I have talked a lot about Google AdSense in the past, and I also recommended AdSense as one of the best contextual Ad network for bloggers. No doubt, with the quality of Ads, and a safe recurring income , AdSense makes itself undoubtedly a winner. But, what happens to people whose AdSense accounts are banned or one who is finding it hard to get an approved AdSense account?
First, let me explain why AdSense is considered as the best money making program for bloggers:
- It is easier to use
- You don’t have to worry about Quality of Ads.
- You don’t have to manually change Ads after a certain time.
- You don’t have to worry about Payment, as AdSense payments are reliable.
But do you realize the issues which you face when you are using AdSense:
- You are abided by the content guidelines offered by AdSense team.
- You can’t post anything that you like. Even though you not violating any webmaster guidelines, but due to AdSense policies you can’t publish certain kind of posts. For example: Websites to watch movies online.
- To earn more from AdSense, you need to try out various optimisation techniques, including using keywords with high CPC.
- If you get traffic from countries like India, Pakistan, Malaysia, you might earn pennies from AdSense.
Well all this doesn’t make AdSense evil, but my point here is; AdSense is not as great as you think it is. Now, let me point out the benefits which you will get when you are not using AdSense, and I will give some examples, which might make you believe in my opinion.
Why and how your life is better without AdSense account?
Let me start with a bit of my story: When I started blogging, I had no idea about AdSense, and I’m probably one of the few accidental solopreneurs like John chow, Neil Patel, and others who started something, without knowing where we were heading to. I started blogging because of my passion for technology, and ShoutMeLoud was a hard-core technology blog at one point of time. I heard about AdSense after a few months of blogging and would you believe, my first ad income was $47 from a Dreamhost Affiliate sale. It was not from AdSense or other similar ad networks.
You must be wondering, I’m saying this because I make lots of money via blogging, but have you ever seen too many AdSense ads here at ShoutMeLoud? In fact, you would notice only one 468*60 size ad block below post title, and that is because of my AdSense revenue sharing program. If you happened to stumble upon my earlier article on my AdSense earning for 4 years, you would realize I had made almost nothing with AdSense, compared to other monetization techniques I used. The only good thing about AdSense is, recurring income, which kind of put me in my comfort shoes.
So, this was my AdSense story, and now I will be sharing my experience of successfully monetizing a few blogs without using AdSense.
Your blogging life becomes more experimental:
The best of blogging knowledge comes when you experiment with things. When you experiment with latest technology, when you try new monetization methods, or when you try new ways of promotion. But remember what works for me, may not work for you, and what works for you, may not work for me.
On the other hand you can learn things from experiences of other bloggers. So, instead of spending time on trying out a completely new thing, you could start with stuff which worked for someone like me or for other bloggers in your niche. For example, I talked about Viglink long time back, which is a great advertising network, but not perfect for a niche like ShoutMeLoud, at the same time it works great for fashion niche. You can check out the case study of running Viglink on a fashion blog over here.
I don’t have a blog on fashion, and luckily one of my client with a fashion blog trusted me with my judgement. She let me experiment, it worked, and Viola! it become a case study. Similarly if you ask me, hey Harsh how great is Bidvertiser, I will be speechless, because I used it 3 years ago, and I have no idea how they have changed in last 3 years. They might be serving the same low paying ads, or they might have made it big with premium advertisements.
Takeaway: When you read about a new Ad Network, try it out. Don’t be afraid to experiment with things. Instead of simply looking for review, look out for income reports and case-studies.
You try stuff in a different way:
Here I’m talking about another ad network call Po.st which is unique in its own way, and offers monetization via social sharing on your blog. These ads are triggered, when somebody shares your articles on Social networking sites, and being high-paying CPM ads, you earn a good amount of money with Po.st.
It may not work for a new blog with less number of shares, but think about a blog with viral-content (Ex: Funny images blog, Viral video blog), driving tons of traffic from Social media sharing. Don’t you think with such high CPM based ads, Po.st will not be the best alternative for AdSense for them. Infact, on such image based blogs, AdSense performs really bad, and with an ad network like Po.st, you can earn way more than you ever thought of. So, do you really need AdSense ads in every niche?
You will be inclined to earn via your strong skill set:
I have this blog called WpFreeSetup which is now in its orphan stage, but the good thing is that I have a blog business plan ready, and I believe it will work, but to what extent that I’m not sure. This blog is running for a while now, and I don’t use AdSense, but this blog is still making me enough money to cover my hosting and maintenance bill for that blog. And all that without any AdSense, and you must be thinking “Yah Harsh, you are a WordPress user from last 4 years, and you know how things work around WordPress”, and yes you are right. But that’s my skill set, have you ever realised what’s your skill set?
If you are running a technology blog, you could find various ways to monetize your skills. You can create an eBook like Amit Agarwal did (150 most useful websites). Being a tech savvy guy I know that any one with good knowledge of technology can do it, and at the same time I know there are millions of people, who never knew such useful sites existed. What it takes is: Experience, A good taste and A plan.
- Similarly If you are running a finance blog, you could offer making a finance plan for your readers at an affordable price.
- If you are running a relationship blog, you could offer premium one on one consultancy to talk about your relationship issues.
- If you are running a health blog, you could offer creating a diet plan for your readers at competitive price.
- If you are running a fashion blog, you could help people in shopping and get paid for that.
Do remember : “There is a market out for everything, all you need to know is how and where to sell it“.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, Affiliate marketing is the main source of income. You will find thousands or may be millions of marketers, talking about Affiliate marketing, and recommending thousands of products to you, but they will never tell you which one works and which one doesn’t. Many of them will claim to make you a multi-millionaire in a night, but do you really believe money comes so easy? Michael already talked about the same in his guest post ” Don’t spend money online to make money“. Sometimes such schemes do work, but only for early adopters, and when they know the basics.
If you are planning to earn via affiliate marketing, and use it as an alternate to AdSense, you need to work hard, and with a plan to reach a sustainable income via affiliate marketing. If someone says, Affiliate marketing doesn’t offer recurring income, he is lying on your face. I know every month, no matter what I will earn atleast $2000 from affiliate marketing. That’s the minimum amount I could think of, reason I created a sales funnel like that. The key here is to recommend something that you use, and also guide users on how they can use it. Yes Google doesn’t like affiliate links, but they don’t hate when you are adding values.
Take away: There are many types of affiliate marketing, and you can pick what works for you. You can either create a blog and try to recommend every new product in your niche, or you can be picky, and recommend products that you are most likely to use, or better which you are using, and teach them how to use it. If you are thinking of long term, and earn money without selling your soul, take the right way, it might be slow, but it will surely pay you off nicely. Do you know at warrior forum, most of the internet marketers earn huge by telling how they made it huge, without actually giving them something meaningful in return. Not everyone is like that, but how would you find the working one from hundreds of useless one??
My intention with this article is to make you meet the true reality of a life without AdSense. Many bloggers give up just because they don’t have AdSense, and they don’t even want to try something else. Half of them, spend their months of time trying to get their AdSense account approved, and repeating the same mistake which made their account banned or disapproved at the first place. If AdSense is not working for you, let it be.. Try something else.. Try something which no one ever dared to try. If there is an ad network out there, chances are it should work for someone. Why it can’t be you?
Though one last question which you should ask: Are you that brave to take that risk? If yes, this post is just for you. I would love to know your success stories without AdSense, and if you have one, drop me an Email at harsh[at]shoutMeLoud.com, and I would love to hear and share your stories with all the Shouters.
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