Let's begin with affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are a simple business relationship between a site owner (the "publisher") and "advertisers." In this relationship, the advertisers agree to pay the publishers a commission for referring customers to them.
Advertisers manage their affiliate program independently by installing tracking software on their in-house server, or by joining a third-party commission network (I.e. CJ.com, LinkShare, ShareaSale, etc.) who provides third-party tracking and infrastructure of the referrals through specialized tracking software that resides on their own server.
I'll cover this in more detail in Step #7 - Join Some Good Affiliate Programs; however, at this time, I am going to take this opportunity to walk you through the preliminary research on a few of the topics you have written down.
We will take this step-by-step, so let's get started.
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