Good news and bad news

April 17th, 2009

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The good news is I have chosen my niche and bought a domain for the adsense challenge but the bad news is that my hosting company have not renewed the cPanel licence on my hosting account.  What this means is that I cannot do any modifications to my account, such as setting up new domains or SQL databases.  This sucks because not only do I pay them quite well, but it has been down for a week and I have heard no response from them.  If I do not hear from them soon I guess I will have to think about alternative hosting solutions which I don’t want to do because moving hosting is always a pain, especially when you have a lot of sites.  My current hosting provider has also been pretty good to me so far so it’s a shame this has happened.

As soon as I get my cPanel back I can get my site up then release the new post in the adsense challenge series about how to pick your niche, keywords and the domain name! Until then wish me luck!

Chris Adsense, Adsense Challenge, Web Hosting

Adsense Challenge – Join me!

April 15th, 2009

A few days ago I wrote about my upcoming adsense challenge where I plan on creating and profiting off a niche site, using adsense, within just 3 months.  I think this would be a far more interesting challenge if some of my readers got involved too.  If you participate then not only will you benefit from any advice I have, but it will also help prove to others how anyone can do it! I want this to be a two way street!

What I would like to prove with this challenge is that neither skill, IQ, technique nor ability is a prohibiting factor in making money is simply effort.  Obviously having higher skill / IQ will help you achieve this faster, but without effort and motivation they are worthless.

With having a few of us do it, it should make for a more complete test as there will be more variables, more information, and more brains working!

Dont put it off!
If you are reading this then you are probably in one of the following camps…

  1. I’m going to do this with you!
  2. I want to do this, but not yet!
  3. I want to do this, but will procrastinate and probably never do it.
  4. I don’t need to do this I’m just wondering what the fuss is all about

If you are in camp 1 then great! Leave a comment and lets get this started! If you are in camp 2 or 3 then my question to you is… why wait? If you wait too long you may feel like you have missed the boat, or you will just never get round to doing anything.  One thing I have learnt in this business is that you will never make any money if you put things off. Do it now, make time for it, half an hour a day is enough, just do it! And finally, if you are in camp 4 then hello and I hope you enjoy the ride :)

Quick update to finish: I have chosen my niche and bought a domain name, I shall put together a post soon on how I chose it and what I plan on doing next.

Chris Adsense, Adsense Challenge

What is Adsense?

April 14th, 2009

After speaking with some of my readers I realised I had jumped the gun on what Adsense actually was.  I often found myself explaining it to family and friends as they simply don’t know.  So if you are a hardened internet guru then feel free to skip this post, but if you want to know more then read on!

How do I get Adsense onto my site?
Adsense, put simply, is a contextual advertising service from Google.  It is Google’s cash cow that generates most of it’s $21,800,000,000 a year [thats $691.27 a second]!  Here is how it works:

  1. You register with Google adsense
  2. You goto Adsense Setup, and create an advert block – this is where adverts will be placed
  3. You copy the Javascript code provided and place onto your site where you want the ads to appear
  4. Google will then attempt to show text or image ads based on the topic of the page
  5. You will earn money everytime someone clicks an advert, although you can earn small amounts if someone just loads your page

How do I make money using Adsense?
Once Adsense is on your site you now need visitors so that you can make some money.  Essentially what happens is a visitor goes to your site, and if they find the ad displayed interesting and click it you will make some money.  The money you make is dependent on a lot of things, but essentially it comes down to how much competition there is for advertisers.  The more competition an advert has the more it will cost the advertiser to be there, and the more money you will make.  Top paying niches tend to be medical / law related, but there are a lot of varying niches with good payouts.  The trick is finding ones that not many people know about :)

Checking your Adsense performance / reporting
When you log into your Adsense account you can view reports and see the performance of your ads.  You can see page impressions / views.  Click through rate (CTR) which is the percentage of clicks to view ratio. eCPM which is the estimated cost per thousand impressions, this is essentially what you earn, on average, per 1,000 impressions.  And of course you get the total figure you earnt.

The reports can be broken down into channels.  You can assign any number of adverts to be part of a channel, for example if you have a block of ads at the top of your site you could label these “site_top” and you could see a breakdown of how well these perform separately to the rest of your site.  This is very useful when trying to optimise your site.

How do I increase my earnings on my site?
I will go into adsense optimisation in greater detail at a later date as there is far too much to cover here, but essentially there are a few things you need to look at to improve your earnings on an established site.

  1. Improve click through rate (CTR) – the more clicks you get, the more you will get paid
  2. Improve eCPM – this will go up if your CTR increases
  3. Use adsense link units
  4. Test, test and test some more!

The list there is very breif and a lot of factors can affect this, for example having one ad block on your site may increase your revenue.  But this is a topic for another post.

I hope this helps some people, and if I have missed something out or if anyone has questions please feel free to leave a comment and I will try help out as best I can.

Chris Adsense

The challenge: Profit off niche sites with Adsense!

April 12th, 2009

Last year I decided to see if I could make money off a wordpress blog using a random niche, I chose one and got a site up within a few days and made a few bucks.  It was pretty random and not really anything to shout about.  But that was then and this is now, and right now I want to prove a few things, namely that:

  • You, anyone, can make money off the net
  • It won’t drain hours away of your life
  • It will provide recurring income

The real thing stopping most people is will and effort, as the old saying goes: You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

So here is what I plan on doing,

  1. I am going to make a website in a niche that I am not already in
  2. I am going to aim to make at least $10 a day off it
  3. I will aim to do this within 3 months

Compared to a lot of Adsense “schemes” this is quite low key; you may ask why I am only targetting $10 a day?  Well for starters to me, $10 a day is quite a lot, and if you are not already earning off Adsense it is to you too.  Plus it is quite a realistic target.  The biggest thing I am worrying about is the time frame.  Creating a new site and getting traffic to it within 3 months is quite difficult, but this is one of the things I will have to overcome.

I will attempt to be as transparent as possible with what I am doing, and what affect they have.  I will be revealing the exact niche, the keywords I use, my traffic and my adsense earnings.  The key here is enabling you to repeat what I will do with other niches!

I will count tomorrow as day 1 though :)

Chris Adsense, Adsense Challenge

Back on top, kinda

April 12th, 2009

The other day I wrote about how my site got hacked, but thanks to a Google employee was slowly on the way back.  I checked my rankings this weekend and not only is my site ranking again for its main keyword, which is ace, but it is also in a higher position than it was before – I am now beating a Wikipedia entry I have been attempting to beat for ages!  It is really good news and im pretty happy but I’ll have to wait until next week to see what effect it has on my traffic, currently I am only receiving 50% of what I was before the hacking incident.  I’ll keep you all posted of the news as and when it happens.

Also, in other news
One of my first blog posts was about my aims for this blog, well I thought I would update you on these.  I now have 4 subscribers at the time of writing – which isn’t too bad for a blog of less than a week with no promotion [although I know 75% of them are friends lol] but every little helps!  I have also made some progress with the Adsense notifier program.  I have currently made a nice class that will connect to Google services, which is pretty cool as Google makes you jump through quite a few hoops before you can log in.  Anyway I can now log in and grab Adsense details, and the API I wrote should allow me to access any Google service too, which may have other applications in the future… Anyone have any uses for this?

Chris Google, SEO

The Google remove URL tool works… unfortunately!

April 10th, 2009

My most successful site earns me a nice amount each day and is continually growing, I have been working on it for almost 2 years now and still grows strongly month in month out.  If it continued to do so I would have been a very happy man.  However, last Thursday I noticed my site had completely dissappeared from google’s index.  It did not even show up when I ran a site:example.com command.  I put it down to an algorithm update and left it at that.  3 days later I was still no where to be seen and I really started to worry.

First things first I went into webmaster tools and attempted to find out what was going on, I noticed that google thought all my main pages, including the top level URL were restricted by robots.txt, apparently.  I quickly checked my robots.txt and saw nothing wrong and was stumped.

I then spent the next day googling around what I thought the issue could be and eventually stumbled across the a  google forum related to indexing issues.  I made a post and a few hours later had some helpful responses including one by a google employee who pointed out that a URL removal request had been sent to google a few months ago and last Thursday it actually happened! Who the hell did that! Thankfully the employee did some magic behind the scenes and within hours I had more google bot crawling than ever, by a massive factor.  I was back in the index and ranking highly the next day.  I am still not ranking for my main keyword, which pulls in 50% of my traffic, but I assume that will come with time.

I still don’t know who did it, all I can say is that I have now changed ALL my passwords.  People get hacked and I suggest you change your passwords too and I hope it never happens to you!!

Chris Google, SEO

Mr Robert Dutu has a business proposition for you

April 9th, 2009

I came across this today and thought it worth of a chuckle.  Some of you may be familiar with 419 scammer tricks but I enjoyed the honesty of this one chap.

419 Scammer

Chris Funny

Increase your profits with Adsense link units

April 8th, 2009

If you use Adsense then you should consider using Adsense link units.  I always used to be against them, I didn’t have any real reason to, I just didn’t.  I guess I thought they would reduce my eCPM and CTR because it would take visitors away from my main adblocks.  Also for you to actually earn off a link unit the visitor needs to click the link unit, and then click again onto one of the ads shown.  This seemed to me like too much work for the visitor who I thought would just give up.

One day though my friend told me he started using it and gained an extra $1 eCPM, which if you get a lot of visitors, is a pretty decent return.  The trick is to blend them into your site so that they appear as normal links.  For example if you have side navigation, place them there in a vertical unit or you can place them horizontally above your content.

Ideally what you need to do is test, if your site is established I would suggest noting down your current earnings, eCPM and CTR for a week, and how many visitors you got.  Then trial the link units in the two locations I mentioned, or any more you can think of.  Do each test for a week then see what gets you the best return.  It may not work for all sites but I have seriously seen a good return on it.

The key thing is… test test test, and dont be afraid to try new things! If my friend hadn’t I would have been earning a few less dollars a day!

Chris Adsense

My aims for this blog

April 8th, 2009

I haven’t set out to make money off this blog, or to become an Internet celebrity, but I do a few things I want to do, so I figure if I list them here, we can all see if I did, or didn’t, achieve them in a few months time.

Given that I am a world class procrastinator there is every chance none of these goals will be met, but maybe, just maybe, I might pull my finger out and do them!

So here is my list, the target date will be 3 months from now which is the beginning of July [and yes unfortunately I had to whip out my calendar to figure that out!]

Get 100 RSS Subscribers

It sounds obvious but why write a blog if no one reads it? So I have set myself what I would consider to be a fairly modest target of getting 100 subscribers.

Get 100 comments

I can’t figure out if this will be harder, or easier than the first one.  Comments usually occur on established blogs where the reader has some sort of relationship with the author or content.  As this is a new blog I am going to have to rely on compelling content where I can; you can let me know if I actually achieve this.

Write an adsense checker tool

I saw that Paul had done something similar on his site, I downloaded it and really liked it, but being an alleged C# Professional I reckon I could give it a good go.  Whilst I am re-inventing the wheel a bit here it is (a) something I want to do and (b) might help some of you folk out there, so its all good baby!

So there you go, three relatively easy targets that loads of people can easily do.  So, you ask yourself, why set them at all if you are some kind of Internet Marketing Guru?  Well firstly I am not, and secondly I don’t blog so this is all new to me.  But more importantly setting yourself targets is the way to achieve anything in this life.  The only way I got through college and university was by setting targets for myself.  I do it every day at work, and if you treat your internet marketing like a business, you should set yourself targets in that… no matter how big or small!

Chris About me

Why start blogging now?

April 8th, 2009

I have always wanted to start a blog, but never had the energy or reason to do it in the past.  Now though I find myself increasingly wanting to make comments on other blogs, forums or share what I think I know about the Internet world and figure this might be a decent place to start.

I recently started reading another blog by a chap called Paul, I admit I only subscribed to his email feed to get access to another part of his site but after reading a few of his posts I quite liked the blog even though I was not interested in all the content.  Anyway, I made a few comments and half way through writing one I thought to myself that it would make a great blog post… I never did anything about it and shelved my thoughts for another day.

Then last week something terrible happened, it shook me up and almost made me quit “internet marketing” for good… I’ll cover this in another blog post but suffice to say I felt I should share my experience so here I am.  Hopefully my next few posts will have some actual real interesting content in… The first two seem to have been allll about me :)

Chris About me