While you can learn about affiliate marketing online, I think there is no substitute for face to face networking and learning.
A couple years ago, I moved from New Jersey to Texas and didn't really know anybody in my new city. So I went to meetup.com and searched for affiliate marketing.
I found a number of relevant meetups and joined.
Soon after, I was attending the meetups and seeing quality speakers for free, as well as meeting lots of helpful folks while networking.
Since I found the meetups to be so useful, I started up a local affiliate marketing meetup, and later we created Affiliate Summit meetups across the U.S. and Canada.
And then there are affiliate marketing conferences. It's a little tough to be objective, since I co-founded Affiliate Summit back in 2003, and it has become the biggest industry conference in the world.
There are other conferences, mostly run by the affiliate networks, that I attend, but I'd suggest investigating Affiliate Summit when you get to the point that you can invest funds in your affiliate marketing business.
But don't attend conferences before you can afford them. While you are working towards having a budget for conferences, you can see past Affiliate Summit sessions on YouTube.
As I mentioned, Affiliate Summit was founded by Missy Ward and me in 2003 for the purpose of providing educational sessions on the latest industry issues and fostering a productive networking environment for affiliate marketers.
Attendees at Affiliate Summit events break out into five main categories: agencies, affiliates, merchants, networks, and vendors.
The conference features a number of keynote addresses, as well as dozens of breakout sessions, plus three days of exhibitors and networking.