If you're like most bloggers, the thought of making a little cash for your creative efforts is very appealing. After all, who doesn't want to wake up in the morning and see several dollars fall into their pocket from a well placed advertising campaign? But not so fast! A lot of young bloggers fall into an all-to-common trap…they look to Adsense exclusively for those early income dollars. In this post, I intend to serve as a warning (having learned first hand) and to enlighten fledgling authors on the PROPER way to engage in advertising to get the gravy train rolling on their new blog.
Why AdSense Doesn't Always Make Sense
It's counter-intuitive, I know. After all, Google’s Adsense is far and away the largest online advertiser and even markets itself towards new websites as a quick and easy means of earning an income through blogging. So why does it fail? What are the pitfalls of such a reasonably innocent plan? I'll jump into a few of these reasons and give you a few ideas to point you in the proper direction.
So that doesn't sound…horrible? $6 isn't much, I get it, but it's passive income, right? Who’s gonna turn that down?
The main thing to consider here is that odds are, you're not going to be getting 1000 visitors in your first day. Actually, odds are you won't be getting 1000 visitors your first MONTH. So be careful early on and be sure you're setting proper expectations. Even if you go full bore with Adsense, you'll be seeing pennies for a while…not dollars.
Why is this a bad thing? Because you know you get paid per impression. So it only makes sense that 3 banners on a page means that for every visitor, you get THREE impressions! You've figured it all out! Well, not so fast. Think about it…you visit a blog post that has roughly 600 words and are greeted by a pop up ad, a link bar across the bottom, and 7 additional ads throughout the content…what's your first impression? I'll bet there were a lot of possible answers, and I'll bet none of them were good.
Early blogs live and die by attracting new readers…building a following. By essentially ‘littering’ their posts with ads, many potential subscribers will be turned off and seek other articles to peruse. Don't let the few cents you may have brought in that day detract from what you're trying to do…build an audience.
Eyes of the Beholder
If you follow Google’s formula, they recommend placing a large leaderboard across the top of a post, a skyscraper banner down the sidebar, and a large rectangular ad within the first two paragraphs. But, did you also know that Google’s search crawlers for content recommendations reduce the score for webpages that have too many ads ‘above the fold’? Essentially, the number of ads shown on a single page before scrolling down is considered above the fold, so overdoing it could actually hurt you in the long run by dropping you further in the search engine rankings…ouch!!
Until then, let your content speak for itself. Grow an audience organically and let your number of subscribers increase due to new and insightful commentary. In the end, if you’re going to make a living by blogging, it won’t take long to realize that impression-based advertising will be a fraction of your overall income. So take that into account when determining the amount of real estate they should take on your posts.
Hello, my name is Scott...I'm a husband, father of 3, and work full-time in IT. If that's not enough on my plate, I'm also tackling the biggest 'creative' project of my lifetime, bringing the world of Mists of Kel Doran to life. I hope you like what I'm trying to pull off and I truly appreciate all of those who have supported this dream of mine. Here's to following your heart and having the courage to put your ideas out there for the world to enjoy :)
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