The concept behind the affilate program is that you can start online without any of your own products. Typically, the affiate program is for information products and eBooks. You set up a site and do all the 'grunt' work for a share in the profits. That is, if you sell enough to reach the min. payout.
There are a ton of terms and all of that. I have been online since mid 90's and I have NOT run into anyone who has made money as an affilate.
You want to make money online? Develop a product... work the traffic and you'll get there. Add an e-mail list, because without that, you're dead.
Hope this helps! I have been doing this for over a decade and would be willing to help you if that' what you're trying to do.