I have an idea for a website which I think will generate traffic. I want to put the material itself on the website but minimize taking care of the advertising which is how it's supposed to generate revenue. Is there a way to have the web-hosting company do that? (For a fee, of course.) If not – how do I do it? Do I need to write a contract with each advertiser? How is this done?
Googling hasn't helped much so far. (Maybe I'm using the wrong terms.)
Advertising is a very weak and difficult revenue model. You either need LOTS of traffic to make it pay off (for something like Adsense), or else you need highly specialized traffic and profitable affiliate relationships.
To answer your question, the quickest and easiest way to get started is by using Google's Adsense. You just place their code on your page and they will scrape it and decide what ad to show (called contextual advertising). As I said, you will need a ton of traffic to make this truly pay off.
The second way is to seek out affiliate advertising that closely aligns with the audience your website attracts. There are three types of affiliate programs: pay-per-sale, pay-per-click and pay-per-lead. Each program has its own model and payment schedule. The affiliate world is huge, but you could start with places like Amazon, Google, Commission Junction, Linkshare, ClickBank, Affiliate.com, etc...