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When people ask,

"So, what do you do?"

     
9:28 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you do Adsense full time, how do you reply to them? I just got back from a bit of a vacation and while meeting many new people at various holiday functions this question came up over and over again. "So, what do you do for a living?"

"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.

9:29 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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internet pirate.
9:39 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tell them usual I am an independent journalist.
I have on my web sites samples of my works.

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.

9:45 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My main site is a portal and my response is:

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.

9:47 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Excellent question, and want to hear what others say too.
Personally I go by: Internet business, I own very popular websites and advertisers pay me to put ads on my sites .. No mention of AdSense or pay per click, that usually takes care of strangers, it is with the friends and relatives that I have trouble in evading the EPC issue.

[edited by: Hobbs at 9:59 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2006]

9:47 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[quot]They then usually ask what I mean by "web publisher".[/quote]

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. :-)

9:52 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What I tell them depends on who is asking.

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.

9:57 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes "What do you do?" is a difficult one to answer without going into long explanations. Answering that you are a web publisher just doesn't mean anything to most people. Loooking forward to what others say (or try to say) when asked the same question.
10:03 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's about one of the persons from the tread "I could save 3 people".

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.

10:06 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There's an old saying from World War 1 that I keep in mind:

"Loose Lips Sink Ships"

10:07 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I usually say, "We sell advertising" and then direct the conversation toward the interesting aspects of the site, namely the content.

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!"

10:10 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I like "web entrepreneur".
10:21 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I used to tell people I do Internet work that I make web sites. They then immediately assumed I was some type of webmaster/designer and asked how much I charged for a website.

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.

10:25 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Why not just explain what AdSense is? In my case, I usually explain that I work both ends of Google's advertising programs. I pay and I collect. I pay for my business to be online through AdWords and get charged when surfers click on my ads, which in turn gives me leads which I turn into clients. At the same time, I collect when I receive compensation when internet surfers click on the google ads that I run on my site, creating a secondary revenue stream. It's all done through google. I fail to see what the big secret or difficulty is. Most people can grasp it. If I was making a full-time living as a publisher, and didn't have to advertise my primary business through AdWords, I would think it would be easier ;-)
10:36 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When it comes to people who aren't to web savy, the term "I work with computers" usualy does the trick :)

Mack.

10:36 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I make money on the in...ter...net."

Let their imagination figure out the rest. ;)

10:37 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Inquire, what is it you do again?
:)
10:44 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I just say I am a freelance web designer.
10:47 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So, what do you do?

Ans: As little as possible.

And they go away thinking I work for the government.

11:00 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Recently I`ve got into the habit of saying "I'm a Web 2.0 operative" and tapping the side of my nose in a knowing way. Fascinating what conclusions people draw from that.
11:01 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Very funny Hobbs ;-)
Seriously if someone is actually interested (as opposed to making small talk), I find they can grasp the concept for the simple reason that most people use the internet and most of them know about those text ads you see.
11:08 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you really don't want to talk about it then throw them off the scent first.

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.

11:13 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I say I publish porn and usually all conversation ends right there! ;-)
11:15 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have always found that "I'm a computer programmer" leads to a death in the conversation (except with very sad people who are actually intersted in computer programming)

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.

11:18 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tell people "I make money while I sleep" or "I have internet businesses". Depending on who it is that's all I will say.

People are just opportunists and stickybeaks -- it makes me sick.

11:28 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Web publisher, writer and media company - all of which are true - depending on who's asking.

Inquire said

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!

11:35 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I say I publish porn and usually all conversation ends right there! ;-)

Hahah; the best idea I've ever thaught about! I must have done it too, if I was not so shy :(

12:12 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tell people I work with Tony and Big Al, then put a finger to my lips to quiet further conversation...
12:56 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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@the Donster ..U....you can also add .."but I dont give discounts to memberships of my sites to the people I meet socially ..however I do hold auditions for new talent ..what's your number? "..

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 :)

1:14 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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First off, never tell anyone how it works without a complete and full in-depth discussion about never ever ever clicking on one of my ads. That conversation isn't going to happen, so the PPC aspect is completely left out of the conversation. Besides, a lot of the people I know might visit one of my sites, and they know that I run it, and I'd hate to lose a potential valid click! lol

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

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