Wednesday, April 12, 2006
The position of your ads is a highly important factor. Gettign your ads in the correct spot can increase clickthrough by a huge amount.
To begin with, there are some golden rules:
- Always position your ads 'above the fold' so that users can see them on the page without having to scroll at all(even on a lower resolution eg 800x600).
- If possible, place your ads alongside you other site navigation, or even better - in the main content area. If your ads are somewhere where your eye's 'MUST' pass to be able to read the rest of your content, they will be seen.
People are beginning to get used to text ads, in the same way they got used to 468x60 banners. As this begins to happen, there will be more and more 'banner-blindness' even with text ads such as adsensze ads. However, a well thought out and well positioned adsense ad can still do very well. You just have to make it look less like a banner and more like an integral part of your site.
I have a site which uses 468x60 adsense ads. It performs better than any other ad I have on any of my other sites. It has no border, is blended, well positioned amongst relevant content, and has 4pixel top and bottom padding - (making it appear to not be 468x60, as there is more space above and below it.) This simple tweak seems to negate the banner-blindness, and keep people clicking.
Try it out on your blogs and let me know if you have the same success with it.
Making money from blogging is like cooking, if you follow the recipie to every last detail and are willing to persist, you'll eventually get it right.
There are many techniques for increasing adsense click through rate (CTR) floating around the web. The most obvious commonly used one is to 'blend you ads'. Chances are you probably know what I'm talking about already, but if not, I'll lay it down in laymans terms.
Simply change the colour of your adsens ads to make it blend in with your blog. the background of you ad should be the same colour as the background of your site, the link colour the same and text also colour the same. Some say that making your links 'just a hint' lighter than the ones on your site subconciously get's people to click on them more. This is debateable.
Another trick which I have found to greatly increase clickthrough is by putting a 'relevant' image to the left or top of an ad. People subconciously think the image is related to the ad text and click it. This can sometimes be considered trickery though and is sometimes frowned upon as bad practice.
The last thing you want is for your readers to desert your site because you are tricking them into clicking something they thought was part of your site.
Always make sure you keep an eye on the ads being shown, making sure they are relevant. If they arent, try tweaking the text on your page, ie add more 'kewords' to your text. Adsense often does a good job of working out relevant ads based on your content, but if your content isn't clearly labled then it can't do it's job correctly. This will also help with general SEO and should push your blogs up the search engines a little too.
Always remove irrelevant ads. You can specify in the adsense admin centre, to block certain ads. People are unlikely to click on something which has no relevance, and therefore removing this will always keep your CTR nice and high.
Make use of adsense's alternative ads functionality. If adsense runs out of relevant ads, you can force it to show an ad of your choice. This makes sure you are still showing somethign relevant, and you can show a different ad which produces revenue, as opposed to the Public Service ads which don't generate anything!
Monday, April 10, 2006
Once you've chosen the topic that is going to make you rich, it's time to put it into action.
I am going to use blogger.com as an example here, but you can use any blogging site, or even code your own if you are feeling like a real challenge.
Sign up to blogger.com, try to sign up with descriptive usernames and blog names. Your blog name will appear as the first part of your blog's web address e.g. [blogname].blogspot.com
By choosing something highly relevant and descriptive to your blog, it will help with search engine optimisation, and even people's perception of your blog. For Example, if you are writing a blog about cats, it would be good to get a url like catsinfoblog.blogspot.com or something like that as it is descriptive.
Once this is done, and you've signed up. Start configuring your first blog properly. Go through all the various setting pages, picking the options that are relevant to you. Hint: more user-interaction enabled, increases likelyness that people will stay longer on your blog, as they feel they can get involved to some extent. As a minimum, enable comments.
More coming soon...
This is probably one of the most important things to get right when starting a new blog.
You must always:
- choose a topic that you find interesting
- choose a topic which many people will be interested in
- choose a topic which you will be able to write about for a long time
Whateve topic you end up going for though, don't just settle for high-paying keyword topics and such though, bucause no matter how 'high-paying' a topic may be, you might not be able to inspire yourself to write abut it enough to be able to make it successful.
Blogging takes a lot of effort, patience and persistance, and it would be very painful if not impossible to write a successful blog about something your heart is not in.
Blog for yourself, blog for knowledge and community spirit, and blog to improve the quality and accessability of the information on the internet. Because if you are blogging simply just to get rich, it will probably never happen!
Sunday, April 09, 2006
There's so much hype these days about people making a living from blogging a simple topic and putting Adsense on their blog to generate ad-revenue.
However, as with most things there is some truth to it. But there is also a lot of hard work involved and only people who know what they are doing, and who have the will-power to persist are usually the ones who succeed.
There are many steps to a successful adsense blog, I shall highlight these below, then go into these in detail throughout the series.
- think of a topic (something you can write lots on and will enjoy sharing your knowledge of.)
- create a blog (blogger.com blogs are good, as they allow Adsense ads, some others don't)
- join adsense (this can be done from within the blogger.com interface)
- blend your ads
- reposition your ads
- track your blog
- get inbound links
- related sites
- add relevant outbound links
- post often
- ping often
- post in advance
- reply to comments
- set up an email address
- reply to popular questions via a 'generic' blog post
- think of more ideas to generate more topics - branch out a little to 'similar' topics if necessary (but don't stray too far)
- persist persist persist
Here I wish to start a series of blogs on a whole host of professional tried-and-tested techniques for making money on the web. Both web developemnt and blogging will be covered, on all different levels from non techy to techy.
I have been in the industry since 1995, so have over 11 years of experience and have been involved in every level of internet work from hardware, to software, networking, marketing, promotion, partnerships, SEO and web technologies.
Hope you enjoy the show!