I think I have tried just about every "scheme" there is out there in order to try and make money online, some I have failed at and others I was absolutely successful with. Now as far as affiliate programs, there really are people out there making thousands of dollars a month, and it's all because they pick the right company to go with and the right products. Regarding products; you want something that is in demand, but not saturated so much that people won't even notice you.
One of the things I used to like doing, was going to a site like Best Buy or Circuit city and checking out their sales page. For the most part when sites and businesses like Best Buy add specific products to their sales page, it isn't because they are trying to get rid of the product, but because the company has done some major market research beforehand and has found out that the new iPod is going to be popular, or that the black and silver laptop speakers from Creative Designs are going to be flying off the shelf.
Pay attention to these things, go to gadget sites, or sites like Cnet and see what is being reviewed at that specific time and promote THAT product! As far as affiliate hubs go, these are places you can sign up with that offer all sorts of products, in all sorts of categories, for all sorts of affiliate percentages (your earnings). The three I'm going to list below are my all-time three favorite sites available to people who want to get into affiliate marketing. There are in no particular order!
Link share is a little confusing to figure out at first, but if you feel your way around you will eventually get used to it. Link share offers a ton of different "offers" from well-known affiliates such as wine, Iwin, ToysrUs, BestBuy, etc, as well as some other unknown sites (to me anyway). The great thing about both of these sites is that all of the affiliates on the site or legitimate. Sites like link share do all the work for you and me as how to get paid, making sure the sites are legit, the sites are legal, etc. this site offers another thing called storefronts, which I really like. These storefronts are to be put on your website directly to show what each affiliate ship has. Its like a mini store right on your site.
So, for instance, if I have a website and it's an electronic website a good affiliate for me would be something like BestBuy. For the store front of BestBuy, what I'll have is different products I can choose from to put in my storefront. So, say people go to my electronics website, they don't just see the stuff that's on my site. They also see all the stuff that comes from BestBuy within the little "mini store". Most of the time when you choose to be with an affiliate program or you choose a store find you get to choose what you want in the storefront.
Kolimbo has been around since 1999. This is one of the original open affiliate directories. Kolimbo offers a lot of the same options as link share, but they offer a lot more too. For instance say you want to find all the advertisers on Kolimbo that you can get paid for doing CPM offers. You simply do a search for CPM programs or search directly under the CPM tab and you will find all the CPM programs. The types of programs that Kolimbo offers are:
Pay per sale
Pay per lead
Pay per visit
Pay per click
Pay per impression
Pay second tier commissions
And for my last option I actually like Amazon merely because they offer many diverse products on the website. For example, I have a website, so I can go to Amazon and pick out different affiliates that I know that I will be utilizing at my joke site. Affiliates that offer such things as gag gifts, gag gifts, funny gifts, etc. Once I find the affiliates to use I won't only set the affiliate links, but I can also set up affiliate websites. Then, I can either "sneak" in the affiliate links onto my blog, or I can also include the actual mini stores on my blog. This is good because people can visually see what I offer on my site!