Imagine blogging for a whole year, ending up with a very popular blog that has 23,457 subscribers, ranked #45 out of all blogs in the world, and earning (brace yourself) a whopping $3,350 for the entire year!
Now stop imagining – this stuff is real.
I noted in an earlier post, that in spite of being a Google fanboi, I only see pure “click-thru” earnings decline over time for everyone. This is based on my own theory, as well as general consensus, that the more tech-savvy your audience is, the less likely they are of clicking on Adsense (or other PPC) ads, be it on Google’s search pages or on third-party web sites.
A recent posting on Guy Kawasaki’s blog only goes to prove my theory further, that:
- It is very hard to get tech-savvy folks to click on ads the way the average surfers (moms-and-pops) do.
- It is not easy making a living by blogging, leave alone by monetizing your blog with Adsense.
I own a site targeted at moms-and-pops, and I made many, many times more than what Guy’s #45-ranked blog earned. And mine is a very small niche, and many, many, many times less popular than Guy’s blog.
Here are some key stats from his blog:
- 2,436,117 page views (about 6,200/day)
- 23,457 RSS feed subscribers
- Total advertising revenue for one whole year: approximately $3,350 = $1.39 cpm.
This is not very far from the pathetic $1.80 that I’m seeing with my own Adsense earnings these days (a drop from the high $2’s, and even low $3’s). However, this drop is not because of number of click-thru’s or the click-thru rate (both of which have actually gone up due to my persistent optimization of the content and the ad placements), but actually due to a big fall in the CPM (Cost Per-thousand iMpressions).
This could be because advertisers are generally bidding lower in this new year, or the advertisers in my specific niche are bidding lower, or that Google somehow (read smart-pricing) has determined (or just decided) that my click-thru’s are worth less than before, or it could simply mean that Google has given themselves a pay-raise this new year by taking a bigger chunk of the earnings-per-click.
I have already started researching other ad options. I’m not sure how well other PPC networks will compare to Adsense, and in fact I don’t believe the other PPC networks will earn me more than Adsense does. So it is time for a change. Time to change not just my PPC options, but time to change the ad strategy – like maybe CPA (cost-per-action, a.k.a pay-per-lead or pay-per-sale).
It’s the new year after all. Out with the old, in with the new.
– Ravi Jayagopal / LinkOverLoad.com
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