Going back to the early 90’s when I first started to heavily use the Internet I wanted to make money doing it.  Back then I used it to get mailing addresses for a small business I had going in High School and wanted to mail out a sales flyer to generate sales via phone, it worked.  In the late 90’s I remember All Advantage, a pay to surf the web tiered affiliate program.  Shortly thereafter I started to build websites and the rest has kind of been a blur.  It seems everything on the web can be monetized, Twitter is just another means to make some money for those who use it.

Back in the summer of 2007 I joined Twitter and while four and a half years isn’t very long, it’s forever ago in technology times.  The micro blogging service was quirky and no one really had any full understanding as what they were supposed to do with it.  It wasn’t long before I asked WTF was I thinking using Twitter? and vowed never to update it again.  Well, I have, and a lot.  By 2008 I was finding useful reasons to use it and for all intensive purposes, it’s a staple in my tech life and virtually everyone I know.  Twitter is so large now that I see TV commercials who no longer advertise their website or even Facebook page anymore, they are simply promoting the use of a #hashtag, this goes for major networks too.

Make Money with SponsoredTweetsJust over three months ago I joined SponsoredTweets, a site that links advertisers and tweeters together.  The company has some very high profile celebrities and some quick searching on Google made everything here seem pretty legit.  You fill out a short profile, including tags of things that both interest you and that you talk about on a regular basis.  Based on the date you joined Twitter, the number of followers you have in relation to the number you follow and a few other specifications, SponsoredTweets suggests a price for you per tweet.  When I initially signed up I had about 920 followers and it’s suggest price per tweet for me was $1.27 based on the tags I chose. When an offer comes in, you can accept or deny it, then use the given guidelines to write a tweet which will both include a link to what the advertiser wants and a disclaimer of your choosing, such as #ad, Ad:, #sponsored and a few others to indicate this is indeed an affiliate link.  When you accept and write your tweet it’s then sent for review by the advertiser, if they approve it SponsoredTweets will automatically tweet for you within a given time frame that the sponsor chooses.  Provided a few people click the links, you’ll get paid.  Wanting to actually see if I could make money, I set my asking price to $1.00 and waited for offers from advertisers to come in.  The site also has an available advertisers section that will show several lower paying offers, sometimes as low as $0.05.  These offers pay per click when they get tweeted as opposed to the pay per campaign method when you set the price.  If you get 40 clicks on a link at $0.05 you’ll make $2.00.  Because I couldn’t wait to see if any offers would come in I took a few of these lower paying offers ranging from $0.05 to $0.15 per click and saw an average of 2-10 clicks per campaign.  It’s important to note that I only chose ads that I think people who follow me would be interested in reading.

SponsoredTweets actually doubles your price per campaign and that’s what they charge the advertisers, so an advertiser would have to pay $2.00 if they wanted me to tweet something. After a month and a few successful programs I saw my suggested price to charge per tweet jump to $1.98, so I adjusted my price up to $1.50 and found that a full week went by without an offer.  I changed it again to $1.25 and got one offer the following week then moved it back down to $1.00 and the offers started to flood in again.  My suggested price after being with the program for three months is $2.93 however I’m still sticking with $1.50 because I feel I get more offers at this price range and an advertiser is more likely to spend $3 several times with me than $6 once.

So the nitty-gritty, am I making money?  Well my Twitter account is up to 1,003 followers at the time of writing, I’ve done several dozen sponsored tweets and made just about $30.  The payout threshold is $50 although they allow withdraw prior to that for a $2 penalty.  Total time invested is maybe 10 minutes per month and at $10 per month my actual pay rate is $1 per minute or $60 per hour.  I’m fine with that ratio and will continue to use SponsoredTweets for the future.

How has the reaction been?  Actually, it’s been pretty favorable.  I made a disclaimer tweet when I signed up so my followers would know I was doing this and have actually had some really good @replies to the tweets, mostly because I stick to computer, technology, entertainment and photography sponsored tweets, which is what I’m tweeting about all the time anyway.  I’ve not changed any other aspect of my tweeting habits but am aware that the more followers I have, the more interaction I get, the better the chances are an advertiser will choose to use me.

Sign up for SponsoredTweets now and give them a try, this actually is not paid for by them.  Follow me on Twitter @mikepanic.