What if a company you like has no affiliate program? Ask for One!
When searching for affiliate programs, you may find websites that fit perfectly with the concept of your niche. You search for a link to an affiliate program (or referral program) but cannot find any. Is it time to give up and move onto another company?
Try to find a contact number email or phone number for the company. When you find that info, ask about an affiliate program. Some companies will tell you straight out they don't support this. For these companies, it's time to move on. Do let them know that if they offer one in the future to consider adding you as an affiliate.
For others, they may have an affiliate program but don't want to announce it. These days, with the increased compliance factors for vendors, affiliate managers want to control who they allow as affiliates. They don't want thousands of applications that they have to wade through. They are looking for proactive types willing to make the phone call or send an email. Usually, the fact that you called or wrote will help in getting accepted into the program.
I just finished a phone call with a vendor whose concept fits perfectly with my niche. There was no affiliate program links on the website so I reached out the contact form on the website. I got a response that the promotions manager wanted to set up a call which is the one I just finished.
I am now an affiliate of this vendor. He set me up in his affiliate system and I can promote his products. He even is considering giving me content that is related to his product that I can publish on my website. I'll have to see that it is not duplicates or if I am allowed to repurpose it. But, at least the option may exist.
There is another type of vendor that you may run into that doesn't know what an affiliate program is. You can explain the concept and see if they would be willing to set something up with you. They will need an affiliate software solution to track sales and activity. But, you could point them to companies such as cj.com, linkshare.com, etc. If you plant the seeds in their brains (affiliate programs offer increased revenues with little overhead for vendors, etc) they will eventually find the right platform to get moving on implementing a program. Just make sure they contact you when the program is ready.
The takeaway here is you've got NOTHING TO LOSE. By reaching out, you establish a relationship with vendors that either will lead to approvals of their program or the possibility of getting in later when they adopt the strategy.