The origin and development of affiliate marketing
The entire concept of affiliate marketing is focused on sharing the revenue by partnering up with others, and it is the concept that has been around for a while before the world wide web even started. In terms of affiliate marketing as an online business model, we can trace back its origin back to 1994 when the first affiliate program was launched by PC Flowers & Gifts.
One year later, they had over 2000 partners in their affiliate program. Perhaps the best-known affiliate program today, Amazon’s affiliate program, was launched in 1996. In fact, e-commerce websites, in general, started seeing affiliate marketing as an excellent way for them to increase sales without any direct promotion from their part.
Even though there have been several business models in affiliate marketing, what really changed the game was the introduction of Web 2.0. This shifted the focus to the user generated content, optimization, and integration of social media.
As a result, affiliate marketing became even more available to the ordinary people, bloggers, influences, etc. who suddenly started seeing this type of marketing as a perfect way for them to monetize their online influence. No longer has this partnership been available for businesses only, but individuals started taking a massive role in the concept, changing the world of affiliate marketing for good.