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VigLink Review

Updated on October 6, 2014
VigLink logo.
VigLink logo.

What Is Viglink?

VigLink is a smart system that can help you monetize your website. It works by turning your regular outgoing links into affiliate links. The whole process is completely automated - all you have to do is put a small piece of JavaScript code on your page. VigLink won't annoy your visitors like flashy banner ads do - in fact, most of them won't notice any difference with it installed at all.

I'll explain how this system works in more detail below, as well as overview the biggest advantages and disadvantages of using VigLink compared to your own affiliate account. If you have worked with them before, please share your experience in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

How Does VigLink Work?

Simply put, VigLink acts like an intermediate between you and affiliate companies, eliminating the need to signup for multiple programs or build special affiliate links. You just link to the merchant directly, and it does the rest.

Let's say you posted a digital camera review on your photography blog, and linked to a related product page on Amazon.com with a regular link. If a visitor follows the link and buys the camera, you won't earn a penny, despite Amazon making money thanks to your recommendation. This is where VigLink comes in. If you have their JavaScript code installed, every time a visitor clicks a link to Amazon.com (or the website of any other merchant out of VigLink's 35,000+ supported ones) and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.

So, how exactly does it work? It's all very simple. When a visitor clicks a link on a VigLink-enabled website, the aforementioned JavaScript code first checks whether the link leads to a supported vendor. If it does, VigLink then attaches their affiliate code automatically. All this stuff happens in the matter of milliseconds, so it doesn't affect user experience in any way.

Now, those of you with experience in affiliate marketing will no doubt want to ask, why not just signup for the affiliate program yourself? Amazon, for instance, has an excellent affiliate program that's easy to use and can be quite profitable. So why would you want to have a middleman? Indeed, in many cases you're better off working with Amazon Associates directly. I'll explain further in my overview of VigLink pros and cons.

Official VigLink Introduction Video

This is the official video that explains what VigLink is and how it works. it is a great introduction, although it doesn't mention some of the finer details I covered below.

Advantages of Using VigLink

A short comparison of using VigLink vs. working with an affiliate program directly:

  1. It saves time: depending on the platform, building a new affiliate link can take several minutes. For example, in CJ (formerly Commission Junction) you have to login to the members area, select the merchant you want to work with, select a suitable link from their list, and only then you get to the HTML code that you need to paste on your website. With VigLink you simply link to the store, product, or review directly, and that's it!
  2. Better-looking links: most people will agree that a direct link to, say, buy.com looks better than an affiliate link like click.trackdomain.com/?affid=as4das4d5d6565d3r&trackingid=145.
  3. Everyone is accepted: I'm located outside the US, and sometimes affiliate programs reject my application automatically because of that. Furthermore, many programs have various requirements for your site, like high amounts of traffic, or making a certain number of sales every month.

    With VigLink, you don't have to worry about any of that. Your website will definitely be accepted (still, please make sure it doesn't break their Terms of Service), and you can work with merchants that previously closed their doors to you. Some merchants still require a separate approval, but they're in the minority.
  4. PayPal payouts: many other affiliate marketplaces pay you using checks. VigLink members, however, can receive their payouts conveniently to their PayPal accounts.
  5. It's more simple: not an important thing for pro marketers, but newbies might not want to mess with the HTML code, long affiliate links, tracking pixels, and whatnot. Nothing beats linking to the vendor directly and letting the script do the rest.
  6. Detailed click analytics: VigLink tracks your outgoing links and provides useful statistics, such as which links are getting clicked, which pages on your website are earning the most, which merchants are the most profitable, and so on. In some cases, it can even show you which products your visitors buy (unfortunately, not all merchants provide this information).

VigLink Disadvantages

Here's why signing up as an affiliate yourself might be better:

  1. JavaScript blocking: VigLink relies on JavaScript technology. Despite it being the 21st century, some internet users still prefer to browse with JS disabled. You won't get any affiliate commissions from such visitors, and there's no way around it. Do note, however, that your links will still work just fine - VigLink just won't be able to "affiliatize" them.
  2. Ad blocking: similar to the previous point, certain ad blocking browser plugins will disable VigLink, be it their automatic affiliation, or link insertion component.
  3. VigLink takes 25%: this might be a deal-breaker for some marketers. VigLink takes a cut of 25% (can be smaller for some merchants) from your revenue to cover their expenses. Usually this means that you will earn less. However, in some cases, you might earn slightly more.

    Take Amazon for instance. They have a performance-based commission structure where the more products you sell, the higher commission rates they give you (from 4% up to 8.5%). If you don't make many sales yourself, use VigLink and you will earn 8.5% - 25% = 6.375% per sale, which is still higher than the base rate of 4%.

    There also are some Insider Merchants, which offer increased rates for VigLink publishers. It might or might not be enough to make up the difference.
  4. Possibly lower earnings: due to the three reasons mentioned above, your earnings with VigLink might be lower compared to those from your own affiliate account. This depends on a number of factors. Regretfully, I don't have any reliable earnings data to compare.

Real Life Examples on When to Use It

If you're unsure whether VigLink will help you monetize your website better, maybe the following examples will help. Please keep in mind that this is only my opinion.

Do you only link to one merchant from your website or blog, and the said merchant makes creating affiliate links easy (e.g. Amazon)? Stick to it, then - in your case, I see no reason to switch to VigLink.

Do you link to multiple merchants from your website or blog regularly, and find yourself having to login to multiple affiliate platforms (CJ, LinkShare, ShareASale, etc) all the time? Was your application declined by some merchant you really wanted to work with? In that case, I recommend giving VigLink a try.

Do you own a web forum where members regularly post links to electronics, games, movies, or other products? Well, what are you waiting for... you might be sitting on a goldmine!

Signup for VigLink

The official website of the company can be found at (predictably) VigLink.com. If you signup through my referral link, I'll earn 35% of your first year's revenue. Of course, your own earnings won't be affected in any way. Cheers!

Unofficial VigLink FAQ

Some more information about this automatic affiliate system.

Who's behind VigLink? Who owns it?

According to this press release, VigLink is backed by Google Ventures, First Round Capital, Emergence Capital and SoftTech VC. Notable individual investors include LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman and former Google executive and current LinkedIn VP of Product Deep Nishar.

As for their team, you can find the whole list at http://www.viglink.com/about/team/executives.

How is Driving Revenue related to them?

VigLink has acquired Driving Revenue, a company that monetizes outclicks with no changes to consumer experience. As far as I understand, they offered very similar services.

Is there a minimum payout?

There's no minimum payout, but VigLink will pay you after receiving the money from the merchants themselves. This usually takes 60 days.

Is there a list of supported merchants?

There is a "Merchant Explorer" tool in your members area which allows you to search supported merchants as well as check whether a link will be "affiliatized" or not.

Can I trust them? Is VigLink a scam?

It's a multi-million company backed by Google Ventures. I think it's here to stay. If you notice things like missing commissions, just contact support and they'll look into it for you.

Can I use it on sites like HubPages?

Yes, as long as it's not against the rules of that particular site. As I mentioned before, the easiest way to "affiliatize" your site is to put a piece of JavaScript code on it. However, the company also offers a tool called VigLink Anywhere, which allows you to generate affiliate links to thousands of merchants and use them where adding a JS snippet is impossible (think HubPages, Twitter, forum signatures, etc.)

What about Flash or AJAX applications?

VigLink offers a REST API for direct access (available on request), and you can also use various functions from their JavaScript Library.

Why does VigLink add links to my blog posts?

VigLink Insert will search your content for product names (e.g. "iPhone 6") and turn them into affiliate links automatically. This behavior can be easily disabled in your settings (Manage > Settings > VigLink Insert > Off). This will leave you with their nearly-invisible Convert feature, which only affiliatizes already existing links.

Any alternatives?

Indeed, there's a very similar tool called SkimLinks (disclosure: this is my referral link) that you can try if you don't like VigLink for some reason.

Rate This Service

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of VigLink

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    • londonclicks profile image

      Fahim 21 months ago from London

      Very useful, but I guess info-clicks is easy to use and more profitable. But infoLinks is not for beginners, they has a big traffic requirements. I would like to use them, but as you said let me give again with vglink, lets see how they improved their service after the year.

    • profile image

      Aman 23 months ago

      Actually I have been using digiidp- which is a technology similar to VigLink but with lower cut- 10%! It only accepts the sites team finds valuable and your e-mails are answered within minutes. It also tracks your amazon sales with your own amazon tag for free.

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 3 years ago

      @cinderpop87: You can have several sites on the same account.

    • profile image

      cinderpop87 3 years ago

      Can I put multiple websites on the same vigLink account?

      For example... i have a website www.liverich4less.com, a facebook www.facebook.com/liverich4less, and a twitter www.twitter.com/liverich4less.... can i have them all on the same viglink account or do i need to have separate accounts for each one?

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 3 years ago

      @freakzion: Unlike InfoLinks, VigLink will only pay you if someone BUYS something via your link, so I don't think you will earn as much unless your site or blog has lots of product names on it (which VigLink could affiliatize).

      If you mean SkimLinks, they are fine, but I prefer VigLink because of their easier interface and setup.

    • profile image

      freakzion 3 years ago

      I am using infolinks and tired of he double lines...., should I change to viglinks?. In this review they also talk about a third player, steamlinks. What do you think?. I have a comparison at my site in case you also want to check it but I really expect answers from you to this post. thanks

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Chicago area

      Well written, useful review. Thanks.

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 3 years ago

      @ologsinquito2: You can use it on Squidoo (and everywhere else) using their "VigLink Anywhere" tool. You paste in a direct link to a merchant or a product, and VigLink converts it to an affiliate link. Very simple, and no messing with tracking pixels and whatnot.

    • ologsinquito2 profile image

      ologsinquito2 3 years ago

      How would you use Viglink on Squidoo if you had a Viglink account?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      If you live in a state that Amazon has cut off its affiliate program in due to sales tax laws, is using viglink appropriate to link to Amazon products, or would that still be against Amazon policy?

    • profile image

      fcinternetmarketing 4 years ago

      Great work.

    • mohinipuranik profile image

      mohinipuranik 4 years ago

      Thanks for the detailed review, it's very helpful.

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 4 years ago

      @sociopath-free: Just wait 60 days to receive your money.

    • sociopath-free profile image

      sociopath-free 4 years ago

      What triggers payout? Do you have to earn a certain amount?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: you must be doing something wrong buddy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Viglink isn't very good. I have a site that gets almost 3000 page views a day, and I make about 20 cents a week. I make hundreds of times more money with AdSense. I don't think VigLink is worth the fact that a few people leave my site clicking on their links. I'm going to keep it for a few more weeks, but looks like I will shut it down. I probably lose more money by people leaving my site when they click a VigLink. The payouts are ridiculously paltry. For a site that gets almost 3000 page views a day, it's a joke.

    • profile image

      Doug48 4 years ago

      An't going to say That I know everything¿(OK So I think I do) I'll keep this in mind though! I am not sure about the 25% If I was getting a lot of traffic on the Lenses I have Amazon on I would jump on it! When I spend time working the Affiliate Links I can easily build and make it to anchor Text Aff. ID Tracking! Yes it takes Time! I do see how this could help me but not right now. I Will keep this in mind! THANKS!

    • thingz1 profile image

      thingz1 4 years ago

      I let some of my affiliate relationships expire because I did find it tedious to individually select partners and maintain links. I will look into it.

    • carny profile image
      Author

      carny 4 years ago

      @linsm76: That's probably their new "VigLink Insert" feature. You can disable it in your account settings.

    • profile image

      linsm76 4 years ago

      I noticed that they have put links in my blog and they are some ugly looking links, never seen anything that looks like what they are putting.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Interesting. I've been turned down by a fair few CJ advertisers solely because many of my sites are UK based and (I believe) they didn't even check out the ones which were not (those I would have advertised their links on) so this might help me monetize those websites a little better.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the lens! I have just signed up tonight but I haven't verified my email yet because I still was not sure whether or not to go with them.

    • profile image

      SandeepRao 4 years ago

      Well, I have used many of affiliate programs like infolinks, chitika etc. But VigLink's results are quite satisfactory. Their link integration is quite good.

      And thanks for Unofficial FAQs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The one good thing about them is that it gets rid of the HTML code that you get from CJ, Linkshare, etc. They give you a simple bitly url to use if you wish to do so, Negative is that the links are for text links. Too bad photos are not available from merchants. It beats applying for merchants and waiting for approval, getting dropped due to tax laws, etc. Easy to use for sure, and you can use your referral link anywhere.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Really well explained will come back to read it with more attention as I am really busy right now.

    • Sabre1000 profile image

      Sabre1000 4 years ago

      Really nice article!

      (Found it on the second page of Google when I searched for Viglink...way to go!)

      So this will work on Squidoo, HubPages and Blogger?

    • Totus Mundus profile image

      Totus Mundus 5 years ago

      Thanks for this info. I'll check it out.

    • niveKevin profile image

      niveKevin 5 years ago

      Thanks for this info - I needed it. I don't like that they take 25, but oh well. Really good lens!

    • profile image

      romance-network 5 years ago

      great lens. very informative

    • nikosgr profile image

      nikosgr 5 years ago

      Hey great lens!!!

      Thanks for the great review!!!

      I heard about this service a couple days ago and i will try it!!!

      Again thank you very much!!!

      Be always well!!!

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 5 years ago

      Just what I've been looking for--thank you. Will try it on some of my blogs.

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 5 years ago

      Looks interesting.

    • sara0129 profile image

      Shamim Rajabali 5 years ago from Texas

      I have tried this. The sign up process is simple. Works well in WP blogs.

    • profile image

      Paula7928 5 years ago

      I have not heard of this before, will have to check it out.

    • profile image

      Tahamtan 6 years ago

      Very interesting. The best part is saving time from logging into each affiliate program one by one.