Article by: @v1j1key
- Use only LEGIT URL shorteners!
If you don’t have enough traffic to ask for payment after 24 hours, don’t use shorteners, which doesn’t have feed back from publishers. And by feed back I mean at least a payment proof from the last 30 days. Why 30, because if you see an older proof, there is still a chance these shorteners to be scammed by their advertisers. Usually they get their payments in 30 days, so if you see a payment from the last 30 days it is logical to assume they still have money. However, I only share my point and it is possible to work with a shortener, which has older proofs. Also you can ask the users, if you register to the forums and websites which review such services for online business. You can also ask me at the blog’s facebook page, I will always tell you my opinion about a particular URL shortener. Now, have in mind that in some cases the shortener owners post proofs which are not from their website, so be careful who you trust. Always check the user which posts the proof, if he has other proofs or use other shorteners. It is pretty easy to see the user profile activity, if he is a member of a forum. Now, next thing is to use shortners which has more than 1 payment proof, this makes it really legit!
- Protect your account credentials!
Always use different passwords and usernames for the different shorteners you are registering at. Make a .txt file with your credentials to avoid losing access. Don’t use shorteners without SSL connection, that’s the green lock icon right before the https:// in you browsers address bar. If there is a green lock and the shortener starts with https:// not http:// then you are OK to use. Also use longer password than 6 characters and use letters and numbers. Why is that so important? Because there are phishing fake shorteners, which are online only to steal your username and password. Once you register to them, using your usual username and passwords, the scammer will see it in their database which is not hashed and not protected. Your information is being saved like a plain text. Next the scammer start trying your credentials on different legit and big shorteners to see if he can login. After he gets into your account, he may do a lot of damage. I have a follower, which was scammed this way. The scammer set his own BTC address in his profile settings, noting more. When my friend asked for a payment he didn’t check his BTC address and didn’t notice that it is not his own. After few days on the payment day, he received a mail for his processed withdrawal, but then he noticed he was not the one ho got the payment. It was the scammer’s address. Well, he learned this lesson the hard way, so don’t be like him!
- Use payment options with minimum fees!
Most used payment option is Paypal, but you should check the what fee they take from you! The Paypal fee is 2.9% + $0.30 for USA users. Do you know what does this mean for a URL shortener withdrawal of $5? Here is the math, if you withdraw $5 from the shortener, the fee for Paypal will be $0.45 and you will receive $4.55. That’s 9% in fees for PP, that’s insane! Most people doesn’t care much or pay attention about that, but check what will happen if you earn $1000 a month and you make smaller $5 transactions – you make a gift of $90 to Paypal. Is that fair, you decide! There are other ways to minimize that fee, but it all depends on your country and if the payment processor offers the service there. I recommend BTC, all the fee you pay is the miners fee, which currently on average is 1 satoshis/byte , which equals to $0.03 for transaction confirmation in 120 minutes. Do I need to say something about that? Hell, I started using BTC, just because of that PP robbery! Don’t be like me in my early days, do it the right way. Also make research about the money of internet and you will find out a whole new universe!
- Use shorteners with fast payments!
Stop using shorteners, which pays longer than 10 days. Hell, even 10 days is a lot, but at least these shorteners count on their own pockets rather than the ad networks they work with. Usually 30 days is the time they all get payments from the ad networks they work with and that is why they offer their publishers same conditions. However, these shorteners doesn’t do it right and don’t have money in their pockets, they need to fill them first and then pay you. In some cases they even don’t pay you, because your traffic didn’t made them more than your withdrawal or any kind of other excuses. This is the reality, 90% of the time I worked with a shortener with monthly payments I got scammed. But that is not because of me, but because of the business model of the shortener’s admin. He makes a shortener and expects a profit in the first month, that’s not possible for tones of reasons. At least they must test their publishers traffic and update their payout rates accordingly. That’s impossible for less than a month! Also what is this business owner who doesn’t have money in his pockets to invest in his business?
- Always make a screenshot of your withdrawal!
All shorteners controls their database and they can manipulate it or they can just lose their database and restore it from old backup, in which case your withdrawal and balance may be gone too! The only way to proof your balance or pending payment request is by providing the admin a screenshot made before the data loss event. To avoid manipulations make that each time you request a payment, or every day just to be able to proof your balance.
- Stop using the shortener which doesn’t pay as usual!
If a URL shortener pays you later than usual, this may be an alarm for you that the owner may has some money issues. Sometimes it may be due to holidays, so before you do something check the nationality of the admin and if it is a holiday time, because banks don’t work on such days. However, if there are no holidays, most probably it is a matter of money problems, in which case – run away!
- Use your own domain for your shortened links!
So what does it mean? It means that you must register a domain name and a hosting, after that you can make redirects with .htaccess file to your shortened links. For example, if you register a domain, myshortlinks.com you can then do a redirect rule with your .htaccess file. In that case you can use myshortlinks.com/anylinknameyouwant to redirect to your URLshortener/shortlink and paste your own domain links to the places you use to share shortened links. Why you should do that, to avoid losing your links if the shortener dies. If the shortener close or scam and delete your account, you will have to go to each place you pasted your link and edit it with a new shortener. But if you use your own domain, you will save a lot of time and just go to your .htaccess file and change the short link there. No need to go and login to all the places you used to place links. Not even mention that in some of these places your account may be deleted or closed for spam or just inactivity.
- Use multiple accounts on the platforms you share links!
This is again connected to the SPAM or DMCA copyright issues. You may get your account deleted or blocked and with that all your posts, but if you make multiple accounts you may save some links, because not all of your links may be connected with copyright issues. Nowadays these report are being done automatically by bots.
- Test every shortener and compare basic features!
Before you start using a shortener check the counter and what % of your visitor is properly counted and what is blocked. Check your hourly earnings and if they corresponds to the statistics from the shortener you used before. Check the ad pages and type of ads on it. Check the loading time of the server, because if the site is overloaded you lose money, even tho the rates are better.
- Check peoples feedback for the shortener you use!
One of the most important things is to make research for the shortener you are going to use. If the shortener is a scam you will see bad reviews. Same if the shortener is legit, but shave and cheat their publisher with rates, counted visitors, payments etc. Also you may see payment proofs or good reviews. Always search the domain of the shortener and check the whois data, the age of the shortener and etc. If it is a new domain registered last month – just wait for few months and check for reviews again. Don’t be from the scammed ones!
- Stay in touch with the admin!
Last but not least, always contact the admin for any problem you may see. Sometimes it is a matter of a bug or tech problem, which the owner can solve with a simple restart of the server. Just don’t hesitate to ask and send mails or messages, the admin is there to serve you, not the other way around!
Well friends, good luck and stay safe! I hope you will reduce your losses after reading this article! If you like this article share it with those who may benefit from it, in the name of a better URL shortener niche!