The following post was submitted by Matt as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series
Hello, my name is Matt and I run a number of blogs, let me tell you how I have gone from a money sucking website to multiple blogs bringing in the cash.
I originally started off with a fan site www.aliciakeysfan.com for the artist Alicia Keys in January 2002, but in April of the same year was heading off to University and realised I would no longer be able to update my site as there would be no FTP access. So I looked in to a news type of system and stumbled across b2 (the origins of the popular WordPress blogging system). That was the birth of my very first ‘blog’, the idea and system worked great enabling me and others to easily update the site from anywhere.
Over the next few years the site continued to grow well, but nothing much changed with how the site was run and the increasing hosting costs were putting a strain on my student finances, due to this I considered closing down the site on more than one occasion.
I will now bring you right up to January 2005 (my blog has now been running nearly 3 years). I was just about to close the site down due to financial strain, when my girlfriend found and suggested Google Adsense. I was always against ads, but Adsense was very different. I signed up and added a ‘skyscraper’ ad down the right hand side of the blog, and the next day was excited to see I had already earned $8 or so. I quickly realised that in just a few days the blog would earn enough to cover the cost of the hosting and more. Having now seen the potential earning power of my blog I worked hard on improving the Google Ads on the blog. I moved the skyscraper on the right higher up to a more prominent position, I added a ‘banner’ sized Google Ad to the top centre position of my blog, right above the news, and also changed the Ad colours to blend in with my blog design colours. This had a dramatic improvement on my earnings (+200%), and the banner ad was well out performing the skyscraper, as it was closer to the action.