Posts Tagged ‘AdSense’

4 Approaches to Making Money from Blogging

Monday, January 12th, 2009

So, you’ve heard that people can make money from blogging, but you’re wondering “how exactly does that work, and what approach would suit your blog?”.

Text Links

You have a website which has outgoing links, other websites want to rank with search engines, and one of the main measures for page rank is the number and quality of incoming links. So, there is money to be made from selling links on your site, and the advertiser is generally not that bothered if nobody ever clicks on the link.

This can be a reasonable source of income both from aggregators and private sales, but it doesn’t scale that well — after a certain point, you can’t earn more money as your blog grows. The main downside is that it is not at all popular with search engines and you may find your own ranking in searches is lowered as a result.

Ad Networks

You have a website which has visitors who click on links on your website. Other websites are are willing to pay for visitors. There is money to be made from selling advertising space on your website, you either get paid when someone views an ad, or when they click on it.

Making money this way requires a reasonably sized audience, and search engine traffic is considered to click more on adverts than regular readers or subscribers. Ad network income generally scales very well, and it is possible to make this the cornerstone of a money making strategy reliant on a single blog in the right sort of niche. The downside is that unless your website is very large, you’re unlikely to make private sales and will be reliant on an ad aggregator (e.g. Adsense, ). In practice this means that you will give up a fair amount of control over which ads are shown, and there can be restrictive terms and conditions.

Affiliate Links

You have a website where you mention products and services. Other companies are willing to pay commission for leads, inquiries or sales. There is money to be made by linking to the product or service if your visitors are likely to click on the link and follow up with a purchase.

Affiliate links scale well, and there is the potential for using both aggregators and private arrangements. You generally have complete control over which affiliate links are shown on your blog, and existing readers and subscribers are more likely to click on affiliate links than straight advertising. The downside is that making money from affiliate links depends strongly on the niche you are working in. There needs to be an obvious relationship between the topics you write about, and some products or services. So, for example review blogs do very well from affiliate sales, as can blogs related to expensive hobbies, but if you rarely mention specific products or services then you will probably struggle.

Consulting and Sales

You have some skill or product that you wish to sell. Your blog is strongly related to this skill or products. Other people will pay money for your skill or products.

You need to have genuine skills or a product to sell that people are interested in. Your blog needs to be strongly positioned towards making sales, in fact becomes somewhat of a sideline. You need to research any legal issues thoroughly before offering consulting, and ensure that you have back office systems set up for dealing with clients or completing sales. This works very well with business to business internet sales (e.g. selling WordPress themes, or blog consulting services) and fairly well with anything that can be done remotely, it is much harder to do if your skill requires you to be actually present. The biggest downside is that this is not passive income — you’ll actually have to work for the money, as well as blog.

Issues to Consider

You need to have the right set up in order to make money. Some free blog networks like don’t allow their bloggers to run advertising so check your terms and conditions. It is generally easiest to grow your blog’s income with self-hosted web hosting and your own domain name, but other approaches have worked for some people.

It’s possible to use a mix of approaches to making money, but be careful. If you are selling a product or skill then you might not want to use Adsense for example because the ads that come up are likely to be for competitors. As mentioned, selling text links can have a negative impact on your search engine visitors which are the primary source of income for most of the other forms of advertising.

Invariably, making money means paying taxes on the net income. Check out the regulations in your area, but you can usually make deductions for legitimate business expenses like hosting, domain names and Internet access. If you have a tax advisor or accountant already, you should contact them with your plans, often tax departments have phone lines you can call for advice on issues.

Finally, the standing of your blog is always dependent of having good content, and your credibility can be harmed by having a blog design with intrusive advertising. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by letting your desire to make money overcome your common sense.

Best of luck, and here’s to your first million (or at least hundred)!

Earn More Money With AdSense-Analytics Integration

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Recently Google made AdSense-Analytics integration available for my account.  I only have a few days worth of data, but I am very impressed with the information so far. As I analyze the data, I am beginning to see some potential uses. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you should start with this Inside AdSense’s article: Make a date with data in Google Analytics — make sure you watch the video, which is included below.

Make More Money With AdSense, The Basics

Before I go into more detail about how I am planning to use the data, let’s cover the basics. In short, your AdSense income depends on three key factors:

  1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR) — There are several things you could do to improve clickthrough rate.  This includes experimenting with:
    • Ad size (e.g., Skyscraper, Leaderboard, etc.)
    • Ad type (i.e., text versus image) — In general, I prefer text ads over image ads.
    • Ad placement (i.e., location or locations on the page) — Based on my experience ads below the Post Title perform very well.  Likewise, Skyscraper ad on the left also performs well.
    • Ad format (e.g., color, border, background, etc.) — My general preference is to have title link that matches the color of links on my site, no border, and matching background color.
  2. $ per click (CPC) — This is mainly determined by the topic and keywords of your blog/posts.
  3. Traffic — In general, the more the better.  However, different traffic type can have significant impact on the CTR.  For example, social bookmarking traffic tends to have very low CTR.  On the other hand, traffic via links from mainstream websites and traffic from organic searches tend to have much higher CTR.

    Use Integration Data To Improve Your AdSense Income

    Now that we have the basics covered, I want to go over two specific ideas on how to use the new data.

    High CTR / High $ per click Pages

    The first set of pages prime for optimization are the high CTR / high $ per click pages.  You want to drive more traffic to these pages because they are money makers that just need more traffic.  Here are a few ideas:

    • Link to these pages from your sidebar or from your home page.  For example, you can call these “Featured Articles”.
    • Link to these pages when you are writing new articles.
    • Link to these pages from your high traffic pages.
    • Buy ads that drive traffic to these pages.  This requires some tinkering since you have to figure out how to spend less on the ads than you are earning to keep some profit.

    Low $ per click Pages

    Another idea revolves around low $ per click pages; especially for pages with high traffic and high CTR.  For these pages there are several things you could try:

    • Look at the ads that appear on these pages and try blocking them. Hopefully, this will bring up the $ per click.
    • Tweak the keywords to attract higher paying keywords.
    • Stop showing AdSense and experiment with other types of advertisement — e.g., relevant affiliate ads, CPM ads, etc.  For example, I am doing this with one of my page that has high traffic and high CTR but with $ per click that’s around 5 cents.
    • Another idea is to replace AdSense with links to your other high CTR / high $ per click pages.

      Anyway, this is a relatively new and you may not have statistically significant amount of data to work with. However, it’s worth exploring and sees what you could do to positively impact your earning.  Here’s a good article I found on this topic: 10 Ways To Analyze AdSense Analytics To Make More Money from

      Simple Way to Add AdSense for Feeds to Your FeedBurner Feed

      Thursday, November 6th, 2008

      If you’re like me, you probably have FeedBurner feed all set up for your blog, but want to add AdSense for Feeds for some extra revenue.  And if you have done some research, you probably heard nightmare stories from people who switched entirely from FeedBurner feed to Google feed.  Lucky for you, I have a simple solution!

      Set Up Your AdSense for Feed

      First, log into your AdSense account and set up AdSense for Feed:

      • Click on AdSense Setup
      • Click on AdSense for Feeds
      • This takes you to the main set up screen.
      • Click on burn a new feed (look toward the bottom)

        You’ll get a pop-up box.

        • Enter your non-FeedBurner feed address — i.e.,

          • Click on Next and you’ll see this pop-up box

            • Click on Next again
            • Click on Close

              Now you are back on the main set up screen again.

              • Click on Create new channel
              • Enter a name — i.e., Blogthority.  You can make your feed targetable if you want.
              • Click on Add
              • Set up your ad placement and configuration
              • Copy your AdSense for Feeds feed address – i.e.,
              • Click on Save

                You are done on AdSense side.

                Redirect Your FeedBurner Feed To AdSense Feed

                Now log in to your FeedBurner account.

                • Click on your feed — i.e., Blogthority
                • Click on Edit Feed Details…
                • Change your original feed — i.e., to AdSense Feed — i.e.,
                • Click on Save Feed Details button

                That’s it! You’re done.  You may or may not see the change immediately.  However, you’ll start to see ad Impressions and other statistics rolling in on your AdSense Report.

                Increase Blog Income With CPM Advertising

                Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

                Many bloggers and webmasters are familiar with AdSense and its potential to generate excellent revenue for blogs and web sites. Unfortunately, many bloggers and webmasters focus too much on AdSense and forget that there are other types of advertising — i.e., CPM advertising — that could help your blog make more money without affecting the existing AdSense income. After all, there’s only so much AdSense optimization that could be done.

                Money Monetization

                Photo by RichSeattle via Flickr

                AdSense is great, but it’s not the only solution for blog monetization

                Although AdSense is a good place to start because there’s no traffic or page views requirement, it shouldn’t be the only blog monetization solution. Once your blog or web site reach a more consistent traffic level (i.e., 5,000 to 10,000 page views a month), you should consider adding CPM advertising to the mix — and I am not talking about AdSense CPM ads.

                Due to AdSense revenue fluctuation and general downward trend in March, I decided to add CPM advertising to my personal finance blog this month — despite many warnings that CPM advertising is dead. I am happy to say that I am seeing positive outcome with minimal negative impact on my AdSense revenue.

                Why is CPM advertising good for your blog monetization?

                I believe the three primary benefits are:

                • CPM advertising provides consistent daily revenue proportionate to your traffic level
                • CPM advertising provides additional daily revenue above and beyond AdSense revenue
                • CPM advertising is great for social media traffic — i.e., Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. — where visitors are unlikely to click on your AdSense ads.

                Which CPM network to choose?

                While there are many CPM networks to choose from, the two networks that I am currently using are ADSDAQ, BURST Media, and ValueClick Media. However, you should do your own research, or you could simply try them all. Here are a list of articles about CPM advertising that I recommend:

                Increase Your AdSense Revenue With “Who Sees Ads?”

                Friday, February 8th, 2008

                One key concern about having advertisement on my blog is the fear of alienating my readers; especially regular readers who come to the blog daily and leave comments. Unfortunately, some of the best monetization opportunities call for disruptive ad placement. For example, one of the best performing AdSense ad is the large rectangular block placed inside the content itself.

                So, how can a blogger strike a balance between maintaining an appealing blog while maximizing its revenue potential? On my personal finance blog, I struggled to make decent money with AdSense. I can’t reveal my CTR (Click Through Rate) and eCPM (Effective Cost Per 1,000 Impressions), but I thought they were abysmal. After some research, I stumbled upon what seems to be a perfect solution. The plugin is called, “Who Sees Ads?

                Who Sees Ads? allows me to show a 300 x 250 AdSense ad block for posts older than 20 days old and for anyone that comes through a search engine (note that these conditions are highly configurable). This means that my regular readers (who mostly read newer posts) wouldn’t see the large and disruptive AdSense ad block at all.

                This is what most regular readers see:

                Web page with no ad

                This is what shown on posts older than 20 days old:

                Webpage with ad

                The result? My AdSense revenue (measured by CTR and eCPM) increased by over three folds!