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This 231 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 231 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 > >     
When people ask,
"So, what do you do?"

 9:28 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you do Adsense full time, how do you reply to them? I just got back from a bit of a vacation and while meeting many new people at various holiday functions this question came up over and over again. "So, what do you do for a living?"

"I work at home on the Internet as a web publisher." They then usually ask what I mean by "web publisher". Followed by "Who pays you to do that?". And, finally, they come up with a creative way to ask "How much money do you make doing that?".

On one particular night of being asked what "I do" over and over, I decided to just say that I owned a computer related business. But, this just made things worse. "Oh computers! My brother works for a software company and makes good money there. So, what exactly does your company do in regards to computers?" Then, I was just back to square one, but with more explaining to do.

What do other Adsense full-timers, possibly with employees, say when asked this question? I'm just curious, thanks in advance for any comments.



 5:21 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)



 5:25 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

yea...you see you dont ask bout the website earnings...LOL


 6:03 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wuz wondering how much a Guru earns...

(I KNOW how much a website earns :) )


 6:53 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm an uberguru


 7:01 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

... and after whatever explanation I've given I sometimes add:

"And if you listen very carefully.....(pause in conversation while I cup my hand to my ear and listen intently for a few seconds)... KERCHING! That's me making money"

- it usually gets them interested - or turns them away thnking I'm some kind of lunatic! :)


 7:11 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

During the first few months of my adsense day, I used to brag a little bit to my officemates about it, but now no more. I don't want any of them to join adsense, not because I don't want them to make money but because they might tempt to click their own ads whey they become a publisher. I am logging in to my adsense account from dozens of computer in different offices of my company and don't want to be associated my account with any other adsense account for fear of click fraud. So now, I'm just telling anyone who asks - I'm selling anything on the internet.


 8:06 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am logging in to my adsense account from dozens of computer in different offices of my company

I logged into my account when I visited my internet promotion clients in their companies.

This was before I started to read here "I got banned" discussions.

Now I spend money for my GPRS connection, even when I could use the network of my client where I visit.


 8:24 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would say that I own the Internet. Yes, the entire thing. Well, except porn, that is owned by my cousin. Anyway, Google pays me so that people can use MY internet.


 9:46 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

yes, let's all do an Al Gore and say we invented the intarweb. ;)
That should make them look funny for a second :D


 9:49 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, one of my officemates thinks internet is owned by Bill Gates...


 10:11 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I usually say that it just happened that my internet related hobby turned out to be profitable for the time being. I say hobby because first, I can't call it a business - too unstable, too organic traffic related, too... you name it; second, when people hear "hobby", they usually stop investigate further. No "how much do you make?" questions.


 12:59 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here is my answer -


If its a GAL - I HACK ATMs. Wanna see me working?
And she says "oooo, thats cool. Lets GO!" ;-)

Just kiddin guys. I love this forum. I am just one of you. I am just a part time Adsenser. So, dont need to give goofy answers.


 8:24 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a sort of funny story about this. Well first of all, whenever I tell people I have an internet business, they all say: "oh I see, what is it porn?" That sort of bothers me, but at a bar last new years eve I saw a High school buddy who was a little intoxicated. I told him I had an internet business. He then ended up telling basically my entire HS graduation class (graduated 5 years earlier) that i was in the Porn business.

Basically everyone that I graduated with now thinks I am involved in porn (not just having sites but actually being in the pictures).

Instead of saying I have an internet business, I now say I have an advertising business in which I help advertise financial services (my website is about investing).

People think that the only way to make money online is from adult entertainment. This is far from the truth.


 8:38 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am a medical doctor having a medical website. My all friends are doctor; they ask me why I am wasting my time on computer. I told them that I am running a medical website which is free for users and I earn through google add. With about 6000 visitors per day my earning is much more than my medical job and from my own clinic. They don't beleive and laughing. According to them it is a fairy tale.


 9:10 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

thinks internet is owned by Bill Gates... - So does Bill gates


 9:15 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I dont mention my sites any more to anyone, people seem to think your in the adult business if you do and I get strange looks.

More than normal anyway.


 9:15 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am unemployable and live off the kindness of strangers. Would you mind buying me a drink?



 8:06 am on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Basically everyone that I graduated with now thinks I am involved in porn

Really? I think you should milk this as much as you can >;->


 11:49 pm on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good topic, I was interested to see others run into this too.
It's gotten much easier now that people actually tend to know what the internet IS. But after many years of this, I've found the easiest explanation as:
"We publish an INTERNET ONLY magazine and make money from advertisers." (of course half of them still ask, is this something in print I can pick up on the street or in the store - uh-duh)
Everyone knows what a magazine is and most know they make money from selling ads (or subscriptions) so it is very easy to relate from there. I guess you could subsitute "Yellow pages" or "newspaper" if that is more accurate for your case. We NEVER even mention Adsense or usually any other specific advertiser and just group them all together as "advertisers". All our other advertisers are on a flat periodic rate (like a magazine) or banner impression basis, so we don't get paid on a PPC basis on them anyway. Even our other direct advertisers assume we make very little to nothing from GAd and assume we just use it as place-fillers, when it is in reality just the opposite.
If they ask how well it pays I tell them "I'm in semi-retirement already and looking for an island somewhere to buy" (which isn't too very far from the truth). (Although I like Freq's response in the right circumstances too - from my usual appearance they'd probably find it more believable too :).
My wife on the other hand, is the more loquacious, outgoing, marketing type (she's actually responsible for direct selling banner ads and links on our site), insists on telling everyone excitedly:
"We run the number one site on (our topic) on the internet" and then proceeds to hand out a business card and then either tries to talk them into an advertising contract with us or tells them to tell all their friends to visit our site whenever they need (our topic). I've suggested she just get our domain tattooed on her forehead like the lady on ebay :).
As far as potential future competitors... we don't bother talking to them, or tell them the business sucks or act all excited and ask them if they'd be interested in buying ours. :-) If they ever actually ask how much, we have a pre-agreed price we both quote in the high 7 figures, but in reality I'd never sell, because I feel the constant ongoing income (with or without Adsense) is much more valuable than a one time lump sum which could become practically worthless overnight in today's economy (you don't butcher your cash-cow).


 12:44 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

"I own a bunch of different internet businesses"

The number one thing I hear in response to that is: "Oh, so you must do a lot of stuff on ebay and stuff huh?" Basically whatever they say I just nod and smile. I stick to the loose lips sink ships motto. Some friends think I am in the Mafia. Some think I build computers. Some think I am planning a hostile takeover of the internet/microsoft/the world. None of them are even close. Well, except the taking over the world thing...


 1:36 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I explain the whole web site, advertising thing quite clearly once through. If they are still unsure how I make my money they are not worthy of my attention. So simple.


 3:08 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Even our other direct advertisers assume we make very little to nothing from GAd and assume we just use it as place-fillers

My son was astonished to learn that AdSense was a major source of revenue for my site. He'd always assumed that I earned only a pittance from "those little ads."


 4:43 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

The simplest and the most approporiate answer is: I work for Google.


 5:22 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, it is not exactly true that we work for google, at least we are not employees of google, but we sell some service to google.


 5:57 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great thread... I was getting really irritable about this during the holidays.

I say: "I'm a publisher and own some internet properties."...

"Do I make money? Put it this way: if I stopped working today I'd still be making good income for the next 2 years without doing anything."

If that doesn't work: "Besides that I got in early on the dotcom bubble and did pretty well, so I spent a couple years travelling and I just do what I enjoy now."

"How do I make money on my websites? Have you heard of Google? I make money the same way they do, in fact they are one of my partners."

The worst is when they say something like... "It sounds like your doing pretty good with that stuff, you should try to get a job at Google!"

(smacking forehead)

Farmboy: I am single and have the same problem--the chicks just aren't digging us self-employed guys. I think perhaps being a bit flashier would help... or else they think you are a deadbeat who can't get a job.


 6:10 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm an independent advertising contractor.

I'm captain of a virtual ship named My Destiny.

I stay home and drink fruit juice and vodka from a coconut shell.

I sell trips on space vehicles (living in New Mexico I could work for Virgin Galactic or space aliens in Roswell).

I never, never mention AdSense or Google.


 6:39 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I say I'm a self-employed Web Developer. I manage websites and I sell advertisement space on it.

I get asked this a lot and it's best to be honest and modest. When you start saying stuff like "I work for google, tribal fusion, etc", "I am an webmaster", and "I run several business" you'll end up trapping yourself in a situation where you'll have to explain more about what you do. And in the end, they'll feel disappointed when they understand what you REALLY do.

First of all, I don't say I work for a company because I am self-employed and I pay a self-employment tax. I am not an employee of any company.
Second, I say I am a web developer. Don't ever use the word "master" (ex. webmaster) because people will think you went to university for 8 years or for those geeks, they think you're jsut another wannabe web designers.
When I tell them I'm a web developer, they'll have an understanding but won't know what you really do so I tell them that I manage websites.
Then they'll ask how I make money so I tell them that I place advertisements on my website.

They might have a hard time imagining my job but my objective is to prevent a question from turning into a discussion. By saying "I say I'm a self-employed Web Developer. I manage websites and I sell advertisement space on it.", it answers all their questions and they'll say "cool" instead of asking "what's your job like?".


 6:48 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I run an editorial travel site, so it's fairly simple for me to explain what I do. I just say something "I publish a travel Web site called [name of site]."

Sometimes people will ask how I earn a living from the site ("Are you a travel agent?" "Do you sell ads, or what?"). I say that the site is supported by advertising, just like a newspaper or a magazine, and that usually elicits a respectful "Oh, cool!" that ends the discussion. There's no need to explain that the banners are CPM, the Google ads are CPC, and the partner links are CPA. (And if I ever did try to give an explanation with those terms, the people would probably say "Uh...yeah, right" and move on to a more complex but familiar topic like the weather or sports.)


 6:54 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm a self-employed Web Developer. I manage websites and I sell advertisement space on it.

Thanks. It pretty neatly sums up what I am doing.
Maybe I'll have it tatooed on my forehead.


 9:36 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I find it best not to mention anything about the internet or websites - very few people will understand what you do and in my opinion it is too risky for a variety of reasons ...

1 Some people will think you are into porn

2 Some will think you are a lazy bum who can't hold down a 'proper' job.

3 Some people (if they are smart) will go to your website and think about setting up in competition - or think they will do you a favour by clicking on your adsense ads a hundred times.

I find the simplest response is to say "I'm in the widget industry" (substitute widget for whatever niche you happen to be in)

If they press for further details, I just say I'm involved in the advertising or marketing side of things (which is true, because I do a lot more than adsense).


Honest answer - and doesn't lead to further probing questions


 9:48 am on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Really you can tell them what you like. I once had a friend who was a machine operator in a factory that made photographic film. When asked what he did he replied, "I am a film producer".

And he was telling the truth :)

This 231 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 231 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 > >
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