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Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to Make Money from Twitter with Advertising

In case there's anyone left who doesn't know, Twitter is the free micro-blogging and social networking service that's taken the world by storm.

As an enthusiastic Twitter user - click here to visit my Twitter page - I've found it great for keeping track of what's going on in the writing world and sharing useful resources I've found.

In recent weeks, though, I've been experimenting with another use for Twitter, which is as a method for making money. In particular, I've been trying out some services that offer to pay you for 'tweeting' messages from advertisers.

So I thought in this post I'd share with you my experiences with the services I've used so far...

1. Ad.ly

I heard about Ad.ly through the popular Shoemoney blog. Apparently the owner of this blog, Jeremy Schoemaker, had been paid $290 for tweeting a simple message about an upcoming TV show. I thought I'd like a slice of that myself...

Of course, Shoemoney has many thousands of followers. I signed up with Ad.ly and was offered a more modest $7 per tweet (I have around 700 followers, so I assume they operate on the basis of $10 per 1000).

This is still actually the highest fee I have been offered by any of the Twitter ad networks, though as yet - three weeks on - I am still waiting for my first paying opportunity.

Ad.ly also recently introduced a referral program, whereby you get an extra fee based on a percentage of the fees earned by anyone who signs up via your link. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you sign up with them today ;-) Just don't hold your breath waiting for opportunities to flood your Inbox.

2. Magpie

Magpie is one of the longest-standing Twitter advertising networks. I signed up, and so far am impressed with it, although again I'm still waiting for my first paying tweet.

One thing I especially like about Magpie is that you get complete control over the tweets you sent out. You can choose to preface them with ad: or use this as a suffix. Either way, it is obviously good practice to let your followers know that a particular tweet is sponsored.

Another plus for Magpie is that, if you don't think a paid-for tweet sounds right for you, you can ask the advertiser for permission to change it, so that it sounds more natural.

On Magpie I've been offered one paying tweet, for an SEO company, which I accepted. Then I waited for several days and nothing happened. So I logged back in, to discover that my Twitter account was awaiting approval by the advertiser concerned. I thought that if I was offered the opportunity and accepted it, that would be the deal done, but evidently not. Oh well, hopefully I'll be approved soon...

Again, I like Magpie and can't see any reason not to join, but it's another one where you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for opportunities.

3. Sponsored Tweets

Sponsored Tweets is run by IZEA, the people behind PayPerPost, the paid blogging company.

I've had a couple of paid-for tweets from Sponsored Tweets at about $1 a throw. You can choose whether or not to accept any message, although you can't vary them in any way.

Also, until very recently there was no indication that tweets were being paid for by advertisers. Especially in view of the recent FTC ruling about bloggers having to disclose when they are being sponsored, I was uneasy about this, so I've been posting extra messages saying the previous tweet was paid for by an advertiser. However, according to an update on the Sponsored Tweets homepage, disclosure is now mandatory with all ads, so I will be happier about using this service in future.

4. RevTwt

RevTwt is apparently short for Revenue from Tweets.

This service works a little differently from the others I have mentioned. You get a choice of tweets to send out, and are paid a fixed rate for each of your followers who clicks through to the site in question. Fees vary from 5c to 20c or more per click.

RevTwt is therefore a bit like Google Adsense for Twitter. One drawback I've found with it is that a lot of the ads aren't really relevant to my readers. There seem to be lots for tooth-whiteners, for example - so if you have plenty of followers with bad teeth, you could really clean up here...

In addition, like Sponsored Tweets, until recently RevTwt ads have not included any form of disclosure. Again, however, they have just announced a change to this policy in light of the FTC ruling, which means I will probably be using them more in future.

One thing that has annoyed me a bit about these services is that they all want to know where you are based. I strongly suspect that the best-paying opps then go to US residents.

As someone living in the UK but with more US than UK followers, I find this rather ridiculous. I'm considering changing my 'Twitter address' from Staffordshire, England, to New York, to see if anyone notices!

I haven't made a fortune from Twitter advertising yet - just a few dollars - but nobody has complained either. I intend to continue the experiment for a while, but I'll be doing my best to ensure that any paid-for tweets I send out are relevant to at least a proportion of my followers. I'm relieved, also, that all of the networks appear to be implementing full disclosure now.

If you're on Twitter anyway, in my view it makes sense to check out these opportunities to get paid for using the service. All of the networks mentioned above will allow you the final say on whether any particular message goes out. Some also have an 'automated' option where you let them post anything they like, but I don't recommend this if you want to avoid losing followers in droves.

If you've tried Twitter advertising services, the ones I've listed above or any others, I'd love to hear about your experiences. Please post them as Comments below.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Russell said...

Hi Nick

I'm going to check a few of these out myself. I didn't know about Twitter advertising networks so You've opened my eyes up to a whole new world!

Thank you for sharing this.

All the best,

Russ.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Thanks, Russ. It was all new to me as well until quite recently!

2:50 PM  

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