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Skimlinks provides a simple affiliate marketing tool which allows publishers to earn money from affiliate links with a minimum of effort.
I've been talking to Skimlinks CEO and co-founder Alicia Navarro...
In one sentence, what is Skimlinks?
Skimlinks is an innovative technology that helps online publishers monetize their content simply and seamlessly through affiliate marketing.
What problems does Skimlinks solve?
We save publishers the time and effort they’d usually spend signing up for affiliate networks, applying for merchant programs, creating affiliate links, embedding those links, and collating all the data they get from each different network.
The publisher can completely outsource their affiliate marketing, while our technology turns normal links and product references in their content into affiliate links.
When and why did you launch it?
Skimlinks originally started as a completely different company.
It all began with Skimbit – an online social decision-making site, back in 2006. We had built an internal monetization technology to earn from the links users were adding on the site, and eventually, that technology, and its potential, grew bigger than our original business model.
We decided to focus on it exclusively, offering it to other sites to help them earn from their content like we had. We launched as Skimlinks in December 2008.
Who is your target audience?
We can help a huge range of online publishers monetize – from niche bloggers, to forums, to online newspaper sites right up to content networks or publishing platforms.
Our main goal is to increase the revenues publishers earn via our technology. We feel that the role publishers play in creating purchase intent via their content is undervalued, and we are building innovations that better capture this value.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Skimlinks?
Skimlinks is a scale business: we make a small amount per transaction, so to create a sustainable long-term business requires excellence at scale.
However, the challenge - which is the fun part of the job - is to achieve what I like to call "scalable intimacy" - the ability to operate at scale, and still emanate a personality, intimacy, warmth and care for your customers and stakeholders.
That goes a long way to encourage loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.
How does Skimlinks make money?
Our technology rewards publishers who have content that informs, influences and closes purchase decisions, and we also help create additional purchase opportunities with our new SkimWords technology.
It’s all about encouraging and creating opportunities for commerce.
What is your pricing model?
We operate on a revenue share basis.
Who is in the team and what does it look like?
We have a diverse and international team of 30 based in London and San Francisco.
We like to hire bright passionate and caring people with a love of entrepreneurship, and we aim to make these traits part of everything we do. The team is about one third tech, one third operations, and one third biz development and account management.
What developments can we expect over the next couple of years?
As this industry changes so quickly, we can only focus on the immediate future – especially as we are in a completely different place to where we thought we would be just three years ago.
In a year, at least, we intend to be the most valued and innovative form of content monetization on the market.