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"I work at home on the Internet as a web publisher." They then usually ask what I mean by "web publisher". Followed by "Who pays you to do that?". And, finally, they come up with a creative way to ask "How much money do you make doing that?".
On one particular night of being asked what "I do" over and over, I decided to just say that I owned a computer related business. But, this just made things worse. "Oh computers! My brother works for a software company and makes good money there. So, what exactly does your company do in regards to computers?" Then, I was just back to square one, but with more explaining to do.
What do other Adsense full-timers, possibly with employees, say when asked this question? I'm just curious, thanks in advance for any comments.
People make usually the fantastic imagination, that big magazines pay me for making reportages.
Nobody until now had the idea, that the samples of my work on my own web sites is all my work, and that 70% of my living comes from AdSense on this pages where I show samples of my journalistic work.
The remaining 30% are from long time contracts from my web promotion clients.
I got a web site like Yahoo.com but smaller. My money comes from advertisers who pay to see there their company, just like your local newspaper, you know?
Then, anyone half closes an eye and says: ah... yes, yes...
If still wants to know about the big Q "Who pays you?" then talk to him about advertising in a local newspaper. Most people just don't know a word not only about Internet or web publisihing but about advertising.
[edited by: Hobbs at 9:59 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2006]
That reminds me of when I worked in publishing (as an editor and writer) years ago and my Chicago landlord kept asking if I was a printer. He came from a blue-collar background and couldn't believe that anyone actually got paid for sitting around and making things up. :-)
Most casual questions like this get a simple... "I'm a bum". Mostly just because I don't want to try explaining. Seems to work.
People I have some reason to think might actually be interested in my specific site get told I publish an old widget website. That usually gets a conversation going.
I asked him summer last year about important fairs, he visits for his profession.
We planed to visit together one of this fairs in autumn, but he had in the last moment no time, because of a new customer.
As I visited him in December, he aksed me about the fair. I showed him about 30 pages photo reportage. He asked me "Was it possible to take from all this companies money for the articles"
I told him, that each good magazine seperates strictly journalism from ad selling. So I talked with no company about advertising, because I am the department for creating content. The ad selling is strictly seperated.
Now he was really confused.
So I showed him a revenue statistic from an earlier fair this year. This was simple a statistic from the monthly AdSense reveues from an URL-channel watching this fair generated by my CMS.
Now he asked me, is this real money or only a statistic. Looking at his confused face, I thought, that he belives all this month $ statistics are something like the high score in a computer game.
Maybe he would even not belive in AdSense, when I show him all my statements of account with AdSense payments.
Unless they're working on their MBA, most people would rather hear about the great interview you just put online instead of the nuts and bolts of the business. You can distract them easily. If that doesn't work, I'm all for Internet Pirate, but you have to follow it with a hardy "Yarrrrrr!"
I then found out that my city taxes were lower if I was classified as a media company, so now I tell people I'm a web publisher.
As others discovered, that just elicits follow-up questions (including the how much do you charge to make a website). Since AdSense is only part of my revenue, I usually follow-up with I make directories like the Yellow pages and companies pay me for placement.
I occassionally tell people that I'm a 'Bouncy Castle repair man', people always say 'Really?' or something similar. I respond by admitting 'I'm not really, but it's far more interesting than the computer job I do'.
I find people just move on from there, as they get the hint I don't want to talk about what I do.
But, then I am a computer programmer by day (websites just give me beer and mortgage money). If my Adsense did give me enough to live on then I would continue using the "programmer" line - I think mention of how Adsense works is a risky thing to mention.
I fail to see what the big secret or difficulty is
This thread [webmasterworld.com] may provide insight into why most of us don't explain "exactly" how adsense works, and why we keep it a "big secret" :) - friends and relatives will try to be "helpful", ex-partners may try to exact revenge!
gets rid of most ..
you get to keep some ( helps if you have the sites :)..
or "people call me in for example when they have been surfing adult / legally doubtfull sites and want the traces removed, cos there are always are, would you like my card?"
lets you drink your martinis in peace :)
What I tell people is I run a website and that I sell advertising on the site. If they ask how I find the advertisers, I tell them I go to a site where a lot of webmasters go to find advertisers. If they ask how much I make, I always say: "Could be better."
But I like the Bouncy Castle repairman cover story! I don't want to steal that (duplicate content penalty, you know), so maybe I'll tell them that I'm a cupper (a coffee tester) for Dunkin' Donuts. It's only a half lie! :D