Strategy updated: I’m now running two more ads (3 total) on the case study blog as per a reader’s comment.
The holidays are an important time to set goals. As such, I usually blow it and just end up eating cheeseburgers at the snow chalet.
Maybe you’re more productive than I am.
If not, take a moment, read (probably just skim) this post, and set an important goal with me. I double dare you.
Let’s Get Started
Raise your hand if you use Adsense on a blog.
Now raise your other hand if you started blogging (perhaps on Blogger) thinking Adsense would make you rich.
So wh7 are w4 sti;; eating ild cy33zburg+s?
That was me writing “so why are we still eating old cheeseburgers?” with my face.
If you don’t currently use Adsense, you can start today!
Earning Money on Adsense is Easy
Or so it seems.
Quick note: This is the first time I’ve ever really looked at Adsense and revealed my Adsense earnings. I wanted to create a challenge, which I hope you’ll join in at the end.
To start earning money on Adsense you sign up at Google, then copy and paste some code on your blog. It’s that simple.
Google tracks everything and deposits earnings straight into your account. It’s all done automatically, too. Who wouldn’t want in on this?
The simplicity and effortlessness of the process is what’s so alluring to everyone.
Here’s the link to sign up to Adsense. There’s also a button in my sidebar.
Great, you’re in. All you need now are:
- Clicks: Start at $1 and earn more over time
- Views: Google pays for views, like a billboard advertiser would
- Traffic: The more the merrier
It seems great – you start a blog, you’re putting work into it, and you’re bound to earn money. You should, after all – Google can afford it.
The Sobering Truth
At first, you’re super-excited and writing 10 blog posts a day. Next thing you know, you’re burnt out. You check the Adsense bank each day and see no progress.
You try clicking an ad, and earn a dollar but you know Google just knows.
Maybe you even try going to the Apple store and clicking your ad. Great, two dollars!
The sobering truth of Adsense is a lot of us earn $5-20 dollars and give up. It just doesn’t make sense putting effort in when life demands a lot more than $5-20 for a lot of things.
Of course, you keep those ads up on your blog or website hopeful things will add up, right? But you’re really just offering free business to Google and devaluing your own space that your audience inhabits.
The solution is to take action – and try something new.
Post a comment right now and tell me how much you think you can make in one month with Adsense, whether it’s $5 or $5000.
I hope it’s closer to the second one but I bet you it’s closer to the first.
The point isn’t to brag or anything though; I want you to set a goal for Adsense.
I’ve been doing some reading lately that indicates there is money in Adsense (I know, I know, I’m like 10 years too late with this) and I’d like to find out if it’s true. I don’t mean millions or paychecks like ShoeMoney’s. I mean good, honest advertising income in the realm of one paycheck per month.
The simple reality is this – even if you don’t click ads, other people do. Some people just think and act differently that you – and that’s how the world operates.
Do you know how much eHow makes from advertising? They started making millions each year after they stopped banning Google bots from their site. Even a mommy blog makes over $500 a month from Adsense. If they can make money, so can we.
Therefore there are actually two realities here:
- People do click ads
- Google does pay thousands upon thousands per month to Adsense publishers. They do. Still. Even today. I’m not kidding.
Given this, I think maybe we can make money on Adsense. I really do.
As an experiment, I’d like to offer myself and my Honest College blog as a case study.
Note to you: This is a kick-off post. As such, your encouragement could be everything. If you think this is a bad idea, now would be a good time to tell me 🙂 I’ll even post an earnings statement, which is scary for me. It’s the first post in a series I’ll hopefully run for 4 months.
My History with Adsense
To bring you up to speed, for the past two years, I’ve run Adsense on a blog of mine that in fact began on the Blogger platform. Adsense and I broke up for a bit when I moved to WordPress but she had left me about $100 for the cab fare. 😉
Problem is, in these two years, I’ve experimented very little with these ad units – relying on traffic and random clicks to earn about $100 a year.
*Eek, a dollar sign. That felt awkward; I’ll have to get used to this.*
However, things are increasing.
While I have earned enough through Adsense to make blogging itself profitable – proof in a second – what happens if I actually try to “optimize,” as they say?
So far Adsense has been paying me once a year. Screw that. I’d like to make it monthly.
What Do I Mean “Increasing”?
When I first installed an Adsense ad, I started out begging for clicks, asking friends to help out, asking readers to click if they enjoyed a post.
Which BTW is not a bad strategy, really.
However this confused people, made them think I was a scammer, and earned me about enough for a one way train ride to New Jersey. Gr-r-reat.
I’ll show you a screenshot in a moment. First let me tell you how much I earned the first month.
First month of Adsense – October 2010 – Earnings $7.23
It actually took me until March of 2012 until I got my first paycheck. That’s 17 months of work (but I wasn’t working on it).
After employing what I really can only call lazy strategies including moving ads, using more ads, and changing the color of ads, I found myself here:
One year into Adsense – October 2011 – Earnings $85.48
Laziness doesn’t pay – this was still not enough to actually see any money . . .
Direct Deposit #1
My first payment came in March, 2012 to the tune of $108.17. Woo-hoo! Aside from a free Sony Vaio I reviewed way back, I think this was the first earnings my blogging had seen. 🙂
First Adsense Payment – March 2012 – Paid $108.17
What’d I do with it? That’s actually another story (FYI, I invested it).
Any of you who’ve earned from Adsense know it feels pretty great. I’m not saying this to brag, just to nudge my readers who’ve been equally fortunate to share a comment on it. 😉
So, what happened then?
Nothing. I continued to be lazy, and a year literally whipped by. Of course, I did do a lot – I started Dear Blogger and answered about 1000 blogging questions in a week.
Second Adsense Payment – March 2013 – Paid $112.63
At this point, a little over a hundred dollars richer, I could have thought a couple things:
- Cool, I’ll make about $100 a year doing nothing. That’s more than I’m spending on blogging, which makes it profitable, and I’m happy.
- Not cool; I want to earn more!
Instead, I thought neither. I focused on writing the kind of inspiring content that built a big audience here. The Adsense check buzzed past me and probably funded the bad habit I have for coffee drinks 😉
But . . . Something Changed
I was paid in March, then again the following March. You’d think I would keep getting paid each year, right?
Wrong – the third payment came 6 months after my second.
Third Adsense Payment – October 2013 – Paid $104.43
So, where I had first gotten paid once a year, now (as in now, currently) I’m getting paid twice per year.
Time to take hold of this? Yep.
Time to Amp Things Up
Given I’m realizing that I can double my Adsense earnings in 1 year by just doing nothing, what could I achieve by actually trying to optimize?
More importantly, what can any of us who have been casually running Adsense ads, basically funding Google’s business for free, learn about improving our own earnings?
To be honest, I don’t know, but I’m pumped up.
This is a screenshot from Honest College taken early December 2013.
Based on the screenshot, and some quick math, this is what I’m figuring:
- My goal in 4 months: $100/month
- Current average earnings: $20/month
- Current visitors per month: 8000
- Average earning per click: $1
- I have to find out how to make these 8000 unique visitors 400% more effective. Yikes. That doesn’t sound too good. (100% increase would take me from $20 to $40…and so on)
- I have to figure out how to get 5 times as many clicks. That’s a bit better. (20×5=100)
- I have to figure out how to get 100 clicks per month with 8000 visitors. Okay, we’re getting somewhere! That’s 1.25% of my traffic who I need to convert to at least one click.
That sounds doable. Monthly Adsense earnings here I come! All this excitement brings me to what I meanto say all along:
The Dear Blogger Adsense Ante Up
Back in highschool we’d ante up in Texas Hold’em poker to take home some spare change in winnings – so this title seemed to make sense 🙂
Increase Your Adsense Earnings Over The Holidays
With a little help from Dear Blogger
No, this is not some you-click-I-click scheme silly! I would just simply like to pose a challenge. This is really easy, and really just requires a moment of your thoughts if you’re up to it.
The rest should be fun!
I challenge you to try and make one Adsense paycheck per month and I’m going to challenge myself to do the very same thing.
That means $100 per month from Adsense.
This isn’t life-changing money, but if you’re a creative person who blogs each day, I think it’s well-deserved money.
BUT . . . I’m Going to Need Your Advice This Time
I plan to do the following things to increase Adsense earnings at my college advice blog, Honest College:
- Remove the ad in my header
- Remove the 468 x 60 ad at the top of blog posts
- Insert a large 336 x 280 large rectangle ad unit at the top of blog posts
Head over there right now and check out the current ad layout. I’ll be making these changes at around 12:00am EST on Thursday, 12/12/13.
Those are literally the only strategies I’m going to employ to start off this journey, which I plan to have last 4 months.
It’s a relatively short time period, but this will force me to take action. I’m all about short deadlines. That said, I need your help with any strategies you use on your blog or that you think would work on my blog. Remember, the goal is to figure out relatively quick tweaks to get paid more from Adsense. I don’t care about the earnings and really $100/month isn’t going to change my life. I hope at the end of this we’ve all shattered our expectations in Adsense so we can earn more in order to keep investing in, and growing, our blogging.
What would change lives is a successful Adsense case study run right here, and I think we can do it. I’m inspired; are you?
Think I Can Do It?
If so, here’s how you could help out today!
- Let me know how I could use my existing traffic to get more clicks
- Share your ideas on copy that generate Adsense conversions
- Share your own personal stories
- Give me just a thumbs up for doing this experiment/case study
Can WE Get There?
Like I said above, this isn’t about the money at all – this is about creating a lasting set of strategies we can all use to actually get rich (or get paid once, or whatever) from Adsense.
The only way we can make much of a splash with this is engagement.
Here are some suggestions for how you could help in the comments:
- Post your goal
- Let the community know if you’ve made any money in the past. Bragging definitely allowed.
- Tell a story of how you got there, or where you’re at, or where you’re stuck!
- Toss us a thumbs up
As I finish off this post, I sort of know it will be a success, because I’m judging success on whether we have fun with it – how much fun is totally up to you 😉
Don’t forget, this is the start of a four-part monthly series. I’ll provide updates on my progress (or lack of it) each month.
Please post a comment today and share your many thoughts.