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Weblogs Inc earns $600 a day from Adsense

Weblogs Inc is said to earn $600 per day from Adsense. PaidContent writes:

Weblogs Inc., described as the largest publisher of professional blogs, was offered as an example of how AdSense benfits online publishers. According to the slide, Weblogs is averaging $600 a day in AdSense revenue and made $45,000 in the first four months; the blogging company added AdSense in late August 2004.’

At first I was actually a little surprised by the $600 figure – with 70 blogs (an average of $8.50 per day per blog) who do a total of 20 million monthly page views (they therefore earn 0.0009 cents per impressions. From my experience with the program I would have thought the figure would have been significantly higher than that.

However it is also worth noting that Adsense is not their main source of income. For example look at Engadget and you’ll see that the prime position ads are all private ads and Adsense advertising does not appear above the fold. I deduce (guess) that these ads are paying better than the Adsense ads would in those positions.

The strategy that I use in placing ads on my site is that I put the highest paying ads in the prime position. If an advertiser wants to pay more than Adsense can earn in a position I am willing to sell them that space and move Adsense to another spot – I presume that this is how Weblogs Inc operates also so we can guess that the $600 per day from Adsense is perhaps only the minority of their earnings.

When Money Motivates Blogging

Michael Buffington writes that he’s just started a new blog on the topic of Asbestos. He’s doing so not because he’s interested in it but largely because it pays good money. This type of blogging is becoming more and more popular as people realize the amount of money that Adsense ads can pay out if you create a quality site on certain topics and can generate good traffic levels. Michael writes:

‘The subject matter, while weighty and all that, is of little importance to me. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on asbestos and asbestos reform, because I do. The whole point of the site is to experiment with an idea. I built a tool that helps me aggregate topical news with the help of Google’s Alert system. So far it works wonderfully.

But there’s a second motive as well. Right now asbestos reform and asbestos related litigation is on fire. Lawyers are paying anywhere from $15-100 per click through on Google ads. The second part of this big experiment is to see if I can capture some of that click through revenue while still providing a somewhat valid service to people who might arrive by search results.’

I suspect that Michael will or has already received some criticism for this approach. I’ve not seen too many bloggers admit up front that they have little or no interest in the topic of their blog as explicitly as he does in his post. A friend just emailed me about it and asked my opinion. Here are a few thoughts:

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How To Make Money With Your Blog Site

Robin Good has a good post on How To Make Money With Your Blog Site which outlines 13 or so ways that bloggers can make money from their blogging. His tips range from Google Adsense, to Amazon, to other advertising programs, to donations, through to premium content sponsorships and online guides and e-books.

This is one of the better ‘blogging for dollars’ type articles out there and mentions all the methods that are normally covered in such articles with some good examples and advice.

My similar article on the topic is here.

335X50 Problogger

Should Google be the Blogosphere’s Ad Agency?

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post titled Should Google be the citizens’ ad agency? where he questions whether Google is the best ‘ad agency’ for citizens media and writes:

‘But it makes me wonder whether we’re foolish letting Google be our ad sales agent. For Google undersells the value of citizens’ media: Google sells the coincidence of a word on a page when the real value of citizens’ media is in its conversation, its relationships, its influence.

Mind you, we should bless Google for taking the cooties off of citizens’ media and showing that, indeed, real people have a message and audience worth attention.

But now I think it’s necessary for citizens’ media to find its own path, its own sales agent who can sell its own value.’

Jeff makes some valid points which are worth taking on board – as usual he sees both side of the story. My opinion? It is getting late so let me attempt a few points:

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Are Google paying out less to Adsense Publishers?

Om Malik has an interesting post looking at the record earnings that Google have been reporting (largely due to their earnings from Adwords) but the apparent decreases in payments that they are making to publishers.

‘Intrigued, I looked up some of the SEC filings and discovered that for past four quarters Google has been paying more money every quarter to the affiliates. However, TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues generated by network sites is declining. For instance in quarter ending June 30, 2004, the company had paid out 80% of the revenues generated by its network. In quarter ending Sept 30, 2004, it was down to 79% and now in the December 2004 quarter, that number was down to 77%….’

It is something I have no real opinion about as my statistics over the past 12 months have been so up and down that it is impossible to make any assumptions from it – however if there is truth in them skimming a little more off the top I’d be pretty disappointed in Google.

Read more at Om Malik: Google making more, but dishing out less

3% decrease in Keyword Cost in January

Those bloggers utilizing Adsense as an income stream who track their statistics usually notice that the price paid per click fluctuates from month to month. I track my cost per click earnings and it is not unusual to have a 20% drop or rise from one month to the next. Fathom Online tracks this too across many keywords and noticed that in their last period after the holidays that there was significant drops in some kewords and an overall drop of 3%.

‘Most surprising was the 28 percent drop in Telecom-Wireless products and services from $1.09 to $.79, possibly reflecting the trend to give cell phones as a gift during the holidays. Keywords in the Consumer-Retail category also decreased significantly by 11 percent from $.58 to $.52 per keyword, evening out some of the huge gains that category registered early in the fourth quarter 2004 when the frenzy to buy shopping keywords was at its peak.’

This doesn’t surprise me in the least – with the rise in keyword costs in the lead up to Christmas things had to slow down at some point.

Check out their table tracking different keyword categories – the big winner this last month was Finance/Mortgage keywords.

Could AdSense direct deposits be around the corner? – JenSense.com

Jen at JenSense observes that the new referal program from Adsense seems to be set up to pay out using direct deposit. She hypothesizes that perhaps this is an indication that direct deposit payments might be coming. This would be a massive relief to many publishers using the system who have to do a lot of messing around to cash their cheques.

Read Jen’s column at Could AdSense direct deposits be around the corner?

Google Referral Program

It looks like Google Adsense are now using a referral affiliate type program whereby if you refer an advertiser that spends at least $20 to Adwords or a publisher that earns $75 with Adsense that you earn a commission ($20). They describe the program as follows:

‘The Google referral program is designed to help businesses make money by referring small to medium-sized businesses to Google. You simply apply and once you’re approved, place links (or graphics) on your site, and then every time you refer a company that spends at least $20 with Google AdWords or earns $75 with AdSense, you earn a commission.’

They say in their FAQ that they are currently only accepting US bases sites in this program (doh!).

This program will probably suit sites that have an audience of readers who have websites that are commercial in nature.

Learn more at:

Google Referral Program Home Page

Google Referral Program: More information

Google Referral Program: Sign up Form

Google Referral Program: FAQ

Google testing ‘new’ user activated ads on Adsense

The Adsense community are in a bit of a tizz at the moment over testing of a ‘new’ ad feature whereby readers get to choose their own advertisements. In actual fact this is not a ‘new’ testing that Adsense are doing at all – I observed it back in October on one test site that I watch – if only they’d been reading ProBlogger! :-)

See some more of the current discussion and observations at:

- Webmaster World – Site visitors able to tweak Publishers Adsense blocks

- Inside Google – Google Testing True User-Specified Ads

- SEO Round Table: Google Beta Tests New AdSense Ads

- Jermy Zawodny – Google’s Per-User Adsense Tweaking

- pc4media – Search Adsense Ads from your Website