Skimlinks Review. Ok, stating that Skimlinks is the best affiliate platform ever is always going to be controversial. The truth is that Skimlinks easily measures up against Affiliate Window, Commission Junction, and ShareASale, and, in my humble opinion, can be the most potent tool in your affiliate arsenal. This is my Skimlinks review based on first hand experience, why it should be your first port of call when looking to sign up for an affiliate program, and how Skimlinks can turn your website and blog into a money making machine.
Skimlinks Review Summary
This is quite an in-depth review of Skimlinks so here is a quick summary of everything below. Overall, I feel that Skimlinks is the best affiliate program on the market at the moment. Its proprietary technology allows for a more efficient workload when creating affiliate websites, pages and links. You never have to worry about traditional affiliate linking every again – just link to page, product or service with the standard URL and Skimlinks will do the rest (obviously the landing URL needs to be a page on an affiliate merchant site that has signed up with Skimlinks). The fact that you are automatically signed up to 17000+ affiliate merchants means you can diversify quickly so that you do not rely on a handful of merchants. Another big plus is the analytics and insight tabs which allow for in-depth analysis of your affiliate marketing efforts. Overall, Skimlinks will become one powerful, if not the most powerful, affiliate marketing tool in your arsenal.
A little Skimlinks context
I first heard of Skimlinks at the Digital Marketing Show 2013 in London (late to the party as usual). In a talk about affiliate marketing, someone mentioned Skimlinks and I can’t remember exactly what they said but it was enough for me to take notice and to Google that name when I got back to the office.
This was to be a defining point in my affiliate marketing life – Skimlinks.
That’s a little dramatic but it does sum up nicely how much I love Skimlinks and how much it has improved my ability to boost affiliate earning a commission in just a few short months.
Back to the context. Skimlinks wasn’t actually Skimlinks when it started. Back in 2006, the founder of Skimlinks created a social decision-making website called Skimbit. It was from this site that the team wanted to improve their revenue streams through affiliate marketing, the technology which was born eventually became what we love and know as Skimlinks today. This is a nice story and from this, you can tell that it works. When a company created from a technology that is proven to work can only ever be a good thing when it comes to affiliate marketing. There are so many companies, services and technologies out there for affiliate marketers to use but hardly any will provide the bang for your buck that Skimlinks does.
How do I join Skimlinks?
It’s a pretty simple process to join Skimlinks. It’s free for a start.
You just need to visit www.skimlinks.com/signup and fill in your personal/business and affiliate website information.
After you have submitted your application your website will be verified that it meets certain criteria. It’s not a high bar to jump but still your website needs to meet the following criteria:
- Is your site a content site, blog, forum or web app?
- Does your site have a significant amount of traffic originating in North America, Europe or Australia?
- Does your site have unique content?
- Is your content product-focused?
- Are you well-established and have quality traffic to your site?
They will usually get back to you within 2-3 working days.
How does Skimlinks work?
Ok, Skimlinks (the affiliate marketing platform) has three technologies (i.e. the methods of referring your readers to affiliate merchants and inexchange for them making a purchase on the affiliate merchants website you earn affiliate commission) for affiliate marketers to use.
1) Skimlinks – This technology is the namesake of the company and it turns all normal links into affiliate links automatically. No need for time-consuming conventional affiliate linking and hiding referral links. Just stick in the standard website URL that you want to link to and when a user clicks that link then the magic happens. Skimlinks instantly and seamlessly redirects that user through an affiliate page and back out to the original URL you linked to.
The great thing also is that you can install the affiliate redirect page on your subdomain for even faster redirect speeds. For example, on this website, I am using the subdomain: go.douglashunt.co.uk as the redirect. Have a click and see the Skimlinks landing page for yourself.
The only other thing you have to do to get Skimlinks up and running on your website is to install the proprietary software. This is uber-simple for CMS’s such as WordPress. There is a full step-by-step guide when you sign up.
2) SkimWords – This is the second technology available to affiliate marketers. SkimWords sort of does what it says on the tin. It will take words from your website or blogs content and link them to relevant affiliate merchants or affiliate merchant products. I will give you a quick example of this. Below you will see the phrase ‘Desktop PC’. I will not link this phrase to anything and if everything goes to plan then SkimWords should link to relevant products from their huge affiliate merchant database. Here goes:
SkimWords, is a great way of adding another small unobtrusive revenue stream to your content with zero effort at all.
Skimlinks Review: Skimlinks Merchants
Now down to the part where we start making money. As you are well aware now Skimlinks is a little different to most affiliate programs – mainly because of their proprietary technologies. But there is another significant difference with Skimlinks that, in my opinion, makes it the best affiliate program I have used to date.
When you are accepted on to the Skimlinks program you are automatically signed up to 17000+ affiliate merchants instantly. Wow!
Unlike, ShareASale, Affiliate Window, Commission Junction, etc, where you have to sign up to every affiliate merchant separately after signing up to the affiliate program, Skimlinks gives you access to every affiliate merchant they have on their books INSTANTLY and AUTOMATICALLY.
Plus, I have found out that Skimlinks has Affiliate Window and some other affiliate programs as merchants, such as Amazon, so you can now link to your existing products via Skimlinks. The only downside is that Skimlinks earns a small percentage on every commission you receive. This isn’t a big loss as you will find the benefits easily outweigh the costs/negatives in terms of your long term affiliate earning potential.
Another interesting thing about Skimlinks affiliate merchants is that there are two categories: Preferred Partners and ordinary affiliate partners.
1) Preferred Partners:
On Skimlinks there is a special group of 314 preferred affiliate partners. This might sound ominous but actually Skimlinks has arranged for a boosted affiliate commission with these merchants. Meaning your asos.com commission would have been 5% but now it is 7%. 2% might not seem like a lot but add that up over time and it will work out as a nice heap of cash in your pocket that you didn’t have before.
2) Ordinary Affiliate Partners:
Unlike the Preferred Partners, the Ordinary Affiliate Partners do not have boosted commissions. Don’t let this get you down in the dumps though. In fact, these commissions are still reasonable when you weigh up the benefits of Skimlinks against its competitors as a whole – simple cost/benefit ratio will show that you are better off with Skimlinks as your main tool.
Skimlinks Review: Skimlinks Dashboard
The Skimlinks dashboard has to be the cleanest and simplest dashboard I have seen so far. I think this comes with not having to do individual affiliate merchant pages as you are already signed up to all of them, so they can spend more time cleaning up the site.
Below is a screenshot of the first page you will see when you log in.
This is my favourite page mainly because it succinctly breaks down your Skimlinks affiliate efforts in the last 30 days. This provides a great snapshot of your revenue; the number of clicks; how much Skimlinks, SkimWords and Showcases have earnt you; the total number of approved merchants including preferred partners; your top earning merchants; your top earning websites (if you have more than one); and finally your top earning pages. A great snapshot perfect for those of us who are addicted to checking our affiliate programs every hour on the hour (guilty as charged!).
Skimlinks Review: Skimlinks Performance
Most affiliates are stats junkies before they begin affiliate marketing, and if not before, then they soon become addicted to stats. It’s just a condition of the fragile relationship that is affiliate marketing. Skimlinks does a great job at providing uber-amount of stats so you can get digging deeper to squeeze every last ounce of potential from your websites, pages and clicks.
There are 4 analytics graphs and 2 insight breakdowns, all accessible from the Skimlinks Performance tab, that will get your juices flowing instantly.
1) Daily Analytics Report: This tab will give you access to the daily breakdown of your earnings, clicks, EPC, order value, sales, and conversion rate.
2) Merchants Analytics Report: This tab will give you access to your affiliate merchants stats and breakdowns.
3) Sites Analytics Report: This tab will give you access to your how your website or websites are doing.
4) Unaffiliated Clicks Analytics Report: This tab will give you access to all the links that aren’t affiliate links which pass through Skimlinks. Not the most enjoyable tab, however, if used properly you should be able to identify links which could be potentially turned into affiliate links/or swap them for a competitor which is an affiliate link. I personally haven’t done much with this tab yet but in time I will start to optimise my affiliate work on Skimlinks.
5) Product Insights Report: This tab will give you access to all the products that your referrals purchased from your affiliate merchants. I am not sure this is 100% of all products from 100% of all merchants but the information can be statistically very important to how you promote your existing and future affiliate links.
6) Page Insights Report: This tab will give you access to all the pages that your referrals purchased from your affiliate merchants.
Skimlinks Review Conclusion
This Skimlinks Review has covered most of the basis that I find personally important when checking out affiliate programs – there is still some more I want to add – but that will come with time. For now, this provides a comprehensive look at what Skimlinks is, does, and can do for you. It is a powerful tool and if you are in need of faster affiliate linking, better insights and analytics, instant and automatic sign-ups to 17000+ affiliate merchants, then this is the tool for you. It really does make life a lot easier. Yes, there are downfalls such as a decrease commission rate but I think that is easily outweighed by the benefits of using Skimlinks as an affiliate tool. Speed and efficiency when working is a plus for me as I have a limited amount of time I can spend on affiliate marketing as it is my hobby between running my businesses.
Overall, I would rate Skimlinks a strong 9 out of 10 stars.
I hope this Skimlinks review has been helpful. If you have any questions, comments or anything else, just ask in the comments below.