Monetize Your New High PR Domain By Selling Text Links
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This is a guest post by Josh Natella (a different Josh from Josh the Intern).   Josh and I have been communicating since I first started this blog, and I gave him a few pointers re: selling text links.  He’s gone out and experimented with various text link brokers, and in this post he shares some of his experiences thus far.  Take it away Josh!


This week we’re going to talk about another way to monetize your newly founded high PR domain.

While Hayden has mostly been focusing on using his network of domains to bolster his large empire of niche sites, I wanted to focus on another aspect of his business which he was kind enough to share with me. As Hayden had mentioned he got his start selling links, and has been generating 5 figures a month from it for years. This model intrigued me. Call it organization burn out, but managing a network of niche sites as well as a blog network was starting to become a bit like herding cats. So this more simplistic model sounded attractive.

After much persistence, and maybe a little bit of pestering, Hayden walked me through the who, what, where, and why of selling Links on your aged domains.


Text Link Ads

There are several networks which connect buyers and sellers of text links. The network Hayden has worked with exclusively has been Text Link Ads.

If you work with TLA you are either a Publisher or an Advertiser

  • Publishers – Publishers list their site on Text link ads looking to sell advertising space
  • Advertisers – Advertisers are looking to buy links on sites relevant to their niche.



Text link ads work as an intermediary providing Advertisers with a highly searchable directory of relevant sites for them to buy links from, and they provide publishers an established base of clients who regularly buy Text links. TLA also handles payment, and automatically manages the links on your sites providing a highly automated and integrated system which greatly reduces the amount of management you have to do.


The potential upside: TLA seems to be able to generate Publishers (That’s us) 2-3x the income per link when compared to every other site I’ve encountered.


The potential Downside: While I would suggest going to TLA first due to the higher payouts, I was personally not able to get my aged domains approved there.  So I’ve also investigated other options. I’ll go into why I was not approved and how you can avoid the same mistakes later.


The Other Players In the Text Link Marketplace

There are several other companies in the text link game. The good news is that while I was denied at TLA I was instantly approved everywhere else. Each site is the same concept/business model so everything I said about TLA holds true for these companies as well. Each though, is unique in a couple ways.


Text Link Brokers – Self Labeled the #1 Text link network on the internet.

  • Text Links sell for approximately half of TLA
  • Manual Adding/Deleting of Links. They tell you if someone wants to buy a link on your site, and you have to go in manually and add it. This, while being truly manual/organic process can also become extremely time consuming and annoying the larger your network grows. Can you imagine getting a call or email every time someone wants to buy a link or remove their link?
  • I was approved instantly


The Other networks seem to all be the same as Text link Brokers except they use WordPress Plugins to manage the links on your site in an automated fashion. I was also approved instantly to these sites.



Finally there are forums that have entire sections dedicated to buying and selling links. Blackhatworld, Digitalpoint and but I can’t recommend any of them due to the fact that they all have way more sellers than buyers, driving prices way down.


How To Get Approved in TLA

So I learned a few painful and expensive lessons in my application process to TLA. This was one of those cases where it would have been better to just apply and not open my mouth. Instead I called them and worked my way up the chain to talk to someone about how to become a long time business partner with them and how best to create a successful working relationship.


All that did was draw attention to my sites, and scrutiny. Sometime shortly before I applied to TLA, or when I decided to apply, a decision was made internally that they did not think aged domains alone were good enough to get into their network.  They want a site which has not only PR and authority, but also real traffic and thus an Alexa ranking sub 2 million.  In brief, they want real sites that people visit each day.


So here are some of the suggestions (they) gave me to make my site look that way. Learn from my mistakes and do these things before applying to TLA or else your site will catch the eye of their reviewer and each additional site you submit will be scrutinized more heavily.

  • Use a professional theme (news or magazine themes work great typically)
  • Fill the site with content (back date most of it as published over the last year)
  • Add pictures, and relevant outbound links
  • Add relevant banner and sidebar ads (affiliate offers, AdSense whatever you want just make it look like you’re already selling ad space. Advertisers should get the impression that others are already investing in your site.
  • Add a live time and date to the header of the site
  • Put comments on the site (make it look like there is user interaction) I also added live chat to my site using the zopim plugin.
  • Improve your Alexa Ranking if possible (this will be the subject of a follow up post)


So now you know where to sell your links and how to get approved, you want to make sure you pick the industries with the highest demand for text links.

What Industries Buy the Most Text Links (a list from Hayden):

  • Legal
  • Health
  • Loans
  • Insurance
  • Oil Spills
  • Asbestos
  • HVAC  (Heating / AC)
  • Contracting
  • Family
  • Home Improvement
  • Travel

3 Types of buyers Found On Text Link Markets

  1. The guys who know nothing and buy just based on inventory on the site (minority)
  2. Big players who drop 20k on a campaign and prefer to pay money rather than review the sites (and likely get a discount from TLA that comes out of their cut)
  3. Ad buyers who get excel spreadsheets of potential links and then actually go and check out the sites in question.


We’re looking to target the last two groups. If you target these individuals in the industries I listed above your chances of creating a successful campaign just skyrocketed.


That’s all for now on selling text links. As I dive deeper into it and submit more of my sites, I will be keeping a log of how many links I’m selling and how to improve that number. I am also working to improve my Alexa rankings, and finally I’ll be re-applying to TLA under a different user name. Until then, keep searching hard for expired domains.




Monetize Your New High PR Domain By Selling Text Links
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  1. Thanks for the tips, Joshua.

    My business partner had some problems getting one of our sites into TLA because they don’t accept “reclaimed” domains.

    Should we try to follow these tips and re-submit the site? I’d be interested to hear what your experiences. Have you tried re-submitting a site?

  2. Hey Bradley,

    I would go through the list and submit a different site first if possible. I know they keep the sites you submit in their records for a while. Re-submitting it generally will just result in an error message if I remember correctly.


  3. Thanks for this write-up, Josh.

    I have also come across Intellilinks in my research but I don’t know how good/bad they are. I’ve seen that they advertise $30/mo for a PR3 link (not sure if that’s buying a link or selling one).

    Another option is to sell your links on WaFo/WF/BHW/TP, etc. It’s a lot easier to find buyers since the crowd is less discriminating.

    If your site pulls in a lot it’s always an option to send paid traffic via AdWords/Bing. You couldn’t put AdSense on the aged domain but you could put something else there like some affiliate or CPA offer. The extra traffic would probably help with Alexa I imagine.

    How would you go about automating the insertion/deletion of paid links when your network grows? Or would you just outsource this part?

  4. as a publisher, is there anything you can do to optimize your site in the tla directory? i have a pr4 law site in tla asking $20/mo and i’ve only got 1 hit on it in the last 2 months.

  5. My site was accepted on Friday (today being Monday),ad plugin was installed and was just waiting final clearance. As of this morning, my pr for the submitted page went from 3 to n/a. Ive had this domain up since June and the site itself is 8 years old with established back-links. Its been stable since I set it up in June. Don’t know if it was a coincidence or not. Anyone have anything like this happen?


    • Mike,
      Take a look at your backlinks again and make sure they are all still there. I haven’t had any pages drop PR and haven’t heard of this happening to anyone.

      As for earnings if you sell one Text link for 15/month and you spend under $100 to develop a site then you’ll get an ROI in basically 6 months.

      • It did lose back-links in August from a pr5 site, but still has at least one active pr5 link as well as numerous 4’s and 3’s. Even if pr dropped below 3 it shouldn’t be n/a. Just seemed like an odd coincidence. The timing of it makes me paranoid. :/

  6. What kind of earnings have people been able to achieve by selling text link ads?

    Is pagerank the main metric of how valuable a link is at most of these places?

    Thanks for the article.


  7. Awesome post Josh.

    I’m testing out LinkWorth as well; what did you set as price per kw? When I look at their featured sites, some are selling many more links than others despite having similar content and my guess is that the kw price is the biggest factor.



    • Hey Danny,

      If I remember correctly I just set it to their recommended numbers.

      I am guessing the follow up post will be more useful than this one. This is just introducing the concept and how everything works.

    • Danny,

      How is linkworth working out for you? Or how are any of these brokers working out for anyone? I went through the process a few months ago and found 25 domains with PR. Nothing spectacular, just some PR2’s through PR4’s. They are just sitting there for now. Was going to use them for a private blog network but thinking about selling text link ads.



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