Well, it’s been about a year since I posted up my last Skimlinks review so I thought it was worth putting together a 2013 review to reflect my current thoughts.
In this post I’ll take a look at what’s new, and how I’ve been utilising SkimLinks to monetise my hobby blogs over the last year.
What is Skimlinks?
For those that aren’t familiar with the SkimLinks affiliate network, the company offers a way to seamlessly monetise your website with minimal effort.
With the addition of a simple script to your website pages, any links around the site will be redirected through the Skimlinks servers. They will ananlyse the link and see if there is a money making opportunity, if so they’ll take care of that and you’ll see the cash show up in your account later in the month.
How easy is that?!
If you haven’y already done so, I would recommend signing up to Skimlinks right away, it doesn’t cost anything to join and you are free to experiment with how and where to use it.
Sign up here: SkimLinks
What’s New at Skimlinks?
So what’s new in the last year or so? Well the big update is the new publisher hub which provides a new and improved view over your account activity. The summary view gives all the key information you need to get going, and all the key performance indicators you need are only a few clicks away.
Here’s a look at the new overview page:
Navigating around the hub is just a case of clicking through the menu options on the left. There are a few other KPIs on the right that I’ve cut out for privacy reasons.
The merchant view gives a very quick insight into which companies are making the sales for you.
As before, you can also get a similar break down of site performance so that you can see which of your properties are driving the most revenue.
What I’ve been finding very useful however is the page view, this gives you a page level breakdown of where the sales are coming from. This gives you the opportunity to improve those pages and maximise that income, and also, if you have a direct affiliated relationship with that company then you can swap in your direct links if required.
Update to Tools
As far as I can see the Skimlinks tool offering has moved disappointingly slowly. There was a time when there seemed to be new features being released regularly but the Product API is still in Beta and SkimKit is now unavailable.
However there is one new widget which looks useful. Skimlinks have provided a search widget for both ebay and Amazon that allows users to make searches directly on your site. This in itself isn’t too revolutionary but it does promise geo locating so that your users get sent to their local site.
The labs area of the site seems unchanged, with only the WordPress plugin and RSS feeds features up there.
Hopefully we’ll see some movement on new features in 2013.
What I Like to See Added to the Service?
The one problem I have on my sites, which I think SkimLinks could solve, is geolocating affiliate links. By that I mean I get a mix of US and UK visitors to the site and it would be nice to ensure I maximise earning opportunities from both sides of the Atlantic.
This only really applies to Amazon, but I’d like them to redirect US people to Amazon.com when they click on an Amazon.co.uk link. This is made all the more easy as the two sites have common structures and products share a common unique identifier (the ASIN).
But, please don’t overwrite my Amazon tag unless the geo-location redirect is done!
How has Skimlinks been Working for Me?
To round up my Skimlinks review I would like to talk briefly about my own success with it as a part time hobby blogger.
My results from Skimlinks have been very up and down, some months have proved to be decent earners, and then following months have barely reached the minimum payment threshold. But I think this is down to the nature of how I use the service. It is really only there to sweep up missed monetisation opportunities.
For example it’s saved me a few quid of lost income where I’ve pasted a non-affiliate link into a post, it’s also great for capturing the odd forum post that attracts a high number of views. But in general I prefer to automatically create my own direct affiliate links.
I would definitely recommend signing up to the service for the above reason, there seems to be no down side but the potential for additional income is there. One of my favourite stats in the reporting hub is the lifetime earning amount, essentially it represents all the money I would not have if it weren’t for the Skimlinks service, and over time, it all adds up.
Haven’t signed up to SkimLinks yet? Go and do so now!