2 Alternatives to Amazon Affiliates that Actually Work

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Not everyone can have or use Amazon Affiliates to make money for their blogs. Whether it is a geographical issue, or maybe you lost your Amazon account, or  you just don’t want to use Amazon for your site. There are alternatives out there that can generate money for your blog.  Here are 2 Alternatives to Amazon Affiliates that actually work.

Alternatives to Amazon Affiliates that Work!

Below are advertisers that I currently use that have been working very well on my blog. They are both in-text link ads primarily that offer high quality links to merchants like Amazon, iTunes, Volkswagen etc.

Notice that I said Amazon. Even if you lost your account or are unable to use them directly. This is a great alternative to still be able to use Amazon though they are not technically supported. This is because you will be using the ad service below as a third-party which will then allow it!

Both are pretty friendly about the sign up process. They require to review your site so make sure you are ready for them! I’d read  Oddblogger: Do’s and Don’ts of Blogging before trying to sign up for these services!

InfoLinks

Infolinks-review
InfoLinks
is an in-text pop-up advertiser. Although it is annoying to highlight or click over a link and then see a pop-up. They are quite effective and you can generate income from them.  They also offer a related search pop-up, framed ads, and related Tags. Although you can easily overload a site if you run all of these. I recommend sticking to only one or two of the services and test to see how they perform.

InfoLinks is just a CPC service. So you get paid when people click on the ads.

General Information:

  • Type of Ads Offered: CPC – Cost Per Click
    • Pop-up in-text link ads.
    • Related Tag Links.
    • Search Links
    • Framed Ads
  • Supported Payment Providers: PayPal, Bank Wire, eCheck, Western Union, ACH (only for U.S. bank accounts) or Payoneer
  • Payment Threshold: $50.00 or Higher
  • Pay Schedule: 45 Days after Threshold is met.

Installation

You can either insert a piece of java script before the closing </BODY> tag or use the provided WordPress plugin.  Depending on your blog’s theme will determine the method you prefer to use.

Examples of Different Types of Ads Offered:

InfoLinks

This is the basic service which will put a link with a double line under a word. When a user highlights over it will pull up a pop-up window with the ad offered inside.

alternatives to amazon affiliates

InfoSearch

This adds a “slide up” at the bottom of the page offering a Search bar with an advertisement placed inside.

alternate to amazon affiliates

InfoTag

This offers a series of tags related to the article that when clicked on will go to a third-party advertiser. This will default to the bottom of the post but you can opt to choose where you want them to display but inputting them manually using their short code.

alternatives to amazon affiliates

InfoFrames 

This will add articles to the sides of your website. I have not personally tested these are they are new. But if you want to go “outside the box” of your site you might want to check these out!

Infolinks_InFrame

Reporting

Reporting is decent with InfoLinks. They only offer a general performance report outlining ads offered vs. clicks and how much you have made. It is a pretty simple report but you can choose different date ranges.  InfoLinks does offer a reporting app for both Android and iPhone though!

SkimLinks

skimlinks-reviewPersonally I like SkimLinks a lot. They have a higher payout, some of the best reporting, and more importantly? If you cannot get on with Amazon this is a great alternative to both Adsense and Amazon Affiliates. They currently have over 15,000 advertisers that they work with.

The way SkimLinks works is it will find and locate key words on your site and then automatically create a link to an advertiser. For example if you were to put “Canon SLR Camera” It would place a link over that which would then open up to a merchant like Amazon for a user to click on and hopefully make a purchase.

You can get paid either when a user clicks on a link or when a user makes a purchase through a link clicked on your site. So you have two chances at earning income with SkimLinks.

General Information

  • Types of Ads:
    • In-Text Links
    • Pop-up In-Text Links
  • Supported Payment Providers: PayPal, U.S. Bank, U.S. Transfer Only
  • Payment Threshold: $10.00 or Higher
  • Pay Schedule: 60 Days after Threshold is met.
Installation
The install method is the same as InfoLinks. You can either insert a piece of java script before the closing tag or use the provided WordPress plugin.  Depending on your blog’s theme will determine the method you prefer to use.

Examples of Different Types of Ads Offered:

SkimLinks offers two types of links. In-text ads and a Pop up ad like InfoLinks offers. Below are the examples:

SkimLinks

This is where the word will be replaced with a hyperlink to a merchant. In this case ‘Xbox 360’. Notice that the alt tag will be added with “Shopping Link added by SkimWords”. This will provide the necessary disclosure by the FTC in the U.S.

SkimLinks_skimlink

Note: Another feature of SkimLinks that you can use and setup is 301 re-direction through a sub domain you setup. You can set up for example ads.oddblogger.com  and ads supplied by SkimLinks will use this as a 301 re-direct!

SkimWords

SkimWords will post a pop-up offering additional information/links for a visitor to click on to purchase a product. In this case it is for Guild Wars 2 a popular MMORPG. The visitor will be taken to the Amazon US store and offered to purchase the game online.

SkimLinks_skimword_example

 Reporting

This is where SkimLinks really shines. They offer all kinds of different reporting for you to use:

  • Daily Report: This report outlines your performance based on date-range broken down by day.
  • Merchant Report: Lists the top performing Merchants people have clicked on in your blog.
  • Site Report: Overall performance of your site based on revenue vs. clicks.
  • Outbound Report: This reports ALL outbound links people have made from your site. Not only is this great for tracking performance of your SkimLinks but it is a great report to find out what other links you have set up visitors are clicking on!

Revenue – How Much Do I Make?

Unfortunately I’m not allowed to post how much I have made off of these services. I can tell that since my traffic has picked up I am starting to make quite a bit more than when I first started with these services. They do work and you can help augment your blog’s income from using them. How much you can make is determined by a few factors:

Traffic

You can only make money through valid clicks. And clicks take traffic. A lot of it! So if you have a very low-traffic blog? Focus on driving traffic to your blog first then worry about advertising.

Focused Niche

The better focused your blogs niche (primary topic) is the better these services will perform. Both will perform better if you have a niche that offers a lot of different types of products related to that niche.

Related Links

Only offer links that are related to your blog. For example if you have a site about Fashion – you wouldn’t offer links about Video Games. You would offer links about clothing, makeup, etc.. So keep it relevant!

Bottom Line though? The effectiveness of the services above are dependent upon how well your own blog is performing!

Conclusion

As you can see there the above alternatives give you quite a bit of options for your own blog for in-text advertising. Both are great alternatives to amazon affiliates.

Do you use either of the services above? How do they perform for you?  What type of Amazon Affiliate alternatives do you use for your own blog?   I’d like to hear from you in the comments below!

47 COMMENTS

  1. Good information Jason. I am using Infolinks for some years. Though the amount is not that huge, it is fine to pay off the domain and hosting charges.

    Skimwords is new to me and I don’t know how it will perform. Do you suggest to use both of these services in same blog?

    • Yes, neither one of these will get you rich. You have the potential to make a lot more money using SkimLinks vs. InfoLinks.

      I should have written it the other way around looking back on this. I definitely prefer SkimLinks over InfoLinks.

      I would strongly suggest only running one at a time if you want to provide the best visitor experience to your own blog. Though you definitely can run both 🙂

      Unfortunately with SkimLinks I tried looking to check for availability – so I am not sure if it will be available to India yet.

    • I know how you feel about infolinks Holly, and I feel the same way. They are simply annoying 🙂 Skimlinks is quite interesting if you just use their normal program (not the Skimwords which is pretty much the same as Infolinks). The normal setup is interesting because it is just a normal link that is then transformed to an affiliate link only after it is clicked. Earnings is quite low and it can be good for niche sites. All-in-all, if one wants to promote Amazon but can’t be an associate, then SL could be a good alternative.

    • Holly, Yes and if you are concerned about the popups you should only use the SkimLink and not SkimWords as it will do the same thing as InfoLinks (albeit with more useful information relating to the keyword being highlighted)

      Seems there is a lot of hate for InfoLinks. Is it due to the lower payouts or the fact that it is the ever dreaded always hated pop-up?

      SkimLinks definitely has the higher potential of the two services.!

  2. yes its really work. i am already an affiliate of Amazon.com. and last month i have earned $11.78 in a week via text link. its awesome…

  3. Hey Jason,
    Good to see you here with solid article. It’s always good to have these alternatives and try which works.

    I never heard of some of these platforms before. I’ll have to study some of them and see which is good to try.

    Thanks for bringing value to the table brother

  4. Hi Jason,

    Thank you for this detailed post. As you know my story with InfoLinks, they don’t pay much in India.

    But Skimlinks was new to me, I am gonna have a look to that. Also, their payout is also less.

    Have you used Skimlinks?

    • Abhi – thanks again for letting me post on here! Both are not huge payouts – but SkimLinks has a lot better potential as you get $$ for clicks and sales.

      You can make a LOT of money using SkimLinks – the issue is that it takes a LOT of traffic. Plus you need to have articles that can take advantage of using SkimLinks – usually retail products. SkimLinks has so many merchants working with them you’ll be surprised at what you’ll see popup once you start using them!

  5. Hi Jason Mathes ,

    This is a huge helpful article for me .According to my experience InfoLinks slows up page load time.I cant compromise with that.InfoSearch is a nice one.used it and satisfied .Will try others also .Thanks once again .

    • Kushal – I’m glad you found the post useful! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Have you checked out SkimLinks yet though? I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it performs vs. InfoLinks

  6. Infolinks looks kind of cool, but I could see it might annoy the crap out of users. Which might hurt your site. I have a number of blogs/sites I am going to get going in 2013. Always looking for ways to make money. I am an Amazon affiliate, though.

    Skimlinks looks kind of cool too. Is there a way to tell what kind of revenue you are going to get from the links though? Like someone clicks on Call of Duty Black Ops 2; will it say .20 per click?

    • Unfortunately with SkimLinks that the ONLY thing it doesn’t provide. It is a lot like Adsense in you have to sort of guess what the high CPC items might be.

      But it does have over 18,000 other merchants besides Amazon. So if you put up a product it will most likely link to it.

      You will earn a lot more through sales vs clicks using SkimLinks though. The biggest earning I’ve made is 4 bucks off of one click/sale so far. Although that isn’t the norm for me you can see the potential if you have this running on multiple sites with a high amount of traffic!

  7. I don’t like infolinks as an alternative but i have not heard of skimlinks, I rather prefer text link ads. Can you tell how much were you able to earn with skimlinks?

    • George – unfortunately as I mentioned before I can’t tell you the earnings. I can tell you that I make double to triple to that of InfoLinks. And it has started to perform almost as well as Adsense and some other affiliate sales I generate. 🙂

      How much you make will be determined on two major factors. How much traffic you get to your own site and what type of content you have that will help promote SkimLink in-text ads.

      The better you have these tweaked the better it will perform for you. Good Luck!

  8. Great overview Jason. I’m accustomed to infolinks and the general consensus is, it just doesn’t generate enough dollars.I like the sound of Skimlinks purely because the ads are relevant. Adsense works in mysterious ways sometimes.

    • Kapil – I agree I would prefer Skimlinks over InfoLinks. Skimlinks has the much better potential to give the blog owner higher revenue returns and provide visitors valid links to click on that are related to what they are reading!

    • Well just to explain. Google adsense usually pays something around $10 per 100 clicks on their ads. In case of amazon products advertising you will probably get 5-6 sold products after 100 clicks, and will get 4% commission from that. So in case each of the products will cost $100 you will get $20 🙂

    • Rizwan and Oleg.

      It depends really. If you have a highly tuned website for Adsense? The CPC you get from clicks from Adsense can be $2.00 a click.

      But with Skim Links if you have a blog that is tweaked so Skim Links can place great product links in your articles? The commission can be anywhere from $.10 – $5.00 + higher!

      So both have the potential to generate a lot of income. The advantage Skim Links has though is that they are just regular links inside of your content instead of an ad that is usually ignored by readers.

  9. Hi Jason
    Very informative and thorough post. I have Adsense on my site and have been looking at any alternatives there are around. I hadn’t heard of skim links and I will be honest that looks more up my street than info links which I myself if I was on a site might find a bit annoying. So am going to have a look at skim links.

    So for that info thanks lee

  10. You may also want to look into YieldKit they turn optimized keywords in articles into affiliate sales links and you get a commission from the sale vs a CPC or CPM. It auto scans your site you just install a plugin and it does the rest. You can control how dense the keywords are and it has fairly decent reporting.

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