There's a lot of myths and misconceptions about making a living with affiliate marketing. While it is a viable home business option, many "gurus" trying to sell you their systems, make it sound like you can set it and forget it. But affiliate marketing is like any home business; it requires a plan and consistent management.
Affiliate marketing is essentially a referral program. Businesses pay affiliate marketers commissions based on sales, clicks, or leads sent to them by affiliates. Amazon's Associates program was the first to really use affiliate marketing to help sell books. The genius of this type of selling system is that it doesn't cost the business anything upfront. They only pay when affiliates give results.
For affiliates, it's ideal because they can sell products or services without having to create or deliver them. Some Internet affiliate programs offer two-tiers to their programs, which means you can make money online selling products or services, as well as through others who you refer to the affiliate program.
Just about any home business with a website can profit by placing affiliate ads on their sites, but there are also many who pursue affiliate marketing as a full-time Internet business in and of itself.
The most successful affiliate marketers either use a funnel system or a blog (or both) to promote their affiliate products. Further, they also have an email list.