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My adsense journey: what I did and what I should do

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Nesousx, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    I have been trying, more or less, for years to make some bucks on the internet. About a year ago, I started another project, the most successful one, right now.

    Giving a little background, this is a tech / multimedia website I started around August 2014 but havn't used for months : i set up everything to have a working website (wordpress + phpBB forum) with a few unique articles (about 5 or 6, iirc). Then I bought some SEO from here.

    I forgot the website for a few months, and in January 2015, I noticed in my Google Analytics I had about 7K sessions a month. I decided to give my website more attention : wrote new articles myself, got rid of the phpBB forum and set up a different commenting system (one I'll change soon ; more on that later), did some more SEO from BHW sellers.

    From February 2015 until today I have earned about 100€ / month and it is still rising. Sessions side, I had 12K and 16K a month for the last two months, rising as well.

    I don't write very often to my website nor I do it on a regular basis (maybe 1 or 2 articles per month or less) : this is a topic I like but I don't find much stuff to write about... I try to add some "low quality" article from time to time. I just copy / paste the beginning from someone else's article and give them credits with a big link like "Read more on XXX".
    The thing is this site is, I want this as "legit" as possible, I wish to publish original content as much as possible and offer my visitor a real value, etc. Now, on the SEO side, traffic generating part, I am more in a gray-ish area.

    The only revenue I have are adsense. For the last paid period I had about 30K page views, 40K impressions, 1K clicks, and a bit less than 200€ revenue.

    Here are my KW info :


    [​IMG]


    Concerning my layout, I have a wordpress 2 columns theme. Left column contains article, and right one is the sidebar with navigation, social buttons, etc. I display one horizontal ad above each article in the article page (not on the main page), and a second ad on the right sidebar everywhere on my website.


    Now that I've gave you background, I'd like to share some questions.

    Being really new to the game, I'd like to know if those metrics make any sense to you? Does it seem good? Should I try to optimize, if so how?

    Another question, more specific is Adsense related. I noticed that sometimes (almost every month?) my earnings are "shaved", I get a little less than what I am supposed to. Now, for 2 months in a row, I am earning more than what I should earn.
    Last month after the payment (that matched the "current balance amount"), this current balance went back to 0. Right now, the "current balance" is over 200€, however, when I manually sum up the estimated earnings from each day+1 since last payment up to now, then I get about 100€. How come there is such a big difference?

    Thanks in advance, for your feedback. I'll keep this post updated, explaining what I changed / tried on my website, and what it did. I'll also most probably keep asking for feedback and integrating them to my experience.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  2. financeguy

    financeguy Registered Member

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    Good job on making some money with ad sense! Although I don't have any answers for you, I just wanted to say good luck and keep it going!
     
  3. TayaX

    TayaX Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    There is a "journey" section. Ask a mod to move it there.
     
  4. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    Sorry about that, will do. Thanks
     
  5. nnahlee

    nnahlee BANNED BANNED

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    nice earnings keep it up
     
  6. WebTG

    WebTG Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think you should post this in the Journey Section.
     
  7. Ambitious12

    Ambitious12 Elite Member

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    Good Journey I must say,move it to suitable section for your ease.See Adsense is the part where most people earning good.So always be ready with your strategy what you will use on Adsense :)
     
  8. Cryogenesis

    Cryogenesis Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The shaving of Adsense earnings is actually Adsense removing all the earnings from invalid clicks.
     
  9. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Thread moved to the proper place.
     
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  10. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    Little update of my journey, going 100% white hat. I am only using "official" plugins, and SEO tools, no backlinks blast, nothing written by somebody else, nothing I haven't tested myself, etc.

    I have somewhat changed by niche (more info below) and I am hoping to become an appreciated actor (or better an authority, "sky is the limit") in my new domain.

    Money facts

    Still using Adsense as only source of income, revenues keep growing slowly but surely. Last month, I made about :
    400€, with 46K page views, 75K impressions and 1400 clics.

    Tools

    I have installed Jetpack plugin and I really like it so far. It allows me to publish directly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, Path and Tumblr.

    I am not using it for the first 3, since I use Buffer (free version) extension in Firefox and always share via buffer : it allows more functionalities such as adding a picture, keep track of clics, re posting at a latter date, etc.

    However I created a Tumblr blog so that Publicize (from Jetpack plugin) can create a new post for every new article I write on my blog. It publishes on Tumblr the beginning of my article and adds a links to the original content. Which means that it runs on autopilot and gives me a little extra traffic, tumblr "followers", creates backlinks, etc. Apart from creating the Tumblr, no work at all.

    I am also now using Hootsuite (but I don't like that much, if anyone can suggest an alternative then I am all ears) in order to manage my social networks : answer to ppl, ask questions, retweet info from other people in the same niche than me, etc. To make it short, working social.

    Site revamp

    I am also ongoing a pretty big change. I used to have a blog about a very specific niche and a domain name directly related by the keywords inside it. Since this is a niche, I lack content and interest, I am now trying to extend my website another related area while still writing for that niche specifically. I have been wondering if I should get a new domain name or not, but I decided not to. Too much efforts in order to change the domain name properly, too much risks losing SEO. I bought the domain and will park it. Maybe I'll do it in the future (even if it is harder) if my niche becomes more marginal and other part of my website becomes bigger with good traffic on this new content.

    I changed the comment system (this is a Wordpress site) and reverted to classic commenting (no longer using any forum, nor Disqus) with no registration (but I moderate comments myself) and I have had a few comments. I had my first spam comments weeks ago, and very recently my first troll (which is imho a good sign).

    What's coming ?

    Content, content, content ! Content is King and I must build more content, write more and better articles. More specifically I have to add a lot of content related to my new domain so that I can attract visits and try to "reshape" my audience according to this new domain. Shouldn't be that hard, but it will require time and efforts.

    Be more social. I have to find good FB groups, Tumblrs, and Twitter accounts to follow in my new niche so that I can gather good ideas for articles, retweet / re post their articles, and answer ppl's questions in order to grow my presence in social networks, which should result in higher traffic.

    My next goal is to earn 10€+ a day stable every single day ("rains, shines, snows"), which seems really doable, because last month is around 12€ / day in average, with a few days around 5€ and a few days above 20€.

    Feel free to ask me question in this thread, I'll be happy to answer them.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  11. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    I failed!

    My goal for last month (January) was to gain at least 10€ every f*cking day. I failed miserably. Indeed, I have an average of 18€ a day, however I have one day at 6€. This is a day where my server went down for several hours. I played with my server, reverse proxy, Cloudflare, DNS, and stuff like that (some kind of OCD in order to get the best PageSpeed / load times ever)... then I had some kind of real life emergency that prevented me from fixing issue quickly. Hence the crappy 6€ that day.

    What has been done?

    Nevertheless, I kept working on my social signals (as they are called, I believe). I earned 177 FB likes, Twitter about 20 followers. Those are REALLY slow social media metrics. I am not really into these.

    I kept publishing a few articles here and there, but wasn't really dedicated. I bought some from marketplace, some were really poor quality (not grammar / syntax, but content related) and I am not happy with them, some others were pretty good. Again my niche is pretty technical.

    I also bought some supposedly white hat SEO from marketplace for a month. I am not really convinced, and I am waiting for the monthly report. Actually, I didn't notice much improvement after one month. Maybe I should give it more time, but I wll go for the VA and see how it compares. Then I'll maybe try more SEO, keep VA, or both. This is really an experimenting game. I just hope I am not experimenting too "quickly" and will miss something.

    Tools

    I am no longer using Buffer extension, but Hootsuite's one instead, it is more convenient since I use (even if I don't really like it) Hootsuite to manage my social accounts.

    Metrics

    About 26K session
    2,5 pages / sessions
    64K pages views
    2min per session
    50% bounce rate
    2500 clicks
    A bit less than 600€

    Keywords

    My main keywords are dancing from 2nd to 3rd page on Google, while making 1st page on Bing and Yahoo. I have ranked one keyword 2nd place in Google, but this is a very low monthly search, about 20 (yes, twenty).
    I am not really sure what to do to increase my Google ranking and make 1st page.

    What's coming on?

    I hired a VA. He should take care of some basics SEO, grow social media and add some articles. I also plan to buy a few articles from the marketplace and publish them.

    About this journey, I'll try to update more frequently, at least once a week.

    What's my new goal?

    I am still looking to earn 10€+ every single day, but I'll now add a secondary goal at 600€+ end of month (without Google shaving, and taking into account February is a short month).
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  12. Jaytizel

    Jaytizel Regular Member

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    Just dont give up. I wish you all the luck
     
  13. tokokipiani

    tokokipiani Power Member

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    Do not give up. Push till the end! :eek:
     
  14. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    Thanks, won't give up. :)
     
  15. Furioceki

    Furioceki Junior Member

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    Amazing results, keep this up man. I couldn't get it, how do you drive traffic, SEO only, Social media only or both?
     
  16. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    Thanks.

    Mostly SEO traffic.

    For the last 3 months,

    Traffic sources look like this :

    76% organic (Bing 43%, Yahoo 37%, Google 18%)
    12% direct
    10% referal
    2% social

    I really wish I could rank higher in Google, this is my main current concern.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  17. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    I failed... kinda!

    My February main's goal was 10€ A day, every day. I did it ! However, my secondary goal was to earn on average 20€ per day and I earned 19.67€ average. This is a bit below what I was trying to reach. It sucks, but well... not that bad. Moreover I did some experiments at the end of the month that led to a "huge" (according to my standards) loss of clicks (more coming about this later).
    Let's recap !

    What has been done?

    I hired a VA! I planned to pay the guy for a full month and make him work on my social media. I wanted him to build up my communities, retweet stuff from competitors, engage users, etc. It was a failure. After only a few days I was not satisfied at all by the job he provided and we stopped working together after less than a week. It was really a waste.

    I kept using a white hat monthly SEO service, I definitely saw some keywords increasing. However, I was not happy with the company or their answers to my questions, they kind of did ugly work on SEO onpage optimization, and so on. I decided to stop working with them, and I'll see what happens in the next weeks / months.

    However, I did buy an SEO package from someone here and hope it will give a little boost while I wait.

    At the end, of the month I had the foolish idea to "clean" my money site (yeah, this is very stupid) from all the ads. I have from 1 to 3 ads per page. It is far from being bloated, but I don't really like it. Add to this, the fact that ads slow down the site and adds extra HTTP requests. This is why I tried to make it cleaner AND to apply for Adblock Plus acceptable ads program. However doing so on the ads : only 2 ads per page, text only and not inside the content made a huge lost in money. I dropped from an average 16+€ a day to around 10€ a day and even less for the first days of March). Hopefully I didn't go below 10€ on February.

    I decided to stop being stupid and first try to see how big was my Adsense users share, and it appears (but metric are still very recent) it is around 3%, which is very low and convinced me to not care at all about them.
    My good old ads are back in place since today.

    Last but not least, I havn't been able to post a lot for the past 10 - 15 days. A lot of stuff came up and I couldn't get near a computer as much as I'd have like.

    Tools

    I am using Buffer extension (again) instead of Hootsuite's one. I find it easier to rebuffer stuff and I like the metrics better. I am still using Hootsuite to manage my social media, but I don't really manage the social media in the end. This is really a task that bores me a lot and I don't even like the tools to help me do it.

    I did a custom php-cli script (ran via a cron) that fetches a random post from my blog, send it via email to Buffer and then Buffer shares it on my social media. It means that 4 times a day I have an automatic repost of one on my article. Will see if it drives extra traffic.

    I also dropped Jetpack add-on for Wordpress as it adds extra requests when loading pages and I hate all those requests. I try to keep my site as clean as possible (which is impossible with adsense itself). I am now using IFTTT in order to post all my new posts automatically to my main social media (FB, Twitter, G+) + instagram + create a tumblr post preview.

    Metrics

    About 30K session
    2,5 pages / sessions
    74K pages views
    2min per session
    50% bounce rate
    3K clicks
    Around 570€

    Traffic sources look like this :

    77% organic (Bing 44%, Yahoo 34%, Google 20%)
    11% direct
    10% referal
    2% social

    Keywords

    No big changes here.

    A picture always better than a thousand words :

    KW_february.png

    What's coming on?

    I will probably hire another VA in order to take care of the social media part. If anyone can suggest a good one, then I'm all ears.

    I am stopping all monthly SEO for a little while and will see how it evolves "naturally" and hope the package I bought will help. Then I'll probably focus on SEO shot here and then more than monthly SEO.

    What's my new goal?

    Still heading for 20€ average per day. I am putting my hopes not too high this month since I screwed the first few days. Moreover I won't be able to work much on this project for an undetermined period of time.

    Thoughts

    However, I am wondering if it not too much "work" for such small keywords : an average 25cts / click for some pretty competitive KW (see picture in KW sections).
    This is still about 600€ a month and I am very happy with but maybe I could / should focus on another project.
    What do you think ?
     

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  18. loedown

    loedown Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Ugh, always a roll of the dice when working with VAs. Its one thing i'm trying to find right now.

    Looks like you're not too far off track, just keep it up bud.
     
  19. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    Thanks for your message loedown.

    Just updated my post and add info I forgot about Tools I am using and closing thoughts.
     
  20. Nesousx

    Nesousx Registered Member

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    I failed... a lot!

    I wished (more than I plan) to keep heading for 20? a day, but that was a big failure; For my defense, I had huge stuff to take care of "IRL", and I couldn't focus on this project very much. However I am really pissed of, as I feel this set me back and that I now have to recover from this...

    The coming months will tell.

    What has been done?

    Honestly, not much. About 20 posts, and most fo them curated content. Copy / paste a part of post I liked from somewhere else, give credit and send a no follow link. That's it. No SEO. Just a few social interactions.


    Tools

    No changes here.

    Metrics

    I lost quite a lot of session, from 30K to 22K, hence the money dropping from 570? to 350? a month. That's sucks. I hope this just related to lack of content. To be clear, my site needs fresh content. This is not really a black hat project. More like a regular website I started on something I felt could be a niche a few years ago. Unfortunately, my site must stay up to date to be visited; hence earning money. Still it is a good place to experiment and build confidence in earning money online.

    About 22K session
    2,2 pages / sessions
    50K pages views
    1min 40sec per session
    56% bounce rate
    1300 clicks
    Around 350?

    Traffic sources look like this :

    Funny change here, Google, is finally 1st source.

    74% organic (Bing 33%, Yahoo 28%, Google 37%)
    12% direct
    10% referral
    5% social

    Keywords

    Have to analyze this, dropping a picture though :


    [​IMG]



    What's coming on?

    I started using a VA to write 3 basic "tutorials" per week on my website. Basically this is copying some of my competitors content, rewriting it, etc. I'll see how it works.
    Moreover, I planning to write more "original" / "unique" content. All my competitors are doing the same "sh*t", all of them. I plan to write more stuff myself, and to make my "niche" broader". I have to stop doing exactly like others are doing. This is what drove the most traffic / reads, and retweets.

    I am thinking about buying more SEO services, but I guess I'll change one parameter at a time. So for the next weeks, I must write more, and see if I get more traffic.

    Then, I'll think about paid SEO, maybe.

    What's my new goal?

    I hope to get back on my feet and start earning around 15? a day.. newt goal being 20? a day. But it won't be in April... earning are still very low, just around 10? a day.