What Is Affiliate Marketing About Today? – Best Training Of Affiliate Marketing? (part:1)

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

This post contains affiliate links, which mean if you use these links to purchase an item or service I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer page here.

In What Is Affiliate Marketing About Today? – Best Training Of Affiliate Marketing? (part:1) we will learn about, and touched bases on:

Building Affiliate Marketing Website – Start Affiliate Marketing Program

Four core industry players:

  • the merchant (also known as ‘advertiser’ or ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’)
  • the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments)
  • the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’)
  • the customer

The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates, and specialized third party vendors.

Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.

Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.

Affiliate marketing is frequently overlooked by advertisers. While search engines, e-mail, and web site syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers’ marketing strategies.

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The concept of revenue sharing—paying commission for referred business—predates affiliate marketing and the Internet. The translation of the revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce happened in November 1994, almost four years after the origination of the World Wide Web.

The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.

In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy. By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking. In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.

In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists’ CD’s directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen’s website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist’s music page.

Amazon.com (Amazon) launched its associate program in July 1996: Amazon associates could place banner or text links on their site for individual books, or link directly to the Amazon home page.

When visitors clicked on the associate’s website to go to Amazon and purchase a book, the associate received a commission. Amazon was not the first merchant to offer an affiliate program, but its program was the first to become widely known and serve as a model for subsequent programs.

In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.


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Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005. Marketing Sherpa’s research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.

In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors. Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.

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Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.

Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google’s affiliate network. New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.


In Closing

As you have learned through reading and viewing the information in this post, Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

Hopefully you feel better about What Is Affiliate Marketing About Today? – Best Training Of Affiliate Marketing? (part:1)

I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,

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Author: HBS & DwJ

12 thoughts on “What Is Affiliate Marketing About Today? – Best Training Of Affiliate Marketing? (part:1)

  1. Tobin in my opinion just high-jacked the Door to Door sales model and put it online. In door-to-door sales, you prospect your potential clients, demonstrate the good in your product, and earn a commission only if the product sells. With online marketing and affiliate marketing especially you save the footwork and put advertising and marketing to work instead.

    The big secret for companies is the affiliate pays all advertising cost and you maximize Return On Investment by only paying for successful sales. For the affiliate, the sky is the limit on earnings because you can attack as many affiliate pages as your niche has needs.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for so much for stopping by, and commenting on this site with your valuable feedback.

      Favor Filled Blessings To You! 

  2. Hello and I just want to say right away that this is a well written article and deserves more traffic.  

    I have been studying Affiliate marketing for a few years now and found the grind of it to be an awesome and a rewarding way to make a side hustle, a legitimate business that will ( if you’re consistent ) yield you the income of your dreams.

    I learned so much from this article.  

    Thank you for writing it.  I’ll be back to see how you are progressing soon. 


  3. This is a very informative and comprehensive article on affiliate marketing and also the origins as well. 

    Affiliate marketing is a very rewarding way of making a living. It benefits all the different parties that are involved, from the merchant, to the affiliate, and also the customer. 

    With more people working from home and working on-line, I think it is a market that will continue to grow. 

    1. Hello,

      You are most certainly welcome for the sharing of such an informative, comprehensive article, and thank you for considering it such. It is most definitely my pleasure to bring this type of content, especially of this caliber to the attention of those who are, and those who may become interested in Affiliate Marketing.

      Blessings And Unlimited Success To You!

  4. I would love to share my experience with affiliate marketing. I have been on an affiliate marketing journey for almost 2 years now, and I have got to say, it is the best decision i’ve made since I was 15 years old.

    I am now working on it full-time and thanks to my online biz I can travel at least once every year, that’s for NOW.

    In the near future, I am sure I can travel as many times as I want because I won’t be making $300-500 a month anymore, I will be making $3k-$5k a month 😀

    Keep grinding,


    1. Hello Kayin,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Affiliate Marketing and adding to the fact that it is a great choice to become an affiliate marketer. 

      Thank you for the encouragement to keep grinding, and I also commend your “hanging in there” attitude which is going to continue to add to your success. 

      The Best To You Here And Beyond!

  5. Thank you for sharing this detailed and informative article.  

    I agree that this is the best training on affiliate marketing. I am glad to know the history of affiliate marketing which had its beginning in 1994. I really did not have knowledge of what this really was until I joined Wealthy Affiliate.  

    This article has really given me a greater appreciation for the opportunity that we have been given.  

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Good morning,

      I also agree that we have been given an opportunity that we should appreciate, and our success depends largely on how much effort we put forth in our daily lives, but during this present day in time, many of us think we are too busy and ignore the important roles of following the training as we should. 

      I also have other content located in jmj45tech.com with related content for even more helpful content and relative information.

      Thank you for commenting, and you are welcome for the sharing of this information.  

      Best Regards To You My Friend!

  6. Thanks for all the great information! 

    I have been debating about starting an online business through affiliate marketing for a while, but have never started yet, but I received a ton of great info from this article. 

    With everything going on around the world I think having an online business is a no brainer. 

    Thanks again!

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