Anyone who doesn’t live in a cave right now understands that the job market in the world is tough all around. Have you considered beginning affiliate marketing to start making your own money from the comforts of your home? If you have, you’ve probably run into one “scam”-sounding website after another trying to find decent information on how to get started in affiliate marketing.

First, keep in mind when beginning affiliate marketing that you are starting a business. This business is yours and will only grow with the amount of work and creativity that you invest into it. There is no such thing as a money tree or web button that will make you a millionaire over night. If that’s your idea, run away now because you will be suckered by every con man out there.

Secondly, don’t be afraid of beginning affiliate marketing even if you have no experience setting up websites or the like. If you start smart, you don’t need to know any of these things and there will be opportunities for you to invest in learning them, if you feel like you need to, once your business is started. Many affiliates successfully create their marketing business and never once run their own site. When I was beginning affiliate marketing, I knew none of these things.

Third, how much you need to invest in beginning affiliate marketing depends on you. There are two general routes that new affiliate marketers take, one is article marketing and the other is pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. PPC marketing is by far the larger financial investment and very risky for someone just starting out without knowing anything about internet marketing. If you have no idea what you are doing in PPC, it is very possible and probable to lose a lot of money fast. Article marketing, on the other hand, is an excellent technique to learn when beginning affiliate marketing. Article marketing can be done simply using free to use web services. The only risk when beginning affiliate marketing in this manner is the time you invest.

I do recommend making a small investment to learn proven methods that have stood the test of time. It will save you a tremendous amount of time and effort when beginning affiliate marketing, and your first sale will show you that yes this does work. To put it into perspective, for me I spent less than the cost of one graduate text book to start out building a viable business, and thankfully I can now afford all those student loans! But that’s it. Do not waste your time chasing the next millionaire in a week scheme when beginning affiliate marketing, its a waste of your time and effort. Once you build a solid, working foundation, then you can decide how far you want to take your online business.

Let me say this another way by using an example from my “other” professional life. I went to graduate school for counseling. One of the things we learned was a step by step plan to deal with a suicidal client. The first time I had a suicidal client (I was still in school at the time), I was so thankful that I had received that education. At the time we were learning it most of us were like, “nah I’m not planning on working with folks who are suicidal, what do I need this for?” And sure, I could have muddled through search after search trying to put something together (assuming I had the time ahead of the situation). Having that foundation allowed me to deal with the situation calmly and get the both of us through it. Granted, beginning affiliate marketing is not as dire as that situation, but being open to learning a strong foundation first is equally as important to success.