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Origin of Affiliate Programs

The idea of affiliate programs really caught in 1996 when Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of, began employing these types of Internet marketing strategies. He took the approach that he would present as a forum to attract affiliates interested in posting post links to individual books for sale on by promising them a percentage of the profits if someone clicks on the link and, subsequently, makes a purchase.

Though, it is the ultimate responsibility of the affiliate to make the sale, provides the structure, as well as, the medium that drives the traffic. Plus, takes the order, collects the money and, actually, ships the book to the customer. Now with over 500,000 affiliate web sites participating,'s program has proven to be a tremendous success, as well as, a model for scores of other affiliate programs.

Over the past few years, as affiliate programs have grown leaps and bounds in popularity, they have begun to take on many different forms. For web sites that generally do not dabble much in the e-commerce world (selling products or services online), functioning as an affiliate is an effective and low-risk way to participate in e-commerce.

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