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Google AdSense Forum

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?

 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?



 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...!


 7:00 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is the consensus here that to make a lot of money with adsense you have to make a lot of sites?

I have been putting my energy into a single niche site in my spare time. I spend a few hours a week writing new content for it, and a few hours a week tweaking and maintaining it. I have a day job that I don't intend to quit, and the rest of the hours in my week I pretty much want to spend with my family. I can't just double or triple the amount of work I'm doing.

However, if the consensus is that I'd be better off with more sites then rather than publish a few new articles a week on one site I could publish a few new articles a month on four sites.

Think I'd be better off in the long run if I did that?


 7:07 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Isorg create a new company and sign up with that. Change the whois to that company. Make sure there is no connection between you and the sites and you and the adsense account.


 7:43 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

martingale -

The is no one set strategy. You can focus on one site or 10 sites. Each can make more or less than the other. The law of multiplicity also goes for just one site. Make more pages. The problem is if you are way too niche you may find some trouble being able to do that. Always look for ways to increase the # of good quality pages.

If decide to run multiple sites make sure they are static. Just popping in once in a while to see what is happening. They sit in the back burner like a mutual fund or a retirement account that is generating money while you go about your other business.

Have one or two sites that are active where you put more focus into it. Most generally the sites you focus on will make more money since more quality effort is going into them. Brand and build businesses out of them. Become well known and see how far you can take them.

Also diversity helps. Since your main traffic sources probably will be search engines you may get nailed and loose rankings. Be thankful you have the others still there for support you while you figure it out. While you are wating for the next update you can beef up those static sites a bit more.


 7:45 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am a newbie, and reading this and other threads I get the impression that the best way to make money off Adsense is to have sites with articles or reviews that are very well target to the ads.

While this seems like a great way to target the ads, how do you get enough traffic to niche articles to make enough money off this?


 8:12 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is no magic formula. The only way to find out is to just rry it. I and others can just tell you that adsense can pay off quite well. One way to find out quickly is to buy PPC ads and lose some money. That will show you what your page can make real quick before you put too much time try to get it to rank. Also as some have mentioned is do research on overture. Overture bids will not tell you exactly what adsense will pay off. It is only good to compare terms.


 8:42 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Shiznaught - "the best way to make money off Adsense is to have sites with articles or reviews that are very well target to the ads."

You don't have to target high paying ads. Well don't target ads really at all. You target traffic generating keywords that you can rank well for and google will target the ads to the content (usually to what the content is about). Yes get a general idea of what advertisers are paying but there are other factors at play also.

Here is a breakdown of what to look for:

1. How many times the main keyword your site is based on has been searched.

2. Skip how much they are paying right now and look more at how many variations this keyword there are. (blue widgets) Plug this into a keyword suggestion tool first. Write down the any variations that are relevant and # of searches. Then do each word seperately (blue first - then widgets). Write down the variations and # of searches from those results. If any others catch your eyes for future use write them down on a seperate piece of paper. Next go through the variations and do the same. A word processor or spreadsheet works best.

3. Next go through all the keywords that are most general to the subject that would work best as a theme. Look for themes that have very good supporting keyword phrases that use one or more terms in your main theme.

4. Next go and look at the amount advertisers are paying per click for your main keyword themes and write that down (this just to give you an idea).

5. Go to google and see how many ads there, what quality, and also how demanding they are to a potential searcher/visitor (this is just to get an idea). Make a ranking system 1-5 or 1-10 and write it down next to the keyword theme. Also look for affiliate opportunities as a backup.

7. Look at various search engine results (google, yahoo, msn) pay attention to the top 6, #10 and #11. Visit these sites (or use a keyword extractor) and find out what they are targeting. If there are words or phrases not on your list write them down to look into later.

8. While you are visiting these site also ask some questions like these. Are these heavily SEO'd? Are they branded? How long have they been on the internet? How many backlings do they have? How many pages of content do they have around the theme you are looking to build a site around? How many sites link to them? What is the quality of that info? Is there anything they are forgetting or not targeting? Can I beat this site or will it take alot of effort to do? Have a little ranking system based on the answers you find.

9. I think this is the most important step. Go through the results up to 100. Look at the title/URL/and snippets of the listings. What you should look for is where the results start to break up and become crappy. You will find that pages become less professional, not that targeted, sites will only offer a page or two on the subject and that is it and possibly not targeted to their theme, keyword are less frequent in title url and snippet. Write down the number when you start seeing this and when they become total crap. This will give you a range where (worst case) where you could land with little effort. If you cannot find a break don't discard the keyword just go to the next and repeat.

10. Now look at the the site at the position you feel like the break starts. Visit it and see if you feel you can do better and beat them out with little effort and SEO(be careful they may be over SEO's). If you can note their site structure (just repeat the questions step 8). Go up 5 or 10 position from there and ask again. When you feel like it will take effort take note and go up 2-5 and ask again. Take note on how high you can go until you firt have to put in alot of effort in. This give you a good idea where you will more than likely land in the results immediately or in the first few months. The higher you can get before it takes alot of effort the better.

11. Now go through your keywords and go what would be considered one level down. These will be topic areas of your theme. Repeat above steps. When you analyze the search engine rankings take note of any sites that you already been to. Also take note of any nich sites with main themes for those topic areas. Sometimes these are hard to overtake immediately.

12. After repeating you should have a HUGE list of keywords ideas ranging from general to topic and now you have subtopic keywords that relate to both topic and theme. Build your content around the subtopics around 4-5 articles on each subtopic. I don't worry about bids search engines or anything with these subtopics. These tend to be fairly easy to rank in without heavy SEO. I just wait and then tweak later. These tend to generate ALOT of traffic because of how many subtopics you will have to generate new information. If they don't rank you still get to benefit your topics and overall theme.

13. Compare your reasearch and decide if it is worth the effort to continue.

I hope I got everything. IF not we can add to it.


 9:09 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

(exit via an ad)

This should be done on any page with a call to action.

I don't think you should explicitly call to action. The visitor should be lead to it, without even realizing it's a plot.


 9:18 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some more questions to ask yourself when researching:

Can I beat the quality of any other site by adding more value to my site?

Can I make my site a quality to where people would want to tell others about it?

Can I make my site an authority or brand?

Can I make my site one where people would be more than willing to link to naturally?

Above all:

How much time and effort am I willing to use to develop and maintain this site?


 9:36 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

After pondering about this thread over the weekend, I still think this is the major issue. I can think about a couple of niches in my industry (and in others as well), but there are simply no advertisers.


 9:51 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can't make adsense revenue with no ads. If you can go more general in your niche or find a totally new one. You don't have to be an expert as you develop your site you automatically start to become one.


 11:09 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Make sure there is no connection between you and the sites and you and the adsense account.

Ogletree, sounds like an interesting idea :-) but I am curious as to how this could help...?


 11:59 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

>See how wel SEO'd these sites are.
Any suggestions on how to go about doing this?

Read up on SEO [webmasterworld.com] and look for signs (kw in title, h1, backlinks and so on).

>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?

Scan, read, interpret, extrapolate, judge.

>Lookup the ppc and expected number of visitors of keywords.
...and this?

Adwords traffic estimation. Overture keyword tool. Wordtracker. Common sense.


 12:17 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Content is very good, of course. It has the "write and forget" advantage. However, I suspect that the really big earners use the combination of marketing with good content. Relying on SERPs can take you only so far. Devoting some time to getting visitors at less $ than you earn from their exit clicks leverages your income tremendously.

Other very good options exist.

There is one site I researched recently that had just one page with the potential of earning several thousand a month via Adsense. The last I checked the bidding was $50K for that one line, one page site. All it did was tell you your IP when you landed on the page. Come up with a killer idea/service like that and you won't need content anymore.


 12:58 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Make sure there is no connection between you and the sites and you and the adsense account.
Ogletree, sounds like an interesting idea :-) but I am curious as to how this could help...?

I'm not supporting this! But what he meant is that you can artificially push the CPC up, by bidding with your bogus-account for your own keywords.

Situation right now:

keyword "widget", 1 advertiser
Max-CPC (assumed) 2.00 EUR, average CPC 0.05 EUR, IPC ~0.02 EUR

Now you start your own bogus company and bid for that keyword too, while trying to push the original advertiser as high as possible while staying below him:

keyword "widget", 2 advertisers
Max-CPC of #1 assumed 2.00 EUR, max-CPC of your bogus company 1.90 EUR
average CPC for #1: 1.95 EUR
estimated IPC ~ 1.10 EUR

If somebody actually clicks on YOUR ads, you PAY for these clicks via AdWords, and you GET money for these clicks via AdSense. So to a certain percentage the bogus company refunds itself. However Google keeps a share too, so you need to tailor that into your equation.


 3:07 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)


You are saying to sign up for a different adwords account (different company) for each site, correct?
Is that possible? Don't you have to fill in different tax ID etc...


 3:10 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

With enough criminal energy it CAN be done, but that's clearly cheating (to use a polite word).


 3:22 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I misunderstood - I thought that this referred to having different sites in different areas (different kwds), so that was no multiple bidding by the same person on the same kwd.
The original poster (to whom Ogletree responded) referred to a number of "diverse" sites.
Am I misunderstanding the point behind multiple sites?


 4:33 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hard_Target, Ogletree replied to my thing about diverse sites. What I meant was that I have developed a site on niche widgets, then later as there weren't enough ads, I went on to develop sites about things completely different (nothing to do with widgets at all). I made a site about my day job, a site about my hobby, a site about my family, etc. and created new channels for each site, and put the adsense on each site.

However, they are all administered through the same adsense account, and all have the same whois ownership information. I did it that way in order to keep the administration easy, so that I could log in once and see all the channels in one go.

This discussion raises the question of whether I should put each site in different adsense accounts, with different whois info for each... would it be benefitial to do so?

(I do have an adwords account, but I don't use it at all because I found the ROI to be too low, for me.)


 4:54 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Relying on SERPs can take you only so far.

The SERPs may bring first-time visitors, but if you have the right topic, many of those visitors will come back with the potential for clicking ads or spending money via affiliate links each time. That certainly works for travel, where the travel-planning cycle might involve researching destinations, checking out possible hotels or vacation rentals, booking a car, making room or cottage reservations, and so forth. If you can provide the resources that people want (a combination of noncommercial information, relevant affiliate links, and ads), then you won't have to rely on search engines or AdWords for all of your AdSense clicks and affiliate commissions.


 5:49 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ooops in msg #63 I was talking to jeremymgp. Sorry about that. It was about getting back into adsense.


 7:32 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm glad to hear this. Sorry for thinking you meant it otherwise.


 12:40 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

With the plethora of crappy adsense sites out there, I'm wondering, has anyone actually been kicked out of adsense for a website with poor content? If so, do they warn you first?


 12:54 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does google ever check the site after it's been approved? (i.e. somebody can start with relatively few decent pages, get approved and then dump dmoz into the site).
I can't believe that they don't recognize dmoz clone when they see one.
It may be harder if pages are scraped manually from a bunch of different sites (but that actually involves some work, which scrapers in most cases don't want to put in)


 12:58 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

G does not seem to have any problems with scrapers. G is actualy a scraper site itself. You will get banned in the SERPS b4 you get banned from adsense. The only thing that seems to set them off is fraud clicks.


 1:14 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

G does not seem to have any problems with scrapers. G is actualy a scraper site itself.

There's a big difference between a search engine that creates its own search results and a scraper site that does nothing more than grab text from a legitimate search engine's SERPs.


 2:05 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some people will cling to any rationalization to justify or diminish their spamming. Is it that hard to admit that spam sites are the the Internet's equivalent of the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, or the Exxon Valdez, but that their proprietors don't much care what they pollute as long as they make a profit?


 2:29 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would like to make it clear I have never made a scraper site.


 3:10 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

...grab text from a legitimate search engine's SERPs.
...grabbing content from another site, both do this, to varying forms of complexity - right?

 3:19 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is an enormous qualitative difference between a scraper site and a search engine. Not the least of which is that scraper sites don't offer search. The snippets and links you see are all you get, and are as much as possible designed to be inadequate to your needs such that you will be inclined to click an ad or affiliate link to leave the page.


 8:56 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is the consensus here that to make a lot of money with adsense you have to make a lot of sites?

I'm a proponent of multiple sites if only because, no matter how much plotting and planning you do, you don't really know which sites are going to take off and become big money earners. Something as simple (and unpredictable) as a DMOZ link can make a site (it's happened to me). I have a site that I spent about 20 hours working on, then abandoned for almost a year, that went on to consistently earn 2-3k a month. I have other sites that I thought were sure things that make less than $100/mo. This is a game where you can lose 9 times, win once, and suddenly be making enough to quit your day job. Once you have a winner or two, you can focus on those sites.

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