27.8.07

Is LinkWorth Worth Your Time To Join?

Are you one of those still undecided on which pay-to-blog programs to join? Other than the usual suspects like PayPerPost or SponsoredReviews, I guess LinkWorth may be worth your while to check them out.

If you carry Adsense on your blog, I'm sure you would have noticed LinkWorth ads appearing on many occasions. They have been very active in recent months, being one of the latecomers onto the pay-to-blog scene.

But since coming on as a competitor in a crowded field, Linkworth have stamped their mark with their aggressive marketing and are now regarded as one of the top three sponsors for bloggers.

One of the outstanding differences between LinkWorth and the rest of the pack is that they have the biggest range of money-making programs up their sleeves. More than you can shake a mouse at!

Signing up with them is quite a breeze but when you log in to your account your first impression of their site is that of a maze. Initially, you'll be hard pressed to navigate the site as you try to familiarize yourself there.

That was before they underwent a revamp of their site to make it more user-friendly following some observations by member bloggers who were unsure how to get around their site. Well, I must say there are some improvements after the re-design of their site.

So what's the buzz about their programs?
Oh boy, you should see what they have on offer to publishers and advertisers. A gamut of affiliate programs and services are there for your picking, if you know where to start.


Let's try to list them here:

*LinkPost
This is their pay-to-blog program that's about the same as those from the competition. However, unlike other similar services, LinkWorth allows their advertisers some say about what's being written by a blogger (postie).

According to LinkWorth, they pay their bloggie partners up to 70% for each LinkPost review. Here, you don't grab post opportunities. You wait for them to give you an assignment which is somewhat like Sponsored Reviews. Some blogs that had done some assignments are happy with the payment.

LinkWorth will pay out monthly by check, PayPal, direct deposit, or Wire. You choose your payment options. The payment methods apply to all their programs.

* LinkAds
I guess all members will grab one of these referral ads and put it on their sites. As a LinkAds partner site, you get to generate additional revenue. It's up to you to place any number of LinkAds on your site - homepage, sub-page or the entire website.

* LinkInTxt
According to LinkWorth, this is their newest innovation that combines link relevancy, page popularity and direct traffic into one ad unit - LinkInTxt.

* LinkWords
They are pay-per-click (PPC) ads and they look much like a hyperlink. They are embedded into an advertiser's preferred keyword strings which reminds us of Kontera ads.

But some bloggers are not sure how to get it working without messing up their pages. I've tried it but decided to drop it until I'm sure how to do it right. The situation here is a bit fuzzy.

So these four LinkWorth programs, I think, are the likely ones that bloggers will test out, but the rest of the offerings may take some understanding before anyone of us jump into them.

LinkWorth seem to be very creative with names using the word "link" to connect with all their programs and services. So here are some of the other offerings: LinkBB, LinkMura, LinkSura, LinkPack, LinkDir, LinkArt, and LinkPress.

You can say that's quite a handful for bloggers and advertisers. But that's LinkWorth for you - a kind of multi-tasking set-up that probably believe in the "All For One, One For All" clarion call.

19.8.07

Posties Beware, The Shadow Knows

It has to come, sooner or later. Posties who are believed to be attempting to game the PPP system will face a clampdown.

According to PPP, it's known that of late there's a small group of Posties trying to falsify their Google PageRank and Alexa ranking. And PPP are "saddened to see some of our long time Posties attempting to abuse the system."

Obviously, the culprits are being detected and the warning is out for them to get rid of the codes they are using for their redirects, beacons or any other form of stats manipulations.

They have been given seven days to comply or face the music.


That means the gamers will be booted out of PPP permanently. And they can also expect not to be paid.

Basically, PPP do not condone such acts and they have hinted that their competitors also share the same sentiment regarding this "black hat" tactics. When push comes to shove, they will take collective action by sharing database and detection to blacklist these blogs.

With one swoop, these Posties will be completely banned from joining any paid-to-blog companies. That's a horrifying thought to be left out in the cold.

Alas, the culprit can't claim that this ranking spoof was done accidentally. The Ted guy knows it's next to impossible for that to happen. Go tell it to the marines!

17.8.07

Are You Ready To Take Off With Bla.st?



How about blasting off with this "new game in town" that promotes your blog with a display card on sites, including yours, that use their widgets? If you like the idea, you can join Bla.st. For free.The Bla.st widget was launched somewhere in March this year, and since then Bla.st have several thousands of sign-ups, including some high-profile bloggers on their list.

Bla.st is your free visual card directory and international advertising network. So it's open to advertisers and webmasters who are looking for an alternative way to publicize their sites.

What is a Bla.st card?

It's a card that looks like the real world business card which you have to create yourself using some graphic programs like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. The size must be exact as required by Bla.st - 270 pixels wide by 165 pixels high. You save your card and upload it to the Bla.st site. Select a category like blogging or web design, etc., and you're ready to go!

There's one snag here. If you're not good at designing, you might have a problem coming out with a nice looking card. But worry not. Get a friend who's good with Photoshop to help you out.

One more thing, the Bla.st widget allows you to configure how it's going to look on your site. You have the option of making it horizontal, showing up to 10 cards, or run them vertically down the sidebar of your page. The size of the cards can be configured as small or large.

I guess most people will go for the small size taking into account shortage of prime estate space on their blogs. The large size is really not favourable to most webmasters. They have a tiny size but it dosn't seem to work or has been de-activated. I'm not sure why.

Yes, there's a Bla.st referral program

Other than getting more exposure for your sites by using the cards, Bla.st have sweetened the deal with a referral program whereby website owners can earn up to 20% on referral sales and advertising on the network. They pay via PayPal.

I just received an email notification the other day that Bla.st have paid my first commission of $5.10 USD for a sale via this blog. To some people, this looks like small change, but you don't need to do anything, just leave your widget on and, carry on with your usual business.

My Bla.st widget is placed at the end of the last post on this page. Some kind visitor must have clicked on my card The NextPost which could be on anyone's blog, not necessary mine. Just think of this as residual income. Unlike a sponsored post where you have to bash out a post to earn $5!

Your ads are free, or pay any amount you want
According to Bla.st, all cards on their site are free. But if you want to promote your card by getting it listed higher, you can pay from as little as 1cent/day or more. It's up to you! The 24 highest paying cards are listed on their front page. Free cards come last. Bla.st use a simple "cost per day" system, so you don't need to worry about cost per click, cost per view, click fraud or unexpected bills.

Just for your information, I only paid 1cent/day for The NextPost for a whole year. Hey, that's only $3.65 for a year's listing! For my other blog CommonSense With Markk, I paid slightly higher for a year just to see how things go. Now you can see that the more you pay the higher the listing you get. It's your call.

You can target your card at a particular category and subcategory. Of course, you'll want to pick a category that's relevant to your site, unless you have other plans.

For now, Bla.st is still fairly new and I expect it to continue its growth as more and more bloggers come on board. I think this is one good method to promote your site by getting into the Bla.st marketplace, and targetted traffic will increase as you gain more exposure with your card appearing on other sites.

Finally, one observation that comes to mind is that some blogs that are Bla.st members don't seem to have the widgets on their sites. Maybe they had them on earlier but took them off for some reasons. My guess is that some feel that the cards take up too much space or clutter their blog. That's why I'd like to see that a "tiny" version of the card is made available for those who prefer that size. Yes, I would use the "tiny" version.