Google Adsense Review – Is It Worth It? A 7 Year Tale

google adsenseI went through some of the journals I keep of my online progress and thought I would do a google adsense review about my 7 year journey. Most of the information below came not from experimenting with this site but other sites on different topics and niches. The reason you still see google adsense on RaymondBurton.com is because I do not have a worthy alternative to monetize this particular blog at this time. Once my new book is ready to go, I will give that product the premium advertising space.

On we go with the journal and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Thanks.

My Journey With Google Adsense – A 7 Year Tale

I know the power of residual and passive income and I’ve been chasing it for about two years now. Well three, but the first year I had absolutely no idea what worked or even what a meta tag was. Year two someone told me about this google adsense thing and I signed up.

I made the connection between more traffic meaning more clicks so I started looking into SEO (search engine optimization). That tied me up in a useless mess for about a year but then I started to see the light. General SEO is good, spending all day tweaking instead of writing content is a waste of time. I was also hand coding all my pages, now I blog.

Blogging has taken out the chore of hand typing my meta tags and looking at percentages of keywords. That brings up another point. I got caught in the keyword mamba… I started spending time at digital point using the keyword research tool and started to try and write around some of the oddest keyword combinations in hopes that I would sneak some traffic and increase my adsense revenue. Know what happened? I started to hate writing.

This is where steve’s blog comes in. Let me keyword that, so if I can help in any way it will, like so. I was reading steve’s blog on personal development and success. (See Steves Story With Adsense) (see? That’s helpfull linking. Its a resource and it helps the blog owner with keywords in the link). I found his site by doing some keyword research on “Adsense” at digital point and found him under “adsense revenue”.

(I know, old habits are hard to break, but look what I ended up finding.).

Long story short, I realized that I just have to start writing again about useful and original stuff from my own perspective. If its good, people will come, read it and tell their friends. Thats what its all about I guess! The coolest thing about steve’s site is it looks like I could spend hours there. I mean everything that I’m into! Making money, personal development, spirituality (I still cant see aura’s or tell what my dreams mean) and helping people while being rewarded for it.

The adsense revenue is simply a bonus for sharing. Yes of course you can throw up a couple of mini sites and have them tweaked out for niche markets and keywords so that you get the high click and CTR, but let me tell you; You will hate every minute of writing about something that you dont give a darn about and you might as well go to a 9-5 job if thats the case because the income is more secure! (More About Adsense Security Later)

I put a bunch of ezine article articles on some of my sites as a means of getting some quick content up, but from now on…its all me and who ever wants to share. But that is generally what happens when people start making the page views + adsense = money connection. You start thinking quantity over quality and you pump out useless content. I knew I had to stop doing that.

My Million Dollar Adsense Plan
$2000 a month from Adsense

Google adsense is the essence of residual income. But in order for it to do any good for us, we would need at least $2000 a month from adsense. Lets look at this realistically. Google adsense shows you how much you make and how many clicks you got in your reports section of your account. So lets say we did the math of money divided by clicks and found that we were getting .15 cents a click. If you want $2000 from google adsense you need 13,333 clicks a month. We all know that any exposure of an ad usually receives an approximate click through rate of 10-20% (Update: less now since you cannot put graphics by the ads). We are using standard figures for advertising here as to not violate any of google adsense rules.

Taking the optimistic route, common sense says we need people to visit and look at 66,665 pages a month to make $2000 from google adsense. That is a lot of traffic when you are first getting started. But no one said this was a get rich quick scheme. Just read on the Internet about traffic building strategies, do the common sense stuff and WRITE USEFULL ARTICLES. People will take care of the rest for you.

Remember this; people tell other people about cool things. The best thing is they will tell them gladly and you will be proud of your work and proud of promoting it yourself.

You really have to spend most of your time writing about the most profitable topic that is a passion of yours. I say passion because writing involves passion and if you are trying to write about something you don’t care about, then you just created what we call WORK. I’d rather have fun personally.

Some industries or topics cost advertisers more to bid on in google. This is bad for them but good for you because you will earn more dollars per click. If you are getting .50 cents a click instead of .15 then you just cut the amount of traffic you need to generate by a third to make the same money. Better yet, maybe you get the same traffic but earn 3 times as much.

*Note: One downfall of google adsense is that you never know what percentage of the click or the overall price of the click that the advertiser paid. (Adsense Update 2017: They now tell you your revenue share in the settings section) Meaning, you are hoping for a decent handout from google and that you are getting paid a fair percentage of the overall price of your web real estate.

Also think about general SEO for getting your traffic, because traffic is where the clicks from google adsense will come from. You can throw an obscure title that only someone passionate about the subject would know on your articles or something that is related to the article and people are actually looking for. If people are looking for you, they have a better chance of finding you and clicking on your google adsense.

Now a word to the wise, (that must be you cause it isn’t me!) I am not a guru of marketing. If I was, I would be writing an article on how to make $10,000 a month using google adsense. So use your noggin. I am still learning and there are an endless amount of ways to promote your website. Of course as I learn them, I will share them but what I am saying is I by no means have all the answers to making the moola.

So back to our million dollar plan. At this point, one of our options is of course to make more than $2000 a month from google adsense. This we could do. We could also make more from the traditional business model also (for me that would be one-on-one personal training), but where else can we put money into our pockets from the page views we are already receiving?

Hold That Thought…

$70 A Day And $2100 A Month Using Google Adsense

You know sometimes you just don’t know how good you have it. I was out looking for google adsense alternatives because I thought I wasn’t making any money, or not as much as I wanted at least. Then I come across people bragging about making $1400 a month in adsense (who’s blog no longer exists). According to problogger over 50% of adsense publishers make less than $1000 per month. There is a chart there you can look at also.

I dont know how long most of those sites have been on the web but the site that I make my money on has been online for about 5 years now. All I have done is write about what I love which is fitness.

Most people that would read this article have done their cost per click research and know that fitness is not the killer cost per click that some other topics pay out at but that doesn’t matter. I couldn’t write the content that I wrote over a 5 year period on something that I didn’t care about.

Making money with your website starts off as something to do, not survival. If it was survival, you would starve to death before you made any money. To make money with adsense or any of the google adsense alternatives you have to have traffic and traffic takes a while to build. If you have nothing of interest to read about on your site, you simply will never build any traffic. This is why your site should be about something you love. Something that you need to put down and get out of your system.

If the money doesn’t come, you are still fulfilled. Investing time writing on a google adsense topic that pays out well but you despise, means you’ll fizzle out before the money pours in. If in fact is does at all. Remember that any time you build a business model with a third party involved, that side of the triangle can be pulled out from under you at any time.

Now in my travels I also ran across weblogs. These guys are making $600 a day through google adsense?! WOW. Now that is what I call passive income. They have been using adsense as a revenue source since 2004. That was a kick in the pants for me seeing as I’ve been using it longer and am not making half that. Of course I don’t get a million page views either, so therein lies the secret. Worthy content, leading to lots of traffic and tons of clicks on your ads.

I need more traffic and then I can write a post about making $200 a day in google adsense and everyone will link to me! GOAL: Increase traffic by 50% to play with the big adsense dogs!

A little farther into the future…2009

100 Dollar Google Adsense Revenue Per Day

I just wrote about everyone else making so much google adsense revenue and lo and behold, I break my first $100 day with google adsense!

Its so bizarre but maybe there is a hidden message in there somewhere. The power of intention maybe? If I keep going this route though I’ll be stepping into Steve Pavlina territory.

Actually I signed up for his million dollar experiment a while back. (Update: 2 years later…I must have done something wrong *smile*)

Back to the google adsense review. With this last day happening, I am almost frozen. The problem is, I have not done anything different than usual. (And such is the case when you do not control the traffic) What that means is if I do not know what caused the spike in adsense revenue, I cannot duplicate it or increase it on demand. That’s a terrible business model.

So if your making $20 a day from the adsense program your probably looking for some adsense tips. Well guess what? I used to spend a lot of time looking around the net for adsense tips too and this is what I have chosen to use on my sites.

Google Adsense Review Tips

  • Lighter url color than main ad
  • The wider the ad the better
  • Large rectangular block
  • Ad inserted into the content (left or right wrap) and not on top.
  • If it doesn’t affect the reading experience, place your high paying keyword into the title tag.
  • Keep trying to boost traffic. This is the biggest thing. Yes, conversion is important but without traffic you get nothing. Nothing to measure, fix, adjust or make money from.

Give people what they want and they will come back to read more, and when they are done and still looking for more – click.

Another thing you want to keep in mind is that if you can find a high converting product that tightly matches the theme of your website, it will pay better than adsense. If you get 400 clicks at fifteen cents each you have made $60 in google adsense revenue. However if you have found something that converts at 2 percent and sells for 35 dollars then you can make 280 dollars a day. (That is a huge fact to remember.. honestly.)

Finding the product and losing the google adsense revenue while testing is the hard part!

At The End Of The Adsense Journey

About a year ago I went through some crazy times with the google adsense program. As a matter of fact, it’s still something I work with from time to time. Let me explain…

In 2007, adsense was treating me awesome. I could go on vacations to mexico and not even worry about work. I have to say that along with my personal training business, things were rocking.

Then something changed.

In late 2007, my online income from google adsense dropped like a rock. Note that I said my profits. Everything else stayed the same. My traffic was still very high and so was my CTR (click through rate). So what happened? The monetary value of a click in my account dropped. It was a good thing I didn’t move to Mexico at that time because I was seriously considering it.

Then I got hit with another google blow..

After the initial hit I started placing more emphasis on selling my workout routines online to make up for the lag in google profits. However, because I was still new to the product revenue model, Adsense still played a big role in my monthly online income. And that’s when the ball dropped.

I got an email from google stating that they no longer found the graphics located next to my Adsense ads to be in compliance with the TOS. So I removed the graphics next to the ads and lost half of my Adsense income in the process because of the drop in CTR.

At that point Adsense ceased to be profitable for me.

So where am I now with google adsense and my online revenue model? As you can see with this site RaymondBurton.com, I still use it occasionally. I use adsense on websites that I do not have another profitable monetization model for. For example, if I found a high converting affiliate program that the readers of RaymondBurton.com would benefit from, then I would drop Adsense off this site. However, until I do, this is the only way to easily monetize this site along with the paid sponsors in the navigation panel.

My other fitness related websites no longer have google adsense because I sell my own products on them and they do WAY better than Adsense and I don’t have to ever worry about the business model for them falling apart like adsense did a few years back. As well, the paid sponsors on those sites and my membership community add stability to my monthly income.

(Update 2017: I have killed off all my websites except this one. I have no rational reason why.)
(Update 2019: I have focused in on writing about a few things I enjoy without any idea how to make money off it. I may put adsense back on the site. If I do, I will add the new info to this google adsense review.

Now I’ll open the floor to you…

If you have a post to share on your adsense experiences or simply some comments to make, I’m sure the other readers would love to hear about them. Please leave a comment in the box below.

Coin Photo By Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil – Contando Dinheiro, CC BY 2.0

9 thoughts on “Google Adsense Review – Is It Worth It? A 7 Year Tale

  1. Nathan from New Orleans

    Hey Ray,

    I’ve never been into adsense but I just put it on my blog for now. I’m glad I found your post so I can refer back to it as I progress. I’m new to this whole thing and started a blog to try to keep myself on tract to try to lose weight. To call it a passion would be a stretch and it’s requiring some exercise work, but I’m hoping it will be enjoyable enough to continue after I lose a few lbs. I’ll subscribe here for both marketing and fitness tips!

    Reply
  2. Raymond Burton

    Hey Nathan, I’m glad you popped by! Trust me, when you start seeing the results, you’re only thought will be ‘When can I do this again so I can see more…”

    As for adsense, it’s a great painless way to make a few bucks…until you learn a bit more. Then you don’t want to lose the clicks.

    P.S. Most of the fitness stuff that’s free is at my other site http://www.raymondburton.com

    Cheers!

    Reply
  3. howtoNOTmakemoneyonline

    You mentioned Weblogs inc in yrou post. One thing people skip over is that when they announced they made $2k per day they also said they had 109 bloggers.

    Reply
  4. Bre

    “I got an email from google stating that they no longer found the graphics located next to my Adsense ads to be in compliance with the TOS.”

    So what was it? Adult scenes or were the colors just too ugly for Google to stand?

    Just curious as it seems like Adsense can close down for the silliest of reasons.

    Reply
  5. Raymond Burton

    I had the large rectangle ad which usually shows four ads. Beside each add I had a 50×50 (like on the front page of this site) graphic that was themed to the ad. I actually think (it was my fitness site) that I had a picture of weights, a bodybuilder, a set of abs and one more that was similar.

    Reply
  6. Bre

    Thank you for your reply, Raymond.

    “…had a picture of weights, a bodybuilder, a set of abs and one more that was similar.”

    Hmm, I wonder how that is a violation.

    I have found many stories about people getting their Adsense accounts closed for oftentimes no discernible reason at all.

    This is one reason why I’ve been hesitant to try them out. I’d hate to get my account closed or penalized all because someone at Adsense dislikes the look of barbells and abs.

    Reply
  7. Raymond Burton

    Bre, I should make it clear that I DID NOT get my account terminated by adsense. They just sent me a letter saying I was in violation of the TOS. It was then I took the graphics AND ads down and pursued a different business plan for the website.

    Every now and then I put the ads back up for some free cash but usually end up taking them down again quite quickly because of the low payout in my niche.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  8. Pingback: The Truth About Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow

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