You Click A Button, He Donates A Dollar

I received an email from blog reader Alex Shalman about a new contest he is holding. Apparently, Alex has taken my evil make money online linking idea and kicked it up a notch. Alex is going to give away up to $500 to a charity of your choice. Here’s how it works.

Link to this post and from your blog. You must use the line “Alex Shalman at Practical Personal Development (a blog about self help and personal growth) is hosting a Donation Contest in which you press a button and he donates a dollar”, with all links intact and any additional things you would like to say. I choose this specific sentence in order to build search engine rankings, in a plan to have my dollar go a long way.

You post about the contest in your blog and I donate a dollar. That’s a total of $1 going to charity! My budget for this charity project is $500 so feel free to be generous and spread the word of this donation contest around to other bloggers.

Personal growth is a highly searched key phase, with over 14,000 searches last month according to Overture. If Alex can get his blog ranked on page 1 for that term, it would definitely help his traffic level.

One April 15th, Alex will randomly select a person who linked to his contest and the winner will select a charity to give the money to. I highly doubt Alex will get 500 entries in a month. I’ve been running my linkback promotion for longer than that and I’m only at 350. However, if this post helps him raise a bit more money for charity, then I’m happy to do it.

Good luck Alex. If I win, please donate the money to the United Way.

83 thoughts on “You Click A Button, He Donates A Dollar”

  1. John Wesley says:

    I just checked Overture. It told me ‘personal growth’ gets only 14,380 searches in Jan 2007. Is it possible you missed the decimal place?

    I am interested to see how well this works out. You really gave him a huge boost by posting about it. Though these types of link boosting drives are getting ridiculous. I wonder if Google starts noticing.

    1. John Chow says:

      You are correct! Thanks. I’ve corrected it.

      1. The contest is a nice thought, but I think most people won’t bother enough to make a post for a mere $1 charity donation. Just my opinion.


        1. Leftblank says:

          I agree to that, when there are tons of contests giving out free link backs (giving you a ranking advantage), or to win a Wii (points at John) posting for a 1$ donation doesn’t seem much; I can do that at PayPerPost as well with the ‘Donates’ option but then it’ll be up to 15$ for one post, quite more tempting than this one – a very nice gesture nonetheless, but people want more.

        2. Alex Shalman says:

          That’s an understandable concern. I don’t mind if most people will not want to participate – I am looking for a minimum of $500 people out of the millions out there. It doesn’t even have to be a full post – it can be part of a speedlinking post also. Copy pasting a sentence into a speedlink post isn’t really hard work.

        3. You don’t always have to get something out of it. Although $1 does seem low per post, being able to give to a good cause is always worth it.

          Obviously he wants as many links as possible, but maybe if he would have done $5 per post and maxed out at 100 posts he would have plenty of SEO and maxed out the donations.

          1. Jez says:

            Exactly, $1 for a link is exploiting the charity IMO.

          2. @Jez, yeah $1 isn’t much, but if 500 ppl do it then it’s $500 and that’s pretty good. Plus, what does it really cost you to link to him?

          3. It costs nothing at all, and it is actually a win-win situation. Why not help out some peple in the process as well?

          4. Jonix says:

            Do you’ll link to him, yndonmaxewell ? And if you are linking it’ll be permanent (blogroll) or in a post?

          5. Gary Lee says:

            it’s 500 more dollars than the charity had before

        4. Jez says:

          Im not sure about this.

          Its not very charritable, $1 for a link is way below their true worth.

          If he offered a $500 dollar prize, thats a risk (he may not get many links).

          $1 a link for charity is no risk, as the cost is proportional to the number of links.

          If he went round trying buying links, he wouldnt get them for $1 either.

          The linkers will be doing their bit by taking the time to profit from it, but he will be getting SEO for much less than its value, so in a sense will PROFIT from this,

          Wheres the charity in this ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓

          1. Jez says:

            I meant to say

            The linkers will be doing their bit by taking the time to create the links, but he will be getting SEO for much less than its value, so in a sense will PROFIT from this.

            If anyone wants to backlink one of my blogs with keywords of my choosing, Ill give $2 to charity and I will still be getting a bargain.

            Come on, who in here wouldnt buy links for $1 ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓

          2. I’d love to buy a link for $1. :mrgreen:

          3. jez says:

            Yeah me too, one way inbound links are hard to come by.

          4. carl says:

            yes, i find it hard to make links, hehehe. so a dollar is worth it

        5. Justin Slife says:

          It does seem like everybody and their brother are running these contests. If it works for one person, why not give it a shot?

        6. HMTKSteve says:

          I agree, $1 for charity is hardly enough of an incentive for this.

    2. Jonix says:

      It doesn’t matter what google thinks. THis is not an elaborated scheme to gain SERPS. This is the new era of internet, i call it web2.5

      Blogs are dominating the face of the net. And even google is giving alot more of importance to blogs than it gives to sites.

      1. carl says:

        nice theory jonix! I agree with you la :mrgreen:

  2. That really is a fantastic idea because both he and a worthwhile cause benefit!

    We are all so busy trying to promote our sites for our own benefit, it’s nice to see someone looking out for others!

    (yes, I know John does too!)

    1. David says:

      Yeah, it is good to see John looking out for others, and promoting other blogs. But isn’t that one of the Dot Com Mogul checklist items??

      1. carl says:

        that’s why i like john, he helps others while he earns money!

    2. Jez says:

      Thats the point Saman, I think he is trying to promote the site for his own benefit and doing it far more cheaply and easily than you are by throwing a bone to ‘charity’.

      He should at least be ‘paying’ the charity a fair rate for those links.

      Hes not like someone running a marathon in a clown suit and give 100% to charity.

      Its more like one of those people who try and sell you a ticket for some ‘charity’ where, on the back it says something like

      ‘5% of all takings given to a great charity, the other 95% I keep for profit’

      I dont know if you get those in your part of the world, but a couple of years ago in the UK they were a scurge…

      1. Gary Lee says:

        Doesn’t this always happen when someone is raising money for charity? Personally, I think “at least he’s contributing something to charity” . . . something is always more than nothing.

        Also, who are we to say he’s giving too much or too little to the charity? At least it will get some recognition and that’s actually one of the hardest things for the charity to get.

        As part of my aspiring dot com mogul duties, I’ve set up my own site to donate to charity too – – but it’s only made 11 cts so far, so the 5.5 cts is gonna kick it in the savings account and accrue some interest before I send a check to the Red Cross 🙂

        1. jez says:

          No it doesnt always happen when people give to charity, only when they mix charity with business / opportunity.

          Anyway, Ive added a comment lower down where I express a more balanced view…

  3. Alex Shalman says:

    I really appreciate your quick response John, I’m going to have to start referring to you as “the root of all good” for some of the things that you do.

    I learn a lot from your evil ways, so it’s only natural that I would want to apply what you’ve taught – both in SEO and Charity.

    Your evil buddy,

    1. Jez says:


      Sorry if Ive been too harsh on you here,

      I shouldnt have commented on your possible motives as I dont know what they are… but I think you will get the point of my argument.

      1. Alex Shalman says:

        No problem, apology accepted! :mrgreen:

    2. “root of all good” just doesn’t have that same ring to it…

  4. Kenny says:

    It seems that every move that John makes is duplicated in the blogosphere. Its quite an interesting phenomenon to observe 🙂 I’m tempted to join in at times! 😈

    1. Either his ideas are duplicated or he is so evil that he made a time machine, goes into the future and rips off great ideas!!


    2. Jez says:

      I think there is an important distinction between what John has done and Alex is doing.

      1) John is running a competition, people want a Wii, john has lots of readers, John runs a competition.

      2) When John ran something for charity a while back he said

      “give money to this charity and I will match it to a total value of $500”

      No commercial gain for John in doing this, other than a bit of PR perhaps.

      3) Alex is mixing charity with a business opportunity, a different animal all together, it raises a lot of ethical problems.

      There is another argument you could put in defence of Alex, which is Johns Wii cost him nothing (I dont think), whareas Alex is digging into his own pockets, and doing some good with the money.

      In that sense Alex is being more generous, but for me the mix of opportunity and charity is a bit too close to the wire.

      1. Gary Lee says:

        honestly . . if you were a charity, would you really mind being exploited if it increased the bottom line and gave you more opportunities to support your cause?

        1. I don’t think it exploits the charity so much as it does the people that are doing the work in which he will also make an ultimate gain from.

        2. jez says:

          Errrrrrm, yes I think I would, its a question of ethics.

          I am sure they will be grateful of the $500 all the same, they will be better off with it than without it….

          1. HMTKSteve says:

            The problem (as I see it) is the result he is hoping to achieve is a steal at $500.

            He is clearly benefiting more than the charity is.

          2. Jez says:

            Yes Steve, I wish I had jsut said that and saved my fingers!

          3. Jane May says:

            hahahaha…what fingers were those?

          4. Gary Lee says:

            maybe alan should place a permanent banner to the charity . . . so he can still benefit the charity from all the links it helped him bring in

  5. Michael Kwan says:

    He’s using the charity spin as an excuse to buy cheap backlinks. Now that is… well, you know 😈

    1. Marc says:

      Yeah, it’s questionable but since it is being promoted by the root of all evil…

  6. Kenny says:

    The comments in here are a great example of when doing something controversial works great in creating buzz! :mrgreen:

    1. jez says:

      Yeah, as you may have gathered, I probably wont be providing a link 😳 but I paid his site a visit all the same…

    2. HMTKSteve says:

      A buzz is only good if it breaks out of the comments and turns into links!

      1. Jane May says:

        or increases traffic to your site.

  7. healthren says:

    Hi John,
    I spent a lot of time to build a website 健康人 to earn some money like you did. But it seems still bad luck for me now. I will to read all ur blog maybe I will find a way to get rich like you.Thanks!

  8. Alex Shalman says:

    What were you going to say Michael, evil? 😈

  9. JN says:

    AM I the only one losing interest in this blog……previously this blog had so much of readable content…but now its either the reviews or just that whats happening around the other blogs…john I guess somewhere you have lost the niche you had putting good content over here….i totally agree that its your blog and your rules … but with so many people following this blog…please don’t bore them away

  10. Matthew says:

    Great idea that i’ve seen before.

    To the comment who said 1$ is nothing, I have and would link again, to someone who is donating for charity.

    However, the last person I saw running this, asked the link to go to the charity website, and not their own.

    1. Jez says:

      Thats true charity, I would participate in that for sure.

      1. Matthew says:

        If the person was still running this id definitely post more about it

  11. Erik says:

    GoogleShadow: pretty good idea. Earned a bookmark :).

  12. carl says:

    that’s a good idea to give to charity. You’ll get backlinks and money for the charity. It’s like he’s buying your post for $1 hehehe

  13. Joe says:

    You are soooo not a dot com mogul like you say you are. Talk about an ego.

    1. Erik says:

      define dot come mogul 😈

    2. Erik says:

      define dot com mogul 😈

      1. Jane May says:

        dot com mogul = EVIL 😈

      2. Matthew says:

        double postin dot com moguls 🙂

  14. Mike Panic says:

    For charity, I’m in… writing article now.

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      Great Mike – I really appreciate it, thank you. 😉

  15. Scot says:

    Possible to be banned from Google by doing this? Just curious.

    1. Not as if Google is snooping around at this.

    2. Erik says:

      I don’t think getting higher on Google’s searches is considered cheating or exploiting. Popularity means you should be high in the first place.

    3. Matthew says:

      this is what people on payperpost PAY for

  16. IndoDX says:

    I still didn’t understand about this post. 🙁

  17. carl says:

    I’ll try to write an article about this :mrgreen:

    kinda cool, cause it’s for the charity

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      Thank you Carl, I appreciate it.

      1. Jonix says:

        i would try to write one also, but for now, my blog doesn’t fit at all for that.

        But my next blogs will do it.

      2. carl says:

        after all it’s for the charity:)

  18. I’m not sure how successful this will be but philanthropy should always be encouraged.

  19. Alex is such a great guy – I’m so glad you gave him a hand, John. You rock! 😎

    1. Jane May says:

      yup, I would agree with Wendy…John, you rock like the country 😆

      Not too many people go out of their way to do what Alex is doing. Great job Alex!!!

  20. While Alex’s idea may not seem perfect in everyone’s eyes (and what idea is, btw!), at least he’s making an conscious effort to actually donate $500 to charity.

    Bottom line, we are not the ones in need! We are fortunate. But for those who are actually starving to death, for example, if Alex’s charitable gift put some food in their aching stomachs for a change, do you think they’re gonna be picky about where the money came from? Hell no. They’re just effing thankful to eat something for a change.

    So for those who seem to have such a huge problem with his charitable quest…either volunteer to donate a good sum of your own money to charity, or just shut your yap. Remember, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. 😉

    1. Gary Lee says:

      great comment! i totally agree . . it’s easier to throw rocks at a house than build one!

      1. Thanks Gary. Unfortunately, there seems to be an overabundance of rocks lying around these days.

        I’m just glad that those people who are most in need will probably never see how the very sources of their survival are debated in such conversations and arguments, both online and off. Can we say red tape?

        It’s easy to argue ethics and motive on a full stomach. But try it when you haven’t eaten anything for a month. That’s what I say.

    2. Jane May says:

      Yes, the cause is a great one and I agree with you completely.

  21. Jane May says:

    Now he’s a true humanitarian…but so are you John 😉

  22. Matthew says:

    like the charity bit, not sure why people were hatin’ on this

  23. Zach says:

    out of all the promotional deals i heard, this it def. one of the nicer clever ones 😉

  24. Hello! I’m sure you are familiar with John Chow and Alex Shalman’s free link-back schemes. I’ve combined their ideas into one that will boost your blog ranking as well as give you a chance at winning $50. Go to my blog,, and read all about it!

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