Online affiliate marketing began as a natural outgrowth of the popularity of “linking” to other sites. To put it simply, online affiliate marketing is a time tested strategy for making money online. It it is a network of online partners who refer business to your website.It does not matter whether you have a website that sells a product or a website that has nothing to sell. But by adding online affiliate programs, you can not only add value to your website, but also maximize potential revenue.Affiliate Programs, they say are the ideal way to make your website profitable.Online affiliate programs began in the mid – 1990’s and are currently a popular way to earn money online. In fact, research shows that affiliate marketing is the most cost-effective way to generate online sales. The concept of revenue sharing paying commission for referred business, predates affiliate marketing and the Internet. The translation of the revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce happened almost four years after the origination of the World Wide Web in November 1994.The simplest way is to just introduce your visitors to the business opportunities, products and services that they need, and, make money based on commissions from these sales. In fact, online affiliate marketing is a great work from home business available to anyone with a computer and a desire to run their own affiliate business.However, there is a catch to affiliate marketing. That is to say over 80% of affiliates never get a check over $100, the 15% get the occasional check and it is the remaining 5% who really get monthly checks of any real size from affiliate programs.To get started in affiliate marketing, you must know the fundamentals. For which you’re going to need an affiliate marketing guide to teach you the basics. Once you’ve studied the basics and grasped the “idea”, I don’t think there is any looking back.Now, there are dozens of books advertised on various websites, making claims of massive earnings that can be achieved easily. Most of these guides are resell rights of other peoples’ ideas which are marketed under the marketers’ name. Now, there will be a time you may be doing the same thing what they are doing now. This is a natural phase most people go through and isn’t that what affiliate marketing is all about!I am not saying those books are bad. But there are better ones out there. There is The Affiliate Marketers Handbook and the Super Affiliate Handbook. Recently, another book that is drawing much attention, purely because of the number of sales it has generated in such a short time is the Rich Jerk. The name justifies his character and the book in general, doesn’t convey much. However, the ideas he has put forward seem to work and as a result the book seems to be on top of the charts. Now what more can you say, but to commend on his niche idea.You can also look for more such good product(s) and which are in high demand from the ClickBank Mall. Just type “affiliate marketing” or affiliate marketing guides and you would get instant access to loads to such products. Provide them your credit card details and voila! you can instantly download the book of your choice. What more do you want – you have a product with no investment which you can market and make money.Although most affiliate marketing books are good in their own way, what boils down is to how you implement the knowhow you gained from it practically. Although this may take up some some time, it is to be noted that no books nor any marketing courses can come anywhere close to pure practical experience. Some good affiliate guides are given below in the resources section.Learning to market on the internet as an affiliate is only step one. If you’re serious about online affiliate marketing, then you have to plan and set up a basic affiliate campaign. This is a start to finish campaign to getting started in affiliate marketing. It explains keyword research, finding profitable partners and markets, information on affiliate networks, guides and resources to making money online.There is relatively an easy way to make a parallel income during the early stages of your online affiliate marketing home business. It can also help you avoid the common mistakes most of us make during that period. I am quoting this from personal experience.Try and get hold of a FREE Web Page, containing a few successful affiliate programs. There are a few companies that give away such a page so that newbies can get a feel of what affiliate marketing is all about. You can use it and learn how to run an affiliate campaign, at the same time learning the ropes of affiliate marketing. If you market this well, the chances are you will make money. Your main and only job would be to advertise your FREE website, by submitting it to search engines, e-mail it to friends, colleagues and others. If all goes well, within a month or so you shall see some income trickling in.In addition to that, you also get familiar with search engine marketing, affiliate networks and affiliate directories, and other areas of online affiliate marketing.Once again, welcome to the world of online affiliate marketing and home business.