Friday, April 28, 2006

Is AdSense worth it?

I added AdSense ads to some of my websites as an experiment to see if it would be worthwhile adding them to the Random Pub Finder. I've now been signed up long enough to get a reasonable idea of how much money can be made. Based on my earnings, which may not be completely representative, you can get anywhere between $0.05 and $1.50 per click. But Google don't provide any information about which keywords provide the high-earning clicks, so it isn't possible to optimise your site based on that, which would be a pretty lame thing to do anyway. Earnings per 1000 pageviews seems to be about $5, so I'll never make a living based on it, but I might make a little bit of pocket money. So how many hits would you need to actually pack in the day job? OK, say you need to earn $6000 a month (which may be a bit high or low depending on where you live and your lifestyle) how many hits would you need? That works out at $200 a day, or 40,000 pageviews. My guess is you'd need to be running your own server to handle that kind of load (I'm sure any free host would throw you off their servers before you got to this level) so that's another expense. I've no idea how much that would cost but if you are getting that number of hits I'm guessing you also need support people to ensure your server is always alive (unless you want to provide the 24-hour support...) so add some more for that. Guy Kawasaki, who says he's in the Technorati top 100, also says he gets upto 1200 pageviews a day, so it certainly looks like it would be pretty hard to get near the 40,000 from blogging, doing IT writing at least. And more popular subjects lke the sex publishing industry seems pretty well covered already (so I hear). So in conclusion, I don't think ads are likely to finance mine or your lifestyle, but they could provide some useful extra cash. And are they worth it for the Random Pub Finder? Not until we get so large we get kicked off our free host. It's only a matter of time...

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