Learn to Maximize AdSense Income with AdSense Secrets

The internet is filled with people that are self proclaimed experts of one thing or another, whether we are talking about making money online, internet marketing, blogging, domaining, etc.   But it is rare that you run across someone that is widely accepted by the internet as an expert as the authority on a particular subject.

Joel Comm, the Google AdSense expert, is the only person that I know of that meets this criteria.   Joel is the author of AdSense Secrets, which is a close to 250 page eBook designed to teach you everything he knows about Google AdSense.   That is right, I said almost 250 pages!

Chances are if you’ve read AdSense tips by the many pro bloggers and other “experts” on this subject, they got their information from this Google AdSense bible.  I’ve been reading about 5 pages a day and working my way through this document for a few weeks now and finally finished it.

I have to say that this book was the best $9.95 I spent over the past few months and has really opened my eyes to some additional opportunities that AdSense users have.   I am hoping to discuss some of these strategies over the coming months after I’ve put them to good use, but in the meantime I wanted to make sure you guys knew that AdSense Secrets was out there at an incredible price.   Oh, and don’t forget this could be considered a business expense.  :mrgreen:

Make Money Online with TNX.net

If you are like me, you probably spend a lot of time each week looking for ways to make money online. One company I recently checked out TNX.net. TNX is a fairly new text link advertising platform designed to bring together both advertisers and publishers by offering an easy way for advertisers to get links and for publishers to make money selling links. Depending on your situation, you can actually advertise your site/blog and generate additional income at the same time, which we’ll talk about a little later. First, lets look a little bit at TNX.net from both the advertisers and publishers perspective.

Advertising with TNX

Setting up an advertising campaign is not very difficult with TNX. They provide an easy to use Ad Campaign Wizard, which is designed to make it easy for advertisers to set up their advertising campaign. With this wizard you can control where you advertise, including location, website category, Google PageRank, and Yahoo Backlinks. Once you’ve established a budget to work with, you can then figure out how many points you can purchase within your budget using their advertising calculator.

Once you’re ready, you can easily load your advertisement on to the TNX registry in one of two ways. If you have a large campaign, you can upload a text file containing your advertisements. For advertisers wanting to launch a smaller campaign (wanting under 2000 links), you can use the provided form.

Publishers earn TNX points simply by placing the provided code to display TNX text link ads on their webpages (usually in the sidebar). As text links are displayed, the publisher acquires TNX points. Each month you can take the acquired points and turn them into money in one of two ways. You can either sell them directly to TNX for a fixed price, or you can negotiate with other publishers to sell the points directly to them at your price. There is a minimum payout of $5.00 and all payments are made each month via Paypal.

The cool thing about earning points is that you can turn in part of your earned points for cash, while still reinvesting some points into advertising your website with TNX.

Other cool features:

  • Find Relevant Links – TNX allows you to control who advertises with you so that you can make sure you only display relevant links.
  • Earning Calculator – Get help estimating how much you can make with their earnings calculator. This calculator takes into account your Google PageRank and link popularity.
  • Code Choices – TNX.net gives you the choice of using Perl or PHP code, with a variant PHP code available for caching advertisments (to reduce bandwidth and server loads).

TNX Affiliate Program

If you are interested in making money online, but aren’t interested in buying/selling links, you may want to look into the TNX affiliate program. While many similar companies have a set payout per referral, TNX gives a higher percentage back (13.3%) by allowing you to earn TNX points based upon the earnings of the people you refer.

Sound good? Ready to sign up? You can register for your free TNX account on their registration page, or check out a current promotion for 5,000 free points (to be used for advertising).

Other useful resources:

How To: Converting Kontera to Single Lines

In the past we’ve talked a bit about Kontera, which is a company that sells in-text advertising.  I’ve used Kontera in the past and had some luck with them, but I found over time that it wasn’t enough income to warrant how much it annoyed some of my readers.   Therefore, I ended up removing it.

With that said, I know a lot of people still continue to use Kontera as a way to make money online.   If this sounds like you, you may consider making a small adjustment to your Kontera code to only display a single line, instead of the double lines people use by default.  This should help your ads to blend better with your website.

In order to do this, all you need to do is make a small adjustment to the code:

var dc_single_line = 'yes';

Disclaimer: As with anything like this, you’ll want to contact Kontera before trying this to confirm it can be used for your account.  This way you are not at risk of having your account banned.   If your links are not underlined, there is a good chance you will get approved.

A Couple of Ideas to Improve Your AdSense Income

A couple of months ago Google made some significant changes to their AdSense program when they re-did the clickable area, which caused a lot of people to lose money. I know personally that my AdSense income dropped by at least $70.00 a month as a result of this change, and I’ve heard from several others that are have had the same problem.

Anytime there is a change, it is only natural we take the time to step back and look over the situation in the hope of finding a way to improve it. One post I ran across recently was written by Josh titled 10 Ways to Increase Your AdSense Income. In his post, Josh covers a bunch of methods people should consider when trying to maximize their clicks.

Two important tips:

2. Target competitive niches! I don’t care what anyone says about MFA sites, they work! I’m not talking about spam sites, I’m talking about high-quality, informative sites that are in a high paying market! Some of these niche sites can bring in $5-$10/day after only a couple days. When you’re making over a $1 per click you don’t need much traffic to make money.

3. If a site has a CTR of 1% or less, remove it from your site. Although there is some controversy as to whether or not CTR causes “smart pricing” to kick in, it’s just not worth risking. At least remove Adsense for a few weeks and see if your overall adsense income rises. If so, you were probably hit with Google’s Smart Pricing. If that site in particular was causing smart-pricing to kick in, consider a different monetization model.

And one tip I’m not so sure about:

8. Do not go by Google’s heat map. It’s a good visual aid for some layouts, but there are just too many variables. The effectiveness of any layout will be determined by color, style, niche etc. so testing is always your best bet!

Click over to check out the rest of the list!

What is Keyword Sniping?

About a month ago I reviewed a tool called Micro Niche Finder, which is an SEO tool designed to help bloggers find out how much traffic and competition there are for smaller keywords. The idea is that you can easily rank highly in these keywords with only a minimal amount of work. So, once you’ve found your niche, how do you go about actually attacking that keyword?

Well, keyword sniping of course. This is a method I’ve used, and I know several others that have also found a great deal of success by taking over low traffic keywords. There are a few different ways to go about, but most people in the know keep fairly quiet about their techniques. For people interested, I was able to dig up a post written a little while ago by Courtney Tuttle giving a very well written introduction to keyword sniping. His post covers the general idea behind keyword sniping and explains how anyone can make money online doing this.

The nice thing about this method is that it requires very minimal maintenance. Set up your blog and a few posts, then sit back and let your site mature with age. One thing I would recommend that Courtney didn’t cover is to make a very AdSense friendly WordPress theme and use it as a template. That way each time you launch a new site, you can use that same theme and just plug in the specific information for the niche you are attacking.

Have any good keyword sniping stories to share?

Google AdSense Smart Pricing…Re-Evaluating My AdSense Strategy

If you’ve ever attempted to make money online, you know that it can be very complicated, requires a lot of research, and is always evolving and changing. Last week I posted my December 2007 review and talked about how my overall income dipped for that month, particularly with Google AdSense. I noticed a similar trend on most of the blogs I read, so I originally told myself that it was probably due to the change to the clickable AdSense area.

Last week I ran across a post over at Courtney Tuttle’s blog titled how to get worthless AdSense clicks, which caused me to re-evaluate how I approach trying to make money with Google AdSense. In this post, Court explains Google’s smart pricing, which basically is a system that Google uses to penalize bloggers who get a lot of worthless AdSense clicks. This idea was not a new concept to me, as I’ve heard in the past the theory that having less advertisements per page can result in higher payouts per click. I also remember David of CyberCoder talking a bit about smart pricing in one of his video blogs (though I can’t find the link now).

After reading Court’s post, I decided it was finally time to look into this a little more. It just seemed to be to much of a coincidence that my AdSense income was at an all time high, then I launched a bunch of new blogs that currently aren’t receiving a lot of traffic and my AdSense income dipped from $10.00 a day to $3.00 or less.

The first thing I did was go into my Manage Ads page in the Google AdSense panel (managing all my AdSense code from here saved me a TON of time) and set up some new channels for my various ad blocks, including in-post squares, rectangles ads, link menus, and other places where I had AdSense on my sites. This way I could determine which advertisement blocks were performing the best. After a couple of days doing this, I studied the results and completely removed the under performing advertisements from my sites (anything with less than a 2% CTR). I also removed AdSense completely from some of my newer sites that haven’t received much traffic yet (if you feel your under performing websites need advertisements, you can easily replace your AdSense ads with Yahoo! Publisher Network ads or BidVertiser).

It is unclear how long it takes for AdSense to remove the penalty, but I’ve already seen some progress here over the past day. Unfortunately, it is to early to tell if this is a coincidence or not. If you have more questions about Google’s Smart Pricing penalty, I recommend you click over and read the post. It provides a detailed explanation, tips on fixing it, and also includes a bit about keyword sniping.

Are you a victim of Google’s smart pricing penalty?

[found via EZ-OnlineMoney]

Has John Chow Jumped the Shark?

For those unfamiliar with the term “jumping the shark“, it is a term used by the television industry to describe a show that has already peaked and is now on the decline.  The term originated from an episode of Happy Days where the main character jumps over a shark while water skiing.   After that point, the show was never the same.

So, what does this have to do with the notorious John Chow?   It has been roughly a year and a half since John began his case study on his personal blog to see if he could use his site to make money online.   Over time, through the use of clever marketing tactics and an anchor text link exchange, John was able to take a blog from zero income to over $20,000.00 this last month.  During this time, John has been widely credited for taking the “make money online” niche and bringing it to the forefront of the blogosphere, to the point where he has copycats like John Cow riding his cowtails, make money online blogs are everywhere, and just about every blog you visit in any niche is now covered in hidden affiliate links. 

Despite his success, it was only a matter of time before the blog peaked.  For it to generate any more income, he would have to push the content even further down the page.  So, has John Chow jumped the shark?  

In looking over the posts he’s written in the past two months, one would have to say yes.  A typical day on his blog now contains the following:  Pictures of a recent fine dining experience, pictures of an event he recently attended, or guest posts from other bloggers.   Rarely does John give any actual content anymore or tips to make money online.   It is almost like he ran out of things to talk about.  Unfortunately, unlike many popular blogs that grew their readership over time with content (such as ProBlogger), John’s fast rise to success is based on marketing and manipulation of Google’s search.  

In looking at John’s blog today, I noticed that his 125×125 banners section now contains a few affiliate links rather than paid advertisers.  I’ve also noticed that we don’t seem to see as many ReviewMe posts recently.   Looks to me like the fallout has begun. 

Do you still read John Chow?  If so, why? 

Increase Affiliate Conversions With A Buy Now Button

I’ve talked a little bit in the past about the value in the power of suggestion.  For example, if you want someone to click a link, make the link say “Click here” instead of using anchor text.

Along those same lines, ProBlogger recently pointed me towards a post written on Self Made Minds called Make It Easy, Make It Obvious.  The idea behind this is along the same lines as using the power of suggestion.   If you have an affiliate link, why not instead turn it into an affiliate “Buy Now” button designed to look like an Amazon button in order to help suggest the reader to click it.

This is especially great for blogs that talk a lot about products.  Even if they click over and don’t purchase the item, sometimes they’ll decide to purchase something else, which will usually also you earn additional commissions.

Reader Poll: How Is Your Google AdSense Performing?

It’s been exactly two weeks since we talked about Google redefining what a clickable area is in an effort to combat click fraud, so I figured that was adequate time to let the change soak in and examine some trends. At the time of the change, it made sense for Google and advertisers, but it fueled a lot of speculation that sites that depend on Google AdSense to generate income would likely lose out on some of their monthly income.

Something that a few publishers speculated on is that with lower fraud rates, publishers would likely be willing to pay more per click to get their advertisements seen. We are also approaching the holiday season, meaning that advertising budgets are going up and a lot of other businesses are launching seasonal advertising campaigns.  If this theory holds true, Google AdSense publishers should still be seeing consistent income.

In looking over my analytics and AdSense reports, it looks like my income from Google AdSense has dipped some, despite a heavy increase in traffic.   Is this due to the clickable area change?   Unfortunately, that isn’t something that I can be sure of.  As David points out, a lot of things can factor into a change in pay-per-click advertising.   Thats why I decided to poll my readers and find out how AdSense is performing for you over the past two weeks.   Has your income remained steady?  Have you noticed any trends?

Text Link Ads Responding to the PageRank Crisis?

A couple of days ago, a close friend of mine received an e-mail from Text Link Ads, talking about some changes they have made to their much aligned paid text link service.

In looking over the e-mail and the new plugin code, it looks like they have now turned to javascript to help mask the paid service. Other changes include the ability to name the plugin what you want (Google knows the function tla_ads is for paid links), and some suggestions on how to best setup your Text Link Ads section of your website.

Here is the e-mail that my friend received:

Thank you for your participation in our program. It is time again to update the TLA code you are using on your site and we also have some tips on how you can sell more ads and keep existing advertisers longer! By following the tips below you will make more money with our program.

  • Update your code today! Please login to your account and grab the newest version of our ad code and replace your current ad code. We have made improvements to our ad serving and updating your code will ensure top performance.
  • Our advertisers don’t like ad blocks that are titled “Sponsored Links” “Advertisements” “TLA” “Text Link Ads” etc. They prefer no heading but if you do use a heading please consider using an image not text and consider using something like “Recommended Sites”.
  • If you are using a “your link here” or “advertise here” “Text Link Ads” or “TLA Links”, link that links back to your listing at Text-Link-Ads.com remove it.
  • If you currently have zero ads sold please note that single page ads sell better than site wide ads.

By doing these simple updates your site will make more money with us over time. Thanks again!

If you are still using Text Link Ads on your website, I recommend updating your WordPress plugin to version 3.0.6 and also making sure you are using the most current version of the affiliate banner (though you won’t be able to “mask” your affiliate link once you do this).