Affiliate marketing is a mechanism that individuals can use to fund their web site.
During the Obama Administration, the FTC set out to destroy the affiliate marketing by requiring that web designers put a huge yellow block next to all affiliate link telling people not to click on the link.
The FTC's assumption is that affiliate marketing is just about money.
Affiliation is about relations between web sites.
There is a fun free site called ArtWanted.com. This site lets amateur artists share their work in a supportive environment. You can upload your creation and you will receive supportive comments along with advice from other artists.
ArtWanted has an affiliate program.
This is a free site. The chance of getting paid is next to nothing.
I joined the program and got the affiliate id so that the creators of the site can track inbound traffic. I've sent Artwanted about 50,000 hits. I like that I can log in and see that traffic. I really do not expect to receive compensation for the effort.
The FTC requires that I put a huge warning when I link to the program because their is a very remote possibility that I might make money.
But that's not what I am doing in this case. I simply wanted to track clicks. Here is the FTC Warning: