The truth on why income from your website advertising is dropping like a rock (solutions included)
Maybe you're starting to get concerned because
the income from your website is plummeting.
Unfortunately, you're not alone. My clients are seeing
across-the-board decreases in their website ad revenue.
And for my portfolio of websites, I've taken quite a hit after
coming off a great year in 2011.
My advertising income is dropping like a rock ever since January of 2012.
Most have relied exclusively on Google AdSense to bring in
cash for empty spots on their blog and/or webpages.
For some, this website advertising revenue has been so lucrative,
they've been able to quit their jobs and live a full-time internet lifestyle.
But over the years, Google has been quietly (and strangely)
banning site owners from participating in their AdSense advertising
It's a head scratcher indeed, because when Google ends its
relationship with us, it would seem we both lose out.
Fetching pennies on the dollar
In almost every case, these banning comes without any detailed explanation.
Often, we're told it's something about the "potential" for invalid click activity.
Even worse, appealing to Google about this often triggers an almost-instant
form letter of rejection.
On very rare occasion, Google comments publicly (if you know where to look).
And in this Google blog post, we see them try to explain away why our
AdSense revenues are falling off a cliff:
This particular sentence is quite troubling:
If a click is determined to be less likely to lead to a business
result like a purchase or a newsletter sign-up, an advertiser’s
maximum bid may be reduced.
In plain English, Google is creating an on-the-fly penalty for us
website owners if THEIR advertising clients don't know
how to create decent landing pages.
That is, if their advertiser's newsletter-signup form or webletter
isn't converting well, strangely we're somehow to blame.
But wait. There's more nonsense…
… Ex-Google AdSense product-development staffer Keith Mander was
interviewed about AdSense Smart Pricing and admitted this:
So in addition for getting penalized for Google's client's ineptness to
create good landing pages, we're also penalized if we serve ads to
visitors in "bad neighborhoods."
As a result, Google is slashing the average click price we earn.
This has been happening in earnest since the Fall of 2010.
And in many cases, once lucrative payouts are now paying
pennies on the dollar.
And if you're banned, you lose out on your final payment.
Google claims to pay this back to advertisers.
(I don't believe this for a nanosecond.)
But the worst part is we're willingly handing our visitors to our
direct competition for mere pennies on the dollar – and in almost
every case they're not coming back to our site.
18 reasons AdSense bans your account
As much as I hate rules, some are obvious and needed to
participate in a program that pays us to display ads in
your site's empty spaces.
Rule #1 is to never click on your ad. This goes without saying.
You should absolutely get banned if you're ripping off
Google's sponsors. Agreed.
Another surefire way to get your AdSense account banned is to
participate in click rings.
As the name sounds, people hookup for the sole purpose of
clicking on each other's ads.
This person blatantly posted in a forum publicly promoting the
opportunity to scam Google and its advertisers:
Again, I'm all for rules that thwart fraud. Count me in.
But the other 16 reasons to get your AdSense account
banned range from the silly to the ridiculous.
And as you're about to see, Google's Draconian rules makes it
harder and harder to monetize our empty webpage spaces:
This boggles my mind. What's so wrong about having the
same content on one website showup on another website?
News sites have duplicate content. It's called syndication.
The same article read in the Miami Herald is EXACTLY the
same as an article read in the LA Times. Each online paper has a
completely different audience.
Yet according to Google, this is a way to get your AdSense account banned.
This is mind boggling to say the least.
As an advertiser, I couldn't care less about duplicate content.
Just show my ad to the visitor who arrives on this site.
Displaying copyrighted content
The law is so ambiguous at times. I'd bet the majority of website owners are
breaking some kind of copyright law without even realizing it.
But again, if I'm an advertiser… I don't care if the site visitor sees
copyrighted material or not. I just want my ad to be clicked on.
Copyright disputes should be settled between the website owner and
the rightful owner of the content, not by a search company.
Of course, Google could end this problem overnight by not
showing a web page in their search results which somehow
violates copyright law. Problem easily solved.
The Big G wants to be the world's biggest online cop.
And if it deems that our content is somehow unsavory,
there's a high risk of getting banned.
So if I sell a natural supplement to eliminate allergies,
Google claims this is against their rules (can't offer pills) -
and as a result bans our AdSense account.
Yep, it's true. If your website's primary language isn't on the
approved AdSense list, you're in violation of Google's Terms of Service.
Tamper with the supplied AdSense code
Over the years, Google has gone away from its "keep it simple" design.
And these days, their AdSense toolbox is a head scratcher -
it's disorganized and hard to configure. It's no wonder some
website owners edit the code.
Google could hire a UX (i.e. User Experience) designer and make it
ten time faster and easier to create an AdSense block that matches the
theme of our blog or website.
Instead, Google has us jump through several pages just to grab our
Clicks from a paid traffic source
This rule just blows me over. Why in the world does it matter if a
visitor comes from a paid traffic source or not?
Google refers to this as M.F.A. (i.e. Made For AdSense).
And I know it's against the Big G's ridiculous rules, but why?
What's their deal with this?
Of course Google will scream that MFAs breed a lack of quality, but
that's not always the case.
As an advertiser, I'd be THRILLED to pay for a visitor that came from a
pre-paid traffic source – whether the webpage has quality or not.
Asking others to click on your ads
On the surface, this sounds like a reasonable "rule."
But every seasoned direct marketer knows it's best to lead a horse to water.
Surprisingly, most people need to be directed to take an action.
Why is it such a crime to ask a visitor to click on an ad.
I'm sure advertisers wouldn't mind it.
Study after study shows that adding a visual next to a text link
significantly boosts clickthru rates.
But Google doesn't like this – and doing so can get you banned.
Creating multiple AdSense accounts
Savvy business owners protect their ASSets by forming separate
corporations for each website in their portfolio. And to keep accurate records,
they need to create separate AdSense accounts.
But Google uses "triangulation" to track us down. They partner with
Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and others to keep tabs on us.
And if they think we're somehow gaming the system by creating
multiple AdSense accounts, we run the high risk of getting banned.
Displaying AdSense alternatives
Google claims it's okay to show both AdSense and ads
syndicated by Google's competitors.
But Google bans AdSense accounts if these alternative
ads have a similar format, layout and/or color scheme.
Disclosing the math
It is against Google's Terms of Service to reveal your earnings,
clickthru rates or number of ads displayed.
This rule was implemented back in 2003… and it was clearly
foreshadowing what was to come – super low numbers that
Google is certain to be embarrassed by – now pennies on the
dollar for clicks.
Placing ads in popup windows or on thank you pages
This Google rule tends to drive AdSense partners crazy.
Thank you pages are one of the best-kept secrets of online marketing.
Savvy website owners focus a lot of their attention on this
VALUABLE piece of 'net real estate. After all, when someone
subscribes to an optin or buys our stuff, they are in "take action" mode.
And that includes clicking on AdSense links.
Popup windows (more specifically, floating windows) are valuable just as well.
Across-the-board studies show these floating spaces get noticed way
more than ads embedded directly on our webpages.
When you offer some sort of reward to click on AdSense ads,
that's a surefire way to get your account banned.
This is kind of odd seeing we infomarketers give away bonuses and
gifts to nudge prospects into buying our stuff.
Part of the AdSense Terms of Service is to adhere to the
webmaster quality guidelines.
At first glance, it seems reasonable to strive to publish quality stuff.
After all, how many times have we searched Google and landed on
an obvious webpage of junk.
But that's Google's problem, not ours.
Google needs to work on their search results, not us.
Weeding out obvious web spam is relatively easy to seek and destroy.
The Google 'Plex has an endless parade of software coders
who could filter search results of this obvious web spam.
Yet Google has promoted this scourge for donkey's years now.
Sadly, today's search results on Google contain just as much
web spam than it did many years ago.
Either way, why is it up to us to do Google's job?
But there's another issue to consider here:
Having quality content is unprofitable.
Think about it. If your content engages your reader, because
it's stuffed with quality content, that same visitor is MUCH
less likely to flee and click on your AdSense ads…
… Which leads into the next tactic that's a surefire way to
get your AdSense account banned:
Content below the fold
Each visitor's computer monitor acts much like one
would read a newspaper.
Everything on the screen is considered above the fold.
Once the visitor starts to scroll, the rest of the content is
considered below the fold.
Savvy AdSense partners found that placing content below the fold
(and ads above the fold) generated a tremendous click-thru
rate on their AdSense ads.
But Google considers this practice a big no no.
Why does Google hate us so much?
Clearly, the Google AdSense Terms of Service neuters us
from using honest, ethical and proven marketing strategies
to get AdSense clicks.
It's beyond obvious that Google is setting us up to fail.
The question is, "Why?"
Why is Google so insistent on making it so hard for us to profit?
I just called the police -
Google is stealing from us
We all know something is wrong here.
Almost every site owner I know is watching their
AdSense earnings quickly erode away.
Here's the math over the last three years of my AdSense earnings.
I ran a report for each May's Revenue Per Month (a.k.a. RPM):
May 2010 $19.19 R.P.M.
May 2011 $9.74 R.P.M.
May 2012 $4.63 R.P.M.
Some might question the quality of my traffic. And as the world's
most critical thinker, I commend you on your skepticism…
… But the reality is quality of traffic is even higher than it was
just three short years ago.
And my content is of higher quality, too. That's because I fell for the
Google propaganda of raising the free bar.
(As I've discussed above, I realize this is a whopper of a lie -
strangely, high-quality content actually puts less dough rey me
in the bank account).
The bottom line is Google is stealing from us.
They are stealing our traffic for mere pennies on the dollar.
And the worst part is we're giving them full permission to do so.
I'm so done with Google. It's time to put an end to
the plundering and pillaging.
So earlier this month, I deleted all AdSense ads from my
website's pages. And I've contacted my clients to do the same.
We are Google's enemy
I lurk at a ton of marketing forums and blogs. And site owners are
flat out ticked off at Google.
If you're not paying attention, it would seem that the Big G pulled
the rug from under us in quick fashion.
But the truth is Google has been hating on us since 2003.
For almost a decade, Google has been using a military tactic
known as the Fabian Strategy to gradually lower our web advertising revenues…
… This method S L O W L Y wears down the enemy so they
don't even notice it – akin to the proverbial frog in boiling water story…
a metaphor that when a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out,
but if it's placed in cold water that's slowly heated, it doesn't
recognize the threat and gets cooked to death.
We are the frogs. And we frogs are the enemy here.
Google makes over 500 minor changes to its secret search result's formula
But when Google makes a bigger-than-normal change,
the SEO industry takes notice.
Users at the popular forum Webmaster World even create names for
these major updates as if they're hurricanes.
The first-named update was called "Boston" (inspired by the
SES Boston tradeshow back in February of 2003).
Since that time, Google updates have gone by these names:
Panda 3.7 – June 2012
Penguin 1.1 – May 2012
52 Pack – May 2012
Panda 3.6 – April 2012
Penguin – April 2012
Panda 3.5 – April 2012
50 Pack – April 2012
Panda 3.4 – March 2012
Search Quality Video – March 2012
Panda 3.3 – February 2012
40 Pack – February 2012
Venice – February 2012
17 Pack – February 2012
Ads Above The Fold – January 2012
Panda 3.2 – January 2012
Search Your World – January 2012
30 Pack – January 2012
10 Pack (Version 2) – December 2011
Panda 3.1 – November 2011
10 Pack (Version 1) – November 2011
Freshness Update – November 2011
Panda Flux – October 2011
Panda 2.5 – September 2011
Panda 2.4 – August 2011
Panda 2.3 – July 2011
Panda 2.2 – June 2011
Panda 2.1 – May 2011
Panda 2.0 – April 2011
Panda 1.1 – February 2011
Attribution Update – January 2011
Panda 1.0 – January 2011
Social Signals – December 2010
Negative Reviews – December 2010
Caffeine 2.0 – June 2010
May Day – May 2010
Caffeine 1.0 – August 2009
Vince – February 2009
Dewey – April 2008
Buffy – June 2007
Universal Search (now called Blended Results) – May 2007
False Alarm – December 2006
Big Daddy – December 2005
Jagger – October 2005
Gilligan – September 2005
Bourbon – May 2005
Allegra – February 2005
Nofollow – January 2005
Brandy – February 2004
Austin – January 2004
Florida – November 2003
Fritz – July 2003
Esmerelda – June 2003
Dominic – May 2003
Cassandra – April 2003
As we see in the above timeline, Google introduced major updates
just a few times each year.
But over the last few years, we've seen major updates every month or so.
Google claims these updates are necessary to fight back against
web spammers. And that might be true to some extent…
… But for me, it's clear that Google has declared war on us.
Their slaps have slashed our AdSense revenues (or have banned us
from participating in their web advertising program altogether).
Here's EXACTLY how I'm
fighting back against Google
The ultimate payback is simple:
I'm COMPLETELY ignoring the Big G.
Instead of fretting about every little hint Google puts out…
and instead of investing hours visiting forums and blogs
trying to crack Google's secrets, I'm LASER focused on
creating content (to attract visitors to my site) and selling
my premium infoproducts.
If I don't get a single Google search engine referral, I'm totally cool with that.
Because I've brainstormed a never-ending supply of ways to replace my Google traffic…
everything from getting featured in Wikipedia to having my direct competitors
BEGGING to link to my site… to even getting Oprah to send me her loyal viewers.
Ironically, now that I ignore Google, I've been rewarded with an upswing of
Google search-result referrals.
And my life is infinitely less stressful as a result. I now make business moves
based on what's good for me, not Google.
Of course, I now sort of kick myself for not ignoring Google years ago.
Ah, live and learn.
Cutting ties with the Big G helps me invest my time and energy on my
online business' two most important needs: traffic and cash…
A king, his crown (and his checkbook)
I got my first taste of monetizing my content when I was a sophomore at
West Chester University.
I created a dorm newsletter and pitched the owner of Burger King to sponsor
my new publication. I promised to hand deliver it to my dormmates.
I offered to slide each newsletter under the doors. And my pearls of wisdom
featured a coupon for a discount on a Whopper.
To my utter surprise, the owner interrupted my pitch and handed me a check for $50.00.
I remember being absolutely blown away. Getting the check was almost too easy.
Unfortunately, my first attempt of publishing my pearls of wisdom didn't
have a happy meal ending.
My University didn't take a liking to my delivery method
(they shut me down within minutes). And not a single person redeemed
their coupon for a delicious flame-broiled Whopper.
Nevertheless, the concept of corporate sponsorship fascinated me
more than 17 years ago…
… And the Internet makes the entire process of selling private advertising
100 times faster and easier today.
Introducing the Instant Internet Riches money mirage
When AOL launched way back in 1983, I knew Main Street
would do business over the 'net.
In the Fall of 1997, I sensed my postcard mailing service was suffering
during the recession at the time. I hated overhead and employees.
And my expenses were out of control.
So I quietly created a backup plan. It was later known as the
$10,000 Marketing Tip of the Day. I delivered it daily by email.
For years, I steadily published this free internet marketing advice.
My goal was to build a list of over 10,000 loyal subscribers before I monetized it.
Once I reached my goal, it was time to cash out.
So in October of 2003, I tested this new program called Google AdSense:
On paper, the idea sounded almost too good to be true.
Just insert tiny classified ads into the empty spots on your
webpage and Google agrees to split the advertising revenues.
Even better, Google offered to direct deposit each month's
split into my bank account on (or before) the 27th of the following month.
This was even better than my Burger King experience as Google was
big enough to attract virtually unlimited corporate sponsorship.
But even better… Google also handled distribution – sending their
search result's traffic to my content.
This seemed like one of those can't-miss biz opps – but boy was I wrong.
Because for years I struggled to figure out the right combination of content,
ad position – even the most profitable position on each webpage to make
AdSense pay off.
And of course, Google's never-ending silly rules made it hard to have
AdSense really pay off.
For years I struggled… generating mere pennies per click. As a result,
I got turned off, distracted and ultimately gave up on AdSense.
But then Google lured me back in.
Google was sending me steady traffic to one of my webpages.
It was about a topic that I was never able to monetize.
So I threw up an AdSense block to see what would happen…
… I also decided to invest an entire month becoming an AdSense "ninja."
I kept hearing stories about how people were making a full-time living on
AdSense alone. And I wanted to do the same.
After reverse engineering a few under-the-radar online marketers
(and after searching through a ton of forum posts about boosting
AdSense revenues)… I was eventually able to significantly boost
my AdSense revenues.
In fact my new system worked so well, I offered up a tutorial for
my private clients:
But in the end, all of this tweaking was for not as today,
Google AdSense is out of my online life.
Affiliate fortunes down the tubes
More than 10 years ago, I developed a fast love affair with
… That was when I promoted Yanik Silver's various infoproducts.
Back then, I was a close friend of his (just as he was becoming the
online-marketing rockstar he's earned today).
And I'll never forget getting my first big PayPal payment for
recommending his stuff – over $1,000.00 in net payout.
"Isn't that great! Imagine promoting 10 more similar products and
adding a zero to your commission total!" he said.
On paper, this sounded just amazing. All I had to do was find
more offers and promote them with similar success.
In fact, I ultimately promoted more than 200 other affiliate programs
over the next few years…
… But reality struck when a high percentage of these offerings didn't pay off.
They either didn't convert well, or if they did, getting payment was
all but impossible.
That's the dirty, best-kept secret about affiliate marketing -
because for some reason, affiliate program managers hate paying
our properly owed affiliate commissions.
Instead, they like to take our commissions and use them for their own
personal gain (like flaunting their internet lifestyle in our faces).
CPA riches gone awry
The newest spin on affiliate marketing came in the form of lead generation.
Instead of getting paid a commission for referring a sale, we got
paid for forwarding leads to companies.
This is now commonly referred to as CPA marketing.
Affiliate marketers went bonkers for this scheme, because it's
far easier to sell a form submission than a purchase.
What's interesting is some CPA offers paid more than
traditional affiliate commissions.
CPA offers violate my golden rule – do onto others as you
would like done onto you. CPA promotions often involve flat out trickery.
Other's are flat out scams.
And CPA networks often held back payments for a variety of bizarre reasons.
The good news is I never dipped my toe into the CPA world. And I'm glad
I avoided it as there are a lot of CPA networks in bankruptcy court these days.
Can you trust anyone?
It's easy to see the pattern of failure here.
Because whenever I let someone control the intake of money,
it NEVER worked out for me.
But whenever I collected the money, it's ALWAYS benefitted me.
Every single time.
Today, I trust myself. No one else. All money is handled on my end.
I control the entire process – from content curation to final payment.
As a result, I get a great night's sleep knowing as long as I pay
my webhosting bill, I'm not in danger of getting banned, slapped or
stiffed out of getting paid.
Are we seeing the end of paid infoproducts?
Last year, Phil Alexander asked me if I thought paid infoproducts
were becoming extinct.
He thought the over abundance of free stuff on the internet made
it harder than ever to justify spending money on info secrets.
While I was doing well selling my own infoproducts all throughout
last year, 2012 started off on a really bad note. And it's gotten worse since.
We got hints of this if you looked in the right places.
For starters, I keep a watchful eye on ClickBank sales.
And as we see here, the trend is not the friend of the infoproduct industry:
ClickBank once bragged about having over 100,000 digital products
available for affiliates to promote. But today, that number is about 14,000.
The bottom line is all of the promises of making a full-time income from
our website efforts seem to be crumbling fast. A lot of people don't know
what to do next. Some have given up. Others are looking for direction…
How to survive (and thrive)
during tough economic times
Over the last few years, I've traveled around different parts of the country.
And in some areas, it looks like billions of dollars were dropped over entire towns.
Business continues to boom.
Recession? What recession?
Yet in other parts, once thriving areas are now ghost towns.
Crumbling vacant buildings dot Main Street. People are raiding their piggy banks
just to buy a few gallons of gas. Restaurants are half empty (even during
what was once their busy days of the week).
They even created a word for this: austerity.
It seems to me that the catchphrase (and proverb),
"The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is ringing true here.
We get mixed signals 24/7.
The news tells us things are really bad.
Yet the talking heads on CNBC brag about record corporate profits.
Then there's this live, under-the-radar graphic I was able to track down
from the St. Louis Federal Reserve:
I'm no economics' expert, but this graph looks downright frightful.
Because for the first time in the history of tracking this stuff, that
thin blue lines soars virtually off the charts. That can't be a good thing.
Here's the dirty little secret about
depressions and riches
If you're a intrepid, real history buff (like me), you know what we're
taught in school and what the various media outlets can't be trusted.
The idea that small business is the engine that bails us out of trouble is
actually a flat out whopper of a lie…
… It's ALWAYS been big corporations and Public-Private Partnerships
(PPPs) that create the riches.
And yes, Google is a PPP. (But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a
great rags-to-riches story.)
Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are the REAL power that move up
the economic needle from behind the scenes.
Government is just a front cover of seeming ineptness that allows the real
power brokers to divert monies from the poor to the growing rich.
The facts tell us this is true, because there are always more
millionaires created during "tough economic times."
It was true during the "Great Depression" starting in 1929 and
continues to be true today.
And the number of billionaires (who are able to keep their billions)
here in the States continues to grow exponentially -
we see it happening since 1982:
It's always been this way… ever since the first corporation
was created in 1347 when King Magnus IV of Sweden
granted a corporate charter to The Swedish copper mining
company Stora Kopparberg in Falun.
Yes, that's no typo. Corporations have been around before we're told
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.
The Big G illusion (revealed)
Google's AdSense revenue-sharing opportunity once leveled the
playing field for the little guy like me.
It made it a cinch to play online matchmaker between visitors to
my blog and bigger corporations starving to pay for branding and
But today, Google is pulling the rug from out underneath us.
Even worse, Google makes no apologies for this.
The worst part is Google is now using their massive power
(which we helped them achieve) to turn against us and wipe us out.
Many are throwing up their hands… quitting their online ventures
as a result of Google's heavy hand.
But I forge on. In fact I'm more inspired than ever to exchange
my website content into cash without the help of the mighty Big G.
Beware of the "Google 15"
Over the last few months, I've witnessed complete u-turns.
I've seen a rush of ex-Googlers (and current staffers) turn
against their once-loved employer.
At this website (which has been conveniently scrubbed),
a whopping 859 former and current Google employees
give us a peak of what's really going on behind the scenes
at the "Plex" (and it ain't pretty):
As expected, just about every active Google employee had
nothing but great things to say about their current employer.
And as a "Googler", what's not to love?
Google employees work with some of the brightest and
energetic people on the planet.
Delicious catered food is free any time. In fact it's so good
insiders warn to fear the "Google 15" (putting on 15 pounds).
They get freebies galore – everything from child care to
medical care to even the use of a Toyota Prius to run errands.
Headquarters is located in the Silicon Valley, California -
over 300 days of beautiful sunshine a year.
And the paycheck is amongst the best in the industry.
Trouble brewing at the Google "Plex"
But not everyone loves Google these days.
I stumbled upon several ticked off ex-Googlers:
Whittaker's story got lots of press coverage. He reveals how
his once-loved workplace vanished almost overnight.
He claims instead of innovation, Google is focusing hard
on the bottom line.
In addition, gone is the infamous "20% time" – giving staffers the
perk of being able to set aside one out of every five hours worked
on an innovation or entrepreneurial pursuit.
But wait – there's more from this ex-Googler:
Holy guacamole. O'Church threw Google under a very big bus.
In fact, if you sleuth around, Mr. Church leaves a fascinating
cookie trail of what's really going on behind the scenes in Mountain View.
Here's the short of the long story:
The climate at Google changed in 2009. The Big G hired
"real managers" from places like Oracle, IBM and Intel.
This interfered with the once care-free culture.
And as a result, the new G is evil. And a growing number of "Googlers"
(i.e. employees at Google) are in shock.
Bottom line: What Google used to be is now gone.
Google's employees are amongst the smartest and
talented money can buy, but their bosses and executives
are driving this once great company into the ground.
And as a result, this is affecting us as AdSense partners.
Google's biggest shill turns against the Big G
One of the most ironic u-turns ever is the story about
Tim Carter of AskTheBuilder.com.
Carter was a poster boy of AdSense and darling of Google.
But that all changed when his site got "slapped" by
a Google SEO update.
What's interesting is Mr. Carter struck gold when he first ventured online -
landing a stagaring $15,000.00 private advertising payment
(even before many visited his home improvement site).
But apparently the promises of push-button riches was too hard to ignore.
And as a result, Carter copied and pasted the AdSense ad code to his webpages.
At one time, it worked so well he volunteered to be Google's AdSense
walking endorsement. He even lobbied Congress one time on the
Big G's behalf.
Today, Carter is amongst Google's biggest critics.
He's quite ticked off at Google… even suggesting that we
website owners take Congressional action against them.
(Personally, I feel this is horrible advice as I'd rather invest
my time on solutions).
The good news is Carter is once again offering private advertising
on his site to make up for his loss. Now he's charging
$29,997.00 for just one private ad displayed on his webpage:
Now it would be easy to assume that a $30k private ad is going
to be shown to millions of visitors… but the fact is (according to Compete.com),
AskTheBuilder.com only attracted 121,762 unique visitors last month.
Google does "know" evil
There's a boatload of good news for us.
In addition to Google turning evil and trying to wipe us out,
there's collateral damage here…
… Because these same corporations that are flush with cash are
getting banned from Google AdWords.
And literally overnight, these advertisers were cut off from their branding and
lead generation efforts. And they're scrambling to find a
Google AdWords alternative.
These same corporations and bigger companies are BEGGING to
track down website owners like you and me and pay us for sponsorship.
I keep remembering back to my sponsorship with my local Burger King franchise.
It's basically the same concept, only instead of delivering my pearls of wisdom
in printed form, I'm publishing my content over the Internet.
And since the 'net is worldwide (and more important it's searchable),
I'm able to grow my visitor counts as large as I desire.
There's really nothing stopping me from adding a zero to my daily visitor counts.
Heck, I could add two zeros if I worked hard enough at it.
I love private advertising (and think you should too)
Private advertising puts back the control into OUR hands.
Private advertising bulletproofs us from out-of-control monopolies like Google.
And the best part is private advertising allows us to fully control the money
collection (my favorite part).
Since WE control everything, we're rewarded with MUCH higher payouts.
Private advertising isn't a new concept. It's been around for centuries.
The most profitable companies in the world (newspapers, cable companies and
phone directories) make the bulk of their profits selling private ads.
For example, the most profitable space on any minor league baseball field is
the private advertising billboards in the outfield.
Bus companies make a ton of profit selling private ad space on their fleet.
Plenty of Fish (a FREE dating site and one-time AdSense partner)
switched to private advertising and fetches millions and millions of dollars
I could go on and on.
And when you visit various online marketing forums (like I do) and see
the struggles of website owners losing their AdSense accounts,
you often see two types of solid advice:
- There are no viable AdSense alternatives
- Replace AdSense with your own private ads
True. Very true.
How to offer private advertising
on your blog or website
There are two basic options to host private ads on your site…
… The first is to do all of the work yourself.
Using this method, you control EVERYTHING.
And the best part is you get to keep 100% of the ad money
(minus any credit card processing fees).
Surprisingly, you're going to get a steady flow of sponsors asking to
advertise on your site when you have a link to "Advertise on this page."
(This is especially true if you're getting at least 500 visits to a webpage.)
Increasing the number of potential sponsors creates a sort of bidding war.
People desperately want something they can't have. And if you've only
got four open slots on a blog or web page, advertisers are going to
pay higher-than-market value. This is simple supply vs. demand economics.
The way to boost the number of potential sponsors is to actively go after them.
Here are my 3 favorite ways to spread the word about my
private advertising opportunities:
Contact the mailing list
It's amazing how many competitors sign up for our mailing list for
competitive intelligence reasons.
And I'm THRILLED to let my competitors pay me for sponsorship…
… So I prewrote an email that's sent to any of the new subscribers of
my mailing list. I also use my subscription thank you page to alert my
new subs about sponsorship.
When done the right way (not spammy and not too promotional),
I post comments on my competitor's blogs and lure potential sponsors
to my related web page.
This is VERY effective. And these comments have a long shelf life -
delivering to me a steady flow of leads well after I've commented.
Here's an example of me pimping my amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe:
This is my hand's down favorite way to promote myself.
My direct competitor is allowing me to hijack their precisely-targeted
visitors and funnel them to my site.
Most make the mistake of spamming a message board.
And that's a surefire way to get your post deleted.
Instead, I post a series of valuable tips on a subject that I've blogged about.
I never (initially) leave a link to my site… but instead end my tip with a question.
This simple question gets tons of replies (which gets my post popular).
Then a few days later, I edit my post with a quick blurb and a hyperlink
to my blog post.
Here's a message board post I offered about private advertising.
At first it didn't include a link to my site, but a few days later,
I edited the post like this:
Fish where there's lots of fish
But the most efficient and most effective way to land lucrative corporate
sponsors is to contact Google AdWords' advertisers directly.
There. I just said it. I poach Google's current roster of pay-per-click
advertisers and claim them as my own. This is what I do and the
response is really strong.
Since I'm still approved with AdSense, I could look at each ad
displayed on my webpages, flesh out the website address and
contact the site for followup.
But I find these AdSense ads aren't always targeted.
Sometimes they feature "retargeted" ads (i.e. messages that
follow me as I surf the 'net, not the theme of the webpage -
very creepy actually).
And the worst part is Google only displays a handful of ads.
Instead, I find websites that embed the AdSense
search function within their site.
One such site is the popular EzineArticles.com… just enter a
search query that matches the theme of my blog post
(or webpage) and I get an "endless parade" of sponsors to contact.
For example, this search shows results for the phrase "low carb diet":
In about the time it takes to eat a pork rind, I'm able to track down
dozens of potential advertisers for the opportunity of sponsoring
And the best part is there's nothing Google can do to stop me.
Even better, it's a lot easier to convert these leads into sponsors,
because they're already familiar with private advertising.
They already know how to register an account, submit ads
(and most important – submit their credit card for payment).
All we have to do is show up. Because a lot of these sponsors
are always on the lookout for additional branding and lead-generating avenues.
Selling them on sponsorship is relatively easy.
Introducing my #1 secret
to track down big-time corporate sponsors
Today is much different than just 25 years ago.
Before the Internet, it was virtually impossible to contact
decision makers hiding from us in their corporate offices.
Only those with connections could connect with them.
But today, everything is different. Finding decision makers is
almost child's play (if you use my secrets which I'm about to
share with you below).
Here's how to proceed and find decision makers who
place private ads:
A large percentage of websites feature a "Contact Us" page.
It almost always reveals at least one hint on how to track
down decision makers…
… These contact-us pages feature everything from Facebook and
Twitter account listings to email addresses and contact forms.
In fact, just yesterday Facebook announced a new policy that
made it even easier to contact just about anyone:
Now any email sent to a Facebook user @facebook.com gets
redirected to that user's "Message" section. (No "friending" necessary.)
So for example, I could email:
… And my email is going to get redirected to Donald Trump's
Facebook account and converted into a private message.
(HOLY WOW! I can see the spammers having a field day with this.)
Sometimes, a website's contact us webpage is hard to find.
What I do is open the source code of their webpage and cycle
through these most common links to their contact page:
In particular, I LOVE contact forms, because they forward my
message by email directly to the website's gatekeeper.
In many cases, the person getting these contacts are also
the person in charge of spending money on private ads.
Put a set-it-and-forget-it
private ad "toll booth"
on your blog and web pages
This is option #2:
Since I'm a marketing geek, I've been working on a way to
COMPLETELY automate the private ad concept.
Honestly, managing a private ad offering is a lot of work.
But the good news is everything can be automated.
And that's what I'm working on right now.
Later this Fall, I'm releasing set-it-and-forget-it private advertising software.
It handles everything for you without lifting a finger.
My software even automates the selling part – getting sponsors.
While I'm sleeping, my software automatically finds all advertisers
in my niche and cordially contacts them (just once) about my
private ad opportunity.
This software does all of the hard work in the wee hours of the
morning (extensive testing shows it's the time that works best).
And I wake up in the morning to see new advertisers registering accounts.
Unlike AdSense, I get paid every time my sponsor's ad displays… not on clicks.
And the best part is the cash – because with my system, sponsors
must prepay advertising credits to "play." There's no billing or
chasing bad debt. With my system, I'm instantly cashflow positive.
Later this Fall, I'm releasing this software to the public.
If you'd like to be amongst the first to try it out,
click here to get on my alert list…