Affiliate programs are the online version of the tradition business method of paying someone a commission for bringing you a sale. So say an old school friend of yours has an art gallery and they recommend your wall hangings to one of their customers and they buy one of your wall hangings. As a thank you, you would pay your friend a referral commission for the sale, say 10%.
By paying your friend a commission you are also encouraging them to send more customers and sales your way. But you only pay commission for the sale, not for the person just looking.
That's the same idea for most affiliate programs where you pay a commission for the sales other's bring to you.
There are other payment processes for affiliate programs but having looked at your site I'd say that would be the one you're interested in.
What I like about this process is you only pay for results. Whereas with advertising you're paying lots of money before there are any results, before any money is coming in.
Personally I find affiliate programs to be good for my business and they have brought me customers that have shopped with me, joined my newsletter and are valuable to me.
It did take a little bit of time to set up the initial graphics and figuring out the key messages for my marketing text (advertising copy - the words used in the descriptions and ads used by my affiliates) but that's fine, it's part of building a business.
I've added banners and text ads since then and that was quicker than when I was learning during the initial setup.
I use Clixgalore and have found them good. You need to check out the pricing structures for such organisations. I don't pay monthly fees etc, only commissions. But I only like to pay for results, not promises.
I have some material on my website you might find useful www.creativelybelle.com/affiliates
as I have some free articles on my website etc.
When I was starting I found the internet marketing course I did really useful as it gave direct plain speaking advice, provided examples and useful explanations - it's on that page as well.
I found the Affiliate Program ebook by the Web Marketing Today site very useful too for making decisions. I did actually get the Clixgalore lead from Blogher.org and found that to be the best way for me to start.
Remember, affiliate programs are just part of the online promoting strategy. It isn't the be all and end all but it is very useful if built well.
Also remember to communicate with your affiliates with a simple automated process. I learned about mine with that internet marketing course.
I started my affiliate program last November and I'm happy with how it has grown. With more effect in promoting and communicating on my part it will continue to grow even faster.
Also, it doesn't matter if you give something a go and make a couple of mistakes. What does matter is that you learn from your mistakes and improve bit by bit.
So go for it.