There are a number of ways to make money online. In general, all of them involve your ability as the Internet marketer to entice people to visit to a particular website, a practice that is typically known as driving traffic.

Once you have mastered the art and science of driving traffic, you just need to have something to sell if you want to generate an income. Exactly what you choose to sell is a very important question since you have a very large number of choices available to you.

You can sell everything on your website from ad space to products and services. If you choose to sell products and services, you have two main choices for what to sell: your own or someone else's. One of the easiest, lowest-maintenance ways of selling the products and services of someone else is through the practice of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing simply involves your using various Internet marketing techniques to drive traffic to someone else's website, where you get paid only if something actually sells as a result. If nothing sells, you get paid zero.

If you are wondering about the advantages of affiliate marketing, here are 5 advantages to consider:

1. You don't have to think of product ideas:

One of the best things about getting into affiliate marketing is that you do not need to come up with any of your own product ideas. That's right: no brainstorming, no market research, and no R&D expenses. You let others do the grunt work for you.

2. You can avoid worrying about handling any physical goods:

Once your affiliate work has resulted in a sale for the product you are promoting, you can forget about having to actually ship anything. The seller takes care of payment process, shipping, customer complaints and returns. You just collect your commissions and move on.

3. You can choose a niche that is already tested for sales potential:

Many affiliate broker sites like Click Bank give you an idea of how well each product they represent is actually selling. That information - combined with doing some good keyword and competition research - helps you to make easy decisions about which products to represent through affiliate marketing and which to skip over completely as likely duds.

4. You can test multiple new niches at once:

Once you have selected a few niches that you want to try out, you can set up multiple campaigns at once. There is nothing for you to have to buy, except maybe your own custom URL. (tip: you can pick up .info URLs for 99 cents for the first year). Just set up some affiliate links and start driving traffic. Drop the niches that don't pay off, but make sure you've tested each one well before giving up on it.

5. You can set up a campaign and just let it run itself:

Once you have a good campaign set up, just let it run itself. There is no need to maintain it, unless you want to keep driving more traffic its way. Or, you can just move on to build new campaigns while that one brings you in a nice monthly income.

Consider these 5 advantages of affiliate marketing as you decide how best to make money online.

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