Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 13, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

BLOG ECONOMICS....Jim Fallows writes today about AdSense, Google's program that inserts ads on a web page based on the content of the page. How much money can you make from installing AdSense on your page?

Google strongly discourages the Web sites using AdSense from revealing how much money they are taking in. (It even refuses to tell those Web sites how large a cut they are getting of the advertiser's fee, one of several ways Google has pushed its just-trust-us principle to the limit. There are other controversies about the program, but that's a discussion for another day.) I have talked to a site operator who says he gets "extra beer money," to another who gets several hundred dollars a month and to another who receives many thousands.

Can you guess why Google "strongly discourages" AdSense users from revealing how much money they make?

I installed AdSense on my old Calpundit site, and it provided a fair amount of entertainment as I watched to see which ads were served up based on what the content of the blog happened to be at the time. Unfortunately, entertainment was all I got out of it: I ended up making about $30 per month for a site getting 30,000 page views a day at the time.

There probably aren't more than a hundred blogs in the world that have traffic even as high as 10,000 page views per day, and any blog smaller than that is unlikely to make more than $10 a month from AdSense, which means AdSense probably doesn't make much sense for most bloggers. As a point of comparison, my revenue from BlogAds was about about 30x higher than my revenue from AdSense.

Bottom line: you won't get rich from blogging. And unless you have a very high traffic site, you sure won't get rich from AdSense.

UPDATE: Read the comments for more. A number of people say they've been quite a bit more successful with AdSense than I was.

Kevin Drum 1:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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