The affiliate marketer can make thousands of dollars a day working for himself.
He can even hire employees that produce a value to him of hundreds of dollars, many times in excess of what the employee gets paid for. This is true in any business venture.
Making serious amounts of money or even gaining power (political or otherwise) is essentially non-linear. This is what a savvy business man or power player strives for. He strives to decouple time, work, and value from each other in order to achieve massive success.
However it is interesting that many people don’t do this. Even people with full the full know-how and coaching from their AM or SEO friends. It doesn’t really have anything to do with “risk”, but I think perhaps it has more to do with the mind balking at taking advantage of the non-linear nature of business.
It is too easy to be comforted by a linear relationship of giving up 1 hour of time for a known amount of money, whether it is $20 or $100. However, seeking comfort will never lead to freedom, only slavery.
I know of quite a few young (under 25) affiliate marketers that are making tens of thousands of dollars a day. Perhaps they are so successful because they never spent much time in a linear relationship with their time and money, thus giving them the freedom to go straight into a more powerful non-linear relationship.
The corollary to all of this is: if you strongly desire wealth, power, and freedom, then do EVERYTHING you can to decouple the relationships of time, work, and value. Warp the time-work-value field around you and move ahead at WARP SPEED. (cue the cheese)
How can you decouple the relationships? Find ways to make money that can be automated and scaled. Automated either by outsourcing to workers or utilizing software. Business is about building systems and handing them over to the people that will run them.