Effectively using the Internet has become one of the best ways to earn extra income from home. If you set up your system intelligently, you can potentially earn money every second of every day using the Internet: even while you sleep!

It is very possible to set up multiple, inexpensive businesses online that can earn you extra income. This makes it possible for people to realize a dream of working from home/on their own terms, spending more time as they wish, and oftentimes making more money than they would from a traditional job. While there are a million and one ways to make money online, one of the more popular methods is affiliate marketing.  

The Power of Affiliate Marketing

Most people are familiar with one of the early adopters of affiliate marketing but may not know it: Amazon. Amazon incorporated affiliate marketing into their strategy quite early, and to this day it still makes up a large chunk of their revenue. They have a vast number of affiliates that actively send millions of visitors to Amazon every day, and this results in millions of dollars in sales each day as well. If Amazon was losing money using this strategy they obviously wouldn't use it, so it should be quite obvious that it works.  

Affiliate Marketing Basics

There are two parties involved in affiliate marketing: the affiliate and the supplier. The affiliate is responsible for advertising for the supplier, and will often advertise the supplier's products on their own website, email list or other method. The supplier provides the actual product. A supplier will typically pay a percentage of the sale (i.e. commission) to the affiliate when a customer sent by the affiliate purchases something from the supplier. 

Affiliate IDs/Tracking Codes

The above all works seamlessly because the supplier provides each affiliate with their own unique tracking codes or link to keep track of which customer bought which product through the affiliate's own unique tracking code. 

If a visitor to an affiliate's site clicks on an affiliate link, they will be sent to the supplier’s site. The supplier site keeps track of the affiliate ID (i.e. tracking code) included in the link throughout the visitor’s entire session on their site. If they buy something, the supplier will know that it owes commission to the affiliate.

Applying for an Affiliate Program

If you are interested in promoting a certain supplier's products, you have to apply for their affiliate program. Often they will want to know how much website traffic you can send to them since traffic is really the king in online marketing. Many affiliate programs will accept new people to their affiliate program, but if you have experience and/or good traffic already, they will be even more willing to accept you.

Furthermore, if you can send them highly targeted traffic with high conversions, they will usually be willing to offer you a higher commission rate versus the rate they pay to new affiliates. All you need to do in this case is contact the supplier and pitch to them why you think you should be considered for higher commissions. 

Why You Should Use Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a popular way to make good money using the Internet. It is the best of both worlds and is a great place to start because it gives upcoming Internet marketers the chance to advertise and sell products without having to buy, store, or ship anything. You simply send targeted traffic to the supplier, and they will take care of the rest while you cash your commission checks.