My VigLink Review – Giving Affiliates a Second Chance

I blogged back in July about California passing its law that caused Amazon to pull the plug on all their affiliates in the state (joining Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, and Rhode Island). Since then I’ve had a chance to implement VigLink on this blog and evaluate the service as a replacement for Amazon Associates. So far I’ve been very happy and encouraged by the clicks and revenue I’m seeing already. If you were dropped by Amazon or just want to expand the sites you can link to then I highly suggest signing up and giving VigLink a try.

Why VigLink?

The main reason you might be looking at VigLink is because Amazon has dropped you from their affiliate program. If you have a large pool of established links to Amazon then it probably isn’t practical to try and reroute those to different affiliate programs who may or may not be dropping affiliates for the same reason as Amazon. VigLink gives us a second chance to get back in the game and not worry about the future.

The other big plus is the broad coverage of affiliate programs makes it easier to link to other sites besides Amazon. VigLink covers about 12,000 sites and you can check coverage through their backend site. I know when I was in Associates I pretty much only linked to Amazon. Now I’m starting to link to other sites and present some price comparisons to give readers some additional links to explore.

How big of a cut does VigLink take?

VigLink takes 25% off the top. Might seem like a lot, but they also have the ability to reach higher affiliate tiers because they funnel referrals through a single account. On Amazon I would barely get into the 2nd or 3rd rate tier, but now I’m pretty much guaranteed to get the top rate. So the 25% commission definitely eats into our share, but it is potentially offset by higher payouts. For those of us dropped by Amazon, 75% is much better than 0%.

Implementing VigLink and How It Works

You install VigLink by dropping a bit of JavaScript into the template of your site. This code writes out a <script> tag that links to the JavaScript file on VigLink’s server. Their code is obfuscated so I can only guess that it goes through all external links on a page and adds an OnClick event to each one. When a link is clicked it transparently redirects it to their system to record the click, add on the needed affiliate info and then redirect the user to the modified link.

The plus side to this implementation is that links appear to be unaffiliated to the reader. This also makes it much easier to add links to posts without having to worry that it is properly formatted for a given affiliate program.

AdBlock Strikes Back

If users have JavaScript disabled then obviously none of this works, but that’s fairly rare as far as I’m concerned. What’s not so rare are readers who use the AdBlock browser extension. I use it to help keep popovers and banner ads under control; things that are just out right annoying. The AdBlock Plus filter subscription blocks the retrieval of VigLink’s JavaScript file which prevents links from being affiliated. I have no idea what percentage of people use filtering extensions like AdBlock, but it hurts knowing you might be leaving money on the table from those uncounted clicks.

I implemented a workaround that lets me serve the VigLink JavaScript from my own domain which avoids it being matched to a blacklist. You can read more about that on this post: Make VigLink Work with AdBlock Plus and Other Ad Blocking Software.

Take VigLink for a spin and see how it works for you

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12 thoughts on “My VigLink Review – Giving Affiliates a Second Chance”

  1. Hi, how long does it take for you to see money in your account for an amazon purchase? It has been a few days since an order that I know was placed shipped, and I still don’t see payment.

    Thanks

  2. It seems like it takes a couple days after the order ships. If you saw the clicks come through and know it got ordered then I’d hope it shows up. Did the link clicks show up in the Dashboard?

  3. Yes, I saw the clicks in the dashboard. It was ordered Saturday and shipped on Tuesday. This one was ordered by someone I know. I am also sending traffic from one of my websites to amazon from viglink. When I was an affiliate directly for amazon it was converting much higher than it is now, but I have only started sending the traffic on Saturday so I hope the sales are just not reported yet.
    Thanks

  4. Andrew, Viglink will reaffiliatize links from Reviewazon, etc. What I am trying to find out is if Viglink will work in California as Viglink is a Ca based companies. Talk about getting screwed twice if Viglink will not work in this state.

    What are these commie socialist politicians thinking?

  5. Mark,

    Amazon should work fine for us in CA, it looks like VigLink is based out of Chicago. Even then I would imagine they are incorporated out of a state with friendly business laws.

    By default VigLink will not “reaffiliate” the links on your site. They do have the option to overwrite your affiliated links, but only for Amazon and eBay. If you go into your account there is an Edit Account button at the bottom. That will let you check the Reaffliate option.

    Looking at your site it looks like you are using an affiliate redirect pluginor something with a “goto” URL. To use VigLink you have to link directly to a Amazon page, going through your redirect is putting your old Amazon tag in the URL. So first thing you need to do is recreate links to point straight at Amazon. Even if you turn on the reaffiliate option it won’t work with your redirect. Try that and see if clicks start showing up.

  6. Wow, I didn’t even think of using VigLink as a replacement to Amazon’s program. Great insight. Hopefully Amazon doesn’t pull the plug in TX. How are you creating your links for VigLink to use?

  7. Vance, with VigLink you don’t add anything to links. The redirect through VigLink happens with JavaScript when a reader actually clicks the link. They can reaffiliate Amazon links, but I went through my database and removed my Amazon tag anyway.

  8. Andrew, thanks for the insight and tips on Viglink. Viglink is opening up opportunities that did not exist before. They will let me link to eBay which I have been turned down so many times. A few other companies have popped up as well. I use CJ, but find the links so ugly and hard to work with. Not a problem with Viglink!

    This is one great plugin. I even makes links where Viglink does nott have a relationship in hopes that some day they will.

  9. it was helpful for … now i can install VigLink by dropping a bit of JavaScript into the template of site.. now i have a better idea of VigLink after reading this article..

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