The advantage of not having to spend the time and money to create your own product has made it one of the most popular ways to make money online.
Do not get discouraged by the high competition levels instead get excited because anything worth pursuing will usually have high competition.
There are many paths you can take to make money as an affiliate and it really depends on your budget.
If you have money to spend then using pay per click advertising like AdWords to drive traffic to your affiliate pages may be the best option for you.
There are many articles written on pay per click and how to use it to succeed so be sure to read those to learn more.
However most people come to the internet with a desire to make money but their budget is usually very low.
This means that using pay per click or any other paid advertising method may not be the best option as they can get expensive especially if you are new at it and are not able to create winning campaigns right off the bat.
This is why learning how to generate free traffic is essential.
Once you have more money from your internet business you can then move into pay per click and leverage your efforts further.
Niche selection is very important as an affiliate marketer.
Be sure to do your keyword research and make sure your niche has many buyers in it looking for a solution to a major problem.
Once you have picked out your niche the next step is to create a content rich site related to the niche you are in.
Use a site builder or a program like dreamweaver if you are not comfortable with html.
Make sure your site is focused on quality original unique content as this will be the biggest factor determining its long term success.
Selecting the right kinds of products to promote can also make a big difference.
You need to pick products that are of the best quality you can find.
Also if possible look for membership type programs that have recurring commissions as they tend to be the most profitable.
You can add the affiliate links discreetly in the articles of your site or at the bottom of the articles.
Do not flood your site with advertising as this will turn off many visitors and they will simply hit the back button or go to another site.
Remember that the ultimate goal of your site to get loyal repeat visitors.
This is why adding quality content that is original is so important and adding new content at least once every few days is important in order to give your loyal visitors something new on each visit.
Do not underestimate the power of your repeat visitors.
These visitors can count for ninety percent of all your affiliate income as they will be the ones most likely to buy from you since they already like and trust your site.
Search engine optimization is another important topic you must learn if you want to be able to generate free traffic.
However creating quality sites for your users is the first and most important step in doing well in the search engines.
If you want to drive more traffic to your site then the best free approach is probably article marketing.
What you need to do is write an article once a week or so on something related to the topic of your site.
Make sure your article is good quality content, no advertising pitches in the body, make it around 550 to 750 words.
The signature at the bottom of the article is where you get to place usually 2 links back to your site.
Submit your articles to major article directories like EzineArticles or use an article submission service.
The key with this method is creating quality articles and then doing it regularly and consistently.
In time you will get traffic from the article directories and also you get the added benefit of improved search engine ranking as the link popularity of your site grows.
Take action on some of these tips, learn from your experience and in time you will experience affiliate marketing success.