If you have always wanted to become one of those big, successful Internet marketers, then affiliate marketing may just be the thing you have been looking for. While there is certainly no hint of a 4-hour work week among the affiliate marketers I know (despite popular business books promising the same), affiliate marketing is still very much an open field. You can make money in this exciting marketing field.

Of course, all of the harsh realities of the traditional sales and marketing worlds that you know or have heard about apply to affiliate marketing, as well. In this world, there are still those little pesky realities like having to deal with like competition, the need to do good research, working hard and working smart.

If you are considering getting into affiliate Web site marketing or want to bring your game to the next level, here are 5 affiliate Web site marketing tricks of the trade you should know:

1. Be an expert niche finder:
If there is one single thing that will give you a head start in this area of marketing, it is the ability to find good niches. Of course, just as it is in the field of evolutionary biology, a niche is simply an area where you - one online marketer among millions - are able to get a "leg up" on the competition in some small area.

A niche is a space you find where there are lots of hungry people out there who are ready to pay money for a solution to a certain set of problems they have. And, while there may be competition in terms of other people also vying to get paid to fulfill those solutions for those hungry people, the competition in a good niche is reasonable rather than horrendous.

2. Utilize affiliate broker sites when possible to simplify your affiliate relationship:
Once you have identified a niche, visit a broker website like Commission Junction or Click Bank and sign up as an affiliate (sometimes called a promoter). These sites are great because they do the work of finding and aggregating thousands of products for you to promote. They also track sales from customers that you refer to the seller, and they ensure that you will be properly paid for your efforts.

3. Test each niche sufficiently:
For each niche you discover, you need to test it. Quite simply, testing a niche means driving enough traffic to a website you represent where products related to that niche can be sold. By "sufficiently" here, I mean make sure you actually drive some serious traffic to the site. Only then will you know if you have something worth pursuing further.

4. Go full speed ahead if the niche you tested proves successful:
You will likely be testing multiple niches at once. That's a good thing. As you come across viable niches during the testing phase, of course you will want to pour fuel on the fire and really hammer them with more traffic in order to get the most possible out of them.

5. Stop and move on if the niche is a dud:
If, on the other hand, you find that certain niches are not panning out, it is essential that you know when to quit. It can be easy to be tempted to keep fanning the flame of a low-performing niche, but you should resist. It can actually be costly to keep supporting a niche that is not going anywhere because it uses up time that you can spend finding more lucrative niches.  Consider these 5 affiliate marketing tricks of the trade as you find ways to make big money online.

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