You Scratch My Back…
One of the steps I’m taking this week to prepare myself (and my blog) for 2008 is to look for new ways to make money blogging. Once again, the observant among you will notice another change to the site. I’ve decided to give ScratchBack (SB) a try and have added the widget to the sidebar under the banner ads.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with ScratchBack, it’s essentially an easy way for bloggers to sell text links on their site. On their site, SB positions themselves as a new sort of “tip jar” but in reality, they’ve created a simple method to sell text ads. The widget allows you to set the number of spaces you wish to make available (5, 10, 15, or 20), the length links will appear in the list (1 day, 1 week, or 1 month), and of course the price ($1 minimum). You also get to choose from several different displays and even have the option to create your own custom design. The code is just a couple of lines that you place on your site and just like that, you’re ready to roll. One of the benefits of using a widget for this is that you can change your options at any time through the Scratchback interface, without having to edit the code on your site!
I’ve currently chosen to make 5 spots available at a cost of $30 each, but with the links remaining up for 30 days, it works out to a dollar per day for a spot. Also, for those of you worried about Google’s misguided war on paid links, all SB links are nofollow. Personally I’m not a big fan of caving in to Google’s demands but that’s how the widget is designed and I’m sure many webmasters will be grateful.
Another feature I was happy to see is the ability to approve or deny any ads that are purchased. There is a setting in the SB control panel that either allows automatic approval, or requires approval. Naturally, I went with the latter option. It’s not that I don’t trust people and what they might try to put in an ad, it’s just that I don’t trust people and what they might try to put in an ad on my site.
They do take a 10% cut but I’ll gladly pay it since they’ve made selling and managing text links so stinking easy. It’s a smaller cut than Text Link Ads would take and it won’t put your PageRank at risk (that is as long as haven’t already lost it).
As always, I’ll report back my experiences but it will be pretty obvious. If the spots start filling up, you’ll know I’m making money. If they stay empty, you’ll know it didn’t do much for me. Also, for anyone that was interested in advertising here on Blogging Experiment, but didn’t get the chance to grab one of the banner spots, or didn’t have the $60 to spend, here’s another option for you to get site-wide exposure and it’s only a dollar a day. So shoot over there and be the first person to Scratch my Back! Who knows maybe I’ll throw in a little something extra 😉