From $0.30 to $300 / Day on Google AdSense Part 1 – How To Make Money

how-to-make-moneyMaking money from a website used to be extremely challenging – not only did you have to produce great content and promote it effectively, you also had to go out and find advertisers to give yourself a revenue stream to live off of.

Enter Google AdSense

Google changed the playing field for many web publishers because they went out and found you advertisers for your website. Every time your users click on one of your ads, you get paid and Google takes a commission. As Google AdSense grew to become the largest online ad network they could also find targeted advertisers who might only advertise on one of your pages but not the others because it was of specific interest to them. That kind of needle-point precision helps increase your number of clicks because it’s more targeted information and also would have been nearly impossible to manage if you had individual advertisers approaching you to place ads one page at a time.

Best of all, Google AdSense is extremely easy to install. You just have to copy and paste a few lines of code into your website template and Google takes care of the rest!

“I thought to myself “You CAN make a living from this!” Four months later, in May, I passed the $300 per day mark for the first time.”

Making Real Money From Google AdSense

Most website owners that have AdSense installed barely earn enough each day to buy a cup of coffee. When I first started in January of 2005 I was making $0.27 per day. I thought to myself “I’ll give this AdSense thing a try.” By May, as my traffic grew, so did my AdSense revenue. Suddenly I was making $1.17 per day. Unfortunately a lot of website owners never get past this stage. I thought to myself “Maybe I can do better” and delved into the world of AdSense optimization, or in other words, figuring out how to make the most from the traffic I had coming to my site. The hardest way to  make money is to increase your number of visitors. The easiest way is to make more money from the visitors that you already have.

After optimizing my AdSense and continuing to grow my business I first crossed the $100 per day mark in January of 2006. I thought to myself  “You CAN make a living from this!” Four months later, in May, I passed the $300 per day mark for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history. In this series I hope to share with you some of the tactics that worked for me and hopefully you can use them to grow your online business as well.

“Most online entrepreneurs who try AdSense get one or two of the important success factors but not all three which is why they can only buy themselves a cup of coffee per day from their AdSense earnings.”

$ = V x CTR x CPC

This is the most important formula that you need to know if you’re planning on using AdSense to make money. The money that you make ($) is equal to the number of visitors (V) that you get to your site multiplied by the click through rate (CTR) of those visitors onto the ads on your site multiplied by the cost per click (CPC) of the ads being clicked on. If you want to be able to live off of your website then you need to have traffic coming to your site, a high percentage of the visitors who come to your site clicking through on your ads, and you need to be in a niche topic where people are willing to pay a lot of money to advertise. You need all three working together to be successful. Most online entrepreneurs who try AdSense get one or two of the important success factors but not all three which is why they can only buy themselves a cup of coffee per day from their AdSense earnings.

Let’s look at the following chart to explain this important point:

adsense-chart

You could have an extremely popular site but if it’s not optimized for AdSense and it’s not in a high paying niche then you’re only going to make pocket change from your earnings. Similarly if all you do is optimize for AdSense but don’t have many visitors and you’re in a low paying niche then you still won’t be making very much. Finally, if you are in a great niche but have low visitor numbers and don’t AdSense optimize then you’re again just going to be scraping by.

Even if you get two of these factors right you still won’t hit a big payday. For instance if you have a popular website and optimize for AdSense but it’s in a niche that doesn’t pay well then you will need to find a day job to support yourself. You’ll get the same results by picking any two of these factors.You will only break out when you can get all three working together. The reason is because each number is multiplied by one another. If you have the equation A x B x C, even if A and B are massive numbers, if C is very low, you’ll still end up with a small amount.

For information on how to increase your Visitors you should learn about search engine optimization and Twitter. In Part 2 of this series I will look at another way to dramatically increase your Visitors and then continue the series by discussing ways to maximize your CTR and CPC to help you start earning a real living from AdSense.

About the Author

I #Believe in entrepreneurs.

40 Responses to “From $0.30 to $300 / Day on Google AdSense Part 1 – How To Make Money”

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  4. Alan Mater says:

    RT @tweetmeme From $0.30 to $300 / Day on Google AdSense Part 1 – How To Make Money http://bit.ly/9g5DS

  5. RT @tweetmeme From $0.30 to $300 / Day on Google AdSense Part 1 – How To Make Money http://bit.ly/9g5DS

  6. David Hurley says:

    Hi Evan,

    Nice article, and very clear on the three things you need to get right to earn $100-$300+ with Adsense.

    Looking forward to your next article. Interesting to see you mentioning Twitter in the same sentence as SEO…

    Best wishes

    David Hurley

  7. Forum Comment: Trent Brownrigg

    Very good article. I can’t wait to see the rest. I used to make about $150/day with Adsense but then I started into other business ventures and my earnings declined. I’ve never devoted myself to getting back into it although I have always planned on it.

    I RT’d your post too.

  8. Thanks Trent – I’m looking forward to your feedback on the series!

  9. Forum Comment: Alan Mater

    Great article, Evan. My Adsense earnings are anywhere from $0 to $2 or more a day. I made $35 last month which was a big stepping stone for me. I know it’s barely anything, so learning how to make more is always a good thing. :wink:

    I also ReTweeted.

  10. Forum Comment: MichelleJ

    Hi Evan

    Great article on Adsense, I haven’t ventured into it yet, because from what I had heard most people seem to only make a few cents a day and it didn’t really seem worth the effort. Your explanation of how to make money with it paints an entirely different picture.

    MichelleJ

  11. Forum Comment: Alan Mater

    Here’s really good example of what Evan explained in part 1.

    My work from home site, with just 2 clicks, earned $5.05 in Adsense income today so far. I’d say the niche pays pretty well. I happen to know some niches that pay even more, but still, that’s not bad. If I optimized my ads I could probably earn even more with the traffic I receive.

    Now, my other site which is video game related, is lucky to make 20 cents a click. Most of the clicks earn measly cents. Obviously not a high paying niche, which is why most of my focus is on affiliate products and advertising revenue.

  12. Forum Comment: Trent Brownrigg

    You definitely have to pick the right niche/keywords for Adsense and you can’t be getting all social traffic (Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon, etc…) because that type of traffic will get you smart priced very quickly and you won’t make jack from their clicks, if they ever click at all.

  13. Forum Comment: David Hurley

    Hi Evan,

    Thanks for the nicely written, clear article on Adsense.

    I was interested to see that the two traffic strategies you mention specifically are SEO and Twitter. SEO was not a surprise, but placing Twitter up there in second place was. As Trent has mentioned that going for social traffic is not the best idea it would be useful to take that thought further…

  14. Hi David – traditionally social media traffic does not convert very well. Search engine traffic is by far and away the best kind of traffic you can get because they are specifically searching for an answer to a problem. Social media traffic are just browsing out of curiosity and usually don`t click through on ads.

    Social media traffic, however, typically leads to more links to your articles (from bloggers, website owners, forum members, etc) which then in turn boosts your rankings in the search engines.

    More will come on the AdSense topic in the coming weeks!

  15. Forum Comment: David Hurley

    Hi Evan,

    So using SEO and social marketing in tandem is like a boxer using both gloves. Got it! :D

  16. hirohurl says:

    @adwords4gurus You might find this blog post by Evan Carmichael interesting, and worth commenting on: http://is.gd/RqS7

  17. Forums Comment: WebBizIdeas.com

    Hi,

    What do other website owners use besides adsense?

    What success have website owners had with signing up for affiliate programs & promoting them instead of adsense?

    What success have website owners had with promoting an internal product or service instead of adsense?

    Evan, is there any PROS & CONS you could share with us on having a sales team on board and selling advertising space?

    Jeff

  18. Hi Jeff – I`ve had some success with direct ad sales. What has worked for me is setting up an Advertising page (http://www.evancarmichael.com/Advertise.htm) which has a lot of information about my site and the spots that are available.

    It definitely does require someone to manage the relationships while AdSense is all automatic.

    I haven`t had a lot of success going out approaching people to advertise on my site. Many of the big companies have long sales cycles that I haven`t had the patience for.

    Fortunately many people have found my site and write in to advertise and AdSense does quite well.

  19. Forums Comment: WebBizIdeas.com

    Evan,

    Do you find that you earn a higher CPM when you replace Google Adsense with 3rd party advertising? Or do you find that Google Adsense still provides more revenue?

    Do you have any advice for website owners (myself included) on what level of traffic a company needs to pull in to attract 3rd party advertisers? Also, have you had any success on selling your advertising space to 3rd party companies who handle the sales for you?

    Jeff

  20. Hi Jeff – I`ll likely get into 3rd party advertising later on in the series but what I recommend doing is putting AdSense up as your baseline to test with. Get a sense over a couple of months as to how much you can make from that ad space.

    Remember that Google takes a percentage of all the money you make through AdSense so it would make sense to charge a higher amount for private ad sales than you`re making through AdSense – the advertisers are paying those rates anyway.

    Once you know how much your ad space is worth in AdSense, offer up the space to private advertisers with a 30-100% price increase. If you don`t get any takers then you can stick with AdSense… if you do sell the spots then you`re making more than you were with AdSense so it`s worth it.

    I didn`t have any luck with 3rd party companies who offer to handle the sales for me. Many of them contacted me but when I told them what I made through AdSense and through my own private sales, they said they couldn`t match it. The offer sounds appealing and I was really hoping that a company could take that off my hands but it looks like I`m too well optimized at this point.

  21. Alan Mater says:

    Most of my traffic, around 80%, comes from Google for my niche site. The clicks are decent, but the EPC is terrible. I never started the site hoping to make it big with Adsense anyway. I promote various Clickbank products and CPA ads and have already made two sales through Clickbank. To me, that’s a much better alternative rather than focusing purely on Adsense.

    I also picked up an advertiser for the site, just out of the blue. I’ll make much more from selling ad space versus Adsense. It’s a hot niche, but for some reason the Adsense ads just don’t bring in much. Traffic is very good, so for anyone else that might be in a similar situation, I recommend finding targeted products you can sell through Clickbank or another affiliate network. Also try to find third party advertisers if possible.

  22. Thanks for sharing Alan!

    Testing is always key! I always recommend using AdSense as your benchmark to measure against. For my site I haven’t had much success with products (my own or affiliate). For direct ad sales, sometimes I can get advertisers and charge them a premium. Other times, depending on the section, I make too much from Adsense for an advertiser to compete with.

    As this series continues I’ll share how I’ve managed to make money from AdSense and hopefully it will provide some new insights for my readers.

  23. Alan Mater says:

    I agree, Evan. I’m going to do more testing when I get a chance and see if I can get better results from it.

    I look forward to reading the rest of the series. :)

  24. HI Evan,

    Look forward to hearing more. I like the point that you brought out with “testing.” Google has some amazing tools that can help website owners track everything. From Google Adsense reporting to Google Analytic to Google Conversion and most recently Google Goal Tracking.

    Between all of those tools a website owner should know exactly what type of traffic is converting & making them money and what type of traffic is not. I even use Google PPC to estimate organic search engine traffic!

    Website owners would do well to follow your lead and create a base, and then test off that base in regards to advertising.

    Jeff

  25. Thanks for the feedback Jeff! Testing is a recurring theme here at SES Toronto too. Website owners are trying to get the most out of every dollar and minute that they spend on their business.

    People here are considering themselves business owners instead of website owners much more than in the past which is great to see. I think the economy has forced people to buckle down and focus in on what makes money and making your website an actual business.

  26. […] Evan Carmichael on June 23rd, 2009 // In my last post (From $0.30 to $300 / Day on Google AdSense Part 1 – How To Make Money) I talked about the importance of the formula $ = V x CTR x CPC which means that the money that you […]

  27. […] on July 15th, 2009 // In my first two posts in this series I discussed the AdSense formula $ = V x CTR x CPC and how to increase your V through search engine optimization, Twitter, and getting others to write […]

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  30. amit says:

    your idea is so great .now i am earning $50 above per day with google and i was started to write an article about web traffic.

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  33. […] The formula for AdSense success: $ = V x CTR x CPC […]

  34. leila says:

    Can you provide a link showing your site with Adsense ads. Also, is it true that you should not have too many ads on one page?

    Thanks for the great info!

  35. Hi Leila – yes, Google will prevent you from putting on more than 3 ads on a page – you can also add in link units on top of the 3 ad units.

    Good luck!

  36. Gsk says:

    U r exprience great sir 2 monts before i activated adsense & i add ads on blog , i have 3 blog but earning is $0.32 what i do sir. please give me suggetion on my email

  37. Gsk says:

    U r exprience is great sir 2 monts before i activated adsense & i add ads on blog , i have 3 blog but earning is $0.32 what i do sir. please give me suggetion on my email

  38. mike says:

    yo dude.. where the fuck is parts 2 and 3? it’s been over a year. either get shit done or learn how to link.

  39. Ben says:

    Hi Evan,

    I really like your article, it is very helpful for all those who want to succeed in their business. It is also very informative wherein the details are clear and concepts are easily understood.

  40. mahbub says:

    you are an intelligent writer .. can you help me i am now on hold?..what can i do now..please help me?

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