Affiliate is a word synonymous to "referrer". If you are into affiliate marketing, this means that you are the intermediary link between the owner of the goods and the clients.
The owner of the products and services that are being sold online is called the merchant. But the merchant does not market his services directly to his customers. For that job, he relies on middlemen like you, who are the affiliates.
Simply put, you are only the person who is making the sales happen. You are the salesman, who receives his money as a part of the commission that he makes from his sales.
So if you make no sale, you get no money.
To promote a product in order to earn revenue from the sale, you will need an affiliate program. The programs actually help you by driving the traffic of visitors to your site. It is very difficult to choose the right affiliate programs, since there are so many of them out in the Web world, and only a few that you can blindly trust.
More importantly, when the companies that you are working for go under, they might not even let you know, so that your payouts turn out to be very small, and sometimes, months go by and you never get to see your payday.
The affiliate marketing mainly depends on the craft you possess in marketing goods and services to the clients. This will determine your success and failure in this business.
About the Author: Christopher Freville - If you are interested about the best affiliate marketing programs and how you can earn through it, you might want to consult the works of Christopher Freville who is one of the most successful online base entrepreneurs. You can visit his site for more information on affiliate marketing tactics.