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This 132 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 132 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 > >     
What kind of site does it take...
...to make enough to live off of?
Curiosity

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:24 am on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

A lot of webmasters on this forum are making a living off their sites. What I'd like to know is: How do you do it? Does it take a huge, professionally created site? A series of small sites? Can one person working alone with minimal programming skills manage it? I know that every site and topic is different and that there are probably tiny hobby sites out there raking in the cash, but what kinds of site setups are most likely to pull in enough cash to live off of?

 

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:08 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

You need to force people through to #3

As an Adwords advertiser, that is exactly what I DON'T want.

I want users who click through because they're genuinely interested in what my ad offers, not because they've been manipulated into a corner.

hughie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:08 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

What level of visitors are we looking at here to make adsense worth your while.

I have a site that scores well for one single keyword (widgets) and loads of locational additions on the keyword (widgets city) It gets 5-600 unique every day, and it's not got any advertising as yet.

What return should i expect from that?

ta,
hughie

phantombookman

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:23 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Niche areas are all well and good (I am in quite a few) but it is worth pointing out that many can be low traffic and 3c clicks, the cumulative sums earnt can be pathetically low

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:31 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I want users who click through because they're genuinely interested in what my ad offers

Absolutely - you want someone that is going to buy something.

So if I have a page that's doing well in the SE's for people actively looking to buy a product from someone like you, and I send them onto you because option #3 is the one they go for, you'll be happy.

All it means is I'm doing better in the natural SERPS than you are. But if you get a sale, who really cares? That's the reason you use AdWords, right?

TJ

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:35 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hugie;

It's hard to say what to expect. But 5 - 6,000 uniques would be more than enough to give it a shot.

Beyond that it depends a lot on the topic.

You need to tweak ad positioning and colors, etc., to really see what works for you.

It could be that many pages don't do very well on their own, but if you have enough of them, they do add up.

And some pages can do exceptionally well all by themselves, it doesn't always take a ton of uniques or pageviews to make it worth doing.

Because of that it can be important to at least try Adsense on most, if not all of your eligble pages.

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:41 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

The long term vs. short term argument is meaningless. Some folks would like to have a site that makes $10,000 per month for the next 10 years, while some would rather make 1M in a couple months. Both strategies will be "enough to live off" for many people. Myth 2 is that the quality of your site will affect the quality of your traffic (to advertisers). This is simply not true. Test it yourself. One page sites with next to zero content can convert as well in aff programs as 1,000,000 page expert sites. Advertisers buy PPC ads to convert not for eyeballs.

I do agree that you are setting yourself up for failure if your sites cannot convert other tyopes of ads like affiliate stuff. I expect adsense to get worse for publishers not better, barring some leitimate competition.

Gruntled

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:43 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have some follow-up questions from a newbie:

ogletree wrote:
If you are in a good money making sector your competitors will make a spam report about your site guaranteed.

So what is a spam report? How and to whom is one made?

Noel wrote:
Not much of interesting data on it (it's something in flash people love to look at and try)

<snip>

The website I'm talking about is the kind you would see when a person makes his 1st website and guess what.. I'm a webdesigner..

A first-timer would put up Flash on his first site? If that's true, I'd better pack it in...

Based on what everyone else is writing, and based upon the inconsistency in Noel's post, I'd have to say that Noel's story, while every newbie's fantasy, is an anomaly.

Hard_Target wrote:
Another question - has anybody found it feasible to advertise adsense site via PPC engines (probably not adwords, but the secondary ones?)

What is a PPC engine? Examples?

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:54 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I send them onto you because option #3 is the one they go for

If you have lots of options on your page and they click my ad because it genuinely interests them, that's good.

But you used the word "force". That is a different matter, and that is NOT the kind of clickthrough I want to pay for, no matter what attracted the user to your page.

FromRocky

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:57 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Often times I rank for terms that have fewer than 1000 results and no adwords ads.

This is one of things we're looking for. However, it isn't working most of the time. The best is Often times I rank for terms that have fewer than 1000 results and tons of adwords ads.

I have a site that scores well for one single keyword (widgets) and loads of locational additions on the keyword (widgets city) It gets 5-600 unique every day, and it's not got any advertising as yet.

What return should i expect from that?

Nil to $100/day. Most likely under a coup of dollars a day.

he or she was talking about a site to "live off of," which does imply a certain long-term focus

Long-term is one of the goals but it's a secondary one. You can not focus on long-term when you don't currently make any money. Think long term when you can live off it first.

What is a PPC engine? Examples?

AdWords, Overture, Findwhat, looksmart, etc...

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 8:01 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

oppps, I misread Hughies 5-600 as 5-6,000, sorry about that.

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 8:27 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can make money off of PPC to adsense or affiliate. A guy did a whole talk on it in Vegas. It is a lot of work. You have to watch it very closely and lose money while figureing it out. Even if you do make money you spend money one month to get the money 2 months later. It is a very risky can be a very rewarding undertaking.

Google has a spam report just type in "google spam report" in google. Google Guy talks about it all the time. He has also given an email address and I think there is a group or something he mentioned in one of the allegra threads. You can refference Google Guy and say your from webmasterworld and your nic.

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 8:42 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

But you used the word "force". That is a different matter, and that is NOT the kind of clickthrough I want to pay for

"Force" was maybe too strong a word. I can't hold a gun to someone's head. They always have the back button, another ad or another link. It's the same "force" as you perform in running AdWords and seeking search traffic. The strongest element I guess is actually your Ad copy.

TJ

Trax

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:06 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

all you need is dedication.
business sense.
and capital
nothing else

PatrickDeese

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:08 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

You cannot make a site about just *anything*, put adsense on it and make tons of money.

I research niches all the time and pay attention to the news and trends.

A few months ago, I read about a impending slow down in an industry, and how manufacturers of a type widget that depended on that industry were worried that their inventory would be stuck in warehouses.

A little research showed that these manufacturers are spending several dollars per click in O to sell their inventory to a shrinking market.

Up goes a widgets info site (with researched articles by yours truly), and thanks to Y, I started getting traffic in under a week, and very respectable adsense earnings.

It isn't my top earner by any stretch of the imagination, but considering I only spent 6 hours writing the articles, and $7.49 for the domain... it was an excellent investment of my time and effort.

So, if like to write and research, you can find opportunities just by leafing through the newspapers. But do check the O bids before you spend a lot of time making a site - 10 cent bids are not worth your time - but niches in the dollars or tens of dollars range will pay off, assuming you know how to design a site to get traffic.

Personally I rely on content and on page, with a smattering of links.

Once a site starts showing promise, I work on getting more links for it, expand the content etc.

I wouldn't worry about trying to be #1 for widgets on google - as other people pointed out, there's gold in being #1 for "best polished widgets, kansas" too - and you can usually get those SERPs with on page factors.

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents. :p

arrowman

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:59 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

So how do you guys go about actually determining if it's a niche market or not? [...] Do you just google your topic and see how many relevant sites come up?

See how wel SEO'd these sites are.

Investigate how many sites really try to be a big fish in the same pond (as opposed to having an occasional article about the topic).

Lookup the ppc and expected number of visitors of keywords.

Wade through relevant online forums and see what people talk about, ask for, search for. Are there some recurring themes that are unfulfilled?

This should give you a picture of promising topics, with a reasonable number of potential visitors searching for it, a fair ppc and only a few wannabe big fishes.

[edited by: arrowman at 10:13 pm (utc) on Feb. 20, 2005]

arubicus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 10:08 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with ogletree! Amazing! My preferred strategy is to diversify. Having a mix of static sites that do not need updated vs. active sites that are updated frequently, branded, and can be supported by other means if adsense "goes away". I also diversify where traffic comes from. Some will focus on Yahoo, some google, some msn, some external links...

You don't ALWAYS have to go after the top paying keywords. Sometimes BULK traffic to lesser paying keywords $0.10 - $0.30 per click is just as good or even better. Even if you don't make much per site you can always rely on the good ol' law of multiplicity. If you make $50 per site average per day and have 10 sites. You got an easy $500 per day. You could make more sites or beef up the ones you got. Make $100 per day (easy to do) per site across the 10 and you got $1000 per day. There is no one set strategy. It is where YOU feel you should take this thing and the enjoyment of building your empire. You could make $1000 per day on one site or across 10. Either way just go out and make the $1000! (NOTE: I prefer to make as much as I can through good valuable content while the getting is good)

nomatter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 10:18 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

arubicus: Did you make it? I heard from this forum only several dollars are very common for a newbie.

Gruntled

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 10:42 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

So how do you guys go about actually determining if it's a niche market or not? [...] Do you just google your topic and see how many relevant sites come up?

See how wel SEO'd these sites are.

Any suggestions on how to go about doing this? [Newbies are fighting for domination of this thread] ;)

Investigate how many sites really try to be a big fish in the same pond (as opposed to having an occasional article about the topic).

...and this?

Lookup the ppc and expected number of visitors of keywords.

...and this?

notredamekid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 11:35 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

My favorite tools:

The Google SERPS (how hard will it be to crack top 10 for this term?, is the market under- or over-saturated?)

and

Overture View Bid (what kind of revenue can I expect per visitor from Adsense?)

arubicus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 12:05 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

nomatter - "arubicus: Did you make it?"

Make what specifically?

Hard_Target

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 12:19 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

notredamekid,
Do you look at purely number of results in google serps, or do you look at SEO of top 10, # of backlinks, PR (for whatever it's worth) etc..

Curiosity

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 1:36 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yikes! I went away and the thread exploded. You all have given me great advice. Thank you!

I wanted to add two things. First, Ogletree said:

As to the original question I don't think they were looking for a way to make a real good high quaility long term site.

Actually, I am. The site I have now is a hobby site aimed at teenagers and young adults. It ranks high in Google--sometimes in the first or second place--because when I have a passion about something, I give great page; but all the entertainment in the world isn't getting me anywhere in Adsense. If I want to make money off the page, I need to stop treating it as a hobby and start treating it as a business. Part of that is figuring out whether it's reasonable to expect to make money with the low-tech, single-person setup I've got now, and if not, where I need to go from here. Asking the high rollers what they do seemed like the best tack. And, in fact, you all have been a great help.

A lot of the newbies asking questions here are just looking for the best way to make a scraper site. That doesn't mean that all of us are, or that an interest in money automatically means that we don't care about quality.

Whereupon I reveal my capitalist pig roots by asking Arubicus:

Make $100 per day (easy to do) per site

Really? What's the trick to making ten $100-a-day sites? Heck, what's the trick to making one? Most people seem to be struggling to get $20 or $50 out of theirs.

PatrickDeese

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 1:53 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Really? What's the trick to making ten $100-a-day sites? Heck, what's the trick to making one? Most people seem to be struggling to get $20 or $50 out of theirs.

Well you can always make 1000 $1 a day sites :)

adsense too much

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 1:59 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are better off not relying of adsense for your site primary rev. source. Sell stuff like shirts, memberships, mugs and stuff. You need a very loyal following to generate big income form just adsense ads. Most ads seem to pay only .1-.45 each so you need alot of good trafic.

Creating mutiple websites is harder than it seems. Its better to hust focus on one or two sites and add lots of content/

PatrickDeese

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 2:06 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most ads seem to pay only .1-.45 each so you need alot of good trafic.

In your limited experience.

Creating mutiple websites is harder than it seems. Its better to hust focus on one or two sites and add lots of content

In your limited experience.

There are many people on this forum that are earning 10K a month from adsense. I would guess that the majority of them have adsense on more than one site.

The problem is that if you get a site that is #1 for widget, widgets, blue widgets, green widgets, compare blue and green widgets, buy widgets, etc, etc - you are done. If your site gets 300 visitors a day, that's it. You've done all you can - aside from launching a widget awareness campaign and buying superbowl ads - you really won't make more people search for that niche than are interested.

So you build a new site. Then once you are #1 for gadget, gadgets, et al, you start again.

arubicus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 2:29 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Patrick - Yep there ya go. Some sites will make more and some less. I like to find areas where I can expand alot. Sometime I like real tight nich markets to make less per site but can be easily done with little work.

adsense too much - "You need a very loyal following to generate big income form just adsense ads"

Wrong. Less loyal and a daily supply of NEW visitors seems to do better.

"Most ads seem to pay only .1-.45 each so you need alot of good trafic"

No. CTR plays a big roll. 100 clicks off of 10000 visitors or 1000 clicks off of 10000 visitors. Big difference. Even at 1000 visitors per day and 100 clicks makes about 40 per day (.40 per click) $14,600 per year. hmm then do it again with a new site. $29,200 per year. How about 10 sites. $146,000 per year. How about 20 sites $292000 per year. (hell why not hire someone for about $60,000 per year and double the twenty. Or two people at $30,000 per year and train them yourself and triple the sites/content. Then do it again. The great thing about the internet is another law. The law of automation! Makes work so much easier. I have sites change content throughout the year according to holiday day of the week or whatever I want really. When a holiday is approaching I have certain content pre-made and ready to go. It goes on site 1.5-2 months before the holiday so it is ready and ranked in the search engines. Also there are ways to have content generators that uses visitors to build your content. They supply reviews/input/or whatever.

Kirby

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 3:17 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

By a process of manipulation (getting the copy right takes a little practice) you make their preferred exit route an ad.

Great point TJ. This is sales 101. This should be done on any page with a call to action. You want to guide your visitor/customer to click where you want him to. To do otherwise defeats the purpose of the page and is a waste of traffic.

mcg321

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 4:39 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Edit: please delete this

notredamekid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:29 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

notredamekid,
Do you look at purely number of results in google serps, or do you look at SEO of top 10, # of backlinks, PR (for whatever it's worth) etc..

Never look at number of results.

What I actually do is look at # of backlinks in MSN/yahoo and PR... for the WEAKEST 3 in the top ten... then I ask myself, can I beat them?

jeremymgp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:36 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I'm fairly confident about making decent content sites which in time go on to generate AdSense revenue, however my slight hiccup is I got banned for "invalid clicks" a few months after AdSense started. Any hints as to how I can get my new sites accepted into AdSense, as I currently daren't apply or email Google in case they get banned as well. I still drum a few thousand a month, but it's annoying to be outside such an opportunity,

Thanks,

Jeremy

isorg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 6:21 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

The trouble I ran into while making my niche site is that there are not enough adsense advertisers to go round. So even if I dramatically increase the number of visitors to the site, there is the same limited pool of ads, and people will not click them after a while (as they have already seen then). So there has become like a glass ceiling to the amount I can earn from this site, because the niche is a bit too narrow.

Only alternative I could think of was to create more diverse sites...!

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