I’m a firm believer that the first step towards building any successful business is to be well-educated about the market space you’re going to operate in. Education is a process, whether you’re a complete newbie or an experienced online veteran, it’s important to keep up with what’s going on around you.

The following are a few books and ebooks I’ve found helpful:

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: A No Nonsense Guide on How to Make Money Online

 Author Jamie Peters has been around affiliate marketing for a long time, and in this book he does an excellent job of laying out the basic concepts that will help establish your site.

There’s no fluff, just straight, to the point information, strategies, and tips that will get your affiliate business pointed in the right direction. This is an excellent, low cost guide for any new affiliate.

Affiliate Program Management: An Hour A Day

This book is geared towards the intermediate marketer and is an excellent resource for anyone looking to launch their own affiliate program. It walks you through the process of automating a system that can lead to increased revenue for your business.

This book is written from a product-owner’s perspective, not an affiliate-marketing perspective, but I recommend it here because  if you’re going to get serious about running an affiliate business, I think it’s important to understand both sides of the process. A great read to gain that extra perspective and set your affiliate site ahead of the curve.

Make Money Online – Online Affiliate Guide: Building an Online Cash Cow

This is a great resource from author and entrepreneur Anthony Barlow. Primarily, Barlow promotes the idea of building one or two bigger websites (over 1,000 pages) over numerous 50-100 page sites, arguing that search algorithms have gotten smarter, and only sites that provide consistent, quality content over time are the ones that do well.

Not a ‘get rich quick’ guide, this book gives an actionable, step-by-step plan to set your business up for long term success.

Niche Sites with Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

This book covers everything you need to know about niche websites and the art of selecting a niche to work on for your small business.

From how to do keyword research to determining whether a potential niche is going to be profitable, this complete beginner’s guide will help get your site up and running in no time.

The $0 Startup: The Owner Secrets – How to Start Your Home Based Online Small Business

The $0 Startup isn’t about affiliate marketing, specifically, but is a good resource for entrepreneurs more broadly. The book walks you through the key concepts of running a small business, and what it takes to start that business from scratch with little or no money.

In addition to discussing various types of home-business models, The $0 Startup teaches you how to take a bootstrapped approach to your new business.