“Inspirationis not for sale,
However, you cansell a manuscript.”
These words of classical Russian poet came to my mind when I decided to write a post about one of the monetization methods for blog owners. Although these lines were written long time before the digital era, I think most of the bloggers will agree with them. You can’t sell your inspiration; you can’t do anything with it except use it for creative production. And then you can sell your “manuscript”, in our days – a post, a review, a book.
My first conversation with link seller
I’m not a big fan of Pushkin’s poetry, but I took that quote because first guy from whom I learnt about the link selling was Russian. I remember conversation with him 6 or more years ago in a bar when he told me: “While I’m here drinking with you – my sites are working”. He was not actually a SEO, but was knowledgeable about search engine optimization aspects and he told me he made thousands of dollars just by registering his sites to a SAPE link-selling system. His sites were on autopilot and he sold thousands of links from them. Each link was cheap (may be a $0.09 a month or about $5 from a home page) but in sum they were generating a good amount of money. This was how I discovered the paid link business on a particular example. In contrast to many projects which claimed to make you rich, this gave a real revenues and even the possibility to predict your earnings.
Selling links is not the thing which you should be ashamed of
Some bloggers think that this is bad to sell links. There are several reasons why they think so:
- It harms site positions in search engines
- It violates Google’s policies
- It decreases the general site reputation.
These are 3 main reasons, but I have arguments to deny all of them
- Yes, selling links may harm your positions. May be those sites from which I sold links would do better without paid links on them. But for those informational sites I had no better monetization method. They were not so targeted and sharped for affiliate programs, and pay-per-click programs turned to bring less income then selling links. But of course if your sites are product sites or high-reputation sites – it’s better to avoid selling links.
- I don’t care about Google and its policies. Google banned my AdSense account with no reason and explanation so why I should care about it at all? And those who are afraid to loose positions – please reread my first argument.
- I don’t think that paid link and other advertising decreases site reputation (unless it is really excessive and looks spammy). At Problogger we can see a Text Links Ads banner, link buying-selling network and I doubt it turned away any Problogger visitor. And probably it’s been there for ages or at least I remember it being there.
What makes selling links one of the best monetizing method?
I decided to summarize the reasons, Pros for selling links.
- Text links take a small amount of space at your web-site.
- The price is usually stable (for a month, for a year)
- The payment is made either at the time link is placed, or usually in a short period after the link is placed.
- Usually there is no minimal earnings amount (like $100 in Adsense) so you don’t have to wait a long time to reach the certain level of earnings.
- Placing links does not require a lot of time and technical knowledge
- Selling links is easy to combine with other monetizing strategies
Each blog owner has own vision of his or her site and therefore chooses the monetizing strategy. In this article I wanted to show that there is nothing shameful or nothing evil in selling links. Nobody will force you to sell links to porn, viagra or gambling sites so it’s really up to you to choose your advertisers. I know there are many better ways of making money online. But selling links is one of the easiest way for a beginning blogger to start receiving first income. Moreover for experience bloggers with many sites it can become the real cash cow.