3 Lessons from Using AdSense for a Month

After my initial excitement with 2 days of earnings from Google AdSense, the month of June results for Reason for Success are much more modest.  Yeah, I know.  ‘Twas to be expected.  However, this experiment provided me three important lessons.

First, 2 days do not a trend make.  Especially when you’re dealing with small numbers.  I did have other days throughout the month, where I earned over $2 in a day (as you can see from the chart below), but most days hovered around a penny of earnings.  In all, I earned $13.57 for the month.  That’s more than I pay in hosting, so if this revenue continues at least the site pays for itself.  However, my lesson has been learned, even one month should not be indicative of a trend, but at least it provides a baseline for considering monthly revenue.

AdSense June 2015Second, not all advertising is equal.  I’m not a fan of click-bait type advertising, found more and more often news websites.  You know the type “1 weird trick that will help you lose weight”.  Or “Cops don’t want you to know this”.  I’m sure I could put some of those ads on my site and see my ad revenue click through increase.  But I’m afraid I’d lose a bit of my soul if I did.

I also used a WordPress plugin for adding Google ads.  While this was quick and easy, I might have better luck if I customized the advertising location and types for my website.  As I browsed my site, I saw numerous generic ads that really did not pertain to the content of the site.  So quality of advertising my increase both page RPM and click-through. For example, on some of the ads contained high impression RPM while other days had low impression RPM.  So even though two different days both received two clicks on ads, one day I earned $1.38 while the other day, I earned $0.03.  Wow!  What a difference.  If I can customize the advertising to target more high impression RPM, I might see my overall revenue increase substantially. Given that my Impression RPM is $1.58 and that industry averages seem to be closer to $3, I have some room for growth.

My third lesson was to make lots of money from advertising, you need lots of visitors.  My minuscule 3,400 page views results in a minuscule $13 in revenue.  Big news sites need millions of visitors if the want to make enough money from advertising to afford their staff.  I’m not likely to do that, at least not to that scale.  But if I can increase the number of visitors 10 fold, I would have the cash flow to justify further website development – helping more people and adding more value to the world.

With these lessons, I have some ideas on what to do next.  It’s just a matter of making it all happen given my time and energy.  Reason for Success continues to be my testing ground for all things e-commerce, so I will likely try new things – like selling an e-book – just to see how to do it and see if I can learn any more lessons to share with you.

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  1. July 13, 2015

    […] my latest e-commerce experiment, I published my first e-book on Amazon.  As with my AdSense experiment, this one may make me a few bucks, but that was not my primary goal.  My primary goal was to […]

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