Years ago, blogging was just a matter of personal expression. And then blogging became the anti-emo when more mainstream people starting posting their personal journals online. These days, most blog owners want to have the largest audience possible so that they can reap in the monetization benefits. People buy paid reviews and text link ads to drive traffic their way.
One of the newer advertising networks that has popped up is the TNX System. While other similar systems are usually designed to make money for the publisher, TNX appears to be built around the concept of sharing traffic by exchanging links. Yes, you can still make money, but the bigger motivation is to gain additional traffic by having your links featured on other sites and other blogs. TNX is still in beta, so this paid review is largely designed to build buzz and help them iron out the kinks.
Can I Make Money Online with TNX?
In a nutshell, TNX — I’m still trying to figure out what that stands for — operates in much the same way as Text Link Ads. You submit your site to their marketplace and then advertisers will snatch up advertising spots on your blog. As far as I can tell, you can offer text links in your sidebar and within posts themselves. The amount of TNX points that you receive in return will be largely determined by the Google PageRank of the page where the ads appear.
Yes, TNX points. When someone buys an ad spot on your blog, you do not receive any money directly. Instead, you get a certain number of points. The idea is that you’ll use these points to buy some advertising of your own. Alternatively, you can hang on to these TNX points and hope that they increase in value as the system gains in popularity. You can also give these points to another TNX user if they want to spend them instead. The last option, which is hidden quite deep in the site, is your ability to sell these points back for money at whatever the prevailing exchange rate happens to be.
It is only with this last option that you will make any money directly from TNX.
So, the question isn’t whether you can make money, it’s how much you can make.
Converting Points to Dollars
While the main TNX homepage has an income calculator built into the sidebar on the left, it doesn’t seem to work. When I entered btr.michaelkwan.com into the “URL” field, it came up with a thing that asked me for the PageRank of every page on my site. To make matters worse, the plus and minus signs next to each PR don’t seem to work. At least, they didn’t for me.
So, delving a little further into the site, I found a page that outlined text link pricing. On that page, it describes what you could do with 20,000 TNX points, which is roughly equivalent to $20. Presumably, these rates for a 30-day period and for a single page, much like the post-level ads found on TLA.
Based on this information, it sounds like you can buy a single PR5 link for 1,000 TNX points (which works out to about a dollar). Wow, that’s ridiculously cheap! In this way, TNX sounds like it could be a good option for advertisers, but maybe not the best system for publishers. Even if you sell 20 post-level ads on PR5 pages every month, that’s only $20 in your pocket for a heck of a lot of advertising. Doesn’t sound all that worth it to me. I should also note that whereas Text Link Ads takes a 50% commission on every ad sold, TNX only takes a 25% commission: 12.5% from the advertiser and 12.5% from the publisher.
I Prefer Dollars Over Points
The people behind the TNX system have been advertising aggressively on several sites, buying button banners on John Chow’s blog as well as paid reviews on several other blogs (this one included). With all this hefty promotion, TNX has managed to scoop over 28,000 users. Whether this is impressive or not is up to you. Looking at the network stats, however, you come across a rather surprising figure.
With under 30,000 users, there have been over 30 million ads sold. This means that the average publisher has “sold” 1000 ads thus far. Am I the only one who thinks this sounds inflated?
At the same time, given the low price of buying an ad — a single PR0 link costs just one TNX point, or about 1/10th of a penny — I guess it’s not that surprising that there have been so many ads sold. I may buy an ad, but I won’t be selling any on Beyond the Rhetoric.