Linkbee: A Short Guide to a Link Shortening Service

Update: 2 Payments in a Row

Linkbee has made payments to it's affiliates for both May and June.  This could be a good sign.

Linkbee is a company that offers a link shortening service. “Link Shortening” is a process where you take links, and make them physically shorter. Let’s say you find this topical “lolcat” picture that you want to share with all of your friends via Twitter. Now, Twitter has a 140 character limit, which can be a problem with long URLs. Take the following lolcat pictures:

http://www.librarian.net/talks/masslib/lolcat.jpg has 49 characters in it’s URL.

http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/timewasters/invisible-bike-20080517-191704.jpg has 84 characters.

And,

http://www.funnyphotos.net.au/images/lolcat-i-question-the-general-assumption-that-feli1.jpg has a whopping 92 characters.

When you can only use 140 characters… 92 on just a link is way too many. So Linkbee offers a service to shorten these links. How they do this, is that they make a new URL, that links to the original URL.

And here was where I going to post examples of link shortening (complete with some Linkbee options) but Hubpages decided that if I used more than one link, it would have too many affiliate links. Since this is a guide to a site that's about making a passive income... I don't see how I can give a thourough guide without giving examples of the service I'm supposed to be describeing. Eh, oh well. Let's continue...

So http://www.funnyphotos.net.au/images/lolcat-i-question-the-general-assumption-that-feli1.jpg (Which had 92 characters)

Becomes: http://linkbee.com/lolcatgrammer with 32 characters

And so forth. Every Linkbee link is always 35 characters or less, making it a great resource to share websites with long addresses through twitter (or any other service that has a character limit or charges you per character used). There are other “link shortening” services besides Linkbee, but Linkbee offers something that not all link shortening companies provide: money for people who make links.

That’s right; you can make money with Linkbee. It’s very simple to do and only requires a short amount of time to make the links. First, you have to sign up with Linkbee (if you don’t want to make money, you don’t have to sign up). Once you have signed up, you need to click “create link”. Then type in the URL that you want to link to, pick an advertising option, and then rename the link to something shorter. And that’s it. Each link takes a few seconds to make.

For the advertising part, you have three options: None, Banner, and Interstitial. “None” means that there won’t be an advertisement (and you won’t make money on it). “Banner” means that there will be an extra banner on the page that wouldn’t normally be there. “Interstitial” means that before Linkbee brings you to the page that you want, it will show an advertisement first, and then bring you to the page that you want. Since “Interstitial” ads are the most annoying, you will make the most if you choose that option (but it’s practically the same as a “Banner” ad). Incidentally, the one example I posted showed how the "Interstitial" ad works (before you judge, I picked the "interstitial" ad out of the three because I figured that would be the one that people might not what it was).

Sounds great right? It’s not. Linkbee pays by CPM impressions. “CPM impression” means: for every 1000 times an ad is shown (the ads do not need to be clicked on). For every thousand impressions (times shown), you will make between 25 cents to 2 dollars (it changes depending on where you live, though most people will make $1). So… every 1000 times someone clicks on your links, you will make a dollar. Unless you have a lot of friends or fans, you won’t make a lot of money. To make matters worse, Linkbee gets a cut of the money that you make (which is understandable since they’re the ones who are providing the actual service). Their cut: 50%. So for every 1000 impressions, you’re only actually making 50 cents or so. Ouch. In order to make a decent amount of money, you need to have at least a couple of extremely popular links, because each click will net you a few hundredths of a cent, AKA a few ten-thousandths of a dollar.

But hey, if you need the link shortened anyway… why not? You don’t make a lot of money, but it’s not as if you’re putting any time or effort into it. But if you do want to make money with Linkbee, you should know about their referral program.

Linkbee offers an odd reward for referrals. You don’t get paid when you refer someone. Instead, you earn a percentage of the money that is generated from that person. What’s odd about this, is that the money you earn doesn’t come out of the pocket of your friend, but instead comes from Linkbee’s pocket. For every person that you refer, you will earn 15% of the profit. Your Friend will still earn 50% of the money generated from the links, you will earn 15%, and Linkbee will only earn 35% (instead of 50%). What’s even stranger is that you’ll make money from the people that your Friend refers (you’ll earn 10%). Now, Someone earns 50%, your Friend earns 15%, you earn 10%, and Linkbee earns 25%. And this keeps going… for up to 5 levels. So-And-So would earn 50%, SomeGuy would earn 15%, Whatsherface would earn 10%, Someone earns 5%, your Friend earns 5%, you earn 5%, and Linkbee earns 10%. It’s basically a pyramid scheme, but without the money loss. Every time someone in this chain makes a link, you earn something from it. The more people under you in the pyramid, the more you’ll make. Unfortunately, unless you’re famous, this is the only way you can make decent money with Linkbee.

Another problem with Linkbee is the speed in which they pay people. It can take Linkbee up to four weeks to send you money once you’ve requested it. So don’t expect to get the money that took so much time to earn in a speedy fashion.

All-in-all, Linkbee isn’t bad for a passive income… if only because it doesn’t take any effort to make the links. If you need to make links shorter, and don’t want to do it for free, this is a way to do it. While there is kind of a pyramid scheme involved in this… this is, in now way whatsoever, a get rich quick scheme. Unless you have access to a lot of people who are willing to click on your links or have a lot of people working under you, you’ll be lucky to make pennies a day. But it’s pennies you didn’t have before, and you didn’t have to work to get them. You have to decide for yourself if it’s really worth your time. That argument could go either way.

If you want to sign up for Linkbee, feel free to use my referral link:

http://linkbee.com/50125 (remove the number at the end if you don’t want to count as someone that I referred. But since you won’t lose money if I referred you, why would you?)  (In a related note, if you would like to make me your referrer and you have already signed up for Linkbee, go to "My Account", then "Change Referrer", and put "50125" in the box.)

Anyway… Good luck, and happy linking.

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