Scratchback – Jim Kukral Speaker *Mindset *Lifestyle *Impact *Purpose

Category Archives for "Scratchback"

Your Blog Design Is Your Brand

What does your blog design say about you and your brand? I say everything.

I recently updated this theme to a more “classic” type theme that fits what I am. I’m a consultant/speaker/marketing guy who needed to show that. So when you visit this blog, you immediately get a feel for who I am and what I represent.

My friend Zac Johnson just updated his blog design to a more “super, money making affiliate” type of theme because that’s what his blog is all about. That’s what Zac is… he’s a super affiliate. Makes sense.

Your blog design is your brand.

As I’ve stated many times before, your brand, to me, is really the experience your customers/readers/viewers (whatever) have with you (MPDailyFix Blog). So if you’re a blogger, the experience is usually the ways a reader can interact with you, and that starts with your blog design.

For Zac’s blog, he’s chosen to go beyond what most bloggers in his space are doing. Instead of just having comments on blog posts, Zac is asking for participation. I think this is a very smart way to build traffic and loyal readers.

What Zac is doing is allowing his readers to tip him using my ScratchBack widget (shameless plug). The tip is $25 for a full-week spot on his sidebar. But here’s what’s different. From his blog post.

Join Zac’s Top Spots:
A cool new program from my good friend Jim Kukral. Jim’s all about having fun with marketing, so he came up with ScratchBack… which is a new fun way to “tip” sites, while getting a link back in return. I really like the concept, but I wanted to bring it a step further. In addition to giving Jim’s program some much deserved exposure, I wanted to offer something extra for my blog readers as well. You can buy (or “tip”) your way into my Top Spots for a small price of $25 a week. In addition to receiving a Top Spots Link, I’ll also send you a new Black MoneyReign t-shirt. Send me a pic of you wearing the shirt and I’ll add your pic and a link back to your site/blog url on my blog TopSpots page.

So what Zac has done really is…

  • Let all of his readers advertise on his site for a low-cost, not just the higher-priced advertisers
  • Enabled them to participate beyond just leaving comments
  • Giving them a Zac Johnson t-shirt in return, plus the opportunity for them to take a picture of themselves in the t-shirt to send back to him, which he’ll then post up in his photo section, driving more traffic to them

Zac’s current tip price is only $25 for a full week of space in his top spots. Considering he has over 1,000 rss readers alone and over 25,000 page views per month from over 13,000 unique visitors… that’s a pretty darn good deal in my book.

No Google Juice? No Tip For You?

Donna over at wrote a ponderous post today musing about why more people in the SEO industry aren’t more willing to advertise if no Google juice is involved.

I love Scratchback and the whole concept behind it (Scratchback is that widget to the right that says Are You In My TopSpots?). I might not be totally crazy about the nofollowed links, but hey, they are Google-friendly, so I’m doing the “right thing”, right? I understand people don’t want to pay a lot of money for G-friendly links – I get that. But when it’s difficult to practically give them away – what’s up with that???

She then asks the million dollar question (bold emphasis is mine)…

When did the concept of advertising disappear? Is it ONLY about link juice? Hey, I’m an SEO. I love link juice. It’s the nectar of the search heavens. But I also appreciate the idea of cheap, targeted traffic. Juice or no juice, what I want at the end of the day, is cheap, targeted traffic. You don’t?

You can read my thoughts on this topic in her comments.

Very interesting discussion to say the least.

ScratchBack Goes Into Live Beta

It’s finally ready for eyeballs. In case you are new to my blog, you’ve heard me talk about my new online system called for months and months. Well, it’s finally open and ready for you to try it. Register for free and give it a run.

You can see a live TopSpot widget in action on the left of this page under my logo. Go ahead and tip me $1.00 for a place in my top spots!

I’ll be blogging about SB mostly over at the ScratchBack blog, so rather than me writing a giant blog post about it here, I’d much rather let you listen to what others have been saying about it.

Here’s a video that Shawn Collins did about it. He’s running the TopSpot widget over at the Affiliate Tip blog.

ScratchBack Launch Imminent – The Fun, Alternative Way To Making Money Online

If I’m quiet lately it’s because I’ve been feverishly trying to work out the final bugs in my new online advertising system called


I must say that I’m beyond thrilled with how it turned out and me and my team are pumped up about releasing it. I truly believe that what we’ve built is totally original, fun and can help all website publishers and bloggers earn a few bucks as an alternative to other online ad systems they’ve tried before.

The only things that concern me right now are…

1. If I do a major launch I’m worried that I might crash my server. This happened to me last year with Awesome Milllion and I don’t want to see it happen again. I use Rackspace, and my server is pretty bad-ass, but you never know.

2. Bugs. A handful of beta testers have been working the system pretty hard. But until my team finds every little thing; I don’t want to launch.

3. Fear. When you believe in something so much, and you invest so much time and money into it, there is a definite fear of launching it and seeing it fail, or people hating it. But that’s something every entrepreneur has to deal with.

I believe in this product, and I can’t wait to show the world. Must be patient though.

Will Scratchback Amaze You? Or Will It Bomb?

My programmer I contracted who built said to me the other day…

“What you’ve created here is either going to be huge and help millions of people with websites have fun and make money online, or it’ll bomb.”

He’s right. And the not knowing how it will be perceived scares the crap out of me and also motivates me.

The more I stare at my web publishing Frankenstein, the more I keep asking myself if it’s too simple to really catch on and work. When you work on something for so long you can begin to lose real perspective on it… clouding your brain with doubts.


Honestly though, my biggest fear in releasing Scratchback is also what I think will be its greatest strength.

That it’s simple and fun. Maybe too simple?

No giant marketplaces that make things confusing. No controlling system that only allows you to price based upon someone else’s criteria. No fancy frills or complicated coding or processes to get started. No paid reviews that could possibly bring in the integrity of your website or blog.

None of that stuff.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough as the first beta approaches. I’m cutting off the beta signup list by the end of the week. I’ve gotten way more test users than I could possibly ever use for the first beta, which will only be a handful of testers anyway. I’m even considering only releasing the second beta test sample to those are signed up and making the general public wait for a few months.

Yes, I said a few months, or maybe more. I really want this system to grow slowly so we can work out the kinks and make it a robust, stable solution that runs on auto-pilot for everyone.

There’s still time to get into the beta list. If you want in, sign up now.

I leave you with this. Don’t EVER give up on your passion. I have not, and I cannot wait to show you what I’ve created.