On July 31st the Google Affiliate Network GAN) closed-down. In terms of Second Life, the significance of this is that Linden Lab offered their own affiliate advertising through GAN. However, all is not lost for those who wish to advertise SL through their websites with the potential to generate modest income as a result of doing so, a fact Ciaran Laval pointed me towards.
The Lab has entered into a relationship with Commission Junction (who have themselves been running a programme to capture advertisers and publishers who had been using GAN) to provide a new affiliate service to those wishing to advertise Second Life on their websites.
Recently the Lab has been e-mailing those already using the affiliate programme with details on how they can make the switch. For those who have not previously used the affiliate programme and wish to do so for the first time can do so in one of two ways depending on whether or not you already have a publisher account with Commission Junction.
If you do not have a publisher account with Commission Junction, you can sign-up using the form linked-to from the Lab’s affiliate programme page. Do note, however that the form represents a contract between you and Commission Junction, not Linden Lab. As such, the Terms of Service displayed as a part of the sign-up process is for Commission Junction (and their associated entities) as well, and therefore should be read through. It would also likely be a good idea to check the Commission Junction website for further background information (details on how the system works for publishers, payout terms, etc.).
Once the sign-up form has been submitted, an e-mail will be sent with instructions on how to activate your new Commission Junction account.
If you do already have a Commission Junction publisher account, you can apparently add Second Life to your account via the Commission Junction member’s area.
Either way, please take the time to read the Lab’s initial FAQ on the affiliate programme page as it includes some important information on the programme – including the fact web sites based in the US states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and North Carolina are excluded, presumably for tax liability reasons.
As I’m on WordPress.com, this programme is not for me – but if you self-host, and want to add SL advertising to your site, it might be for you. Commission Junction has a large number of advertisers, so there is no reason why you cannot include other suitable ads as well in order to try to increase your opportunities for revenue generation. Apparently, the minimum payout amount is considered high, so as with everything of this nature, mileage is liable to vary as to the return gained through the programme when all factors (traffic, ad selection, etc.) are taken into account.