Recovering Lost Revenue By Automatically Turning Outbound Links Into Affiliate Links

We've all heard the phrase "no-brainer" enough times that the meaning is all but lost. Some marketer will call something a "no-brainer" and we're left thinking, "Yeah, right." However, today, I want to tell you about something which I think truly is a no-brainer. Because the cost is FREE and yet it can make you money. I want to tell you about VigLink.

We’ve all heard the phrase “no-brainer” enough times that the meaning is all but lost. Some marketer will call something a “no-brainer” and we’re left thinking, “Yeah, right.”

However, today, I want to tell you about something which I think truly is a no-brainer. Because the cost is FREE and yet it can make you money.

I want to tell you about VigLink.

VigLink does one thing and does it very well. It is an ad network (essentially) that works by turning any outgoing links to merchants into affiliate links automatically. It is totally hands-off. It doesn’t even modify the appearance of the link on the site. It just works.

There are two ways to go about it:

  1. Link to a merchant manually and VigLink will automatically monetize it.
  2. Using their link insertion, VigLink will dynamically insert affiliate links to things even if you forgot to link it up by hand. So, for example, if you mention a book and forget to link to it on Amazon, VigLink can do it for you.

My Personal Experience with VigLink

I don’t recommend things I haven’t tried. I’ve actually been using VigLink for many months now.

In my case, I am using it over on PCMech.com. As of this writing, I have generated about $5,300 in extra income with VigLink. Considering that this is essentially “found money”, that’s pretty decent. VigLink is basically monetizing links for me which probably would not have been monetized otherwise. Note, too, that if you manually link to something with your own affiliate link, VigLink leaves the link untouched.

One of the biggest helps of VigLink for me has been in my PCMech forums. In that environment, people are talking about new PC hardware all the time. NewEgg happens to be a favorite among many in my forum audience. I certainly can’t expect members to use my affiliate links whenever they link to Newegg (obviously). So, I have VigLink in place to automatically take care of it. Any time a member links to something on NewEgg, it is turned into an affiliate link automatically.

On the average, this setup has been generating around $400/month in extra income for me. And this is without me even trying.

Screen shot 2012 01 10 at 10 12 49 AM

Now, as you can tell, this is very non-strategic on my part and it still brought in $400 in December. But, it was also a LOT of clicks to pull that off. Certainly, if I were actually trying, I could pull off a lot more revenue out of 8,400 clicks. But, Newegg has a pretty crumby payout (as do most computer hardware companies). I’d be better off pushing Amazon a lot more. Their payout is better plus there is commission on residual sales.

But, this brings me to the idea of how to make the most money with VigLink…

Maximizing Income With VigLink

Obviously, the revenue generator with VigLink is essentially your readers buying things. It is no different than any other affiliate marketing, except that we’re primarily talking about real-world things (not info products).

So, the way to maximize revenue is to be in a niche where talking about things like this would be natural. I have a tech blog, so linking to hardware and software items only makes sense. Another niche that pops to my head might be digital photography, seeing as that is a great niche for linking to all kinds of equipment.

VigLink has relationships with a LOT of merchants. Amazon is obviously a big one. But, to give you an idea, here are some of my top merchants for PCMech:

  • Newegg
  • AVG (anti-virus)
  • Geeks.com
  • Kaspersky
  • Ebay

I’ve never formed an affiliate relationship with any of these companies, but it is just being done for me by VigLink.

VigLink also provides handy analytics so you can see which merchants are performing best for you, which of your posts are driving the most revenue, which products people are buying, etc.

For example, here’s part of a graph showing my best merchants for a particular week:

Screen shot 2012 01 10 at 9 53 02 AM

The top two are Newegg and Amazon. The third one is the free AVG anti-virus. Considering the high per-click rate for that, it tells me it is converting pretty well and that I should probably talk more about that on the site.

So, by monitoring stats and strategically working in product links to top merchants, you can maximize the revenue from VigLink.

This also has the potential (if worked properly) to out-perform Adsense. And, I believe that there are a lot of bloggers out there who might be limping along with Adsense who could probably do better with VigLink because of the nature of their content. Relevant links in content always perform better than banner ads off in the sidebars.

Give VigLink A Try

It is absolutely free and I bet it will generate some revenue for you. How much is going to depend on the nature of what you write.

Now, full disclose: I am writing about it because I am paid a small referral percentage if you sign up through me. I would, of course, appreciate it. 🙂 But, as I said, I’ve been using VigLink myself for close to a year now. Not only that, I’m here to help you make more money. So, its only natural.

They will help you recover lost revenue potential. If you manually link to something with your own affiliate link, they won’t touch it. But, if you just forget, VigLink will take care of it and you’ll make residual income. And if you work it, you can make more than residual income. 🙂

Sign up for VigLink for free and implement this on your site. There is simply no reason not to.

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Responses

  1. I installed VigLink today. Do you know what the commission is on Amazon? I am an affiliate and I usually don’t sell that much so only make 4% commission.

  2. I have used Viglink but never tried to monetize my main blog, used it to monetize a tech blog and result was decent. Now, planning to try Skimlinks for a while and see how it works out.

  3. David – Why did you opt to go with Viglink instead of say Skimlinks? You and I are connected on LinkedIn and I saw that you are connected to several of the people over at Skimlinks.

  4. The problem I am facing with this is that it is converting words in post title and elsewhere into links which I don’t want. Their suggestion according to the support page is to put class=”nolinks” where I don’t want links to appear. So it’s an “exclude” code instead of an “include” code which makes things difficult. How did you overcome this and limit the links to only appear in the post content?

  5. The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. So live a little. If you stand in one spot you will not go anywhere.

  6. Hiya David,

    Thanks for this reminder.  As it turns out, I had signed up for this a while back and did not activate it :-(.  Which file do you update with the script?  Can’t seem to get it working and I’ve tried the footer.php and the single.php files :-(.

    Thanks.

    1. If I recall, I simply installed their code into the footer.php file. If you do that, then view source to ensure it is indeed there.

  7. I love it when business models like  VigLink helps others to earn and still their services are totally free. Thanks for sharing your experience with this service. I will try it now.

  8. That sounds very cool! One question, what’s the disclosure situation? Do you need to manually tell ppl that each link is an affiliate link?

    1. They’ve actually got a little button you can put into your site footer or something like that for disclosure purposes. Its on my list to implement that, because I just found out about it as I was writing this post. 🙂

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