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More Ads, More Money?

January 29, 2008 by · 23 Comments 

In November last year I’ve decided to place more ads at Sabahan.com as an experiment to see if I could make more money from this blog.

The experiment was conducted in response to a post by Sha of Shamoneymaker.com where he calculated how much a space is dedicated to advertising in a blog.

In the article, Sha asks if ads percentage has some correlation with the amount of profit generated by a blog. I know it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in general more advertising units usually mean more revenue streams if things are done correctly that is.

But if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m not a fan of making my blog looks like a giant billboard for the sake of making money – at least not at my main blog.

It was not surprising to see that Sabahan.com was at the bottom of the list when it came to how much space is allocated to advertising as you can see below.

  • Chanlilian.net – 15.15%
  • AdesBlog.com – 14.75%
  • LiewCF.com – 13.98%
  • ShaMoneyMaker.com – 8.52
  • Gbalakrishnan.com – 7.64%
  • xiaxue.blogspot.com – 4.77%
  • Sabahan.com 1.94%

 

So let’s review how this blog is doing so far. I’ve added AdBrite, WidgetBucks and Kontera to increase the advertising space percentage of Sabahan.com. In the short span this experiment is running, I have generated the following amount from each program:

Kontera
November: $6.53
December: $9.80
January: $6.36

WidgetBucks
December: $0.68
January: $0.99

AdSense
September: $323.36
October: $144.36
November: $95
December: $56.01
January (until 29 Jan): $59.64

Nuffnang
Revenue since 18 Nov: RM29.95

AdBrite
Negligible

I know the amount is virtually negligible. I could have removed all those advertising units (except AdSense) and it won’t affect my overall Internet income in anyway.

But since nobody is complaining about the extra ad units, I might just as well continue serving them here and make US24.36 + RM29.95 extra without lifting a finger. With a little bit of work in attracting more traffic and optimizing the placement, I should be able to make more money from them.

Coincidently, last month was a very slow month for this blog when updates were infrequent due to the holiday so that might also explains the less than exciting revenue amount.

Other than that, WidgetBucks has to go. The amount it generates is so small, it doesn’t justify its placement other than taking up space that could have been used for a more profitable ad units.

Additionally, notice the drastic drop in Sabahan.com’s AdSense income from US323.36 in September to US56.01 in December. That happens after my PageRank was dropped from PR5 to PR3 and now PR0. Oh well, at least my AdSense appears to be on the rebound

It’s good that my main motivation for writing this blog is not only to make money but also to share my experience in how I make money online in general with my other Internet business. Otherwise I won’t be motivated enough to continue writing when the reward is small financially.

Do You See an Upward Trend in Your January’s AdSense Earnings?

January 26, 2008 by · 21 Comments 

I guess this is a follow-up to my post regarding the downtrend in AdSense earnings I first noticed in October last year after Sabahan.com’s PageRank was dropped from PR5 to a PR3.

This time around, at least at the time of this writing, my AdSense earnings appear to bounce back up a bit. It’s still early to conclude that the end to the downtrend that I’ve been experiencing for the past couple of months is near.

Let’s see how the trend looks like. To avoid violating AdSense’s TOS, I have to erase some of the x-axis values in the graphs below.

average-impression.gif

sabahan-ctr.gif

average-daily.gif

sabahan-ecpm.gif

Note that the data for January does not include the last 5 days of the month. As it turns out, all but the eCPM value shows an upward trend. I believe the final eCPM value will follow this trend once the data for the entire month is taken into account.

The reason why I think so is because the increase in the average impressions appears to be complemented by a similar increase in the CTRs. At the moment the rate at which the average impressions is increasing is higher than that of the CTRs which explains the lower eCPM. Make sense?

I know I am making a lot of assumption here but let’s just wait what will happen at the end of this month 🙂 What’s more important to me is my average daily earnings increases.

While I am aware that my own personal experience may not necessarily represent that of the rest of AdSense publishers, it’s still interesting to know that some other publishers close to home are noticing the same trend. One of them is Mr Rajawang or Rajawang.com.

In his latest post, Rajawang reveals that his daily AdSense earning has set a new personal record when it reaches US90.64/day recently. He adds that if this trend continues, his goal of reaching US1000 a month may just become a reality this month.

His eCPM (effective cpost per thousand impressions) was higher than usually while CTRs appear to remain about the same where it hovers near the 1 percent mark.

While the possible explanations to this seemingly positive development are endless, it probably has more to do with the end and beginning of the year. And while it’s normal that AdSense earnings may fluctuate over time, the fluctuations can become significant when the following factors come into effect.

Many advertisers and CPC managers return to work and begin their advertising campaigns. This affects the AdSense ad inventory and increase advertisers demand which in turn is reflected in the higher eCPM as more ads compete for a spot in your blog. In addition, good advertisers may have started spending money on the AdSense network again and the chance for low quality ads to appear in your blog is lower.

Another important factor that can affect your AdSense earning is a phenomenon called smart pricing. When you are hit by one, one poorly (or nicely in this case) converting site can “smart price” your entire AdSense account.

The main motivation behind this phenomenon is to lower the advertisers cost in order to provide a strong ROI for them. And supposedly, this should lead to higher payouts for publishers by drawing a larger pool of advertisers and reward publishers who create high quality sites.

Also, it’s possible that after the recent Google’s PageRank smack, many bloggers have decided to call it quits. They put their blogs on sale leaving a bigger advertising pie for those who decide to stay put. Perhaps we are just starting to see something positive coming out of the PageRank debacle?

Of course this is just one of my theories, and let’s leave it at that.

On the other hand, while there may be many people who are experiencing an increase in their earnings, there will also be people who experience the opposite. The niche you are in may play a role too.

How’s your January’s AdSense earning so far? It would be interesting to see whether your own experience confirm this upward trend or not.

Follow-Up To The Recent Changes AdSense Referral Program

January 25, 2008 by · 7 Comments 

You may have received an email from the AdSense team giving a follow up to the recent changes in regard to the referrals to AdSense program. In case you haven’t read it this post is for you.

In the recent changes, Google announced that if you are not from the US or Canada, Latin America, and Japan, they will no longer pay you for referring new publishers to Google AdSense.

As you can imagine, many affected publishers weren’t too happy about this as they felt that it’s unfair for Google to exclude them based on where they are located physically, regardless of where the majority of their traffic comes from.

After considering feedbacks from publishers, Google appropriately decided to backtrack and will now allow those from outside of the above regions to refer new publishers as long as the referrals are based in Japan and/or any countries in North America and Latin America. To ensure payment for valid conversions, you’ll need to check the targeting settings on your current AdSense referral units.

In addition to the above, Google will also change the referrals programs for Google Pack and Firefox. Unfortunately both will involve a reduction in commissions paid.

Google Pack: Currently, you can earn up to $2 when a user downloads and runs Google Pack for the first time after being referred through your link or button. Starting the third week of February, each successful Pack referral will earn up to $1. This change will apply to all referrals for Google Pack and is independent of user location or publisher location.

Firefox: We will also be reducing payments for Firefox referrals from China during the third week of February. This specific referral payment change will only affect installations from users in China. As with referrals to AdSense, this is independent of your location as a publisher.

At least, Google is willing to listen…

Interviewed By Gobala Krishnan of InternetMillionaires.com.my

January 23, 2008 by · 20 Comments 

Last week I had the privileged of being Interviewed by Gobala Krishnan. If you don’t know him, he is one of the most successful Internet marketers in Malaysia who have been making a killing online.

Instead of repeating what he writes in his blog, I suggest you hop over there if you want to learn more about his interesting journey into the world of Internet marketing where he lists down his experiences in some sort of timeline.

Initially, Gobala suggested we did an audio Interview, but I don’t have Skype installed and was unable to schedule a phone interview so I thought email interview would be fine as an alternative. So we did that instead.

My answers are rather simple because I just wrote down what came to mind when I answered those questions. I would had given longer answers if required but I hope he finds them satisfactory.

To read the interview in full, head over to his blog at Internet Millionaires.

Christmas Gift from MaxBounty

January 16, 2008 by · 13 Comments 

Two days ago a packet from Canada was delivered to my P.O. Box. I wasn’t expecting a delivery and thought it might be a bonus from PPCClassroom.com, an online course by Jeremy Palmer and Anik Singal that I am a member with.

I ripped open the packet wondering what it was and lo and behold it was a gift from MaxBounty. I’ve been receiving Christmas gifts from MaxBounty all these years, and how nice of them to continue the practice.

packet.jpg

Unlike some other super affiliates who are pulling tens of thousands from MaxBounty annually, on average I am only making around US5000 per year with them. The gift contains a T-shirt, fresh breath mints, a notepad, a pen and a yo-yo. Nothing fancy but I guess it’s the thought that counts. I think some other networks like CJ.com have only sent me a gift once even though I am making more than the amount I made from MaxBounty.

maxbounty-gift.jpg

Some MaxBounty affiliates from the US who are making the same amount as me got a gift basket containing an assortment of delicious chocolates. I guess due to the distant, it’s not practical to send such a gift as the chocolates would have melted once the packet arrived at my tropical address.

The more you make the nicer your gift would be as in the case of this super affiliates who received a Championship Foosball Table. I wonder if they would be willing to deliver such a big package to Malaysia.

foosballfrommaxbounty.jpg

You can learn more about MaxBounty here.

Google’s January 2008 PageRank Update

January 15, 2008 by · 24 Comments 

There has been a lot of buzz around the blogosphere and forums about the recent changes in PageRank and backlinks counts from Google

From where I am sitting, I can see that Google is getting tougher towards those selling text link ads and paid reviews. It appears that Sabahan.com is penalized again for selling text links, and this time around my PageRank has been reduced to 0.

Personally I think PageRank is important but not as important as the amount of traffic you get. For example if 10K unique visitors stop by at your blog daily, and you are making tons of money from them, do you really care about your PageRank? I don’t.

On the other hand, when the drop in PageRank is followed by a reduction in your daily traffic, which does happens every now and then, you can start dropping everything you are doing and promise to follow Google guidelines to a tee and hope Google will give your original PageRank back.

It appears that this is what’s happening to Sabahan.com. The drop in PageRank is followed by the reduction in traffic this blog receives daily. That’s a clear signal that it’s time to remove those paid link ads asap. Sorry advertisers, I have no choice but to comply with the big brother’s rules.

Have you noticed any changes so far?

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Google AdSense Referral Changes and How It Affects You

January 14, 2008 by · 12 Comments 

If you are promoting Google AdSense referrals, you may no longer able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The change will affect publishers from certain location regardless of where their users are located.

Specifically, if you are NOT from the US or Canada, Latin America, and Japan, Google will no longer pay you for referring new publishers to Google AdSense and that would include Malaysian publishers and those from other big countries like the UK and Australia.

The reason given was Google have found that AdSense referral has not performed well in these regions. The option to create a referral button for AdSense in you account will be removed soon and this change will come into effect during the last week of January. So, yes, you can stop promoting Google AdSense from your blog now.

Now for those who come from North America, Latin America and Japan, you’ll still get paid but there will be some changes to the system.

While the average publishers won’t be affected much by the change, I imagine those who have been actively referring others to the program won’t be too happy it, to put it mildly. Here’s how the current referral system pays you when you refer new a publisher

  • If you refer someone to AdSense who makes $5 within 180 days you get a payment of $5.
  • If you refer someone to AdSense who makes $100 within 180 days you get $250
  • If you refer 25 people who make $100 within a 180 day period you get a bonus payment of $2000

Now, by the end of January you’ll only get paid $100 (not $250 as above) if you refer someone to AdSense who makes $100 within a 180 day period (about 6 months). The $5 and $2000 bonus will be retired too.

Another moved by Google which seems like a bad decision is that this change is going to affect all those referrals made even before the last week of January, i.e. during which the change is officially come into affect. So if you refer someone in December and that publisher earns $100 in February, Google will pay you $100 instead of $250.

In order for you to qualify for the $250 bonus, the referred publisher must earn $100 before the last week of January, but that’s quite unlikely considering that most people will take sometime to make their first $100 from AdSense.

If this sounds a little complicated to you, just keep in mind that if you are NOT from North America, Latin America and Japan, you can stop promoting AdSense referral now.

How to Make 2008 Your Most Profitable Year Ever

January 10, 2008 by · 18 Comments 

For those of you who have been waiting for an update from me, sorry to keep you waiting. Things cropped up just when I planned to sit down and get back to my regular work routine. Nothing major though, so here I am. Welcome back to me 🙂

In addition, while I’ve started working since a couple of days ago, I didn’t feel motivated enough to do tasks that require too much attention.

As much as a workaholics that I am, shifting gears to return to work would be as hard as going away in the first place. I guess the thought of having to return to my regular routine, with all the disciplines it demands takes a certain amount effort.

With no boss watching over my shoulder or expecting me to return to the office, I can easily use those as an excuse to sit back and extend the vacation. Then again, that won’t help a bit if making 2008 a better year is one of my New Year resolutions. To overcome that thought, I reminded myself about the potential income that would be generated this year, which can only be done if I start working. That helps set the ball rolling.

There’s not better time to start ramping up your online business than now. Make sure to get your business off to a great start in order to make more money in 2008. Here are some of the strategies you can use to generate more profit this year.

 

Improve Your Blog

OK, there’s nothing new about this but some bloggers fail to realize that it usually takes a year or longer to generate a reasonable amount of income from your blog. You have got the whole year ahead of you. If you plan to make blogging as one of your major source of income, you should start providing useful and valuable content for your readers. Get some links from other reputable blogs, even better aim to get into the front page of the social networking sites like digg.

Good content will usually attract links from other sites and help improving your blog’s authority. You’ll rank well in Google and other search engines as they continue to serve relevant links to what their users are searching for. However, keep in mind that writing the best content in the world won’t be enough if nobody knows your blog exists. Continue to promote your blog in any opportunities you have. The amount of traffic you have can make or break your blog.

 

Explore Pay Per Click Marketing

Pay per click marketing is big in 2007 and it’s going to be even bigger in 2008. Market analysis firm comScore reports that American online spending during the end-of-year holidays increased 19 percent compared to that of last year. In total, consumers have spent over $29 billion during the 2007 holiday shopping season.

With the increased in consumer trust in online shopping, more and more consumers will continue to value the convenience of online shopping and more will choose to shop online. It’s likely that this upward trend will continue this year.

So what can you promote? The fastest growing product categories in 2007 holiday season will give you some clue:

Video games, consoles & accessories was the fastest growing online retail category, jumping 129 percent versus the 2006 holiday season, with popular consoles like Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation and games like Halo 3 driving strong sales in the category. Furniture, appliances & equipment (up 67 percent), event tickets (up 24 percent) and consumer electronics (up 23 percent) also experienced above average growth. After seeing substantial softness early in the season, online apparel sales picked up considerably in the latter part of the season, finishing up 18 percent. Meanwhile, sales of jewelry & watches declined marginally versus year ago as rising costs in precious metals like gold and platinum may have dampened consumer demand.

 

Fastest Growing Retail E-Commerce Categories by Dollar Sales for 2007 Holiday Season

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Nov. 1- Dec. 31, 2007 vs. 2006

Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Retail Category

Percent Change in Category Sales ($)

Video Games, Consoles & Accessories

129%

Furniture, Appliances & Equipment

67%

Event Tickets

24%

Consumer Electronics

23%

Apparel & Accessories

18%

Sport & Fitness

16%

Toys

16%

Computer Hardware

15%

Music, Movies & Videos

13%

Books & Magazines

13%

Pay per click,as usually, will be one of the areas that I’ll concentrate most of my effort on this year. If you don’t know how to get started, check out the AdWords category in my blog for some tips and tricks.

Just remember that PPC marketing changes frequently. New development occurs everyday so keep yourself informed by frequenting industry blogs and pay attention to the news. In addition to Google AdWords, you should start exploring other PPC search engines such as Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter.

 

Develop Your Own Products or Services

If you are serious about running your own business, start thinking about offering your own products and services. While promoting other people products has its own benefits, you can potentially make more money by selling your own products.

Think about it, if you promote a US99 ebook from a merchant and get 30% commission for each sale, you’ll have to sell 44 ebooks to make US1000. However if you are the product owner, you can keep 100% of the profit and essentially earns over US1000 just by selling 11 ebooks.

The best products to sell online are those that don’t require physical delivery, manufacturing, stocking and packaging which can take a significant chunk of your profit margin. The type of products that fit these criteria is digital products such as ebooks or software. You just have to create them once and then ready to make countless copies of it virtually at no additional cost. Creating your own products is a big topic in itself. I’ll write more about this in my future posts.

Once you have your own product, you can start to set up your own affiliate program and let other people to do all the work promoting your product. You don’t even have to pay them until you see the profits they bring in.

Like anything on the Internet, having your own affiliate programs won’t make you rich overnight unless you follow the correct strategies. I outline some of them below:

  1. Offer great commission – Seriously, nobody will promote your products if you give them 1 dollar commission. The more you pay the harder they will work for you. I would recommend paying at least 30% commission if you are selling digital products such as ebooks or software.
  2. Provide marketing tools for your affiliates – OK I have to admit that I am guilty of not doing this myself so 2008 will be the year to do things better. Provide your affiliates with banners ads, product boxshots, good salescopy and great headlines.
  3. Find the super affiliates – Super affiliates are the top 2% of your all your affiliate that bring in more than 90% of your sales. These are affiliates who make good living by selling other people products. Sometimes super affiliates could generate more sales in a few hours than nearly all of your regular affiliates will make in a year.

 

Of course there are many other ways you can make more money in 2008 and the above are just a few of them. Start making some resolutions, and get busy growing your ideas into reality. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to keep your focus in what you are doing.

You’ll risk achieving nothing significant if you try to do everything all at once. Choose a strategy, and work on it until it starts to make money for you, and only then move on. It’s 10 January 2008 today, what will happen on 10 January 2009 depend on what you do, starting today.

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