Adsense Revenue = Traffic Levels + High Paying Ads + Relevant Ads + Optimally Positioned and Designed Ads
The next element of this Adsense equation to be examined is how to get high paying Adsense Ads running on your site. Obviously in any business one way to get higher profits is to charge more for your product - whilst you have no direct say in how much is charged for ads run on your site - there are ways of targeting types of ads that might bring in a higher return than others.
As we mentioned in our initial explanation of the equation, the PVR Blog is one example of a blog that targets a well paying ad type - ads for PVR technology. Whilst I do not know specifics of earnings I would suspect blogs like Gizmodo who run Adsense ads would also be generating a higher paying ad, due to their focus on technology.
The lesson we can learn from blogs such as these is that they attract specific ads (that presumably are well paying) by keeping their content targeted on the same topics. To over simplify what weíre saying - if you want ads about Camera Phones blog about Camera Phones.
Finding High Paying Ads is not as easy as it sounds (is anything?). Do a search for Google on High Paying Adsense Ads and you wonít find too many sites listing the best keywords for Adsense. The top Adsense users in Adsense discussion forums tend to be pretty secretive about not only what keywords they focus on, but also what sites they run. I donít blame them either - its good business sense really.
Having said this there are a number of strategies and tools that you might like to employ to help find high paying keywords.
* Buy them - Finding high paying keywords for your blog is possible by yourself for free - but as with everything a few entrepreneurial types are willing to do the leg work for you to save you some time and give you a comprehensive result. One service that you might like to try to find good keywords is Top Paying Keywords.
* Trial and Error - I know this will frustrate some of you who want a nice and easy quick fix but overall it is one of the best pieces of advice I can give. Try writing on a topic - track the results - if it pays off do it againÖ.lots. Adsense allows you to track specific pages or sections of your blog using its Ďchannelsí feature - if youíre smart youíll watch which sections of your blog are generating the highest ads by dividing your overall earnings by the number of clicks and comparing it to other channels. Keep trying new topics until you strike gold and then dig in like crazy!
* Are there Any Ads? - This is a good first question. Despite the many thousands of advertisers using Adsense there are some topics where the answer to this question is no. A simple way to check is to head to Google and do a search for the key words youíre wanting to blog about. The results page will bring up not only a list of other sites writing about that key word (they are you competitors) but on the right hand side there will be a list of ads - these are the same sorts of ads youíll get on your site if you write on the topic. If there are ads there, it is a good sign. If there are not - maybe its worth finding another topic to write on if youíre hoping to attract ads.
* 7 Search has a list of the 100 of the top paying keywords (in their advertising program - not Adsense) at the moment. Its a bit depressing actually to see a list like this because youíd have to sell your soul somewhat in order to go with many of them. Its an interesting site to check out though.
* Also from 7 Search (and more useful) is their Keyword Suggestion Tool which gives you an idea of what people are paying per click on different tools (again this is not specifically for Adsense but it will give you an idea of what the going rates are). Find What also has a similar service.
* Google Adsenseís biggest competitor are Overture (they run the ads on Yahoo) - they offer a service where you can enter your keywords and they will not only tell you how much advertisers are paying for the words but also how many people are searching for the term. This is a very useful tool.
* Sign up for Adwords - One way of getting a feel for how much people are willing to pay per click is to sign up with Google as an advertiser yourself. It doesnít cost much to start a mini campaign and do some research this way. Youíll get a feel for what people are bidding on different words very quickly this way.
* Word Tracker is the best tool Iíve seen to help in finding keywords that people are searching for in the major search engines. The excellent thing about Word Tracker is that they also tell you how many other sites out there are targeting the same words! This is very handy as it will stop you targeting ĎBritney Spearsí as a Keyword phrase even though its one of the most searched for keywords on the web because literally hundreds of thousands of other sites have beaten you to the punch. Word Tracker has a free version to trial it and their paying version is even better - well worth the investment.
* Iím told Keyword Sleuth is a similar program to Word Tracker however I am yet to trial it.
Targeting High Paying Adsense Ads is an important aspect of generating an income from Adsense. It is not enough in and of itself however. You can have $10 per click ads (Iíve not found any of these yet) but without generating any traffic your research into the right ads will be useless. Likewise it is one thing to identify which ads you want to target - but it is another thing to actually get these relevant ads showing on your site
I have been asked this question so many times in the past few weeks that I thought I should write something on the topic. It seems increasingly bloggers want to try to cover their hosting and ISP costs with some revenue from their blog - and increasingly theyíre doing it and are able to make a few (or quite a lot) dollars on the side. Many are turning to Googleís Adsense program.
Covering costs of my Digital Photography Blog is why I originally signed up with Google Adsense - blogging can get expensive when you have high levels of traffic and a lot of pages.
Whilst the agreement you sign with Google stresses that you are not allowed to give specific information about your earnings from the program I can say that Iím glad Iíve signed up because its well and truly covered my costs - and then some. In fact I think its quite feasible to expect that Adsense coupled with other strategies for making money from Blogging could quite easily generate a decent living. It takes time and hard work, but I think its very doable. (Update: Since writing this series Iíve revealed that I am now looking at making over a six figure income this year in 2005 from blogging).
So how do I make money from Google Adsense? Let me share some AdSense Tips that heve helped me.
This will be the first in a series of posts on this topic. Let me say up front Iím no expert - there are a lot of people out there making a lot more money than I am using Adsense - however most of them are not telling their secrets - well not for free anyway. Iíve got no secrets to hide and am willing to share what Iíve learnt since I signed up for the program 8 months ago. If you want a REAL expertís opinion on Adsense Iíd recommend buying Joel Commís What Google Never Told You About Making Money with Adsense E-Book. Joel earns $15,000 per month from Adsense and has some good things to share.
I know some bloggers are put off or offended by the idea of making money from blogging so Iíll try not to let these posts dominate my blog - however if you are not interested in the topic, simply skip over these posts.
I am going to assume a few things in this series to cut down the amount of introductory comments I have to make. Here is what I am assuming:
* You have a blog. Whilst most of the following tips will apply to other types of websites I run Adsense on blogs and will speak from that experience.
* You have (or will) read a basic overview of Adsense and have some understanding of what it is.
* You have(or will) read the program policies as outlined by Google. These give details of site eligibility, ad placements and other requirements for using the system.
Enough introductory comments - lets get stuck into the Adsense Tips for Bloggers!
Is your blog suitable for Adsense? - Before you rush into signing up for Adsense expecting it to earn you a million dollars it is worth asking the question of whether Adsense is the right revenue strategy for your blog. By no means is it the only option - you might like to check out this tip on other ways of making money from blogging.
Whilst there are some amazing success stories about earning big dollars with Adsense out there, it is worth taking a realistic look at some cold hard truths about the Adsense program.
Google does not accept every site that applies to the Adsense program.
* Google Adsense Program Policies indicate that the content of sites must not contain things like excessive profanity, pornography, illicit drugs etc. Basically your blog needs to have content that is reasonably Ďfamily friendlyí.
* Also in their policy document is a reference to them not normally accepting pages of a personal nature. This is the topic of discussion in many Adsense forums and is obviously open to different interpretations. Many (if not most) blogs are personal in nature - however to maximize your chances of approval by Adsense a blog should be targeted on a particular topic/s. For example whilst this blog is often personal in nature - most of my individual posts (pages) focus on very specific themes which are repeated throughout the blog. update - this may have changed recently with Blogger now allowing blogger blogs to use Adsense.
* Sites accepted into the Adsense program are also required to be easily navigable, have an adequate quantity of text based content (donít apply if youíve been blogging a week) and be written in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, or Spanish. They may not to have excessive advertising or other contextual/competing advertising.
* Whilst not stated in the Adsense Policy document, many also believe that sites accepted into the program also need to have reasonable levels of traffic. If your blog is new, it may be worth waiting a few weeks or months before applying to build up traffic and content levels. Others speculate that a professionally designed, well-organized and privately hosted blog has a better chance of being accepted. The more professional and successful your blog appears the more likely it is to be accepted by Adsense.
If still in doubt after reading Google Adsense Program Policies you can email Google for clarification or just apply and see how you go.
Of course, acceptance by Google into the Adsense program does not guarantee your success. The fact remains that certain blogs will always be more successful than others at generating income.
Future posts in this series will focus upon strategies and tips for increasing your revenue but it should be stated here that the most successful sites are generally sites with very high traffic levels and/or content that is directly related to a particular product or service (the more targeted and niche-like the better).
It is also worth saying that Adsense works best on pages with lots of text content. It only reads text in determining ads, not images so make sure you have enough relevant content.