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I've tried all the tips I've found for AdSense, but I'm still only making a couple cents per day.
I've tried all sorts of ad placements/types and I still average about 1.0% CTR.
Also, I can't really target a higher-paying keyword because all I can really think of is "breakdancing", "dance", and "hip hop." None of these keywords will earn me much at all.
As far as content goes, I've tried my best. There's really not much content you can make based on breakdancing. I've written a ton of breakdancing move guides, I have original content (such as a list of MySpaces for famous breakdancers), etc. Most of my content is on my forums (such as the move guides, etc.). Heck, I even wrote a "Battle Network" script for breakdance battles online which took me several months to complete. I even made a "Move of the Week" section where I post up a new video every week - which is very high maintenance, I'd prefer to not have to worry about finding a new clip every week.
So I'm stumped on what I should do. Should I give up? Is anyone in a similar situation? Any tips?
Any help is appreciated.
[edited by: mack at 2:19 am (utc) on Jan. 1, 2006]
[edit reason] Url removed. See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
But keep building you site, since you may put your traffic to better use in future if you can find something more worthy.
That will tell you where you should be looking, then you can skew your content slightly (or a lot) towards those areas.
Note that here may not be a lot of advertisers in AdSense for hiphop clothing or rugburn lotions or whatever. You can also look at affiliate programs and even selling advertising/sponsorships directly.
Also, as I've stated earlier, I can't optimize my site to target higher-paying keywords because my site mainly focuses on breakdancing. The ads in the breakdancing category pay very little and if I just made it "dance" in general, then it would likely yield a low CTR (not to mention I can't even find the price for "dance" on any of the keyword search engines).
My average CTR (does NOT include my forum CTR) is 0.8%. My average earnings per day (including ads from my forums) is about 50 cents. Not much to brag about.
Another problem is the low ad inventory. I'm getting the same 4-5 ads everytime. Which is another reason I'm considering giving up AdSense.
I'm really out of ideas and considering giving up. I've read Joel Comm's eBook on optimizing AdSense, I've browsed many forums and applied many techniques all to no avail.
If anyone has any ideas, I would really appreciate it if you share it. Right now my server expenses are above my ad revenue so I've been facing a net loss for a couple months now.
Last month there were around 250,000 searches on the keyword "dance" at Yahoo! and 47,000 searches on "break dance." If your site is ranked well by Yahoo and Google, I think it is possible for you to make around US$300 per month (assuming your site is ranked no.1 for those 2 keywords and received 300,000 page impressions per month).
I think you should try to convert some of your contents in the forum into html format. Dancing might be your stength but if after 1 year your site is still not receiving traffic, I think you should try to move on to other topic. I did that and I am surprised to discover that most of my traffic is coming from the few pages (on certain topic that is not my strength) that ranked well in major search engines. I am happy that my earning now increased from few cents per day to a few dollars per day.
I hope by the end of this year I could make at least US$1000 from these pages that I never expect to be ranked so well by the search engine.
I signed up for the Amazon affiliate program as I'm guessing that's the best one out there. How much do you guys make from affiliate programs on average though?
amazon? around $2 (two dollars) a year, i guess. seriously, adsense payouts outperform by a factor of about 1000. amazon is for fooling newbies.
I'm actually quite surprised I haven't thought of using affiliate links earlier. Thanks for that suggestion everyone. I haven't even had the Amazon affiliate links up for 24 hrs yet and I've already received 18 clicks. That's double what I receive from AdSense on a good day. No one has actually bought anything yet, but I'm optimistic about this Amazon affiliate program.
Also, I've been trying to rank well on Google. I have only 2-3 major competitors - all of which are forums/dance instructions. Not really sure how to beat them since they don't really do link exchanges.
My forum users (get this) INCLUDING my regular visitors have been posting positive responses to my affiliate links because of its relevancy. So I'm quite happy with how the affiliate links have turned out so far for the 12 hours or so that they've been up.
Anyhow, away from affiliate marketing. I'm still trying to make the most out of AdSense so if anyone has any recommendations for the problems I listed above, it would be greatly appreciated.
Todays chart favourite is tommorrow's 'has been'.
Not that you should put lots of time into it -- just know that all those numbers do not all represent real people when you are analyzing your site's perfomance. Adsense reported impressions makes a lot more reliable a number to look at.
If you keep your site good, you may have traffic for years. That means plenty of potential customers to your product.
I haven't even had the Amazon affiliate links up for 24 hrs yet and I've already received 18 clicks. That's double what I receive from AdSense on a good day. No one has actually bought anything yet, but I'm optimistic about this Amazon affiliate program.
roger, with respect, you are comparing apples with oranges. amazon is a pps (pay per sale) program, whereas adsense is ppc (pay per click). so if you are happy with your 18 clicks from amazon today, you get nothing. you might be surprised how long you have to wait to earn a few cents with that.. good luck.
So here is the question of the day-
How is it that G pays pennies for the clicks, while Y (which has a poor relevancy system) pays ten times more per click...in the same niche?
You have decent traffic. You just need to guide them towards decision centers. Many are probably regulars so that's going to be tough as it is. It is why forums have ridiculously low CTRs.
Content is the key. New content areas is the better set of keys. That way a newer audience will find you and either click on your ads or grow your community. It's a win-win.
I didn't get to see the site URL before it was edited out so my apologies if this is redundant but since you claim that forums is your biggest traffic center, turn your forum into content. Feature a "Post of the Day" or "Post of the Week" and serve it up as a standalone page.
Set up a contest for the 10 best songs in 2005 to break dance to. That will give you current artist content and new AdSense ads served up. Invite some of the more active community members, those that seem to perform regularly, into blogging about their break dancing lives.
If you can profile the major cities' break dance clubs you will also open up new AdSense ads -- higher paying travel-related ones.
You mentioned that you link to break dance performers on MySpace. You know what I call that? A good first start. I'm guessing these guys have a lot of traffic on their social networking pages. Perfect. Contact them. Do an email interview. At the very least, do a short bio on some of them. It will give you content and may find them linking over to your site. You may even find some hip hop bands anxious for the promo.
Grow your content. Optimize your pages. Grow your traffic. It's a three-step process and becomes even cooler as you explore each of those and think outside of the box.