Why I Will Never Use Adsense on a Blog Again

by Donny in 81 Comments — Updated Reading Time: 4 minutes

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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.

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81 thoughts on “Why I Will Never Use Adsense on a Blog Again”

  1. With Adsense you need a large amount of targeted traffic to even begin to make any decent money.

    If you have a high $ per click rate, that will help I guess.

    Many people are exaggerating their Adsense earnings by a huge margin, then using this false information to base their Blog(site)s business around.

  2. Greetings from Seoul.
    Google adsense is relatively new in Korea compared to other English speaking countries due to the fact S. Korea has its own independent search engine natives use.

    I am trying to figure out how to utlize adsense in this environment because Koreans are not used to purchasing through email list or buying off of Western sites.

    I think adsense makes sense if it can capture the actual context of the topic and I am trying to use a plug in for wordpress ( target ad?) and will have to see how it goes.

    anyone else tried a more target focused google adsense plug in?

  3. I also stopped to use Adsense few months ago, reason was click rates, but now I am getting idea the main difference between depending on each click each day and selling our own product.

  4. It really comes down to the site owner. Personally, I don’t like the way Adsense looks even if you’re good about tucking it into your site/copy. It makes sites look cheap.

    But then again, some people are making a killing use it. Go figure.

    My personal favorite is still community building, email marketing, and affiliate product promotion. If you can create the products yourself, even better. Thanks for the read!

  5. I’m sorry but I really can’t agree with much in this article. If I remember correctly Adsense only came about in 2003 so 10 years ago Adsense wasn’t even an option. If you were in the web business 10 years ago, you will remember that trying to make money through online ads was extremely difficult. There were not many options at all beyond low paying CPM banners, a few affiliate programs like CJ, Tradedoubler and Amazon. Trying to get private ads was extremely difficult for most niches and even then, did not pay well at all. The dot com bust laid waste to internet monetization. Adsense arrived on the scene as a godsend. It outclassed every other ad platform by miles. Ad clicks were high for a few years. I run lots of sites in lots of niches and 2007 was the worst year for click prices as a publisher. So many publishers flooded in that the inventory swamped the demand and most of my clicks went for single digit pennies. They began to recover in 2009. 2010 was a good year for click prices. 2011 is better as ad inventory has been sopped up. I think if a user finds value in your site, they will return to click an adsense ad again and again. I never bought the idea about losing a user when they click an ad. You lose a user when you make an affiliate sale as well, so what’s the difference? Depending on your niche some clicks pay higher than some affiliate commissions. I made a $16 click two days ago in a niche that pays $8 for leads. Go figure, but it happens from time to time. One last point. It’s interesting that this blog has Adsense in the most valuable positions. Adsense can be a cash cow that is valuable to your users.

  6. I know this is a guest post.. but I think it’s funny seeing Adsense ads at the top of this page right after the headline “I’ll never Adsense Ads on a Blog again!” lol

  7. @Ayush Chand The ultimate aim of a newbie should not be earning money,of-course everyone loves to earn money out of their blogs.but before signing up for adsense one must consider building a loyal flock of readers who will stick to your blog and keep visiting. in other words unique visitors. Once your blog get a large no of unique visitors then setting up adsense is not bad as your loyal visitors wont leave your blog.and you will get lots of $ per click

  8. @Ayush Chand The ultimate aim of a newbie should not be earning money,of-course everyone loves to earn money out of their blogs.but before signing up for adsense one must consider building a loyal flock of readers who will stick to your blog and keep visiting. in other words unique visitors. One your blog get a large no of unique visitors then setting up adsense is not bad as your loyal visitors wont leave your blog.and you will get lots of $ per click

  9. It is a matter of opinion as to whether ads detract from the business. If you think you will lose a client or customer because they click on an ad and do not return, that is likely the main concern when placing AdSense on websites. However, in my opinion, adding AdSense is a matter of good customer relations allowing customers to compare and contrast products and services.


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