I’m fortunate enough to make a nice living from running Google AdSense on my blogs and websites, and I often get questions from folks who are trying to figure out why the program doesn’t perform for them. How can you make dollars – even hundreds of dollars – a day instead of mere pennies?
In this article, I’m covering some of the most common reasons people have trouble making money from AdSense.
1. AdSense works best on niche consumer-oriented blogs
To those of us who have been making money online for a while, this seems obvious, but lots of new folks haven’t had that ah ha realization yet.
If your blog is a journal of your life or serves mostly to entertain, it’s not going to be a good candidate for AdSense (and – I’ll be honest here – it’s probably not going to make much from other programs either).
The best performers are blogs that are focused on a specific niche. Even more, that niche should have lots of products or services associated with it.
For example, a blog on home improvement (many of my sites are in the home and garden niche) can do well since there are all sorts of tools and products people buy when they’re looking to remodel or otherwise improve their homes. There are also plenty of services related to this niche, everything from roofing companies to pool maintenance outfits. All of those companies that offer products or services in that niche will want to advertise on your blog, and they’re willing to pay well for qualified clicks.
On the other hand, if your blog is unfocused or attracts people looking more for entertainment than information related to products and services, you’ll find advertisers less likely to pay well (that’s when you see those 1 and 2 cent clicks).
2. Ads must be placed prominently in order to attract attention
I noticed a gal on Twitter complaining that AdSense was making her something like 18 cents a day. I checked out her site, and lo and behold, her tiny 125×125 AdSense block was way over on the right side of her blog below the fold.
If you want to make money with AdSense, stick those ads where people will see them!
This means getting them as close to your content as possible (if you can wrap the ads right into the blog post, it’s best) and keeping them above the fold (people shouldn’t have to scroll down to see your ads).
Also, don’t be afraid to use big ad blocks. Those large rectangles are the best performers – people can’t miss them. If you want to make money from your blog, you can’t be shy about placing those ads prominently.
3. Write about products or services that cost a lot
It’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll make more per click from a blog that reviews $500-$1000 backyard grills than one that reviews books or cds that cost $20. The profit margins are a lot higher on big ticket items, so advertisers can afford to bid more per click.
It’s also helpful if the items you’re writing about are easily purchased over the internet. Even though hot tubs cost thousands of dollars, they tend to be items that people try out first and buy locally. On the other hand, software packages that cost a few hundred dollars are logical choices for ordering online.
As you can see from this short list, the real secret to doing well with AdSense is to pick your niche – and start a blog – based on the potential for profit rather than adding AdSense to an existing blog and hoping it will make you rich.
If your existing blog isn’t at all consumer oriented, but it has a lot of traffic, you can always use it to drive traffic to a new blog that does work well with the AdSense model. Don’t give up – you can definitely make good money from AdSense (and other affiliate and advertising programs as well), if you’re willing to build a site that will appeal to both visitors and advertisers.