Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Your Adsense Earnings Does Not Need to Be Peanuts

Adsense is a favorite of mine, because it is such an easy business model and Google does all the work for you.

Let me take a moment to tell you what prompted this post

I read and watch every adsense tutorial I come across. Simply because adsense is one of the main methods I use to monetize some of my sites. It's therefore important to keep abreast of new deveopments in adsense.

I was reading an e book that said something like 'With adsense you should be making a minimum of $5 a MONTH by the end of the first year'


One year for $60 dollars. In some countries there are laws against such low income.
Even $5 a day would mean £150 a month which again is just peanuts if you have been slogging hard at it for a whole year

If you are in that bracket you need to settle down and read this post

If you have a website up for more than one year and your main source of income from the site is adsense, you really should be making more than $5 a day

If you are not, you are doing something wrong. The question is what are the possibilities.

We'll deal with the obvious ones first

Insufficient traffic

Like I said it's pretty basic. You need traffic to make money with adsense. People need to be visiting your website if they are going to click on your ads. If you think about it, the CTR a lot of webmasters declare in the forums is 2 to 5%. So if you are getting a hundred visitors a day... that's 2 adsense clicks. An average keyword optimized page could attract adsense ads that pay you 50 cents a click. Let's be generous and say $2 a click. $4 a day from your 2 clicks is not going to take you on the road to quitting the day job. Nuff said on amount of Traffic

Insufficient Content

This could be an insufficient number of pages or an insufficient amount of content on each page. Lets talk about the number of pages aspect of things. You'll never come across someone who is 'caning it' with a two page website or blog. You need lots of pages that are optimized for a lot of different keywords. That's a lot of pages on each of your websites. Think about it. The guy who set up the article directory is privy to this concept. You create the content for him/her and he monetizes it with adsense. All those pages with all that content focused on that wide variety of keywords. There is a lesson in there for those with their eyes open

And the content on each page. Agreed there are those who seem to be able to manipulate the adsense code and manage to get adsense to display relevant ads on low content sites. But for the majority of us, we need to present the adsense code with content that tells it what ads to display on our pages. It is within this content that your keywords appear often telling the code what your page is about. Personally, I had some pages that really did not do well. The adsense ads were not relevant. I wrote more content on some of these sites and ... relevant ads.

Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

The best traffic for adsense income is search engine traffic. This is one fact that has not changed for a few years now. Conversions are better when your visitors come looking for you and your content. It's basic stuff. People will tell you that social bookmarking and other things are great for adsense. I say in my experience not. Social networking traffic is pretty good for affiliate sales. But when it comes to adsense, it has got to be search engine traffic. So pay attention to your SEO. If you do not have an SEO approach to creating content for your sites and blogs, start now.

Less Obvious Reasons for Low Adsense Income

Wrong type of traffic

Getting traffic is easy. Just stick your site on a traffic exchange site and surf all day.
You'll get hits, loads of hits. Each will stay on your site for the obligatory 10 seconds and off they go to another site.
This sort of traffic will earn you next to nothing with your adsense monetized sites.

As I mentioned earlier, you need people who come to you looking for the content on your pages. And because you have made the effort on the content front to ensure that your adsense ads are relevant, your visitors will be interested in those also. Not to overstate things, search engine traffic best fulfills this. Optimize your pages for keywords that are relevant to your content and you will get the right type of traffic... the type that converts

Click Exchange

We have all come across them on forums and on blog networking sites. They send you private messages on the blogcatalog and facebook asking you to click their adsense ads and they will click yours in return.

The logic behind these peoples' thinking is just beyond me. Risk losing your adsense income for life [A Google ban usually is for life] for a single click from someone that is never going to come back to your site!!! Does that sound like a bad idea to you or is it just me?.
You want to invest the time in building your content, your backlinks, improving your on page SEO. These are the things that translate to long term earnings on your site

Believing The Gurus

This one was my big mistake when I first got involved with making money online with adsense and with affiliate marketing. Blindly following what that cool ebook taught you is not the way to go. All the guy is telling you is what worked on HIS SITES!!

It does not necessarily mean that they will work on yours.

With adsense you have got to TEST things.

There is no perfect position or banner size or colour scheme that is perfect for all sites or even across different pages on the same site. You have got to do some testing.

The gurus are there to give you a guide, an introduction to adsense and help you lay the foundations. The rest is up to you.

Before I finish this I realize that it sounds like a lot of hard work is involved with making money with adsense.

But if you look at things objectively, it takes a lot of work in the bricks and mortar world to make an income....So why are we expecting short cuts when it comes to making money with adsense?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Niche Bloggers Your Audience Is Human

Funny isn't that.

In niche marketing we are taught so many things. Lots of stuff about search engine optimization and getting your pages indexed. There is a lot out there about robot text files and CSS and php and all the jargon

Somewhere in the middle of all this, the primary objective of blogging for a living or niche marketing or online marketing or Adsense sites or whatever else it is you are into online is forgotten

And what is this primary objective

To get content in front of people that are interested in the content in a format that will encourage the people to read your content and take the desired action


Nothing else, matters
The words on your pages must speak to a human audience

And as human beings we do not go to websites looking for something to click so that we have to bring out our wallets...No

We go to websites often to find information about a certain topic or product or gadget

Even for those of us that do our shopping online. You have decided what the product you want to buy is. You know how much you are willing to pay.
Most of us still pause and have a good read of the page before we click on the purchase button.

To cut to the chase...It's the words that sell

So it's great to have the savvy to tell the Google bots to go here and there. You may even be able to make the bots do a back flip for you

But the Google bots are not going to buy your product

Am I saying SEO is bad.... Certainly not. Most of the hundreds of pages I have distributed all over the net are search engine optimized

But more recently I have focused on the quality of content on some of my websites. And the changes here and there have made a lot of difference. Both to my rankings and to the revenue generated from these sites

We have all heard it over and over again 'content is king' but I think somewhere along the way we have become oh so distracted by the insatiable quest for backlinks

I think it's back to basics.

Generated and frequently update your quality content and the results you are getting from your sites will improve

Speak to your audience and they will respond to you

Till next time

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Niche Marketing Blog Basic Guide

Another decade has begun and it's amazing how topical blogging for a living still is. Perhaps because for some people it works and maybe you are looking for a way to make some extra income for yourself and are considering blogging as an option. Here you will learn a few tips to get you on your way. The long and short of it is, if you put little effort into the blog, you'll get poor results. Loads of people start on the path of blogging for an income but few succeed at it

Fail to plan and plan to fail

Niche or Topic. You have to decide what niche your blog is going to target. The topic or niche is the market or group of people whose needs you are going to address with your blog. Careful niche research and selection is crucial and can make or break your blogging career. Who are you going to market to because at the end of the day you want to promote a product or CPA to your readers. Who are you targeting and is the market viable? The most important reason for niche selection is to identify the needs of the market so you can cater to those needs.

Daily Work Plan.
You have to work out a work schedule before you start.You need a plan to work to.
Treat your blog like a real business. This is the biggest tip you'll ever read. Have a set number of hours everyday that you work on your blog and stick to it. The schedule you decide on will depend on whether you are doing this part time or full time.
I would suggest dividing your time into three. One part for generating content, one part for your own training and the last part for generating traffic to your blog

Commit to a posting frequency
There is no doubt in my mind that the more frequently you post high quality content on your blog, the better it does in the search engines and visitor loyalty is improved.
Most blogging tutorials I have purchased advise posting every day or several times a day. Personally I think a minimum of three times a week is okay, especially if you want to avoid burn out, to start with and once you have your audience you can slow this down. Having said that only post as frequently as you have useful information to share.

SEO from The Start
Without an audience, your blog is dead in the water. It's why search engine optimization should be a crucial aspect of your planning. Good SEO means a ton of search engine, targeted traffic to your blog. It's what makes the difference between a blog that commands a few thousand visits a day and one managing 10 visitors a week.It's the difference between looking for traffic to your blog and having the traffic come looking for your content
Search engine optimization will help you decide the most appropriate title for each of your blog posts, the domain name you choose for your blog and the names you allocate to your categories. It could actually determine the blogging platform you decide to use. Wordpress we all know has a fair number of search engine optimization enhancing plug ins. Having said that though, the best SEO you can do on your pages is in the choice of words you use, the volume of your content and the quality of your content. No amount of plugins can compensate for that

Become an Expert on your topic
At the beginning of your new career, your level of expertise in your niche is not particularly relevant. As long as you are enthusiastic about learning about that niche and aim to become an expert in the niche. And for this reason your niche selection must be something you are enthusiastic about. Obviously if you choose a niche that you are lukewarm about either in knowledge base or level of enthusiasm, it will reflect in your blog posts and you will lose
We have all seen those hurriedly thrown together blog posts that just do not make any effort to make a connection with you the reader. You know, the blogs we never go back to.
And we also all know the blog posts that excite us when we are reading them. The ones that you read them and you feel energized and motivated. This is the style of writing you want to aspire to and choosing a niche you are excited about is a big step towards achieving this

Jump Right in

Perpetual Newbie
You really want to go through the planning stage of your new blogging career very quickly and then jump right in. There is a lot to learn about making money through a blog and this can often paralyze newbies into inactivity. You are not going to start making an income from your blog if you do not start the blog.
You have to keep in mind that no blogger started off with all the knowledge in his or her head. We all learned as we went along. And the best way to learn is by doing. So get that blog up and running. You need to keep moving in this blogging business or you'll find your blog to be one of those million than never make an impression.

SEO Is Crucial
Treat each post in your blog as an individual webpage and apply SEO to each post with this in mind. You want your posts to rank for different keywords so that you have more coverage in the search engines in your niche. Include your keyword or keyword phrase in your post title and early in the content of your article. Keep this concept in mind when you are generating backlinks to your blog. You want to use anchor text backlinks that contain the keyword you are optimizing that particular post for.
To rank well in the search engines the spiders prefer to find a lot of words on your pages. 350 to 500 words seems to be the consensus among bloggers
The content must be original. I would advice not to use PLR articles or other content that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Write your own posts or outsource your content creation but make sure that your content is original

Social Networking
The blogosphere is a rather large place and it is easy to get lost in it. Your reputation is only as big as your network so you need to get busy building a network of friends in the blogging world and in your niche Mybloglog and technorati are good places to start networking with other bloggers. Blogcatalog is another decent option
Facebook and linkedin are social networking sites that are popular with internet marketers. They have a wide variety of groups and you could find one or two in your niche.
It's important that you pay attention to what other bloggers are up to. Learn the techniques of the successful bloggers and learn from the mistakes of others.

Choosing The Right Platform For You
The two most popular platforms are Blogger and Wordpress. Wordpress is particularly popular with internet marketers because of the versatility the plug ins afford. There is a new plugin every now and then to help automate some task or the other

Personally I use Blogger. Blogger does not have the advantage of a whole host of plug ins but it does well in the search engines and the learning curve is not neck breakingly steep.

Whatever platform you opt for, there is the option of using it as a free hosted platform or getting your own hosting account
As a professional blogger the aim is to host your own blogs.
Some beginners opt to use the free platform to start with and then, when they get to grips with how things work, pay for a hosting account and migrate there blogs to the paid hosting. The one major disadvantage of this though is the loss of your backlinks you would have generated to the free hosted blog. [Why I haven't migrated this blog :)]The cost for a domain name and hosting account is not high. So cost in most cases should not factor in to the decision of choice of hosting or free blog

Generating Traffic To Your Blog

Search Engine Optimization
Seems to be a recurring theme but I cannot over-emphasize it. Apply SEO to each and every post on your blog This has been mentioned before but highlights how important SEO is to getting traffic to your blog in the long term.

Pillar articles
These are articles that comprehensively and exhaustively cover a particular subject in your niche.They usually go into a lot of detail about the topic and often become a reference article for other webmasters. These are wikipedia style articles.
To determine what to write a pillar article on, forums are good source of information. Browse the forums in your niche and see if there are any questions that gets asked over and over again. These make great topics for pillar articles This article will act as a magnet for visitors to your site and could help establish your reputation as an expert in the field

Blog Carnivals
These are a very effective method of getting the word out about your blog. A blog carnival is a blog post on someone elses blog that collects the most relevant articles on a particular subject.When published, the carnival post has a short introduction to what the carnival is about. It then has snippets of blog posts that have been accepted on the carnival. There is then a link under each snippet to the blog where the original post is i.e your blog If your post gets accepted in someones carnival it's a good thing both for SEO and direct traffic

Article marketing
Article marketing is still a very effective method of generating backlinks to your blog if done correctly. Article marketing involves writing high quality articles and submitting these articles to article directories online. If the article is accepted, there is a bio box or about the author space where you can put an anchor text link to your blog.

It's good practice to use content for the article directories that is different from the content on your blog

Guest Blogging
A little like article marketing because you are generating articles and submitting them to other peoples' sites. The difference here is instead of submitting to an article directory, you submit your article to a blog that already attracts an audience in your niche. Choose blogs that already have an established reputation in your niche and have a lot of traffic

Blog Directories And Social Bookmarking
Unfortunately, most of the blog directories and social bookmarking sites use the no follow attribute in the link to your submitted blog. This means the link has no Search engine optimization value to you. However these are high traffic sites and also some bookmarks do well in the search engines
Social bookmarking sites need a little work to build a reputation.The results are great if you have a large group of strategically placed followers The earlier you start building a reputation or a network at the social bookmarking sites the better it will be for your bookmarks when you eventually start bookmarking your blog posts

Keep Learning

The world of blogging involves continued education. Both with regards to your niche and also the techniques involved in taking your blog forward. Blogging techniques and the resources available to you are continually upgraded and changing. There are new software being developed, new rules regarding sharing of information and a myriad of things.

Staying abreast of these developments can be daunting. A great way to get information is to join forums in your niche, forums about blogging and internet marketing forums.

There is a wealth of information shared in the forums on a daily basis.You can learn alot from just hanging around the forums for short periods every day.

For internet marketing, the warrior forum is a great hub for bloggers like you sharing and gaining information. Whatever you do, keep learning and keep implementing what you learn


So you now have a blog with a few high quality posts that are getting a decent amount of traffic to it. The question is how do you make money from your blog. After all this is the primary reason you set the blog up Blog is up, traffic is coming in. How do you make money from the blog?

Google Adsense
Requires you to register with Google adsense and acceptance to the program is not automatic. Adsense is an ad serving program that allows you the blog owner to make money by displaying Google adsense ads on your pages.

The ads are targeted to your content via a small code that the adsense program gives you to paste in the HTML of your blog. Every time someone clicks on one of these adverts your adsense account gets credited with a small amount of money. This usually is a few cents but if you have a lot of traffic and a lot of clicks, the money soon adds up. At the end of the month Google sends you a cheque for the amount you have made. Pretty cool! Adsense is quite popular with blog owners and webmasters because it is easy to use

Affiliate Marketing
One of the leading methods of making money online and a really cool business model As an affiliate marketer you promote other peoples products and get paid a commission if a desired action is achieved.
This could be a sale or a sign up[called CPA].
In affiliate marketing, you do not have any physical contact with the product so no storage or shipping required on your part. You act simply as a middle man who suggests products to your readers. You role is simple to send buyers to the merchants site through a special affiliate link unique to you

Sell your own product
You may have a product of your own or a bricks and mortar business that you wish to promote.The reach of your blog increases the audience to which you can market your business or product to.

These are just a few of an infinite methods of making money from your blog.

So that was a crash course on getting started with blogging.
More details at free Blogging video tutorials

Till next time

On Page Search Engine Optimization

On page SEO is all those wonderful things you can do on your website or pages to help them have better position in the search engines for keywords related to your content

I can here you groaning "We know that already"
Before you click away I'd like to ask you one question
"So why are you not paying more attention to your on page search engine optimization?"

In the race to get as much traffic to our sites, we become carried away with this whirl-storm of getting 'as many backlinks as we possibly can'

Don't get me wrong. Backlinks are a good thing, but they are not to be you primary aim in getting traffic to your website

In the flurry of all these bells and whistles backlinking packages, something crucial gets left in the dust. On page SEO

Admittedly, you can get a website to rank very well, even get the number one position in Google for competitive keywords based solely on the backlinks [off site optimization] to that site. The 'click here' Adobe example is an often quoted example of this. But like in the example you need a ton of backlinks...thousands of do follow links all pointing back to you to show up anywhere in the competitive keyword SERPs

And lets face it, without resorting to black hat SEO techniques, it really is impossible for most of us niche marketers to get the relevant volume of backlinks in a reasonable period of time

So the missing ingredient would be on page SEO.

With the right balance of off page optimization and on page SEO, you can achieve better results in the search engine results pages than just focusing on getting an endless number of backlinks

Read Quick On Page SEO Tips