Yes, I know. Adsense sucks. Adsense is for newbies. Adsense makes pennies. You can’t be a baller with Adsense.
All that is true.
But, an advanced affiliate must use every single tool in his arsenal, and honestly, it is dumb to neglect Adsense. You should never rely on a single method of monetizing your sites, and you should definitely not rely on Adsense alone to make money.
You should be multidimensional when monetizing your sites. Find all the tools online that can make revenue, try them all, master them all, and apply them to the appropriate circumstances. Sometimes, a site works well with paid links, like Text-link-ads. Or maybe the classic banner space. Affiliate links for the products you review. Whatever.
This post is not to discuss alternate monetizing methods, but to use a proven set-it-and-forget-it method. Many people (even me) have turned away from Adsense due to their┬áridiculous┬áterms, the bans, the crappy payouts. But it is still a monetizing tool that fits the vast majority of sites.
I am not telling you to slap Adsense on every site you own, quite the contrary. Use it only on your sites that don’t perform well with other methods (no-one buys your links, or never converting banners etc). Every affiliate has some “dead weight” sites in his arsenal, that get little traffic and they wield no revenue by other means.
Anyway, here is an example of how I used Adsense. The site is Greek but you don’t need to read anything, this is just a screenshot to show you the layout.
This is a Thesis theme, 2 column setting. The sidebar on the right is thin, just enough to fit in the useful stuff. Under the image rotator on the top right, I put up an Adsense ad, which is the only monetization method used on the site. Yes, a single ad, no more. It is placed near the picture, but under a “sponsor” text to be TOS compliant. It is clearly above the fold.
This example is not a money site, so I did not want to create the classic adsense minefield. But here is what I noticed:
Having a single ad in a good ctr place has benefits. This setup has very good click through rates, averaging 2% but with spikes of even 5%. Also, the average cost per click is maxed out. Since there is only adspace for one ad, only the top bidding advertiser gets shown. By truncating all the low-bidding ads I got a great performance from this┬áset-up.
I am not saying that this method rocks, or that it will increase revenue. I am just sharing what I stumbled on, and I suggest you try it out. Or at least, take this post as an excuse to try out things out of the norm.
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