Okay, I’m probably not going to fully deliver on the promise of the title in this post, but at least this will be a solid starting point for your to discover the basics of affiliate marketing.

I take it for gratend that most people know what I mean when I tell them my business is a combination of consulting and affiliate marketing.

So let’s start with a definition.

Affiliate marketing is among the major ways that websites and bloggers generate revenue. Either through ads that are displayed on a website, or via links that are embeded as part of the editorial content, affiliate revenue typically comes in the form of a commission for a referral.

Perhaps the most well known affiliate program around is, where affiliates earn a portion of the proceeds from any sales that result from sending somone to the website. But affiliate programs extend deep into almost any industry you can imagine, from major categories like diet and weight loss, to more narrow areas like DIY woodworking.

For a step-by-step introduction to how to get stared generating affiliate revenue on your own site, Facebook marketing expert Kim Garst has a great introduction to How To Make Money On Your Blog With Affiliate Marketing.

But promoting anything and everything, just because it pays a commision, simply doesn’t make sense. You need to be focussed on delivering a specific range of solutions to your audience, who have a specific set of needs.

A good affiliate marketer knows their products. If you simply put a bunch of products on your website that you know nothing about, then this might hurt you in the end. When people start asking questions you won’t be able to answer to the best of your ability. Also, people who might be more knowledgable about those products may realize that you overlooked specific products from that category and realize that you aren’t an expert on that topic. So try to know the products you put on your site, that way things will go smoothly for you in the future. via: Ideas For Affiliate Marketers

In my business, I focus on helping small businesses and solopreneurs better understand and creating systems for marketing through online channels. I review lots of products and services before decinding they meet my standards (or provide enough value) to recommend to my clients and followers.

Some of the types of things I promote can be found on my resources page, which I’ve created specifically to address the regular questions I get from people asking for guidnace.

But my greatest resource for inspiration, connections to worthwhile products and services, and more, comes through NAMS, the Novice to Advanced Marketing System, where I am a lifetime elite member. Not only have I learned a ton from the other master online marketers in the NAMS community, but I’m also a proud affiliate of the programs, training, and tools they offer.

And not everything I promote involves a front-end cost to those I refer. For example, at NAMS, they offer weekly webinars on Tuesdays and live trainings on Wednesdays, where a ton of information is shared to help business owners move forward and grow. Plus, with a huge catalogue of training, tools, and other products, they’ve recently been offering a Friday Flash Sale to deliver more of their resources at a major discount.

…and, yes, there are upsells, and more offers on the other side of those links above, but it’s all increadibly instructive (and amazingly valuable as models) for those of us who aspire to master online marketing for our businesses.

And maybe even pick up a little extra passive income (or a lot) on the side.