Can you run a successful business by only using the free membership option at Wealthy Affiliate? Well, you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I recommend you sign up for the free Wealthy Affiliate membership as a way to try things out. Honestly, the free membership is set up to be a bit of a teaser to get you to sign up for premium eventually, but most of us expect that going in. What’s nice about it is you can judge for yourself, based on the free membership, whether it is worth it for you to sign up for premium. Ultimately, only you can decide if Wealthy Affiliate is high quality or not. You will get more than enough of an idea by signing up for their free membership option. On average, about 1 in every eight people upgrade to a premium membership.
One big difference between SkimLinks and VigLinks, however, is that once you’re approved by the company, you can choose to work with any merchant or program on its platform. SkimLinks has also published a white paper discussing its partnership with Buzzfeed, giving SkimLinks a lot of credibility. SkimLinks also has a higher tier of vetted merchants called “Preferred Partner” and “VIP” that both pay higher commissions than standard merchants.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.
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888.com is a premium gaming destination and a well established name in the casino and poker circuit. Its site offers numerous sub-brands including 888sport, 888ladies, 888bingo, 888casino and 888poker, as well as ReefClub Casino. The 888 family of companies attract millions of players, and the company provides affiliates with frequent promotions to keep players interested.
SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks. Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
LinkConnector imposes a very rigorous and lengthy screening process, so you’ll need to prove that you have a high-quality website and established audience before being accepted. Despite its somewhat schizophrenic approach, LinkConnector does have some very happy long-term affiliates. And their “naked links” allow for direct connection to the merchant website without having to be rerouted via LinkConnector, which will give your website an SEO boost.
It is important to note, however, that StudioPress is now a subsidiary of WPEngine which is the company that actually does the web hosting on which StudioPress’s Genesis framework runs. The affiliate program only works with choosing the StudioPress framework and themes, not the actual hosting on WPEngine. WPEngine has a separate affiliate program for its hosting services, which yes, is a bit confusing.
SkimLinks works very similarly to VigLinks in that it is designed for bloggers who don’t want to do a lot of hands-on work to participate in an affiliate program. SkimLinks also works much like VigLinks in that it uses a plugin or script to create dynamic links in your content to send visitors to higher paying offers from merchants. SkimLinks claims to work with over 24,000 merchants/advertisers.
Warrior Forum WSO’s – This is the only option on the list I will actually tell you to stay away from. Warrior Forum WSO’s are almost always a rip-off and no amount of them will adequately teach you how to truly build a real online business. This forum community is owned by Freelancer.com and they will allow just about anyone to sell just about anything. The majority of them are very cheap, but once you give them your email address, get ready to be spammed. They also almost always include “upsells” where the initial product may only cost a few bucks, but all the other products they sell you within the first product costs substantially more. I could write all day about why you should never purchase a Warrior Forum WSO, but if you want to learn more, you can read my article about Warrior Forum WSO’s here.
You may have noticed in my overview of the Amazon Associates site that I left out the mention of the plugin they built for WordPress. That’s because the plugin doesn’t work (at least not well). Luckily, the Amazon Auto Links plugin will simplify the process of finding new and relevant products to promote and creating affiliate links to them--all from within WordPress.
Udemy.com – Udemy is an online training platform where “instructors” can create courses and sell them to “students”. There are some extremely high-quality courses on Udemy created by high-quality instructors who really have made a lot of money online, but there are a lot of very low-quality courses as well. Most of the higher quality courses are quite expensive, sometimes exceeding $100. While the training might be good, the training on Wealthy Affiliate is excellent as well, plus you get all the tools, community, and support included as well. Once again, I believe Wealthy Affiliate is the better option.