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Why Adsense Doesn’t Work…For Everyone

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of February 2005 Adsense, Advertising 0 Comments

Jim at BlogKits has a good article on why Google Adsense Doesn’t Work for all Bloggers. His argument is sound and his figures are good. He does a case study whereby he comes to the conclusion that a blog with 200 visitors per day with 1000 page views would earn $2 per day if the click through rate were 10% and the value per click were 2 cents each.

His thinking is similar to a post I did a few months ago asking ‘is contextual advertising Viable on a Blog?‘ I gave some tables there that showed a range of different potential earning levels depending upon:

1. Click through rate
2. Traffic levels
3. Value of Clicks

Earnings varied vastly with different combinations of the above ranging from 10 cents to $6250 per day!

Jim’s numbers add up and I agree with the main thrust of his argument that Adsense is not a good option for all (or even most) bloggers wanting to make a substantial income from blogging however there are just so many variables to consider. Of course you need to keep a couple of things in mind in reading Jim’s article:

1. Jim uses Adsense on his BlogKits blog – maybe its just as a bit of research, but I’m sure the few dollars a day it earns are helpful
2. Jim does of course have a bit of a vested interest in bloggers trying other advertising methods.

Jim finishes his article by saying:

‘Forget Adsense, Bloggers are better served creating custom partnerships or sponsorships with advertisers. In arrangements of this nature, a blog with niche-specific content, that is straddled with low traffic, has the opportunity to earn much more by converting less.’

I agree with his argument in principle but I’m still waiting to see examples of it working out in practice. Most of the new blog advertising programs like BlogKits are pretty new and from what I can tell their sign up rate is not huge yet for either publishers or advertisers – it will take time for it to catch on and for us to find out if his hypothesis of small traffic blogs earning good money is in fact proven to be true – Lets hope it is!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. How AdSense works (or doesn’t) for you
    Some in-depth analysis on how AdSense may or may not be profitable or rewarding. [here and here]

    Now I have AdSense ads on my site, mainly because they are unobtrusive, and I need to finance replacements for my creaky hardware somehow. Although, it …

  2. While I agree that creating custom partnerships or sponsorships with advertisers may be far more lucrative, the average blogger will never be able to participate in these arrangements. These will be reserved for the upper echelon of blog authors. For the rest of us, there is Adsense. No muss, no fuss, check is in the mail.

  3. Making Money with Google AdSense
    Problogger, Darren Rowse, has written a really good post on generating an income using Google AdSense. It isn’t all about simply adding the AdSense ads and waiting for the money to roll in.

  4. The only problem with any of these analyses is that they overlook the primary driving force in marketing, which is revenue. Advertisers will know what they are getting out of any campaign. In the fullness of time reality must take over, and in reality an advertiser will give its media budget a small piece of the turnover so generated. What Kukral seems to be planning is a system that will be unfair to his advertisers. While finding his miraculously clueless advertisers may well be possible initially, before long they will add up exactly what they are getting from his (or any other) program, and quit.

    The only way to get money from anyone is to give him something that he finds more valuable than what he pays you. If you can produce sales, or even qualified prospects, advertisers will pay. Adsense pays for clickthroughs, which are very valuable. They also pay a lot more than Jim states, but then he seems entirely clueless about marketing. Kukral proposes charging much more than you can deliver. Unless your unique audience is more compliant and generous than Instapundit’s, you can not expect to make any more per pageview or clickthrough than he does. It’s as simple as that.

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