Skimlinks Review

We are continuing our series on affiliate programs and affiliate networks. In today’s article, we’re doing a Skimlinks review so that you can decide whether this affiliate program might be right up your alley or not. 

What is Skimlinks anyway?

This is a network where you can come across dozens and even hundreds of Skimlinks affiliate programs that might be a perfect match for the niche you are in. 

What truly makes it unique is that it comes with plenty of perks in terms of technology. You can add Skimlinks to your WordPress website, and there’s also a Chrome extension, which both make the task of creating affiliate links a lot easier. 

Another aspect that we have to point out here is that the links are created automatically, which means that you do not have to go through the hassle of going on the platform, individually looking for Skimlinks merchants, and then using the marketing tools that they might have available. 

That all sounds pretty good, right? Well, it is. There are pros and cons, which we will describe in one of the sections below, of course, but what you have to know is that this is a network that is completely free to use and that’s also legit, so you do not have to worry about anything in this respect. 

Affiliate marketing structure

If you are a seasoned affiliate marketer, you can probably skip this part, but we thought that we might explain how everything works. 

There are four players in the game of Skimlinks affiliate marketing. First, there’s the merchant, which can be seen as the brand that wants to improve their sales; then, there’s the actual network, which in this case, would be Skimlinks. 

Then you come along, being the publisher or the person who’s interested in marketing these products in exchange for a commission rate. Finally, the customer is your blog or website audience, which can decide if they want to buy that product or service. 

Some merchants are different in that they can pay for leads or certain actions without requiring an actual sale. 

From what we have noticed, there are roughly three ways of making money with this network. There’s the obvious pay-per-sale model, which is pretty self-explanatory, so we are not going to go into any detail in this sense. 

Then there’s the cost-per-acquisition, which could be actions like asking for the price of a service or signing up to an email list. 

On top of everything, you also have the option of cost-per-click or cost-per-mille. The first will earn you money each time someone clicks on an affiliate link or banner while the second generates a commission every time you manage to raise 1000 views on a group of ads. 

Skimlinks signup process

While applying for an account is pretty easy (everyone in the world can do it), sometimes applications can get rejected. 

There are actually two parts of the whole process. You first have to sign up, and once you are approved, you will be able to install Skimlinks on your blog or website. 

The trick is that the approval process can be lengthy and complicated. You might be asked more information if you failed to provide it from the start. Someone at Skimlinks will personally review your application, and you can be rejected for various reasons. 

It’s not uncommon for rejections to happen, and we’ve noticed that lots of affiliates experienced this at first. However, the good thing is that upon signing up, if you’re not accepted into the program, you will at least get an email detailing the reasons you were rejected.

So there is also the option that you fix those issues and eventually become a Skimlinks affiliate. 

The second part of becoming a Skimlinks affiliate

Once you are accepted into the program, you will have to do some grunt work to make sure that your affiliate links are working properly. There is an add-on available for WordPress websites, for example, and you will need to use some code. 

You’ll have to add it to the ‘body’ part of your code or HTML file, so if you’re a total rookie when it comes to managing websites or you’ve never even had a blog before, this can be a bit of a hassle. 

Read more: Samcart affiliate program

On the other hand, the Skimlinks plugin works well and can be conveniently found in the WordPress directory. You will be able to install it in a matter of several seconds, and once it’s set up, you have to add your affiliate ID so that you know for sure that the plugin works with your Skimlinks account. 

Once everything is done, you might want to add links to some of the things you mention in your blog posts, for example. You simply check that feature in the plugin, and Skimlinks does the rest of the job — it will find an affiliate link if there is one available. 

When you go on the Skimlinks website, you can look at your stats and performance. The interface is very easy to use, so that’s one less thing to worry about. 

Some of the data you can check out on the platform consists of the following: your revenue, your number of clicks, some of the top performing pages you have on your site, your top merchants, and naturally, the ones that have previously approved you for their affiliate programs. 

You can also categorize your data based on several other factors, such as your links, sites, the devices that your users tend to rely on when making purchases, and the dates these purchases have taken place. 

Read more: Bluehost affiliate program

How much does it cost to be a Skimlinks affiliate?

While joining the network doesn’t cost anything at all, there are some costs involved if you want to use the platform. 

The commissions between the merchants can obviously vary a lot depending on the value of the products and specific type of services that your readers opt for. But the thing is that Skimlinks takes a part of your commission once you earn them. 

For example, if you intermediate a sale of $100 and your commission is 10%, you are supposed to earn $10, but the network will take 25% of that, meaning $2.5. 

Some affiliate marketers might find that this cost is just too high, so they might back out and avoid using Skimlinks altogether for this reason. But the truth is that there’s quite a bit of money to be made with the network if you pick the right affiliate programs and recommend higher priced products, for example. 

It can be a little frustrating to have to pay for this fee, that much is true — especially since there are many other affiliate platforms out there that don’t charge a single thing. Do keep in mind that with other networks, you do not get nearly as many tools as with this one — both the Skimlinks Chrome extension, the code, and everything else.  

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Skimlinks merchant list

Now that we have gotten pretty much everything with regard to technicalities out of the way let’s look at some of the brands that you can promote thanks to being a Skimlinks affiliate. 

Once you sign up, you’ll get access to the entire list of companies that use Skimlinks as part of their marketing plan. 

As is the case with any other network you might already be an affiliate of, you will come across a number of brands that you might never have heard of before. However, they do tend to work with some pretty reputable companies, such as Chewy, Lululemon, ASOS, or Marks & Spencer. 

Read more: MyLead Review

They also work with Target, Airbnb, Sephora, and many others, which you will come across on other platforms. We’d say that the number of shady merchants on Skimlinks is perhaps lower compared to what you can find on other similar websites, including ClickBank.  

We’d also like to note that the interface lets you categorize the brands depending on their country, category of products, type of products, the actual commission rate, and various other features that they might have. There’s also the option of you adding a specific merchant to a favorites list so that you have it on hand easier and quicker. 

Payment information

Everything about this network sounds pretty great up until now, but the truth is that even if you make big commissions and you can’t withdraw them conveniently, it’s all useless. 

If you are based in the United Kingdom or the United States, you have the option of choosing either direct deposit or Paypal. For everyone else across the world, they will only be able to withdraw their money using Paypal. 

Read more: OptimizePress affiliate program

Another aspect that we have to point out is that the waiting period is quite long. In fact, it is one of the longest we have come across, and we have reviewed a lot of affiliate networks. Most use a Net60 system where you have to wait for two months before getting your money. 

However, Skimlinks actually forces you to wait for a period of 90 days (yes, three whole months!) before having the money you’ve made hit your account. This is a significant drawback and one that might convince many affiliates to simply skip Skimlinks altogether. 

The reason for this long waiting period is that the network first has to get paid by the merchant, and only then will you be paid, too. As you can imagine, if some of the brands don’t even have affiliate managers that can tackle these tasks, you will be waiting for a while. 

Finally, there’s also a threshold of $65, so that’s how much you will have to earn in commissions before being able to withdraw your hard-earned cash. 

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Skimlinks pros and cons

When it comes to reasons you should probably consider using the Skimlinks affiliate program, we’d say that the first and most significant one is that you get access to more than 25,000 merchants. 

The interface is pretty easy to use, and you also get access to plenty of data that can help you improve your performance. 

In terms of cons… there are some. The 25% cut that the Skimlinks platform takes out of your commissions is pretty hefty, so you will have to decide for yourself whether it makes sense to join or not. Another significant drawback is the waiting period, which can be as long as 90 days. 

After going through some Skimlinks reviews, we also found out that the platform doesn’t offer the best support in the world. While there is customer service available, there’s no live chat you can benefit from (at least not at the time we’re writing this post). 

There are some educational materials on the website, though, which might be rather useful for you especially if you are not an experienced affiliate marketer. 

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The stats aren’t real-time, either, which can also be considered a con. Perhaps you might not expect to get your stats in as little as 24 hours, but the truth is that it can take up to 5 or even 7 days for the platform to show you the data you need. 

In the end, the network does pretty much all the hassle for you. So, even if you aren’t really over the moon because of the cut and the waiting period, you will have a pretty good experience when it comes to creating links and using the affiliate programs you have applied to. 

Skimlinks vs. Viglink

These two are pretty similar. First off, we’d like to note that Viglink isn’t really Viglink anymore as it’s been rebranded into Sovrn Commerce (which we will review in another article soon). 

Both Skimlinks and Viglink function on the same basic principles, meaning that they give their affiliates a lot of tools to take their performance to a whole new level. 

The downside of Sovrn, though, is that you will have to go on the platform and apply individually to various merchants before being able to use affiliate links. With Skimlinks, this is basically done for you. 

Read more: JVZoo review

So, is Skimlinks worth it?

We’d say that it might be worth trying out, especially if you want to diversify your income. 

If you find that the whole experience is too confusing or difficult, there’s always the option of going the traditional affiliate marketing route with a platform like ShareASale, Awin, CJ Affiliate, FlexOffers or anything else that matches your niche and the products/services that you want to recommend to your audience. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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