TNX is a text advertising service which has been online since September 2007 (although it’s still in Beta). Although the site is still relatively new, it’s built up a large membership and has proved particularly popular with bloggers.
What seperates TNX from a lot of other ad companies is it’s point system, which is unimaginatively called TNX Points. Remember the old game shows where they used to tell you ‘Points Means Prizes’, well TNX Points means cash. Publishers earn points from displaying ads and advertisers buy points which they can then use to purchase ads. I guess it’s similar to those fun dollars you get at the fairground in some respects.
Those of you who want to make money by placing TNX ads on your site will be pleased to know that you can add an unlimited number of sites to your account and TNX are not too strict about what websites they accept for this (for example, sites with a page rank of zero are accepted too). Their main criteria for accepting new sites into the network seems to be that your website is listed in Google.
Only a few fields are required to add a website to your account however you must add the TNX code to your site before it is put forward to moderators for consideration. I signed up at TNX last year when they first went live and I had no problems adding my old poker forum site at the time but in the last week I have had a few problems with adding and deleting websites from my account and this has been frustrating.
- Adding a site – I added the details of my personal blog and added the TNX code to my sidebar however their system didn’t seem to recognise that I had added the code and I keep getting the error ‘one of necessary fields no filled’. I then added the code to my footer and still nothing.I haven’t had any problems with this in the past however I noticed that Dee Barizo from Net Business Blog had the exact same problem when he looked at TNX in October. Perhaps their ad code doesn’t work with WordPress too well.
- Deleting an account – As I mentioned above, I have had an account at TNX since last year. I have since sold the site I had added to the account so last week I tried to delete it. Unfortunately, when you only have one website attached to your account you cannot delete it. I added another site to my account (I didn’t have the add the site problem last week) and a delete link appeared for both websites under the ‘show options’ link in your website list. I clicked the delete link for the site I have since sold and it deleted the website I just added and the site I sold remained.My first thought was that I clicked on the wrong link so I added BloggingTips to the account again and then clicked to delete the site I sold a few months ago and once again, it deleted BloggingTips. You can imagine how annoying this is! The site I sold a few months ago is still attached to my account and I think the only way to remove it is to ask TNX directly to remove it.
My problems with my account aside, TNX remains a great alternative to other text link ad services. If you are curious as to how much TNX could make you then I recommend visiting their website and using their income calculator. TNX work out the link popularity of your blog and then you manually add the PageRank value of pages on your site. Finally you choose the number of links you want to place on each page and the category your website comes under.
Below is the income Bloggingtips would get by adding 4 links to 5 PR pages.
The price you get per link is different for every genre with joke and humour sites giving you about a third of the commission an ecommerce site would.
It would be difficult to talk about TNX without mentioning their main competitor Text Link Ads. Although they are similar in some respects, there are some major differences between how both sites sell text links on your site. With TLA you have the option to sell up to 10 text links on a single page (which they recommend) or have the links on all pages of your website. Although you can sell single page text areas on your site, TLA require you to add the individual code to each page and you need to create an ad for it in their marketplace for each ad. This is also necessary for single page sales across your website because some pages will have a different page rank from others.
This is not to say that the TLA system is poor, far from it. However, TNX works differently. The TNX code works out the pagerank of each page and will price it accordinly for advertisers. This allows you to sell ads on pages on your website which have a low page rank.
If you look at the commission you get from a single page text ad sale then Text Link Ads will probably make you more than TNX. However, if you are adding text links to all pages of your website TNX should pay you a lot more because you are paid on a per page basis depending on the page rank. Since they also pay for all pages, even those with a PageRank of zero, TNX can potentially make you a lot more money than TLA. Websites with thousands of pages would definately benefit from trying TNX out for a while.
So you have sold some ads and made some points, now what to you do? Well you can either transfer it to another member, to an advertiser or you can choose to cash out. The amount you get depends on the current rate of TNX points. As you can see from the notice below, the current rate is $0.82 per 1000pts.
Use this page to transfer TNX-ponts to other TNX members and advertisers. There is no comission for point transfers. Daily limits: Maximum points allowed for trasfer is 500 000 pts./day. NEW! Starting 14.04.2008 TNX will buyout your tnx-points at the rate of $0.82 per 1000pts. Those who meet link placement recommendations (links not in block etc.) will be getting $0.88 per 1000pts. sold back to TNX. Buyout price grows every week due to growth of the entire TNX network and its effectiveness.
Usually it takes us up to 3 business days to process a payout request. Minimum payout – $5.
The 500 thousand max daily transfer is not too restricting and no doubt low traffic websites will be happy with the minimum payout threshold of $5 via paypal.
Advertisers can buy links on sites with PageRanks of 0 up to 7. A link on a site with PageRank 0 costs 1 TNX point ($0.0016) whereas a link on a PR 7 page will cost you 5,000 TNX points ($8).
As an advertiser you can also geo target your ad campaign between a range of different languages. So if your website is in English it’s recommended you choose ‘english language only’ in the geo target section. For your campaign TNX recommend you choose at least 5-7 categories though I’d personally prefer to try an ad campaign with one niche first.
Advertising on pages with low to middle PageRanks is incredibly cheap so it’s very easy to try out an ad campaign with a few different keywords at a relatively low cost.
You’ll be pleased to know that TNX have their own affiliate program. You will receive 13.3% of all TNX points that your referred member earns and receive 5% of all payments made by referred advertisers.
They currently have two 468×60 banners and two 125×125 banners for you to use. I would like to see some more banner options but you can always design your own banners if you have a specific banner size requirement. Once you have earned TNX points through your affiliates you can choose to transfer them, cash them out or use it to advertise your site.
With regards to search engine penalties
In the advertiser frequently asked questions area TNX pose the question ‘Can search engines somehow identify links sold or purchased through TNX?’.
There are no marks of any kind that would let search engines identify links sold or purchased through TNX. All links look like they were installed manually, so there is absolutely no way a search engine can identify your website is selling or purchasing links through the TNX system.
Although Google cannot tell that you sold the ads through TNX, there’s no question that google have been working tirelessly over the last year to stop webmasters selling text ads on their sites and placing text link ads, particularly those advertising sites unrelated to yours, may bring your site under scrutiny from Google. Fellow text ad sites Text Link Ads and PayPerPost have been hit hard with these tough new rules.
I don’t want to discuss the pros and cons of selling text links which pass rank as I have talked about it before on BloggingTips however I do encourage those of you who want to use TNX to understand how Google views about selling links which pass pagerank.
Additional points worth mentioning
- TNX charges 12.5% to both advertisers and publishers. Compared to the alternatives out there this is incredibly low as most ad networks take a 30%-50% cut.
- TNX is apparently ‘geek speak’ for Thanks. I’m not hip enough to confirm or deny this 😉
- The site seems a little rough around the edges in some parts. For example, there are a few spelling and grammatical errors around the site. When I had problems with adding the code to my site I got the error message ‘one of necessary fields no filled’. Also on the same page is the sentence telling you to ‘make sute it complies with the following rules’. As someone who is also prone to the odd spelling mistake it’s perhaps a little hypocritical of me to criticize TNX for such errors however ad networks really should try and make sure things like this are checked as it can present a negative image to potential members (and current ones for that matter).
TNX is far from perfect but few ad networks are. In my opinion they are perfect for low traffic site owners who are looking to make a little extra cash. Since they pay per page it’s clear that people with websites which have thousands of pages could make a lot of money using TNX and webmasters who have struggled to get into other ad networks should definately look into signing up.
TNX currently have a thread in the Digital Point forums where you get 2,000 points for free. Make sure you check that out after you have signed up 🙂