| 4:46 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Excellent post - some thought-provoking strategies there, goodroi. Especially liked the idea of reconceptualising one's site as a stand-alone advertising channel.
Just, I don't agree with this assertion:
|Adsense is producing a lot less bang than it has in the past. |
That's true for some and not for others.
| 5:33 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Good stuff. Agree all the way across the board. We always have to be on the lookout for ways to sweep those extra pennies off the table. And as you know, and just to reinforce a point, AdSense along with complementary affiliate deals on niche sites is one of my favorite plays. Haven't had time to look into ad deals as yet, but with this goose from you I guess I should look to including them.
|After spending long, grueling 3 hour work days... |
...makes us folks putting in 4 to 6 hours a day at the grindstone feel our ROT (return on time) is not quite upto snuff ;-).
| 5:38 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)|
thanks and you are right. not every site/industry is seeing an adsense decrease. i should have added "overall for my network of sites". my main point is to not settle for less money and to reach for more.
| 2:16 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Funny, I've been removing more adsense ads every time I mess with my pages and after consistently going down year after year it finally has an uptick even with the lower impressions I give them. Even so, I won't put any more ads up. Good ideas and nice thread.
| 3:13 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
We diversified a long time ago for fear of having too many eggs in one basket. Adsense is still our top earner... but it only accounts for about 40% of our revenue. With a nice mix of CPM deals and affiliate programs, we get some pretty stable income.
Well, nothing is "stable" in the internet world, but you get my point.
Of course traffic is king the rules all of us, but that is another topic/discussion. We are working hard to build-up our mailing lists and communities to help diversify our dependencies on search, etc.
| 3:44 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I've learned through trial and error what works (and what doesn't work) on my site. AdSense works adequately, display ads now work even better, and the right affiliate programs work best of all. The tricky part has been identifying the "right" affiliate programs (i.e., the ones that will generate the most revenue and that won't stiff you when it's time to get paid). There's no substitute for real-life experience with topics, traffic, and revenue sources in your niche, which you can acquire only by making a commitment to building and maintaining a site over the long haul.
| 3:53 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Excellent post and I have to say for some time I just watched my AdSense income fall. Then I stopped complaining that I might have to start "working" again, sitting and writing for a few hours a day, to start building more content. But it's working; more traffic is leading to more revenue. And I've also approached companies about direct advertising, just like we used to do in the old days before AdSense. It's working, too. So AdSense has been a boon but it has made us lazy and spoiled. There are other ways to make money.
| 4:16 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I want to start up with affiliates; I've been doing increasingly well with AdSense, but I get so much traffic in season that I feel like I'm missing opportunities. Just can't figure out what type of affiliates are likely to appeal to my traffic.
| 4:22 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Trial and error is the only way to find which affiliates work for your traffic. We went through about 50 programs before we found a few good matches.
Just start! Join a few general affiliate programs that offer everything under the sun. Once you find a few programs that seem to work ok, move on and try to partner directly with those types of programs to cut out the middleman.
| 4:28 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
to select the affiliate programs that my audience will best respond to i use a bit of trial and error. before i join an affiliate program i add their ad to my site and give them a few days of free traffic. this lets me find out if my web audience is interested or not. it costs me a few days of free advertising but saves me alot of hassle by not applying to affiliate programs that my audience won't even respond to. it also helps protect my reputation with affiliate managers (which helps when i negotiate special deals) since this method makes sure i only join programs that i can generate traffic for.
ps this does not guarantee that the traffic will convert
| 4:54 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|Checking Out Contextual Alternatives |
I just want to add that I agree that there are no contextual alternatives to Google in USA. However there maybe alternatives if a large part of your audience are not from US of A.
| 5:26 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I can't stress enough how important it is to look at every aspect of an affiliate program and then test it out carefully. I've looked closely at hundreds of programs, tested dozens, probably, and have only ever made significant money with four or five. And a couple of those were killer programs that only a few other people anywhere were pushing hard.
For me the just-barely-tolerable point is where Amazon.com performs on my site. If a program doesn't show signs of being able to do at least that well, then I drop it -- it's just not work my while to keep a few derisory links up so that I can get a $25 check every now and again. OTOH, if it does better than Amazon, I run with it.
| 7:07 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|For me the just-barely-tolerable point is where Amazon.com performs on my site. |
If I used that as my criterion, nearly any affiliate program would do! Amazon has always been a complete bust on my site--even when I featured its links prominently back in 2001 or 2002. I guess this confirms that every site is different, and experience is the best (if not always the kindest) teacher.
| 7:28 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Great post. I've been working for a year to to phase out Adsense. That's not to say that i'll ever stop using Adsense, I'm simply trying to replace my Adsense income with other forms of revenue. Once replaced, any Adsense income is a bonus. The ultimate goal is to be 100% adsense independent, unlike last year when I was a full fledged adsense junkie in need of rehab.
| 9:13 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
In the old days, my site would be about X, very technical arcane topic with a one page list of books of same. And I'd get $350 a month in aff commission because someone'd buy a ton of power tools. But times have changed :)
| 9:27 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I overhauled one site to suit this:
Adsense = £500-£800 per month
Private Advertisers = £6000 per month
That's some difference, and this is in an industry where PPC spend is £10-£30 per click on Google.
I have actually left Adsense for most of my sites, the only place Adsense is doing better than affiliate banners is on my tech sites where Merchants pay a measly 1%-2% commission on sales.
| 2:32 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)|
One way to get a private recurring ad deal I can think of is adding a paypal button "buy a prominent listing" to a section of your site.
| 5:37 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|One way to get a private recurring ad deal I can think of is adding a paypal button "buy a prominent listing" to a section of your site. |
Depends on what kinds of advertisers you're trying to reach. You aren't going to get the big corporate display advertisers with a PayPal button.
| 6:37 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|Adsense = ï¿½500-ï¿½800 per month |
Private Advertisers = ï¿½6000 per month
That's impressive. Could you share a little about how you did this? Did the advertisers approach you or vice-versa? How did you determine what your ad space was worth?