Some people say that affiliate marketing is dead. I absolutely disagree. Promoting other people's products through an affiliate program makes strong business sense. You spend less time on product creation and website development and storage. All files other than your home page are kept at the sellers sites, so you have 0 maintenance on those products. The seller handles all the payments, product delivery and customer support. Not a bad deal for a percentage of the profits.
Affiliate Marketing is not simply a matter of tossing up a few links on your web page and having the money came rolling in. Affiliate products need to be a part of your overall system. Your system has to include at least 3 basic parts to make it work.
1. A killer home page. Your landing or home page has to grab your reader within the first few seconds. You need to provide good basic information on your chosen niche and not just a "SALES AD" Internet browsers see ads all the time. They need to see your page as something that intrigues them, and makes them want to learn more. It has to be visually appealing, with good integrated graphics, a great logo, and a opt in list sign up.
2. A opt in list offering more than just ads. Your opt in list should offer your subscribers free information on your chosen niche. You can offer a free report for signing up, a free email course on your chosen topic, and a news letter on a frequent basis with more information. Ads should not be sent out with every mailing, other than maybe a "for more information" link to a product related to the chosen weekly topic. Limit your solo ad mailings to every 10 days to 2 weeks, independent of your newsletters. Build a relationship with your subscribers and they will see the value of the offers you are sending them.
3. Good marketing. There are many ways to market your affiliate products and mailing list. Pay per click advertising is one, article submission is another. You can buy in line ads in newsletters that relate to your topic. You can post to blogs, either yours or others. You can also use social networking sites as a way to get your message out.
Select good products, and choose a reliable affiliate network to work through. There are many different programs available, from ones with monthly payouts, to programs that offer instant payment. Don't try and market 50 products right off the bat. Select one or two to focus your efforts on, add a new one every week or two, and keep the focus tight. Use affiliate offers as part of your overall marketing effort and you should see results.