I realise the title of this post might be contraversial but I do stand by it.
Todays post was going to be one of my famous and much sought-after critiques (you lucky people) but then I got an email from Laura that I just had to answer (with permission).
You said you don’t do adsense and make money online articles like Darren Rowse and Yaro Stark, why is that when you have traffic to make money doing that?
It’s an interesting question. I have had blogs where I did the adsense thing. I still have one in fact though it is very neglected. There is nothing really stopping me monetizing this blog. My reasons are
- I chose my niche and it is “authority blogs“, blogs built for stronger relationships, sharing expertise and to build a professional profile. It’s important to choose a niche and stick to it, at least 80% of the time.
- This is what I enjoy and am good at, why try to go up against established and dominant players with less than 100% enthusiasm?
- Authority blogs are tough but the best over a longer term
What do I mean by that last one?
An authority blog can have advertising and such, this is a spectrum not a either/or, but the best performing directly monetized blogs and sites will have aspects about them that reduce their authority appeal. By the same reasoning an authority blog will perform less well at driving adsense clicks. That said, if you are hoping to monetize your blog with banner advertising, text links, reviews and affiliate commissions, done delicately an authority blog is perfect.
With a made for adsense blog the goal is to get a torrent of traffic with the majority of visitors leaving right away via your highest paying adsense ads. At the other end of the continuum is a pure authority blog, for example Seth Godin, where the goal is to build up a loyal following who are motivated to buy books and hear him speak. Fast-food stand versus four-course banquet. One wants as many people as possible to leave quickly, the other wants a more concentrated and targeted group to stick around.
With an adsense blog it doesn’t really matter where the traffic comes from, you don’t actually have to serve them, just get the ads in their faces. If they don’t want to click your ads then you can use whatever low-down and dirty evil tricks to milk them all you like. You only have your concience in your way as they are never coming back and you don’t have to listen to their complaints. Spam away. Outsource your “content”. Who cares?
It’s much slower and harder with an authority blog to develop traffic as you have to be more choosy. It’s not enough just to do linkbait or SEO tricks, you have to attract the right people and delight them with your content so they subscribe and come back. Here you actually need to get to know your audience and what they like. You have to treat them as individuals rather than a herd of potential ad-clickers.
I can see how the “throw it up and don’t care but make a stack of cash” idea has appeal, particularly to anyone who wants to make their money fast and with little effort. But consider long term value. Which is going to be safer from the ups and downs of search engine changes? Who has to keep attracting new
victims visitors and who has a loyal readership who actually wants to see you succeed?
Anyone who has actually tried any get rich quick scheme will know how unsatisfying it is. Even when you do make money. I would much rather build something of lasting value, something you can be proud of, yes that makes money but by providing something people actually want and need.