Have you found yourself wondering about affiliate marketing what it is, and how you can use it to make easy money?

Affiliate marketing is simply a way to generate income online. You as a publisher for a company’s products pay for marketing the products or services they offer. There are all kinds of ways that products, services, or websites can be promoted. In many instances, it entails you as the publisher being paid a commission when a visitor clicks through a link on your website or blog that takes that visitor to another site where they can buy products or services.

Commissions are usually calculated as a percentage, however, occasionally they are a fixed rate per conversion. Conversions are tracked a few ways. The most common is that you receive your own code that identifies you. When you as the publisher place links this code is embedded in those links, which is how the advertiser is able to monitor the conversions and pay the appropriate publishers the appropriate amount of money.

Another option is when the publisher pays a fee when a visitor is referred and then that visitor acts in some manner. For example, he/she signs up for a newsletter and gives their email address, or completes an online survey and gives his/her name and address.

Sometimes the advertiser provides you the publisher a coupon code that you will provide to your visitors and the advertiser will track paying appropriately. Of course, that’s the short of it all. It’s a little more in-depth than this, but that gives you an understanding of how it all comes together.

The idea of getting paid a commission for referring a visitor to your site was being used prior to the online world and affiliate marketing. E-commerce came into being just four years after the World Wide Web came to be.

Amazon was one of the first to implement an affiliate marketing program. There were others back then but none were anywhere near the size of Amazon. They began their affiliate program in 1996 and today they generate billions of dollars in sales through their affiliate program.

Today, e-commerce is huge online, and affiliate marketing is just as huge. In 2006 affiliate marketers generated an estimated 7 billion dollars in sales and it’s estimated that number has now doubled. There is tons of easy money to be made online through affiliate marketing. The only question is will you recognize the potential here and enjoy the revenue, or will you miss out on an excellent opportunity.