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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?

 

Teshka

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 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.

Mahoney

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 11:51 am on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Curiosity!
If you feel that you can make a site which is purely for just making money with no valuable content other than stolen pieces of garbage then dont bother. I am a true supporter in keeping the web clean as possible and im sick to death of people like you "Spammers" pick up a little knowledge web sites and exploit it for your own profit, Shame on you! I went to college for 4 years to get my qualifications so that one day I may build sites with valuable content and earn my money respectively. My advice to you is go out get a job you lazy person.

claus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 12:14 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just thought i'd mention

a) selling physical goods from your site
b) selling information from your site
c) selling services from your site
d) reselling most anything from your site
e) membership/subscription based sites
f) using your site to get paid work outside of said site

- ad based business models aren't the only ones i could think of, especially as competition is high and increasing.

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 1:11 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you feel that you can make a site which is purely for just making money with no valuable content other than stolen pieces of garbage then dont bother. I am a true supporter in keeping the web clean as possible and im sick to death of people like you "Spammers" pick up a little knowledge web sites and exploit it for your own profit, Shame on you! I went to college for 4 years to get my qualifications so that one day I may build sites with valuable content and earn my money respectively. My advice to you is go out get a job you lazy person.

As a long time member of WW I thought exactly the way you do. Then I saw the light :)

If scrapers exist they do because of flaws with the SEs. Find a way to either exploit that - or compete in that marketplace. Any expression of moral outrage is a waste of time. Somebody building scrapers is hardly likely to repent because you spent four years in college. (I think you wasted your time - just like I did when I chased a bachelor's and later, a master's degree. You don't need qualifikayshons to build good websites).

If it's legal, do it. Theft of content isn't legal. I don't do that and I haven't built a scraper site yet but, as the most experienced webmasters here argue (including Brett) - it's up to the SEs to get their act together. I waited and waited and waited and still, post Allegra, we have scrapers in the SERPs. I'm p*ssed off and I'm done trying to help SEs by giving them what they want. I'll give them what I want.

My advice is make money any way you can as long as it is legal and it is within the TOS of those parties you call partners. If a completely content-less page gets you the money - then do it. (Some, like the example in my previous post, are actually very useful sites)

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 2:58 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

If scrapers exist they do because of flaws with the SEs.

Gee, and I thought it was because of character flaws in the scrapers. :-)

Excusing scraper sites because of "flaws" in the search engine is like excusing e-mail spammers because of flaws in e-mail protocols.

In any case, the flaws aren't in the search engines; they're in the Google AdSense program.

ogletree

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



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 4:22 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors you can not compare those 2 things. The scrapers did not do anything to put their sites in google. Google went out found them and put them in. They have been their a long time. Many of them have been reported and g has done nothing about it. It would be very easy for g to do something about it. I could write an algo to catch those things it's easy. G does not seem to care that they are there. You can only blame g for them being there.

pmkpmk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 4:26 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Many of them have been reported and g has done nothing about it.

Oh, they do! They send out standard emails, thanking for the report, assuring how seriously they take it - and only then they do nothing about it anymore :-( Just got one of these mails an hour ago. Not worth the electrons used to compose it...

inuwolf

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 4:27 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm attending an esteemed university but I still doubt my ability to get work after graduation. The web sounds like a great way to SUPPLEMENT my income, thereby giving me more job freedom offline, to pursue things like music...

I'm obviously a flaming nube, so I don't know if this is against website policy, but could anyone give me any links to some easy, lucrative sites? Hearing so much about but not seeing them is driving me crazy. (If it's against website policy, maybe you could message me. Thanks.)

MovingOnUp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 4:51 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mahoney said: I am a true supporter in keeping the web clean as possible ... build sites with valuable content and earn my money respectively.

oddsod said: As a long time member of WW I thought exactly the way you do. Then I saw the light :)

I have to agree with Mahoney. In the long run, those building useful, helpful sites will win out. SE Spammers may rake in some money for a while, but there's always the next Google Update.

As someone who builds truly useful sites, I never have to worry about the next Google Update. My natural search traffic can stop and my PPC traffic can become unprofitable, and I'll still have organic growth. People find my sites useful and they tell their friends, post about them in forums and blogs, mention them newspapers and magazines, put up links on their sites, and come back regularly.

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 4:54 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Gee, and I thought it was because of character flaws in the scrapers. :-)

Sure. If finding a loophole and exploiting it is a character flaw, they have it in abundance. The window of exploitation for something like the scraper phenomenon should be in the days if not hours. That it continues for years is a damning indictment of the SEs serving their self interests. If Microsoft turned a blind eye the way Google has they'd get taken to court. I'm not so much defending the scrapers as condemning the SEs' inaction on the issue.

The instinct is to file a report but it's obvious now that reports don't spur the big G into action. There is only one way to get their attention. Screw up their SERPs. What if there were 1000 more scrapers? One million more? What if the top 100 results for all search terms were scrapers? At some point they'd wake up. Maybe we need more scrapers ;)

I don't see the connection with email SPAM. Which company has a little knob they can turn to change the protocols?

birdstuff

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:05 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

SE Spammers may rake in some money for a while, but there's always the next Google Update.

True, but for the spammers there is always the next site (or 100 sites, or...).

Whenever there is easy money available there will be always be people there to claim it. It's just human nature.

Freedom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:07 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

It never ceases to amaze me how many people come here and ask (and expect) to be given all the best information for free.

<sarcasm>Yes, I will be happy to tell you and show you how I am making $$$ with AS, what kind of subjects are profitable, how best to position your ads, what kind of color combinations to use, whether or not to translate the content, what things to avoid, etc. Even tho it took me 18 months to get here with the help of 2 part time employees, a $10,000 investment, and lots and lots of time, - YES I AM HAPPY TO GIVE AWAY EVERYTHING TO YOU FOR FREE</sarcasm>

Seriously, what makes people think they deserve to be given this information that cost us so much to gather? It's one thing to ask for advice but it's another to ask for the keys to the vault. And too many people come here expecting to be given the keys without doing any hard work of their own.

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:09 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Freedom, give him a break. :) By his own admission he's a n00b.

inuwolf, the single most valuable secret anyone can give you is that there is gold in these forums but you'll only get to it by reading, reading, and reading somemore. Anybody offering you easy money is likely looking to fleece you.

Zygoot

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:18 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Indeed these boards are worth gold. You may always ask thing buy very few people will give away lots of details.. And in my opinion it's also important that you search yourself for new ways to make money.

If everyone does exactly the same then there won't be a lot of money to earn. Dedication is also important. Only very few people will start earning big bucks in the beginning.

Oh I also heard that Google lists quite a few successful sites ;-)

voices

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 5:40 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Funny but I have tried to tell people how to do this and they wind up thinking it is just too much work. That's okay, more money for me. The real annoying thing is that I had to waste time teaching them what they were too lazy to take advantage of.

ronburk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:05 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I often see claims about how pages must be structured by directories for optimal results; in fact, every time I've tested it, I've concluded that Google cares nothing about directory structure -- people simply confuse directory structure with the link structure (which Google definitely does care about) that is implicitly formed by it.

Therefore, I'm wondering if the advice that multiple sites is better than one big one is similarly confused, at least with respect to Google. Has anyone done any tests that show better Google performance by putting topics A, B, and C in appropriate clusters on a single site, rather than splitting A, B, and C into three separate websites?

Of course, there may be non-Google reasons to favor multiple websites instead of one big one.

Livenomadic

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:23 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Lol, I feel for freedom, sooo many times I've felt like writing a reply like that.

Of course I'm still very green myself, but it seems once a month I get someone with 2 posts asking me:

What is your url, maybe i can offer you some tips. What kind of earnings are you making per day?

hyperkik

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:29 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

The scrapers did not do anything to put their sites in google. Google went out found them and put them in.

Oh, sure. Like magic. Even though the owners of the scraper sites did nothing to lead Google to them, and would be happy even if they weren't represented in any search engines.

Wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

MidwestWebGuy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:50 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone. Thanks for all this great info. I'm a long time developer, but this is my first foray into actually starting a web business.

My site targets a medium sized city and it's surrounding communities. Maybe 1 miliion people tops. It's a free site, so I have no other income to expect than banner ads. I've been going for 6 months and have got up to about 40,000 - 50,000 page impressions per month. (that is up from 15k last month, so it's growing) I joined a banner affiliate program but it isn't really doing much for me as users have to actually make a purchase then and there when they click. Would you reccommend switching to AdSense?

Thanks again for all the good info!

- Tom

ken_b

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



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:58 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would you reccommend switching to AdSense?

I'd recommend adding Adsense to your pages. If you can keep the other ads, all the better, that just gives you an extra income possibility.

MovingOnUp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 10:02 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's a free site, so I have no other income to expect than banner ads.

That's a common misconception. Banners are usually a miniscule income source. You have plenty of other potential income sources:

1) Site sponsorships by local businesses.
2) AdSense
3) Entertainment Passbooks (through their affiliate program) for your city.
4) Books about your city or from local authors.
5) Other general items that your audience would be interested in.

To be honest, however, you probably need to build your traffic more before it'll do much beyond just pay for your hosting. With 50,000 page views per month for a site like you describe, you'll probably get $100 per month or less.

MidwestWebGuy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 10:49 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the input. When I first started the site I did radio, print, and some banner advertising. Then I tried direct mail and email campaigns. Then I found Google AdWords and Overture. That has by far been the best source besides plain word-of-mouth. I'll see how it goes over the next couple of months. Thanks again.

- Tom

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 11:39 pm on Feb 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can think about a couple of niches in my industry (and in others as well), but there are simply no advertisers.

Anyone having such a problem can send me a sticky about it.
I would be happy to consider advertising in that niche.

Livenomadic

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 12:30 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would be happy to consider advertising in that niche.

<snip>
Ok, but I don't think widgets are what these people need. :)

[edited by: Jenstar at 1:20 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2005]
[edit reason] No adult keywords, please ;) [/edit]

activeco

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 12:39 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

[quote]<snip>[quote]

I am sorry, but that one has already three advertisers.

[edited by: Jenstar at 1:20 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2005]
[edit reason] No adult keywords or URLs, please ;) [/edit]

Livenomadic

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 1:07 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow... just wow...

MovingOnUp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 3:07 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I first started the site I did radio, print, and some banner advertising. Then I tried direct mail and email campaigns. Then I found Google AdWords and Overture. That has by far been the best source besides plain word-of-mouth.

I would have to agree with your observation that AdWords and Overture are some of the most productive places for paid advertising.

That being said, they're not a good source for every site. You need to calculate your EPV (earnings per visitor). If it's under $0.05, even AdWords is a losing proposition. For sites like that, you're left with SEO and organic growth methods.

sunandgames

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:41 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

To be honest, however, you probably need to build your traffic more before it'll do much beyond just pay for your hosting. With 50,000 page views per month for a site like you describe, you'll probably get $100 per month or less.

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.

I'm pretty new to all this stuff, but these two quotes in this thread seem quite different. Is one more accurate, or is there a middle ground somewhere. I would have thought 50,000 page views had potential for pretty good AdSense revenue. The second quote suggests that you could do $40 with 1000 visitors per day.

MovingOnUp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:50 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The second quote requires a 10% CTR and a $0.40 CPC. I think that's pretty unlikely for a general entertainment site. I think a 2% CTR and a $0.10 CPC is probably more likely. For 50,000 page views per month, that's $100.

paybacksa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 7:12 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I recommend that once you are over 50k per month you add three distinct styles of affiliate ads to your pages, in addition to AdSense. A rotating banner or 3 vertically stacked banner boxes will work fine.

The first should very clearly target teens. The second older adults, and the third either men or women (but not both). Watch performance and learn.

You may be very surprised to find your Brittny Spears page is actually viewed moslty by middle-aged men, or that over-50 dating site ads do really well on your SpongeBob page. It all makes sense in retrospect (grandparents buy SpongeBob stuff for their grandkids, etc) but if you didn't do the testing you might never have discovered which ads work where.

Shiznaught

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5290 posted 9:23 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's my newbie question:

What is a scraper site and what does it have to do with dmoz?

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