Affiliate marketing is a broad term that refers to a sort of on-line revenue share scheme, involving advertising and selling. It dates back to late 1994, when many e-commerce sites started employing the system and finding that it produces fantastic results. Currently, affiliate marketing is actually a serious player within e-commerce strategy.
When an affiliate joins in with an e-commerce merchant of some sort (be it a subscription service, a shopping site etc…) payment is received through referrals done from the affiliate's website – done through the following methods
1)Pay-per click systems basically, the affiliate displays adverts on their site and is paid when a customer or internet user clicks on that website
2)RSS feeds or blogs – even personal sites can sit under this category. Blogging is fast becoming a staple form of marketing and promotion, and affiliate marketing partners well with this form of online communication
3)Comparison sites and shopping directories – such as review sites or legit advertising sites
4)Loyalty sites – this is when a reward system is in place via a cash back or points back system (or charitable donations)
5)Coupon sites that focus strictly on marketing and promotions
6)Email lists – legit email lists to subscribers of the affiliate's website etc – NOT spam
7)A registration path – when a person registers with a specific site, be it for a newsletter or subscription, offers from other companies are represented and advertised
8)Networks – there are many affiliate marketing networks. Some even function on a multi-tier or multi-level marketing sort of set up.
Source White Market