Origin of Affiliate Programs
The idea of affiliate programs really caught in 1996 when Jeff Bezos,
CEO and founder of Amazon.com, began employing these types of Internet
marketing strategies. He took the approach that he would present Amazon.com
as a forum to attract affiliates interested in posting post links to individual
books for sale on Amazon.com 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, Amazon.com provides the structure, as well as, the medium that
drives the traffic. Plus, Amazon.com takes the order, collects the money
and, actually, ships the book to the customer. Now with over 500,000
affiliate web sites participating, Amazon.com's program has proven to
be a tremendous success, as well as, a model for scores of other affiliate
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.