Skimlinks Review

I’ve recently signed up for Skimlinks so here is my initial review.

I will try and report back in more detail later, after I have tried it out on a few sites.

What Is Skimlinks?

Skimlinks is a service that will convert normal hyperlinks into affiliate links automatically. The links look the same to the user and the system can be used in-conjunction with any existing affiliate links you have.

They seem to have thought of everything – there is a URL shortener so you can monetise e.g. twitter links, there is also the skimkit software which helps you find products and their images and deeplinks. There are other goodies too, like exclusive discount codes.

The main advantages that I can see are:

  • Save Time – Concentrate on great content and marketing or analysis.
  • Save Time – No need to sign up for hundreds of affiliate programmes across multiple networks.
  • Aggregation – Great for smaller affiliates – all your cash will be in one place so no having to wait to hit a payment threshold.
  • No Worries – When a merchant changes network.
  • Deeplink More – Have you ever linked to a merchants homepage because you couldn’t be bothered deeplinking? now you can deeplink away and that will most likely enhance your conversion rate.

The disadvantage of Skimlinks could be that you take a hit in the pocket – they take 25% of the earnings.

Which Travel Companies Use Skimlinks?

When I do a search for UK and the “travel, flights & hotels” category there are 324 merchants listed in the Skimlinks directory. So the answer is that most travel merchants are available through Skimlinks. They have however included some very vaguely travel merchants such as The Ordnance Survey and Millets in that total of 324 though. By comparison, when I checked the USA section there were 104 merchants listed. For some merchants you’ll also be able to see the average basket size and conversion rate. Some affiliate networks offer this too of course but with Skimlinks it’s all in one place.

Tiered Commission

There isn’t too much of this in the travel industry, but tiered rates of commission do exist on some – Expedia, Hotels.co.uk, Holiday Extras Air New Zealand, Ramada Jarvis, Butlins, are examples off the top of my head. In these cases, assuming Skimlinks can find their way into the top tier, then the 25% cut that skimlinks take would be made up for in many cases by the extra commission.

Skimkit – Content Creation Tool

Over to youtube for an overview on this one….. I can imagine it being very useful for e.g. gadget and fashion bloggers, will let you know if I can find some good uses for the travel sector too.

Disclosure : Skimlinks are operating an affiliate / referral scheme off their own… If you use my referral link to join Skimlinks I will get 10% of your earnings for a year. It’s not taken out of your earnings though, it’s from Skimlinks own margin.

Comments

  1. martha stern says:

    Readers will perceive you’re no longer independent once they realise that what links you include is how you get paid so the real question is, is it worth it for what you earn? My view is the role of the paid professional travel writer has all but gone. Adding affiliate links to editorial is looking for money where there isn’t any.

  2. One one the main disadvantages to the affiliate in my opinion, is that you are using a standard outbound link and thus giving the merchants a lot of inbound links – something that will be great for the merchants but will make it a lot harder for you to compete with them if you are relying on organic search traffic within the same niche.

    Easier to monetise your site but in the long term potentially screwing yourself over!

  3. There would be nothing to stop you nofollowing the links if you felt that was a valid concern though.

  4. Very true & had thought of that, tbh though I never know what to believe with the treatment of G with the no-follow tag, and personally still feel that it would pass benefit.

    Something which is fine if thats what a site owner wanted to do, but for any competing affiliate site I’m not sure if its worth the risk.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. I’m also suspicious about the respect that G pays nofollow but by the same token they probably can also detect the redirect that goes on with the skimlinks links ?

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