This was going to be a short little post with a few random thoughts on selling direct links and it has somehowÂ grown into a beast with a mind of its own! Direct link sales rock my work. I think it’s fun wheeling and dealing and it can beÂ very lucrative as well and here’s pretty much everything I have to say on the matter…
Setting Links Prices
- Don’t undervalue a link on your site - Link salesÂ can seem likeÂ easy money when an offer is made and I think people, me included, have a tendency to undervalue them. It only takesÂ a coupleÂ of minutes to physically add the link to your site but you shouldn’t forget about how many hours it’s taken to get your site to the point where people actually want to advertise on it.
- Look at what Text Links Ads sells your links for - If you’re signed up with TLA and have most of your links sold then that tells me that people are willing to pay whatever that price is before TLA take their 50% cut. I offer links at TLA prices but since I’m making the sale myself I get to be greedy and keep the whole amount.
- Look at what similar websites are charging - Have a look at your competition and see if they’ve got a page with advertising rates. If they don’t, get in touch and ask what they charge. You can either do this in a friendly up front way or, if that doesn’t work, you can alwaysÂ be evil and pretend you’re interested in buying a link and get their prices that way.
Setting the Link’s Duration
- Have discounts for buying long term links - You willÂ earn less overall this way if you look at the yearly totalsÂ but keep in mind that there’s also a chance that the buyer will cancel after one month and it might be a safer bet to grab the cash up front. Plus locking in a deal for a year means less chasing people to renew and less work is always good.
- Don’t sell permanent linksÂ - I don’t think there’s such a thing as forever with the internet but when you sell permanent links, it’s implied that they’re locked in for a long time. When you do this youÂ lose a bit of control over your site and prices aren’t usually high enough to justify this.
When Someone Approaches You to Buy a Link
- Try to get a higher price than they first offer - When a company approaches you looking to buy a link on your site don’t be afraid to talk them up. What would you do if you wanted to buy a link on another person’s site? Probably go in with aÂ low price and hopeÂ for the best. In the past I’ve been so excited to discover that people actually wanted to pay me for links that I’d eagerly take their first offer. I was afraid that if I had the cheek to ask for more they’d get pissed off and go off in search of another site to advertise on but it turns out that most people are willing to bargain.
- Turn link exchange offers into link sales - If someone gets in touch offering a link exchange that doesn’t really appeal that much to you, send back an offer to sell them a link. This has worked a few times for me. Remember that often these link exchange requests come from companies that are working for the site doing SEO. If the site’s owners are willing to payÂ someone to do SEO for them thenÂ they’d probably be willing to pay for some links as well.
My Experiences with Link Sales
My main site for link sales is Travoholic.com and so far I’ve had very few people tell me to stick it when I’ve told them my prices which leads me to believe they’re fair. I currently haveÂ nine TLA links on the right side of the main page. Their price isÂ $15/monthÂ but I only see $7.50 of that amount. I charge $15/month for text links in the same areaÂ and that suits me fine because I get to keep all the money when I make the sale myself.
When someone contacts me about buying a linkÂ IÂ give them the priceÂ of $15/month but make it clear that I’m willing to negotiate ifÂ they can pay in advance. I’ll usually knock the price down to $10/month if they pay a year in advance andÂ I do the same thing with my footer links. I offer those links for $8/month when first approached but drop to $60 for the year if they’re willing to pay in advance. For reasons unknown people seem to approach me fairly regularly now looking to buy links on my sites and most of the time the contact results in a sale.
Â If you’re just starting out with direct link sales and haven’t been accepted to TLA yet, have a poke around the Digital Point link sales forum. I don’t tend to look for sales in there anymore because the sites can sometimes be a bit spammy, but it’s a great place to find your feet and see what sorts of prices other similar sites are offering. Selling my first few links through that site was really encouraging and it also put a bit of money in my Paypal account that I could use towards reinvesting in my sites.
I’m a huge fan of selling links directly to other webmasters and major companies. If you’ve got a quality website with a well defined target market then this is an area I would recommendÂ for some fast cash. There are rumblings that Google aren’t happy about this practice but screw them! I love that webmasters have all the power when it comes to direct links sales and nobody else is getting a cut.
Stick it to the man and get out there and make some sales!