Let’s be honest, making money online is difficult. As with any startup, there are certain operating expenditures (whether paid or free – with free the tradeoff being a lot of time) and effort that must be incurred.
Making money online is certainly doable however (according to recent research, this year one in four Americans made money online; source: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/making-money-from-online-economy-uber-lyft-pew-research-center/3607478.html.)
The amount you earn may not be what the fly-by-night marketers are showing in the supposed screenshots of their affiliate accounts. That is not to say that some are not, it is to say it takes a lot of time and work to achieve success in business, and the online business world is no different.