A few days ago I was analyzing some content download websites focused on making money via CPA offers and found a few websites that were using other strategies to earn money.
While I love using CPA offers, I know it’s not something that everybody does because it needs time to find good offers and good networks. That’s why many people still look for ad networks (here are our top 10) where they can just copy the link and paste a code to make money with ads without them having to optimize the conversion process on their end (CPC model instead of CPA model).
Some of the websites I was analyzing had no Adsense or banner alternatives. And they weren’t using CPA offers either. What were they doing?
They were earning money from linking out to the download pages or videos.
Well, every link they had on their website had to pass through a redirection were the visitors had to see an ad for 5 seconds before they could continue to their final destination. Sounds familiar?
This isn’t something new, but I was impressed with how much revenue they could earn just from linking out. I once used this method to earn money from viral pages, but there are better ad networks now, and so I was contacted by Shorte.st.
They explained their monetization methods (which I’ll explain below) and I was impressed to see how much the technology has grown from what I used 3 years ago in my tests.
I was even more impressed by the fact that some of their publishers were earning $20,000 – $30,000 USD with their websites using this method only, and the good thing is that it’s easy to implement.
I also had the opportunity to see how some people with large Facebook or Twitter accounts made $4,000-6,000 with Shorte.st (sign up here) just by sharing links in their profiles.
Make money with link shorteners
I know many of you have seen how a URL/link shortener works. You just need to copy the URL you want to shorten and paste it on a service like Bit.ly or Google and you’ll get a shorter URL and access to basic stats like the number of hits and countries where visitors are coming in.
URL shorteners were originally made to make links prettier and easier to share.
A shortener works with a basic 302 redirection and can help you keep track of your posts from different services. But what if your add an interstitial ad before doing the redirect? You get something like Shorte.st.
Shorte ST Review
Shorte is an advertising network based on links that are distributed on the web. They offer a wide range of monetization options for Webmasters all an alternative to the traditional banners. You can earn money with Shorte without a website too if you have large FB or Twitter accounts.
Shorte.st offers a wide range of monetization tools such as:
- Link monetization
- Bounce rate monetization
- Social/viral marketing/share monetization
- Video monetization
- WP plugin
- Blogspot comment monetization
While it sounds like they have tons of options, most of them can be implemented at the same time as they’re focused on website monetization.
Here’s how a Shorte ad looks like:
Here’s another one:
How to use Shorte.st
Installing Shorte.st on your website takes less than 5 minutes. All you have to do is generate and customize a code in their dashboard (click here to register) and then paste that code into your website.
Even faster, if you’ve got a website running under WordPress CMS, you can download their official plugin from the WP repository and just add your API number from your Shorte account and you’ll be good to go.
Let’s see all the features and menus from your Shorte.st dashboard so I can explain what you can do.
Shorte URL Tool
This is the most basic tool you need to use to shorten any links. If you want to create a new link, even if you don’t have a website, you just need to copy your Shorte code and replace the last part of it with the destination URL:
Mass Shrinker Tool
If you have many links and don’t want to create your Shorte links 1 by 1, just copy and paste all of your destination URLs into the mass shrinker tool and you’ll be good to go. It can create up to 20 links for you to share in less than 5 seconds.
Shorte Website Monetization Tool
This is perhaps the most interesting and advanced tool Shorte offers for webmasters. This tool creates a code that you need to paste on your website that will automatically shrink all the links you want to monetize them. As mentioned above, if you’re using WordPress you’ve got all these features inside the plugin as long as you connect your API number with your WP account.
Let’s have a quick look at the monetization tool:
There are several options you can modify here to have full control of the links you want to monetize. Let’s go through each one:
Include/Exclude domains: This will allow you to either monetize all of your links except the ones you don’t want (exclude) or just monetize the links you want (include).
To make it easier, here’s an example:
Include: If you want to monetize all the links going to Youtube videos or Twitter, but you want to keep all the rest of your links clean, you can include youtube.com and twitter.com in the list. The rest of the links, including the ones from your own blog won’t be monetized.
Exclude: This feature is great if you want to monetize all of your external links. If I wanted to do this, I’d just exclude the ones from the same domain and leave all the rest to be monetized. For example: if my blog is blog.com, and I want to monetize everything except for the links going to other pages of my blog, I’d add blog.com to the list. Everything else (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc) will be monetized.
Entry Script: This feature allows you to show Shorte.st ads to any visitor of your page even if they don’t click on any links. It sounds great for those websites that don’t really link out that much, but I’d be careful cause sounds like a very intrusive ad. I’d use this kind of ads on a torrent/download site but definitely not on a personal blog.
Exit script / Bounce rate monetization: This script is really nice because it only monetizes the visitors that are going to give you a high bounce rate on your website. This only applies to visitors that enter your website, and then they hit the back button without clicking or reading anything from you.
Shorte.st will show an ad to those people and you don’t need to worry because everybody else surfing your website won’t see the ads. It sounds like a nice way to earn extra money without being intrusive and you can control the time the user needs to be on your page before becoming a bounced visitor and show them an interstitial ad.
Social Share Monetization
Have you seen those content lockers where you need to tweet, share, or +1 an article to discover the content? Shorte has a tool for that that will also monetize every social action. This is great for viral blogs.
A simple but curious tool Shorte has is the ability to create Blogspot comments that can be monetized by Shorte. If you’re a person that comments a lot, this could be useful for you.
Shorte Payment options
Shorte pays via Paypal, Payoneer, or Webmoney. There’s a very low entry barrier of $5 before getting paid. Shorte pays on a NET 10 basis, which means you’ll be paid on the 10th of each month for the money you did last month.
Shorte is a very good alternative to earn money besides the typical banners or pop-unders I explained last month.
If you want to add some revenue to your website and you’ve never heard of link shortening, Shorte is a great way to get started and they’re user friendly. Their payments are fast and they have a low limit to get paid, which is always nice.
Have a look at Shorte (sign up here) and let me know how it works for you.
Talk to you in the next one 😉