Skimlinks logo

Skimlinks logoAt the beginning of July my state (Connecticut) changed their tax law to incorporate an “affiliate tax” (aka Amazon tax). Naturally, most affiliates simply dropped me and along with all their Connecticut affiliates. While I don’t make a lot of money on this site I would like to cover the hosting charges. So it was necessary to find some alternative income sources.

What I came across was Skimlinks. In short, it’s a service that converts regular links into affiliate links. They also offer a second service, called Skimwords, that will add affiliate links to regular text but I haven’t tried that service. Skimwords already had Amazon and Newegg in their program and these were two sites where I did most of my linking. The main benefit of Skimlinks is I could link to wherever I wanted and if they were a Skimlinks affiliate then it would be turned into an affiliate link.

I did have to go through and replace my old Newegg affiliate links with regular Newegg links since Skimlinks won’t rewrite existing affiliate links. Although they did make a recent change to optionally allow rewriting Amazon affiliate links which saved me from having to find them all and change them. The option is off by default but easy enough to turn on.

Skimlinks itself is implemented with a snippet of javascript and there’s a WordPress plugin available for WordPress websites. There’s also install guides and a few plugins for other popular platforms. Overall, it seems to be working well.

They have another feature, called Skimwords, that will add links to a website based upon settings. I’d prefer to do all my own linking so I haven’t tried this feature. While it does convert links to affiliate links, at least this way I’m still in complete control of where those links go.

I like that I didn’t have to change the way I do my links and can keep linking to the same places I did before since I stick to linking to places I use or frequent myself. In general, they take a cut of the affiliate commission so the payout to me could be less than if I had a direct agreement. But they do have preferred merchants where they payout is comparable due to their own agreements with the merchant.

I probably wouldn’t have found it if I hadn’t lost my affiliates but if your in one of the growing number of states that are changing their tax laws and affiliates are dropping you then it’s worth checking out.