There are several types of affiliate businesses that a person can build online.
The “Paid Product” affiliate membership model …
… is when you must pay for a product in order to qualify to earn commissions. The argument being, you can’t ask others to purchase something you yourself didn’t buy. In addition, the network building of everyone in the network buying the product creates a residual effect for it, so that people can earn over and over because the money is in the system. The upside of this is that the products can be higher in price, therefore your commissions are higher,and you only need a couple of sales to break even or be in profit.
The “FREE Representative Product” affiliate product promotion model…
… is your basic thing like acquiring an affiliate code from Walmart, Amazon, or any online affiliate program where you earn a small percentage on the products people purchase through your affiliate link. The commission percentage rate is much lower on these products so it takes a lot of sales to earn a substantial income doing this type of affiliate marketing. Yet…it is “FREE”! However, if you truly want to know what you are selling, it behooves you to have purchased and used it yourself.
The “Clickbank” affiliate model.
Clickbank is an affiliate marketing product warehouse online. So you can promote and sell anything on it. Here too there is no requirement to purchase a product, but it does help if you actually want to be able to talk about it. Here it is very necessary to be niche oriented, as it helps if you know the topic and have an idea of what people in that niche want. But, basically you can just simply post links ad nauseum and see how the sales go.
So, which one should you do?
How about all of them? The thing is, each model has its own way of getting to success and with each way there is an extra level of work on your end to stay up with them all.
I think it is wise to choose one and get used to it, and then build on it.