Online affiliate marketing is one of those win-win situations that's rare in the world of business. Everyone wins in this situation because products are sold, money is made, and consumers get what they want or need.
The big businesses win and profit because they are making sales without shelling out a not-so-small fortune in advertising in order to make them. They are able to pass on a small amount of the profit to you in return for your efforts to promote their products, sort of like a commission. Companies essentially have thousands of people on the 'net promoting their products to even more people and products are being seen (and purchased) by people who may not have otherwise discovered them.
You, as an affiliate marketer, benefit by earning revenue from the sales you generate. With some affiliate programs you're not simply paid a flat rate commissions for the sales you make. You're rewarded for increased effort that results in increased sales. This means that if you're paid 5% for any sale you might be offered 7.5% if you make more than $1,000 in sales for a given month and 10% if you make $5,000 in sales. It's a great way to steadily build your income and be rewarded for your efforts. It still costs the vendor less than pricey advertising campaign from a slick advertising company.
The consumer benefits because you are bringing the products or service to them in a way that is relevant to them. You can give them more information about the product or insights on the subject matter that enable them to make informed decisions about whether or not this is the product for them.
If that isn't enough to give online affiliate marketing a second look how about the fact that as an affiliate marketer you can do the work whenever and wherever is convenient for you. All you need is an Internet connection, creativity, and a computer to work on. Anyone can do it.