History Affiliate marketing in truth predates the Internet. The idea of sharing profits for a product that someone sells online began in 1994 nearly four years after the advent of the Internet. While there is some confusion as to who started the first online affiliate marketing program, there are those who say Jeff Bezos of Amazon was. However, it appears that in actuality the adult industry, and Cybererotica, in particular, with its cost-per-click program, was the first to implement an online affiliate marketing program. Function Online affiliate marketing when done correctly, and pursued over the long-term can be quite lucrative. There are those who have made millions and those who only make a tidy monthly sum which allows them to live comfortably. It is choosing the right products to promote and having an understanding of online marketing that make it possible for those who have done well with online affiliate marketing to continue to do so. Types There are many different types of products that an online affiliate marketer can choose from. Many of these products are Internet marketing products, self-help, or gaming such as the World of Warcraft. There are also e-books, e-courses, CD's, DVD's, and even regular paperback and hardback books depending on the author's preference. Clickbank is a good place to find out what types of products are available. Time Frame Online affiliate marketing has a learning curve of at least six months to a year depending on how much time you are willing to donate to learning the ins and outs. If you already have some marketing experience with your own product or in your job in the real world these can go a long ways towards reducing the learning curve for online affiliate marketing. Warning Many online affiliate marketing products, and online marketing products, restrict telling the full story, in the hopes that you'll come back and buy the other half. At least, that is the hope. Prevention/Solution There is a lot of information online that is available for free that can teach you about online affiliate marketing. There are also tons of what they call Joint Venture Giveaways where if you are new to online affiliate marketing you can get many digital products for free. These will get you started with learning about online affiliate marketing and can save you a lot of money, heartache and time. The key is sticking with it, learning the business of online affiliate marketing and then putting what you learn to good use.