I’m going to be brutally honest with you – I don’t like Google AdSense. I admire what Google has created with the AdWords/AdSense program. I admire those bloggers and website owners that make thousands of dollars from AdSense. I intend to one day draw extensive income from AdSense as I build a website portfolio, but for Entrepreneur’s Journey AdSense is not what I want.
I just finished reading an article, How AdSense Lowers Site-Self-Esteem, which reminded me again that AdSense should not always be the monetization drawcard that you rely upon. I’ve believed this all along since my very first money making website did not use AdSense but still made 100% of its income from advertising. I attracted advertisers myself by pitching to businesses that would clearly be interested in my audience (if you want to know more read this article – How to Make Money from Your Website Using Advertising). There was no middle man, I didn’t have to wonder how much money Google was generous enough to pay me per click and the advertisements were always clearly targeted at my audience and approved by me.
I fostered long term relationships with some of my sponsors, which was a comfortable thought compared to the whims of the Googlebot deciding how much traffic you get and consequently how much money you earn. My traffic back then was not reliant upon Google, it was mostly based on word of mouth and a loyal return audience. As long as my website was up I enjoyed a stable following, a stable income and no dependency on Google or any single major source. I would argue that it was a more stable business model than relying on AdSense and search traffic. Of course it’s not easy to get a site to that position but once you are there you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. I believe Entrepreneur’s Journey should follow this formula.
This blog is new and operates in an industry that has some fairly stiff competition. Right now I don’t get much search traffic, I expect that it will improve overtime and probably continue to improve as long as I keep doing what I am doing, but I never plan on search traffic being my bread and butter. It’s more the icing on the cake. My successes so far and I expect in the future will come from one thing – producing content that helps people and is consequently spread through word of mouth and linking. My audience will most likely always be repeat visitors coming back through RSS or bookmarking. This is not a bad thing. Yes search traffic is always valuable and no doubt some search visitors are converted to repeat visitors, but I’m fairly confident I understand how my audience will be built and it won’t be on the shoulders of Google.
Back to AdSense. As the above mentioned article on website self-esteem notes, most bloggers are writers first and advertisement seekers second. Yes the new breed of probloggers do seek specifically to earn an income from their blogging efforts but I feel most of us out there blogging are doing it for other reasons. Money can act as a powerful motivator and I wouldn’t be writing this article if AdSense on this blog brought in $100 a day, but it doesn’t nor do I expect it ever will, and it definitely won’t without me crossing the boundary from “just a few ad blocks” into the “adblocks wherever I can find space” philosophy.
AdSense is a great service but it appeals because it’s easy. It’s simple to insert into a website. It makes money based on clicks and does the job of finding relevant advertisers for us. I’ve put it on my website to test it and my conclusion is that I don’t want it and I don’t need it. I don’t like the type of ads it displays, I don’t like that it’s proliferating all over the Internet and becoming the banner ad of web 2.0. Yes it’s great technology but I already hear the whispers…oh, those things, yeah, I ignore them because I know they are ads just like the old banners…
Worst of all I don’t like the way it’s making bloggers think. By bloggers I include myself too. AdSense makes me greedy. AdSense makes me trick myself into thinking that making money online is easy. It’s never easy. Online business only rewards hard work, research, clever thinking and people that take action not once, or twice, but every day.
Right now I like that my blog can give without necessary expecting anything in return. I like that I’m in a position with my finances and my personal congruency to be comfortable investing so much time into a project that currently has a financial return of about $1 an hour.
I’m no saint though. I’m in this for the money. I’m motivated by the money. I blog and write and put up affiliate programs because I want to achieve complete financial freedom. I want to be rich too.
As a daily exercise I remind myself to be patient. I work hard to produce content and focus on producing words that will bring more and more people to this site. I know that it’s all about eyeballs – the more people I help the more I help myself. The larger my hit count the greater my potential to earn from my website, even if I’m not exactly sure the methodology for converting eyeballs into coins…not yet anyway, that’s why I test. For the time being I’m close enough to being content with my progress that I can say no to AdSense.
I’ll leave with one last comment – if anyone would like to advertise on this blog, email me, I’m open to discuss anything.
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