Affiliate marketing is one of the most fulfilling online money making opportunities there is. Jupiter Research recently revealed that affiliate marketers were in 2008 paid over $2.1 billion. This is a staggering amount. You should become a part of this marketing program and enjoy some of this money.

In affiliate marketing, a company pays you for promoting their products and services on your blog. There are no huge barriers to entry or exit. All you need is an innovative mind, regular access to the internet and persistence.

Your first step should be to create a blog or a website. You will then promote the products and services of the target companies through this website and they will then pay you for the service in return. You can procure the services of GoDaddy or Hostgator to set up a website.

Your second step should be to decide upon which product and/or service you are going to promote. This is a very crucial part of the process so take your time and do some research on which products and/or services are not only easy to market but also have the best pay rates in the industry. You should then develop the content of your website so that it matches the content of the products or services you intend to market.

Your third step should be to choose an appropriate affiliate-marketing program that resonates with your product choice. For instance, Clickbank, PayDotCom and E-junkie all augur well with products such as software and e-boos while Commission Junction is suitable for traditional products and services. Google Ad Sense is also a widely used and highly profitable affiliate-marketing program.

As soon as you join any one of these affiliate-marketing programs, they will give you a unique code that you will then use to refer traffic to your blog or website. The affiliate-marketing company uses this code to verify whether the customers making online purchases are doing so after seeing the links to their products on your website. This is an example of the per sale payment method.

Either you can receive your pay through per click, per lead or per sale method depending on the type of affiliate marketing program you opt to join.

The affiliate program also enables you to keep track of your earnings in real time. You can therefore know how much you have made at any given time.