There are many ways to be successful as an affiliate, but this article lays out the process that we have found to be the most reliable and sustainable while still being very inexpensive. Many affiliates try to skip steps 2 & 3 and go straight from picking a product to immediately promoting it. This makes it really difficult to succeed, and doesn't set up your business for success, so make sure to implement the steps in the order they're listed here.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).
If you have an e-book or online course that you'd like to promote, ClickBank makes that easy. Once you sign up as a vendor you can list your product with them and set the commission percentage you are willing to pay to anyone who chooses to market and promote your product for you. Once your product is listed, other ClickBank users will start promoting it on their own websites. This will drive traffic to the sales page on your website and hopefully result in sales.
Mechanical Turk: Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a resource for doing human-intelligence tasks, or as the site commonly refers to them, HITs. You get paid a very small fee for any given HIT and you'll need a good deal of volume to make a substantial amount of money. But it is a resource you can use in your spare time to generate a small income online.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.