For site owners and bloggers, there are plenty of ways to make money online. Everything from using Google Adsense on your site, to affiliate marketing and even selling your own products or services. Another method for making money with a site of your own is to sell site traffic or ad space to different advertisers. In short, there are lots of different ways to start making money online.
At the same time, it seems like everyone on the internet is looking for ways to make money online — whether they own a website or not. Once such method is through the use of URL shorteners and redirecting your traffic. The practice is usually done to get past spam blockers or filters that might be blacklisting specific sites or URLs.
Today we are going to take a look at Shorte.st, which is a popular link shortener that pays users to share links through their redirection service. Keep in mind, this type of promotion can be used by both site owners and anyone who might want to share URLs with a mass audience.
What is Shorte.st and Why Do You Need Link Shorteners?
Shorte.st is a URL redirection service. However, unlike other link redirection services that you might already be familiar with, Shorte.st is built around the concept of paying their users to use their service. Now, it’s not likely that you are going to make a lot money with a link redirection service, but you definitely can make money. Even more so if you have access to a heavily trafficked site or community.
As to why you might want to use a service like Shorte.st, well that comes down to a number of factors, such as trying to share content on Facebook that is getting blocked. Facebook blocks millions of URLs from being shared on their social network (and for many different reasons). So if you want to share a link with your friends or a Facebook Group, you are going to need to put a redirect in place, which we will now walk through in the section below.
How to Quickly Create a Link Redirect with Shorte.st
The first step to sharing a link through Shorte.st is to simply visit their site and then plug in the link you want to share. You can do this instantly on their site, or create an account where you can track and manage all links and earnings.
Step 1: Visit http://shorte.st and type your URL into the box at the top of the page
Step 2: Copy the code, then post it wherever you want to share the link.
Should someone click on the shorte.st redirection URL, they will see a page like the one below — first showing a quick advertisement, then having the ability to click on the “SKIP THIS AD” to proceed to the actual site.
This is where the monetization method of shorte.st comes into play. Since they are acting as the redirect service, they are placing a quick advertisement in the middle of the redirection process. Shorte.st earns money each time these ads are displayed, then they pass a percentage off to their users who are sending traffic through the site.
You can see an example of a live Shorte.st redirect here: http://sh.st/IEARD
Features Available with Shorte.st
As with most tracking platforms, the more options you have the better. To take advantage of the many features that Shorte.st has to offer, you should create a free account on their site. Such features include:
- Free URL shortening service
- High CPM rates that pay on nearly all global traffic
- User-friendly interface with advanced tracking tools
- 20% commission on all referred users to their site
- Earnings of .50 to $4.00 per 1,000 views (depending on country)
Shorte.st offers wide range of advanced tools and tracking solutions on their site, and even more for site owners. Such features include a Developers API, Mass Shrinking, Social Sharing Widgets, a WordPress Plugin and more.
How Much Does Shorte.st Pay Out?
The most common question when it comes to services like Shorte.st, is how much money they pay out and how much can you actually make using their site.
To answer the question as best as possible, it really depends on the amount of volume you are pushing through your links. Obviously the more people who are seeing the in-between ads, the higher your overall earnings will be.
The good news is that Shorte.st pays for nearly all types of traffic, which is something than can’t be said for many other services. Below you can see some of the average CPM payouts from Shorte.st, based on 1,000 pageviews and the country they are coming from.
If you were to start using Shorte.st for your link redirection and were sending 1,000 US visitors and another 1,000 foreign (lower value traffic) through your links, you would be looking at roughly 60,000 clicks per month (30,000 (US) and 30,000 (foreign)), which would likely earn you somewhere in the $50+ range (based off the noted CPM earnings above).
You can see a full list of payouts by country here.
Payments are sent out to users through PayPal or Payoneer on the 10th of each month as long as the minimum payout amount of $5.00 has been met.
How to Make the Most with Shorte.st
Now that you have a good idea how link shortening services like Shorte.st work, now it’s time for you to decide if it’s right for you.
For site owners with a trusted brand and valued audience, it’s probably not in the best interest to set up link redirection as it interrupts the user experience and will clearly frustrate users who are used to experiencing your site in a seamless fashion. However, there are many areas that a service like Shorte.st can come in handy, such as:
- YouTube Videos: If you have videos on YouTube that are getting massive traffic and linking out to other content or videos, you could push a ton of traffic through your links and earn a few dollars a day in the process.
- Facebook Updates and Images: As mentioned earlier, Facebook blocks a lot of URLS. If you are trying to share content that keeps getting blocked, Shorte.st is an option to consider. The link redirection service could also prove useful and effective when promoting images and links within groups, fan pages or status updates. Another common occurrence is due to the posting of too many links in a small time frame by some users, shorte.st links are sometimes blocked by Facebook. Should this happen, users can contact Shorte.st support and they will receive a list of alternative domains that work fine.
- Viral Content: Keeping with the theme of “high traffic”, any type of content that you can get out there that might have a ton of people viewing and sharing it is a potential winner with Shorte.st. Again, keep the consideration of your audience and their value in mind.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there are plenty of ways to make money online and Shorte.st is yet another to add to the list.
Create a free account at http://shorte.st today.