Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to develop an online business and potentially earn considerable amounts, but it does require a lot of hard work and tactical nous. Here are five top Twitter feeds to follow for valuable tips and inspiration.

Thousands of companies selling a product or service run an affiliate program – essentially offering you a “finders-fee” for any purchases you facilitate. By promoting that company’s products by your own marketing efforts, you increase awareness and improve their sales – and since they don’t have to pay you until a sale is actually made, it’s win-win!

It’s easy to get started in affiliate marketing, but because it has developed so much over the years it is difficult to make yourself stand out in the crowd. Luckily there are plenty of businesses and individuals out there providing advice on how to get it right. Here are five indispensable Twitter feeds to follow for inspiration:

@clickbank – Clickbank is a big fish in information publishing, working with tens of thousands of ‘infopreneurs’ to help them put their hobbies and work experiences to good use. Their digital marketplace is a platform for businesses covering everything from website design to marketing techniques and analytics, and they also run a successful affiliate program for anyone who wants to get in on the action. With 30,000 followers from less than 1000 Tweets, calling them influential would be an understatement.

@imstrategies – This is the Twitter feed for Dotcomers, a one-woman affiliate marketing business started by JR Lang five years ago. Her site is big, brash and proud, and contains many vital nuggets of information for anyone thinking of starting out as an affiliate marketer but unsure how to start. And needless to say, for someone who has built a very successful business “in her pyjamas”, JR also has plenty of tricks up her sleeve that may take even the professionals by surprise.

@Affwin – Multi award-winning London-based Affiliate Window have really embraced Twitter, fully engaging with their followers for advice and feedback. Innovation, ethics and performance are the cornerstones of their business, and their feed is very popular amongst marketers wanting to stay ahead of the curve. The technical support they offer new affiliates is considerable, and complimented by the non-stop feed of information and support they send out through Twitter.

@federico_online – Another home-grown start-up done well for himself and now eager to give others a leg-up, Federico Perez has thousands of followers. His personal focus is on health and fitness, but the advice he doles out to would-be affiliate marketers is useful whatever marketplace they’re in. Like @imstrategies, he’s a self-taught expert, but he knows his stuff.

@PerformanceIN – With their focus solely on performance marketing, PerformanceIN can be depended on to bring you all of the main news relating to affiliate marketing. With 14 years of experience in affiliate and performance marketing, and having hosted more than 15 conferences and six performance marketing awards, these guys know what they’re talking about.