Over the past few months I’ve been testing Text Link Ads (aff) on most of my blogs as a secondary way of adding income streams by selling text links. I’ve found TLA to be a very useful service – particularly because it’s something that once you’ve set up is incredibly easy to maintain. In effect TLA do all the work for you – finding advertisers, working out the cost, collecting the income and then sending it to you at the end of the month.
They are by no means my highest income earner but in April made up around 5% of my income. The other good thing about them is that each month they perform better and better as they gradually fill your inventory of empty ad slots over time. Most advertisers stay on from month to month so it’s very low maintenance and as they find new advertisers the potential for higher earnings grows.
Looking at my own blogs and the b5 blogs that we have them on (almost all of them) they do perform better on some blogs than others (obviously there are more advertisers out there looking for links on some topics than others) but if a blog has a reasonable page rank they seem to earn between $15 and $52 per link per month on most blogs that I can see. Not bad if you are selling up to 10 of them per blog and then if you have multiple blogs.
One of the only gripes I had with them was that the way they determined how much to sell text links for seemed quite mysterious. Some blogs seemed to fetch higher prices than others for no apparent reason.
Today they launched a helpful little Link Worth Calculator that gives some insight into how they value links. It’s a cool little tool that is quite fun to play with. Variables that impact the worth of links include positioning, site (presumably your page rank has some influence), topic of site, how many ads are to be sold and whether the link is site wide or on a single page.