Of course, 1,000 free links is an interesting and tempting offer – paying ongoing monthly fees for them thereafter was not all that interesting, so I skipped the 1,000 free links offer. What really had my interest was the other side of PostLinks where you can monetize your site with it. I had a few unused domains that had PageRank on them and I wasn’t doing anything there.
I figured I’d give this thing a try. I signed up for PostLinks and installed their plugin on two of my domains to start monetizing these neglected websites. That part was easy. The plugin installs easily and you enter your verification code. Then posts start coming in and you don’t have to do anything.
PostLinks works on a credit system so you never know how much you’re going to get paid until the pay comes out. They add up the total revenue and divide among the number of credits across the system. This is fine, I certainly understand the system and a revenue share model sounded good. The first payment I got from them was less than a dollar, literally some pocket change. But, I had just started and only had three or fours posts so I figured I needed to be patient and build up an ongoing chunk of credits. Right?
So some time passes by. One of the blogs (PR2) had something like 28+ posts sent to it from PostLinks service, the second blog I was using (PR3) had less than five posts. I thought surely I would see a better representation of what the paydays would look like. Unfortunately, it was less than $2.00.
I stuck with it, after all I didn’t need to do anything and it was passively building up credits. Surely it would improve.
Some more time passed by. The PR2 blog still had 30+ posts from the service. The buyers on the PR3 blog did not renew their links it seems because the credits on that one dropped to zero. I’m guessing they were probably free trial members seeking the 1,000 free links promised at signup and then when you don’t renew the service as a paying customer those links go away. Payday rolled around and again it was less than $2.00.
At that point I was feeling less than hopeful. I decided to scroll back through and review the content that this thing was sending to my domains. I probably should have been doing that all along at varying points, but I just glanced at it once in awhile and didn’t pay close attention. Well, that was a mistake on my part. I did not like what I found at all.
The posts were mostly junk. There were a few posts that were promoting ‘medications’ that you see advertised on television. There were posts that had no formatting at all, they were written in all lower case with no punctuation and they certainly hadn’t been spell checked. There were at least five posts about Ugg boots that made absolutely no sense at all. And the next payday was again less than $2.00 even as the number of credits earned was increasing.
Blah. Can you see where this is going? It seemed to be going nowhere fast. There was a high turnover on links, which was probably people signing up for the 1,000 free link trial and then not sticking around. The payout was low. The posts were 80% or more junk.
The PR2 domain I was testing it on came up for renewal this month (January 2012) and I actually let it just expire. It wasn’t one I planned on keeping anyway, which is why I used it for testing the service. The PR3 had no active posts left on it with the service, so I turned PostLinks service off on that blog. Since it wasn’t really affected in any way by the service I’ll probably still use it for content and maybe flip it later this year.
So that was my experience with using PostLinks service as a monetization tool. Your results may be different and I would be curious to hear about them if you’ve tried or are using it. Comments are open for discussion….