Can You Really Rely on Adsense to Sustain Your Blog?

By on April 15, 2011

Adsense for BlogsOne of the first (or only) strategies that bloggers use to monetize their blog is Google Adsense. Don’t get me wrong, Google can be a great way to monetize a website.  But there are other strategies that bloggers need to take into consideration, which may yield much better results.

My friend Onibalusi just shared his traffic and income report for March on his blog.  In the past month, he made approximately $5,000.  Of that $5.000, a whopping $9.70 came from Google Adsense.

Now don’t get me wrong.  This doesn’t mean that Google is not a good way to monetize a website.  Onibalusi probably made so little money from it because he decided to focus on his other services.  His writing services made up over 90% of his revenue.

However, keep in mind that Onibalusi had about 21,000 page views on his website.  Assuming that only a few percent of viewers click on Adsense ads, he would be looking at making a few hundred dollars in revenue at best.  He has created a successful blog because he found other ways to make money with his online business.

How Should You Monetize?

I recently discussed some different ways that bloggers can monetize their sites.  There are probably a million ways to do so if you are creative enough, so you just need to find one that works.

One of the most obvious ways is through selling affiliate products.  You can do this in one of two ways.  You can either place affiliate links in your blog itself or you can create a list and an email marketing campaign.  This can be very effective if you promote a product that is in line with the readers in your blog.

You can also sell your own products and services to your readers.  This is exactly what Onibalusi did.  He made almost all of his money through his writing services.  This takes a lot more work, but it should really be worth it in the long run.

Even if you choose to focus exclusively on advertising, there are a variety of other advertising tools that can help you make your site more profitable.  One of the biggest limitations with Adsense is that Google only allows you to have three ads on each page.  Consider adding additional ads through services such as Adbrite.  More importantly, there are a variety of independent advertisers who may pay you more if you have the right readership demographics.

If you do rely on Adsense, make sure that you are careful with how you optimize your pages.  You want to make sure that your ads are placed in the areas where they are most likely to get clicked.  Many readers unconsciously ignore Adsense ads.  Blogging guru Darren Rowse has shared some excellent tips on positioning Adsense ads to increase traffic.  Know the best places on the page to place your ads and you can make your traffic generate much better conversions.

There is nothing inherently wrong with using Adsense to monetize your blog.  It has stood the test of time for many bloggers.  However, you want to be aware of all your options and take advantage of other opportunities to make your blog more profitable.  Always test new approaches, and don’t be afraid to take a few risks.

About the Author: Kalen Smith is the founder of Engineer-a-Business, a provider of business-to-business services and informational products for developing technology businesses. Read more about Kalen here.

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