Should Bloggers Forget Adsense?

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Jim at Reve News has learned the lesson that most bloggers writing about making money from blogs has learned – Adsense doesn’t pay well on these types of blogs.

On ReveNews that is. Let this be a lesson to the other publishers out there. Never try to run Adsense on a site that is read by people who are Adsense experts, let alone a site read by affiliate marketers. Geez, talk about a pathetic click rate. I haven’t seen something fail so badly since Gigli.

Putting Adsense into our content was an experiment by me to see if it could work for us, even though I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t, I had to find out. I’ve learned my lesson and have removed 98% of all the Google ads off of the sit’

If you want to make big money via Adsense I’d pick another topic – readers of such blogs are remarkably blind to Adsense ads and the ads themselves are notoriously poorly paying.

Jim also gives a case study of a typical blogger using adsense’ in his post where he shows how little the average blogger will earn using Adsense. His figures talk hypothetically of a blogger with 1000 impressions per day, with a 10% CTR and a 2 cents per click payment earning $730 per year.

Nothing wrong with the maths – the only problem is that there is such variation between blogs on almost every element of the equation. CTR can vary widely – but 10% is probably an over estimation looking at most of my blogs. 2 cents per click is an estimate that varies widely also (it’s probably an under estimate looking at my blogs).

For example – I’ve got a few blogs that hit the 1000 impressions per day mark.

One earns an average of $15 per day, another earns an average of $5 per day and another earns an average of $2 per day. Each are niche blogs – none will probably ever be massive.

Jim concludes his post by writing:

Forget Adsense, Bloggers are better served creating custom partnerships or sponsorships with advertisers. In arrangements of this nature, a blog with niche-specific content, that is straddled with low traffic, has the opportunity to earn much more by converting less.’

Jim is right that the average blogger’s Adsense earnings will never be massive – but I would differ from his argument slightly on a number of points also:

1. The average blogger won’t earn big money from custom partnerships or sponsorships with advertisers either. As someone who has worked hard at developing relationships with sponsors I’ve found that many of them are not willing to talk to anyone with a site doing only 1000 impressions per day. I also know how much work it can be to get these sorts of deals. It can take along time and a lot of effort to both get the deal and to maintain the relationships. In comparison to adding a little Adsense code to a template (and then forgetting about it) I’m wondering about the rate of return on effort.

Of course there are systems like blogads (that Jim mentions in his post) but these won’t earn big dollars either for the average blogger. For instance if you take a look at what bloggers are charging for ads over at blogads for their blogs that are averaging 7000 impressions per week – the average ad is around $25 per week ($3.5) per day. Of course some of the blogs at around that traffic level have more than 1 ad, (some have up to 4) but other have no ads at all.

‘d love Jim to prove me wrong, but I fail to see how relatively small blogs will ever earn much from sponsorships. I do see the advantages of some of the ways people are working together as networks to attract advertisers – but even so, on a per impression basis’ I doubt that their earnings will be large.

2. Even if sponsorships and partnerships do earn more (and I’ve no doubt in some cases they will) I’d argue that there is no reason to forget Adsense’ – rather bloggers would be better served to keep earning their few dollars per day from it in addition to developing custom relationships with sponsors and partners.

I guess what it comes down to is the fact that if your blog is doing 1000 impressions per day that you’ll never become rich – no matter what revenue stream you may choose to run on it. Your only real option to significantly increase your earnings at this level of blogging is to find ways to increase your traffic or add new blogs to what you do.

Interested in other’s thoughts.

Reader Comments

Darren Rowse is the founder of ProBlogger.net, a blog about the many ways of adding an income stream to blogs.

Darren owns and writes a variety of blogs including Digital Photography Blog and Camera Phone
. He is also a co-founder of the Breaking News Blog Collective.

Should Bloggers Forget Adsense?
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  • http://adsenseconsultant.blogspot.com The Adsense Consultant

    Well call me an optimist. I still think its possible to earn substantially with Adsense however I will contend that one should also have additional sources of income as well.

  • http://www.thelemonplum.com Kristi

    Personally, I hate google and want nothing to do with them.  I figure if you can take a few GOOD reliable CPM sites, plus affiliate programs, plus Pay per play, plus a few other thigns, you CAN make good money.


    Or at least thats what im hoping since im anti-google!

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