Google Adsense & Earnings
Being Realistic About Google Adsense Earnings
To make any sort of money with Adsense requires one of two things : a few pages with LOTS of traffic or a lot of pages with low to moderate traffic. Let's do the math. The average CTR (Click Through Rate, or the amount of people, expressed in percentage terms, that view the add and actually click on an ad) varies from publisher to publisher and web page to web page, but a 2% CTR is considered "good" in the web publishing industry. Thus, if the "Ads by Google" is displayed on your site 1000 times in a day (also known as how many impressions you get), if you have a 2% CTR, you can expect 20 clicks a day, on average.
How much you earn from each of those clicks is highly variable. Your earnings depend on your sites topic, internal Google algorithms as well as how much money advertisers are willing to "bid" in Google AdWords to have their ads displayed. There is no general rule how much you can earn for each click. On Big Sky Fishing, I've earned anywhere from between .04 cents per click on the low-end, to over $3.00 on the higher end. The average earnings per click tends to run between .20 cents and .30 cents, fluctuating somewhat during the year (higher in the summer, less in the winter).
So, for simplicity, let's say you earn .25 cents per click. And you get 20 clicks per day. This leads to a daily income of $5.00. From here, you can let your imagination run wild - coming up with all sorts of various earning potential estimates by varying the click-through rate, the amount paid per click, how many times your ad is displayed, etc...
Your Pages Content
More than anything else, the content of your page drives your earnings. Pages that are about specific topics and which are in high-demand by advertisers (and thus, there exists a lot of "ad inventory") will earn more money than general news pages or pages that are "multi-topic."
The moral of the story is this. For maximum Adsense revenue, it's generally good to have shorter pages that are laser focused on a specific topic.
Ad placement is crucial in Google AdSense. If people don't click on your ads, no matter how many times they're displayed, you'll still earn nothing. Where you place ads really is dependent upon your site layout and your traffic. But, a good starting point on the best places to locate ads is by visiting the Google Heat Map page on the Adsense help section.
I'll be the first to admit that Big Sky Fishing.Com is not a "model site" in terms of ad placement. On this site, most of my ads are displayed below the "fold"...that is, a visitor does not see them immediately when they view the page. Generally, and my statistics prove it, ads displayed "below the fold" have a lower click-through rate than those displayed "above the fold" (how much you earn "per-click" remains the same, but how many times people click on an ad is lower).
So, why do I keep the ads there? Simp...I have no better place for them. My site's layout is sort of set, and to make room for Google Ads "above the fold" wouldn't look good (and regular visitors wouldn't like them), require redoing my entire left-side menu system or redesigning the whole layout (especially the top header) of the site. Ultimately, and also because my content pages tend to run a 1.5% to 2% CTR, I've decided to leave things as they are. I guess I'm a believer in NOT forcing ads on people. And if that means acccepting less income in the short-term, then so be it.
The term ad blending refers to how your ads "blend in" with the content of your page. The general idea is to make your ads "blend in" with your content, in hopes that people won’t simply ignore them due to ad blindness.
There is logic behind this, and to some degree, I use this logic on Big Sky Fishing. However, for several years, many Adsense publishers pushed this to the extreme, laying out the ads in such a way so as to confuse visitors about "what was an ad" and "what was a link." In particular, what was popular was putting a graphic just above a horizontal banner, leading visitors to the site to believe that they were clicking on a menu choice and not an ad.
This was bad for visitors to the web page (it was a huge inconvenience) and, moreover, it was also bad for the advertisers (people were clicking on the ads by "accident" instead of "deliberately"). As such, Google changed their policy, requiring that all ads not be "so blended into" the content of the page that they are indistinguishable from normal links on the web page.
Additionally, fooling your web site visitors is a one-trick pony. Would you visit a web page ever again if you thought you were clicking on an interesting menu link...only to be whisked away to someplace else? Remember, web publishing is more than just about "making money" NOW. It's about having a web site that makes money today AND tomorrow.
Let's summarize this length article. You, as a publisher, can earn money simply by writing content by using Google AdSense. You simply sign up for their program (you must have a website to do this), post your content, slap an Adsense banner on your site, and pres...you’re in business.
How much money you make depends entirely on how much traffic you get to your site. Scant traffic = little to no income. Additional factors that impact your earnings include your sites "niche," the actual content of the web page itself, the time of year, how you place your ads, and several other things, too.
There are many true success stories about Adsense publishers earning $10,000 or more a month. However, the ranks of these Adsense publishers are small. If you’re just starting out, don’t expect to be pulling down $1000's of dollars a few months later. While it can happen, the odds are long. Instead, Adsense earnings tend to increase slowly - as you expand your site and as more people find it.
Long-term success with Google Adsense requires writing quality content that will, over time, draw in people to your site. Google Adsense, except for a few lucky people, is not a get-rich quick scheme. Instead, Adsense provides a nifty way to have a "anything but steady" monthly supplemental income...all for doing something you enjoy doing (publishing content on the Internet).
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