Affiliate marketing could probably be your ticket to financial freedom, if you are willing to learn the routes, take action, be persistent and stay focused. You must also "test the waters", so to speak, in order to find a profitable idea before you begin. This involves doing keyword research to see if there is a need for what you are offering. If so, are there other affiliates trying to make money there too?
Do not be afraid of competition as long as there's not so many that it just would not be smart to try and enter that market. An example of this would be visiting Google.com and after researching your primary keyword phrase seeing a lot of pay per click advertisers bidding on that phrase. Some is good, but anything more than 20-30 is probably too much to tackle for someone just starting out. You also do not want to jump into something that has 200 million listings right away. You are looking for "low hanging fruit". These are keywords that have decent traffic, some competition, but not a huge amount and an affiliate marketing idea that will be profitable enough to make it worth your while to do the work.
I always recommend that new people try to start off in affiliate marketing by doing something that they love to do. You'll be doing a LOT of writing and it's much easier to write about things that you love to do than it is to have to learn something new or, yet yet, take on something that you really do not enjoy just because you think there's money in it. Been there, done that. It's just not necessary with all of the options available now.
Sit down and make a list of 10-20 things that you either love to do, do not mind doing or know a lot about from job experience, college, etc and then start looking at those markets by doing keyword research. Look at the markets FIRST! You could have the latest, greatest product on the planet, but if there is not a market for it you're dead in the water. Look and see what others are selling and also look at "how" they're selling it. Get yourself prepared with a few affiliate marketing ideas and solid research before you start and your odds of succeeding will skyrocket! Good luck!