Good news for me, but many seem upset by this and I don’t quite understand why!
Skimlinks Forum Integration
It seems that a number of vBulletin forum owners read the headline and got mighty pissed off without stopping to think for a minute.
They seemed to think that vBulletin were somehow forcing this service onto users so that they could make additional revenue at the expense of us the forum webmasters!
Of course this wasn’t the case at all, all they have done is made it far easier to integrate Skimlinks into out forums for those of us that do wish to use the service.
Knickers in a Twist
I fully understand those who chose to keep their forums advert and affiliate link free. If you can afford to run a forum and have the free time to maintain a non-commercial website then good luck to you – I wish I was in that position!
But this isn’t what people were complaining about! It seems that because people didn’t really understand what was happening and didn’t really know what Skimlinks was it was clearly a “bad thing“.
Sure, Skimlinks operates a referrer programme and vBulletin will benefit from this, but they aren’t forcing anyone to sign up in this way, and they aren’t forcing anyoneto even use Skimlinks if they don’t want to!
Funny that Adsense integration didn’t cause quite the same fuss! It is no different to how they have added various options to allow us to easily integrate Adsense? I don’t remember all the non-adsense users getting upset, they probably thought “no good for me, but nice feature for adsense users”.
vBulletin has 1000s of configurable options and none of us are going to use all of them. For example, I don’t charge a subscription for my forum but I don’t think go shouting at them every time they invest time in improving it!
Some of us use Adsense, some of us use Skimlinks, and the more integration vBulletin has with this and other products the wider the software’s appeal will be.
Extra income, no extra work
My last monthly payment from Skimlinks was £85, not a big amount, but it’s still £85 that I would never have otherwise got, and over a year, that’s an extra £1000.
The Skimlinks service is not free, they take 25% of the commissions earned. So you need to decide whether that’s value for money. You could of course build your own plugin that does something similar. Those who follow this blog will know that I have actually done something very similar in the past!
But the time it took to manage feeds, sign up to programmes, etc, etc was just too much for the small amount of additional income I’d make.
For me, Skimlinks is worth it.
We all need to make our own individual choices as to whether we want to monetise our forums but if this is something you do want to do, then I definitely recommend Skimlinks. If my little forum can generate this much then your larger one could make…?
Interested? Sign up for Skimlinks here.
If you are unfamiliar with Skimlinks then check out my previous posts here.