I noticed a new widget today while I was looking a few blogs called TopSpot. So, of course, I had to investigate. As it turns out this neat little widget is from Jim Kukral, a well known make money blogger and marketer. So I went to ScratchBack.com to check it out and to see how it works.
Not Last Year’s Link Exchange
The TopSpot widget is a way for you to buy an advertising link on a site, aka give the site owner a tip and get something back yourself. You set the price, starting a $1, and decide the number of links or image banners you want to accept.
At first blush this looked like yet another implementation of the same old link exchange. However, they take Google’s recent PR scolding very seriously and all links in the system are ‘nofollow’, even the one back to ScratchBack.
You also can choose to pre-approve any links so you won’t have affiliate links or links to sites you don’t approve of showing up. The tips aren’t refundable either so if you plan on posting a questionable link you want want to contact the site owner first.
It doesn’t cost anything to sign up. You will need a PayPal account to get paid though and you’ll need to have $25 in your account to get paid.
You can chose to allow links to auto-bump or to stay on your site for 24 hours, 7 days, or 30 days.
Oops, There is Some Ugly
The plan is still in beta so there are some features that are still up in the air, most notably the amount of commission that’s being charged. From what I gather it is 50/50 right now but that is subject to change, most likely a positive change for widget users. I think a 70% users/30% ScratchBack would be good, if it is financially workable for ScratchBack.
Also, there is no affiliate program at this time. Jim says one is in the works though.
Given that web site owners could collect the money and then drop the widget this may cause some problems later on. I don’t see anyone getting bent out of shape about a dollar or two but for larger amounts it could cause some bad blood.
Lastly, there is a lack of options on the widget style and color although you can buy custom widgets if you want. Hopefully they’ll work on this a bit in the future.
I’m Trying It Out
I’m giving it a try to see how it works. There it is over to the right. You can buy a link for $1 on the auto-bump system. I’m pre-approving the links but if you want to throw an affiliate link in there that’s fine with me as long as it isn’t for something that would be considered ‘bad neighborhood’. If you want to ask first, just use the Contact link at the top of the page.
What do you think about this widget? Leave a comment and we’ll discuss it.