During the Traveling Geeks‘ visit to Seedcamp in London last week, I sat down for a short interview with Alicia Navarro, founder and CEO of Skimlinks, an affiliate marketing service aimed at publishers that want to make money from their shopping recommendations. It’s an alternative to traditional affiliate marketing from sites like Amazon, where you get paid a commission for referrals but need to jump through a number of hoops when working with multiple sites.
With Skimlinks you add one line of code to your site and it takes care of updating your site with marketing links automatically. Sites where products and services are discussed — particularly those covering fashion, technology, gadgets, parenting, autos and home and lifestyle — are the ones that stand to benefit most from Skimlinks.
Some large sites are already pulling in $10,000 per month “without having to do anything — that’s the beauty of it,” Alicia says.
Naturally, inserting commercial links in the middle of your editorial content raises all kinds of issues, so Skimlinks has developed best practices and guidelines. “We believe very passionately in the importance of maintaining editorial integry,” Alicia says. Editors can stay completely focused on creating high-quality content without having to deal with integrating affiliate marketing links into their sites. “Skimlinks monetizes it after the fact, so editors can be agnostic and completely unaware of what is monetized and what isn’t.”
If you run a site that sends people off to different shopping sites, it’s definitely worth a look — Skimlinks turns shopping links into affiliate marketing links on the fly. Individual bloggers, forums, user-generated content sites and social shopping sites and large publishers (iVillage, Hearst Digital) are now using Skimlinks to generate an additional revenue source. Users tend to like the approach, says Alicia, because you then don’t need to run so many banner ads.
As Alicia points out, the era of banner advertising is largely over, and sites will need to look to multiple revenue sources: some ads, sponsorships and a service like Skimlinks. “We’re seeing a lot of publishers looking to us as their main business model,” she says.
Watch or embed the video on Vimeo
• Alicia Navarro discusses good.ly, a url shortener that benefits charities, in this 1-minute video
• What is Affiliate Marketing? (problogger.net)