If you only got 12 impressions the first day, you do not have good traffic. An impression is registered every time an ad is displayed. Ads sometimes display hundreds of times before someone clicks on one.
If you are using AdSense, anything over a 1% click through rate is minimally acceptable. CJ's merchant ads are typically driven through banner ads or product image ads, but very few people click on banner ads unless the ad is directly related to a product mentioned on the page.
If you are going to use CJ, my recommendation would be to write unique articles about specific topics or products and place related ads within the text. Banner ads in the page headers and footers are pretty much useless. people have learned to ignore them. The idea is to get people into your site because they are curious about something, and then satisfy their desire by providing a link to what they are looking for.
You really need a lot of traffic, somewhere in the range of thousands of impressions per day, to start making money with affiliate marketing.
A lot depends upon the type of content found in your site and they types of people that it attracts. It is very difficult to make money with affiliate marketing if you are using AdWords to drive traffic, so you need to be able to drive lots of traffic through free sources, such as organic search engine listings.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin