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Can you imagine Google saying to an Advertiser: Hey, on your widget website, put up an ad for AdWords to help us sign up more widget websites so that they will bid against you and drive up your advertising costs.
Why would people help Google advertise for more publishers in their own market niches? Would The Boston Globe allow ads in their classified section for the Boston Herald's classified section?
Any webmaster visiting your site very likely has a website in your market niche! Unless you have a site geared towards other webmasters like WW, perhaps.
Are you all insane? Does Google know that we're all insane?
I can tell you I experimented a while with the funny buttons, putting them on pages that were not related to the niches a would like to keep to myself.
Thousands upon thousands of page impressions resulted in only a few sign-ups, I can count them on one hand.
As far as I can see, I am the lucky one because people with far more page impressions than I have, never got a sign-up whatsoever. That doesn't surprise me cause the buttons are designed exceptionally bad considering the purpose they are supposed to serve.
I suspect putting a regular Adsense block on the same spot won't make me a hundred bucks, but it would be sure money without getting new competition.
Bottom line: the referral button doesn't work, and if it does, it generates new competition.
1. Your cost is too high and yours are not selling
2. Your cost is higher than competitors, so the competitor's is cheaper, and yours don't sell.
3. Your cost is too high, and you are incapable of buying in a volumn that would give you a lower cost and allow you to sell cheap enough to move the goods on the web.
If you can't beat them, join them. We have just recently began promoting this notion. It is perfect for the small business owner who came to the web thinking he could make a go of it, and found out he couldn't, due to 1, 2 or 3. It is back-up plan B.
I have news for you, content is content. Whether it is an article or it is goods offered, they both are defined as 'content'. If you came to the web to make money, any content that can accomplish that, is the right content.
So, far, having just started promoting this, we have one sign up. We are promoting that business now to help them succeed at Adsense, where their effort to move goods had not working. I have no doubt that they were making money the first day, which is better than having been on the web for months, and not sold a single widget. People need something that will at least pay the hosting fees, and give them a bit more, or they are gone.
We are all here for the bottom line. There is no point in getting self righteous over how you accomplish that. You do what works. Period.
we have one sign up. We are promoting that business now to help them succeed at Adsense
I've read a lot of your posts Janet and have a great respect for you. I know that you aren't some school kid playing at webmaster. And your time likely isn't worth $5 an hour to you. Is it really worth your while to find Adsense a customer, help him succeed etc... all for $100 (it may be worth it for a 10% cut like Chitika does - but a flat $100?)?
The prospect of a possible $ 100,- for a sign-up might look attractive, but all of us know that's only a short term profit
Well said! It could be argued that the more publishers that come aboard the better the chance of Google convincing a new advertiser to sign up. However, the relative number of new publishers to new advertisers is not really the issue. You're giving up real estate on your site to attract competition for yourself. Fine, if it pays you a whacking great pot of gold and allows you to retire. It doesn't.
It pays you $100 per publisher. If you can get even one publisher. Everyone + dog knows about Adsense and making a sale is not easy. I'd be surprised if anyone's making any serious money from the referral program. In fact many of you have probably made nothing at all. Zero, zilch. That space is as good as dead space. Putting some other ad there, any ad - at random something from CJ, clickbank, Chitika, YPN, or Joe Bloggs' blog or posting in some webmaster forum that you're selling text links at $0.50 - could earn you more.
But, the important issue is that expressed in the OP. If you do succeed in earning $100 it's quite possibly at the expense of losing it elsewhere.