Back in February, I wrote about how Commission Junction had charged me $10 for inactivity on my affiliate account without any notice. I was displeased and stopped sending traffic to Books-A-Million because of it.
While I was down at South by Southwest (yes, my epic recap is still in the works), I met Joe Stepniewski, the co-founder of Skimlinks. Skimlinks is a service that takes ordinary links on your website and turns them into an affiliate link, where applicable. It does it automatically, regardless of if the link was posted in the past. Their homepage shows this example: let’s say you were writing about a product from the Gap.
You don’t need to mess around with any affiliate code or apply to be a member of the Gap affiliate program – just post a link to the product like normal, just as if you were mentioning it in an IM conversation or something like that. With Skimlinks installed on your site, that link will automatically become an affiliate link.
Skimlinks keeps a portion of the revenue generated. But, their FAQ states that they are able to negotiate better affiliate rates than an individual affiliate would be able to get and, because of that, “you can earn up to 110%” of what you normally might.
As I was browsing their website, after the conference I saw that they worked with the Commission Junction network and it dawned on me. This is the solution! If you want to use Commission Junction’s affiliate network, but don’t want to worry about the $10 inactive fee – Skimlinks is perfect because, with Skimlinks, you won’t get hit with such a fee.
Of course, that’s a small point, really. The Skimlinks service looks quite interesting (I wrote about such a concept in my book) and I am looking forward to trying it.