Wow, that title actually sounds pretty scary - some humble $40 per month in 19 months? Poor me! Well.. in fact I don't look on that as something very scary or low income. Back in the 2014 at start of the February, my blog was just about 4 months old, I decided (understood) that to actually succeed anyhow on this money making thing I should define some goals and I created my first goal - to earn enough to break even my hosting expenses (which at that time was $40/mo)
It's Official now - in the month of September 2015 I first time crossed $40.00 Google AdSense milestone, when in total earned $45.58.
Now in the past 19 months I have learned other ways you can make some lucrative income from your blog, and Google AdSense probably is not your best bet to get those dollars rolling to your bank account, but it (Google AdSense) has been on my blog for the most time of my bloggers carrier, and there is a reason for that - I look on Google AdSense earnings as a dividend payments from stocks - they are not huge, but it's good to have them.
In fact 19 months latter I'm paying even more for hosting, it's already more than $60.00/mo I'm paying to Linode just to power my blog and some other sites which I have created: Read more: Drupal development. Most probably that it will be my next Google AdSense goal - to break even again, this time to cross $60 milestone per month.
If you are new to the blog thing, and just starting to explore it out - you don't have to spend $60, $40 or even $10/mo for your hosting, there is a great service Bluehost offering hosting as low as $3.95/mo
Find out more how I reached other Google AdSense goals:
I matter of fact I must say that I have been using Google AdSense for more than six years already:
Here is the fun fact - I have earned a really modest income from Google AdSense - it's about $366.00 in matter of six years (I haven't withdrawn my funds yet either). But most of the money made on Google AdSense dates back to the start of this blog. For many years before my AdSense account was inactive.
In fact I first withdraw my funds at the start of the September (2015) and spent most of the money by buying a tripod ($250) for my photography adventures and spent the rest at one of the lovely Tbilisi restaurants. Yeah, not the best fund management strategy. But it felt so good and tasty (Georgian barbeque and lemonades are just amazing).
So what took me so long to earn just $40/mo?
In short - lack of traffic - when I did set this goal traffic to my blog was about 330 monthly users (how naive I was back then), while by now I'm getting around 35,000 monthly users. During those last 19 month's traffic to my blog has grown by more than 100 times.
While I'm getting around 50,000 page views by now - Google AdSense ad units are not set on all of my blog pages (there are posts in affiliate marketing category, I'm not using Google AdSense just not to mess uo with my affiliate income). Technically speaking if I had Google AdSense on all of my pages, I would probably reach that $40 goal some 9 months earlier, because right now Google AdSense ad units are served on about 50% of my posts.
What have I learnt during past 19 months?
A lot! And still learning. Probably the most important lesson I have learnt for a blog monetization - there is a huge difference between Display Ads (Google AdSense for example) and affiliate marketing (Reviews with affiliate links). I'm not willing sound arrogant - but Google AdSense makes pennies compared to affiliate marketing. But I really love those pennies - because I look on them as a free money from my existing content. I'm not doing any keyword research or other white hat to run for the dollars on AdSense. Well, maybe I should... I have experimented a lot on technical aspects of implementing Google AdSense ad units on my blog, with main intent to raise both CPC and CTR. As well I have learnt that your CPC (Cost per click) varies depending on your target audience - like it's totally different CPC values in United States and Georgia, for example. With first one giving a decent CPC value while the second most often giving 0 to nothing (with rare exceptions)
Google AdSense Experiments I have tried:
I have done some experiments with Google AdSense:
- Facebook boost + Google Adsense = Results
- Change of Adsense ads for better layout - Experiment 1
- Change of Adsense placement for higher CTR - Experiment 2
- Switching back to Google Adsense default settings
- Removing Google Adsense Ads From Blog For Next 10 days
- Google Adsense Experiments: Pink Vs Blue - Part 1 - Creating Ad Styles
You can learn more on experiments I have run by visiting Google AdSense tips section.
The Bottom Line
I'm looking on Google AdSense as a smart passive income which in long term can turn into something huge, for a now I''m happy I have completed my first Google AdSense goal and in close future I will setup another goal to aim. But what's actually matters - with help of such goals I feel that I have become a better blogger, those goals have helped me raise both as a person and a blogger.
There is very well written article on how to set up Google AdSense goals and make money, from which I most like that part of instead of looking on your CPC but rather how much you are actually making per blog post.
$40 per month in nothing much, you can do it better than me in much shorter time. On the other hand a decade ago (2006) more than one billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day. In total, 2.7 billion struggle to survive on less than two dollars per day. Read more: Fast Facts: The Faces of Poverty or watch this documentary how a dollar a day can change some peoples day: Overpopulated
I'm thankful to all of you being together with me on this journey and I'm thankful being blessed to have such an opportunity to actually earn a dime.