Thank you for the heads up on seeking legal advice, I never thought of it that way. Has anyone ever experienced problems with closed door affiliate programs? I don't see how it would be ilegall in any way, but then if Chris says it, he must be onto something. It wouldn't be buying into an opportunity, because serious affiliates are getting it for free anyway. But I will still do as you suggest and seek legal advice.
In a sense, you lose some control of your product and your brand when you take on affiliates. They will promote in different ways that may not necessarily fit your brand’s image or values (though, don’t be too concerned about this; the data doesn’t bear out brands’ usual fears here). A blogger may feature your brand alongside four others. It may be hard to monitor and control what affiliates are doing at all times, especially for a larger program.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
Most of us love the idea of earning extra income or quitting our full-time jobs altogether and working from home. If you thought work-from-home companies were just running scams, it turns out there are plenty of authentic and reliable ways to make money by working from home. Christine Durst, cofounder of RatRaceRebellion.com and consultant to the FBI on internet scam issues tells us, "There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the internet—that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams." But, there are a lot of opportunities for a "real job." The secret is knowing how to separate the scams from what's legit.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).