This is a common theme in affiliate marketing. When an affiliate manager over a program sees what the top affiliates are making, they want to be an affiliate. I wonder if being an effective affiliate manager prepares you to become a successful affiliate.
Last year there was news about account reps at Commission Junction (know Chad Darling – wonder how it's going for him). They risked their jobs and were asked to leave. I know someone who left a nice paying job at NASA to be an affiliate (but it took several years).
I wonder how that goes for affiliates. Is the income up and down? If you left your job to be a full-time affiliate, has it been worth it? Jeremy Palmer quit after six months but the climb is probably slower for most. Don't kid yourself that they don't work hard though, depending on their model and goals. If you want to keep growing richer, it's going to take A LOT of energy and time – more than a regular job would demand – especially in the first years.
As you know that was my intention early this year. My stomach couldn't handle the uncertainty. Perhaps one day (like when I'm not the sole breadwinner or have a few year's income saved) but for now I like the regular paychecks.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is work you did yesterday can continue to bring income today without any additional attention. It's nice to get those checks in the mail when you're too busy to spend any time on it. If you were in early and broad enough you could run almost entirely on autopilot.
I'd appreciate your input on this. If you quit your day job to be an affiliate, what was your day job? Were you ever an affiliate manager? How long did it take you? Are you a sole breadwinner for your family? I think this would make an interesting article.