The contextual advertising program Google Adsense has allowed a vast number of Web publishers to earn from their websites. Retirees are rediscovering financial independence with Adsense, while twenty-somethings are quitting their jobs to concentrate full time on their websites or blogs.
However, for every successful Adsense publisher earning thousands per month, there are hundreds who can’t even earn the minimum monthly payout of $100. Many are even earning mere pennies per month. One of the misconceptions people have about Adsense is that they can simply put it in their websites and Adsense will automatically earn for them big money, which unfortunately is not true.
To succeed with Adsense, you need to have the right type of website – the right topic, the right keywords, and the right traffic. Get the elements right and you are on your way to earning six-figures a year (or even more) from Adsense.
The first step to earning more from Adsense is choosing the right topic for your website. Not all topics do well with Adsense – you can’t just expect to write about your musings on life or your love for your pet hamster and expect that website or blog to earn you thousands per month. Adsense does not work for just about any topics out there.
Find the Right Topic
So what is the right topic? There are a number of topics that Adsense publishers found works for them.
The best topics that fit well with Adsense are those that attract users looking to spend money. Think of topics that attract people looking to buy something; or need to spend on something. One example is mortgage resource website. Visitors to mortgage information sites are looking to finance their house purchase, or refinancing. The mortgage site provides the information on mortgage rates, even provide mortgage calculators, while the Adsense ads provide the vendors the user can check out
Think product review sites such as MP3 player reviews or camera reviews. Visitors to review sites are actively thinking of buying the product; hence they visit review sites to get information about the product, compare various products and help make purchase decisions. The review site provides the information, while Adsense ads provide the vendors that offer these products.
Websites on earning money also tend to do well with Adsense. The website can provide information on how to start a business or buy into a business opportunity, while the ads will be business opportunities. As a result, the visitors become very interested in the ads and likelihood of clicking on the ads is much higher.
The best types of websites that work well with Adsense are those when the ads can be considered as an additional resource for the users. Remember, if the visitors the site attracts are looking to spend money, chances are high that the keywords shown on the site are high paying and you can get very good CTR.
Find the Right Audience
Another important aspect in choosing a commercial topic with advertising potential is to find topics where audiences can be most responsive to ads.
Think of a visitor who is eyeballs-deep in credit and is looking for information on how to improve his credit situation. He goes to a site with loads of information on how to improve his credit, including tips on how to improve credit score and how to file for bankruptcy. While he finds the information on the website useful, he is looking to proactively help his dire credit situation. As a result, he is highly likely to click on the ads offering services such as loan consolidation or ads providing more information to improve his credit score.
Or you can have a travel site targeting people researching to spend their money on trips. A Venice, Italy travel page can contain information about the city, including weather, hotels, places to visit, and tips for travelers. The user looking to travel to Venice will find the information on the page very useful, but the Adsense ads on “Hotels on Venice for $58” will most likely attract his attention and compel him to click on the ads.
Audiences are not responsive to ads if the site is the end-goal of the users, and as such will not do well with Adsense,. Gaming sites are an example, as visitors go to the sites simply to play – not look for other information or find additional services. The gaming site is their final destination, not merely a means to find better information or better offers. Hence, gaming and similar sites tend to exhibit very poor click through rates for Adsense.
Forums are another example of sites that do not make good money with Adsense. While forums make the process of content creation easier for the website owner given that content is created by the users, forum visitors are notorious for ad blindness. Afterall, these people go to the forum to chat, exchange ideas, and connect with other people. They typically ignore the ads.
To make money on Adsense from forums, gaming sites and other similar types of sites, you need to have gazillion of traffic to make up for the very low click through rate and potentially low priced clicks. Usually, people who go to gaming sites go there to play rather than read ads.
Consider Your Interests
Identifying a high paying topic is only half of the battle. The next question is: how are you going to create the content?
Do you have any interest about the topic at all? It is hard to create content about something you are not even interested in. Or do you have any knowledge or expertise in the topic? It makes sense to build an information site around what you know and are capable of writing about. Writing is often easier, and you are more motivated to produce content if you know the topic and actually like what you are writing about.
If you do not have any knowledge about the topic yet sees its potential in generating Adsense income, be willing to spend days in the library researching about the topic. As you gain more knowledge about a subject, the process of content creation becomes easier and the quality of the output over time tends to improve significantly.
Another option, of course, is to hire writers to help you with the content. However, you need to watch out for the quality of their writing and check if the article is not stolen content from elsewhere.
Consider Your Competition
Another important consideration is the level of competition, especially if you are just going to build a site from the ground up. It’s one thing to create a website with a high paying topic, and another to actually break from the crowd and get traffic for that website.
One option is to find topics with little competition and hardly written about yet. The downside, however, is that topics with no competition means there is very little interest in the topic, and worse, few advertisers.
If you are going to write about popular topics, it is important to have a strategy in place that will distinguish your content from other websites, more so from the existing leaders in the category. How are you going to set apart your credit information website from the millions of other websites out there? Why will visitors go to your site – and click on your Adsense ads – when they can go to more established websites? What type of content are you going to offer for your Travel to Venice website that hasn’t been written about by other websites?
The key is to find a unique angle or niche in that popular topic that can help your website gain traction. For example, you can create a Venice travel site for wealthy baby boomers. You can also create a website for those seeking mortgages for their second homes.
You have to remember: advertisers and even readers know if your site has value, and whether your content is valuable or not. If users find your content valuable, it is not hard to earn significant amounts of monies from Adsense.
Original publication date: November 2007
Recommended Books on Adsense:
- The AdSense Code: What Google Never Told You about Making Money with Adsense
- Google AdSense For Dummies
- Using Google AdWords and AdSense
- Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with AdSense and AdWords (Animal Guide)