Would it be cool if you could contribute to sites like Facebook, Wikipedia or Yahoo and have a share to their profits? Imagine the audience that you would have and the money you could make. Unlike sites such as Yahoo Answers, where users are expected to add value for the community without getting anything in return for their hard work, revenue sharing sites such as InfoBarrel compensate members by giving them access to part of their AdSense earnings. InfoBarrel, in particular pay a good seventy-five percent of their Google AdSense revenue. Users can increase this to ninety percent by winning points or accomplishing certain easy tasks, as advised from time to time by the administration. Referring new authors to InfoBarrel will add an additional two percent commission to the referrer’s AdSense revenue. If you wish to click on my referral link, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Back to business! That is not all! An InfoBarrel author can add up to two self-serving-contextual links to the article itself or up to two self-serving links in their signature. The links in the signature can be call-to-action links and need not be contextual. If you don’t know the difference between the two, here is an example:
- This is a contextual link: “Keyword analysis can be achieved quickly and efficiently by using applications such as Market Samurai.”
- This is a call-to-action link: “Download your free trial of Market Samurai to achieve keyword analysis quickly and efficiently”
A ‘call to action’ link is meant to prompt the user to click on it. While many consider CTA links as being essential to inbound marketing, I don’t. Inbound marketing refers to providing high quality free products or services to the visitors of a Web site to turn them into fans of a brand. Outbound marketing, on the other hand refers to converting visitors directly into customers. If you’ve spent a bit of time on The Money Earning Sites Central and read some of my articles, you should know that I firmly believe that outbound marketing is dead. As much dead in fact, as a serial killer would be in the loving hands of Dexter Morgan. Inbound marketing is the future of ecommerce. Much of CTA marketing is, in my opinion, incompatible with inbound marketing. One reason is that people simply hate being told what to do. Our readers are thinking human beings, who can weigh the pros and cons of the information that we present to them, and decide for themselves whether they should or should not take action. They are not monkeys who will do what we say just because we tell them to. Secondly, an average Internet user is subjected to 3000 commercial messages everyday! There is an information overload that causes users to filter out any advertisements which they come across. This is known as banner blindness. Most CTA links on the Internet are advertisements. Thus it is more likely for CTA links to be ignored, compared to a carefully worded and strategically placed contextual link.
CTA links scream ‘sales letter'” and ‘low quality’, thus no wonder that the administrators of InfoBarrel do not want them in the bodies of the articles which they publish. They want their site to provide high quality valuable content. This is the right way to make money on line, and if InfoBarrel makes money, their authors do too! Although InfoBarrel have rules restricting the content of the articles, in general, they tend to be reasonable rules that will help both the site and the authors alike.
Self serving links can also be affiliate links twenty-five percent of the time. Thus for every four articles written, one can contain up to two affiliate links. This is a great idea because it allows authors to make some big bucks if they play their cards well. A good article on keyword research, building a blog or SEO techniques can be highly profitable for authors. Not so much for the site however. Although they share their AdSense revenue with us, profit from affiliate links is ours alone. Therefore it is understandable that they want to limit the overall percentage of affiliate links on the site. It also helps to diversify the content. A diverse selection of topics is the key to build quality on a generalist site like InfoBarrel. Remember that, for us authors, the better the site does, the better we do too.
Another plus for InfoBarrel is that they allow up to two Amazon products to be featured in any article in place of the two self-serving-contextual links. An easy to use interface is provided during article submission. Just insert an Amazon Associate ID and add the product URL in a handy Amazon widget, and a short product description together with a picture and ‘buy now’ button will be inserted in the article. This is a neat feature for all those who love the Amazon Associates program.
One letdown of InfoBarrel is that authors basically lose the publishing rights to their work. Once we upload an article to InfoBarrel, we cannot upload it anywhere else. This includes spun versions of the article too. The point for this rule is that InfoBarrel want content that is exclusive to their site. While this does help the site achieve great quality, the idea of losing the rights to my own work does not appeal to me. English is not my first language and I am far from being a good writer but I am pretty proud of my work, if not for anything else, for the great effort I put into it. While I am not very fond of the idea of posting the same article on a billion of sites, for SEO purposes or whatever other reason, I would love to be able to use my own content whenever I need it. For example, if I think that posting my InfoBarrel article on some website can help me make new contacts on that particular site.
The other major drawback of InfoBarrel is a rule that they introduced in June 2013 (a couple of days before I joined actually). It is no longer possible to create backlinks to individual articles. Instead authors have to rely exclusively on social media to promote their work. The reasons behind this decision are perfectly understandable. Many people, do not know how to do SEO properly. And since InfoBarrel is not their own site, it is not the end of the world to them if the site gets attacked by a hoard of penguins and pandas. The site owners need to protect InfoBarrel from being penalized by Google. While I would probably do the same thing if I was in their shoes, the truth is that without any backlinks, it will be extremely hard to get any views for any article. Despite claims that InfoBarrel is growing at a phenomenal rate, the site does not rank on Google too well. You can see the results for the main keywords related to the site below. I also tested a few high and low competition keywords on Rank Checker:
Not promising at all.
That’s really saddening since InfoBarrel is an amazing site. Many authors seem to be amazing people to hang out with and the administrators, Kevin and Ryan are two fine gentlemen, who know how to run a business that provides true quality for everyone involved, authors and readers alike. The site does need a good SEO team to work on it, though. I do not know if anything at all is being done to this regard, however waiting for links to build up naturally by social shares from the authors is not going to help. Of the four hundred friends I have on Facebook, only two have read articles I posted on my timeline. One of them is my best friend who also gave me a like now and then. The others did not even look at it. Social media are becoming over saturated. With four hundred friends per user on average, each of them sharing all sorts of crap all day long, getting someone’s attention is not as easy as it used to be. This method to build natural backlinks and shares does not work, in my experience. Browsing online forums, it appears that not too many people are having success on InfoBarrel. Those who do claim to be making some cash inevitably have an affiliate link embedded somewhere on their Web sites. Of course, this does not mean necessarily that they are not telling the truth. It may be the case that they just want to share a method that is genuinely making them money.
Honestly, however, I do not believe there’s much money to be made on this site. I still plan to use it again very soon, just because I enjoy it and the people there are awesome. Hey, money is not everything in life! Hopefully, I can up up with some neat way to promote articles on InfoBarrel without breaking their rules during one of my meditation session.