Viglink: Looking back after 16 months

As my longtime readers may know, back in the summer of 2013 Amazon cut off its affiliates program in Missouri. I’d been using the Amazon affiliates program for 12 or 13 years at the time. It didn’t make me rich, but it generally did a nice job of covering my day-to-day expenses of running the blog.

I’m going to do something most bloggers won’t do–I’m going to tell you what I make blogging. I don’t know what Amazon affiliates are and aren’t allowed to talk about, but Amazon has no control over me anymore, and Viglink doesn’t expressly prohibit such talk. So I’ll talk. Read more

Three months with Viglink

Last fall, Amazon abruptly ended its affiliate program in Missouri, and they didn’t pay any of their pending affiliate fees either, which was a nice touch. I wasn’t getting rich off affiliate links by any stretch of the imagination, but it at least covered the expenses of running the blog. I looked for replacements, and settled on Viglink. Viglink is nice because it honors all of your existing Amazon affiliate links. It pays at a lower rate, but at least the old links still work. And if Viglink finds the same product at a different affiliate that pays a better rate, it will convert the link for you.

Another advantage in my case is that Viglink will monetize links to a lot of brick and mortar retailers. So if I mention something that one of the big-box home improvement stores sell, I can link it. People can click on it, see what it is, go buy it that day, support their local economy, and I make a penny or two. It’s not much, but when you’re the lone page on the web explaining how to do a handful of things–which I am in a few cases–those pennies can stack up. And I was making $0 off them up until October.

A final nicety over a lot of other affiliate programs is that the payout amount is pretty low. Amazon didn’t pay anything until you made $10, and Google doesn’t pay anything until you make $100. Disclosing earnings is probably against Viglink’s terms of service, but my first payment wouldn’t have made Amazon’s minimum.

It’s a slow start, but once Viglink has seen your most popular pages with links that it can monetize, it picks up. Three months in, Viglink is probably accumulating 50-67% of what Amazon would have made.

The amounts are lower because Viglink signs up for the affiliate programs, I provide the content, and we split the revenue. But the upside to that is that Viglink lets me participate in affiliate programs I never was eligible for before because I didn’t meet the minimum requirements for traffic volume, or that I simply didn’t know about. So that gap could theoretically close.

Goodbye Amazon Affiliates, hello Viglink

I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for more than a decade, which meant that if I mentioned a product, posted a link to Amazon and someone clicked the link and bought it, I got a little bit of money. It didn’t make me rich, but in a good year, I made a couple hundred dollars, which paid for the upkeep of the site.

Well, Amazon and the state of Missouri are fighting, so Amazon is discontinuing the affiliate program for Missouri residents. The loss won’t break me, but by the same token, it’s nice to have that money coming in to pay for things like equipment upgrades. I found Viglink, and I’m going to give that a try.

Read more

How to get more blog traffic without being sleazy

Something Steve A. wrote last week got me thinking. I’m paraphrasing, but if I’m interpreting him correctly, he’s written every day, or nearly every day, for about four years and would like to cut back, but is kinda-sorta addicted to the traffic he gets by writing every day. But there are more effective ways to get more blog traffic.

I think writing every day does increase your traffic, to a degree. But for long-term, sustainable traffic, I think it helps only indirectly. Here are seven things I’ve found that helped me get more blog traffic. Read more

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