Time for me to fess up. Midway through February, I did something really stupid. Without going into the details, most of the pages from my best-performing site were summarily dropped from the Google index. Oops. My attempts at fixing the situation got two other sites banned completely. Triple oops! So much for quickly paying off the new car! As the traffic’s dried up, so have the AdSense earnings. At this point I’ve resigned myself to the situation and I’ll just have to build some new sites to take their place… it’ll be a long process, of course, because traffic doesn’t happen overnight.
Losing organic traffic is a common complaint among webmasters, and it’s not always their own fault. It’s something to consider, however, when your earnings make it past a certain level. Which is why in some sense it’s better to follow the create-many-sites-with-small-traffic model than the one-big-site-with-all-the-traffic model (see the AdSense Crapshoot for what I mean).
I’ve been experimenting with using the AdSense Resurrected model (we probably need to come up with a better name for it given the negative association with the ebook) on a single small site in a non-IM niche. To recap, the model involves sending low-cost PPC traffic to a squeeze page. Subscribers are then sent a new message every 2 or 3 days asking them to read one or more articles on the site. Some percentage of those visits will result in ad clicks, making you money, and possibly even affiliate sales, making you even more money.
So far, the clickthrough rates on the site are quite high. The average for the month just past is about 32%, with average per-day earnings around 60 cents. That doesn’t sound like much, but there are only 40 or so subscribers so far.
There are two major gotchas with this method, however:
- You need a good squeeze page. You’ll definitely get traffic to the site (but see the second point), but a lot of that traffic won’t sign up for your list. This is a perennial problem with list-building, of course. You need to come up with an excellent reason for people to join your list (a great freebie) and ad text that makes it clear a signup is required. These are non-trivial things to do.
- Don’t pay too much for subscribers. Currently, I’m in a loss situation with respect to my ad spend vs. my AdSense revenues because I didn’t pay too much attention to my spending in the first few days as I was trying to deal with my traffic situation (see above). My per-subscriber cost is therefore $1.40, which is way too high given my squeeze page conversion rate.
None of the subscribers have made it through the complete set of emails yet, however, so it’s still too early to tell what the ultimate result of this experiment will be. The niche I chose was perhaps not the best niche, too. So many variables to test…
I’d love to hear others’ experiences with that model, since I know some of you were planning on implementing it. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on getting free traffic to my sites. It takes time, but the price can’t be beat!
Sponsored Link: PLRSiteBuilder is an easy way to create and maintain content-rich websites written by yours truly. Try it today!
Eric Giguere is the author of several printed books and knows a thing or two about content monetization. Subscribe to his AdSense blog today and never miss any of his insightful comments. And the not-so-insightful ones, for that matter.