I'm sure this is a beginner question, and I apologize if this has been asked before.
Let's say for the purposes of an example you want to promote various basketballs. You'd like to review and recommend basketballs from Spalding and Russell and potentially other brands with products that may not always be available on massive e-commerce sites such as Amazon.
It's my understanding that approvals to become an affiliate for various product manufacturers are directly tied to your site and it's related traffic.
Question 1: at what stage is it appropriate to submit requests to become an affiliate?
Question 2: what is an appropriate action if a product manufacturer does not approve your request to become an affiliate?
Assume you've put in months of hard work building a site and producing content and recommendations via research and reviews of various basketballs. If none of the basketball manufacturers approve you to become an affiliate, are the months of effort effectively wasted?
Alternatively, let's say that Russell has approved your affiliation but Spalding has not. Does an affiliate marketer quit recommending and reviewing Spalding basketballs at that point moving forward?