Where Did Affiliate Marketing Come From?

Where Did Affiliate Marketing Come From?

Hello, I’m James and no one knows the answer to the question “Where did affiliate marketing come from?”.  It most likely started when a business owner gave a customer a discount for referring a friend.  It’s basically a premise where you get rewarded for referring a customer to a business.  It’s a concept that has kept getting repeated in one form or another over the years.

Do you know who William J. Tobin is?  I’m sure a lot of you do but for those who don’t let me say a few words about him.  He’s an American inventor and business owner known for founding ten different startups since 1968 and securing 15 different patents for products and software. Busy man right!

Well, as the CEO and director of Marketing for a company he founded called PC Flowers, Inc. one of his “inventions” was affiliate marketing!  The reason I put the word inventions in quotes is that affiliate marketing has been around probably since before the west was won. But Tobin brought it to the internet when he started an affiliate marketing program for PC Flowers and gifts somewhere around 1989.

Overview and Ranking

  • Name:  Do It Right Wealth Building
  • Owner:  James
  • Training:  4.8 out of 5.0 (Wealthy Affiliate)
  • Support:  5.0 out of 5.0 (Wealthy Affiliate)
  • Website Builder:  4.9 out of 5.0 (Webpress)
  • WordPress Hosting:  4.8 out of 5.0 (Siterubix)
  • Research Tools:  4.6 out of 5.9 (Wealthy Affiliate)
  • Success Stories:  4.5 out of 5.0 (Wealthy Affiliate)
  • Price: $0.00 Starter Membership (Wealthy Affiliate)
  • Ranking of DoItRightWealthBuilding.com: 4.8 out of 5.0

Affiliate Marketing Gateway

The program became so popular that in 1996 Tobin got a patent on the affiliate marketing process and the rest is history.  Affiliate marketing became very popular in the online world, it has worked well over the years and continues to do so.  The internet has become the affiliate marketing gateway for people to start an online business with the advantage of an inexpensive comprehensive method.  People can enter the affiliate marketing business much more quickly now that the online world has made it easier for us to get in touch with each other for business purposes.

Cookies and browser memory information help affiliate marketing campaigns work.  So, people can and do quickly enter the affiliate marketing field with little investment and become successful.

A Tried and True Practice

Affiliate marketing is not going anywhere.  It’s a way for “ordinary” people like you and I to become successful online.  Companies love it because they can pay for advertising after they’ve sold the product.  You put the effort forth to sell their product and they pay you after the sale.  TV commercials and other forms of advertising are no guarantee that their advertising budget is going to increase sales.  However, affiliate marketing is a way of making sure that the money they pay out is profited by the sale of the product.

This is a tried and true practice that will seemingly never stop working for the benefit of both parties.  It’s a win-win.  One company that got its start selling books called “Amazon.com” has evolved into a business phenomenon and elevated affiliate marketing to a whole new level.

Most Aspiring Affiliate Marketers Need Help


People who understood the business website building process.  And other difficult factors about how to drive traffic to a website could now become successful at this new marketing strategy called affiliate marketing.  Of course, when Tobin realized how popular his affiliate marketing process was becoming, he got a patent on the process (1996).  Coincidentally (or maybe not such a coincidence) Amazon.com started instituting their affiliate program (Amazon Associates) at the same time as Tobin’s patent.  And with that an online affiliate marketing business became accessible to the general public!

Don’t get me wrong there’s still a lot to learn and hard work to do.  A lot of people were attempting and failing at the affiliate marketing process.  People needed a trustworthy resource for educating themselves.  So, in 2005 Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim founded Wealthy Affiliate.  These two entrepreneurs from British Columbia, Canada are passionate and committed to helping people build online businesses.

Wealthy Affiliate Continues to Grow

They created a platform on the internet that emulated their own success.  The Wealthy Affiliate platform has continued to grow at a pace that evolved and innovated faster than the industry.  They started out by offering keyword lists for a monthly fee.  Then they added a communication medium for their members.

What came next was amazing. Training modules, full time employees, hosting infrastructure, and a website builder.  Their membership grew from fifty to thousands between 2005 and 2007.  And by 2009 they left their competition in the dust because everything a person needed to become successful online was within their platform.

Well, $15,000,000.00 later they have one and a half million members.  Wealthy Affiliate is always busy (even today) making improvements.  It’s position as the most popular and trustworthy learn as you earn affiliate marketing training platform is maintained by these efforts put forth by its owners who are still in contact daily with All members who request it.  In October of 2012 they introduced their famous “free with no obligation keep it for life starter membership”!

A Step by Step Process


This free membership requires no credit card information and is a step by step process where you will in no time set-up your account profile, choose your niche, and start interacting with other aspiring marketers!  You will interact with other members with the “live chat” which is another highly praised feature of the platform!  It’s a great way to develop your idealistic short-term goals for making money.

In no time you will be getting timely help when needed and gain an understanding of the process of earning money online.  You will have named and built your own website that is established for long-term success by properly setting up its navigation process.  You will set-up plugins to maximize website efficiency, and optimize your website for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

If I Build It Will They Come?

Within a month you will have developed relationships with other members!  You will have created enough content on your website to start making money through the process of search engine optimization and keyword research.  Your website content training will teach you how to drive traffic to your website by strategically placing keywords within it.

Wealthy Affiliate is NOT like most affiliate marketing training programs.  Most of them will teach you to design and launch a website, but then what?  Hope that people will come! Websites are NOT a situation of “if you build it, they will come”.  Websites need search engine optimization and valid keyword placement to start making money.

Beyond that websites need social media promotions by tapping into the users of social media giants like Facebook and Twitter.  This will provide your business with greater opportunities for success.  Once you build your promotional system—”they WILL come!”.

How Much Money Can I Make?

Realistically you can expect to earn very little money, and work hard for many hours a day in the first 1 to 3 months.  This is because you will be in the process of establishing your website’s foundation. But then what happens when “they come”?  Well, and this is a very realistic projection, within 6 months you could be earning $500 to $3,000 per month!  As you keep working you could be making $3,000 to $10,000 per month within a year!  And between $10,000 and $20,000 per month within 2 years!  And believe me it’s NOT uncommon for Wealthy Affiliate members to be earning up to $50,000 per month within 5 years!  The awesome thing about it is the more money coming in the less work you need to do!

This is how Kyle and Carson’s (the Wealthy Affiliate owners) business building formula works, and it is modeled after their own success in the online world.  It has worked in developing multiple affiliate marketing successful website owners for 15+ years.

Start For Nothing Get Your Websites For Free

So, you will get everything you need on one platform (including websites) to start your online business!  You will pay nothing for it and probably be earning at least as much as it cost to upgrade before you need to!  That’s an “offer you can’t refuse” if you are serious about starting an online business.  Search for a better deal if you must but you will NOT find a better one unless it is NOT a legitimate offer!

Other programs may offer you a free sign up option but not without credit card information.  And not without agreeing to start payments “automatically” in 30 days unless you cancel.  They will hype things up and make you believe and then after 30 days it will seem like they don’t even know you’re there.  They will NOT have the community of support that you’ll get with Wealthy Affiliate.

On top of that they will cost at least twice as much as Wealthy Affiliate and most will cost three or four times as much.  Wealthy Affiliate has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is considered a very legitimate training platform by affiliate marketers across the globe!

Affiliate marketing has come a long way.  It is not a scam.  It is a legitimate business process that people can and do use to earn millions and free up their time for doing whatever they please.  Anyone capable of following instructions can join Wealthy Affiliate and accomplish their money-making goals.

Where Did Affiliate Marketing Come From? – The “Do It Right Wealth Building” Final Word!

Let’s think about an answer to the question that serves as a title to this article.  Did I fully answer the question “Where did affiliate marketing come from?”?  The answer is no one knows so therefore it can’t be fully answered, but the point is we know when and how it first got started online.

William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers and Gifts launched the first affiliate marketing endeavor on the Prodigy Network in 1989.  In 1996 he patented the process and licensed it to Amazon.com and with that it became available to “the average Joe”.  Amazon refined the process over the years and gave it much more popularity.

In 2005 a couple of entrepreneurs realized the process was completely doable by anyone with the proper training.  They realized financially strapped people could establish financial freedom even in poverty-stricken countries!  They had achieved affiliate marketing success and wanted to help others do the same!

They started Wealthy Affiliate with a weekly keyword list that members could use for their affiliate marketing success.  By 2009 Wealthy Affiliate had evolved into a platform with everything needed to build an online business.  It’s a complete platform with training, a forum for members to communicate, video training, interactive classrooms, and a website builder; just to name a few of the benefits it offers for affiliate marketers.

The one and a half million members it has today come from ALL levels of affiliate marketers.  From newbies to experts, from zero income earners to million-dollar income earners, and they are communicating every day!  The platform and the members will teach anyone who puts the effort forth to go from zero to hero in the affiliate marketing business.

If you want true affiliate marketing success Wealthy Affiliate can and will take you there if you are willing to do the work.  All that’s required is that you take advantage of the platform which has everything you’ll need.  They will GIVE you a free “Starter Membership” and let you keep it for life without a credit card.  They never make you pay for an upgrade.  But be warned; you will want to pay for the advanced training (only $359 per year) once you see the money that they’ve taught you how to earn being deposited into your bank account!

Here are some links for you to use for more information: Wikipedia for research purposesA blog entry of mine on the Wealthy AffiliateHer Platform.

Simply ask!  If you need a hand with anything that I have discussed please leave a comment below and I will help as-soon-as-possible!  Thank you!

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