You are correct. Never rely on one stream of income.
edit due to ranting
Yup it happened to me. I wasn't dropped but google dropped my keywords so ads hardly ever show up any more. Mostly irrelevant.
My earnings went down 90% :(
If you're earning enough to live off Adsense surely you must have the ability to make deals with advertisers (considering the traffic base) so that you can guarantee a stream of income at least for a foreseeable time period.
take Adsense money as an investment to improve your site. Use the money to make yourself as independent as you can from Adsense.
Obviously you don't live in the U.S., where employers can drop employees any time they want. :-)
it would be prudent to keep a real job and bank every cent of adsense, if possible. Because nothing lasts. However, if the cost-benefit analysis tells you it's worth ditching a day job for x amount of time to develop your sites---always have your resume out there.
|take Adsense money as an investment to improve your site. Use the money to make yourself as independent as you can from Adsense. |
Best adsense advise I've heard in a long time.
I think it is safer, more fun, and far better in the long run to build excellent web site(s) which you own.
Working for an American corporation, your work isn't really building anything for you. And you are, expendible. It's like being a tenant farmer.
I agree Vespasian
However I think for it would be wise to consider all adsense revenue expendable... since in the problem YOU are expendable.
Use adsense to build yourself up and work hard to diversify your income to commission based revenue.
Once you can live off of your commission revenue I'd go ahead and quit.
Hi Livenomadic, care to share what the definition of 'Commission Revenue' is?
Use Adsense to give you both confidence in the worth of your site and use Adsense as a way of valuing the worth of your individual pages and then sell the advertising space on these pages independently of Adsense.
By Commission Revenue I simply simply mean revenue made by commission, CJ.com for example.
These types of incomes are generally more stable, since little chance of fraud unlike pay per click revenue (adsense) and therefore less chance of you getting removed from the program.
On WebmasterWorld I've never heard of anyone getting kicked from CJ.com and other commission site (although I am sure there are a few).
I agree but what should I do if...
a) I make with Adsense enough for me and for my employee, office rental, new computers, taxes, medical insurance... and even some cash in the bank?
b) Adsense pays up to three times better than other advertising networks?
c) Adsense is very less "time-consumer" than other advertising models?
d) I've been rejected by other ad networks because my site in english have no enough traffic but my sites in spanish have a lot and works fine within Adsense?
I've read a lot about the all-eggs-in-one-basket question but I can't find anything so profitable, even half profitable than Adsense ads.
And yes, Google rules me; he/they/it made my sites a real business and now the web is my real job.
|These types of incomes are generally more stable, since little chance of fraud unlike pay per click revenue (adsense) and therefore less chance of you getting removed from the program. |
There's an easy way to avoid getting removed: Don't click on your own ads! If you have a clean, legitimate site and earn decent revenues for Google, you aren't going to get tossed out because of an attack by a clickbot or a crackpot. (At least, that's been my experience.)
Still, I agree that it's unwise to rely solely on AdSense for income. The program standards could change, the compensation formula could change, other changes (such as greater advertiser controls) could have an influence on ad placement, "smart pricing" could result in even lower CPC for certain types of sites or pages, and so on.
Ideally, a site should have multiple revenue streams. On sites in my field (travel), affiliate links can work well. A general-interest site with high traffic might do best with traditional CPM banner advertising. Testing is the best way to learn what's profitable and what isn't.
|Ideally, a site should have multiple revenue streams. |
You can be paid per impression, paid per click, paid commission on sales you generate for others and paid by customers you sell to directly.
But money only actually changes hands when something is sold - the reason why the CPM and PPC models exist is because impressions and clicks anticipate sales, not because the impressions or clicks are worth very much in isolation.
However, sales don't anticipate commercial exchange - they are commercial exchange... which makes them the most worthwhile revenue streams to pursue.
However... I didn't even consider CPA until a few months after AdSense introduced me to CPC, so maybe progressing from clicks to commissions is something of a learning curve?
Interesting thread. Good point that many sites can't earn 20% of what they see with Adsense from AM (because of their category or editorial focus, etc)
|However... I didn't even consider CPA until a few months after AdSense introduced me to CPC, so maybe progressing from clicks to commissions is something of a learning curve? |
Not necessarily. A lot of us were using affiliate links before AdSense came along, just because the only alternative (other than selling ads direct) was to use low-paying banner networks with off-topic ads.
I agree that affiliate programs can generate more revenue than CPC (they certainly do on my site). However, on an editorially diverse content site, AdSense complements affiliate programs by monetizing pages or subtopics that otherwise wouldn't generate revenue. Take an article about kayak cruises in Elbonia: There may not even be an affiliate program that sells kayak cruises, but if there are AdSense advertisers buying ads for that topic, I can earn income from the article.
I've often found that adsense + affiliate links on the same page is > AS or aff links alone.
Those interested in the offer click through on the affiliate link, and the visitors who are not interested take a look at the AS.
|Those interested in the offer click through on the affiliate link, and the visitors who are not interested take a look at the AS. |
The new URL Channels are showing an interesting phenomenon on my site: Pages that are heavy on affiliate links tend to get very low AdSense clickthrough rates and CPMs, which suggests that readers are more likely to click on my affiliate links than on AdSense ads.
That is interesting. I suspect you do a good job of integrating the aff links into the articles, which makes for a more natural click through. As usual, things are different for every site - which is what makes these tests so important.
There's no way around relying on the income. But in reality, getting fired from some crappy job is more likely than getting booted out of AdSense.
And I got booted out, and was re-instated. How much money does Google generate off the clicks webmasters generate? A lot. I bet they take in $10 for every $1 they pay us. They aren't likely to boot people who help them make big money. Your best defense is continued success.
|How much money does Google generate off the clicks webmasters generate? A lot. I bet they take in $10 for every $1 they pay us. |
Not according to their financial statements, which have been discussed in previous threads on this forum.
I'm guessing it's more like 60-40, publishers favor or google's favor depending on smart pricing.
junioroptimizer, you got booted and reinstated? That must be an interesting story. I must have missed that thread.
Adsense can drop you at anytime, your day job employer can drop you at any time, affiliate programs come and go and change terms, and any other method you can think of to make a living there is a possibility it won't be there tomorrow.
That's why it's never good to have all your eggs in one basket. The Enron and Worldcom scandals should have taught people that once and for all.
Here's a tip: Take a look at every factor in your life that causes you to earn what you earn whether it's your affiliate relationships, product you are promoting, traffic source, or savings and investments and if any one source is over 25% then you need to find ways to reduce your dependence on it. For most people this starts with their reliance on 100% of their income on a regular job. For many content sites, it's adsense or one particular good affiliate program. What's yours?
very good tip. I second it. Divericification is a key to money management. Actually 25% is a bit too much in theory it should be closer to 10%. Unfortunately it is not too easy for an average guy to be well diversified in source of income terms. On the other hand, the more one focused on one invetment/income source the bigger the risk but reward is bigger as well. And since it is all about risk/reward ratio sometimes it is better to have all eggs in one basket.
One of examples is AdSense. For many they do at least twice as good as any other way of website monetisition. Also unlike investments with AdSense/Job if you got booted you are not losing your capital you just switch to "another interest rate" by using other ad netorks, or finding another job. Just make sure you have enough resources to weather the transition period.
I quit my job as soon as I was making enough from Adsense and had a few months worth of living expenses saved up. Your daytime job will never pay you a residual income. Websites do. Better for me to work full time at adding content than to waste content-writing time working 8 hours a day for someone else for some illusion of security. Working part time on your sites limits their growth potential.
But yes, I believe in working on affiliate programs and lining up other advertisers both to maximize income and so you have backup money if Adsense tanks.
Teshka: That is the perfect response to the issue IMHO. Spoken like a true risk taking American capitalist. I’ll toast you on my morning Starbucks run.
I find all of this talk about diversification rather hollow. I would love to diversify income but, until I can find another program paying out at least 1/3 the CPM of my Adsense ads, it would just dilute income to place other ads on my pages.
I hope Overture comes up with a decent competitive program in 2005 but for now Adsense is just the only game in town.
|I find all of this talk about diversification rather hollow. |
True if all you are doing to generate income is using a contextual text ad program like AdSense.
We diversify our income in a number of ways that are not related to text ad programs. Just to name a few of our income sources:
1) Affiliate programs for our industry.
2) Licensing our content.
3) Author of two books that we sell on the site.
4) Private labeling of our newsletter to others.
5) Sell site sponsorships.
6) Sell newsletter sponsorships and ad space.
7) We have extensive press contact in our industry, so we “consult” with firms who what to “up tick” their PR efforts.
The point is, diversification of income doesn’t mean having two contextual text ad programs running on your site. That’s not diversification since you have all your income eggs in the contextual text ads basket (forgive the poor metaphor).
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