However, it can be profitable if you work at it.
Note that you have to consistently write articles - and get them accepted by directories which will accept an affiliate link - to generate any traffic. Probably 15 to 30 articles a week (and not PLR versions - original articles are always best).
Article marketers I've studied have literally thousands of articles pointing to one or a couple of links.
From DanJan Associates:
"You don't need to have a website to make money on the Internet. Here is a proven strategy to make money online without a website:
Step 1: Find Affiliate Product
Find a product to promote where you make good commission on each sale. Generally, you will get the biggest commissions on digital products. Digital products are defined as something that is downloaded directly to a customer's computer after purchasing, like electronic books or software.
Since there is no extra cost per unit, no inventory and no shipping, the commissions are much greater than on regular "physical" goods. The most common commission on digital products is 50%. The best place to find such products is Clickbank.com.
Sign up as a reseller (also called affiliate) for a product that looks the most appealing to you. After you sign up, you will get a unique affiliate link where you need to send people to purchase the product.
Your affiliate link will have a special code that will tell the product owner that it's you who referred the customer. The affiliate link code will allow your commissions to be tracked correctly and assigned to you.
Step 2: Get Domain Name
Get a domain name to redirect to your affiliate link. A domain name is a .COM name (like yourproduct.com). You can get it for under $9 at GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy.com will allow you to redirect your domain name to your affiliate link at no extra cost.
So when someone types in your .COM domain in their browser, it will go to your affiliate link. The visitor will see the website with the product you promote, and the commissions will be tracked correctly.
The reason why you need a domain name is that it's memorable and it makes you look more trustworthy. Affiliate links tend to be too long and arouse suspicion. For example, most people would rather click on the link bestwidgets.com as opposed to abcwidgets.com?reseller=john
A domain name will make your affiliate link look like it's your own website. So basically, you will have a product to promote and a website to send people to and get commissions - without really having your own website.
Step 3: Drive Traffic
In order to make sales, you need to get visitors to your domain name (which will forward them to the website of the product that you resell). You can pay for advertising and hope that your profit will be greater than advertising cost, or you can use free ways to generate traffic.
The most effective way to get free targeted visitors to your domain name is by writing and submitting articles. You can write short articles on the topic related to the product that you promote. At the end of the article, you include your author bio and your domain name link.
You will then submit your articles to various websites, and allow them to publish your articles as long as your link is included. Your articles will get published in many places on the Internet, and will be advertising your affiliate link at no cost to you whatsoever. People will read your articles, like what you have to say and click on your domain name link ready to buy.
Once you start getting regular sales from your articles, you can go back to step 1 and find another product to promote using this strategy. After a while, you will build up a nice source of Internet income - without even having a website."