With an affiliate program, you pay other Web sites to drive sales on your Web site. The affiliate places a link to your Web site on its site. You can pay affiliates per click or per sale, depending on your goals and the deal you work out with affiliates.
This concept was made popular by Amazon.com. Because it is a large company with vast resources, Amazon.com manages its own affiliate program. That may be too large an undertaking for you, however.
Affiliate programs are complex, and may not be worth your time to manage and maintain. That's where affiliate networks come in. They keep track of your sales and payments to affiliates for a fee. It is easier than running the system yourself. You can find affiliates through affiliate networks, or you can become an affiliate yourself and increase your revenue.