Affiliate marketing is the practice of signing up individuals or business, known as affiliates, to promote a business’s products and services. In the digital age, most affiliate marketing takes place online. Here’s how affiliate marketing works: A company creates a marketing program offering compensation to affiliates who bring sales or qualified leads. Affiliates usually are website publishers, who then place the companys banner ads and links to its products and services on their websites. In some cases, the website publisher may shape blog post topics and forum discussions around affiliate products and services. Companies pay affiliates when people who visit the affiliates’ websites click the banner ads and links and respond as per the agreement make a purchase or share contact information, for example. Companies use tracking tools to determine which affiliates bring them customers or clients. Affiliates who sign up for your marketing program should be able to tap markets that your business cannot. An ideal affiliate marketer might be someone with a popular blog who has a mailing list of several hundred or thousand people interested in products and services in your niche. As a business owner, you can also join other companies’ affiliate marketing programs, especially those selling complementary products and services. Starting an affiliate marketing program can be an effective way for new small businesses to generate revenue quickly. Ensure that you spell out the terms and conditions of your marketing program in detail before signing up affiliates.