I also started an e-commerce retail site that I went with another company on and it ended up costing me thousands of dollars, held all the so-called training over the phone for 30 minutes that they rushed through, the only writing training instructions were very generic and general in terms. I am still with them since I had a year. I have 4 months to go and can’t wait to move my DNS over to WA! It is difficult to get questions answered and have to wait until whenever they got around to returning a call. They complete the basic website framework for you and it looks like someone still learning to be a designer did it! I paid monthly for hosting, which alone is as much as WA’s fee for everything, paid separate for social media marketing training, which was next to nothing. In general their training platform was the pits!
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
The key is to first validate your niche by looking at search trends, analyzing the competition and making sure it’s something that can be monetized. Once you’ve got that, start building it out and producing great content. Focus on nothing but the rankings for at least 6-12 months. During this time I would advise putting nothing on the site except for maybe a simple adsense ad. Adsense is not a profitable way to go per se, but it’s an easy way to get started, plus Google must continually sniff your site in order to serve up relevant ads. Site visitors generally find adsense to be less invasive since the ads shown to them are usually relevant anyway.
They tell you that the first step in the process is to choose a niche. In my opinion, this should be pretty easy for you determine before you even decide to get started. If not, then internet marketing may not be for you. The reason I say this is due to the amount of effort required to build a profitable business from scratch. If you can’t think of one single thing that excites or interests you, then you are going to have an uphill struggle if you plan to make a go of it in affiliate marketing.