Skimlinks Review: Want to Really Earn Money With Affiliate Marketing?

There are countless ways to monetize any site, and some methods are more effective than others depending upon the visitors themselves.  In fact, the visitors are certainly the key to the problem, but that alone is not enough to monetize a site.  Even a fan-site with tons of great content is essentially a loss for the owner if they are not set up with the various affiliate marketing programs around the web.  Furthermore, being bound to the affiliate marketing program of one particular company or even a handful of companies may result in traffic that is split between those in a buying mode, and those in more of a flaming mode.

One solution would be to spend countless hours signing up for dozens of different affiliate programs, hoping that they have low payoff points or praying that traffic will increase around a million-fold so that those fractions of pennies will start turning into big paychecks.  Alternatively, one could look into Skimlinks.

What is Skimlinks?

Here's what visitors/customers see.

Here's what visitors/customers see.

Skimlinks is essentially a clearing house for affiliate programs, meaning that they sign up for literally hundreds of affiliate programs so you don’t have to.  This means both freedom from brand-dependence as well as pay-offs that are a combination of all of one’s affiliate marketing.  There is a catch, which is only to be expected, but it is not as bad as it might seem.  Skimlinks keeps 25% of all your hard earned affiliate marketing money.  This may seem like a lot considering that a standard 10% finder’s fee would seem more applicable to this situation, especially since that is more or less what is happening here: Skimlinks is simply connecting two parties.   That being the case, there still might be ample justification for such a high percentage, so keep an open mind while considering two scenarios.

Both scenarios will revolve around a blogger who just absolutely loves computers, but Scenario A will feature this particular blogger trying to make a living by handling the affiliate marketing aspect of his or her website while Scenario B will seem them using Skimlinks.

Scenario A Begins

Sales go through Skimlinks and end up....

Sales go through Skimlinks and end up....

Scenario A would have to start with our blogger looking for affiliate marketing programs for his or her favorite hardware and/or software.  This is not such a large problem in all cases, as companies such as Dell and HP have ready-made affiliate marketing programs, but that is not necessarily the case for other vendors.  Some companies, such as ASUS, have a huge following in many market segments, but they do not have an affiliate program for bloggers.  The amount of time spent searching and signing up for programs will probably not be very high, perhaps only an hour or two, but there are some severe limitations here.

To get around these limitations, our blogger could just limit posts to brands that do have quality affiliate programs, or expand to some of the top online stores such as NewEgg.  Still, there are two problems: limited content scope that might make them seem less than genuine or force our blogger to write ‘freebies’ and the second problem is that it would seem very likely that sales will simply slip through our blogger’s fingers.  In short, our blogger is at risk of being marginalized as a fanboy/fangirl simply because of the limited affiliate marketing opportunities, while he or she spins his or her wheels trying to gain traction.  In the end, the site may or may not make it long term because of this limitation, and the result might be a lack of payout.

What About Scenario B?

...going right into your pocket minus a 25% comission.

...going right into your pocket minus a 25% commission.

Scenario B is a lot simpler with Skimlinks.  The blogger sees what Skimlinks has to offer, and signs up.  Skimlinks can automatically convert links to affiliate links and this frees the blogger to cover a wider range of topics.  If they think that one company just came out with a really slick product that needs coverage, then they can blog about it with reasonable certainty that any sells will earn them a portion of the commission.

Is It Worth It?

It is hard to deny the appeal of being able to use Skimlinks as a one-stop shop for most of or even all of one’s affiliate marketing.  There is nothing stopping bloggers from using direct affiliate marketing when they see fit, and Skimlinks for everything else.  This approach basically makes Skimlinks the affiliate marketing equivalent of a catch-all for everything that falls through the cracks.  It also might be worth considering the fact that Skimlinks already has existing relationships with major vendors such as, K-Mart, and Dell onboard, as well as major affiliate networks such as Affiliate Future, Affiliate Window, Google Shopping, Trade Doubler, Commission Junction, Webgains, Link Share, and Zanox.

The bottom line is that there really is no serious downside to using Skimlinks in most situations.  The chances of a payout ($10 minimum) would seem much higher by marketing different products from different vendors, and allows for sites to generate reviews with more credibility instead of constantly praising Company A’s products.  Give Skimlinks a try, and see if it doesn’t help change your bottom line.

Chad Weirick is a global traveler, ghostwriter, teacher, and father. His hobbies include reading, languages, mixed martial arts, photography, digital media, blogging, and spending time with his family.