Common Viglink Installation Mistakes
Viglink Installation Can be Tricky
Viglink is an affiliate network used by many bloggers and webmasters. It can also be installed on some revenue-share sites, such as Wizzley and Seekyt.
Its big advantage is that it gives you access to a much wider range of merchants than you'd have otherwise. The last time I checked, more than 30,000 online retailers had signed on with Viglink, including Walmart, Target and Kohl's. Plus, you can also find smaller companies with very unique products that offer a very favorable commission rate, if you happen to sell some of their merchandise.
There's another very big advantage to using Viglink. If it's installed on your website, and you forget to add an affiliate link, it will often do so for you. Say, for example, you mention the word "Amazon" in your copy. This will quickly be turned into a link back to the giant online entity. If someone clicks on this link, and makes a purchase, you'll earn money on the sale.
Because of this automatic link insertion feature, forum owners can also make extra income if someone mentions a word or phrase that could be turned into an affiliate link. For instance, I imagine this could be lucrative if someone was running a tech forum.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to Viglink, which you should know about before signing up. The company will take a cut of your commissions. For Amazon, that will be a 25 percent share. Some people may not find this arrangement acceptable. However, the base commission is probably higher than what you'd earn on your own, especially if you don't have a large number of sales each month.
The biggest downside though, is the installation process. It can be tricky, time consuming and costly, if you don't do it properly. That's also true if you do everything right, and Viglink delays in approving your site for Amazon and eBay sales, and you didn't realize this.
This is what happened to me, and it was exceedingly difficult to get fixed. I offer my story as a heads up. If you decide to use Viglink, you must follow through to make sure it's properly set up. This can mean repeated emails and telephone calls, coupled with a wait to hear from customer support.
Viglink Amazon Approval Not Automatic
My first experience with Viglink was on Wizzley, a highly visual revenue-share site that's optimized for affiliate sales. Using Viglink there has the distinct benefit of having all of your affiliate accounts and sales consolidated. This is a very good time-saving feature, and it also allows you to use eBay, which, otherwise, you couldn't earn with. Plus, you can branch out and find interesting products on Cafe Press and other specialty gifts stores, without having to sign up as an affiliate with each merchant separately.
I first tried to install Viglink in the fall of 2013, and assumed all was well. However, I became suspicious after a few days when no clicks registered on my dashboard. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a straight answer from customer service. After two weeks of no activity, I removed my Viglink ID from Wizzley.
Later, I learned that Viglink requires separate Amazon and eBay approval. The customer service rep told me he would approve me for eBay, but hesitated on approving me for Amazon. However, numerous other Wizzley writers were happily affiliating their Amazon links through Wizzley.
Although I see the great benefits of using Viglink, new users should be made aware that they may not be able to use Amazon right away on their Viglink account.
Update: I've recently found out that some other merchants, such as Walmart, require additional approval. Right now, I am only approved for one of my Viglink campaigns.
Repeated Calls to Viglink Customer Service
Repeated inquiries to Viglink customer service, about why my account did not receive full Amazon approval, went unanswered. Meanwhile, I was able to successfully use Viglink on Seekyt. Then, I installed it on two of my blogs, working with another customer service person, who quickly approved each of them for Amazon and eBay sales.
However, at this point, I also once again tried using Viglink on Wizzley. However, even though I know it was installed properly, there was no activity in my account. After questioning the second customer service representative, I was assured all was well. However, it wasn't.
Your Experience with Viglink
Do you use Viglink on your pages?
One More Try
Last weekend, I once again tried to use Viglink on Wizzley. This time, I finally saw clicks in my Wizzley channel. However, it was also clear that I wouldn't be earning from them, because I saw no green semi-circle indicating they were "monetized clicks." This happened despite repeated assurances that everything was working.
After contacting customer service once again, a year after my first go-round with Viglink on Wizzley, I finally heard back from a third rep. She was very gracious, and explained that my Wizzley channel had never been approved, despite the fact that three of my other channels were fully working for Amazon, eBay and every other merchant as well. She advised me to watch this channel closely over the next week, which I plan to do. So far, though, it looks as if it's working. I also see a green bar on the top of my dashboard that says everything is "wired" and ready to earn.
How to Use Viglink
Make Sure You are Approved
Turn Viglink On
Don't Forget Affiliate Disclosures
Contacting Customer Service
Anyone can sign up with Viglink, but getting full approval for all merchants is another matter.
You must switch on Viglink for each of your channels.
Make sure you disclose that you are a Viglink affiliate. There are special HTML "badges" you can install on your site.
Successful installation may mean repeated customer service contacts.
Keep Asking Viglink Questions
Viglink is a new and fast-growing company, and I attribute this lack of communication and spotty customer service to this rapid expansion. Increasingly strict Amazon requirements may also be part of the problem. At one time, if you could not have your own Amazon account, you could still earn though a back door provided by Viglink. However, this has changed, as Viglink strives to keep pace with these new rules.
This is why it's important for new Viglink publishers to keep asking questions, repeatedly, if necessary, if they think anything is amiss.
Until you see a green bar across the top of your channel, telling you that everything's working, as well as monetized clicks for this channel, you should probably assume that successful installation didn't happen.
I now know that Viglink generally does not approve someone for Amazon sales unless they first see Amazon clicks in your account. However, I had two weeks of Amazon clicks on my first attempt, but, somehow, this didn't matter. So, if you decide to use Viglink, don't worry about being overly persistent with customer service, because this might be the only way you get your problem resolved.
Don't Forget to Turn Viglink On
Successful installation of Viglink is one hurdle. But you also need to turn Viglink on for each of your channels. Otherwise, it won't work. To do this, go to your Viglink Settings Page. You can find this on the top of your dashboard, under the "Manage" tab.
Scroll down and you will see a button. Move the button to the "On," position, as you can see with the blue button shown below. This might seem as if it's one more annoying step, but this button is useful in case you decide you no longer want to use Viglink on a certain site. In that case, you would simply switch it off. (If I was using it on my own blog or website, I would also remove the Viglink code.)
Successful Viglink Installation
After what feels like a marathon installation process, Viglink appears to finally be installed on my Wizzley channel. Although it might seem as if using Viglink is more trouble than it's worth, I don't think this is the case, once you are successfully wired.
On my blogs, especially, Viglink will save me a lot of time and trouble because I no longer have to log in to various individual affiliate accounts when I want to create a link. Now, I can simply find a product and rest assured that Viglink takes care of the rest.
With tens of thousands of merchants, using this network also opens up a whole new world of possibilities on Wizzley.