Setting up a business online is becoming popular, for obvious reasons, but what does it take to be successful? There are a number of ways to approach the task, Firstly, all of us get spam, ie, unwanted emails offering a variety of ways to be a millionaire over night, and these mailings actually produce results, otherwise they would not persist in sending them. Please note, I emphasize that the email works by getting people to sign up for the dream of being successful virtually over night, the programs or ideas they purvey do not. Having got the dreamers theory out of the way, let’s get down to looking at realistic ways of earning money online.You may already be offering a service in your local area and would like to expand your business online. Creating a website promoting your business/services is vital in today’s market, and a number of companies can be found online where this is easily achieved. You will need to register a name for your site, and get it hosted ie, put online for the web search spiders to find your site.What do we do if we do not have an existing business and want to earn money online? well a number of choices are available to us, but without doubt affiliate marketing is one of the most straight forward methods of starting your own business online. Put simply, as an affiliate, you promote another companies products via your own website or blog, when the people who visit your site go on to purchase products from the site you are affiliated to, you receive a commission. The processing of the sale and delivery of the goods is all done by the parent company.What I have said so far sounds very simple and easy, and the basic concept as explained above is simple, however, there is much more to this than setting up a web site or blog, and expecting people to click on to your site and purchase the products you are promoting, if it was that simple, we would all be wealthy. So what are the secrets of success in affiliate marketing?. First thing to realise is, there are more sites on the web now than there are people on the planet! Therefor the ultimate task is to get your site up and noticed in front of the others. Learning the marketing methods to a successful website is therefore critical to online success, and there are a number of reputable resources online. As with everything in life to do a job properly you need to learn how to do the job well.