24 November 2007

AdSense Ads Clickable area changes

November saw Google introduce changes to the clickable area in AdSense ads. Previously AdSense Ads have been clickable across the whole area of the ad including the whitespace background. Google have however changed this in an attempt to further control accidental clicks and to ensure more value for Adwords users. The new ad format is only clickable in the title and in the URL sections. Adwords users will welcome this change because it makes it less likely that users will accidentally click through on ads as click through will now require a more deliberate action.

If this change is successful for Adwords users though then it is likely to have some impact on CTR for AdSense users and would be anticipated to lead to some drop in CTR. Initial comments have suggested that AdSense users experience of this change has been mixed so far though. Some have been reporting a drop in CTR but others have reported no noticeable change.

AdSense users should probably welcome the change though even if in the short term it produces some drop in CTR. If Adwords users are reassured about the reliability of click through then this can only help to encourage Adwords use which in turn should help to keep click bid levels up and in the longer term this translates to better profits for AdSense users.

Enhance your website with CosmicPerl.com's internet software solutions

04 November 2007

How to create a Web Page -basics 1

One of the frequent headaches beginners have is understanding how to create their web page and load it into their hosted account. It's actually very easy but first you need to understand what kind of account your web page is being hosted by.


First, I would strongly advise you to avoid Googlepages. They are free but Google has not made a good job of them and most importantly it is very cumbersome getting your code properly edited.


Instead use a Free Web Hosting account ( I have a link to a good one in the top left links).


This is a very typical hosted web account.


Your first option once you start your account will be deciding if you will just use a free sub-domain that the host provides (eg yourwebname.hostsname.com ) or whether to purchase your own domain name. I would strongly urge that you purchase your own domain name - it gives you a much higher profile and makes you look more professional. They are not dear and can be purchased through the host. Try to buy a dot com name as dot Com's have much more prestige.


If you can afford the tiny monthly fee then buy a paid hosting plan. Paid hosting plans also sometimes come with web page content software that will make your task of creating web pages and content very easy. Often you will find that wordpress will be one option and this is probably the best blogging software that there is. (There wont be any extra charge for this).


If you go for a Free account you either need to install such software yourself or start to make your own web pages.


In the next series of posts I am going to tell you how you do this and how you upload your webpages to your site.


You can subscribe to my eMail course which gives a lot more information about how to build develop and promote your website. You can subscribe at the bottom of this page if you wish.

31 October 2007

ClixSense now offering FIVE level Affiliate program

Its not often I get really enthusiastic about a program ( and I have never used the BIG RED TEXT before !) but the changes announced by ClixSense recently offer the opportunity of some really substantial earnings for those signing up for Premium accounts and promoting the ClixSense service as an affiliate. You will be real crazy not to get in early on this one! I will benefit from it if you do but so will you - but only IF YOU GET IN EARLY TO THE CLIXSENSE PREMIUM AFFILIATE OFFER

THIS IS HOT OF THE PRESSES!

I referred in previous posts to the fact that I had signed up and having clicked all the ads as a Free member decided to enroll as a Premium member. This cost me the grand total of 10$. That's right 10$. I probably lose that much in loose change in a week down the back of my chair!
(Must check that chair)

Anyway,Clixsense have just announced

An amazing Deal for Clixsense Premium members.

Once you sign as a Premium member when anyone you refer upgrades to a Premium membership, you get paid $2 for that members upgrade. When that Premium member refers a new member who then upgrades to premium you are then also paid a $1 override commission. You just got paid for doing nothing! Yes you heard right.

It gets better though - wait till you hear this! This same arrangement continues not for one or two levels but FIVE LEVELS DEEP!


Let's say you refer five new members to ClixSense.com and ONLY three upgrade to a Premium account.

First at your own level you are guaranteed payment for each advertisement you click on and view for just 30 seconds. ( I am now up to 25$ through this arrangement )

Level one - You refer 5 new free members = 50 cents. Now 3 of them upgrade which earns you another $6.00. Total so far is $6.50 plus your paid to click ads.

Level two
- Each of your referrals refer 5 free members of which three each upgrade to Premium accounts. Your total now is $15.50!! ($6.50 for level one, and $9 for level two.)

Level three - These members perform same as the above levels and only refer an easy 3 upgrades each. Now your total earnings is $42.50!! ($27 for level three, and $15.50 for levels above.)

Level four - These members perform same as the above levels and only refer an easy 3 upgrades each. Now your total earnings is $123.50!! ($81 for level four, and $42.50 for levels above.)

Level five - These members perform same as the above levels and only refer an easy 3 upgrades each. Now your total earnings is $366.50!! ($243.00 for level five, and $123.50 for levels above.)

Imagine what happens if you refer more than three members or even just three members per month! You get paid again when your referral renews their annual Premium membership!

Think about it, the old affiliate program paid a mere $15 when you had three upgrades. The new and improved program pays you up to $366.50 for those same referrals!!

Whats really interesting is that at every level there is a really strong incentive for everyone to go out and get new referrals. Obviously CLixSense are not likely to keep this particular offer open for long so I am real glad I am already a premium member. If you want my advice - join up - now!!


If you join up using my link below then I get a start through the five levels. Its takes no money out of your pocket and you might just feel that its a nice thank you for having put you on to this one! So please use my link and then get promoting your affiliate Cixsense program !!!


28 October 2007

Pasting AdSense code to a Blogspot Blog



Someone left a comment recently asking about the basics of pasting the AdSense code into a blogspot blog.
So for all you newbies out there - here goes.

First - make sure you go to the PAGE ELEMENTS page in your blogger editor. See the screenshot of this on the left.

Notice the bit that says "add page element"

Click this.



You should now get a pop up window which gives you a range of widgets that you can put on your blog. The next screenshot shows some of these.

The ones we are particularly interested in are the one labelled AdSense - and the one labelled HTML/JavaSCript.

The easiest one to use is the AdSense one. Just click this and then give the information that you are asked to give. When you save it this will place your ads on the page ( As long as you have an AdSense account and have given it the right information !)
If you dont like where a widget is on the page you can drag and drop it elsewhere.

The second method involves using the HTML/Javascript widget. For this you need to have obtained the ADSense ad code from your ADSense account and set up your ad size, color.

I always preferred this method because it gave more control over the ad types but it doesnt really matter.


Here is a screen shot of what you will see when you click the HTML/Javascript button.

Dont bother filling in the Title field.

Just copy the ADSense code that you got from your AdSense account and paste it into the box.
Then click save and the widget will go into your template.


Finally save all changes to your template and then view your blog - your ads will now be showing. Dont forget you must have an active AdSense account for this to work - if you dont you wont have any ADSense code to paste!

27 October 2007

AdSense targeting issues

To get the most out of Adsense you need to understand how Ads are targeted. When you join AdSense you get AdSense HTML ad code which you place on the webpages on which you want to display Google ads. Google then uses its own search and page-ranking technologies and delivers relevant Google ads to those content pages.

How Google AdSense Ads are Targeted
Google claim that this process involves more than simple keyword matching and that their technology understands the context and content of webpages. They include factors like keyword analysis, word frequency, font size, and the overall link structure of the web, to extract semantic meaning with the aim of precisely matching Google ads to each page.

The Google technology is also able to determine the main language of a page but only if the content is in a supported language.

Adsense Geo-targeting
Google is also able to geotarget the ads which it serves. Advertisers who use the Google AdWords system to purchase ads are able to select specific countries and regions where those ads are to be displayed. The AdSense code is a then able to detect where a visitor is from and deliver the appropriate ads.

Does AdSense Ad targeting always work?
In short the answer is no. If you want your ads to be targeted really well then you need to consider writing in a style that will fit with the AdSense targeting algorithms. These tend to work less well where the content is wide ranging and less specific. If you want the targeting to be really tight then it important to try to write so that each page, or post, covers a very specific topic. The narrower and more specific the topic the more likely the Ads are to be targeted properly.

This aspect of the AdSense delivery of Ads can be criticised as forcing Internet authors to write in a pre-determined way in order to meet the needs of AdSense targeting. Of course no one forces you to write in this way and you might be prepared to accept Ads that are somewhat less well targeted for the sake of writing in your own style. After all why should Google determine the way we all use the web!

Nevertheless if your main aim is to maximise your income from ads then you are well advised to take these ad targeting considerations into account.

If you do write in a more wide ranging way or are having other troubles with Ad targeting then there are things you can do to improve matters. I will have a look at these in another post.

23 October 2007

Adsense copies Bidvertiser!

Google AdSense recently announced that AdSense users will be able to change the colour and border format of their ads from within their Adsense accounts ; (from the Google blog)


This new ad management feature means that your ad unit settings (such as colors and channels) for new AdSense for content ad units will be saved in your AdSense account every time you generate ad code. Then, if you'd like to change any of these settings in the future, all you do is make the update within your account --you'll no longer need to manually replace the ad code on all of your pages. For instance, you can quickly change the borders of all your 300x250 medium rectangles from red to blue with just a few mouse clicks. Fancy! We hope that this new feature will help you save time and will simplify the process of optimizing your ad units.


This sounds like the way Bidvertiser works. In Bidvertiser you design the ads using a template within the account and then paste the code to your site. When you make changes within the template in the account these are immediately reflected in the ad display on any site using that template. This certainly makes it easier to tweak ad settings and it is good to see that Google is finally catching up with this approach.

On a less positive note these announcements do sometimes sound a bit like fiddling while Rome is burning given the continual anxiety that many AdSense users have about invalid click activity. This is really the area that Google should be putting its efforts into sorting

AdSense Help Forum Cartoon Series

AdDense Cartoon series

One of the places that newby AdSense users usually end up at is the AdSense help forum at Google Groups. This help forum is a very mixed resource for newby AdSense users. One of the problems the newbie user will encounter is that recently the board has had some quite hostile postings between regular members and has been haunted by at least one and possibly more clickbombers who have managed to get a number of peoples accounts terminated.

Partly in reponse to this and as a way of creating some humor about the whole issue of AdSense and affliate marketing I created a cartoon series loosely based on some of the characters who inhabit ( and I use that word advisedly) the Adsense help forum.

If you want to check out the AdDense cartoon series then follow this link and then use the right arrow below the cartoons to move through the series.

AdDense Cartoon series

22 October 2007

Choose an Affiliate Program with seven rules

If you are new to Affiliate marketing it is important that you use some guidelines to help you choose the best Affiliate program. They say rules are meant to be broken but if you are a beginner then its best to have some rules for choosing an Affiliate program when you start out.
Here are some guidelines for you; ( see also the note at the end of this article)

1) Don't just pick the first affiliate program that you see- particularly if signing up is going to cost you any money. If you are going to integrate an Affiliate program into an existing website business then you need to make sure it is a good fit. This is less of an issue of course if you decide that you are going to build the website around the affiliate program - but that's another issue.
If you are integrating an Affiliate program with an existing website product then he product you choose to promote will reflect on you and your business - so take time to thoroughly examine the affiliate program first.

2) Consider testing the Affiliate product yourself. This can be money well invested. However, if you do not feel that you want to do this then do some searching an see what you can find out about the product. Use the Internet and do a standard search and see what others are saying. See who else is promoting the Affiliate product and how they are doing it.

3) Read all of the Terms and conditions, rules, restrictions, or guidelines associated with the affiliate program. Many affiliate programs prohibit their products from being advertised on websites that display pornography, foul language or other offensive content. If you know the rules then you will avoid the risk of being denied from the program or later banned.

4) Make sure the product relates to your your website or business, in some way.

5) If you really like an Affiliate product and your existing website does not relate to it then consider if you could create a website around that niche. Think about what will be involved in doing this and marketing this. This can be an extremely profitable way to do Affiliate marketing -- but only if you are serious about it.

6) What is the Affiliate commission rate and how dear is the product. Consider the volume of sales that you might reasonably generate from the product. Think about the commission you will earn on each sale. Some products may have high sales but low commission. Some may have low sales but high commission. Do the Math.

Commission rates for affiliates can vary from as low as three percent of each sale made to programs that pay around fifteen percent and more.

7) Trust your own judgment - at the end of the day its your business. As long as your mistakes are not very costly you will learn from them You may learn how other Affiliate marketers operate and even how some of the Affiliate product suppliers work which could be your next step up the ladder.

If carefully chosen, you can easily make a full-time living just with affiliate programs. You will usually need to sign up with more than one but believe me it can be done by almost anyone.

Tip: When you leave this page/site a search box will pop up. This will show you a vast range of Affiliate programs that you can check out and search. This is meant to be helpful rather than annoying!

20 October 2007

Getting paid for clicks 2



Getting paid to click adverts

In a previous post I said that I had signed up for ClickSense where you get paid to click an ad and spend thirty seconds on the advertisers landing page. I said I would give an update on this program and whether it was worth using. One of the things that had interested me was that you could turn your earned click money into paid ads and so use it to promote your own site or products.

Actually some of the ads were quite interesting on the site - but thats another story. I decided to have a go at the premium account. It wasn't costly and it gives access to a much larger number of adverts than the free account.

Here is a tip though! When you sign up you will be asked to give a profile and say what ad areas you are interested in. Make sure to tick all the boxes! Luckily I did as I realised later that this determines how many ads you can click on and that you can only change this profile every 90 days.

Anyway I signed up with a Clixsense Premium account and there are indeed hundreds of ads that you can select to click on. The numbers of ads that you can click on a with a Clixsense free account is much more limited.

It didn't take much effort to earn back all the money I spent on a Clixsense premium account and I am now quite well ahead. The next step will be converting some of my earnings into payment for ads and I will see how well these ads convert. I will report on this in a later post.

(For the latest news on this and changes to the Clixsense Affiliate payment scheme read this post)

Domain Appraisal Scam

Like many webusers I sometimes have domains that are yet to be developed or which I have decided not to develop for one reason or another. Recently I decided to park a small number of domains at Sedo until I could get round to developing them or to look to the possibility of selling them. I hadn't used their parking service before and it seems a reputable operation.

Being scammed in the process of parking and selling a domain name was not something that I had heard of before so I wasn't really alert for this. The domains that I parked were mostly fairly newly registered and undeveloped so I wasnt expecting to recieve very high offers for any of them.

So imagine my surprise when I recieved the following by email;

-----------------------------------------------------------



from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

Hello,We are interested in "somedomainname"
Your name was listed in online auction. What is your price for the name?
Our company is involved in software development/support business. Now domain invetsing/reselling is just an additional direction of our investment strategy.
Looking forward to do business with you.
Regards,
Andrew McGovern
PresidentTGN Consulting
------------------------------------------------------------

Ok I thought - this is good, someone interested in one of the domain names. I decide to try to check out who they are and so as not to appear over keen I just send a holding reply and say I will get back to them.
Meantime I discover that the email has originated from a proxy email service called toughguy.net. Note the similarity between this name and the name of the company TGN Consulting. I also check the register of companies and sure enough there is a TGN Consulting registered with a London address.

I then recieve this;

--------------------------------------------------------------


from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

I need to know the lowest price you can
accept.
What is your price range: $10,000 or $15,000 or even
higher?
I'm sure it will take a lot of time and efforts to find someone
who will offer you more.
Please send your answer to me as soon as
possible.
------------------------------------------------------------------

Now this is an undeveloped and newly registered domain name remember. The figures he was quoting were vastly more than I had anticipated selling for. But hey I am human - and he had got my attention. Which is of course exactly what he was trying to do.

At this point it is sounding too good to be true. At the same time I am not an expert in the domain name market so I think to myself - hey I am going to look really stupid if this is genuine and I blow it.
So I decide to be fairly measured in my reply. I am also a little surprised that the expression of interest has not come through Sedo itself. I am a little suspicious so I decide also to reinforce that I would want any sale handled through Sedo. Meantime I start a search for scams relating to the sale of domains.

Here is my response;

--------------------------------------------------------------------



I have not fully appraised the domain http://allsxy4u.com/ as yet but you are within the range that I had anticipated. I may consider a lower end bid for quicker turn around however.

My prefered route for handling bids will be through Sedo. I have only just registered there however and am still getting to know their system.
My understanding is that once an initial bid is formally recieved an auction would be triggered - I assume that you are happy to handle negotiation through that route?

If you are trying to build a premium domain portfolio I have recently listed the following additional domains through sedo.
>>>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
He responds promptly but I notice that he doesn't actually address my question directly about handling any sale through Sedo. Instead he raises the subject of appraisal of the domain name.
By this point I have found at least one reference to scams around the sale of domains and in particular around the appraisal of domain names.

He responds:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net
This is a regular practice to provide buyers or resellers with professional
and independent valuation. Serious investors must be sure in your price.
Without it they risk to overpay.
Anyway, you won't be able to sell without professional appraisal.
Of course, serious investors cannot accept auto-generated services. They need an accurate valuation made by humans not scripts.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well of course they would want to properly appraise the domain - particularly if they are talking 10k to 15k!
However notice that he is already beginning to put some constraints on the type of appraisal when he talks about "investors cannot accept auto - generated services" and an appraisal by humans. Sedo of course offers appraisals.

By this point I am almost 100% certain that I am dealing with a scammer.

So I respond;
------------------------------------------------------------------------


I am considering using the Sedo appraisal service- which I have
not used before. I assume you would be using the same appraisal service. Do you
want to suspend discussions until that point? I have had a couple of other
expressions of interest but no firm bids.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I know what to expect from him now and he does not disappoint. He of course doesn't want to use Sedo - because he has his own domain name appraisal services that he has either set up or has signed as an affiliate for.
His response:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------



from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

Sedo is a good broker and we can use it for transfer/transaction.

Unfortunately , Sedo is not acceptable as an appraiser because your names are listed with them and they are not independent. They are interested in earning 10% commission on every sale. I need appraisals from a company which is not interested in selling your domains.I heard many appraisal companies often made inaccurate appraisals. So I cannot accept appraisal from each and every site. I will only accept appraisals from independent appraisal companies I know and trust.



------------------------------------------------------------------------
Its clear of course that he is going to try to get me to pay for an appraisal and the bait for this is his ridiculously high initial suggestion of 10k to 15k for the domain name. The scam works by dangling this bait and then manoeuvring the mark into agreeing to pay for an appraisal. I decide to play along but make him spell it out.

My response;
----------------------------------------------------------------------


You are of course free to use whoever you wish to use for your appraisal. I would entirely understand that you would wish to obtain an appraisal that you
have confidence in.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

He forges on and has to deal with my assumption that it will be him that will pay for the appraisal ( he's the one doing the buying remember)

----------------------------------------------------------------------



from : TGN Consulting McGovern@toughguy.net

It's a big risk to proceed without professional valuation. I already spoke to industry experts and they prohibited me to do business without valuation..

Sorry, but it's difficult to understand your position.

As a seller, you can use a valuation certificate to sell names to other buyers. I cannot do the same because I don't keep control over your domain.I'm still interested in your domain. Hope you'll change your position. I simply don't want to take additional risks.Thank you for understanding. I'm looking forward to do business with you

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry pal but that's not my understanding at all. If you want to buy my domain then the money for getting an appraisal is very small beer compared to the price you are offering me. if you are so keen on this domain why would you be haggling trying to get me to pay for the valuation when I have already told you that there are other parties interested. Doesn't smell right at all.
However I want to find out how he will play this one out so I tell him that I am "content for another appraisal to be sought" and ask him what firm he has in mind.

His response;
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I researched several companies and here are the results:I wanted to use Afternic.com, but their service is questionable after all.Just read this:http://www.igoldrush.com/links3.htm"Capsule Review: After lots of complaints, Afternic is no longer a recommended service. We will re-review the service in the near future."Another complainthttp://www.out-law.com/page-1630So we should avoid Afternic.com.The same is true for GoDaddy and SEDO. Their services are not manual since they are cheap.

Nobody will do a research for several bucks. They are just collecting money using their well-known names.I asked about other reputable appraisers in a forum. Several experts recommended me DomainSecondHands' appraisal service -http://www.domainsecondhand.com/appraisal.htm as a fast, accurate and non-expensive (about $70 or something like that) manual service.I also trust the manual appraisal service from http://www.domainmart.com/ but it's very expensive - $200/hour. This service was also recommended by many people. If you can afford $200 DomainMart.com's fee it would be great. They also provide cheap automated service but it's not acceptable.


--------------------------------------------------------------
Wow now there is a surprise. He has reasons for discounting any other appraisal services other than the ones he wants me to use. He also covers himself by not just recommending one but by giving me a choice. He makes the $70 one sound cheap of course by referring to another dearer one. Just in case he assumes I will go for the cheaper one I try to make his life difficult for him by suggesting the dearer one.
I also want to try setting him up to see if I can scam him back so I point out that I have already paid out for an appraisal.

My response:
--------------------------------------------------------------

I assume that you will probably want the appraisal to be from DomainMart? I note that its is more expensive than the other one but given that we may be talking in the region of 10k then perhaps it is not that expensive.
Let me know. I do have an appraisal from Sedo already but I understand that you are feeling that this is not independent enough for you. I am obviously keen to ensure that you are satisfied with the arrangements.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
He then responds quickly saying that he will accept either appraisal service

So I respond;

------------------------------------------------------------

Ok then I think we can go ahead. I have already had appraisal through sedo for this domain so any further appraisal would be additional expense for me. I am ok with doing this and purchasing an appraisal. I am prepared to go for the better quality appraisal but feel that I need some token of your good faith in this - ie to confirm that you are genuinely interested.

--------------------------------------------------------------
I have decided to try to get him to deposit a small amount of money in my paypal account as an expression of good faith. I am not hopeful that he will agree to this because scammers are very alert to scams. Sure enough his response is a simple one liner

"I am interested to see independent appraisal results"

Sure you are pal , sure you are. I really dont believe that your only interest here is to earn an affiliate fee from me ordering a domain name appraisal from one of these sites. Sure I don't.
I have spent enough time on this so lets see how keen he is.
I respond;
-----------------------------------------------------
I think its only fair to let you know that I have had another expression of interest in my site. The other party states they will not accept appraisals from the sites you recommend and that they will recommend their own sites to me.
--------------------------------------------------------
I wonder if this might make him think that some other scammer has hold of me - but that is the last I hear from him.


So what do you think? Did I blow the chance of a lifetime or did I manage to body swerve a domain name appraisal scam. I have little doubt in my mind.

Remember - when you are selling a domain name it is up to the buyer to satisfy themselves of the worth of your domain name. A domain name at the end of the day is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. No more and no less.

If you are selling domain names watch out for scams like this!

Digg.comDigg

Monitoring comments by email

As you visit blogs leaving comments it can be helpful to know which blogs and posts that you have commented on are still actively recieving comments. This means that you can monitor the ongoing conversation and perhaps revisit to make further comments.

Blogger has a feature which allows you to recieve further comments via email to your gmail account and this makes it very easy to follow comment conversations. You can choose this option when you leave a comment.

On the subject of comments on blogs more generally I notice as I visit blogs that it can be difficult for blogs to attract their first comments both on the site as a whole and to particular pages. If you are visiting other peoples blogs don't forget that most bloggers are delighted when they get comments - thats one of the purposes of blogging after all ! So dont be shy about posting a comment.

28 September 2007

Get paid to click Ads




Get paid to click adverts? It sounds too good to be true I suppose. But that's exactly what ClickSense does. You get paid to click the Ads in their advertising program and read the advertisers landing page for, typically thirty seconds. The amounts you get paid for clicking adverts are not large ( they get better if you upgrade to a premium account). But you can also use your accumulated earnings to purchase adverts yourself on the ClickSense system. this seems like a great way for those with a limited advertising income to make a start with no real outlay. Simply sign up for a Clicksense account and start clicking the adverts then convert your earnings to purchase adverts yourself. Of course some of the people who will click your ads will be just doing it to earn their own credits. But if you target your ads and audience correctly you should be able to earn from the percentage that do convert. Why not give it a try. I have just signed up and I will report on this in a later post. ( update on Clixsense and Clixsense affiliate earnings here)

Sell your own Ad space on your site?

I was involved in an interesting discussion on an AdSense related forum recently about the issue of selling and managing Advertising space directly on your own site.
Now to be honest my first thought was that if you are getting people wanting to buy ad space directly from you that this must be a good thing and you should jump at the chance to directly sell and manage your own Advertising space.

But just how do you calculate what this advertising space is worth? As I hadn't done any direct self management of ad space like this before I had no immediate answer to this. What struck me was that it might be possible to work out a rate by calculating what the space would generate assuming typical CTR and payment per click from AdSense being on that space. This would give you a value for what the space was potentially worth - or actually worth if you are already using AdSense on it. So just use this figure - add a bit more and hey presto you have calculated what your Ad space is worth for direct sale.

Hmmm. But then someone rightly pointed out that if this is really what the space is worth doesn't it just make more sense to simply put up Google AdSense and let AdSense take care of all the hassle of managing the advertisers, setting advertising rates and rotating ads etc? And of course they were right. It does make more sense often not to go through all the hassle of managing your own ad space and selling this space directly yourself.

In fact that is the whole point of programs like AdSense and Bidvertiser and all these other ad providers. they take the hassle out of selling your Ad space. Of course maybe ( a big maybe) you could earn more by selling it directly yourself. but think of the time that this would take. This is time that often would be better spent developing your site.

So are there any arguments for directly selling and managing your own ad space? Well it may be that you want much finer control over the advertisers that will appear on your site or that you have specific partner advertisers in mind. Possibly there are some situations like this where directly selling your own space makes sense - particularly if you can get a premium rate for the space. In most case though it probably makes sense to use AdSense or one of the other alternatives to manage this for you.

02 September 2007

Adsense in Blogspot posts

Those of you using AdSense and a Blogspot Blog may not have noticed that you now have the option to insert ads into the page structure after your posts. In the past this was only possible by hacking the template and there was no way that you could easily do this using the page elements page in Blogger.
If you are using the new blogger templates all you need to do to take advantage of this is to go into your blog edit page elements page. Then click to edit the post widget and you will see that there is now an option to add an AdSense ad block within your posts. It also gives you the ability to decide how often the ads will appear - ie after a certain number of posts.

This is an excellent facility for Blogger AdSense users and one that people have been requesting for a long time. many users will have set the options already on their blogs and may not have realised that this facility is available. If you haven't tried this way of putting AdSense ads within the sequence of you posts then I would urge you to check this out. This can be an excellent way to position your AdSense ads.

One further refinement that Google could usefully consider to this facility is to broaden this option to allow the insertion of other blocks of html/script in sequence with posts in the same way. This could make this a very versatile facility.

12 August 2007

Warning its addictive

I got the cold shivers yesterday when I tried to log into my AdSense account and discovered that AdSense was down and not accessible. Many AdSense users get quite obsessive about checking their accounts regularly but the down time yesterday got me thinking about how much of a distraction this can be.
Now when you are an early AdSense user ( or indeed a user of any of the other such programs) I do think that there is much that can be learned from checking your account regularly. Or to be more specific, from checking your access logs and checking your AdSense account.

Checking your AdSense account on its own just tells you how many clicks you have had for a given number of page impressions from a site and what you earned from them. All very interesting but ... the information that you really need is the association between the characteristics of the people coming to your site and the out-turn of this in terms of consequent ad click through. If you can start to make associations between how people found you, how they travelled ( or didn't ) through your site and what the outcome was in terms of your goals (ad clicks, affiliate links followed) then this is much more useful information.

There is of course another problem with getting too caught up in checking your account. The time you are spending checking your account could often better be used working on your site, adding to content etc.

So I have decided to make myself a resolution and stick to it. I am only going to check my account once a day. Well maybe twice a day and then I'll cut down. I'll just need to check it now though before I start ...

30 July 2007

Using Drop shippers for online retailing

Many website owners and bloggers who are looking to monetize their sites only use AdSense. I think this is very dangerous and shortsighted. While AdSense is a good program Google has a habit of discontinuing accounts without notice and little explanation. If you read Googles own help forums on AdSense you will soon realise that if this happens to you you will have very little chance of persuading them that they have acted in error in terminating your AdSense account. So its a very dangerous strategy to rely solely on income from AdSense as a way of monetizing your site.

Selling products online

In previous posts I covered a number of different alternatives to AdSense. In this post I want to talk about a specific strategy - selling products yourself directly online. Now the first objection to this ( it was my own) will be - I don't have any products to sell so how can I sell products online?


One of the fascinating things about the internet is how it has created new business niches and markets or diversified traditional ones.

Retail and wholesale
Think for a minute about a traditional retailer. He buys wholesale and takes the goods to his shop then sells them at a retail price and keeps the difference.

Now think about purchasing goods by post. You buy from a retailer and the goods are posted to you. You are not even aware of their wholesale origin. Now imagine that you purchased those same goods by post and that they arrive but unknown to you it was actually the wholesaler who posted them directly to you on behalf of the retailer. Imagine that they did this in a way so that as far as you were concerned you were receiving your goods from the retailer. This is basically how dropshipping works.

How dropshipping works
With drop-shipping you, the retailer, advertise goods/products for sale. But you keep no stock of these products. When an order is made that order is passed to the drop-shipper who arranges delivery of the product. So you can act as a retailer but without needing to carry any stock.

I use this model very successfully on places like e-bay where I have an eBay shop. I make my sales on e-bay, classified sites and through a number of my own web-sites ( using free and cheap hosting)- but all the delivery and ordering problems are handled by the drop shipper. If you are interested in expanding your online portfolio from just AdSense enabled sites to direct selling and bigger bucks then this can be a very lucrative way to operate.

I mostly use dropship-business.com as they are reputable and have a large range of very high quality products at wholesale prices. Their start up packages are also very reasonable. As I have become more experienced I have added a couple of other drop-shippers for particular items.

This method of starting a real online business is certainly much less risky and much less hassle than trying to handle orders and shipping yourself and having to get things like a merchant account. Personally I have found that it works best when you market strong well known brand names and supplement these with more specialist items - but of course that depends what products you want to focus on.

21 July 2007

Being innovative but listening to Google.

One of the interesting things about the Internet is that it provides endless opportunities for people to spot potential niches which others have not yet thought of. Sometimes these ideas will help you to be a more effective publisher and in turn will support your goals for earning income from AdSense. This desire to find different ways of doing things is of course not what drives everyone. Many AdSense publishers are content with developing a blog or two and sticking to that.

Personally I have always enjoyed trying to think out of the box and trying new things so I am always thinking of new ways to use the wonderful tools that the Internet has given us. Now I am not claiming to be some super dooper innovator or anything like that. I do like to experiment though and I would encourage most people to push the boat out a little that way.

One of the things though that you must be clear about if you are going to experiment with different ways of using blogs ( or websites) and seeing how this improves your AdSense income is that not every idea you have will be a gem. Sometimes what seemed like a good idea just won't come off. You shouldn't view this negatively though. You can learn even from ideas that don't work out.

I had this experience recently. I thought of an interesting way to use a blog which was innovative ( innovative for me - others may have had the same idea) and had some propect of both being useful for a visitor and being a good vehicle for AdSense. So I set up a blog to implement my idea. All seemed to be going well for a couple of weeks but then the blog ( a blogspot blog) got flagged by Googles spam filter.

Now this hadn't been my intention. I could have tried to get the flag removed of course but I realised that the way I had implemented the idea would always run the risk of the blog getting flagged as spam. So what did I do? Well I have reworked the idea and essentially put that blog on ice until I can think how to do it without it just being spam. This may not be possible - in which case I will just delete it.

So was all this a waste of time? Of course not. I have learned a lot from trying to implement my idea and who knows - maybe some time in the future it will emerge in another more usable form.

The lesson from all this is that it is good to challenge yourself to think of new ideas and try to implement them. But don't hang on to these experiments as though they were your children - if an idea doesn't work out learn from it and move on.

15 July 2007

Competetive Ad filtering

One of the issues that confronts the website or blog publisher with AdSense on their site is the issue of ads appearing for competitive products or sites.

Now this can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have a blog about a particular niche then your visitors will be coming to your site hopefully with the subject of that niche in their minds. If your traffic is coming from the right sources they will be coming primed to find out just the information or product that you are going to present to them. ( You came here to find information about improving your AdSense performance I assume?)

So you will quite legitimately have written your posts with an eye to this and with the aim in mind of meeting your keyword objectives. Hopefully you will also be imparting some useful information or service to you visitors.

Those same keywords that are in your mind as you post are the same keywords though that trigger the ads on your page. And guess what? A proportion of the advertisers who are bidding on your site will also be attempting to meet the same niche needs as you are.

So your visitor comes to your site and they are primed not only for your content but also for the messages that your advertisers are giving. Of course if this results in the visitor simply leaving your site straight away by clicking one of the ads then this may or may not be a problem for you.

Why do I say may or may not be a problem?

Well it depends on the nature of your site.

There are in general three types of AdSense publishers.

The first are those that are giving you a tangible product for example selling you things.
The second are those who are providing you with useful information or opinion. ( This blog falls into that category)
The third are generally useless and have little real content and are simply a place to hang adverts.

So which type of site has a problem with competitive adverts?

Product sites in my view have the most to worry about in relation to competitive ads because once the visitor has gone then a potentially lucrative sale has in all probability been lost.

Information and opinion sites have a little less of a problem. They were not trying to sell you something in he first place ( except themselves) and when the visitor leaves they get a small payment for the click. But wait - its not that simple. Most information or opinion blogs want more visitors and repeat visitors. So if someone arrives and simply sees an attractive competitor ad and leaves straight away you may be losing a repeat visitor. You may be losing someone who would have read your material and bookmarked you, or emailed your link to a friend, or written a post about your site.

So you need to think carefully about the impact of competitor ads and the use of the competitor ad feature in your Google account. Strike the right balance between excluding direct competitors who will suck your traffic away - but don't go overboard and lose potential AdSense income.

09 July 2007

Adsense blog, website - or both?

Sometimes beginners who are trying to earn income with AdSense find the whole thing a bit confusing to start with. This can be a particular problem for people who are not really familiar with how websites are constructed, what the AdSense code is and how it should fit within their
page. In this post I want to cover some of these basic AdSense issues. Apologies to those of you who are already familiar with all this.

First of all be clear - you cannot be an AdSense publisher unless you are using a platform or a hosting service that will allow you to place the AdSense Javascript code on your page.

So, for example, if you are signed up to a blogging platform like Wordpress . com then I am sorry you wont be able to use AdSense - not unless you sign up for a different platform. (or use Wordpress on your own hosted site)

Perhaps the easiest way to start out on the path to earning income from AdSense is to sign up with Blogger. This is very easy to do if you already have a Google account. If you haven't already done this then do it now!

With a blogspot blog putting AdSense on your page couldn't be easier. You just use the AdSense widget on the page elements Template page.

More sophisticated AdSense users know that a better way to run your AdSense is to have more than one site. You can create more than one blog and put your AdSense on these other blogs - but make sure you have good content on them. Don't just put up MFA sites.

Even better results from AdSense can be achieved if you have content on different domains. This allows you to do some constructive cross linking and to develop a number of niches. Using different domains will increase your search engine exposure. A great way to start is with a FREE web hosting package.
I recommend the following FREE web hosting supplier ( they are offering great introductory packages and FREE hosting).
http://business.runhosting.com/
http://adsense.runhosting.com/
http://best.runhosting.com

08 July 2007

Getting targeted Ads for "negative review" posts

Reading a recent post got me thinking about how you can ensure that you get the right Ads served to you if you are writing posts which are negatively reviewing a product or service.

The Negative post Problem
Now articles which negatively review a product may be of great interest to your readers. It may serve to warn them about the pitfalls of a product or service or tell them that its a scam or advise them of things that can go wrong and that they should be careful about. The problem is that the Adsense bot will look for keywords and won't understand the negative context of the post/article.

The result is that you will end up seeing Ads that are triggered by the keywords relating to the product and so your page will be filled with Ads for the very products that you are negatively reviewing. The problem of course is that this may reduce your potential income from Adsense.

The Negative Post solution
The solution is to use a combination of techniques.
First - make sure that within your post you include a section where you make some positive comments or discussion about some alternative products or services.
Second - use section targeting to highlight those sections so that Adsense targeting gives more weight to those parts of your post. (remember that section targeting needs a reasonable amount of content to work so your positive section needs to be of reasonable length.
Third - if section targeting alone doesn't work then you can use the competitive filter to weed out those ads that persist.
Fourth - don't sweat it too much. Some visitors will click the negatively reviewed products anyway just to see what the fuss is about!

07 July 2007

Adsense CPM is it important?

New Adsense users seem to get very worried about the eCPM figure varying for their sites or blogs. Usually all this worry about effective Cost per Thousand page impressions ( which is what eCPM is) is completely unnecessary and pointless - in particular when you are just starting out with your blog or website with Adsense on it.

Let see what eCPM actually is. eCPM is basically just a statistical tool that shows you what your effective earnings are per 1000 impressions. It does this based on your current rate of earning and assumes that this is typical. The result of this is that eCPM can vary quite a lot over time.

Also when the numbers of page impressions and the numbers of clicks and amount of earnings are relatively small these fluctuations tend to be wilder - this is just a consequence of the way this statistic works and is not something you should waste time worrying about.

Lets imagine that you have achieved 100 page impressions. You have earned 10 cents for these 100 impressions. This gives earnings per 1000 impressions (eCPM) of $1. eCPM =(earnings *100)/1000 (If you had 200 page impressions with 10c earnings then eCPM would be 50c.)

Note: That equation works if you are quoting earnings in cents ie 10c etc. If you are using earnings in dollars then its simply earnings/1000.

So each page impression that shows up new in your AdSense report is going to change your eCPM figure - the figure will fluctuate as page impressions and clicks come in at a varying rate over time. So short term variation to eCPM is not something to go grey haired about.

Over longer periods of time it can be worth thinking about the eCPM figure because it is more stable and reliable and is then telling you something about the effective earning capacity of those pages in relation to the amount of traffic that they get.

If you are still unclear then leave a comment below and I will try to help.

04 July 2007

Increase Adsense Income with Article submissions

One of the really great strategies to increase you website or blog exposure is using an article submission strategy. Article submissions are a great way to bring more links and visitors to your website and should be an integral part of any web site or blog promotion strategy. So just what do we mean by Article Submission and how exactly can writing articles which you give away for free boost your income from AdSense?

One of the unchanging facts about the Internet is that website and blog owners are always the looking for new, fresh and quality content. To expand your Internet presence as a website or blog owner you need contents that are regularly updated and that keep your visitors wanting to come back for more. Fresh content also helps to keep you up there in the search engine rankings. This in turn translates to more visitors to your site and in turn this should improve your Adsense income.

You will be thinking about fresh content for your site- but so are all those other site and blog owners. This is where article submission comes in as part of your promotion strategy.

There are many article submission sites on the Internet which will accept articles that you write and make them available to others, nearly always for free, to use on their sites.

Whoa there! I hear you say. Why should I give my efforts away to other sites like that? It's my stuff and I am keeping it!

Think for a moment though about the benefits that you get.

First you will be writing articles that fit well with the niche that your site or blog is about. There will be links in your article back to your site. So you are going to write useful and informative articles that wet peoples appetite for your site. (Repeat after me ....yes I will write articles that entice people to my site)

So when people who are searching for articles see that yours are relevant and meet their needs two things can happen ( hopefully both).

First there is a good chance that the person looking for the content will themselves follow the links back to your site ( and by definition your site is probably also well targeted to what they are interested in.)

Second there is also a good chance that they will want to take your article and reproduce it on their site. Now , when they do this these publishers are required to reprint your articles together with your links in them. They are required to respect your author rights and publish the article with the links intact.

This of course benefits both you and the person who publishes your article. They get good quality free content that is well targeted to their needs and you get another backlink out there that promotes your site.

Best of all the hard work of finding publishers who will take your material and publish it is handled by the article submission site.

If you have an online business and you are too busy to write such articles yourself it is possible to hire copywriters who will prepare such material for you - for a fee. Many site owners make use of such services but it is also entirely possible to do this yourself. Article preparation and submission can of course be very time consuming as can the process of making sure that you have found the best article submission sites and that you are meeting their guidelines. If you feel that your time would be more productively spent on other aspects of your online business or that you don't yourself have good article writing skills then don't be afraid to outsource.

Web Stats, Adsense Income and time factors

In a previous post I explained something about page impressions and CTR ( Click through rate) and explained something about how these numbers can fluctuate. In this post we will consider some other reasons for variations in your income from Adsense. If you don't understand what page impressions and CTR are then I suggest that you might wish to read the earlier post on these first.

How time and seasonal factors influence income from AdSense.
Let us imagine for a moment that you are running a website that is focused on selling travel insurance. Now you may not know much about travel insurance ( and I don't pretend to know about it in detail either - but that's not critical to my point.) Now take a guess - Over the course of a year do you think that your earnings from Adsense would be the same every month of the year? Would that be a reasonable expectation?

Do you see my point? We would expect that a travel insurance site might have its busiest months in the lead up to and during vacation periods. Equally we might expect that visitors. page impressions and Adsense income might be lower for other periods. Maybe you can think of better examples?

The point is that for some topics there will be a seasonal or time influence on the pattern of your visitors and their activity. You would not expect a site selling specialist ice -cream to do its best business during the winter would you?

So when thinking about your site statistics and your Adsense income think about whether there may be such time factors at play in the niche within which you are operating. These factors can come into play for the most surprising topics. Also such variations may be not only on a month by month but a day by day or hour by hour basis. Let me give you another ( made up) example to illustrate this. Lets say I have a site which provides somewhere for people who go to a particular evening class to post topics and read each others posts. When would I not expect to get many of them visiting such a site? When the night class is on!

So think about time factors when you are examining your stats.

03 July 2007

Internet Money making opportunities

When you are running a website or a blog it makes sense to think about other money making opportunities that can run in parallel with your income from Adsense. Why is this important? Well one reason is that there is always the possibility that you will fall foul of Google's terms of Service in some way and you may find your Adsense account terminated or suspended. This will be an unpleasant experience for you if you have put all your eggs in the Adsense basket.

I have previously posted on a number of Adsense alternatives. Most of these were advertising programs of one form or another.

In this post I want to have a look at a couple of other things I have come across recently.

The Ultimate Wealth Package is a turnkey type package which was featured in Entrepeneur magazine. It sets you up for selling other companies products and earning 75% commission on the sales and provides you with an online automated business.

Project Black Mask is different - it provides information about gaming search engines for thousands of FREE clicks in a completely automated way. Black Mask aims to show you how to milk a loophole in the Google algorithm. This is about increasing your sites exposure and visitors and would be of benefit wether you are using Adsense or alternatives to Adsense.

Finally there's Blogging to the Bank which gives you information about how to massively increase you earnings from blogging by creating blogs which draw in thousands of targetted visitors. I havnt tried this one myself so I cant recommend it one way or another.

And then of course theres that old standby parked domains. Here's an example of an adult parked domain with Sedo http://www.ursxy.com/

30 June 2007

Promote your site - Social Networking sites

Income-From Adsense has put together a list of over 50 social networking and bookmarking sites and some advice and tips about using social networking and bookmarking sites to promote you own website or blog.

You can download this free PDF list of social networking sites and you are free to distribute the report to others or make it available on your own site or blog as long as you don't alter the free report in any way.

This free report will help you improve you Adsense earnings by driving more traffic to your site using Social networking sites.

Free Social networking sites report and list

Right click and choose "Save target as.." if you want to save the free report for later use.

29 June 2007

How many Adsense Ads on a page?

Google has a fairly clear policy about how many Ad units you can have on each page but people sometimes still get a little confused about what is allowed so here are Googles guidelines with a brief comentary.
Remember though - before you go slapping up the maximum number of ads, link units , search boxes and referral units on your page - think. Think what this will mean for the visitor to your site. What will the site look like to them? Will all the adverts produce a poor experience for them. It is more important to get the experience right for your user than to squeeze in every last drop of advertising space.

"Up to three ad units may be displayed on each page. "
This means you can have up to three ad units on each page.

"A maximum of two Google AdSense for search boxes may be placed on a page. "
Again this is fairly clear - two search boxes.

"Up to three link units may also be placed on each page. "
Remember that this is in addition to the three ad units that you are allowed.

"Up to three referral units may be displayed on a page, in addition to the ad units, search boxes, and link units specified above. "
Again this should be fairly clear.

Remember that you cant display Google ads or Google search boxes in a pop-up, pop-under, or in an email.

16 June 2007

Page Impressions and Click Through

If you are new to Adsense it can be confusing at first trying to understand all the different terms that are used to describe things. It also takes time to understand what are the important things that you should be checking. In this post I want to say a little about page Page impressions and Click Through rate.

Whether you are just relying on your adsense reports to monitor your traffic or also using some form of logging software you will want to know about page impressions. This tells you how many times the page with your adsense ads has been loaded. Easy eh?

Now remember that each visitor may read one page or a few so you will also want to know how many unique visitors you have had. And if you know the number of page loads and the number of unique visitors then you know on average how many pages each visitor is reading. This helps you to understand if visitors are interested enough to explore your site looking for more information.

Click through rate tells you what percentage of your visitors clicked through on your ads. This is a very important measurement.

Consider two different sites lets call them Site A and Site B. I will make these examples simple to illustrate my point.

Site A - this site gets 1000 page impressions a week and has a click through rate of 1%
How many clicks do they get? 10 clicks.

Site B - this site gets 100 page impressions a week and has a click through rate of 10%
How many clicks? 10 clicks.

Now if both sites are earning roughly the same money per click then both sites earn the same amount of money but site B is earning this with only 10% of the page traffic!

Of course what you really want is to have site A's page impressions and site B's CRT! That would give you 100 clicks and ten times the earnings ( assuming you were earning the same per click.)

So keep an eye on your click through rate. use some of the advice on this site and make sure you have good relevant content. In later posts I will discuss what strategies you can use it improve your CTR.

Notes: New Adsense users often get overly concerned about variation in their CTR ( Click through rate) and in the CPM ( cost per thousand impressions) figures. It may be helpful to clarify a few points about this to save you some sleepless nights.

CTR
Variations in the CTR are quite normal. In particular the lower your number page impressions the more wildly your click through rate will vary from day to day. This is largely due to random fluctuations and is not a cause for concern. As you gain more visitors and more page impressions your click through rate will still vary but probably not over as great a range. If you are getting a CTR of 10 - 15% over a period of time this is a good result. A CTR less than this may indicate that you still have room to better optimize and target your site. But remember - dont make this judgment on the CTR for a day or two - measure it over at least a week AND with a reasonable number of page impressions.

CPM
The Cost per thousand impressions is another figure that new users get more worried about than is necessary. This is a guide figure only and gives an estimate of the payment per thousand impressions. It too can vary over time. Concentrate on the quality and targeting of your content and don't fret about this figure. Some of the Ads that Google serves you will be site targeted and will pay you by CPM. The earnings per page impression tend to be very low and for small numbers of page impressions the earnings are so small that they don't show up on your Adsense report. Don't worry though - they are being credited to you and will show up as additional small amounts on your earnings.

In summary - Pay attention to CTR over time because for most Adsense users Ad clicks will be your main source of earnings. Pay attention to the way you construct your content and make sure you optimize it. Make sure you optimize your ad placement , types and visualisation.

13 June 2007

Adsense and Adwords Content Placement Reports

As an Adsense publisher it is important that you keep up to date with Adwords developments. Why? Because any development that effects the way advertisers target their adverts can potentially have a significant influence on you income from Adsense.

Google recently announced that it was moving out of Beta testing to implement new Content Placement Reports for Advertisers. In this post we will look at what the content placement reports provide for Adwords advertisers and how this impacts on your Adsense efforts and your Adsense income.

Googles official AdWords Blog gave the low down on new Content placement reports. Googles announcement states that the new content placement reports;

enables advertisers to see the exact sites on the Google content network where their ads appear. Placement Performance reports also provide site-by-site performance metrics – including domain, URL, impression, click, conversion and cost data – as well as aggregated metrics for traffic generated from AdSense for domain sites. With these reports, advertisers have much more insight into their contextually targeted advertising spend and are able to leverage the information to more effectively optimize their campaigns and meet their objectives
This of course means that advertisers can use the site targeting feature to get more exposure from sites that are performing well for their adverts . Conversely they can also use site exclusion to reduce or stop their ad exposure in those domains or URLs which are giving them poor quality traffic.

At the moment these reports are only being made available to Adwords advertisers in the US but according to Google they will be available in other places in the coming weeks.

The new Content Placement Reports don't yet put advertisers fully in control because as has been noted in some discussion forums there are still problems sometimes when Adwords advertisers try to exclude some sites.

Nevertheless it is clear what direction things are moving in. Advertisers will start to have increasingly detailed information about the performance of their ads site by site and increasingly detailed control over where their ads are shown.

So how does this effect you as an Adsense publisher. Well if you want particular advertisers to remain committed to advertising on your site in the future you will need to think not only about how your content relates to the adverts but also whether users clicking through those Ads are likely to convert for the advertisers. Don't forget that for the advertisers the issue starts at the point the user clicks through to them it is conversions that really count for the advertiser whereas for the publisher the concern has mainly been about click through.

Now you cant control what users do after they click through from your Ads but you should at least be aware that the pattern of Ads which are shown on your site might be effected in the future by advertisers who are monitoring how those click throughs convert for them

08 June 2007

Up Selling Adsense

Up-selling is a marketing technique where the seller tries to sell you extra and often more costly items where have already made or are considering making a purchase. The "extras" which are sold in this way are often closely related to the product that you are already purchasing or have already purchased.

It is worth thinking about some non-internet examples of this before considering how you can you this technique in your own activities.

Have you ever purchased a Digital Camera or other electronic item and been sold an insurance policy to cover it? There is usually an element of up-selling in this. Or you buy a car and the salesman smoothly talks you into buying all those additional extras that you hadn't realised you wanted? Up-selling again. Or you decide to purchase a book on Amazon about say internet marketing and end up also buying DVD's or other items when you notice adverts for them. Consider yourself up-sold.

This technique is very effective and can be applied to websites using Google’s AdSense program. The technique of Upselling works best when the additional items or products are related to the initial products in some way – in other words they fill the same, or similar customer need that the first product did. Blockbuster up-sells rental customers by offering new and previously owned videos for sale. It groups videos and posts signs saying “if you liked this video, you’ll like this video” encouraging additional rentals.

If you simply slap AdSense ads on your website without thought you may be missing significant profits. You should identify the most expensive keywords that correlate with your existing keywords an dthe Theme of your site. Then create additional web pages or posts with quality content written around these more expensive keywords.

When vistors come to your site re your cenrtral keywords/search term,s they will also find information relating to more exppensive keywords. Those that follow these pages and click on Adwords ads on those pages will earn a higher return per click for you and you have upsold!

Obviously this is not going to be done without some effort - but I didnt promise you that you could make earnings without some work!

29 May 2007

STATCOUNTER Free log size up 500% !

Great news for those of you who use Statcounter to track visitors to your blog or website. Statcounter has now increased its free log size from 100 to 500 for each project that you create. This massive increase in the size of free stat logs means that you can track the pattern of your visitors much more extensively than before.

The free log size of 500 applies to each project ( website or blog) that you create on Statcounter - not to your overall account. You can track lots of projects - each with a free log size of 500.

If you aren't yet using Statcounter then it is highly recommended. Its a FREE service. No hidden costs whatsoever and they seem to be constantly trying to improve their service. I would urge you to try their service - you will not be disappointed.

Want to know more about Statcounters features and how to use it before registering with them ?Read about Statcounter Features and how to use Statcounter with blogspot blogs here.

24 May 2007

Better content for Adsense with Keyword Variations

The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is intended to help advertisers to optimize their AdWords campaigns. But if you are a blogger, or indeed any type of publisher on the Internet, it can be very useful in helping you to make sure that your content is properly written to maximise your AdSense.

The Adwords Keyword Tool can be used as an aide to help you tweak your posts or other content before you publish them and best of all you don't actually have to have an Adwords account to use it.

You will see two tabs when you go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool page.

Keyword Variations’ and ‘Site-Related Keywords’.

Let's start with ‘Keyword Variations’ and see how variations on keywords can help you improve your content.

We start by entering a keyword into the box. Try a single word or a phrase. I will try .. guitars
(You'll need to type the distorted letters you see in the box further down to prove your human!)

There is a selection box in that area that gives you the following choices;
Keyword Search Volume

Cost and Ad position estimates


Search Volume trends


Possible Negative Keywords
Make sure you search with "keyword Search Volume" selected.

Now click ‘Get More Results’ and you will get a list of keywords and keyword variations related to the keyword that you entered. The list is ordered by relevance.

For guitar the first few results I get back are;
Acoustic Guitars
electric guitars
gibson guitars
etc etc

Its a long list! Against each of the suggested variations are two columns. Search volume and advertiser competition.

So what use is this you ask?

Well this list helps you think of other keywords that you can use on your site in your content or posts. Say your site is about guitars. You now have a whole list of suggestions that you might wish to create content about or post about that are guitar related. These posts will contain keywords that you know are being searched for and that relate well to the overall subject matter of your site or blog. This is important.

When you write your posts you optimise their content and structure to give some emphasis to these keywords ( Don't overdo it though and resort to what amounts to keyword stuffing!). Because you have done this you are maximising the chance that your post or content will contain keywords that you know people are searching for on the search engines. Get it? This helps your traffic.

The second column advertiser competition gives you an indication of ..... advertiser competition on that keyword. The more competition ..... yup .... the higher the advertisers are paying to appear for that keyword and the higher the price you get for Adsense click throughs.

You can use the Cost and Ad Position Estimates to guide you as to how much advertisers are paying for a keyword. Enter an amount and click on ‘Recalculate’.

The prices you see are what the advertisers pay to appear for those keyword searches. they are not the amounts you get paid for clicks - unfortunately! Google must be fed. You will get quite a lot less than the advertiser is paying Google. But the prices do help you focus on those keywords that are likely to pay best. Just don't forget that they should also fit with your content / site focus.

The Search Volume Trends gives you some useful information about the trends in search volumes on the keywords over 12 months. You can also see which month has the highest volume. This may be particularly useful information if your blog or site is on a subject which seasonal and you can see when interest peaks.

If you want to find keywords and keyword variations that relate to the content you already have then use the Site-Related Keywords tab.

This finds keywords related to the content of your page. Type your site or blog URL and click on ‘Get Keywords’. You'll also to be able to search using the choices we discussed earlier like Keyword Search Volume etc.

Use this tool to get ideas for how you can develop keyword variations from material you already have.

So lets go back to where we started. You are writing a post. Ah but this time you have the knowledge of keyword variations that would be most helpful for you to use. So this helps you to write the post in a way that focuses on these keywords ( don't you go keyword stuffing now - you get penalised by the search engines - and I will come round to your house and shout at you.)

Please do this before you publish you posts. Why? I use Blogger for this kind of blogging. But I discovered that even though posts are editable after you have published them the various sites that are "pinged" when you post seem to be heavily influenced by the first version you publish and you cannot guarantee that subsequent changes you make will get picked up. (by the way this applies to all the advice I will give you about writing posts - so get them right, particularly the titles before you publish! Ok I'll be honest I am still a bit sloppy sometimes - hell, I'm human too.)

I hope you have found this interesting and useful. Please don't forget to bookmark this site because I will be back with more advice soon.

23 May 2007

Adsense acts on MFA sites

Interesting news recently that Google is taking action against MFA ( made for Adsense sites). It seems that the largest of these operations have received notice from Google of account termination. Normally such termination for contravening terms of service doesn't allow the publisher to benefit from any yet to be paid revenue. However it seems Google may be paying these terminated account holders what they are due for the current month.

This development has been fairly well received in SEO circles where the general feeling is that it will hep to remove essentially empty sites and leave a more useful web for users and for publishers who are genuinely trying to add some value with their content.

There is some suggestion that webmasters operating Adsense arbitrage tactics are getting caught in this. I haven't explained a lot about arbitrage here and will do this shortly in another post. basically its is the technique of buying cheap and selling dear but there are particular ways that this is used by those who do it with Adsense.

It was always considered essentially a "white hat" rather than a "black hat" technique although a little borderline. Some people were making a lot of money from arbitrage so there will be some very pissed of people if this is true.

Although I think people should know about arbitrage it is essentially a very tricksy way to make income from Adsense. In general to be on the safe side and not have your Adsense account terminated you should concentrate on providing quality content. that way you will not get caught in these Google sweeps.

I'll catch up and put the links to the original posts about this story shortly.

02 May 2007

Having a Digg at AACSLA

Digg users rightly pressed Digg not to succumb to the "cease and desist" threats from AACLA which resulted in the attempt to pull posts referring to or containing a single code that can decrypt HD-DVD movies published before April 23, 2007.

The danger is however that this leaves Digg dangerously exposed.

What concerned Digg users need to do is to ensure that they and all others concerned by this attempt to "copyright a number" express their views forcibly to the Founders of AACSLA.

The founding members of AACSLA are ; IBM, Microsoft,Sony, Disney Corp, Intel, Panasonic, Toshiba and Warner Bros.

Use your right to protest constructively - if you aren't happy with what AACSLA is doing then you might want to consider going to their sites, finding a contact email address and send an email expressing your opinions strongly about what is happening. If they don't respond email them again until they reply.

Perhaps the power of Digg users will make them think again.

This is of topic from my normal posts on Adsense issues but i feel strongly on this one.

29 April 2007

Branding your blog with merchandise

I wrote about some Adsense alternatives in a previous post and we have also looked at other ways of making money from the web.
One thing I didnt mention is that you can of course sell your own blog-branded merchandise. Now there is no point in doing this until you have gained a reasonable level of readership and I would also suggest that your blog needs to have a fairly distinctive "personality" before you can consider going down this rout - but it is an option. Branded T-Shirts, mugs, coasters and other items can be ordered via the internet with your own logo.

A site such as CafePress.com for example offers over 50 products which can be personalised with your own logo and you can price each product for sale yourself. CafePress gets back the original base price ($13.99 for T-shirts, $10.99 for mugs) and you keep any markup.

I'll be on the look out for more sites like this and will note them here so check back.

28 April 2007

To blend or not to blend? That is the question

The choices you make about your website and AdSense colours and the positioning of your Ads are not minor matters when it comes to maximising your AdSense revenue.

The best way to approach this is to take a long cool look at your site from the point of view of the reader. Ask yourself why have come to your site and what they are likely to be looking for.

Now examine how the AdSense ads which are showing fit with this. Here are some useful questions to think about;

1) Are my AdSense Ads actually visible? If they are way down the page then a high proportion of visitors may not even see them.

2) Are the AdSense Ads too visible? The Internet is covered in Ads and Internet users are increasingly developing "ad blindness". Without even being conscious of it we all learn to mentally screen out Ads from our awareness as we browse. You have probably done that with this page!

Ad blindness can happen particularly where the colour and or positioning of an Ad makes it immediately apparent that it is an Ad. The reader unconsciously ignores the Advert.

You Ads should be positioned in visible parts of the page but you should also make sure that do not interfere with the reasonable design of your page. Some pages you will come across have been so highly "optimized" for adverts that you are hard pushed to find what you came looking for. I don't know about you but my immediate reaction is - this is just a site for Adverts and I am put off and don't hang around.

The other issue is color for your adverts. The usual advice is that you should make sure that your Adverts colours blend with the design of your site. Ideally you should use the same colours for background links and so on for your adverts that you do for your site.

I have a slight variation on this. I do like to blend the colours but I also like to tweak them slightly. That way my adverts don't blend into the background completely and they have a little more prominence. Don't however use very different or contrasting colours. What you are aiming for is that your Adverts should look like an integral part of the site, almost like part of the content.

There are also some things you should think about when using color on your site more generally and I'll cover that in a future post.

22 April 2007

Remember your Blog basics

I thought a little mnemonic to help you remember some key points might be helpful. I am going to write a post in the near future on each of these points so it would be nice to see you back here. This should help you remember some key points as you blog.

"CONTENT IS KING"

C - Create great content
O - Optimize your site
N - Nourish your Niche
T - To write is to earn.
E - Engage your readers.
N - Never click your own links.
T - Tools tell all.

R - Regular posts pay.
U - Understand your readers.
L - Love Links.
E - Every Post shall have a Theme.
S - Shy bloggers stay poor.

Work at Home, earn income - but be focussed!

One of the perks of running an Internet website or blog and earning money from it is that you work from home and you save yourself all that travel to work time. If like me you have previously had a job that involves a lot of dead time travelling back and forward to work then you will know the frustrations of this. You think to yourself "I could be doing something much more useful with this time!".

Running a website or blogs means of course you don't have to be tied to an office. You will get tied to your computer but you'll get so involved in what you are doing that this won't seem like down time - its earning time.

I want to take a brief look at how you should organise yourself at home to help you be as efficient as you can and get the most benefit from your home working arrangement.

To get the most benefit from working at home you should be both organised and flexible in your approach. This may sound like a contradiction but its not.

You should be organised with your working environment. Try to make sure that your computer and desk are away from the main run of activity in the house. Make sure you have arrangements for paper filing of important copies of things like receipts etc. Also make sure right at the start that you set up a system whether on paper or electronically for keeping a record of your websites, blogs, hosts, passwords etc. If you are running more that one site or blog these things can quickly become very disorganised if you don't do this at the start.

You should also be flexible though. You don't need to run yourself to a rigid time schedule if you work at home. So if someone visits or something else comes up you can respond and deal with it. But don't be too flexible - set yourself some core hours and stick to them.

You may be running your Internet activities part time. If so you should still work out what time commitment you want to give to them and try to schedule this - then stick to your schedule.

This can be particularly important if you are running a blog. Readers will not return to your site if the update frequency of your Blog is too infrequent. So decide early on if you are going to have new posts every day, or every week, or monthly. ( It can be difficult to create momentum with less than a couple of posts weekly so I wouldn't recommend anything less frequent).

One tip that may help is that you should always have a few blog posts in draft form that you are working on and tightening up. This helps because there will be times when you hit a dry patch and feel you have nothing fresh to add. If you have drafts in progress then you will have quality material that you can finish of and post to get you over these blank periods.

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