From my experience, you don't need to subscribe (and pay) to any programs, if you do take some time to learn the basics and do it yourself. This will also substantially protect you from disingenuous programs, apart from the fact that you will get inundated with more emails promoting other programs. For example, you can subscribe to ClickBank for free and the you do the marketing on any given product(s). And that's where the trick is!
Building a list is not that easy, but certainly not impossible. Again, it takes a bit of time and perseverance. Using Traffic Exchanges is certainly useful, but not the ultimate solution. Blogging all over the place is another very useful way to do that and the more you blog, the more people will (eventually) read them and potentially subscribe, or buy the product or service you are promoting. But let's be real. Converserion rates are low in any way you promote and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, or that they can do that for you better (if you pay!)! That's just not true! Again, you need to be persistent and it will work.
Many MLM schemes are actually centered only around one product/service and ironically many need to be paid for! You do all the work for promoting and you need to pay for joining? Obviously, that is also disingenuous!
What if you could find a scheme that not only combines combines both, Affiliate Marketing and MLM, but is also completely free to join? Wouldn't that be ingenuous? That would certainly be something else to all the programs and schemes you see (and have to pay for)! What if you don't have to promote products/services one-by-one, but a whole array in one go? And what if you could combine that with promoting the website for new members (MLM) at the same time? All in one go! Would that be great, or what?
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to give you more insight into Affiliate Marketing programs and schemes, MLM and where and how to find that free solution to both.