Sunday, February 17, 2008

Scratchback.com: An Alternative to PayPal's Donate Button

Scratchback.com is an easy way to let your reader's tip you for your hardwork, while being rewarded in the process. PayPal Donate buttons are often used by bloggers, but they are bland. Scratchback widgets are eye catching and gives the tipper an added benefit: a link.

In 2007, Jim Kukral launched Scratchback after being frustrated with the monetization of his own blogs/sites. After creating this unique widget and beta testing it, people responded with positive feedback. The initial fee for Scratchback was 50% of one's tips, but it has since been decreased to 10%. (This may slightly increase in the future.) Best of all, the widget was purposely created with no follow tags to make it Google friendly. What does that mean for those that have been penalized by Google? A blogger or webmaster can request tips to be the same prices they charged textlinkads or other text link advertisinf companies, without the Google backlash. Makes you think? Here's how it all works.

How can I use Scratchback.com on my blog or site?
Visit the site and register. Confirm your registration by email and enter your site's information. You can register as many blogs as you want. All of your blogs/sites will be displayed on one dashboard. It shows you how many impressions the widget had, the amount of links you are displaying and how many have been sold.

How is the Scratchback widget created?
The widget is created within minutes. You simply answer the questions they present and a code is created that you place on your site/blog.

What kinds of questions does Scratchback ask?
1. They ask what type of links do you want displayed: text links only, links to images or both.
2. You choose how many spots you want displayed, anywhere from 5-20.
3. You choose how long the links will be displayed. This is the fun part. You can have the link auto bumped by others as they purchase links. You can have the link displayed for 24 hours, 7 days or 1 month.
4. You choose the amount of the tip you would accept for a link. The minimum is $1.00. The maximum...well that depends on what your readers are willing to tip you for your info!
5. You select if you want the link to be automatically displayed or approved by you first.
6. You choose the layout of your widget. They currently don't have a very large selection of formats. They come in different colors, but they are all in a tower format.

How do you get paid?
You must have a paypal account. If you live in a country that doesn't allow paypal, don't apply. Why? You won't get paid. Their blog states they are exploring different payment methods for the future, so you might want to subscribe to their feed for updates. The payment threshhold is $25.00. Remember, they keep 10% of that.

Does Scratchback offer an affiliate program?
No. It doesn't hurt to spread the word to your readers, you may be able to get a link on one of your favorite sites/blogs (that may send you lots of traffic).

I've placed widgets on several of my sites. Here are a what they look like:
Snow White, 7 Dwarves and PDD
FreefabStuff

I'm currently experimenting with the different features they offer. Originally, the links on my sites were $10.00 each. After doing some research on the net, it seems that putting an auto bump feature with a minimum tip of $1.00 may be more profitable. Why? Let's say a person or company tips you for a link. Their link will be displayed at the top. (If they want to keep track of their link, they may subscribe to your feed which is an added bonus). If others come along and tip you for a link too, their link may eventually move off and they may come back and tip you again.

I've enabled the auto bump feature on my Scratchback widget and have given it a prominent spot at the top right hand corner of this blog. WHY? To give my tippers the added benefit of being seen every time my posts are stumbled!

Take a look at Scratchback and see if it works for you. It may just become one of your biggest sources of income. Oh and if you liked this entry, think about leaving a $1.00 tip (and leaving your link!)

1 comment:

Darren said...

sadly this site is closing down.

any others like this in the making?

paypal charges a flat fee in addition to a percentage.

is it possible that if someone tips less than the flat fee that paypal charges, that you could be out of pocket?