It’s a common misconception that Amazon invented online affiliate marketing. Actually, affiliate marketing began in 1989 with a man named William J. Tobin, who holds the proud title of the realm’s first internet marketer. The founding father of PC Flowers and Gifts, Tobin conceptualised the idea of affiliate marketing online and launched his program on the Prodigy Network.
This model concerned paying the Prodigy community a commission on every sale. By 1993, it was generating greater than $6 million dollars yearly for Prodigy. This fulfillment encouraged Tobin to patent the premise in 1996, though this wasn’t issued until 2000.