Affiliate Marketing History

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Affiliate Marketing Prior To The Arrival Of The Internet

When the concept of affiliate marketing history is raised nowadays, most people automatically think it was conceived after the arrival of the internet and don't necessarily think there was any such a thing prior to the World Wide Web.

While the reasoning behind it is quite understandable, due to it's amazingly phenomenal expansion under less than two decades, at the time of writing this article in 2012.

To put it quite bluntly, this simply just is not the case, for this form of doing business had been in existence long before Tim Berners Lee had quite rightly been accredited with discovering or inventing the World Wide Web, when in the month of March 1989 he first proposed the technological applicability and/or linguistic construction of HTML and which he implemented on Christmas Day 1990.

Affiliates were even in existence long before Leonard Kleinrock published his paper way back in 1961 on packet switching, in which packets of data could be routed from place to place based soley on address information which was included from within the data.

This had predated DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) who had started developing the concept of the internet, in 1964 as a means of transferring and thus sharing knowledge on defence research, between scientists at various Universities.

Yes, the process of paying others to make people aware of your product and to sell it for you has been around for a long time. Affiliate marketing history stretches much further back than the internet as we know it, has been around.

Affiliate Marketing History After The Arrival Of The Internet
So, now that we have established that the internet was not the medium by which affiliate marketing first came into being, how and when did this successful and quite lucrative form of business (if done correctly) first become such a popular mode of
conducting business online.

Despite a popular belief that it was Amazon who launched the first affiliate programme on the internet in July 1996,there have been differing views as to who, what, why, when and how it actually
did start.

It does appear though, and quite a few sources stand by their conviction that it was a man by the name of William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts, who has the distinction of holding the title of being the first internet marketer.

It was in 1989 that Tobin started the process when he conceived the idea of Internet affiliate marketing, patented it and launched it on the Prodigy Network. PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996.

However, as stated earlier, the concept of revenue sharing (cost per sale) and the paying of a commission for referring business predated internet affiliate marketing.

The revenue share principles were only incorporated into mainstream e-commerce in November 1994, nearly 4 years after the implementation of the World Wide Web on Christmas Day 1990 by Tim Berners Lee.

Now step forward who launched it's own associates programme in July 1996.

Although Amazon were not actually the first merchant to start an affiliate programme, they were certainly the first one to become extremely well known on a global scale, setting themselves up as the model for all subsequent affiliate programmes to follow.

These Amazon affiliates could either link to Amazon's home page or place banner and text links on their own sites which would directly link the prospective customer to individual books they were looking for. Each time a visitor to the affiliate's website clicked on one of those links and bought a book, the affiliate would earn a commission.

An announcement was made by Amazon in February 2000, that they had been granted a Patent on components of it's affiliate programme, which they had submitted in June 1997 predating most of the other affiliate programmes. All that is, except PC Flowers and and 2 or 3 other companies.

In less than 20 years, the growth of affiliate marketing has grown phenominally. In certain cases e-commerce websites have out performed their parent offline businesses and grown bigger than them in the process.

The total sales generated through affiliate networks is counted in billions and growing all the time. It is certainly a very profitable business to become part of.

Affiliate marketing and e-commerce are most definitely not one of those ridiculous, Get Rich Quick, overnight success pap stories that we are continually reading and hearing about.

It is however, a genuine honest to goodness route to take and is out there for any hard working, motivated person who wants to have their own business.

  • Note: When I refer to it being hard work, my intention is only to convey to you that you must have motivation and perseverance to achieve the goal you have set your sights on. Without either of those, you will not succeed.

However, if your affiliate/e-commerce website business idea is a topic you love and know well and affiliate marketing is something you have set your heart on and want to try out, then go for it. Why Not?

Endowed with those attributes of Desire, Motivation, Perseverance and love of your topic, you can't but succeed and building your affiliate business will automatically become a breeze. The hours will simply fly by. Follow this link for more information on why affiliate marketing might be just right for you.

The very best of luck to you, all of you, who wish to take this pathway to success, Make sure you follow all the links on this page for further information. Read this excellent article on the High Earning affiliate and then go and write your own name in the affiliate marketing history book.

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Affiliate Marketing History