Something that really alarms me is how many affiliates are sweating day and night to slap up adsense sites. All kinds of topics, all kinds of web formats, but the bottom line is – these sites are being thrown up to earn off adsense.
One of the things I learned early on was that to make money off the web, you have to have two things:
1. A site topic that has a demand (read: targeted traffic)
2. Targeted monetizing
I can build sites day and night about all my various passions, interests, hopes, dreams, fears – whatever. But if there’s no traffic, no one interested in those subjects – there’s no money. And if there’s traffic, but no targeted monetization – there’s no money.
We all know if I put up a website about being a compulsive crocheter – I have to put up targeted ads if I plan on making any money. If I put up a few ads for roller hockey or organic shampoo – I’ll make squat. So a site *has to* have ads that are targeted to the traffic.
Here’s where I get concerned with someone whose whole online business plan revolves around adsense.
1. What is your plan if Google boots you from the program?
2. What is your plan if/when adsense earnings take a dive?
3. What is your plan if a competitor bots you to oblivion and you get booted for fraudulent clicks?
All your little info sites you’re building around adsense – do you have other options available for them? Any backup plans? Before building sites around your chosen topics, have you checked to see if there are targeted affiliate programs that will tie in nicely with those subjects *just in case*?
If not, why not.
I have a website that was one of my first. It’s an info type site. The affiliate program I tied in with it did ok at first, but is now going *nowhere*. The time for it died months ago. I’m in a bind now because there really are not many other affiliate options for this site. At some point I’ll probably slap on adsense (I’m still fighting that).
What did I learn? Having traffic is great. But you better make sure you have options (as in plural – more than one) to monetize that traffic – otherwise what $$ good is that traffic going to do you?
When you build for any one affiliate network or ad company, base all your income plans around that one company – you are effectively making them your online boss.
Is that what you’re working so hard for online? To trade a real life boss for an online boss?
I’ll admit I throw my temper tantrums about merchants not converting, about networks that thrive from parasites, about cookie tracking issues and all that jazz. And I’ll also admit that sometimes it makes *sense* to pull non-performing merchants and replace them with adsense. Or even keep the merchant stuff up and use them as adsense food.
But to me that’s that absolute last option. I try to operate with the mindset of “what would I do if adsense wasn’t an option”. A lot of times – you will find other options if you keep digging and looking for them.
I just *really don’t* want to rely on Google’s paychecks (or any one network).
It doesn’t make sense to me to work so hard to trade in a paycheck from my real life boss to a paycheck from one online company. I see zero stability in that.