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How to Choose a Profitable Topic for AdSense

christmasThis post is part of the ‘Fine Tuning Your Blog for Christmas’ series. In reality this topic probably is a little late for THIS Christmas – but as I’ve been looking at AdSense optimization I thought I’d include it anyway for those of you looking to start a new blog that might be ready for next year.

Last week I was chatting with one reader who was asking for advice on a new blog that he was starting. He wanted to know if it had commercial viability – particularly if he used AdSense.

The idea for the new blog was good – however if he wanted to monetize it using AdSense I told him that it wouldn’t do too well – unless he had ALOT of traffic. The reason for this was his topic – Religion.

Now I don’t have anything against religion as a topic for a blog (I’ve written on Spirituality for many years myself) – however it’s a difficult topic to monetize with AdSense for two main reasons:

1. Price per Click – in comparison to other topics with a more obvious commercial edge, religion (and other topics like politics) don’t tend to pay much per click. This means to make the same amount as other blogs you need a lot more clicks – which means you need a lot more traffic.

2. Dual Edge of Topic - some topics (like religion and politics) have what I call a ‘dual edge’ to them. For example when I wrote a post a few years ago that mentioned in passing the topic of ‘divorce’ on my Christian blog I noticed the next day two quite different AdSense ads being served. One was for a Christian Law firm offering their services for Christians getting divorced and the other was a book about how people shouldn’t get Divorced. The ads had quite different ideologies behind them – AdSense knew what the topic was but as it was a machine that was looking for the context it couldn’t discern my ideology/theology/arguement. I find that many religious and political bloggers end up not using AdSense because of this – ie they end up getting frustrated putting ads on their site that they are ideologically opposed to.

I am not saying that bloggers shouldn’t write about low paying topics or topics with a ‘dual edge’ – however if you do write on these sorts of topics you need to realize that AdSense may not be the best way to monetize them (or at least that you won’t earn much unless you get a lot of traffic).

Tomorrow we’ll be turning our attention to optimizing Chitika Ads.

This post has been a part of the How to Fine Tune your Blog for Christmas Series.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. JohnTP says:

    Can you give some examples of Profitable Topics for AdSense?

  2. Yep…I just tried Adsense again a few days ago…my political blog is following a story of police misconduct in Queensland, and I got ads looking for people who wanted to join the police in Alabama. Hmph.

    So at the moment I am going to rotating Amazon ads – I think I will put one at the top of every new post, between the headline and the text. Amazon keywords, if you select them correctly , seem to give you more control than Google’s context-checker.

    Its a pity Amazon ads either

    1) Don’t have pictures
    or, 2) have pictures, but have a blank space saying ‘no image available’ if they don’t have an image for the particular item.

    It would be good if the ad just placed a text link if there was no image, instead of the blank space.

    More tweakable ad design would be good, too: AFAIK, you can’t build a wide banner using 4 specific books. If you have a banner, you have to accept whatever Amazon finds for your search terms.

  3. Victor Goh says:

    My blog is primarily about mobile devotions for Christians and I had the experience of AdSense putting up ads which I am “ideologically opposed to”. That’s where AdSense Competitive Ad Filter came in and rescued me. It was still a fair bit of work finding out the URLs of those ads that I wanted to block.

    Will AdSense be profitable for my site? Let’s just say that AdSense will probably cover my hosting fees. :-)

  4. Amazon has ads which you can choose to sell books/music. This would be ideal for a topic like religion and you can also reduce dependence on Adsense serving the right ads.

  5. Terry says:

    Once again, posted in the wrong forum. Sorry. Anyway, my question was, if political blogs generally do not create as much revenue with adsense as other blogs, can you direct me to your (or someone elses) suggestions on what other ways to “monetize” the size??

    Thanks for your help,
    Terry

  6. I have two years of experience with AdSense displaying “ads on their site that they are ideologically opposed to.”

    And I know exactly how to deal with this particular problem: Ignore it. It isn’t a problem at all. Unless, of course, you want to make a problem of it.

    Case in point: Around the 2004 U.S. elections, my site ran AdSense ads which were for Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and many other things I was ideologically opposed to. I never blocked out any of the ads or made any changes to try to influence one ideology to appear over another.

    The reason for this is because not everyone who reads my site agrees with me! And that’s the reason you should do nothing about “ideologically opposed” AdSense ads.

    In practice, I have found that people who agree with the ad will click it, and also people who disagree with the ad will occasionally click it, just to see what “the enemy” is saying. Either way, I remain strictly neutral with respect to the ad content, I make more money, and I invite more visitors.

  7. D.Florent says:

    Yes, as webmaster of http://www.chretiente.info, I faced that problem big time. Not only French Christian advertisers pay peanuts, but more than this, I get a lot of anti-catholic or even anti-christian ads, or cults, fake churches, etc. So, of course I “kill” them with the filter… but only after I discover them…

    Religion is TYPICALLY a domain where Adsense should promote unrelated ads. My viewers are wite collar right-wing French people, and they would LOVE to see ads targeted to them, instead of stupid anti-christian ads on a christian website…

    But again… forcing these unrelated ads would go against Adsense rules…
    This is a pity.

  8. S. Benjamin says:

    Might I add that although those topics “politics, and religion” confuse adsense, they do offer traffic.

    The question is whether that’s a bad thing or a good thing considering “politics, religion, and race” are the three most heated topics one could ever discuss.

    It’s human nature to always insist on having the last word, the end result “returning visitors”.

    I’d avoid those topics like the plague, considering they can, and will almost certainly attract a hostile crowd.

  9. i agree with because all visitor especially in this kind of blogs don’t visit for shopping or search on product and all service here have low demand

  10. A. Lauzon says:

    i have a few adsense adds on my blog, it is possible to change to topic of them? since my blog does not really have a specific focus…
    So far they have given me some stuff about Ghost writers, web hosting and antiboitics which TOTALY does NOT related to anything i’m talking about. Is there some way to choose my adsense topic (instead of adsense choosing it)- the same way that Adbrite does it.

    is adbright any good?

    thanks!