VigLink is an affiliate program for site-to-site ecommerce. It does this through several means, including adding links to keywords on your site, providing scripts for banners for use in your pages and posts, and providing scripts for use in email and social media. There is something here for both publishers and advertisers.
You can monetize your blog articles by using text links and visual ads within the posts. There are 35,000 retailers. Links automatically go to the highest bidder. This ensures higher commissions. VigLink takes 25% of the commission. You can see detailed analytics of your links so you know which links are paying. This way you know which topics and keywords to focus on to increase income.
The links use semantic technology to link products, merchants, and brands and to ensure the links are relevant. A lot of effort is put into analyzing the context of your articles to find the perfect link. It covers 90% of the top 500 online retailers that have affiliate programs.
There are over 35,000 retailers including Wayfair, Nordstrom, Nike, The Vitamin Shoppe, eBay, Amazon, and many more. There are 32 primary topics and many sub topics within them to choose from. You can also control the number of links and where they are inserted into your content.
Spotlight showcases a product that is based on keywords on the page. This is done through natural language processing which analyzes each page and identifies product related references. There are over 150 million products that can be featured. The highest bidding merchant is automatically selected to get the link.
Rather than getting in the way like a banner ad, which might or might not be relevant to the content, Spotlight works within the context of the article and is completely relevant to the topic. Spotlight is a script that you can place anywhere on the page you want.
I love social media, so one thing that I found interesting is that you can place links in any content you create—including content in your social networks. You can place your links in your Twitter feeds, your Facebook posts, in your newsletters and emails, your RSS feeds, and in Tumblr. Your links can be shortened, too, so they have greater aesthetic appeal.
VigLink connects your catalog to the content in their network so you can bid on the links. The highest bidder gets the link. By bidding you can choose your limits and only pay what you’re willing to pay. Publishers post the links for you in their blogs, websites, and social media networks. The links can be changed to you if you’re the highest bidder. Your product offers are then automatically inserted into relevant content.
There is a reporting tool so you can know the performance of a link. This way you can make smart decisions about what to bid on and what not to.
Taking VigLink for a Test Drive
I created a paragraph on my About page with some keywords to see what it would pick up and how it would react in context. I tried each of the four tools: Convert, Insert, Spotlight, and Anywhere.
This tool has several options that you can turn on or off. It will let you re-affiliate your current affiliate links for eBay and Amazon for higher paying links. It will add a hyperlink to URLs that you haven’t linked, and it will optimize your retail links so that they link to sites that pay more.
I added www.amazon.com but didn’t give it a hyperlink. VigLink supplied the link for me, so that worked as expected. I also added my own affiliate link for the word Batman. Without my link, it adds its own. With my link, I couldn’t get it to override it, but it probably didn’t need to.
This tool will add affiliate links on your keywords. You can choose between fewer links or more revenue. You can also have it automatically disclose that you have affiliate links. You can choose if the link opens in the same window or a new window. You can also tell it which phrases not to create links for. Additionally, you can turn VigLink on or off, depending on the circumstances.
I took a quick look at some of my posts and found that it had picked up on a few keywords and placed links. The word Amazon was always picked up. It also picked up Batman, which went to Walmart.com. It didn’t pick up as many keywords as I expected. At first I made a small paragraph with a few keywords. It picked up Kindle Fire, which of course went to Amazon, and it picked up Nook, which went to Barnes and Noble. It didn’t pick up any of the other keywords.
ThenI added to the paragraph and this time it didn’t place a link on Nook, but it did place a link on Dell. This link went to Walmart.com. I’m sure that was a more expensive link because Dell is known for laptops and desktops while the Nook, being a lower end tablet, is a much cheaper device. I removed Dell and it picked up Nook again. It seems like it didn’t want to do too many links on the same page.
This places a block of content on your page with images of products and prices. It does this through code that you can paste into your posts.
The items are related to the context on the page, so Brenda Barron is associated with a 1960 C1 Corvette, apparently. You got that right!
There were a few issues with placement. It appears where you place it, but it can mess with your text. So finding the right spot for it can be tricky. It’s not all that intuitive to use, I'm afraid.
I created a link for Amazon and sent it to myself through email. The link worked exactly as expected.
You can check your earnings easily from your dashboard on the VigLink site. All the information you need about your links is there so you can make smart decisions.
Final Thoughts on VigLink
The links that VigLink provides do not get in the way. They’re not those obnoxious links that pop up and interrupt your reading experience. These links are just there. You can ignore them or click on them. It’s up to you. They’re easy to see and use, but they’re also easy to skip right past. It didn’t feel like it was overdone. Despite a few usability issues, VigLink is a pretty solid way to build income for your site.
How about you? Have you used VigLink? Was your experience similar to mine? I'd love to hear your thoughts!