Advertising Strategy for Bloggers
Before we go very far at all, I'm going to tell you that most
Bloggers aren't going to make money from site advertising, whether
it's Google's AdSense or anything else. Fact is, most blog sites
count themselves very fortunate if they get more than a handful of
visitors per day. Unfortunately, you probably need thousands per
Of course your results will vary, but generally speaking, the
"click through" percentage (people clicking on ads) will be less
than 1% of visitors, and while some specific ads do carry higher
payloads, most will bring you less than fifty cents in revenue. So,
it's simple math: if you have 100 visitors a month, you might not
even get one click, and if you do, it might not earn you enough to
pay for a cup of coffee.
With optimization, you might get the CTR a little higher, but
it should be obvious that it's never going to be very high: this
is a volume game and you need volume to make money. Certainly
there are exceptions: if your blog focus is in certain subject
areas where ads are highly competitive and pay very well, you might
get decent income from low volume. But for most blogs, the ads
will be low paying so the only path to real money is increased
volume. Don't get totally discouraged by that, but it is reality
for most sites.
Now, Google would get very upset with me if I told you what my main
site earns, but you can probably get a good idea from looking at
the site stats and doing a little guesstimating. If you aren't horribly math
challenged, you can see that even a fairly active site like this
isn't piling up enough income to live on. Not that I'm complaining:
what does come in is very welcome. But I'd need five times the
volume for this to be anything like a real income (I used to say ten times, but it does keep growing).
Apparently Google has recently loosened up the restrictions a bit
and now doesn't mind if folks report income as long as they don't
report other statistics. That seems a little odd to me as many
sites report gross visitor stats for reasons unrelated to Adsense.
Yet if you know the visitor stats and the Adsense income, you have
a pretty fair idea what the oh-so-secret click through rate is. So
just what is Google protecting and why? I'll play it safe and just
keep my income unstated. As I said, it's not too hard to estimate
But let's assume that you do have at least some volume (or that
you can improve it). There arethings that you can do to improve the rest of the equation: how
many click throughs, and how much they are worth.
One factor for better click throughs is getting ads that are
relevant to what you are writing about. If you are writing about
exotic fish, and Google is displaying ads for trout fishing
equipment, your readers are less likely to be interested in the ads
(assuming that it was interest in exotic fish that brought them to
you in the first place, of course).
It is unfortunately easy for Google or any other ad company to
get confused by your text and put up an entirely inappropriate ad.
The best way to combat that is by repetition of the keywords you do
want them to pick up. Unfortunately, writing for the benefit of
your readers and writing for the benefit of search engines and
writing for the benefit of the ad placement software are three
different goals that may conflict. It is, simply, an art. The more
you can repeat the words you need without puzzling or alienating
human readers, the more relevant the ads will be.
Very recently, Google has let us use special comment tags to
influence what ads will be presented. I hope that they do more with this kind of
thing and provide us with ways to give more hints as to what
ads would be appropriate for the page.
Blogs aren't the best format
Unfortunately, typical Blogs present several topics on one page.
Any one of the topics might attract a useful and relevant ad, but
when mashed together as a group, you may get nothing useful at all.
That's why splitting articles off to "permalink" pages where the
content doesn't compete with other material is important. It should
be obvious that it is also important to drive readers to those
single pages: some people do this by presenting only a "teaser" on
the main blog page; a short paragraph with a "Read More" link that
goes to the single page version. Or, you can ignore that problem
and depend on search engines to drive visitors to individual pages
- but keep in mind that will only work if your site is popular and
How much for that click?
The value of an ad in Google Adsense is set by the advertiser.
Google won't tell you what a particular ad pays them, and they sure
as heck won't tell you what your share is, but you can rather
easily find out how much certain types of ads are worth. The trick
to that is to sign up with Google as though you were an advertiser,
and use their cost estimating tools to price out specific keywords.
What you are looking for here is relative comparisons within
whatever you are about to write about. Let's say, for an entirely
fictional example, that you find that "raid disk" requires a much
higher bid than "raid drives" (hint: you can use Google's keyword
suggestion tool to help here). If that's the case, you want to be
darn sure that your little piece has the phrases that will attract
those high paying ads.
There are also sites that have done this research for you and
keep lists of high paying keywords. Understand that I'm not
suggesting that your content be driven by the high paying keywords
but am saying that if your page is about "xyz", it can be worth your
trouble to find out what "xyz" phrase or word of equal meaning
carries the most weight in payout. In other words, you don't
want to lose ads that match your content well just because you
don't use the right keywords in your text.
I actually do Google advertising, but I'm not sure how long
Google will let you get away with pretending if you aren't. A new
Suggest tool can also help you with keywords.
Don't neglect your real goals
I suppose it is possible for someone to get so carried away by
the potential for advertising revenue that they neglect the real
reason they have a web site or blog to begin with. There are sites
that seem to exist for no other reason, but I don't think they will
have staying power. You can adjust your writing to make it generate
more revenue than it would if you gave it no thought at all, but I
don't think it makes sense to set out to write just to attract
certain ads - though if the quality was still there, why not? For
most of us though, writing for the web has a different primary
purpose, and I at least am happier to stay true to that.
It seems now that many people have the dream of being a
"professional blogger", which means making enough money through
advertising, contributions and product sales to provide a decent
income. That goal is certainly in reach for some, but it isn't
likely to be easy for most. You are going to need a lot of
visitors, and that usually means a lot of interesting and valuable content.
Got something to add? Send me email.
Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic
More Articles by Tony Lawrence
Find me on Google+
© 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence