The History and Development of Affiliate Marketing



Paul Kinder

Internet marketing could also be called online marketing, e-Marketing, web marketing, or i-Marketing. Affiliate Marketing is an Internet marketing structure that is usually neglected by the advertisers. To understand more about this marketing strategy, a quick look on its origin would be a good preference.

Four years after the beginning of the World Wide Web, which is in 1994, e-commerce or online commerce evolved with the concept of revenue sharing. This concept meant giving off commissions as businesses are referred through web links. It was noted that a cost per click program went with the affiliate marketing trend during its first years. To add, affiliate marketing grew very fast from the time it started its operations. E-commerce site became an important part of business plans. In November of 1994, a BuyWeb program was launched. It was from a web site that sells music albums. This was also the web site that initiated the idea of an affiliate program with the concept of click-through purchasing. The program went with scheme intended for websites that were inclined with music. Those websites were encouraged to review or make a list of albums on this site that sells the albums. The reviews or listings were for the potential customers. The musically inclined websites could also have a link to take the web guests directly to this site that sells music albums, and make their purchases.Furthermore, an online site selling books started its affiliate program a few years later. This was in 1996. The associates or affiliates of this site could have banners or text links on their sites designed for distinctive book purchases; or to be directed to the book selling web home page. Then, when the web guests from an affiliate web site clicked on the link to the book selling web site and bought an item, the affiliate site would have a commission. This book selling site was not the primary business that dealt with an affiliate program but it was the first one to be popular with the program and even became the exemplary of the successive programs.Looking closely at it, affiliate marketing is a program that must always be considered by business owners. It has a strong potential on pushing the business to meet its sales target and even go over it. The compensation methods involved with it would attract a lot of webmasters or site owners to have a business link or banner in their site, leading to an affiliate site to get the commission or referral bonus they could get.Affiliate marketing is best for online merchants since it utilizes a pay per performance scheme. This implies that the business owner will not have any marketing expenditures unless the results are evident; except for preliminary setup cost if there is any.On the other hand, there were also issues on affiliate marketing because of the minimal control with the process. There are affiliates that engaged with spams, forced clicks, false advertising, and other ways to drive traffic to the business site or sponsor. This is the reason to be aware of the whole mechanism before signing up with an affiliate marketing program.

Paul Kinder is with Affiliate Marketing. His venture is very helpful for online business affiliates. For further details, see

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The History and Development of Affiliate Marketing}