If you are thinking about jumping into the affiliate game, you are what is known as a newbie. Don't worry about. Everyone started somewhere.
First things first - how does an affiliate program work? Well, the basic idea is that you get paid if a person you send to the site of a company offering the program takes some action desired by the company. You might automatically think that this means they have to buy something, but some companies will pay you merely if they visit the site or just request information. Google Adsense, for instance, pays you by the click. Make sure to read the fine print of the affiliate program to be sure.
The next issue is understanding your budget. Most people start out with little or no money, so you need to create a web presence on the cheap. This means you probably want to start with a free hosting service. These services are a dime a dozen and we don't really have any particular recommendations. Why are they free? They usually place some ads on your site. Obviously, you want as few ads as possible.
Another option that is popular is to go with a free blog program. Everyone has their favorite, but blogger.com is pretty popular and easy to use. The program is owned by Google, so it has a certain amount of credibility. You can use the program to write articles and generate traffic through having people sign up to follow your blog. Within the body of your blog, you can place ads and such include Google Adsense.
Regardless of the approach you take, you are going to need to figure out a way to generate interest in your site or blog. Simply put, how do you get people to visit it and, subsequently, click through to the companies you are promoting? As you can guess, an entire library of books have been written on the subject.
If you have no or little money, which is usual, the best option is to start writing and publishing articles. If you follow their guidelines, these sites will accept your articles. People can then read them and visit your site. Alternatively, other websites can republish your articles on their sites so long as they credit you with a link to your site. People who visit their sites can then click through to yours as well - another way to generate traffic.
Aazdak Alisimo writes about affiliate programs. To find information on affiliate commission programs visit AffiliateCommissionPrograms.com.