>As a passionate advocate of the power of the pen (and pixel), I’m always on the lookout for great sites that sort of embody what I believe makes for a stellar user experience – and exemplifies great marketing to boot: Great content, good design, (for a content heavy site) good flow, lots of user engagement and interactivity, and a great PASSION for the topic at hand clearly evident by the content creators. And askdanandjennifer.com is simply a stellar example of what good content will do coupled with a couple shrewd self promoting ( and in this context, I mean that in the best possible way) site owners who obviously love talking about SEX, which is, the central theme of the site. (And one of the few sites with half naked women and lots X rated content I can tell my girlfriend I really AM looking at just for the articles..:-) [click to continue…]
I’m going to be honest – I think I may be on the early side of losing a bit of my youthful 20/20 vision, but I had to re-focus twice when I came across this site to differentiate which of these were navigational links, and which were google ads. And I don’t keep track anymore of what is kosher, and what’s not on the Adsense TOS, but if this is considered ok, I can’t imagine how this girl’s click through rate on this page isn’t 30% plus. The whole page is simply made up of a few navigational links framed by adsense ads, with a few amazon banners thrown in for good measure. And ironically, the "webmaster" who runs this site is a pretty well known white hat social media maven who sort of explains the do’s and dont’s of good social marketing ecology. ( ie – don’t stumble your own submissions, do add value to the community, blah, blah….blah, blah.)
It used to be that the little link units were a great way to turbocharge your navigational bar clickthrough rates, and of course before then, simply butting your ads up against your pictures ( ie – offline studies for years showed that people looked at "hero shot" pictures first, and then the text immediately underneath the picture for a framing visual reference…no suprise that running ads under these spots was phenomenal for CTR)
Anyway – if this is allowed, I’d recommend building some content pages just like this for your easy click landing pages, you can use a great tool like Keyword Country which will identify the absolute BEST paying keywords in the adsense program in any number of niches, simply build the pages, optimize the page with good content, and you could probably make some dead easy money on article directory traffic, press release directories and Craigslist, et al. I’ll bet you even those click avoiding, banner blind social network stumblers might stumble their way into a few easy clicks your way as well. Oh well. Another day, another idea I’ll never follow up on.
I came across a few very handy plugins earlier on today while working with someone privately who has a HUGE site with great content in a popular niche with extremely high paying keywords. As I’ve written on here a few times recently, I’ve seen my own adsense payouts diminsh considerably across a number of smaller niches, as have lots of other people, leading to all kinds of speculations as to why – ie – is Google simply taking the hard and heavy slice of the proverbial pie, or have some of these sites ( or publishers like myself) simply sinned in the eyes of Google gods…causing our accounts to simply be marked for payout degradation? I have no idea, but I did want to use the phrase "payout degradation" in a sentence – so either way I feel better. My sense is probably a combination of the two – I noticed my payouts diminishing after playing the arbitrage game for a while quite successfully, and simply had to stop at a certain point as even with 35% CTR on some sites - the adsense return was getting so small as to become a losing proposition. So you live by the sword, you die by the same sharp instrument. I understand and am ok with that.
The truth is, I personally have tried to incorporate lots of differnet monitization models in my own business for a long time, and rarely rely on contextual ads to make or break a site. ( although Yahoo has been paying out extremely well in many niches – the relevance part of the equation simply sucks – and I’m sick of running "bank of america" ads on my dating and diet sites.)
That said – the aforementioned individual I’m working with has a ton of pages – all are not monetized but for some simple Amazon links, they get pretty good traffic already, and are making almost NO money whatsoever from what I think is a great site in a fantastic niche. What we needed, was an easy way to go in to and retroactively place adsense ( or yahoo) ads in all of the posts and pages, all getting lots of daily views, and spanning a few years worth of content. Denis Debenardy’s Semiologic and Ad Spaces plugin did this phenomenally well, and was one of the primary and sexier options offered on his great WordPress professional blogging platform. ( which I still love – but don’t use on as many sites as I once did purely from an aesthetics standpoint – plus he has changed ad serving wizards to Whoseesads – also very good, but I haven’t fully wrapped my brain around)
So the quest was for a simple plugin that would do this – and in a time efficient manner – ( as they, nor I was hand posting adsense dating back a few years)
We came across two great plugins that I was wholly unaware of, which are really great for this sort of thing, especially if you are working with ( or are) someone who has spent a lot of time passionately building a site, but havent’ really thought about how much money you may be leaving on the table until now. And of course, both of them are totally free, again proving that WordPress developers are some of the coolest and most creatively generous people on the planet.
Adsense Manager is a fantastic plugin that will add a whole wide variety of code into your posts – from simple html, to many of the popular affilaite networks like cj and adbrite et al, and of course will tackle adsense and YPN as well. I installed it tonight and played with some of the options, and it is very cool – recenly upgraded in the last week or two so it’s piping hot fresh – and does all kinds of neat things that you can’t do easily with other ad management software through WP. The one drawback to adsense manager, with all of it’s advanced features, is it looks like you DO need to add a template tag into your post to pull the ad code, which on a big site retrospectively – is still going to be a pain in the ass.
The upside is it supports lots of networks out of box, and was a pure pleasure to set up – literally had it installed and configured in 10 minutes.
All in one adsense & ypn does not support the other affiliate networks straight away. What it does, very simply is what I needed to do for the above site. You install the plugin, enter your YPN or Adsense publisher id – and it will stick ads in your brand new site – or the site you put up when you and Al Gore were discovering the internets. 25,000 pages of good piping hot content with no ads? Simply set up this great plugin, and no template tokens, no playing with the code, it will put the defined ads you selected ( size, positioning, etc) in ALL your posts and pages ( or exclude ones you specify in advance – or through a per post exclusion) and you can take pages that were completely non-monetized at 5.00 PM – at 5:05 all those pages are running beautiful ad spots of your choosing. I love it.
( it also has a great randomizer to defeat ad blindness – i.e. – rather than simply sitcking all of the ads in one pretty place – top left of the post for example, it will mix them up – so that you, me, nor your visitors "see" them before they read the post – they are random and much more likely to appear part and parcel of the post.
of course I don’t even want to start thinking about feedwordpress for auto generated blogs on the fly in combination with the above – because that would just simply be wrong. And the Vatican did come out with a whole new list of sins today – splogs and spamming Craigslist were both high on the list.
Thank God I’m Jewish.
Good luck, and have fun!
(photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m68000/)
(Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs )
I found this article very interesting….Especially in light of the numerous references we have made here in regard to adsense and other contextual advertising methods being degraded as an ongoing income stream in my own business. I still recommend OIO publisher as a great vehicle for taking back control of your own advertising revenue, for 37 bucks you get quite possibly the most robust ad managment plugin available for WordPress. Obviously OpenAds.org is another great choice….and is free to boot. Regardless – if you are publishing multiple sites across a variety of niches and expect Adsense revenue to keep the merry go round rolling unabated, I would think again. Check out what I feel is a very worthwhile read at the link below. [click to continue…]