I would like to introduce you to a small business person (1 ½ employees) who makes in excess of $50,000 a month from nothing more than people clicking Google ads on his site.
His name is Tim Carter, and he’s only been using Google AdSence (those are the tiny Google ads found on various content sites) for a little more than five years. So while I am not talking about a ‘get rich quick scheme’, I am definitely talking about a get rich scheme.
And what he does, you can do too.
I first learned about Tim in 1998 or so when I read a book called Striking it Rich.com (now out of print). The book profiled 23 "incredibly successful websites you probably never heard of," one of which was Tim Carter’s site, AsktheBuilder.com.
Tim is a nationally syndicated handyman columnist whose website is full of home improvement columns and videos. He launched his site in the nascent days of the Internet, 1995 or so, and back then he sold banner ads by smiling and dialing. But in 2004, Tim realized that Google ads could save him a lot of time and maybe make him some money.
But how much money, he had no idea.
He signed up with Google AdSence and, according to a subsequent Google case study about Carter’s success, instead of selling an ad at a time, “[Carter realized that AdSense] would enable him to reach thousands of advertisers and screen ad quality with minimal time and effort. Carter immediately experienced a jump in advertising revenue of 400%. His monthly advertising revenues, including AdSense, grew from $1,500 to $7,500."
Impressive? You ain’t heard nothin yet.
While the case study says that Carter was soon making $1,400 a day in ad revenue, I spoke with him a while back and he says that is incorrect.
He now makes significantly more than that.
The case study was done before Carter added video to his site, and his video ad revenue is not insignificant. (You can see his videos either on his site, or on YouTube.com/AsktheBuilder.)
Can you duplicate Tim Carter’s success? You bet. But note: Like most things that are worthwhile, this whole process will take some work. First, like Tim Carter, you will need to create original content for your site. Second, you will need to optimize that content.
1. Create great content; a lot of great content: You don’t have to be a great writer to create content, but you do have to be prolific. The good news is that in this age of blogging, tweeting and the like, people are used to an informal writing style.
And remember this too: It need not all be written. As I discussed in a previous column, video is a great way to create content.
The important thing says Tim is that you “figure out how to give your knowledge away for free and become an expert; get people to trust your information and sell ads around that."
2. Learn about search engine optimization: Tim Carter does not advertise his site. Over a million people a month go there however because he has learned and mastered SEO.
3. Learn AdSense: Says Google, "Carter quickly began tests using AdSense channels trying different ad formats, colors, and placement to gauge relative effectiveness. He immediately found ads with a yellow background resulted in a 40% drop in income, so he discontinued them. One winning strategy Carter discovered is a rectangular format. . . . he saw a 20% jump in revenue from placing the rectangle in the upper left corner inside his articles." Carter says, “I now put ad units above the fold and to the left before I place them anywhere else.”
No one said making in excess of $50,000 a month would be easy, but I would venture to say that Tim Carter is proof that it may not have to be that hard either.