I have finally decided to add the ScratchBack widget to my blog, after lots of soul searching and time. That, plus having conversations on John Dilbeck’s blog 21st Century Affiliate Marketing; actually, we had that conversation twice, of all things. It was also recommended by Lynn Terry when I asked her the question on one of her Tuesday call-in programs. Sire then wrote about it in talking about adding a tip jar. And, of course, I can’t forget Dennis talking about it on his post about starting to monetize his blog (that’s twice I’ve mentioned Dennis in a blog post in the last couple of days; think that’ll earn me any points in his best blog review contest? 🙂 ).

The initial debate was whether it was smarmy or not to ask people to pony up some cash if they either liked what you had to say or liked your blog. The secondary conversation was whether people would look at your blog, see that a lot of people come by to make comments, and might decide to not only give you a tip, but get a little bonus out of it also with an exclusive link that, if few people participate, could stick around for a very long time, or if many people join in could give the person giving you a tip great prominence in the blogosphere.

Then I thought about whether or not my blog was worthy to have such a thing. That one would take a little bit of false modesty on my part, and the last thing I want to be is fake. So, I’ll say this; yes, I think I’ve written some posts that are deserving of receiving a tip of some kind. Yeah, I said it! Maybe the posts that only contain videos are more of a lark than anything else, but I know I’ve put some value out there, and have written some things that are much different than the norm for an internet marketing blog. Okay, yes, I talk about more than just that, but in my mind, that makes it unique. I mean, the post I wrote last week on razors has received 17 comments and had more than 40 people read it; I’m thinking that’s not so bad for an odd topic post. And y’all also saw my November report and the increase of visitors and readers. Just to mention this, I’m also right on the cusp of being in the top 100,000 on Technorati; that’s not bad either.

Anyway, enough of that. I decided to add it, and now I’m going to talk about the process. First, you go to ScratchBack and sign up for free; can’t beat free, now can you? Of course you’ll create a username and password; that’s pretty standard stuff. The next step is to come up with a name for what you want to call your widget. Now, you need to know that the name is only for you on ScratchBack itself; you won’t see that printed anywhere once you add the widget. I was disappointed by that, but for now, that’s how it goes.

After that, the most important thing for you to do is decide how much you want to sell those links for. They recommend $5.00 or more, but I decided to go with my favorite number right now, which means that if you tip me, or purchase one of those links, it’ll only cost you $3.00 right now, but that may change. One major thing people need to know is that all links are automatically “nofollow“, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Because of this, those who worry about Google and paid links have nothing to worry about, and because it’s javascript (yeah, I remember my own rant about javascript, but one has to take new chances every once in awhile, right? I already added one of those Widget Bucks ads back, if you hadn’t noticed), it definitely won’t mess with your Google page rank, or anything else Google. Yeah, it’s not true link love, but it’s still love nonetheless.

Next you go in and select the widget template you want. I decided on this one because of the arrow, believe it or not. The only other possible choices were between the one that was closest to the color scheme of this blog, or the minimalist one that only has some words, then the listings. Mine has that arrow, but it’s also black, and there’s never anything wrong with the color black as far as I’m concerned.

After that, it creates the script, which you’ll put into a text widget on your WordPress blog, and you’re pretty much ready to go. I say that because you don’t want to forget the most important step afterwards, which is going back into ScratchBack and going into My Profile to put in your Paypal email address, since that’s the only way you can get paid. Now, what I’m not sure of is if you get paid immediately or whether you get paid once a month, but at this point I’m not worried about it. And the payout rate, at least for now, is a 90% – 10% split for you, although they do say that later on it’s going to go to a 50% – 50% split. By that time, I should know if it’s valuable or not and whether I either up the ante or get rid of it altogether.

Oh yeah; you also have the right to delete a link you feel may be offensive, and the money is non-refundable, so it’s probably best to say, as I’m saying now, that adding something that’s inappropriate won’t stay, and I’m keeping the cash. You get two settings, one where you get to approve a link before it shows, the other where the link just shows; I’m picking the second for now, because I’m doubting that those who visit my blog, spammers notwithstanding (they’re not paying for anything anyway, so no worries there).

Anyway, there you are, and there I am. You’ll notice that when you got to the third paragraph of this post that you were right next to the ScratchBack widget; that’s not bad from where I’m sitting, since most of my posts are easily long enough so that it will always be seen. And even this post is more than 1,000 words; man I’m wordy! Anyway, this is one time I won’t have to keep you up to date on how it’s all working, because you’ll see it for yourself. Let me know what you think, and of you try it yourself, make sure to tell everyone about it.

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