URL shorteners are becoming popular due to the popularity of Twitter and other social networks that limit messages (tweets) to 140 characters. This post reviews other ways to use URL shorteners, other than simply by quickly creating a link for sharing on Twitter.
Indirect Revenue Sources
One indirect way in which shortened URLs can generate revenue is through "clicks" by users who read your blog or see your tweet. For example, if you have used Twitterfeed to automatically send tweets with shortened URLs pointing to your website or Amazon.com product page, then every time someone clicks one of these links they will be recorded as either a direct visitor or search engine visitor. Depending on how many people click these links, it's probably safe to assume that this will generate some indirect sales.
Another indirect revenue source is by simply blogging about items you are trying to sell or products you have for sale on Amazon or eBay. For example, if you're selling a Wii game console, then every time someone clicks your website's short URL and subsequently makes a purchase at Amazon, then that would typically be classified as an indirect sale. Similarly, if you are using eBay to sell an iPhone 4S smartphone, then every click on your shortened link and later purchase of the product would be counted as an indirect sale. Indirect sales can often amount to 10-20% of overall sales .
Indirect Revenue Sources with Payment Processors
Anytime someone purchases your item(s) or product(s), it's possible to use a payment processor such as Google Checkout, PayPal or Amazon Payments. The way these work is by embedding a small form on your website that asks for the user's billing and shipping information, which would be forwarded to the processor and then the processor might (usually VISA and/or MasterCard) charge you with processing fees ranging from 2% – 5%. You can find out more about this here:
This could easily turn into an indirect revenue source. For example, if someone clicks one of your links and follows through to Amazon (which is currently using Google Checkout), then every time they make purchase you will receive payouts for sales related transactions. You can also do this with eBay and PayPal, but it's often not recommended due to the higher fees.
Indirect Revenue Sources via Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a very popular way businesses make money online. The basic idea behind affiliate marketing is that you would send people to another company's website in exchange for some sort of commission when they purchase the product(s) or service(s). For example, Mr. Store is an online store that sells walkie-talkies and other radio communication devices . This link can then be posted on your blog or social network profile, and every time someone clicks on this link and makes a purchase, then you would receive a commission. You can find more about affiliate marketing here:
This could also turn into an indirect revenue source. For example, if your website is dedicated to iPhone accessories , such as cases and screen protectors , then you might use Amazon as the primary source of product referrals. Every time someone makes a purchase on Amazon via one of your links (which typically contain your affiliate ID), then that will be recorded as an indirect sale on the sales page.
Advertising Revenue Sources with URL Shorteners
You can generate direct advertising revenue by using URL shorteners for partner programs such as Google AdSense or Media.net . The idea behind this is that you would drop a small snippet of code onto your website and any time someone clicks on one of these links, it will automatically check to see if they might be interested in the ad (based on their browser, keywords and the link itself). The more people click your links, the greater chance you have of receiving payouts from advertisement revenue. You can find out more about Google AdSense here:
You could also boost direct advertising revenue by accepting sponsorships for your website or social network profiles. For example, if you visit every day or so and there is a company that provides similar products or services as yours, then they may want to cover some of your expenses by paying directly. This model has been used quite popularly by popular blogs such as MakeUseOf and Lifehacker.
Indirect Advertising Revenue Sources via Affiliate Marketing
Anytime someone makes a purchase by clicking on your affiliate link, then that would be recorded in the sales page as an indirect sale . The sales page is typically located within your account within the URL shortener service. Simply click to view the detailed breakdown of all clicks and/or purchases made throughout the month to see how many of these were related to affiliate marketing. You can find more about this at bitly here:
For example, if you're using Google AdSense or Media.Net (which are both currently offering referral bonuses) and you send people over to Amazon (which is also currently partnering with Google AdSense), then every time someone makes a purchase after clicking on your link, that would be recorded as an indirect sale. You can find more information about the referral bonus here:
Add-on Revenue Sources with URL Shorteners
Some URL shortening services offer additional revenue streams such as paid shoutouts which will allow you to post sponsored messages on social networks such as Twitter and Reddit . For example, if you have a link to your website or profile which is ideally related to the words contained in the sponsored message, then it's possible that people might pay attention.