Despite having served adverts for some time now I still earn very modest amounts with adsense. I don't expect this to change massively in the near future but I may get a little further in the long run (for the moment growing up has meant I don't have the time needed to really try and push the sites).
If I'm honest I'm starting to dial back any lofty goals I had of making a decent amount through adsense (say 1K a month). However I have begun messing a little with adverts (bringing them closer to the heatmap layout and cutting back on how often adverts are displayed) and this has had some positive influence.
In numbers this leads to a fluctuation of anywhere from $2 - $10ish everyday. This is coming from Google impressions in the region of around 5-7K.
I suppose my main query is should it be possible (through testing or other tweaks) to get stablise things close to the $10 mark. In the end I'm seeing the sites more as hobbies now and the lack of an upward trend (and the frequent drops down to $2) is seeing me seriously consider dropping adsense in favour of internal and crosslinking between sites. Would this be a better move or should I just leave the adverts up and hope that earnings will increase as and when traffic does so?
[edited by: Idris at 4:22 pm (utc) on Feb. 28, 2007]
With Adsense the impressions are not as important as the number of clicks you are getting, since you are generally paid per click rather than for impressions. If that varies largely you would expect to get large difference in earnings.
Earnings of 1K a month are certainly reachable but you really have to drive your traffic in. So new material added frequently etc. From what you say, what you seem to really need is to grow your site. Treble those impressions! That is of course time-consuming so you will need to decide where your priorities lie.
The other thing to remember is that the price per click is set by an advertiser not by Google. So if you get very cheap clicks your earnings will be small. We get clicks which are anything between 2c and $1.00. You can see the spread of earnings may be enormous. Also a lot depends on your niche. Smaller niches are less well-paid, but the competition for high-paying keywords is intense.