social media

Make Money with Sponsored Tweets

This is a sponsored guest post written by Zac Johnson on behalf of Sponsored Tweets. Post powered by Sponzai

A couple weeks ago I signed up with Sponsored Tweets, a new program available through Izea. The concept of Sponsored Tweets is simply… get paid to send out tweets through Twitter. Since joining, I’ve had several opportunities come through, and have already made several hundreds of dollars. Here’s a bit more on the site and how you can make money too. View Sponsored Tweets

How does Sponsored Tweets work?

Everything about Sponsored Tweets is very simple and easy to setup. You create your account, and login with your same Twitter account info (through Twitter). Once your account is created, you just need to set how much you want to be paid per tweet, and then you wait for a new opportunity to come in. When you receive a new opportunity, you just need to approve or deny the tweet. Some advertisers write what they want you to say, but many leave that up to the tweeter. You submit the “tweet” for approved, and once approved, the money is deposit into your account.

Is this allowed by Twitter, and Ethical?

To answer the most important question, YES! This is allowed by Twitter! and Sponsored Tweets mentions this several times on their web site, as they have worked with Twitter through the process of making the site. As for being “ethical”, there is full disclosure. When a tweet is sent through Sponsored Tweets, it is seen on twitter as “sponsored by…“, “Ad“, or “brought to you by..“. It’s this full disclosure that keeps the tweeter, the advertiser and the reader all legit.

What does a “sponsored tweet” look like?

Depending on whether or not your advertisers provides an ad copy, your tweet can look like anything. Whatever you submit will be sent over to Sponsored Tweets for approval. Other than that, it will look like a regular tweet going out through your account. The only difference is that the url is through and instead of being posted from “web” or “tweetdeck”, it says “from Sponsored Tweets“… as it should for full disclosure.

Is anyone making Money with Sponsored Tweets?

As mentioned, in just my first couple of weeks, I’ve made an extra few hundred bucks just for a few minutes of my time approving ads, and I have a fairly small twitter following. ShoeMoney also posted about how he has earned thousands from tweeting advertiser links independently and through Sponsored Tweets.

Who else is partnered with Sponsored Tweets?

There are actually a decent amount of big name tweeters already signed on with Sponsored Tweets. I haven’t seen a way to signup online (have to call) as an Advertiser to access a full list of tweeters available, but they do have the following “featured tweeters” listed in the login area. Some of these accounts (like Kim Kardashian) have over 2 million followers.

That’s a quick summary of what Sponsored Tweets is all about, and how it’s making money and driving leads through Twitter. It’s fairly new, and always great to get into a new revenue source on the bottom floor.

40% of My Traffic Comes from Twitter

trafficIf you are reading this blog post there is 40% chance (I include visits) that you wound up here via a Twitter link. That’s an amazing fact when you consider that 8 months ago Twitter drove only 6.8% of traffic to this site. Part of this increase has to do with my Twitter followers growing, but the other aspect is the growth of Twitter and Twitter related sites.

If you are one of the people not following me on Twitter you can do so here.

While Google is still a major source of traffic it’s something I have little control over. No matter how much I tag, link and SEO my blog it is still a big crap shoot. On the other hand Twitter is something I can invest time in and see immediate results from. My investment has paid off and the numbers prove it. If you are serious about growing traffic to your blog you should be equally serious about creating a trusted community of followers on Twitter.

Special shout out to the guys over at Unique Blog Designs. They coded this blog for me and continue to promote me as a client. I am trying out their new affiliate theme for a side project. I will let you know how that works out on a later post.

Image is Everything

Over the past few months I have been gearing up for my big keynote on personal branding during IZEAFest at SeaWorld in October. One of the foundations I will touch upon during my presentation is the importance of imagery and design in building a brand. Corporations invest millions of dollars developing graphical assets for their brand and as an blogger you should be investing too (though probably not on the same scale ; ).

While your logo and blog design are your most important graphical assets you can’t forget about supporting assets like photos. I am amazed by how many big name bloggers have crappy headshots or no headshot at all. We constantly struggle with bloggers to provide us with quality images for our sites and other promotional efforts.

On blogger who stands out from the crowd is Sarah Austin. Check out the speaker photo she provided for the IZEAFest website. It is fun, professional and truly reflects her personal brand.

Sarah Austin

I have been using this self portrait since 2005. While I like the photo it doesn’t really reflect my personality or my brand. I mean….where is the tongue in that photo??? It was time for a change. I linked up with orlando photographer Adam Wiggall to create a series of photos that I can use for promotion of myself and IZEA. I absolutely love what he came up with, I can’t wait to share these photos with the media. You can see the whole collection here.

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy

It’s time for you to get some quality photos taken as well. If you can’t hire Adam (which you should if you live in central florida) find a local photographer and make it happen. Professional photos can add signifcant value to your personal brand.

SeaWorld Social Media Case Study

As many of you know I have been working with SeaWorld on a variety of social media programs over the past few months. They are truly wonderful people to partner with, my interaction with the SeaWorld team has become a highlight of my job at IZEA.

I recently completed a case study for two of the programs I worked on with SeaWorld. For those of you who are marketers or bloggers you can see how it all came together.

Twitter Boot Camp

Learn Winning Twitter Strategies

Join Me and O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) for a one-day Twitter boot camp in New York City. I will be speaking on a panel called Twitter and Rules of Engagement. We are going to talk about corporate policies, transparency, legal risks and other best pratices.

You can register here.

Who Should Attend

  • Advertising and marketing professionals
  • Individuals interested in personal brand-building
  • Business owners seeking to increase visibility and improve customer experience
  • Anyone who wants to use Twitter to build and serve online communities

Speaker Include

Kat Meyer (@KatMeyer), Reggie Bradford (@ReggieBradford), Megan Clahoun (@TwitterMoms), David Deal (@davidjdeal), Marla Erwin (@wholefoods), Beth Harte (@BethHarte), Tony Hsieh (@zappos), Amy Martin (@DigitalRoyalty), Sarah Milstein (@SarahM), Eric Mueller (@EricMueller and @FLWbooks), Eric Peterson (@erictpeterson), David Puner (@DunkinDonuts), Laurel Touby (@laureltouby), Steve Ruebl (@steverubel) and Mike Volpe (@mvolpe).

Did you miss me?

I know it has been awhile since I have posted anything here. I have been working on a video project that has monopolized my creative energy. You can check out the video below. I wrote it and did the design and production work.

Let me know what you think. Do you understand what a Sponsored Conversation is after watching it?

CEOs Need A Personal Blog & Twitter

Traffic Sources

Traffic to

Corporate blogs are nothing new. They have been around long enough to see mainstream adoption from companies like GM, HP and Bank of America. Corporate blogs are usually maintained by marketing or PR teams, with CEOs and upper level execs popping in every once and awhile to make an announcement or two. They are typically sales, service or industry centric… watered down and lack any real personality. The large majority of these blogs are the same-old boring-ass corporate communications crammed into a new format. Corporate Twitter accounts tend to follow a similar path.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with corporate blogs or Twitter accounts. Dissemination of organizational information through social media is an important part of the marketing mix. However, I believe this is a myopic view of how social media should be used by companies. I believe every CEO should augment their corporate social media strategy with their own personal social media presence. Here’s why:

Relationships Matter

Any CEO worth his weight in corn flakes understands the value of relationships. As CEO you have relationships with customers, vendors, employees and investors. Some relationships are formed in the office throughout the work day, but the strongest relationships tend to be formed outside the confines of the office. When a CEO takes a client on a golf outing, invites an investor to dinner or grabs a beer with employees the magic is in the personal connection. The little stories that are shared between people create a deeper bond and understanding of each other.

Social media allows a CEO to take thousands of people on a golf outing at the same time. They can simultaneously share a beer with customers and investors or even bond with new people that may become valuable contacts in the future.

Relationships Have Their Place

While these bonds are important they also have their place. I don’t want to go to the Google blog and see how Eric Schmidt spent his vacation or what he does to manage stress. It’s not appropriate to share that type of personal information on a corporate blog. When I go to the Google blog I expect to see information about Google. However, it would be perfectly acceptable and relevant content for Schmidt’s to share on a his personal blog (which doesn’t exist).

We follow this rule at IZEA where I am CEO. The IZEA blog is focused on things relevant to IZEA and our community. is filled with content relevant to me and my personal thoughts about the world around us. While there is some overlap in audience each blog has a different message and bond with the reader.

Relationship Force Multiplier

Most CEOs that don’t use social media say they “don’t have time to play on the Internet” or “It’s not a good use of my time”. To which I say “You may be rich, but you are a donkey”. That’s like saying you don’t have time to write a mass email about the new product launch because you are in physical meetings about the new product launch.

I look at my personal use of social media as a relationship force multiplier. I can’t possibly maintain communications with all the people I want to face to face. But my blog and twitter account let me build and maintain relationships with thousands of people every month. If you can make time to play a round of golf (4 hours) you can make time to write a blog post (.5-1 hours) or write a tweet (.5-1 minutes).

Relationships Drive Results

If you are a numbers driven CEO you have probably read all of this and think it is complete crap. I don’t blame you. There are a lot of “social media consultants” out there (which I am not) that talk about this stuff without anything to back it up. Here’s the bottom line: My personal blog consistently rates in one of the top 5 referrers to IZEA’s corporate website. Twitter is consistently in the top 5 as well (though I can’t take 100% credit for that). My personal use of social media drives traffic, helps retain customers and most importantly acquires new customers.

Personal social media isn’t just about good relationships. It’s about good business. Go setup your blog and get on Twitter already. Once you do don’t forget to follow me!

If you read this whole post and don’t leave me a comment I will hunt you down and steal your twinkies.

The Real Andy Sernovitz

For the past three years I have tried to work with Andy Sernovitz. For the past three years it has felt like banging my head against the wall. For those of you that haven’t heard of Andy he is a self proclaimed word of mouth marketing expert and the guy behind the Blog Council. He is also an advocate for disclosure, transparency and open conversations in the blogosphere.

You need to read this to get the back story behind our relationship:

Come back after you have read it. Seriously.

Today Andy attacked IZEA again. At this point I am kind of used to it, it is like some sort of strange rash that resurfaces every year or so. Once again I reached out to Andy on his blog, hoping to engage in conversation and perhaps constructive collaboration. Once again Andy Sernovitz went against everything he preaches, deleting my comment. An advocate for conversation that consistently deletes comments. How does that work exactly?

Luckily I am familiar with how Andy Sernovitz works so I took a screen shot before he deleted my comment.


Andy I am still here. Any time you want to talk and move the blogosphere forward drop me a line. You know my number.

UPDATE: Chris Brogan weighs in on Sponsored Conversations.