In simple terms, Affiliate Marketing is where a business known as an advertiser or merchant will pay a commission to Independent Marketers who have blogs, websites or email lists for conversions or access to their audience.
The process is similar to an outside sales representative who promotes a product for a company and then is compensated when a sale or a lead is generated.
Sometimes, an Affiliate Marketer will be compensated based on the list they have even if none of the audience makes a purchase with the company.
Many people try their hand at affiliate marketing, but fail because they don't understand the work that is required to build credibility and an audience big enough to be successful. They think that if they advertise a product, people will come or they will get natural search rank.
Affiliate marketing is a business, and just like every other start-up business, you have to work hard to get the traction necessary to be successful and ultimately become an affiliate marketer, or even a Super Affiliate.
It's easy to get into affiliate marketing, but it is tough to make a dime if you don't know what you are doing in this business. Many people go to school for years to get an education on how to be successful in their chosen fields, and this industry is no exception, other than the school is on your computer and you have to be your own professor.
The great news is that some of the best affiliate marketers and even Super Affiliates don't have great writing skills, but they do have focus and have worked hard to get where they are. If you're dedicated and committed to spending years developing your business, you stand a better chance than not to figure out how to become a very wealthy person.