If you are looking for a way to make money online, you have likely heard about the many sites that offer to pay you to shorten links and share them.
But can you really earn money by shortening links?
I have tested several of the biggest sites myself, and in this article, I will show you exactly what you can expect.
I will also reveal the untold truth that most other articles do not tell so you know some serious considerations you need to make before starting to make money online like this.
There are many link shorteners (also called URL shorteners) out there. Not all of them give the option to earn by using them though.
The ones that do not pay are meant for tracking purposes and for making links shorter íf you have very long links you want to share.
Then you have the ones that will pay you to use them which are the ones we will focus on in this article.
In some ways they work the same way as the unpaid link shorteners – you take a link you would like to share somewhere online and put in into the shortener and get a short link where you can track the clicks you get.
The main purpose of using the paid ones are, however, not to track the traffic but to earn as they give you the option to do this.
The idea is that you can shorten any link you want to share somewhere online – it does not have to be a link to your own website.
It can be a link to someones else website, to a YouTube video, or any link you want to shorten.
However, most paid URL shorteners have rules that state you cannot shorten links to certain types of websites that contain adult content, abusive content, illegal content, etc.
But other than that, you can usually shorten and share any link you want to.
When you then share it, the people that click it will be taken to a page with an ad.
From here the person can then choose to interact with the ad or choose to continue to the page the original link was for.
So the reason you can get paid is because advertisers are willing to pay for the traffic you send to their ad.
So you will usually get paid per visit you send (meaning per click you get), but I will go more into details about how much you can earn later.
There are many platforms that offer you to make money by shortening links. A lot of them are legit, but during my research and testing, I also found some that are suspicious.
First of all, not all paid shorteners have the same strict demands when it comes to the type of ads advertisers can run.
This means you can potentially end up sharing links that will send people to very inappropriate content.
Secondly, I have several times experienced that when visiting the ad pages, strange pop-ups come up and ask for different permissions.
Notification pop-ups like these are not unusual but I have experienced it was not possible to deny and close the notification. That definitely seems suspicious and not very many legit sites would use tricks like that, in my experience.
Finally, I have also several times experienced that my antivirus program gave me warnings when I was taken to the ad pages and clicked something there to continue.
This means that there is a potential security risk on a page when an antivirus program gives a warning like that.
I want to make it clear that this is not the case for all platforms where you can get paid to shorten and share links. There are many that do not have these problems.
My point is that it is important to check the ads a shortener sends you to before you start using it so you are sure it does not look suspicious.
You do not want to risk ending up sending people to inappropriate content or end up being the reason someone gets a virus and gets hacked.
So make sure to test any URL shortener yourself and the ads you are sent to before you start sharing the links with others.
So it is possible to earn by using certain URL shorteners.
A few examples of platforms that make this possible are:
But there are many more than these. One thing they all have in common is that you will get paid per 1,000 impressions.
That means you will get a certain amount per 1,000 clicks you get on a link.
Beware that it has to be real clicks and you cannot just buy cheap bot traffic to start earning. The URL shorteners will be able to detect this and you will likely get banned.
How much you can earn per 1,000 clicks differs from platform to platform. But most importantly, it depends a lot on the country the traffic you send comes from.
Below you can see an example of earnings:
There are some that pay a bit more than the example above shows but usually, the earning potential will be around $7-$9 per 1,000 visits if the traffic comes from the big English-speaking countries.
For other countries, it will be lower and often it goes as low as down to $2-$3 per 1,000 clicks for many countries.
So how much you can earn by shortening links entirely depends on how much traffic you are able to generate.
If you are new to generating traffic online, I can tell you that it is not easy to generate 1,000 legit clicks so it will not be easy money.
But it is a way to earn a bit extra and it is fairly simple – however, there are some things you seriously need to consider before starting to earn this way.
Recommended: See How I Make $6K+ Online Every Month
Usually, when I see people writing about how to make money by shortening links they just show you can earn and that all you have to do is to shorten a link and share it.
That is, in theory, true but there are some important things to consider before jumping into this earning method.
During my research and testing some things really concerned me about many of the paid URL shorteners I found. And I did not really see anyone pointing this out even though it is very important to know before joining platforms like that.
So below I will, based on my experience, share some important considerations you need to think about before starting to earn like this.
Consideration #1 – You risk hurting your brand
Often people are so eager to start making money online they forget to think long-term. But to really build a sustainable income this is absolutely necessary.
Creating a real online income does not happen overnight but it can definitely be worth the effort.
However, I think the use of shorteners that pay you for sending traffic in many cases will hurt your chances of long-term success.
It, of course, depends on which shorteners you use but they all have a common big problem, in my opinion.
When someone clicks a link you have shared, they will be taken to a page with an ad as explained earlier.
This can really hurt the trust. If you clicked a link to visit a certain page and you were instead taken to a page with a lot of ads, you would likely think twice before ever clicking a link from the same person again, right?
Especially because many of the ad pages are so overly confusing it is difficult to even find out how to get to the actual destination URL (you can see an example of this in the image above).
This means that many people that click your link will be very confused and maybe see it as spam because they were never taken to the website or video they were told.
You can, of course, argue that it does not matter as you would still get paid for the click.
But this is a short-term way of looking at it. To really grow an online income it is necessary to build trust. Then people will start following you and this can really build up your income over time.
Also, by focusing on quality and making sure anyone who clicks any links from you get a good experience it will be possible to create an income where you actually help people.
Then it is a win-win situation which really should be the case for an online business, in my opinion.
This is where I think the use of the shorteners that pay you for sending traffic can really hurt your long-term goals.
Yes, they can make you a bit of money here and there but you probably want more than that, right?
If you want to build a real sustainable online business from home, you should, therefore, think twice before using this way of making money, in my opinion.
Consideration #2 – You risk wasting traffic
When it comes to making money online, one of the most important things is to get traffic. Without traffic, you cannot make money no matter what your source is.
By making money through link shorteners, you also need to generate traffic to be able to earn. And it has to be real traffic.
However, you will have to get 1,000 real clicks on a link to maybe earn $7 if you are lucky and all the traffic is coming from the big English-speaking countries.
This is a really low pay per visit.
If you are able to generate that amount of traffic, you can earn a lot more by using other methods. If you, for example, learn affiliate marketing, you will be able to get a lot more out of your traffic.
Therefore, sending traffic through shortened links like this is really a waste, in my opinion.
If the destination link is to your own website, you might think it is a great way to earn a bit extra before they get to your site.
But even in these cases, it might not be a good idea because in most cases there are so many ads, pop-ups, and sometimes even downloads before they get to your site.
Therefore, people will likely often give up before they even get to your site. And in addition to this, it will potentially hurt your brand as mentioned earlier.
Consideration #3 – It takes A LOT of patience
In addition to the important aspects mentioned above, you also need to consider how much effort it will take to make money shortening links.
The pay is very low as mentioned several times.
And if you do not know how to generate traffic online yet and are new to this, you will not be able to learn a lot from URL shorteners about how to actually generate the traffic.
Then you can only hope to spread your link online and get a few clicks here and there but it is NOT as easy as you have maybe been told.
If you do not have a real strategy and skills, you will have to work very hard to just get 1,000 clicks. And that will only potentially give you around $7- $9.
So if you are serious about wanting to create an online income, it is better to learn proper traffic methods and take the time to implement this.
And then use that traffic more effectively than by sending it through link shorteners. Then you will potentially be able to make a real income online.
Are there better ways to earn?
Let me just make it clear that you can earn by shortening links and there are many platforms that offer this.
But, in my opinion, it is really not an effective way to earn if you want to make money online.
The pay you get for the effort is just too low and it does not have a real long-term potential. And even if you are able to generate thousands of legit clicks per day, this traffic can be used a lot more effectively.
Whether you are completely new and do not know how to generate traffic yet or if you have a lot of experience, I would advise you to start learning affiliate marketing instead.
Here you can earn commissions by sending people to products and services you recommend and the earning potential is a lot higher than by shortening links.
This is my preferred way of making money online – it takes time to learn but with effort the long-term potential is huge.
I have made a FREE guide about how to start affiliate marketing you can check out if you want to learn more about the approach I use to make a full-time income online.
I hope this article has given you an in-depth look into how paid link shorteners work and exactly what you can expect from them so you do it with the right expectations if you decide to use this earning method.
If you have any comments, questions, or have any experiences with earning by shortening links yourself, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.