One of the forums I go to daily deals with affiliate marketing. A lot of savvy people go there, people far more successful at affiliate marketing than I. But I’m constantly learning things there, so that’s good.
One of the fundamental things I’ve learned there and elsewhere about affiliate marketing is this: The successful people doing this business are split between those with “mall” style websites offering a wide variety of products and those with “niche” websites focused pretty tightly on a single product or type of products. A quick example of what I mean would be 1) those marketing a huge variety of electronics and electronic gadgets, and, 2) those marketing a single type of electronic gadgets like slim digital cameras or home theater sound systems.
Based on my own experience and the way the affiliate marketing industry seems to be turning, I would suggest getting into it through the more “niche”-y angle. And I also would recommend that you focus on products and services a bit more unique than electronics or electronic gadgets, or even a subset of those products. It makes sense to go with more unique products and smaller online merchants, because Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon.com, and Overstock.com, in the example I’m using here, have a huge share of the electronics and electronic gadgets market already sewed up.
So if you’re interested in affiliate marketing as a business, carefully consider first of all what products or services you enjoy marketing, and select something with a practical shot at bringing you success: Look for products and services people are shopping for online.