Mark from 45n5.com has spotted Jim Kukral's new project called ScratchBack. I was anticipating when this will be released and now it is still in beta testing and seems like it is out to the public, since I was able to register and grab my own widget.
This is similar to selling text links, but widget style - with a BlogRush feel to it? Well it looks really attractive and it is very very well thought out. I am writing this little post about it, a sneak peak post, since I was able to register - I decided to test dry run it and let me see what I can get out of it.
First watch this video by Mark at 45n5.com:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHqi75jqjmA[/youtube]
What is ScratchBack?
ScratchBack was born out of years of frustration as a blogger who was unable to find ways to make any decent direct money from my efforts. In other words, by trying to solve a problem for myself, I'm able to help millions of other website owners at the same time. I like that.
From the ScratchBack Blog:
ScratchBack is an online â€œtippingâ€ system. It allows you, the publisher, to accept tips and â€œgive backâ€ links or images in return to your readers. Note: ALL links in every Scratchback TopSpot widgets, including the link back to Scratchback.com are, and will always be coded with a â€œnofollowâ€ tag.
So I registered and it was straight forward nothing really fancy. Once I confirmed my email address and activated my account I was greeted with a very simple layout of the main dashboard:
I decided to go a head and create my personal account, entering my PayPal account for payment and other information necessary. What I like about the dashboard is the little comment box in the front, quickly submit errors to Jim Kukral and his team. You will also notice that you get paid every 30days reaching a threshold of 25$. Once that was done I went ahead and started to create my Top List:
I entered everything necessary, again the internface was very easy to navigate and it is straight to the point, nothing to get confused about. You can also chose images or links to display in this little widget. You can have links be bumped, stay on for 24 hours, or 30 days. You even get to approve any links or allow all links to be displayed on this little widget. After the basic steps I was brought toward a selection of colors or themes to chose from:
This is amazing! All the colors and the best part is that you can create your header and footer! That is the best part I think, since you can make it fit the theme and design of your web layout. You get to chose from 8 great colors and they are all eye appealing so you will be able to get more viewer looking at it, especially if you create your own header and footer! Everything is all about the sync of the website. I setup and paste my code in under 5minutes!
Another great feature I like about this is that people that purchase links gets to bump another persons link off, like a competition. There are options to have it on for 1 day, 30 days, or bump <- which I chose. I actually want to see it in action. This is kinda really fun, competing for a spot to be on the top site list.
The widget alone is interactive, you can leave bubble remarks on your link, bump someone off (option), create your own header and footer! Right now I am selling links for just 1$, just the fact I want to see it in action and see someone get bumped that is all. I also have put this widget on my main homepage as well, so it will not disrupt the flow of content on my posts. Since I hate widgets on my blog, this seems to be ok.
The only downside I think this does for online marketers is link backing features. It is a text link ad kiosk on your blog, but does not really provide a trackback link back to the marketer or a backlink to apply for a page rank, and we know how page ranks are now a days. Since the links are not actually embedded in the context and only in the Widget, this is safe to purchase links, since they will not be crawled. But I think that is the only downfall for marketers other than that I think this is great for users that are using blogs to try to make money. This will help them get excited and actually maybe get a dollar in the door.
If you want to get a top spot on IanFernando.com go a head and visit the main page and get in my top spots for 1$! If not go ahead and get your mini widget.