is perhaps the easiest way to get a website created without having to learn html or some new software. Blogs can be used to discuss benefits of ownership of a specific product (which you'll promote as an affiliate) or some service that you can also promote as an affiliate. One key to success with blogging is consistency. If you can be consistent with your blogging, you'll add a lot of power to strategy.
Building and developing a traditional website can work well to promote affiliate products. This isn't far off from blogging and many traditional websites use a blog platform simply to manage the content and for how easy it is to work with the search engines. Wordpress is a good example of this type of blog that can be hosted on your own hosting account.
Pay per click advertising is another way to drive traffic to your website or affiliate program. This is one of the methods that can have the best results based on the ability to track visitors and what actions they take based on what words they just searched for. With this knowledge comes significant power because if you can approach pay per click advertising scientifically and make this a "numbers game", you'll always be able to get traffic, test what converts and what doesn't and keep what works and drop what doesn't. This is a sure way to be profitable if you can get past the initial expense of the learning curve.
These are only a few of the methods of promoting affiliate products. My advice is to pick one, spend a little time learning more about it and then start doing. There are things about affiliate marketing that you'll never know until you try. Plus, you can't make any money by just learning about this stuff. Come up with a solid plan and start promoting. Start with the options that don't have a high cost and go from there. Good luck!
In addition to writing articles similar to this one, I also promote [youtube.com/watch?v=9g7cFqjq72E This video is unavailable].