Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How I Increased My Adsense Revenue – How You Can Too!

Please note: While some of the material in this blog is relevant, any mention of Google Affiliate ads is not. However, parts of this blog are relevant even today, so I chose not to delete it, especially since I refer to this blog in another blog. So please ignore the Google Affiliate references, and pay attention to Adsense and Amazon Affiliates.


When I first started blogging in January of 2009 (my first blog was A Day In My Life), I knew nothing about blogging and I knew nothing about Adsense. I had crazy images of a home on the lake, a screened-in back porch that looked out over the lake, a tall glass of iced water with one slice of lemon, a laptop on my lap, and residual income accumulating in my bank.

What I later discovered was that Adsense wouldn't send a payment until my Adsense account reached $100. My first payment didn't arrive until June of 2011 – yeah, it took me two and a half years to make my first $100 – not exactly an amount anybody can live on.

Thinking I could make more money from Amazon, I signed up with them and I prayed things would turn around for me. With any luck I could actually make a living with Amazon. Things were looking good (well, except for when I got breast cancer that same year) UNTIL Amazon pulled out of Illinois because Illinois tacked on such exorbitant taxes it caused even Jimmy Johns to consider leaving the state. My hopes of cashing in on Amazon disappeared. (Illinois, under pressure from many factions, later changed its policy, and Amazon decided to stay.)

So I was back to Adsense as my only source of blogging income. 

No Longer Relevant: But then Google came up with another idea – an idea that was perfect for me, other Illinois residents, and everyone else. Like every new idea, implementing this one would take time and strategy for bloggers.

What was the idea that would help increase revenue for bloggers? Let me explain visually. If you take a look at my first blog (linked above), you will notice ads in the middle of the blog – Google Affiliate Ads (which I have since changed to Amazon Affiliate Ads – read the update below). Those types of ads were not available in January of 2009. I recently added them and resurrected the blog – something you, too, can do to generate even more income. Now look above that blog and to the side of the blog. There you will notice Adsense ads, referred to as AdChoices. 

Pay attention to the ad(s) that appear under AdChoices, and then go to a different blog of mine, one of my more popular blogs, Forensic Babies. Notice the difference. AdChoices ads are not the same from blog to blog. Google places relevant ads according to what you've written in your blog. (Amazon Affiliates allow you to choose your own ads.

You never know in advance what Google ads will appear in your blog, but even if what Google places doesn't seem relevant, the ad itself can generate income if people purchase the products listed there. 


CHANGED: If, like me, you were never successful at making money from Adsense, you might find more success with Amazon Affiliate Ads because you can choose which ads will appear in your blog. When people purchase products they find in your blog, Amazon places money in your Adsense account.

Finding relevant ads might be difficult at first, but keeping the theme of your blog in mind when you choose your ads will help. Depending on the length of your blog, place ads only after every three or so paragraphs. Any more and your blog will look as if the only purpose for it being there is to generate money. Provide interesting content that your readers will enjoy reading. If you fill it with only a bunch of ads, you'll lose readers.

After you place Amazon Affiliate ads, you'll probably notice an improvement in your Adsense account (I did), because when people buy the products you've placed in your blog, you get a percentage of the sale.

To be honest, I don't blog very often even though I write numerous blogs (see the sidebar). I'm sure that if I spent more time blogging I would see an even better increase in my Adsense account. Right now, though, I'm crocheting hats for grandchildren and cancer patients, and I'm spending time caring for my grandchildren. 

But I'm not here to discuss my other ventures. I'm here to discuss how YOU can make more money from your blogs.

If you don't already know how to add Adsense to your blog, or if you don't already have a blog and you want to monetize (make money from) your blog with Adsense, get a Google Blog (Blogger.com).

Once you have a blog, go to Layout.




Then go to Add a Gadget.



When the new window pops up, scroll down to Adsense.



Follow the instructions from there.

To improve your chances of increasing revenue, find relevant ads (specific ads that relate to your blog topic). If you cannot find ads that relate to one particular blog, find ads relevant to your blog theme. One of my blogs, Help for Single Parents, includes ads that concern children, parents, and grandparents. In other words, I don't find ads that relate just to single parents.

Can't think of a topic that's product-related? Consider writing about upcoming holidays, and include holiday-specific ads. At various times throughout the year, certain events arise, like the beginning of school when children need school supplies. People celebrate birthdays all year round. Gifts for every type of circumstance can find their way into your blog. Think of what you might want to purchase. Amazon offers all kinds of items. What else do you think is "hot" right now? How about a Nintendo 3DS? Plug it in! Like this:




Check your Adsense account before you set up Amazon Affiliate ads. Check your Adsense account every day for a couple of weeks. Then set up your Amazon Affiliate account. Wait a couple more weeks. Check your Adsense account to see if you've increased your sales. It worked for me. Good luck!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

My Brain – On Internet



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Let me explain something to you, Internet. You confuse me. First you had me get my own email address and you forced me to join MySpace, where I had to change my password – twice – because I got phished. Simple enough. But then you wanted me to join FaceBook and Twitter. OK, I can handle that.
But because I was (still am) a writer who needs to express myself, I needed more from you. You graciously referred me to Associated Content, or was that Google who referred me? Maybe I'm really upset with Google. But, anyway, AC changed – a LOT – including its name, and now I have to call it Yahoo Voices.
(Great! – One more piece of invaluable information to add to my brain.)
Because I found it exceedingly difficult to live on $3.60 a month from Yahoo, I joined Blogsvertise and Xomba too. But that wasn't enough for you, was it, you greedy gigantic monolith! 
No, it wasn't. I kept getting recommendations to sign up for this site, then sign up for that site, then this site, then that site. And I started collecting passwords, passwords I could never in a kajillion years remember.

I got inundated with requests to join sites like LinkedIn and GoodReads (I haven't even uploaded any books there yet) and other sites I haven't been able to figure out, like Klout. Then I joined Pinterest. 
I'm suffering, Internet. I can't contain all these passwords in one head!!!!! I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with all the blogs I write on Blogger and Wordpress, and I'm still getting requests to join this site and that site and this site and that site. I even have requests to join families I've never met and join high school reunions from high schools I never attended.
People I've never met want to join my family. How many family tree sites do you have anyway? And why can't we just combine all of them into one big happy family. We're all related anyway, right?
With precarious Internet connections, staying online is difficult if not downright impossible sometimes, but when I finally get back online, everybody keeps asking me to PLAY GAMES with them – where I need more passwords! How many passwords can a person remember? And, really, games? How will I ever find time to play games?
In addition to all of those Internet problems, I pay bills online, but do you know what happens every time I go to my email account? Yahoo Messenger loads people I've never met who want to converse with me! 

Tell them I'M BUSY! I know you know I'm busy, because you seem to know everything else about me. It's bad enough I get interrupted all day long by people I know. Now I'm getting interrupted by strangers! If I went to the post office to drop off my bills, strangers wouldn't approach me to ask me if I wanted to be their friends.
If I paid my bills in person, nobody would rush up to me and demand I have a conversation with them. But these people just pop up on my email page and expect to converse with me. Why? 
Here's what I want to know, Internet – What is your agenda? 
I get friend requests on FaceBook from people who have no affiliation with any of my other friends. How did they find me? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? 
Seriously, I want to know, but frankly, I'm afraid to ask. Because maybe they belong to one of the multitudinous sites I belong to. But maybe I can't remember who they are, BECAUSE WHAT'S TAKING UP ROOM IN MY HEAD IS THE STORAGE OF SO MANY PASSWORDS THAT I HAVE NO ROOM FOR ANYTHING ELSE! 

I'll be honest, Internet, these people scare me. I watch NCIS and Criminal Minds, and I know what happens if people become irate with others for not remembering them. These cyberstalkers could track me down and kill me. They're probably predators – you know – the kind of people who will try to sell me products I don't need or who want to talk me into joining cults I don't want to join.
Seriously, Internet, you see me slave away at my writing. I have no time for interrupters. I want to throw a pail of water on them and scream, "BEGONE!" as I watch them shrivel into the ground crying, "What a world; what a world." 
Really, it all just boils down to one problem. I'm getting so tired of having passwords sent to me over and over and over again. I feel as if my insides are crawling with bugs. I'm agitated and annoyed. I can't keep up with all this crap. Right now I have over 17 thousand unread emails in my yahoo account and over 1400 unread emails in my google account. And that's not all – I have three more email accounts. 
The thing is, Internet, though I'd like to break up with you, I can't. I depend on you. I need you. I know – that's my problem – not yours. But can you see how you are affecting me? I'm talking to you as if you are a real person and it's making me crazy!

Calm down, I tell me. Calm down. 
OK. Now that I have had this blog sitting in my "save" file for over a week, BECAUSE I FORGOT MY PASSWORD AGAIN, I will try to post it, because – guess what? I now have a password file (hidden within another file so nobody can randomly find my passwords)! Fortunately my computer has a great "find" function, because I usually forget where that file is.
You know, one of my favorite Sunday morning Beatles radio personalities used to say, "Button, button, where is the button?" I find myself saying, "Password, password, where is the password?" But I've remedied that problem. But just so you know, I'm NOT joining any more sites! So don't even ask!
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