Ten years ago I started a fitness blog, wrote some articles, slapped on an Adsense unit or two and then a year later sold it for $20,000. I was pretty happy with myself. And while it was the right move for me at the time I can’t help but wonder how much I could have sold it for if I had ignored Adsense and done something totally different.
In this article I am going to talk about why I will never use Adsense on a blog again. I hope at least some of you pay attention.
Why is Adsense is so attractive?
Let’s start the post by admitting that Adsense is very attractive to a lot of people. You just sign up for an account, write some blog posts and watch the money get paid into your account every month. It is quite alluring. I’ll never forget the feeling of my first $1 day, $10, $50 day and so on. Like a drug, I constantly checked my stats to see how many clicks I had got in the last ten minutes.
But while all this was happening I was losing money. Each Adsense click of between 10 cents and $5 represented a loss to my blog. I only wish that back then I had thought about the fact that there are much better ways to make money from a blog. Ways that perhaps aren’t as sexy in the short term, but work out to be a lot greater in the long run.
Why I will never use Adsense on a blog again
Now I want to get into the main bulk of this post and tell you why I will avoid Adsense on my blogs from now on. If anyone out there disagrees with me or has taken a similar course of action I would really love to hear about it.
1. Each click represents a lost reader
The purpose of blogging is to get readers. You craft headlines, opening paragraphs and content in order to catch people’s attention on social media and Google but then you send them off your blog by encouraging them to click Adsense ads. It is actually quite perplexing. I see hundreds of articles on how to increase Adsense CTR and get more clicks but no one ever seems to talk about the fact that maybe sending your hard earned visitors away is a very bad idea.
2. It dilutes your brand equity
When you place another advert on your website you are passing equity to that brand. For example, if Daniel put an advert for a spamming software on the side of Daily Blog Tips it means that he endorses that brand. So Daily Blog Tips’ brand is then associated with the spamming brand.
Adsense makes it hard because you do not have complete control over who advertises. Yes you can blacklist certain URLs but it would take a massive amount of time to make sure every brand that appeared on your site was a good one. I know the owner of a very large Luxury Watch blog who lost a lot of high profile Swiss contacts because his Adsense ads served up replica watch promotions.
So what should I do instead?
Now the question becomes about what one should do instead of Adsense. It is a very important question to ask. If I had asked it of myself ten years ago I imagine I would probably be earning five or ten times what I am today.
The answer is email subscribers
I have said it before and I will say it again. The money is in the mailing list. The most successful bloggers and web marketers all place an emphasis on capturing as many email subscribers as possible. Look at Problogger, Copyblogger, John Chow, Shoemoney and the rest; they all make millions of dollars a year because they have large lists of interested email subscribers who they can email to:
- Promote new products
Any time you launch a new product you can send out an email or a series of emails designed to get people interested in and ready to buy. Darren Rowse did this recently when he launched his new book. Before it is even published he knows that he has close to 150,000 people that will look at the advert.
- Launch new websites
What if you want to expand your website to something new or create a sister site? Well instead of doing all the ground work to get those initial users you just send out emails to your list. If it is relevant and related you will find that most of your fans follow you over.
- Sell affiliate products
The last thing I will talk about here is the fact that niche email lists give you a massive opportunity to sell affiliate products to a very actionable audience. You can earn between 40% and 80% on affiliate sales by just sending out an email. You don’t even have to create the product, just promote other people’s.
Capturing email subscribers is a long term strategy that pays massive and ongoing dividends. Remember that visitor who clicked an Adsense ad and made you 30 cents? He could have subscribed to your list and be earning you hundreds of dollars a year by purchasing your products or ongoing affiliate offers.
What are your thoughts?
I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this matter as I know there are quite a few fans of Adsense here on Daniel’s site. Have you stopped using Adsense and tried something else with great success? Or do you think Adsense is the best earnings model and will never abandon it? Please drop a comment and let me know.
About the Author: The Blog Tyrant is a 25 year old guy from Australia who has sold several blogs for large sums of money, works from home full time and now blogs about how you can dominate your niche. He also answers every comment he gets on his blog.