AdSense Tips: Stop Checking Your AdSense Account

When we look at how to make money with AdSense, there is one mistake made by beginners–and often advanced users–all the time:  Constant Checking of Your AdSense Account.

Why is this a mistake?

Because it takes away from what you should be doing!!!

As I wrote in Making Money Online: Do You Have the Time?, you cannot simply write an article and it will generate a ton of AdSense income.  Making money with AdSense takes times.

Usually, when people are constantly checking their AdSense account, they are hoping in vain that somehow they are going to have hit the jackpot that day on some post that they have created. 

Folks, it ain’t gonna happen!  Well, I suppose that there is an isolated chance that it could but usually it will not happen. 

I am not saying that you should not check your AdSense account.  In fact, there is a lot to be learned from doing so.  However, most people are checking their AdSense accounts simply hoping that today will be the big payday. 

They are doing like a raindance–hoping beyond logic that some external forces will make this the day that money rains down on them. 

If you are just starting with AdSense, you are not going to make much money.  It’s a simple matter of statistics and you can find those statistics in your web log files. 

How many people are accessing your website everyday?  100, 200, 500, 1000?  Well, that’s not enough.  You can plan on making probably about $2-15 per one thousand users each day.  Yes, I know it is a wide range but there are many factors too consider:  Are the AdSense ads relevant?  Are they ads properly placed?  Is it a high-paying AdSense topic? 

So, let’s say on average that you are going to make about $5 per 1000 visitors to your site.  Do you need to visit your AdSense every hour of the day to see if you earned an extra 5 cents in the last hour?

Here’s is how you win over time.  Create compelling content that people want to read and make sure people know about through an inbound link program.  To learn the essence of making money with AdSense, visit my initial article called how to make money with AdSense which teaches how to enter the AdSense game and make money from it.

Checking your AdSense account every hour will only divert you from what you should be doing!

Richard CummingsAdSense Tips: Stop Checking Your AdSense Account

Make Money With AdSense: Where to Begin

I started this Make Money with AdSense Blog after having spent years learning what works with AdSense and what does not.  This blog is about my experiences and how you can know what I know without going through years of the learning process.

Before you read anything else on this blog, you will want to check out the post entitled how to make money with AdSense

This page covers all of the big picture items that you will need to know to make money using Google AdSense.  If you follow the four-fold strategy high-lighted there, you will succeed with AdSense. 

So, why this blog?

Well, if you follow the four steps listed in the main article, you will have success with AdSense.  However, the details are important to go that extra mile.

And that is what this making money with AdSense blog is about:  the details.

When you work with AdSense, everyday you discover little nuances about Google AdSense that you didn’t know before. 

Since it is what I do on a daily basis, I like to share the ideas that come to me so that I can help others learn how to make money online and achieve their dream of working online.

Richard CummingsMake Money With AdSense: Where to Begin

AdSense and Ad Blindess: The Future of Google AdSense

In this article, I am going to take a look at AdSense and ad blindness and what this means for the future of Internet Advertising and, in particular, Google AdSense.

I have read articles ad nauseam about the best place to put Google AdSense ads.  In reality, there is no one exact answer because every website looks different.  The best way to find out what works best for you is to take a look at the Google AdSense Heat Map (which is Google telling you where to place ads…and they wouldn’t like because they have skin in the game too), test out ad placements on your particular site, and track their performance using Google AdSense Channels.  This will tell you how ads perform very quickly for your particular situation.

However, this article is not about the best place to put ads so that people will click on them.  This article asks the question:  In the future, will people click on AdSense Ads at all?

I have thought about this for awhile.  Obviously, if you base your much of your earnings on Internet Advertising, the future of Internet Advertising is of great importance.

Over time, since the advent of Internet Advertising began to take hold in the mid 90’s, many people learned to differentiate between the actual content of a page and the content that was advertising.  Most of these people would simply ignore the ads and focus on the content.  This behavioral pattern became known as ad blindness

Obviously, ad blindness effects everybody who is in the business of making money online through Internet advertising.

Another fact is this:  Computer savvy users are more ad-blind than non computer savvy users.   

This fact is not a mystery to anybody.  However, let’s look at the logical leap of this statement as it relates to the future of Internet advertising. 

The older non computer savvy users are dwindling in numbers.  We will soon reach an era that is 100% full of computer savvy users.  Thus, who will be left to click on AdSense Ads or Internet Ads in general.

In an article that I was reading called What is Google, the author points out a perfect example of this as he questions the actual future of Google. 

The author asked his mom and his sister to each view a webpage that he had created.  He noticed that his mom–the non computer savvy user–clicked on lots of ads.  However, the sister–the computer savvy user–did not click on any ads.

Does this situation spell the end of AdSense ads and Internet advertising as we know it? 

It’s not an unreasonable question to ask.

However, advertisers continue to “up their game”.  How do I know?  Well, this morning as I was updating my copying DVDs website, I saw an ad for an MTV toolbar that can be installed in your browser and I wanted to click it.  I really wanted to click it!  But obviously, I couldn’t because it was my website. 

So, as someone who is computer savvy and normally ad blind, I still find myself tempted to click on well-presented ads from these Internet advertisers who have upped their game

Do you?

…Share your thoughts on the future of Internet Advertising and AdSense in particular in the comments below…

Richard CummingsAdSense and Ad Blindess: The Future of Google AdSense

AdSense and Thesis Theme: Placing An Ad in the Header, Addendum

In this article, I am going to explain how to place an AdSense Ad in between the site name and tagline in the Thesis WordPress theme.

I just wrote a piece entitled AdSense and the Thesis WordPress Theme which you may want to read before this one.  This explains how to place ads in the Thesis theme.

After having just re-read the article, I began tinkering again with AdSense and the Thesis Theme.  In particular, I wanted to experiment with placing a 468 x 60 graphical AdSense unit in between the Site Name and the Tag Line in your Thesis Theme header.   
It turns out…it’s rather easy. (You can see it now on this make money with AdSense page…if I have decided to keep it. Update March 16, 2010: I have temporarily removed this because I want to check with Google about it and make sure its ok…any thoughts?)

To begin, look at the HTML code of your site by choosing View | Source in your browser.  Find the header section which should look something like this:

<div id="header">
<p id="logo">
<a href="http://makemoneywithadsense.thisishowyoudoit.com">Make Money With AdSense</a></p>
<p id="tagline">Making Money With Google AdSense From Someone Who Does It</p>
</div>

Now, simply copy the lines that exist between the DIV tags.

Next, go into your WordPress Presentation section and bring up your Thesis OpenHook plugin page. Visit my previous article to find out how great the Thesis OpenHook Plugin and install it right now if you have not.

Now, on the Thesis Open Hook plugin page, place these lines in the “header” section–make sure that you do not add the lines themselves as this will screw up your formatting.

Next, ad your 468 x 60 AdSense code in between the two lines.

Lastly, be sure to check the box that says “Remove Thesis Default Header”.

Now, you have an AdSense graphical ad between your site name and tagline in the Thesis WordPress Theme.

I have never placed an add in this location before but it may work out well as people navigate back to your home site and get enticed by the graphic that they see there.

I will let you know how it turns out.

Richard CummingsAdSense and Thesis Theme: Placing An Ad in the Header, Addendum

AdSense and the Thesis WordPress Theme

In this article, I will review how to implement AdSense with the Thesis WordPress theme.  At the very least, I will tell you how I did it.

First off, let me tell you about my goals with this site, Make Money with AdSense, that I just started yesterday.  Since I use AdSense quite a bit, I like to write about my observations.  I think people can learn a  lot about my adventures–and misadventures–with AdSense.

However, this is not my primary blog and I did not want to spend too much time on design.  But, I wanted it to look simple and nice with AdSense Ads that stood out from the rest.

I chose the Thesis theme for WordPress because I absolutely love how it presents text.  The written word in the Thesis theme looks better than anywhere else.

And, basically, this will be a written blog without lots of pictures so I thought the Thesis Theme served that purpose well.

My goals were simple…or so I thought. 

I wanted to use the basic Thesis layout and put three AdSense Ads, two graphics and one text box, on each page along with one AdSense link ads.

The first AdSense graphic was to be placed along the top next to the title.  On this site, you can see I did not achieve that very well.  It exists above the title because my title on this site is too long.  You can see my site copying DVDs for what I really wanted to achieve.

The second AdSense graphic was to be placed in the top right as you see on this page.  I thought it would be easy to use the AdSense multimedia box for this but I was mistaken.

The third AdSense text block was to be placed under the title of the article as you see on this page.

And finally, the AdSense link ad would go in the sidebar.

So, these were my simple goals.  As you can see on my how to make money with AdSense page,  I know how to create WordPress sites and I know how to implement Google ads very easily. Thus, I thought adding them with Thesis would be a snap.

I could not have been more mistaken.

If you fancy yourself a WordPress expert–as I kind of do, you will quickly realize that your skills mean virtually nothing when it comes to the Thesis theme.  Working on the Thesis theme for a WordPress expert is like switching from Windows XP to Linux–it’s a huge learning curve that takes time.

As I was trying to figure out Thesis, I was reminded of a line from Pulp Fiction when John Travolta and Samuel Jackson are talking about a foot massage.  I will paraphrase it to make it AdSense friendly:  “Giving a woman a foot massage and going the distance with her are two completely different things.  They are not even in the same ball park or the same league.  Heck, the are not even the same sport.”  I apologize…sanitizing Pulp Fiction just doesn’t work ;).  Anyway, that is how I felt…

…like traditional WordPress Themes and the Thesis Theme were not even the same sport!

Be that as it may, I like to learn, and love the look of the WordPress Theme, so I jumped right in.

With this article, hopefully, I can save you some time.

So, let’s get started with the square 300 x 250 AdSense graphic that you see on the right.  I like to use AdSense Graphics there not so much because people will follow them as much as they the simple fact that they ad graphics to the page because I am not a great graphical artist and don’t want to take the time to create graphics for these posts.

So, for this graphic, I assumed that i could use the Thesis Multimedia box.  I assumed wrong.  I first tried to follow some instructions on the Internet about how to resize the box but nothing worked. 

Thus, within the Thesis options, I simply removed the multimedia box. 

Then, within the Thesis options, I changed the default layout to one column and made the right hand column the same width as the AdSense Ad, 300 pixels.  I put a text widget on the top, with no title, and added my AdSense code there.

One down, several to go.

Next up…the AdSense Text Ad under the title.

Mind you, as an experienced WordPress user, I am simply accustomed to modifying the single.php and this takes all of 2 minutes.  However, with the Thesis theme, there is no single.php AND there are NO traditional WordPress files of any kind to manipulate. 

All theme manipulation takes place in two files:  custom.css and custom_functions.php. 

Custom.css is pretty standard if you have ever had to modify your WordPress CSS file before, but custom_functions.php is, again, “like a whole other sport.”

But we already dove in, right?

The custom_functions.php file is a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is that every singe theme modification takes place in one file.  This is very solid programming logic–you can never disrupt the core of the theme.  However, the curse is that it is an almighty pain in the arse to use!

But fortunately there is help.  You see…the Thesis theme is a marketing brain child.  Everyone promotes it because they get a cut of the purchases.  Thus, everyone writes help articles about it in the hopes of selling more (do they realize that people who need help have already purchased it?) 

Anyway, suffice to say, there is ample help out there for the Thesis theme.  However, I could not find enough information on AdSense and Thesis and that is why I am writing an article about it.

Ok, so here is what you need to do.

First, install the Thesis OpenHook plugin.  This makes the custom php file more tolerable.  The real pain with the custom php file in Thesis is all of the opening and closing of the PHP requests.  I couldn’t keep track of it all.  The Thesis OpenHook plugin does away with all of that.

So, once you got that installed follow these instructions to ad the following AdSense ads.

The AdSense Ad Under the Title

To set this up, place your AdSense Code in the “Before Post” section of the Thesis OpenHook plugin page which can be found under “Appearance”.

The AdSense Link Unit Above the Title
Put your AdSense code in the Before Headline section of the OpenHook Plugin.

The AdSense Link Next to the Blog Title

This is not really working as I want on this blog.  My goal was to have this AdSense block as it appears on my copying DVDs website.  However, the title of this blog, make money with AdSense, was simply too long of a title to make it work.  As it is, I think it turned out ok. I am going to run with it this way and see.  I could probably decrease the size of the title if I want it to fit but maybe I’ll do that later.

Anyway, if you want your 468 x 60 ad to appear next to your title as it does on my copying DVDs website, here is how you do it.

In the Header section of the OpenHook Plugin, add the following code:
<div id=”header_ad”>
your adsense ad code
</div>

Now, we need to define the “header_ad” in our custom.css file.  Make sure that you have enabled custom.css in your Thesis options for this to take affect.

Now, go to your custom.css file which can be found under presentation and add the following lines:

/*- Top Banner -*/
.custom #header_ad {
float:right;
position:absolute;
width:468px;
height:60px;
top:70px;
margin-left: 36em;
}

These were the settings that worked for me.  I have to thank this article, How to Add Custom Banner Ad in Thesis Theme Header, for leading me in the right direction for this AdSense ad in the Thesis header.

I had to change the margins but other than that his instructions worked great. 

Well, as you can see, it was no small ordeal for me to get started with Thesis but now that I know the ropes I can get stuff up and operating quickly.

I have also have to thank whoever created the Thesis OpenHook Plugin.  This thing is awesome and takes the devil out of the details.  Let me find the site so I can give him credit.  His name is Rick Beckman.  Thansk Rick…you da man!

Also, one more thought.  Another thing that really helps when setting up AdSense with the Thesis theme is the Thesis Hook Map (a Google search will return many).  This map, like the AdSense Heat Map, will tell you about all the Hook Hotspots.

Well, I hope this article will help you all out there as you try to add AdSense to the Thesis theme.  At first, if you are a traditional WordPress user, there is a steep, steep learning curve…but you get used to it.

Richard CummingsAdSense and the Thesis WordPress Theme

Making Money Online: Do You Have the Time?

Many people try to make money online, but most of them do not have a solid long-term strategy.  In this article, we will take a look at a case study of someone who tried to make money online, but just didn’t have the time to achieve her dreams..

One of the great ironies with making money online is that in today’s world of wanting “everything now”, greatly assisted by the advent of the Internet, the actual act of making money online takes a long time.

And if you do not have the time, you will give up just before you will start earning an income online.

Let me tell you about a little story about my friend Barbara.  Barbara decided that she wanted to be a work from home mother.  Her goal was to achieve a sustainable income online so that she could spend much more time with her kids, rather than send them to day care and spend the whole day at the office.

Barbara had read about making money online through the creation of a blog.  She researched how to create a blog and considered the many things of interest to her.  At the time, her greatest interest was raising kids.  Thus, she started a blog about raising kids.

Barbara took 4 hours each day to write about raising kids and then took 3 more hours to promote her website through various techniques that she had read about.  After about 2 months, Barbara had generated about 100 visitors to her website.  She then implemented Google AdSense on her site but quickly realized that 100 visitors a day does not bring in very much money.

Then one day, one of her blog posts became very hot!  It was “stumbled upon” by social networkers.  This particular post generated 10,000 visitors in one day and Barbara made $75 on that day.  Barbara was so excited and did some quick math.  If I can just do this twice a day, she thought, I can make well over $3,000 a month.

But it never happened.  Barbara was never stumbled upon again and, after 3 more months, she was sitting at 125 visitors a day again and earning practically no money online.

After one year, and very little money, Barbara gave up on working from home and got her office job back.

In the end, Barbara’s problem was time.  You will find many get rich quick schemes on the Internet, but they won’t work.  The only solid strategies to make money online are those that take time and dedication.

In fact, if you do not have at least 2 years to set aside to earn money online, your best bet is to keep your day and begin your online empire in your spare time!

Richard CummingsMaking Money Online: Do You Have the Time?

Google AdSense Click Through Rate and Smart-Pricing

If you use Google AdSense on your blog, you should know about the term CTR, or click through rate.  Your Google AdSense click through rate determines how much money you will make online and, quite possibly, whether you will get AdSense smart-priced.

Let’s start this article off with something I was told yesterday:  “You should take Google AdSense ads off of heavily trafficked pages with a low click through rate.”

An odd quote, don’t you think?  Aren’t our heavily trafficked pages the ones on which we want to put Google AdSense?  Aren’t the pages with the most traffic the ones that will bring in the most money?

These would all seem to be logical questions.  More traffic equals more money.  This is what the gurus endlessly tell us.  However, this advice-to take Google AdSense off of popular pages-is just the contrary.  Can lower traffic equal more money?

Well, to understand this, let’s take a look at the metric AdSense defines as the click through rate.  As Google defines it, this metric measures “how often users click on your ads”.  Thus, if 100 people view your web page, and one person clicks the ad, you have a CTR of 1%.

A high CTR is a good thing.  This means that more people are clicking your ads and that you will make more money.  Of course, advertisers pay different amounts for different subjects.  As an example, an advertiser might be paying much more for a click about insurance than for a click about music.

To figure out what your actual earnings will be for each 1,000 impressions, AdSense uses a metric called eCPM.  This is a measurement that tells you approximately what you will earn for each 1,000 impressions on your AdSense pages.

So, if a popular page has a low CTR, this will mean you will make less money because very few people click the ads.  However, why should you remove AdSense from this page?  It still earns money, right?

Well, this is where the speculation begins as we look at a concept called AdSense smart-pricing.  Let’s take a look at this term-smart-pricing– which remains very undefined by Google.  The idea is that, in the end, advertisers pay for clicks in the hopes to make sales.  If they don’t make sales, they will stop buying ads.  Thus, on the backend, Google works with their customers to determine if they are making money.  If AdSense on a particular webpage does not generate sufficient customers, that AdSense account-the whole account-will get smart-priced, meaning that you will get paid less for each click and earn less money.

Google claims that CTR has nothing to do with smart-pricing.  However, many in the industry disagree with this.  The thinking goes like this.  If you have a page with a low CTR, people are not that interested in the ads that are being shown.  So, even if a user clicks, they are not likely to buy whatever the advertiser is selling.  Thus, in the end, the Google client-the advertiser-will not make much money and your Google AdSense account will be smart-priced and all of your other pages will be penalized because of this one page.

Of course, this is all speculation because Google does not provide much information on smart-pricing.  However, if you have popular page with a very low CTR, you may want to remove Google Adsense for a time and see if your earning’s improve.

Richard CummingsGoogle AdSense Click Through Rate and Smart-Pricing