Social media sharing has become such an important part of the internet that it’s hard to remember a time when websites did not give you the option to share articles through a variety of services. Whether it’s Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit or email: people love to share their favorite web pages with their friends.
As website owners, it is up to us to make it easy for visitors to share our content. Social media services provide sharing buttons to help us do this. If you don’t want to add buttons individually, there are lots of great sharing services such as Share This and Add This that allow you to add sharing buttons from dozens of websites by just inserting a small piece of code.
Make Money Through Social Sharing With Po.st
One sharing platform you may not be familiar with is Po.st. Po.st stands out from other sharing platforms as it allows you to make money through your social shares.
It does this by showing a 300×250 advertisement to sharers after they have shared your content. As it is shown after your web page has been shared, your social media traffic will not be affected.
The platform supports most popular social media services including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Orkut, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, Delicious and WordPress. Email and print buttons can also be added to your widget.
How To Integrate Po.st On Your Website
Later I will show you how you can integrate Po.st into a WordPress powered website but first, let’s look at the core service and the steps necessary to add Po.st to any website.
The first step requires you to choose your button style and size. The first style shows a list of square buttons for each social media service. These are available in small, medium and large. The second style available is a small rectangular button (you can see the button in action on sites such as Emarketer).
In order to use Po.st, you need to sign up to the service. An account will take you less than a minute to set up.
After signing up, the code will be displayed. By default the code will include links to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Email and Po.st. The Sharing Buttons page offers a range of other social media services such as Posterous, Hotmail and Baidu. Changing what buttons are displayed is a matter of just deleting or adding the code for the respective service. It’s very straight forward.
Statistics & Revenue Analysis
The Po.st dashboard is a great place to analyse your social media traffic. At the top of the dashboard is a graph which shows you the total number of shares and clicks your articles have had. Stats can be shown from yesterday, over the last 7 days, last 30 days or last year. You can also set a custom date range if you wish.
4 different metrics are tracked:
- Content – Shows what pages are being shared.
- Services – Shows what social media services are being used by visitors (e.g. Facebook, Twitter).
- Daily Metrics – An overview of today’s activity.
- Countries – Where the people who are sharing your content are based.
Each metric can be seen in more detail on their own dedicated page. This allows you to look at stats for a particular metric via graph and see a better breakdown of everything.
One thing that really surprised me about Po.st was that users aren’t automatically set up to generate revenue using their service. When you login to the Po.st dashboard for the first time, I was confused that there was no reference to earnings anywhere. This is quite bizarre considering it’s the main selling point of their service (their tagline is ‘The only social sharing platform that generates revenue for your website’).
I looked around the main website and dashboard area and found nothing. Eventually, I saw a message about this in the Po.st support area.
If you are unable to see your revenue, make sure you are going to the correct dashboard.
Once you were signed up, you should have received an email from publisher support with a URL to your revenue dashboard.
It will begin with something like this: http://rui.gwallet.com
If you cannot find the email, send an email to [email protected] with your site URL and Publisher key.
To their credit, a representative named Luis replied to my email regarding publishing in under a minute. Advertisements are handled through Po.st’s parent company Radium One. The account confirmation email states that Po.st only promotes Fortune 500 brands through its service. Whilst there is no information on the Po.st website that lets you know how much you can earn, there is a note on the Po.st WordPress Plugin page which states that a 300×250 ad unit receives up to $25 CPM on premium websites.
When Luis emailed me about setting up a revenue account with Po.st, he advised me that he had set me up with a $5 CPM revenue level. This is only 20% of the level stated on their WordPress plugin page but I think it’s still a great rate. I was also impressed with their policy about ads. Luis mentioned in his email to me that if I later decided that ads were not for me, all I had to do was email them and they would switch them off. They also let you add your own banner too (again, all you have to do is email them). There are websites using Po.st who aren’t using ads though the biggest selling point of the service is the ability to make money so I suspect most people will want to show advertisements. Still, it’s good to know that they can be turned off easily.
We haven’t integrated Po.st onto WP Hub as yet though Luis from Po.st was kind enough to set up a revenue account so that I can show the publisher area to John Chow readers.
The commission area is very easy to navigate around. The home page shows impressions, clicks and conversions. The last column shows your profit. The dedicated reports section allows you to create reports for specific websites, areas of your site (sections) and custom date ranges.
For every site you can create different sections e.g. home page, article page, category pages. Each section has different placements too.
The CPM which is being generated is shown next to each placement. Impressions for today and yesterday are also shown.
How much can one earn through Po.st? The large companies that Radium One works closely with seem happy to simply promote their brand online, so you will be paid for the impressions that are shown. A $5 CPM means that for every 1,000 social media shares on your website, you will get $5. How much you earn will then obviously depend on how much traffic your website gets and how often your visitors share your content. I suspect medium sized websites will be able to make a few hundred dollars a year.
The minimum payment threshold for PayPal payments is $25 and $100 for checks and wire transfers. Payments are made on the 15th of every month if the minimum payment threshold has been met.
Po.st WordPress Plugin
WordPress users will be pleased to know that Po.st released a plugin for their service in October. In comparison to the regular widget code, I found the WordPress plugin to be a much better solution due to it automatically integrating buttons directly into key areas.
You still need to sign up to the Po.st service in order to use the plugin. Once you have done so, you have to take a note of your publisher ID (which can be found in your account page on Po.st). Buttons can be added to your index and category pages (lists of posts), posts and pages.
The WordPress plugin allows you to integrate the buttons manually using code. This is useful if the buttons aren’t displaying in the position you want using the automatic method.
You can choose from 16×16, 32×32 and 64×64 pixel buttons. Buttons can be shown with or without counters. You can also choose the larger vertical sharing buttons.
Buttons can be displayed vertically if you prefer. The same button choices are available. Whereas the horizontal button option lets you place the buttons above or below your content, the vertical button option lets you float the buttons on the left or right hand side of your page.
Services can be selected and de-selected at the click of a button. The preview box will show you what your button area will look like. A preview link can be used to if you want to quickly load up your home page to see the sharing widget live.
The Po.st WordPress Plugin is the optimal way of using Po.st so if have a WordPress powered website, I would advice using the plugin rather than entering the code directly.
Having tried dozens of social media sharing plugins over the last few years, I can say with conviction that Po.st provides a useful social media sharing service. You should however be aware that there are lots of other great sharing solutions out there. If you are solely looking for a way for visitors to share your content, you should check out other solutions such as Share This and Add This as they offer more styles and designs and have a more professional look.
Po.st does provide fantastic analytical data about your shares. Add This offers this too but most sharing services don’t. As such, Po.st deserves a closer look by those who want to analyse their visitors sharing habits more closely. WordPress website owners will be happy to know that the WordPress plugin works well. It doesn’t let you add your own custom buttons or services however it’s quick and easy to set up and it will integrate onto your WordPress website automatically.
Of course, the real reason for using Po.st over other sharing solutions is the ability to earn extra money. At the moment, I am not aware of any other service which lets you earn money through social media sharing (though please feel free to share them in the comment area if you know of any).
Overall I liked the service though I have a major gripe about just how fragmented the revenue part of the service is. I was genuinely confused after seeing the home page proudly state that Po.st is ‘The only social sharing platform that generates revenue for your website’ as when you sign up for an account there is no reference to making money once you are signed in. Having to opt-in to actually showing advertisements on your sharing widget is strange – after all, this is a service which people are signing up specifically to make money, only to have to then send an email request asking if they can actually make money. The only reference to this strange setup is tucked away in a question in the help area of the site. There’s no reference to it in the confirmation email or in the dashboard area. I doubt I’m the only person who was confused by this.
Radium One, the social advertising company that runs Po.st, were very quick to reply to my support email and set up an account for me right away. The advertising area is easy to navigate though the way the service is set up just now, users need to visit Po.st to analyse their traffic stats and then go to http://rui.gwallet.com to check their commissions. They really need to address this and consolidate their service by playing everything in the one area.
The sharing widget is an area that very website owners are monetizing and Po.st have integrated the banner in such a way that your social media traffic won’t be affected and visitors won’t be annoyed by the advertisement either. So the way I look at it, it’s a little extra money every couple of months for zero effort.
From a usability point of view, there are a lot of areas the service could be improved, however this doesn’t affect the money the service can make you. So my advice would be to try it out, track your sharing activity and monitor your earnings over a few weeks and then review the situation.
You can read more about the service at Po.st.
Michael Scott has been working with WordPress themes and websites in varying capacities since 2007. It was mainly as a project manager where he quickly developed a love for their simplicity and scalability. As a strong advocate of all things WordPress, he enjoys any opportunity to promote its use across the Interweb and on WPHub.com .