Services like Viglink and Skimlinks make it easy to affiliate your website with multiple merchants. Think about it: Instead of having to sign up individually for affiliate accounts at Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Best Buy etc., you can just sign up for one account at Viglink or Skimlinks. Which one is better actually depends upon the niche of your website, but let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between the two services.
The Genius of SkimLinks and Viglink
Viglink & Skimlinks are Niche Sensitive
When it comes to Internet marketing, the niche is everything. It’s just a plain fact that some niches pay better than others. Generally speaking, if you operate a forum where users can post lots of links to products, then these give you the best opportunities to earn money with either Viglink or Skimlinks. These two services will find the appropriate merchant to affiliate with the product link and give you credit whenever someone clicks through and buys something (Viglink and Skimlinks both take 25% of the cut, leaving you 75%).
In certain niches, Skimlinks will have some merchants that Viglink does not and vice versa.
- Both Viglink and Skimlinks have an url shortener, allowing you to monetize links on social sites like Tumblr and YouTube.
- Viglink pays net-60, while Skimlinks pays net-90 days. Both offer a referral program where you get a percentage bonus for the first year that a webmaster earns using their platforms.
- Skimlinks allows you to “bring your own advertisers”: add in any existing advertisers you are already working with. You can then use Skimlinks’ tracking to keep tabs on how well that advertiser is doing.
- One thing that Viglink should make clearer: you’re not immediately affiliated with all merchants. So you won’t be automatically approved for merchants like Best Buy, Walmart & eBay. If you’re curious about which of your affiliated merchants aren’t paying you for your clicks, login to your Viglink dashboard. The merchants with a gray dash symbol in the “Actions” column are not being affiliated with your site and you’re not being paid on those clicks. You have to first show clickouts from your website going to sites like eBay (for example), and then you have to email Viglink support asking them to enable your site for eBay earnings. To their credit, they will whitelist you as long as you already are showing clickouts to their “whitelist only” merchants like eBay. And to be fair, Skimlinks also uses a whitelist for their larger merchants.
- Viglink has an Explorer to help see which merchants pay even more through them than going direct with the merchant. And if you see a merchant with a special badge that says “Restricted” that means you’ve found one of the few merchants that do require approval. Skimlinks offers a Preferred Partner Program that pays high volume websites even higher commission rates.
- Viglink has an optional link override for Amazon and eBay links if you are already affiliated with those programs. Skimlinks has an optional link override for Amazon links only.
- Viglink has great analytics enabling you to chart how many times your links are getting clicked as well as which links are your biggest earners.
- Skimlinks has marginally more websites using it, but this will fluctuate. You can see the stats for each service at the following addresses: http://trends.builtwith.com/ads/VigLink & http://trends.builtwith.com/ads/SkimLinks.