Making Money with Google AdSense

I started running ads from Google's AdSense program on my site three weeks ago. They are only on a part of the site that mostly attracts people from search engines who are not interested in activism.

So I figured it wouldn't harm my goals to give them some ads to look at.

I didn't think this would be a significant source of revenue - but actually it is. It now looks like I'm making around $5/day. Thus I could make $1800 in a year (which is about 20-25% of what I need to live on - sans health care). If I put ads everywhere and my traffic recovered (note: my website traffic is around 2000 visits/day, down from its peak of 4000) then I could make enough money to live on.

People are clicking on the ads at a much greater rate than I thought (CTR of 2.3%) and the ads are paying several times more than the 3-5 cents/click I thought I'd get. I occasionally get 40 cent clicks!

About a year ago, I was buying ads from Google for words like "activism" and it was only costing me 5 cents/click (Google's minimum). So I figured I'd be making less than that after Google took its cut.

I'm getting a lot of real estate, degree completion, and activism ads. Unfortunately some "make money" ones too.

Note: if you see any ads that I should ban, because they are politically offensive let me know. I already excluded a military recruiting (National Guard) ad which was targetting Puerto Rico.

Morally, I think I'm ok - because nobody has donated to this website in the two years or so that I've had a donation button. I do think it's terribly funny that I wrote a paper five years ago called
Increasing Commercialization on the Electronic Frontier
Remember when the Internet was 99.9% non-commercial? I do.

Please DO NOT intentionally click on my ads to make me money. Google tracks this stuff like crazy. If they find me doing "click fraud", they will penalize me and I might actually lose legitimate clicks. (Ultimately they could take me out of their search engine rankings if they wanted - which would be very cruel because they are 80% of my search engine traffic)

I'm intrigued by the idea of being able to write, publish it online, and make money using AdSense. I'm just not sure that the stuff I'd want to write about would attract anywhere near enough attention to get the search engine traffic to pay the bills.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of building a big website in case the US re-instates the Draft or Invades Iran. If you had the number one website for important terms - you could make a lot of money if this happenned. Though I don't think either will happen.

If anyone has suggestions on how I could make more money with AdSense or other forms of advertizing, without annoying my users too much, I'd love to hear them!

I think.....

...the key to success with adsense is making sure you have a great map and you're willing to dig hard.

I have never in my life put in so many hours, for so little pay, as in my quest for adsense dollars.
Yet the addict is not about to stop.

If adsense continues to dole out it's meager pittances, I will remain addicted.