I’ve been using Adsense on a new site over the last few months to see if it is still a viable way to earn a little passive income and if it has the ability to make a website more interesting.
During the late 90’s and noughties, Adsense was an easy way to make a passive income. Put up a website, cram it full of spun articles, load it with Adsense, a bit of keyword stuffing and away you go!
It’s a wonder how it paid off really because those sites were as ugly as a bulldog chewing a wasp! But we must remember, the Internet was kinda still new to everybody and folks thought that’s how websites looked and behaved.
Now everyone has a computer and are pretty savvy with how they use the Internet, so those old Adsense sites died a death. Google culled millions of them in their big shake-ups a few years ago, and website surfers are becoming blind to adverts, so why on earth am I looking at Adsense now?
Adsense? Are You Serious?
For one, Adsense is HUGE. It makes Google millions upon millions a year and I read somewhere it is the biggest revenue for them.
So with that, over the last 3 months or so, and probably for the next couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to make a buck online. Now, it’s not that I can’t nail down one specific genre to stick to, it’s because I want to diversify…or maybe it’s because I was getting a little bored and wanted to spice things up a bit?
Firstly, I looked at what consistently makes me money month-in and month-out and that’s affiliate marketing with my own websites. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, they say…so I won’t.
I make enough online by this method to be a stay at home dad/husband/cleaner/cook/handyman. Some months the money can be a bit tight, others months it comes easily…that’s why I’ve been looking at another long term passive income to get on a more even keel…and to change things slightly in my day to day regime.
Now, I’m the sort of marketer who feels uncomfortable selling to my list or any other list for that matter. Other marketers would now say ‘Are you mad???…That’s where the money is!!‘…well, yes I can see that, but I cannot bear being sold to myself, so why should I do that to others? Mad? Maybe!
I look at other ways to bring in the moolah and this includes video marketing, Pinterest marketing and a bit of Tumblr marketing, but mostly it’s my own websites that pay the way for my home lifestyle.
So, I decided to have another look at Adsense.
What? Are you Crazy? Have you Flipped Your Lid?
(I can hear the lambasting from here!)
Using Adsense for Marketing Again?
As I said, it’s just an experiment at the moment, but I really can see the sense in doing it. Look at it this way.
You build a website around a niche, something you actually like, you then write about it on a regular basis and the best part…you don’t have to sell a thing.
With my affiliates sites, I feel as if I have to be promoting stuff all day long, which is what Affiliate Marketing is all about but, sometimes, it’s nice to write about stuff you genuinely enjoy, and without worrying too much about H1 & H2 titles and tags, keywords, research, recommendations, backlinks, social signals etc. I’m not saying you don’t do these things, I’m just saying it doesn’t have to be so ‘in-your-face‘.
I just sit down, write for an hour, add content I know like minded people would understand, link out to really, really relevant pages, added a Facebook page and Pinterest account (not a requirement) and even a G+ account, all because I want to attract, or interact with people who I would like to be associated with.
Sounds ideal doesn’t it.
This kind of site does tend to take a while to gather some traction, but when they do, they become popular and are the go-to place for people in that genre.
Writing Content With Adsense
Finding what to write about for an hour a day is the hard thing.
The trap marketers fall into is trying to find something they are passionate about AND can make money with. I am passionate about football…I love the game, but I’m very limited to what products I can sell around football (that’s the soccer variety for those across the pond). There are a few Clickbank products available, but they’re more for soccer training than for football supporters, and the ability to write about soccer training for an hour a day would limit my knowledge and interest.
But, I don’t have to write about soccer training with an Adsense site. I can write about my passion and let a few Adsense units do some work for me.
I can write a post about how I thought Gerrard must be in turmoil after his slip that gifted Demba Ba the ball and go on to score to end Liverpool’s title chances, and to compound it even more, a few days later, how Liverpool’s tactics went out the window when 3-0 up against Palace going on to draw 3-3 leaving their title chances in tatters.
Now, that last bit won’t make sense to those who don’t follow football, but to an audience who understands the last paragraph, it would make them, perhaps, comment and interact with me and my website, and maybe, just maybe, bookmark my site and even share the post with others.
And the best thing about it all is that I enjoy writing about football, I could do it all day.
I won’t make a million bucks with such a site, but I can earn a passive income. I’d like to earn between $50-$75 a month from this sort of site, and that would take a lot of clicks on those Adsense blocks, but I’m not sweating it. The site I have going at the moment gets around $0.50 a day, but it’s only been going since March and it’s more of a hobby than a business model. I’m not consciously trying to make money, it just does.
I can get involved with social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, G+ and other platforms without feeling I’m just there trying to sell stuff…I’m there because I belong there!
And if I happen to see a product that can benefit my readers, then I can promote it with a very clear conscience.
What Can Go Wrong?
Incidentally, I have a static website from 2004 that contains Adsense blocks and that makes between $20-$30 a month, but the content hasn’t been updated for over 3 years, it only has 6 pages and to be honest…it’s really ugly! I may try to update it, but I will find it difficult to write about chainsaws for an hour a day! Maybe I’ll just leave it!
It’s on a .co.uk domain and only costs me a couple of quid a year to update; I feel as long as it makes money, however little, I’ll keep it. It’s a PR3 and I may have plans for it later…a 10 year old domain, with good backlinks might come in handy!
Back to the here and now and I really wish I was passionate about Gold stocks, insurance plans and legal matters, because that’s where the money is for Adsense, but I’m not and I can’t find the passion to even start with all of that stuff….maybe you can?
Some very big pitfalls await though. Firstly, viewers are getting blind to advertisements, especially the YouTube ones. Google have a tendency to, shall we say, be a little diverse with their click reports and they also can shut you down like Gandalf can swish an Orc away with his staff. The Adsense adverts don’t always show relevant advertisements, you can end up with a men only dating plug on your new baby site!
But putting those things aside, I think you can have fun with your passion website using Adsense, and then if it starts to get popular, monetize it in a more profitable way. In the meantime, carry on writing about what you love and take the pressure off to make sales.
I do enjoy affiliate marketing, but sometimes a break is needed to test new things out, so now I write an hour each day about stuff I’m passionate about on my Adsense site and then get down to business…my real affiliate marketing.
You can of course go at it like a bull at a gate and really dig your horns in. Find a good topic with lots of ads on page one of Google, a search keyword number of between 1-1000, buy a dozen articles and get some social signals out…but that way just isn’t fun!
Maybe you already have Adsense sites up and running, perhaps you could let me know how they’re doing and whether you think Adsense is a good idea in today’s crazy Internet Marketing world? Let me know your thoughts below.
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