Starting out, you need only two affiliate programs, one to recommend physical products, the other for information products.
The clear winner for physical products is Amazon. For information products, the best one used to be ClickBank, but JVZoo has overtaken it this year.
Here's why Amazon and ClickBank are the two best options.
The Amazon Associates program is very well known. You use their links to promote certain products and you get a cut for every item bought through your links. Commission varies between 2% and 8%, depending on the product.
But every time someone lands on Amazon trough your affiliate link, you get a cut of everything they buy during that visit, not just the product you recommended.
This makes using the Amazon Affiliates program really powerful.
The way to leverage the program is to write product reviews on your blog. It is the simplest way to make money online, especially for beginners.
Once you've started making some money through your first few sales through the program, you can start to scale by reinvesting that money, and up your income.
There are loads of information products online. You could even consider the internet an information product. People, simply, use the internet to find information.
Much of that is free, but people are willing to pay for information that will make their lives better.
The commission you get by recommending these products can go up to 75% – a huge increase on what you get for physical goods.
It is much harder, however, to sell information products. Commissions are higher, but coversions are lower.
I would have recommended ClickBank before this year, but JVZoo has taken over for one reason.
There are more product launches on JVZoo.
Easy Way to Sell Information Products:
Product launches make it much easier to sell information products.
You do essentially the same thing as for physical goods, you write reviews and include an affiliate link people can use to buy the product.
Product launches are specific days when a new one goes on sale. You choose a product to review, you can see upcoming launches through MunchEye, write your review, include your link and use the hype of the first day to generate traffic and sales.
Since there are a lot more product launches on JVZoo this makes it much easier for someone starting out to make their first bit of money and attract traffic.
People searching for a review are nearly ready to buy something. That makes it easier to sell to them. And a good review helps them. It helps them not waste money on products not fit for them or time having to research all the details themselves. You're also not competing with the people who put out the product, in fact you are helping them.
Those things make reviews great for affiliate marketing.
You will have to work hard, but your reviews could be passively earning you money months or years down the road.