There are several ways to start making money as an affiliate. The first thing you need to do is to find two or three three affiliates that you would like to promote. These should be products in the same general niche. A good place to start looking is on Clickbank, Commission Junction, PayDotCom or Affiliate First. You could also do a search in Google for affiliate programs. Do your homework. Check out their site and read their sales letter. Is this a program that you would buy? If not, move on to another program.
The next thing you need to do is to get a domain name and a reliable web hosting account, or you can set up a blog on one of the many blog websites. You want a web host or a blog site that can be depended on. Whichever way you go, be sure to check them out. There is nothing worse than having your website or blog goes down. If your host is down, you do not make any money, visitors can not access your site and your credibility goes down the tubes.
Now that you have picked out your products and have gotten your site set up, you need to start promoting the products on your site. The least expensive way is by writing articles. You can write articles relating to the general topic of your products or you can write a review of the products themselves. Do not forget to add your signature block with your web address. People need know how to find you on the web. Once you have your articles written, you need to submit them to the article directories. Once the articles are published, they will be read and, hopefully, picked up by other internet marketers and placed on their sites, emails or newsletters. These articles will be used with your web address which will create back links to your site.
You can also write an ebook and offer it for free on your website or blog. Yes, I said free. People love things that are free. When you write the ebook, you will be placing links to your site or blog, or you will use the affiliate link you received when you signed up with the affiliate program, though out the ebook. When the reader clicks on the links, it will take them to your site or to the affiliate's sales page.
Another way to promote your site is with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. The most popular PPC program is Google's adwords. You will need to set up an account and create your ads. It is best to set up a couple of small ads targeting a few keywords each. After you have your ads created, you will need to bid on keywords related to your products. To keep the costs down, you can set a limit as to how much is spent in single day. Please remember that PPC advertising can get very expensive, very quickly because every time someone clicks on your ad, you are charged for that click. By setting up more than one ad, you can also find out which keywords are getting the most traffic and concentrate on those more.
Do not get discouraged. It typically takes several weeks for the search engine spiders to crawl your site and get you listed in the search result pages. You will probably find that you will get traffic faster than the article directories as your articles are picked up and republished.