The truth behind affiliate marketing is the fact that 90% of affiliates will actually make less than 100$ a month. Therefore, you shouldn't count on making full time income unless you can get very good at the following:
1. Building a good web site that converts.
2. Search engine optimization. You'll need a lot of traffic, as maybe 1 out of 200 visitors will buy your products. SEO can help you get your site in the search engines so more people will be able to find you.
3. The trial and error of picking the right merchants and learning the correct ways to promote them.
Too many people out there assume that affiliate marketing is actually a get rich quick type of program. These types of people will throw up a couple of banners, then wonder why they never make a single sale or any money at all.
How long you'll need to do it depends on how much money you are wanting to make. If you are a quick learner and really good at affiliate marketing, you may high 2,000 in 2 years. This is based on the fact that you are starting at 0 and the fact that you have another full time job, not being able to devote a lot of time working with your affiliate marketing program.
If you decide to give it a try, the hardest challenge will be the first few months. If you check your stats and see that you are only making a couple of bucks, you'll find yourself wondering if all the hard work was worth it. If you get some sales going and stay committed with your hard work, the commissions should start growing.
One of the biggest factors with affiliate marketing is the traffic that goes through your site. Even though you'll get a lot of traffic passing through your website, only a fraction of the traffic will be buyers.
The key here is knowing your visitors and then being able to determine which affiliate programs you can offer to meet their needs. There is also the concept of pre sale, which is the ability to put your visitors in the required open and mind set that's required for them to actually click on what you are selling.
By sticking with affiliate marketing, you'll learn more and more over the years. You can't expect to be the best when you first start, it'll take a lot of hard work and dedication. By putting the time and effort into your programs, you'll be well on your way to making it in the very profitable and exciting world of affiliate marketing.