I’m sure there are a few that don’t have a clue what an affiliate is or what an affiliate web site does. Affiliates are about bringing possible customers to meet online merchants. It’s like a virtual introduction that combines product promotion with advertising.
You for sure have passed through some affiliate web sites and didn’t even know it. Their job is to gain visibility through Search Engine Marketing and hand off their traffic to trusted merchants that they have a formal relationship with. If a sale is made there is a small commission from the merchant to the affiliate. The customer pays no more than if he had gone directly to the merchant site. It’s a very competitive and ever changing environment.
Most affiliates and merchants are linked together by Affiliate Networks like shareasale.com that handle all the sales tracking. Give them a try if you ever feel like taking a stab at this type of Internet business. They have high standards and are respected in the industry.