Is Google Smart Pricing Your Ads?

November 27, 2008

Do you run Google Adsense ads on your blog or website? Is Google paying you a pitiful amount per click? Then Google might be smart pricing your ads.

Recently, I mentioned new strategies I have been trying out, to increase my Google Adsense revenue. And while the new ideas I’ve implemented have increased my clickthrough rate, the amount of money I’m getting per click has plunged.

Then, I read about Google smart pricing, through another blogger who was penalized on his site buy Google, because one of his sites sucked. And he doubled his income from Google Adsense, by removing the offending sites.

If you own a blog, which Google doesn’t like for some reason; or if ads on your site convert badly, they’ll give you crappy irrelevant ads and pay you a pittance for them. Apparently, if your blog is about making money blogging - you may also be penalised. Many people who blog about making money blogging only get around 5 cents a click. But I’m betting most of them probably deserve it.

Trouble is, if you own more than one blog or website, they’ll pay you a pittance for the ads you show on those too.

Recently, my Google Adsense earnings took a dive. Initially, I thought it was because of a couple of new sites I’d added. But it didn’t take long to figure that Google was penalizing my former hideous website that used to be one of the worst websites on the Internet.

Evere since I beautified the site a little - Google has served it with crappy, irrelevant ads. The annoying thing is, the content is almost the same - it just looks better. So it looks like Google prefers ugly sites.

If you’ve recently added new sites to your Google Adsense account and your earnings have dropped, you may want to remove ads from them for a few days and see if they go up. And if you’ve got one of the ugliest websites on the Internet, you might want to think twice, before giving it a facelift.

Also, if your earnings per click have always been bad, you may have been smart priced all along. Apparently, most of those make money blogging blogs are usually smart priced and they make terrible earnings per click.

Unless you get a huge amount of traffic, it’s crazy to rely on Google Adsense alone to make money from your website or blog anyway. You can make a lot more money using affiliate programs. And you can learn more about affiliate programs from the Super Affiliate Handbook.

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How To Make Good Money In Terrible Times

November 22, 2008

Can good money still be made in a bad economic climate? I believe it can. But you have no chance of making good money, if you move from one crazy get rich scheme to the next.

And if money from your job is the only money coming into your home, you’re putting yourself at a massive risk. Both small and large businesses are struggling to make good money in this recession. And things are going to get much worse, before they get better.

Of course, if you have a good job which brings in a decent amount of money, I’m not suggesting that you give it up. But it’s definitely worth looking at these 3 ways to make good money, so you’re not reliant on one income stream:

Make Good Money Selling To The Super Rich

According to a New York Times report, the rich still spend money in a recession. And you may not be able to afford to set up in business to supply them with luxury yachts, or cars. But you could make good money by acting as a go between, connecting buyers and sellers.

This would be far easier if you already have good business relationships with ultra rich people who have mountains of money. If you don’t, it will take a good deal of time to establish such relationships.

Make Good Money By Selling Small Luxury Items

In The Lipstick Indicator To Great Wealth, Evelyn Lim explains that small luxury items not only sell well in a recession, the prices go up. It’s all about folk wanting to feel good, while spending a small amount of money.

Now, I’m not suggesting that going out and buying a lipstick, or some cheap fashion jewellery is going to help you make money. But you could make good money by selling it to others. You could sell it through party plan, or network marketing.

I tried party plan years ago, with the Body Shop. And it was ok. But you do have to fork out for a whole heap of their demo products to show folk at parties, so you’ve got to be seriously committed, if you want to make cash that way.

And I haven’t tried network marketing myself, but many people rave about it. And the WAHM message boards provide a whole heap of info on network marketing opportunities. Again you usually need to invest money upfront, in the company’s products. And you have to be willing to recruit others if you want to make good money, so you would need to feel confident about doing that.

You don’t need to pay money upfront to sell luxury items through affiliate programs. PepperjamNetworkis free to join and it enables you to partner with several leading brands who offer small luxury items. And, if you’re not used to affiliate marketing, Rosalind Gardners Super Affiliate Handbook will show you how to get started. The only downside is that Rosalind’s methods rely heavily on Pay Per Click advertising, which is great, if you’ve plenty of spare cash to start a pay per click marketing campaign but not so good if you don’t.

Make Good Money From Multiple Streams Of Income

I’m a big fan of the idea of creating multiple streams of income. It is dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket, as I discovered earlier in the year when I lost a huge amount of money on one business.

Some of the world’s most successful people made money by creating several streams of income. Felix Dennis, who is worth several hundred million dollars, created many different streams of income. And he didn’t begin to make huge sums of money, until he’d built around 20 different income baskets. If he’d focused on just one thing, he’d probably still be broke.

Naomi Dunsford believes that you’re putting your family at risk, if you rely one one income stream. And she went from being in debt to making over $176,000 in the last ten months.

She made that money from six streams of online income, including niche affiliate sites and selling her own products and services. And she is now running an Online Business School, to teach others how to make good money online, with six different streams of income.

Naomi’s course is not some crazy get rich scheme. It’s a practical business course which will show you exactly how to make money online, using six different methods. And she’s offering a 50% discount to the first 2000 people who enrol on the course.

Out of all the methods to make good money that I’ve mentioned so far, this is my favourite one, because you’re spreading your risk. And even if only two out of the six ideas do well, you’re still going to make good money. But don’t just take my word for it. Go read more about what’s included in Naomi’s Online Business School and listen to the free video and audio’s explaining some of the methods Naomi and her clients have used to make good money online.

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3 Ways To Increase Your Google Adsense Revenue

November 6, 2008

Almost everyone seems to run Google Adsense on their websites. Oprah even has it on hers, so it’s got to be worthwhile. But Google Adsense seem to perform well on some sites and badly on others.

Obviously, to make a huge amount of money from Google Adsense, you need lots of traffic. But you also need to tweak your Ad placements, colours used etc, to discover what will work best for your site. And, you need to suss out what keyphrases will bring you a higher amount per click.

I’ve done ok with Adsense on other sites but on this blog my clickthrough rate has been lousy. In fact, sometimes it’s been as low as 0.01%. So I’m always trying to tweak it and find new tips to improve my Adsense earnings. According to Google Adsense Case studies, sites like Ask The Builder, Hometips, Woot and TestMagic are making mega bucks from Google Adsense, so I don’t see why we can’t do the same.

Tip 1: Increase Your Google Adsense Revenue By Choosing What Content To Match

I got the first excellent Adsense tip from Al of Self Made Minds. And Al is on target to make seven figures from blogging this year, so he’s certainly worth listening to (note - Al doesn’t write all his posts himself, he pays people to do it for him).

Al suggests that instead of allowing Adsense to choose which text in your posts, is most relevant for your ads, you choose your own. You simply pick out the text which you’d like Adsense to use when choosing your ads and wrap code around it, as he shows in this excellent Adsense code placement example.

Tip 2: Increase Your Google Adsense Revenue By Choosing Which Ads To Display

The other Adsense tip I got was from Vered of Momgrind. She was so tired of seeing ads she didn’t approve of on her blog, that she has set up her adsense account up to block ads from certain domains. This feature is also useful if particular ads pay badly, or do extremely well.

There’s two ways you can do it. You can click the competitive ad filter on your Google Adsense dashboard and enter the url’s of advertisers that you want to block from appearing on your website. Or you can click on allowed sites and list only the URL’s that you do want to allow on your website.

Tip 3: Increase Your Google Adsense Revenue By Becoming An Adsense Pro

Obviously, Google Adsense amounts paid per click can vary tremendously. Some keyphrases do pay in excess of $50 per click. But often, they’re for keywords that have heaps of competition and get little traffic. I’m determined to get Adsense working well for me, because once you do get it right, the income requires little effort to maintain. So I’m working my way through these Adsense video’s by Michael Cheney, who earns over $30,000 a month from Google Adsense.

If you’re not a member already, it’s free to join Google Adsense.. And if you’re already a member but you don’t think Adsense is right for your site, you might want to sign up to one of these instead.

Have you tried out Al’s, Vered’s or Michael’s ideas already? It certainly seems like a smart idea to control who advertises on your site, or which content Adsense uses when placing an ad.

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Affiliate Commissions: Don’t Get Screwed

November 4, 2008

Affiliate commissions from some programs can be huge. In fact some advertisers will pay you more than 50% in affiliate commissions, if you advertise their products on your website or blog.

If you’re not familiar with affiliate programs - they work in a similar way to advertising. But instead of being paid when someone views, or clicks on an ad on your site, you are paid a commission if one of your readers buys something from the advertiser.

Unfortunately, some advertisers will go out of their way to screw you out of your affiliate commissions. So, if you’re considering using affiliate programs to make money on your website, or blog, you might want to read on to make sure you don’t get ripped off.

Are Affiliate Commissions A Good Way To Make Money From Your Site?

On some sites you can definitely make a decent amount of money from affiliate commissions. Some affiliate programs pay commissions of 50% plus. On the other hand, some pay a paltry amount. So, do your research wisely.

Some Tips To Avoid Getting Ripped Off On Your Affiliate Commissions

You wouldn’t expect businesses to steal your affiliate commissions would you? After all, affiliates work hard to promote their products and if they cheat them, they might wind up with no affiliates at all. Trouble is, some of them are short sighted and seem to think nothing of stealing their affiliates commissions.

Advertising For Affiliates At The Top of The Page:

Check that the seller isn’t advertising for affiliates at the top of the page. Some do this, to encourage potential buyers to use their own affiliate link to buy their program. I know of one company who actually comes right out in their sales pitch and tells buyers to sign up as an affiliate and buy through their own affiliate link.

I guess they do this, because it’s easier for them to sell their product at the lower price. They’re not losing any money, or gaining any but they’re making more sales. And when this happens, you’re losing your affiliate commissions.

You really need to avoid companies who do this to affiliates. I recently ditched one company completely. They have a good product but the customers I was sending over there just weren’t converting into sales. So, I checked the link I was using to send readers to the site and there was actually a little banner floating across the page, encouraging buyers to join there affiliate program. Very tacky - and a low way to con folk out of their affiliate commissions.

Affilliate Management Programs That Encourage Advertisers To Rip Affiliates Off

It’s terribly unfair but apparently this does happen. Commission Junction have been accused of this and I recently received a postcard in the mail saying that publishers are taking legal action against Commission Junction.

I don’t use Commission Junction much now because of the allegations. And I don’t know how true they are but I do know that I’ve bought two different products through my own affiliate links and didn’t receive a commission. In one case, the advertiser actually encouraged affiliates to use their own link to buy from them. So, it’s easy to see how these companies got caught ripping affiliates off.

Companies Who Use Their Own Domain Name or Phone Number In The Affiliate Ad

Companies who use their domain names or their phone numbers in their banner ads are a waste of time too. If people see the banner on your site and either type in the domain name, or use the phone number you get bugger all for your efforts.

So Do All Advertisers Rip Affiliates Off?

No. There’s still plenty of good affiliate programs to join. Not everyone is stupid enough to bite the hand that feeds them, or dishonest enough to con you out of your affiliate commissions.

I like LinkShare Referral Program, as they’re a reputable and they have some excellent quality advertisers, including Nickelodeon, L’Occitane, Zales, Cheap Tickets and Fujitsu.

Also, I recently joined Pepperjam. The network was created by affiliates for affiliates and they are providing things that aren’t possible with most other affiliate programs. For example you can create your own ads. They look similar to adsense but you can mix and match ads by various advertisers.

Pepperjam are a fairly new affiliate program but they have some great advertisers signed up and many of them pay excellent affiliate commissions. Advertisers include Baby Phat, BBC America, Ebay and Jelly Belly. And Pepperjam Network is now offering a $10 affiliate sign on bonus. So it’s worth joining today.

If you’re interested in using affiliate marketing to earn commissions on your website or blog and you’re only just starting out, I highly recommend Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook. Unlike some so called Guru’s, she actually makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from affiliate marketing. And you shares some great advice on how to build a real affiliate business from scratch.

And if you’ve been doing affiliate marketing for sometime, but you could use more traffic to help you make a decent profit, Secret Affiliate Code 2 shows you how to get plenty of free traffic and rank number one on Google for your keywords.

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