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This 144 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 144 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 > >     
You too can make $5.35/hour with AdSense?
Let's Look at Some Numbers
ronburk




msg:1432938
 3:36 am on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I fear for all the newbies who may get skewed expectations (OK, even worsely skewed than they walked in with) by reading this forum. People everywhere seem to be making thousands of dollars a month, Markus makes millions per year, and... so you must be an utter dolt if you're sitting there staring at your $105 check for last month.

Maybe not.

Like most web distributions of everything, there's a power law effect for people going after AdSense income. In other words, a few people (and you can bet they post to let us know who they are!) are going to make the lion's share of the money, some larger number of people are going to make OK money, and a whole lot of us are going to make, well, not really very good money at all.

Of course, the whole lynchpin of the winner-take-all society is the way that our insane belief that we'll be one of the lucky few helps us keep plugging away for a pittance. The large number of ghetto kids who are certain they're going to be NBA stars have a lot in common with AdSense slave-workers who are convinced they're going to be the next Markus-like Millionaire.

But let's run some numbers anyway, even though everyone who thinks the numbers couldn't apply to them will keep thinking that way. It won't change anyone's behavior, but maybe seeing some numbers that actually match your own experience (as opposed to making you ashamed of your own experience) might be a pleasant change.

Scenario

There's a million ways to skin the AdSense cat, but certainly the straight-shooter, white-hat, Build Good Content and Good Advertisers Will Come approach is used by a whole lot of new AdSensers. Practically speaking, if you're just now embarking on a black-hat, get-rich-quick scheme, then you're so far behind the old-timers (and Google) that the odds against you are even crueller anyway.

So here's the scenario: You're going to make your AdSense gold by building good content and getting ads, and over time the dollars will just keep mounting up.

Assigning Numbers

Of course, AdSense income varies very widely by topic and by what SmartPricing thinks of you this week. But still, I think it's possible to arrive at some plausible guesses for some average income.

One oft-quoted guesstimate claims that people in the AdSense content business make roughly $10/page per year. But I'm going to say a more realistic estimate is $5/page per year. That's probably better than you're going to make off a joke-of-the-day type of content, but probably plausible for anyone who does a modest amount of investigation about where likely good income topics lie.

I know, if you're a newbie you're thinking "oh, I'm pretty sure I can beat $10/page per year". I know, you're special, but remember that this set of numbers is aimed at what's going to happen to most newbie AdSensers, not really smart people like you, to whom the odds do not apply.

Also keep in mind that a number of things conspire against the new AdSenser. If you got few pages, it's harder to get natural inbound links. It's harder to get PR and harder to rank highly for popular terms. Think of AdSense like one of those online games where you have to spend the first part of the game being a toady and doing a grunt work to get enough gold/skills/whatever to actually have any fun (and to avoid being wiped out by the first opponent you look at funny).

So yes, however improbably low you think it, let's go with $5/page per year.

Next, of course, is how fast can you write pages? As always, there's a trade-off here. Two sentences per page is going to let you crank a lot out quickly -- but lower the odds that they'll actually do you any good. And, if you just write crap, you greatly lower the odds you'll get any of those "natural", one-way, inbound links from authority sites.

Google is not magic, but if you think they have not managed to achieve at least a rough correlation between rankings and actual website quality/usefulness, then why are you investing time in this business anyway?

Also, you ain't gonna live off the income from your initial 10-page AdSense site, so you've probably got to spend some time elsewhere making a living. You probably can't work 10-hour days on nothing but creating content. And, many people have actual families or other frivolous pursuits that keep them from working 7-day weeks. And remember, we're looking for numbers that describe what's going to happen to most newbie AdSensers who embark on this expedition.

I want to go with a number of 2 hours per page, and 4 hours per day. And I'll assume you work on this project 5 days per week, and 50 weeks per year.

Multiplication!

Now comes the fun part. You plug away at this AdSense thing for a year, and where do you think you (the imaginary "average" AdSenser) will be?

Well, after a year, you've got 50 weeks * 5 days/week * 2 pages/day = 500 pages. Wow! Let's hope you picked a topic that you could actually write that much about! (What was the most number of pages you ever wrote for a term paper? Hmmmmmm...)

Now how much yearly income will your website make you at that point? Well, 500 pages * 5 dollars/page/year = $2500/year = $208/month.

Is it Worth It?

Let's suppose after that year of work, your website will produce as estimated for a while. Of course, you don't really make that $2500 in year 1, because your page count was slowly growing from zero during the first year. And some people are going to find that their website earnings on a "frozen" site go up, while many will find them going down sooner or later, due to competition or algorithm changes.

But to make the math easy, let's assume (conservatively I think), that your total earnings (even in the face of Google algorithm changes) from this website will be at least 3 * $2500 = $7500 -- even if you do no other work on it after the end of year one. One of the paybacks for doing true-blue, white-hat, decent content development should be that you're less likely to get "wiped out" completely by a Google algorithm change, though I would not expect the website to earn it's peak forever with no changes.

So, you made $7500 and all you invested was 50 * 7 * 4 = 1400 hours. That's right, you made $5.35/hour.

Sorry, you grossed $5.35/hour. You'll probably need to be paying taxes (and some Social Security in the U.S.) on that. But still, you had the pleasure of being your own boss, eh?

Conclusion

Disagree with my assumptions? Of course you do! But if you're an AdSense newbie, you should at least look at the numbers and then see whether your own estimates are panning out as you go.

After a couple of months of AdSense work, do you have more or less than the 80 pages of content I'm assuming the average AdSenser will have?

After a couple of months of AdSense work, are you making more or less than the $.14/page per day I've assumed here?

After a couple of months of AdSense work, do you have more or less than the 160 hours of invested time I guesstimated for this model?

Am I anywhere close in my estimation of what will happen to the average AdSenser? I don't know, but I suspect this flimsy model is a lot closer to reality than you'll get by reading posts by people who are on the sweet end of the power-law curve. People at the much more heavily populated end of the curve (that's the part that looks an awful lot like a flat line) rarely post their earnings experience.

Sometimes I wonder if those unrealistic expectations don't lead to more cases of outright fraud, as people decide that must be what "everyone else" is doing, since "everyone else" seems to be striking it rich with AdSense.

Am I telling people not to try to make AdSense? No. But I'm telling people to not do AdSense instead of getting an education, to not quit their job to do AdSense, to not forego relationships to work more on AdSense. And if you're here to tell me that you did all those things and you're now the NBA star equivalent of AdSense, well, just remember that one bad injury can take you out of the game forever.

 

Alex_Miles




msg:1433028
 5:55 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Arbicus said,


At the same time it is not wrong to "give the impression that you can make thousands a month with very little effort"

It is just an impression.

I grew up among people who considered it a personal virtue to put a lot of 'effort' into everything. Everything except thinking.

I have therefore come to value technique over effort. It breaks fewer fingernails.

The next thing is positive thinking. I don't mean the 'I can do anything I think I can'. Thats plainly not true no matter how often you say it. But the kind of positive thinking where you imagine what your ideal result would look like.

Most people, IMHO, spend far too much time in the here and now, focussing on current problems and 'the real world'.

I like to set to work following through on one of my ideas (the best idea in the world is only as good as its implementation) and while I'm doing the routine work, I let my mind wander towards how I want things to pan out. This is important.

Whatever you habitually fill your mind with is taken, on an unconscious level, as an instruction. The mind will scan the real environment all the time, looking to make your 'vision' real. So your vision best be a good one full of success and not some worst case scenario. Plan for the worst case, but invest your *emotions* into the best one.

I like to imagine myself in an imaginary future, having lots of free time for mischief, enough money, and a big happy smile on my face. Then I look around my vision to see what I'd *had* to do to achieve that. What does success look like? How was it achieved? You can track a path back from this vision to the here and now. How is the infrastructure of your life different? What present condition was necessary so this future could happen?

Come back to earth then get to work on that condition!

When I made my $72 pages, my mind sure didn't have $5 in mind. It saw itself telling the truth in an area full of BS. Once I'd done that a queue of grateful little customers and merchants began to form from here to the horizion and in their hands they held $100 bills which they would fold into little paper aeroplanes and launch, one after the other onto the breeze, in my general direction.

In that case I had social utility in mind more than money, but the money happened too. It never occurred to me the site would fail.

If you think you will fail, you *will* fail due to lack of follow-through - and the numerous ways the mind has of proving itself right.

If you think you will succeed, you might.

[edited by: Alex_Miles at 6:13 am (utc) on Mar. 29, 2006]

natural number




msg:1433029
 6:12 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

PPC is not a zero sum game.

farmboy




msg:1433030
 6:19 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Speaking of good content and making money...

Suppose I research widget making and come up with about 25 pages of good content on widget making. I don't publish those 25 pages, throw up AdSense ads and hope my free content spurs a good return via AdSense.

I publish 2 pages with AdSense on them and then put the other 23 pages into an ebook that I sell. On the two pages, in addition to my AdSense ads, I link to my other site where I sell the ebook.

I sell the ebook(s) via ClickBank. By not having AdSense ads on my ebook sales page, affiliates are encouraged to help me sell my ebook.

And then back on those 2 pages of content where I have my AdSense ads and link to my ebook site, I might also put up my own affiliate links to related products.

So now instead of having those 25 pages of content and only 1 source of income, I have three sources of income from the same 25 pages.

Then I repeat. And repeat.

As I get more affiliates working for me, I'm less and less directly dependent on search engine rankings.

The median household income in the U.S. is about $45,000. That's household income - meaning in a lot of homes, both hubby & wife get up every morning and slog off to work 8 hours (or more) for the boss.

The Internet operates 365 days a year. I divided 365 into 45,000 and discovered that just by averaging less than $125/day in income, I could develop an "automated system" where I could earn as much as some of my neighbors who went to work every day. That was motivating.

I broke the $125/day down into small goals - achieving each reasonable goal was motivating/encouraging.

Just by reading your posts - without knowing you or knowing your sites - I think some of you are limiting your income by focusing so much on AdSense.

If you play by the rules and are upset about MFA sites and AdSense not enforcing their stated terms - the same terms you strive to meet - ask yourself if you really want a company like that to be your primary business partner?

Personally, I'm glad AdSense exists and think it was a brilliant idea. But I look at those hypothetical 25 pages of content as 25 billboards that I own. I'm not willing to use all 25 for AdSense's benefit. They have some improving to do in my book. Once I see some of those improvements, maybe I'll give them 5 or 10 billboards and see how they handle it.

For now, they get 2 and have to earn the rest.

If we all get to the point where, collectively, they need our content pages more than we need them, concerns about MFA sites, smartpricing, etc. will get some attention.

Think diversification.

FarmBoy

arubicus




msg:1433031
 6:19 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Whatever you habitually fill your mind with is taken, on an unconscious level, as an instruction. The mind will scan the real environment all the time, looking to make your 'vision' real. So your vision best be a good one full of success and not some worst case scenario. Plan for the worst case, but invest your *emotions* into the best one."

So true. Your mind tends to filter most things that are not important to you and notices the things that are. Kind of like buying a new car. After you purchase the car you begin to notice other cars out there just like yours. Something you never noticed before. Whatever you focus on is what is most real to you. - If I got the saying right.

You ask from the world through actions and thought. Make them good. If you stray you are asking for what you are straying too. If you get lazy you will find more time on your hands as well as decrease in money due to your lack of giving back value.

Yep we must have read the same stuff. Or have been drinking that same funny smelling green water.

uhzoomzip




msg:1433032
 7:31 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I read through just about every post in this thread and think that while there is a lot of validity to the original post as so many have pointed out it only shows a limited picture and could definitely move many to shy away.

I think one thing that has not been mentioned in all this (or maybe I just missed it) is that in the time taken to pursue this endeavor it would stand to reason that those that stick through the $5.35 or less times would constantly be learning (like many of us are doing here) and thus working to improve those numbers.

As one person said business is a game.

I say that the only way to get good at a game is to learn, practice, and analyze the results.

The entry point to any business is practice and that is why you may only make $5.35 an hour. It stands to reason that the more you practice the better you will get and therefore the more you should make (up to the point of diminishing returns).

For others who comment on positive attitude I agree wholeheartedly.

This also can be learned and seems as if anyone who sticks to it would by default ask themselves what am I doing wrong that i am not benefiting from my efforts in the way I wish to benefit (ie: Why am I making only $5 an hour)

Read books about successful living (7 Habits, Think and Grow Rich) and the principles (the same ones you will find in The Bible) apply to everything in life.

I believe you make most of your own "Luck" by continually putting yourself in the places you need to be so that when opportunity arises you can take advantage of it (opportunities always come).

All these things are a part of learning and inevitably being successful in whatever it is you are doing.

A final word about Tom Cruise et al.

Those guys (Tom Cruise, Shaq, etc) are not magical guys and while they may posess some level of talent (Tom Cruise is debatable) we all posess talent. Find yours and make it work in your favor just like those guys did.

[edited by: uhzoomzip at 7:34 am (utc) on Mar. 29, 2006]

incrediBILL




msg:1433033
 7:33 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

For those that complain their website doesn't make enough income then maybe you're wasting your time on the wrong website, putting up the wrong content, or simply shouldn't be in this game to start with.

There will always be people that make more income than you like markus and his millions or some idiot like me, the thousandaire, but make no mistake about it, you CAN theoretically build a cash cow if you're smart enough and persistent enough.

Whether you can quit your day job now or 3 years from now is another problem.

It requires having all your ducks lined up in a row as you can't be a kick butt writer but not make content designed for SEO at some level, nor can you ignore other marketing aspects. If you're just a content writer and you're any good at all, partner up with someone else that's good at SEO and bad at writing, build a team and you might have 3 people sharing a good amount of money vs 1 person sitting on a poorly publicized gold mine.

Additionally, I'll point out one more flaw in this thread is WRITING PAGES by the boatload as a way to earn money. The thing markus and I both have in common is we both built websites where the end user creates the content, it's not a blog or forum, and markus snared a much better segment than I did. Doesn't mean I might not try a different segment some day that makes a heck of a lot more than I do now, but I'm not unhappy with what I have done already although a little more hard work may generate a heck of a lot more.

Use your creativity and you might just make the next run away website, if nothing else you might just make a replacement income.

I don't mind seeing the devil's advocate come out to play but I've always been a believer that if I put my mind to doing something, it will be successful, and I'm sure many of you can do so as well.

I'm not just talking about AdSense either as there is a lot of internet loot to cash in on if you just look around and it's waiting for one clever idea to blow away the competition.

Rock on ;)

Alex_Miles




msg:1433034
 8:13 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Arbicus said,


Yep we must have read the same stuff.

Oh yes. I just thought I'd go into the practical details, and not for your benefit either. I knew you already got it :)

I was dreaming the other day about my proposed lifestyle and I noticed it had other people in it, working on the boring bits. When I quit dreaming I made a list of the computer literate people I knew short of money and far from civilisation. One of them is starting next month.

Obvious to most people perhaps, but it honestly never occurred to me! I assumed I'd be at this alone forever because no-one else knew what I knew.

What conceit! The boring bits can be taught, then I get more time for lazing around, and dreaming.

Farmboy said,


I think some of you are limiting your income by focusing so much on AdSense.

Well it was the subject of the thread. I run Adwords accounts too and I'm an affiliate of a couple of merchants. But I'm taking next month off to write an ebook. Not so much to make money, but so everyone can can quit PMing me about my CTR!

When your hotmail account is so full of similar requests you can't even find the spam, that nature's way of saying you need an ebook.

Although, as the subject of the book is Adsense, you might be right.

arubicus




msg:1433035
 8:38 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

uhzoomzip

Excellent post BTW. I have those books also sitting on the shelf over the computer. The bible right next. Gotta keep the mind and spirit on track.

incrediBILL

All I got to say is bingo! You made some excellent remarks. Actually my business model resembles - even before adsense:

"The thing markus and I both have in common is we both built websites where the end user creates the content,"

Alex_Miles

Yep I got it get it and preach it. Gotta get the ol' mind upstairs working FOR YOU in a way that ADDS great things to your life not LIMIT you.

[edited by: arubicus at 8:40 am (utc) on Mar. 29, 2006]

leveldisc




msg:1433036
 8:40 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

The thing is epv that the article is complete rubish. It isn't a reality check. A reality check would have concrete FACT and express all aspects of the business. The article takes some random numbers and swayed to make a point. The article does not adress the realism of the money that CAN be made either to enhance the reality.

Agreed. Which is why I wonder what the point of the thread is?

Also, why as Adsense been singled out. It could have been affiliate marketing, day trading, window cleaning, anything.

Because some people succeed doesn't mean everyone will and because some people fail doesn't mean everyone will.

I would also promote the view that most people that succeed keep very quiet about it.

jimphilli




msg:1433037
 10:30 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good post ronburk, but I'm not sure I agree with everything.

You mention that Markus is making millions, and then went on to talk about how little the average newbie could make by writing content. You are right; you will NEVER make millions doing it that way, unless your name is Stephen King.

No one person can write that much. Markus certainly did not do it that way, so I suggest that you go back and re-read his thread, if you think that's what he was saying. He says he works 1 hr per day, not 20 furiously writing content.

I also disagree with the premise of "do something you like and just have fun".

The great businessman/writer Harvey Mackay wrote, "if you follow your heart in business, all you will end up with is heartache." I doubt that Markus had a burning passion for online dating, (but you never know, that's not a such a terrible passion to have!).

Markus talked about finding a way to let your users create content! Not you spending all your time writing content! There is a huge difference.

You are correct in that you will never break the bank writing tons of connect. Could you get a small supplemental income? Maybe. But real money, I really doubt it.

I've already made 7 figures in the brick and mortar world, and now I'm trying to do it again, online. But one thing you won't find me doing is slaving at the computer typing out content, it just can't be done that way.

One of my future competitors is making about $1 million per year, and didn't write a single page of their own content. They came online a couple of years ago, and within a few months they were making about $40k per month. Those are the types of sites that newbies need to try to emulate.

If you want to make money, choose an area that already makes money, duh! And then try to do it better and more effectively. Check the Alexa 1000, and see if there are any sites out there which a) did not write their own content, and b) you can some way replicate legally in a better way.

IMHO, the way to make the real money is to find a way to get tons of great content WITHOUT writing it all yourself. Otherwise, you can just join the $500 per month club.

zpbs1914




msg:1433038
 10:45 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

As a relative newbie, (about 1 year in), I have to agree with the OP-for those who do not-track your progress one year from now and see how close to accurate he is.

I don't feel that he (or I) want to crush anyone's dream, but realistic expectations are this-there are a LOT of players on this field right now. There is a lot of room for players, but getting good at the game takes time and patience. I term this enterprise (AM) in many ways the "21st century's answer to a sales rep" and the analogy is pretty accurate-some sales reps will do an excellent job out of the gate and learn and grow quickly, the majority of them will not and that results in the huge turnover in the sales field. Go in with eyes wide open-you can suceed, you can do well, it won't be easy.

Edwin




msg:1433039
 12:02 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

If anyone really invests 1,400 solid hours into building and optimizing websites (no cheating, that's actual on-the-clock working hours - and don't count the time it takes to learn to make an HTML page, just like you wouldn't figure in the time it takes to learn to drive when working out the return of a taxi-driving job) they're almost certainly going to be able to do much, much better than $5/page/year at the end of that much learning curve climbing.

So the reality is probably that the first few hours the per-hour rate is very close to $0 and then (for those who persevere and learn) the rate climbs... and climbs... and climbs. It's hard to see why it would plateau at such a low level if you're continuing to develop, promote, market and learn.

What probably kills it for many people starting out is it might take 100 hours of effort to move the needle far enough off of $0/hour to even be noticeable, and impatience sets in long before then. Especially when it can take 3-6 months for a site to be indexed and ranking in the SEs (this disguises latent success, as if you'd been plugging away at several pages a day during all of that time you could already have built the first foothills of a hill of gold - and never noticed it)

incrediBILL




msg:1433040
 12:48 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Especially when it can take 3-6 months for a site to be indexed and ranking in the SEs

Search Engines are NOT the only way to get traffic, far from it.

If that's the only marketing plan then you should find a consultant/partner that can market your site. You can launch a site tomorrow and get SOME traffic within a week, without spamming or other deceptive practices.

Getting 100 visitors per day isn't that complicated from the start. Won't be 10,000 visitors a day, but it could if you have something that goes completely viral.

Edwin




msg:1433041
 2:28 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

In my post, I assumed that initial "traffic other than from the SEs" knowledge is lacking, in the theoretical situation being discussed in this thread i.e. for a complete newcomer to Adsense/making some money on the web.

That knowledge can be acquired of course - just like most of us already have done so - but it's not something that novices will magically have at their fingertips, nor will they initially know they should be looking for it.

buckworks




msg:1433042
 2:46 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

nor will they initially know they should be looking for it.

That's a major hurdle to overcome. It can take a long time just to figure out the right questions to ask, let alone understand and apply the answers.

jimphilli




msg:1433043
 2:55 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have seen others on this forum suggest an adwords campaign to kick things off. I think Markus was one that suggested it. Hopefully, it would have a kind of snowball effect. I have heard rumors that the more inital traffic you have, the more the SE will take notice. Has anyone else heard that?

If it's true, then it might make sense to put a few k into advertising in the beginning.

inerte




msg:1433044
 3:04 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

jimphilli,

Sure it's true. Just think of "to-be" popular game or movie.

forex




msg:1433045
 3:40 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

But who made the real money? Not the diggers, for sure.

A relative few have everything they touch turn to gold.

Adsense is not an easy road to riches..

and now Ronburk tells us we get can $5.35 per hour, if we're lucky.

The internet business is not for everyone.

Adsense involves considerable amount of advertisement money.
I know a website that pays 25% direct commission on sale price. To earn maximum profit from website visitors, webmasters should display the banners of such high commission paying websites. This is cost effective & has the potential to give high profits

ronburk




msg:1433046
 4:30 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

There you go again. Stating a "law" as if were a static never changing occurance. It isn't static.

The basic shape of the power law distribution is static. The sharpness of the curve increases as the number of options available to people increase, but AdSense has reached such a large size at this point that the sharpness of the curve must be relatively stable. I'm guessing you have not studied the effect of the power law distribution in networks of people and choices, so I'll state one of the most important characteristics:

Most of the people are below average in a power law distribution.

That's right: take the average of all AdSense income and it is quite guaranteed that there are many more people with below average AdSense income than there are with above average income. If Google should ever reveal a good hint about the total number of AdSense publishers, then just knowing the the income of a handful of top earners would be enough to make a good estimate of how little most AdSensers make. That's true because of how unevenly distributed the income is.

The law of power distribution states that power also converges, exchanges hands, and/or created through divergence.

I think you've confused mumbo-jumbo with actual research. When I say "power law distribution", I mean y ~ 1/x. Whenever you cheaply connect people with choices, you see this curve arise. This is reasonably well-studied at this point. This is a curve where a shockingly large percentage of the "good stuff" (web traffic, AdSense income, etc.) is concentrated at one end, leaving relatively little to be distributed across the rest of the curve.

The law of power distribution also is not a zero sum game either. Power is created day in and day out. New business are formed. New diverged branches in technology and business. New ideas. New informtation. New channels of power open up. New channels to wealth are created by simple ideas.

When advertising budgets are not growing, PPC absolutely is a zero-sum game. When they are growing modestly, PPC is approximately a zero-sum game. Magical thinking will not change the fact that money has to come from somewhere. PPC money has largely come from other advertising mediums (making some of them negative-sum games). Now that the rate of movement to PPC from other mediums has slowed, people who think that online advertising money just magically sprouts as needed are in for a rude surprise.

So, you can talk about motivation, positive thinking, philosophy and what-not, but there is really no rational reason to doubt that AdSense income follows a power law distribution and that therefore most AdSense publishers make below-average income.

Furthermore, AdSense has the additional characteristic of slow mobility. This is caused on the traffic side by people's traffic patterns -- you cannot change the surfing habits of a large population across many areas in a short time. This is caused on the SERP side by Google's algorithm -- most stunningly their addition of page age to the algorithm. This greatly increased the ability of people with above-average income to retain that income and greatly reduced the ability of newcomers to displace existing competitors.

Thus, not only is it pretty much a given that most AdSense publishers make below-average income, it's nearly as assured that most of the people who make below-average AdSense income this year will be making below-average AdSense income next year.

This latter effect is amplified by third-world traffic. Because the number of people who can and will work for AdSense for $5/hour (or less) is only growing, the race to the bottom is accelerating. The odds of newcomers to AdSense ever earning above-average AdSense income is only dropping over time.

As others have pointed out, this overall distribution of income is not unique to AdSense. The important difference is that we are posting in an AdSense forum, a place where people are arriving every day, literally asking "what do I do to get started making good money?". It is worthwhile to point out to them that most of them (by far) will fail, and that an ever-increasing percentage will always earn below-average income.

You wanna tell them they can be NBA stars, that playing basketball is their ticket out of the ghetto? Hey, it's a forum, and that's where opinions go, so that's just fine. My opinion is they should know how unlikely it is that that will ever happen. Some people are happier engaging in magical thinking and avoiding looking at reality. Others want to know where the money is and what the odds are when embarking on a new venture. My post is for the latter type of people.

The motivating point for that latter group is this: if you don't want to be one of the eternally below-average AdSense earners making peanuts, then you've got to find something you can bring to the table that most people cannot. Just doing what others do will bring you what most others are getting: below-average AdSense income. Enough to buy a new goat if you live in Timbuktu, but not enough to cover your lunch money if you live in the U.S.

Jean




msg:1433047
 4:50 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

PPC money has largely come from other advertising mediums (...) Now that the rate of movement to PPC from other mediums has slowed(...)

I am not sure that this is slowing down (yet). Or are you being country specific? I'd be interested in sources if you have any (sticky me if it's a URL). Thanks

arubicus




msg:1433048
 4:54 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"That's right: take the average of all AdSense income and it is quite guaranteed that there are many more people with below average AdSense income than there are with above average income. If Google should ever reveal a good hint about the total number of AdSense publishers, then just knowing the the income of a handful of top earners would be enough to make a good estimate of how little most AdSensers make. That's true because of how unevenly distributed the income is."

While the law may appear static on the premis that the will be more on the bottom than on top...The members that are on the bottom will not necessarily be there forever in that there is choices to be made. Times change. Things evolve. If it were truely static I would still be on the bottom. So would markus. So would incrediBILL. See what I am saying. You are infering that those who are on the bottom will remain there.

But power exchanges hands. It diverges and converges. IT is FAR from static that if you are on the bottom you REMAIN on the bottom. Yes there tends to be more on the bottom it is in the CHOICES that are made. K-mart used to be on top and walmart on the bottom. Look at the reversal! Google was on bottom now on top... Look at the reversal. Amazon was on bottom now on top. They diverged the book industry from brick and mortar to this new medium. B&N may not have the online market but doing quite well offline.

All of us have this same chance to exchange power. Even the newbie.

To put this law into a mathmatical equation is plain wrong because of the fact that power consitantly changes hands.

"When advertising budgets are not growing, PPC absolutely is a zero-sum game."

Nope. If it were a Zero sum game then there would be a completely limited ammount of money to begin with. But businesses make profits through a value exchange and reinvest those profits in advertising through advertising. That my friend is not ZERO sum. Even if companies DON'T profit - Others will. New products are formed. New ideas are made.

"This greatly increased the ability of people with above-average income to retain that income and greatly reduced the ability of newcomers to displace existing competitors."

This may be but does not completely displace.

"Others want to know where the money is and what the odds are when embarking on a new venture"

Like any business the odds are simply up to the VALUE you give to others and how well you can claim the visitor's mind. - It is as hard and as simple as that.

jimphilli




msg:1433049
 5:04 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ronburk, I gotta say that I think you're being a little too pessimistic. I've been a successful brick and mortar entrepreneur for sometime, but I can't think of a business area where I have talked to more people who have made it big in a short time. As far as I can see, this adsense thing is the one of the few deals in town where someone can come out of the blue and challenge big name corporations so easily.

It's a good point that adsense is sort of a zero sum game. But remember it's still a multi-billion dollar game. And one person making, say, $1 million per year will not have any effect on the adsense program. The shift is so minor, that probably no one would notice it.

I also think that your NBA reference is a bit off the mark because the numbers are so different. You have millions of kids chasing the NBA dream, but the number is much smaller of guys who really understand this adsense. Trust me, coming from the brick and mortar world, almost no one out there really realizes that you can make money with a high traffic website.

arubicus




msg:1433050
 5:07 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"It's a good point that adsense is sort of a zero sum game."

If you think about it - how can it be zero sum.

You would have to have a FINITE SET AMOUT OF advertisers with a set FINITE AMOUNT of advertising $. Hmmm how many new businesses set up new adwords accounts. How many leave. How many increase their advertising dollars.

incrediBILL




msg:1433051
 6:05 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

So, you can talk about motivation, positive thinking, philosophy and what-not, but there is really no rational reason to doubt that AdSense income follows a power law distribution and that therefore most AdSense publishers make below-average income.

Along that line of logic people wallowing in despair over poor results tend not to improve their lot in life. True, there are people on both sides of the bell curve but there's nothing stopping one site from moving over to the other side of that bell curve and punting someone else back to where they were before expect mad skillz.

Let's face it, whoever can move up to the forefront of IBL, diggs, SE's etc. will get the loot and those that fall behind won't get the lion's share anymore.

With that said, doesn't mean everyone that tries will make it big, nor will everyone that makes it big stay there, but the OPPORTUNITY exists to beat the statistics and only on the web can it be achieved without a massive bankroll.

At a minimum, everyone can make some spare beer money.

arubicus




msg:1433052
 6:14 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"OPPORTUNITY exists to beat the statistics and only on the web can it be achieved without a massive bankroll.

At a minimum, everyone can make some spare beer money. "

Here here. My point exactly. Thanks for saying that a whole lot better than I did.

Again just because you are in the bottom bunch does not mean you will stay there. You shouldn't worry about how many are down there anyway. You should concentrate your efforts on being one of the top. If 2,000,000 people are in the bottom buch and can't seem to break beyond their "miserable results" this tells you how NOT to make money on adsense.

Just like in social statuses. You have the people that fall into the debt trap and cannot break out of it. Many people conform to the idea that you need debt so they go into debt. First generation millionares and wealth creators break beyond this conformity. They can plainly see that falling into the trap is NOT how you create wealth. So they avoid it like a plague and find new ways and opportunities to create their wealth.

So if you are in the bottom bunch and ready to give up you can take 3 actions. Do nothing and continue with your miserable results, Give up - without exploring other avenues, or you can look at what you are doing and determine if it isn't working and change your approach. Study those who do make lots of money and model them and their mindset.

There are many of us who are willing to share the wealth of our knowledge. Heck there is a diamond mind of knowledge already in this forum shared by those who have made it and those who will make it!

GuitarZan




msg:1433053
 7:09 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey,

This post is lame, and reminds me of why I rarely come to WebmasterWorld anymore - Noise. That's right, the noise level is too high here.

Luck has nothing to do with it. The people that make the most are always the ones that worked the hardest on an intelligent plan. They are always the doers, the ones that take action. Not the ones that sit here and scribble out false numbers in the hopes that he gains recognition from an internet community.

All the Best.

arubicus




msg:1433054
 7:17 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

"This post is lame, and reminds me of why I rarely come to WebmasterWorld anymore - Noise. That's right, the noise level is too high here."

While I agree with the noise level...unless you yourself help create value on this forum you have the mindset not any different than the folk at the bottom of the so called stick.

"The people that make the most are always the ones that worked the hardest on an intelligent plan."

Why not come here and actually create a valuable thread or post? You gain no value if you produce no value. You can post all you want with a seemingly intelligent "plan" but unless you add value to WebmasterWorld - just like a web venture - You will go nowhere FAST. Or you may get lucky. Cards are in favor of value. So again why not add some value here? You might get a whole lot more back!

FourDegreez




msg:1433055
 8:02 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

This post is lame, and reminds me of why I rarely come to WebmasterWorld anymore - Noise. That's right, the noise level is too high here.

Completely disagree. This is one of the most interesting threads in awhile. There are a lot of gems of wisdom within, and people would be wise to take note of them.

Look, you're getting the free advice of people who have been there, done that. Ignore at your own peril.

incrediBILL




msg:1433056
 9:14 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not the ones that sit here and scribble out false numbers in the hopes that he gains recognition from an internet community.

Telling others that their noise is less relevant than your noise is a bit of a 'tude.

How do you know all numbers are scribbled out?

Just because someone posts numbers doesn't mean they aren't real for those people and discussing one business model vs other business models is a valid discussion IMO.

FWIW, I've seen a lot of people that work hard go bankrupt and other lazy asses that are just lucky make a small fortune and everything in the middle, it just happens, life is not fair, do your best and hope for the best.

tortuga




msg:1433057
 9:56 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

This post is lame, and reminds me of why I rarely come to WebmasterWorld anymore - Noise. That's right, the noise level is too high here.

I totally disagree with this as well. I think the OP sparked a great discussion, and one that's a nice balance to a couple other recent posts. And, I think the basic message of the entire thread is that the bottom line is hard work.

But, incrediBILL makes a good point too. Sometimes hard work isn't enough, and sometimes the fates smile on individuals. I would re-invoke the Tom Cruise example at this point.

But, as a general rule, I'd agree with whoever it was (Woody Allen?) who said "90% of success in life is showing up". At the end of the day, nothing beats commitment and determination.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this great thread.

nomis5




msg:1433058
 11:03 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

The calculations at the beginning of this thread seem to miss one vital fact. If you create a site that earns you $1000 p.a. then without any work at all it will continue to earn money for many years IF the subject matter is not one that requires constant updating.

If your site is about some soccer team, bad luck because the pages need constant, at least weekly, updates. In 3 months they will earn nothing. On the other hand if your site is on brick laying then good news. Brick laying is brick laying and it will have the same relevance in two years time and maybe even 10 years time.

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