Figuring how to monetize your blog or website is something that I have been harping on recently. And justly so. For a lot of people, blogging can be bittersweet. So much work and research can go into a post and, while you are happy that people like and are interested in what you have to say, the rewards are rarely financial. Some excellent bloggers can become discouraged by this and, over time, cut down on their blogging or stop altogether. By tapping into affiliate marketing, though, bloggers can translate the interest of their readers into funding and continue to stay motivated to produce quality content.
Skimlinks is a service that can help you do just that: turn your blog into an affiliate marketing dynamo. It does two things for you, so that you don’t have to:
- Convert your website’s links into affiliate links (Skimlinks)
- Convert your website’s content into affiliate links (Skimwords)
Once it is working on your site, Skimlinks will automatically check all of your links to see if they might qualify for an affiliate program (that is also a Skimlinks client) and convert them to revenue-generating affiliate links. Where you do not have links, Skimlinks can use their Skimwords service to automatically convert words or phrases on your site (that do not currently have links) into new affiliate links. If you are worried that you blog might look a little spammy with too many links coming from it, you can dial down the saturation level or deactivate the Skimwords service altogether.
How Does It Stack Up
Skimlinks Takes A Little Off The Top
Vendors: Skimlinks is cheaper than Paltip, offering its services for a 25% haircut off of each commission you receive. It is more transparent than either Paltip or VigLink when it comes to the commissions you receive from vendors, although it does not go out of its way to remind the user of their legal liabilities.
The quality and breadth of the list of vendors is astonishing and makes it less likely that you would ever be unintentionally linking to anything dubious. The ability to search through the list of active vendors is better developed and easier to use than in any of the other services. This can be very helpful if you are thinking of developing content that would be looking to actively link to a vendor’s product or service offering.
Tools: Their link insertion technology is a lot more mature than it is for VigLink or anyone other service that I am aware of. Skimlinks also offers Amazon and eBay search widgets which you can install directly on your site. I have never known anyone to use one of those widgets, but it is nice to have them all the same. Another nifty feature:
Use the Skimlinks URL shortener to make money from links referenced outside your website, e.g. use it to make money from product recommendations in Twitter, Facebook, your email newsletters, RSS feed, even in print. If someone clicks on your shortened URL and makes a purchase, it generates a commission for you in the same way as Skimlinks does on your website.
This is one of the most impressive of Skimlinks’ features. So much of your communications with readers, blog visitors, and customers nowadays happens off of your website (especially communications with your core users) that it is important that your links follow with you.
Negatives: You have to apply to Skimlinks to be a vendor for them. When I tried, I was readily accepted even though my site is not especially well trafficked (::sigh::), but your experiences may vary. I also think that it might be a little bit light on the number of inserted links. After activating Skimwords, I didn’t see all that many links go live.
Skimlinks has its own Youtube channel for video demos and explanations. Find a basic explanatory video below that tells you what Skimlinks does and, I think, rips off a riff from a Jackson 5 track:
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