Google AdSense is a common way for bloggers, to try and generate income for their sites.

If you sign into your Google account, you may see that you also have a choice for Google “referral” ads.

Don’t yet have an AdSense account, you can click on the following link, and

Today’s Lesson

There is a big difference between Google Ads for Content, and Google Referral Ads.

Google Ads for Contents, generate income by readers clicking on the ad. You make anywhere from a few cents per click, to possibly much more (depending on the advertiser).

Google Referral ads, pay much more, but………..they require an action by the person who clicks on the ad. The readers usually has to “sign up” for something, by providing personal information.

Is one better than the other?

It depends on the amount of visitors you have, and the caliber of visitors.

Some visitors will never click on an ad. Some ads have “catchy” titles, and readers are inspired to click. And, some readers may click on a referral ad, but when they get to the area where personal information is required, they click off…..no income on that one. (The reader did not complete the “action” required)

I’m doing an experiment.

From this site, I have removed my Google Ads for Content, (which I had in the sidebar). Months ago, I read ( and I don’t know if this is true), that if you have more than one site, and they are all using Google Ads for Content, if one site’s ads are “lower paging ads”, they can decrease your payout for all of your sites.

This makes sense, as no matter how many sites you have, you only have one Google account. So, based on “averages”, that would compute.

This is actually serving a two-fold purpose for me. One, I want to highlight my content, and two, I can “test” if indeed, I will get higher playing ads on my other blog. I also moved my Google Search Box to, below the fold (does anyone even use that?). With regard to the Google search box, that can also generate income, if someone uses it to search.

One other bit of information I’ve read on several sites is, if you have lessGoogle ads, your payout is higher. Apparently, the thinking on that is, advertisers are competing for your ad space, and if you limit your ad space, you will get higher paying ads. It also makes me wonder, if you have a higher page rank (that nasty subject again), if you get higher paying ads.

Today’s Assignment

If you are using Google AdSense, try different scenarios, and see how they work. Give each test up to a month. If it isn’t producing the results you are looking for, change it.

Keep in mind, a lot of readers are “blind” to ads. Ads can also clutter a site so heavily, the content is overshadowed.

If you are more interested in generating income from ads, then you are writing content, you may consider just having a “shopping site”.

I now have all ads “below the fold” (see post: Above The Fold). If you read articles on how to make money with your blog, what I am doing on this site, is not recommended. But since I’m not one who always “follows the crowd”, I’m doing it my way. Currently, I have two affiliate ads, and one Google referral ad. My affiliate ads are through LinkShare.com, and Commission Junction.

So, as not to mislead you, if you sign up for LinkShare, using the link I have provided, I will earn $1.50, through their referral program. By clicking the Commission Junction link, I do not earn any money. By clicking on, and signing up for AdSense, via the Google AdSense link, if you make $5.00 during your first 180 days (of displaying Google ads), I also make $5.00 through Google’s referral program. They also payout on a tier system. More information is available on the Google Adsense site, under “Referrals-Google Products”.

In the future, I will add other advertising links, as I will be testing other income streams for bloggers.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I wish there was a blog button which allows you to “inform me of related posts after this”.

    While I will come back, many who want to know how you get on with the experiment, may forget (unless they subscribe by email_.

    I’ll be fascinated to hear the results.

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ian,

    Wouldn’t that be great? When you subscribe by email or the RSS feed, I believe you get all posts, but cannot just subscribe to updates from only one post.

    For someone who authors plugins, this would be a great one to build.

    Thanks for all of your return visits.

  3. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    P.S. Half-way through that list – it’s excellent. Still need to learn readers though (and I suppose use them!).

    Thanks for such a useful list.

  4. AsakoNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara,

    Interesting. Having said that, I really have not done much on advertisement on my sites, although I do have ads on my site just to fill the blank on the sidebar. It seems in the end people do not make much money from AdSense. It seems people make more money from sponsors, job posts, service provider lists, etc. And I have to be honest, I have made so little, all the affiliate programs are not going to pay me yet!!!

    What is the decent hit rate? How many unique visitors do you think we need a day to have a decent income from Ads?

  5. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Asako,

    Like you, I don’t know the numbers that really count in making a positive shift.

    I suspect though the numbers aren’t as important as the authority of what you say.

    I would rather not seek affilliate links for stuff I thought was a good deal for me. If it wasn’t right for me, it’s not right for the people I know.

    I have only done 2 links in 4 months (car Adsense). And both of those products were those I use. And because it was appropriate in what I was saying (even though I’d been using those products for longer), I asked them for an affilliate link.

    I think it’s more important you stick to what you know and talk about it as an expert.

    I aint on blogs so I rely on people like Barbara and Cath Lawson to guide me. They really research and try the stuff they do. And it comes across. So I believe in them.

    And act accordingly because I trust their opinion.

    I don’t get a decent hit-rate. Although I know you have commented, I suspect my own niche is quite limited (business recovery – it’s like people seeing a fire and running the other way!)/

    I am working on a company version and am pleased to have attracted 10 comments to an article I wrote to launch it.

    I suspect it will do down again. But because I am sticking to the ultimtate audience – small businesses who need IT advice – I’m sure it will build a different audience who are more interested in saving and creating income by using IT better.

  6. AsakoNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you, Ian. I, as well, rely on the experts like Barbara and Catherine. I am not a blog expert, and so I come to this blog to see what I should be paying attention to. And I think more people than you think will learn a lot from your blog – I am learning a lot from your blog.

    I agree, and in the end, we are writing because we want to share what we can share with people. If we start writing because we want to make money from AdSense, we will be distracted.

  7. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Asako and Ian,

    Thank you so much for the support and kind words. You’re both giving me a lot to live up to…but, I’m going to give it my best shot.

    Yes, I do research, and have been researching long before I even started blogging. I don’t always trust what I read, so I want to find out what may (?) be the truth. And, that information is what I share with my loyal readers.

    As for how many visitors you need to earn decent money from your
    blog, unfortunately, the numbers are high….in the tens of thousands. Plus, it depends on the audience you are writing for. Computer savvy readers, and bloggers, rarely click on ads.

    Ian, re: affiliate links. It’s great that you chose ones that you are familiar with. When choosing affiliate advertisers, it’s best to either have used their products, shopped their stores, ordered online, or have done enough research on them to know they are reputable. It’s easy to get caught up on who has the biggest “payout”, but if you’re not aware that their reputation isn’t all that good, your click through rate, will suffer.

    Making money off of your blog is not a bad thing, but as Asako pointed out, we do have to remember, we blog, to share with others what we know.

    Back to researching, I go….it’s obvious I have some loyal readers to tend to.

    Again, I say, Thank you!

  8. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I’m still not sure if I fully understand blogs. But I do have a theory that if your blog is also about your business then it possibly becomes a different entity – a community perhaps for primarily your clients, and possibly visitors.

    I do appreciate your comments. And yes, we do have some publicity planned for it too! The orange hat and the reactions of the passers-by was interesting (at least to us and our clients!).

    So stickiness of clients is a goal. Building a sense of community and freely giving advice and information can’t be a bad thing for that end.

    And if we manage to build that community feel, passing visitors, Google Ad Clickers may wish to get involved.

    For too long I have wrongly thought that the web was not a place to transact with a wider community than local.

    But if it’s local or international, it doesn’t matter who comes to the party. I realise they may not buy, but they do bring a bottle so to speak, and really add to the experience. So everyone’s welcome!

    I really appreciate your comments. And the web-stats are phenomenal. The clients are visiting, commenting, but coming back.

    It’s only a few days into it, but I’m massively encouraged by the early results. The page views are huge from those who are coming.

    While I realise this will decline because they are largely clients who are sniffing around the site, and they won’t keep on looking at pages they’ve seen before, I want to get them into the habit of interacting via the blog. I can learn from them probably far more than they can from me.

    Likewise with your blog. I may not yet have bought something (I’m still improverished following this year’s shenanigans!), but already I sincerely value your opinion and trust that you will recommend, like Cath Lawson does, stuff that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy on your say-so.

    So please keep up the excellent work. It is very much appreciated!

    Thanks again

    Ian

  9. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Ian,

    Thank you for the great comment and compliment. It’s much appreciated.

    Yes, “stickiness” of your repeat visitors is a goal worth working toward. A lot of visitors may only come to your site once, but it you build a great site, you will begin to amass a group of loyal readers.

    I think business, whether it’s a storefront or a blog, survives based on principles that know no barriers, including continental barriers. As your business and blogs are based in the UK, and ours are in the US, through cyberspace we can all help each other…whether it’s words of encouragement, hints or tips, sharing a story, or through a referral (such as a link-BTW, thank you for the link on your blog), we develop a worldly “community”, that has no limits. I find that amazing.

    Although we are completely off subject, (who cares?), watching the blogs and businesses of my “blogging buddies” grow and change, is a real pleasure for me. It oftentimes gets me sidetracked from posting, but again, I think that defines how blogging becomes more than making money, or being so intent on posting everyday, that we fail to see the big picture.

    With regards to your new business blog, I am sure a few of your competitors are also visiting, and beginning to worry, due to your ingenious marketing techniques. Let them sweat!

    I’m still waiting to hear that happy ending on your other blog, but by the “tone” of your writings, it appears things are looking up. That’s super!

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