As an affiliate, you do actually work for another company or merchant, but you're not an employee on a fixed (strict?) timecard-and-punch-clock schedule. You sell either products or services depending on your particular skills and talents. Affiliate programs are great for those that are creative, self motivated and not afraid of hard work. When you become an affiliate, the corporation takes on the risk. You can sign on to sell products or you can sell services. You can work to increase website traffic to other sites and receive affiliate referral payments, or you can create your own sites ad make money through ad revenue. The choice is entirely yours.
IF you are just starting out, you may want to join and affiliate program that has been established. You won’t be competing with other internet giants and you’ll gain some necessary skills and experience. One well known affiliate program is the one that originally go it all started with the first affiliate program known as the Amazon Associates program. Another well-known affiliate program is LinkShare which is a network of merchants and publishers utilizing each others services to accomplish their eCommerce objectives.
Other affiliate marketing networks are ClickBank, Shopzilla, Commission Junction and Google Affiliate Network. Each of these affiliate networks have their own criteria for acceptance of new affiliate entities, but they all share the common objective of creating online sales and driving forces in the eCommerce marketplace. In addition to affiliate networks already mentioned, there are a number of independent sites marketing and promoting their own product/service that will invite you into their affiliate program pursuant to certain terms and conditions relating to your commissions, bonuses or other method(s) of compensation, but the bottom line is the same as the larger networks: Sell my product/service and I'll pay you a percentage of the sale (and maybe a bonus too)
Listed below are some of the networks mentioned in the post.