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Why Adsense Link Units Should Not Be Ignored - 20 Aug 2014 12:13

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I always thought that Adsense link units were a waste of time. Visitors have to click twice before you can earn anything. I had a link unit in my subject themed side bars, but this was more to follow which subjects were popular than anything else.

Then I read somewhere that these units could actually contribute something meaningful, so I resolved to have a go.

Last week I added a 200*90 link unit to the bottom of the side bar. I have been surprised by the results. All on its own, that link unit has contributed about 5% of the earnings in the last week. That's certainly worth having, and money I have been leaving on the table.

Next I added a long unit at the very bottom of the page. This has contributed less than 1%, but sits in a very low value place.

Now I am experimenting with increasing the size of my other link units, to see if that will make a difference. - Comments: 0

Indeed is another waste of time - 14 Aug 2014 08:26

Tags: affiliates indeed

Making money seems to be primarily about weeding out those ideas that don't work, rather than finding wonderful programmes that will make you rich (despite what many people are saying).

I have added another programme to the useless pile, Indeed.

My site is one that would seem to be a great fit for job advertising, and I searched around to find a programme that would accept me. Monster was among those that didn't, probably due to geographical reasons. (This is stupid if anyone relevant is reading, as a third of my audience comes from the USA). To my delight, indeed was more welcoming.

So since the beginning of April, I have had indeed job ads on my site. Not on every page, but in a few places just to test the idea. My results are as follows:

  • April - 7,937 Pageviews, Total Earnings = $0
  • May - 15,800 Pageviews, Total Earnings = $0.46
  • June - 19,253 Pageviews, Total Earnings = $0
  • July - 17,052 Pageviews, Total Earnings = $0
  • August - 6,431 Pageviews, Total Earnings = $0

So in total off 66,473 page views, I have made the princely sum of 46 cents.

I had initially hoped to use RSS feeds to create jobs pages on my site, at least this would generate adsense pageviews, but Wikidot does not allow you to change your page headings, so this was not possible.

Does anyone see any reason why I should continue with Indeed? - Comments: 0

Adsense Experiments - 11 Aug 2014 06:49

Tags: adsense

If you are using adsense, you must, I repeat, MUST, indulge in experiments

I have been playing around with this function and I discovered some amazing things.

My top advert, a major contributor to revenues, was a contrasting colour, that I thought would lead to good click-throughs. Then I read somewhere, that classic colours are better. So what to do? An experiment of course.

I set up and experiment to compare the standard google colour selection, with my own contrasting design. To my immense surprise, the classic option is performing 83% better. It has now reached 96% confidence level, so I have selected the winner and look forward to better earnings.

Interestingly enough, the same experiment run on the bottom advertisement suggested that I keep my personal designs. - Comments: 0

Why Chitika was a complete Waste of Time - 17 Jul 2014 13:53

Tags: ads adsense chitika qadabra

Before I discovered Qadabra, I tried Chitika on my Killajoules site. It was a complete waste of time. I have low page views on that site so my expectations are not high, but a few pennies at least should be possible.

Instead, I got 2 clicks off of 18,500 ad views, a grand click through rate of 0.01% earning a huge total of 7 cents. When you see the ugly ads that they serve, its really not very surprising either. In comparison, off the first 10,000 ad views for Qadabra, I got 35 clicks and $5 income.

I am not averse to trying other alternatives, but for me at least, the choice between these two is not difficult to make. - Comments: 0

Experimenting with nRelate - 15 Jul 2014 10:47

Tags: nrelate outbrain

One day when I have millions of adoring fans, who read my every word with unbridled enthusiasm, perhaps Outbrain will become a vital part of my income. For the moment however, 10 million monthly views is a bit of a stretch, so I will have to wait.

For those of you not familiar, Outbrain and its competitors offer syndicated content, which pays a small rate for click-throughs. They also offer widgets which generate links to related content on your own website. This is designed to increase your site's stickiness, and improve page views.

Having looked at a few alternatives, I decided to try nRelate. According to a review I read, it offered the best statistics package.

It took a few days to get up and running, and finally started working this morning.

I will be letting you know how it goes and whether it is worth the bother. - Comments: 0

Google Analytics is Lying to Me - 10 Jul 2014 11:05

Tags: analytics seo

Google Analytics, or other alternatives, presumably, provides a wealth of information that you can use to improve your performance.

Every month, I download details of keywords and page views and find ways to improve metrics through a better understanding of what visitors wanted or found interesting.

In particular, I find pages which have a high number of visitors, but a poor bounce rate and see if they can be improved. Attracting visitors only to see them immediately leave is silly, so I recommend this as a way of incrementally improving stickiness.

I have always had a problem with Key Words though. I have a lot of direct visitors, but I also have mainly new visitors, both of which cannot be correct. Now my suspicions have been confirmed by this article:

Our testing shows that, for a site getting in the ballpark of 50% mobile web traffic, the 60% of the traffic to long URLs reported as Direct is probably Organic traffic from Google.

I don't get 50% mobile traffic, but I am sure that a big chunk of my "direct traffic" is anything but. - Comments: 0

Qadabra, Have I found the Adsense Alternative? - 09 Jul 2014 06:00

Tags: ads adsense qadabra

My minor site, KillaJoules is basically full of copied news stories from the sector. It was designed to be a permanent depositary of news which will later disappear from the original source. Its traffic primarily comes from A Barrel Full.

I put some translated news stories on it, some of which are not very easy to understand, and Google blocked me for doing this. I would have simply removed them, but the site has thousands of pages, and I don't have a "search for bad English" function.

So I needed a replacement for Adsense. I tried another ad network, which I will tell you about another day, but was not happy. Then I stumbled across Qadabra. Their Philosophy is:

At Qadabra, we believe in ad revenue made simple. We want to give publishers the opportunity to take control of monetization for their website and see real results in real time.

The key word here is simple. In 2 minutes, I had ads up and running on my site. But is it any good?

They ask you to be patient, because it takes time to optimise the choice of adverts for your audience, so I expected to make close to nothing for a while. Initially I was not disappointed.

  • Wednesday 2nd July: 1000 impressions, 3 clicks, 5 cents
  • Thursday 3rd July: 800 impressions 4 clicks 6 cents
  • Friday 4th July: 800 impressions 4 clicks 4 cents

And so it continued. I don't have much expectations from a site that gets 800-1000 page views per day, and at least there is SOME income, and with paypal, they will payout as little as a dollar. So its not the end of the world.

Then all of a sudden, yesterday, on just 500 impressions, I got 2 clicks and wait for it……$2.40 income. The optimal adverts seem to have arrived.

Its too early to say whether this is statistically meaningful, but its a good sign and far better than the other "alternative adsense" that I tried.

Update: The number of impressions yesterday was 900, not 500, the reporting system had not fully updated - Comments: 0

Affiliate Programmes, are they Worth it? - 08 Jul 2014 06:06

Tags: affiliates cj

As a side earner, I decided to try affiliate marketing, to see if it would give me any worthwhile cash.

After looking at a number of options, and reading reviews, I thought I would try Conversant at cj.com (Formerly commission junction).

Its pointless trying to sell something that is completely irrelevant to the subject matter of your site, so I spent some time trying to find programmes that might appeal to my readers. Anything concerning energy, oil, industry would be potentially interesting.

The most obvious was Hart Energy, which in their own words:

  • Hart Energy provides specialized data/information products and member-only services to targeted audiences worldwide and ranks among the leading providers of news, data and analysis for the global energy industry.

So I immediately added them to my portfolio. Casey's Research was another one. They offered a free report on energy, which fitted perfectly.

I also wanted to add jobs to the mix, as that seems to be a good fit. None of the job affiliates wanted my though, I assume they only want USA based sites.

I placed a few links on my site and sat back and waited. Casey's research turned out to be the best. I got an average of just under one successful completion per day, leading to about $20 per month income. Not Ferrari buying income, but a small incremental amount none the less.

Harts has been less generous, with not a single success in the couple of months I have been trying it. Lots of clickthroughs and no sales. In June, 113 people clicked on their adverts. Its too soon to write it off though, because if you do get a sale, the payoff its pretty nice.

A couple of weeks ago, disaster struck. Casey Research left the programme. My only paying advertiser is no more and I haven't earned a dime since.

In their place, I added ANSI, which publish standards and Concord, office supplies. I am getting clicks, but no income yet.

I am a patient person, and I think it is necessary to give something like this a decent amount of time to work. I has however taken up quite a bit of my time, playing around with it, time which could have perhaps been better spent improving my website.

I get close to 150,000 page views per month and at the moment, I am seeing very little bang for my buck. Affiliates are often recommended to new comers and low traffic websites. From what I am seeing, this looks misguided. You get very little for a lot of work, and your time might be better spent creating content, improving Google ranking and making your website more worth visiting. - Comments: 0

What The Blog is All About - 07 Jul 2014 09:27

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Like many other people, I have struggled to earn more than a little bit of pocket money, from my online adventures. Having got to the point where I want to start experimenting, I thought I should share my story with the rest of the world.

The web is full of get rich quick tales, secret ingredients to help turn you into a cigar chomping captain of capitalism. Various ad networks or affiliate programmes are sold as the key to success, with many a review, reading like a company press release.

Now either there are many snake oil merchants on line, or I am doing something wrong. Because I am struggling to make the kind of money I would like, despite ownership of a website that gets thousands of visitors everyday.

So as I go about the business of trying to improve my chances of buying a private jet, I intend to share the ups and the downs, the excitements and the disappointments. I may not have the magic key, but I intend to be realistic. - Comments: 0


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