Adsense – A Review

For a video summarizing my review of Adsense as an affiliate program, see the bottom of this post.

It’s time to say something radical: Professional Bloggers might not exist if it weren’t for Adsense.

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Shocked?

Well, don’t be too surprised!

Adsense was a trailblazer in showing people that blogs could make money, and if it weren’t for adsense, we likely wouldn’t have half the affiliate programs we do today. But how does Adsense work, and does it work for you?

My take:

I’m a big adsense fan. That said, I’ve only discovered the power of adsense with a niche blog, and with good adsense placement. For several years, I had a moderately well-trafficked personal blog with tiny adsense units practically hidden in the sidebar. Even on the few massive traffic days I had with tens of thousands of visitors (!!) I would make hardly more than gas tank’s fill up (circa 2004 gas prices! ) with adsense. In all, I made less than a couple hundred dollars throughout the life of that blog on adsense, and I had I never had the highly trafficked days, it would have probably never topped a dollar.

In contrast, niche blogs can do well with adsense, because the ads are targeted.

If you have a blog, and it has a focus (no matter what the focus is) you should definitely sign up for adsense.

Here are a couple key things to remember to optimize your adsense units:

  • Placement is key. A tiny sidebar ad on some blogs might as well not exist, whereas a tiny adsense unit front and center on some blogs could easily pay for your groceries!
  • Size is important. The bigger the better. That said, you want a size that doesn’t annoy your readers and make them turn from your blog!
  • Try and Image and Text Ad Units. Different bloggers have different takes on this, but I tend to agree with Darren of ProBlogger that a mix of Image and Text ads are the way to go with adsense units. This may differ for your crowd, though.

Here’s my video review of what I think about Adsense:

Savvy Blogging Party Transcript

Did you take part in the Savvy Blogging Party? I sure did;)

Read a transcript of the party here.

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Why a Blog?

In the beginning, blogging is all about the personal. Very few people begin blogs with the goal of money-making, and likely for very good reason. I would argue that people who only come to to blogging for the money likely leave – quite quickly – when they realize it isn’t a short road to riches;)

But blogging can be a real job. Blogging can make you a full time income, and blogging can provide you with an inspirational career. So how do you get started on the journey?

As they say, the first step is taking the leap.

Welcome to A Blog Job!

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to start posting some of the thoughts, lessons, and ideas I have learned about monetization and blogging over the past few years. Although I started in the field of blogging as a full-time FUN activity, over time I realized that my hard work could pay the bills. However, finding reliable, ethical, and “non-scammy” information on monetizing – especially in the Mommy Blogger space – was hard to come by. I hope that this little blog will be a collection of articles that give you solid, tangible advice and set you on the road to an professional job blogging for yourself.

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Does Someone Want to (Barely) Pay You to Write? Just Say No.

One of my favorite parts of the blog Problogger is the blog jobs advertised page. Although I’m hardly in the market for another blog opportunity (!), I find that scrolling through the listings is a great way to get a feel for new and popular blogs out there.

Recently I found this posting for a wedding blogger.

Requirements:

Blog 5 times a week (must commit to one year!)

Compensation:

$150 a month via Paypal

Now, before you go too crazy with the lack of compensation here, please realize that this is in some ways a better post – because it actually does pay writers!

But wait: I’m not writing a diatribe against blogs who get writers to work for free.

Why?

Because everyone needs to get their start somewhere, and I have definitely done my fair share of free writing in exchange for experience and/or traffic (which translates into dollars, in case you’re not counting). It can be a worthwhile investment in your future career, if you play the cards right. Although it’s not right for everyone – and it’s not right all of the time – it can be a valuable trade.

Oh, and also?

Before you cry out in anger about the low payments these blogs are offering — remember that they reason they can offer these payments is because someone is taking them at these rates!