In the last 2 years, I made $103K+ on Google Adsense with my adsense account. One of the main factors for this earnings is the large number of pageviews and the account RPM (Revenue per 1000 pageviews) of $9+. With a total pageviews of 11.4 million, completely driven by Google organic search traffic.
The purpose of this post is to encourage more people to take up digital marketing / blogging as a viable source of income and to assure struggling bloggers that they too can achieve success by working consistently and by continuous learning and optimization.
I have been in the digital marketing field since 2003, when I received my first payment cheque from Google Adsense during the first year of my college. I did not keep track of my earnings during my college years, but it ranged from $100 to $1500 per month from my websites. At that time, I was simply running some wallpaper websites that I created using royalty free images found online. I have been running several websites by myself until 2011. In 2011, I started to hire people to work on my websites for a fixed salary or on task basis. The people that I hired helped to scale the website business to what it is today.
How I made $103K in last 2 years?
The strategy is rather simple. I started to create directory websites and websites for cities. By launching one new website every 2 months, I created a small network of websites catering to several cities. The websites provide all kind of information about the city – transport, entertainment, guides, how-tos, directory (yellow pages), news etc. With a total of 20+ websites and each of them bringing in $100-$300 every month, the total income in any month is always above $5000. One of my website is for Dubai City – YourDubaiGuide.com and it averages 30-50K pageviews in a month and brings in around $250-$400 monthly. Similarly, I have created and maintain websites for several other cities using the same strategy.
These kind of websites start slow, the traffic starts picking up in 3-6 months and starts providing decent income from a year, provided the website is regularly updated (daily) with relevant content. It is not difficult to come up with original content if one takes time to do some research. For example, my recent article about “10 things to do at home during lockdown” took about 2hours to research, come up with my own ideas and to write the article.
Focus on Content Strategy
I have never done any sort of link building activity. All my backlinks were acquired organically over a period of time. As Google says, content indeed is king and if we focus on providing curated content to users, Google is happy to send organic search traffic to our websites. By keeping an eye on the news websites and other competitor websites, it is rather easy to arrive at what kind of content needs to be covered in the website.
Measure and Optimize
Keep an eye on Google Analytics reports every day and observe the patterns, which content works well on which days. Patterns can be observed over days, weeks, months or even years. For example, my Dubai website always gets more traffic during the peak travel season in Dubai (Nov-Apr). By observing trends and creating content anticipating the upward trends, one can always ensure that there is always fresh content being published and monetized.
For starters, I would strongly recommend that they start with a single website and focus only on it and it will have the potential to bring in a few thousand dollars a month. And the key here is to create websites targeting cities in developed economies, which provides a higher CPC/RPM.
Mistakes to Avoid
Being from India and living in Chennai, I started websites focusing on Indian cities and academic institutions initially in 2011. Though those websites brought in good volume of traffic, the RPM of Indian market was around $1-$3, which did not amount to much, all things considered. When I stopped focusing on Indian market and started to target United Kingdom, the returns were 3X ($9-$12) RPM for the same effort. Since then I gradually shutdown all my Indian websites and started to focus exclusively on websites targeting developed economies.
One would normally assume that it would be difficult to have a website for a city that we have never seen. But that is not really the case. Do try out, and you will find it actually easy.
If you are new to online business, do look at my list of online business ideas for starters.
I am always happy to help others to achieve success. Drop me a comment here if there is any follow up questions.
If you are on Facebook, do join the BloggersVenue Facebook group focusing on discussions and ideas for online business.