I live in California and when the Governor signed the Nexus Tax, I lost my Amazon Associates Account. This was a very sad day for my IM business, since I have been getting a monthly direct deposit from Amazon since 2008. Plus the Amazon Associates program can be very lucrative around Christmas time and I was actually getting used to having a wonderful Amazon Christmas. Not being able to monetize with Amazon doesn’t mean my sites aren’t viable it just meant I had to find a new solution. So I thought I would give VigLink a try.
In case you are wondering, Amazon and the state of California have come to an agreement and I expect my Amazon Associates account to be reinstated any day now. So I still plan on having an Amazon Christmas. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop using VigLink. Especially now that they have opened up Link Insertion to everyone. VigLink is an affiliate program that is affiliated with Amazon, eBay, Commission Junction and many of the other top affiliate companies.
If you want to know if a specific merchant is affiliated with VigLink, you can use the Merchant Coverage tool, which allows you to insert the url of the affiliate product and check whether it is affiliated or not. Some advantages of using VigLink is that they are a big top tier affiliate, which means that they get the top commission, whereas a small affiliate may get 4% from Amazon while Viglink will get 8%. Because many affiliates pay percentages based on sales volume. Viglink will take out 25% of your commissions so you need to do the math to decide if this is viable for you.
What makes VigLink really useful is the ease of use. To enable VigLink on a site all you have to do is copy the VigLink code and paste it before the closing </body> tag on your site. In WordPress this would be in footer.php. Once you have the code installed all you have to do is link to any item that VigLink has an affiliated relationship with and when the user clicks on it VigLink will give you credit for that click. You don’t actually have to insert any affiliate code in the link. Just a plain old text link and you are affiliated.
VigLink has two great features that you can enable before you install your code which will make VigLink even more useful. The first one is Affiliation, which enables VigLink to override links that are already affiliated. This was really useful for me when I was switching my Amazon links to VigLink. Instead of redoing all of my Amazon links all I had to do was check the VigLink Affiliation button and VigLink automatically reaffiliated my Amazon links to VigLink Amazon links. When my Amazon Associates account is restored I will just deselect the reaffiliate button and then my Amazon links will back to my associates account.
But I won’t be removing the VigLink code because it is great for links that aren’t affiliated. Before this gets too confusing let me clear things up. By affiliated we mean that the link has affiliate code in it, so that as the publisher we get credit when a site visitor clicks on a link. If your site is full of your own affiliate links you can still use VigLink because it won’t touch those links already affiliated. It will only add affiliate links to products and services that don’t have an affiliations.
If you choose to use the reaffiliate function it currently only works on Amazon and eBay links. But this is great for people who have sites that are heavily monetized with Amazon or eBay and for some reason don’t have those affiliate accounts anymore. The coolest new feature of VigLink is the Link Insertion program. When you enable link insertion you don’t even have to create links. VigLink will automatically create links for products and services that they are affiliated with when they are mentioned on your site.
Just think of how convenient this would be for forum owners or someone who has a large guest post site that is not monetized. Normally I don’t want to share my commissions with another company, but VigLink can be a great addition to anyone’s affiliate arsenal.