Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
While many of the online courses, tools and resources for entrepreneurial education that I mention in this post can apply to any kind of entrepreneurship, I want to focus on digital entrepreneurship because that is the fastest growing area of entrepreneurship. If you’re in any kind of business today, whether brick-and-mortar or digital, you’re going to at the very least need to use the Internet as a platform for marketing your products or services.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.