Tag Archives: Make Money

Trick to Keyword Research

Whether your are new to writing online to make money, or you have been using your online writing skills for profit for a long time, you probably have put some thought into keyword research.

Keyword research is the act of looking at various keywords and key phrases to determine if they will be profitable, or effective keywords for your particular websites. Depending upon your goals, your keyword targets may be very flexible, or absolutely necessary. Either way, it’s nice to know what your task looks like before you get started.

Problem With Keyword Research

The problem with keyword research is that you already have to do something about the keywords you are after before you can do it.

For example, if you write a personal financial advice blog, you would need to already have some idea of what keywords you are targeting because just typing in “financial advice” or something like that isn’t likely to generate much in the way of usable keyword research. Instead, you’ll need to know how to narrow down large keywords. After all, you could spend a lifetime trying to rank for “life insurance” and while that would certainly, eventually, be profitable, in the meantime you could be missing out on much more viable keywords.

The trick in keyword research is that so much of the information out there focuses on how to refine, or pick from, an already well generated keyword research list. But, how do you get to a good keyword target list in the first place?

keyword research google planner

One common tool many people use is the Google Keyword Planner. It is technically a tool to find the keywords for paid ad campaigns, but it’s also a good way to find out what people are searching for, and how many are searching for it. You need an Adwords Account to use it, but it is free (you never actually have to run a campaign).

However, the two main keyword tools require you to have some idea of what keywords you want to research, and the closer you are to the actual keywords you want to rank for, the better.

For example, if our finance blog wanted to target retirement planning, what would the best keywords be?

Just typing “retirement planning” in the Google Keyword Planner gets you a long list of keywords, but are any of them useful for your needs? For example, the keyword retirement calculator seems to have a lot of high priced searches, but is also a very competitive term with numerous retirement calculators from well-known brands out there. Your chance of ranking for that term and profiting from it with online writing is slim.

But, it is a starting point.

Now put “retirement calculator” back in the keyword planner tool. Only a handful of more specific tools come up, and each of those has a search volume of around 10 per month.

Here is the trick to keyword research. I know from experience that there are terms around the subject of a retirement planning calculator that

  • a) can be ranked for
  • b) get more than 10 searches per month
  • c) are profitable, but nowhere near the CPC listed for the keywords on Google Keyword Planner
  • (No, I won’t tell you what they are.)

So, what gives?

The issue is that the Google Keyword Planner is not designed for making money with online writing. It is made for people to start and run ad campaigns. These are two different goals.

In order to make money online with writing, you want people to find your content, visit it, and then click an ad.

In order to make money running ads, you want all the people who might buy, or otherwise do what you want them to do, to click on your ad.

See the difference?

The right ad keyword should target people all over the web if they are reading about the kinds of things that you have useful information or products for.

The right keyword to make money online is the one that gets people from a search engine to choose your particular webpage and then click that ad, hopefully after finding some good information. In fact, it would be just as good as a writer, or publisher, if people came to your website for one thing, clicked a link for another thing and clicked a completely unrelated ad.

As a smaller publisher, your best bet are what are known as long-tail keywords. In general, these are more specific keywords. These keywords are often longer. For example, “life insurance” is a high-traffic keyword, and potentially profitable, but it will take you a lot of effort to rank for it.

On the other hand, denver life insurance is slightly less competitive, more specific, and more likely to generate ad clicks. Even better might be something like denver electrician life insurance. (They get it through the union, so this isn’t actually better, but you get the idea.)

But, and this is the key, no matter what keywords you stick in the Google Keyword Planner, it will almost never come back with something like denver electrician life insurance. In fact, while four or five word keywords can be gravy in many situations, the keyword planner (and other keyword research tools) tend to stick with two and three-word key phrases.

Keyword Research for Writers

As a writer, your ace in the hole is that as you generate content, you will be able to see what kind of content and keywords bring people to your website. Leverage that knowledge to fine tune your content on various topics.

We’ll get into just how you do that next.

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Passive Income Online Myth

Passive income is the Holy Grail of the lazy. The idea is certainly tantalizing. Earn money, without doing anything. However, passive income is pretty rare, and usually the result of circumstance.

Passive Income vs Residual Income

passive income graphicOne of the problems with the idea of passive income is that it is misunderstood. Passive income is income that you receive without doing anything for it. Residual income is income you receive for having done work earlier. This may sound like semantics, but the difference hides how much work goes into building an online income.

Truly passive income often comes in the form of royalties. For example, your great-great grandpa bought (or homesteaded) some land in the middle of nowhere and it has stayed in the family because it was never worth selling. Then, one day, an oil company shows up and starts pumping out oil. You get a check every quarter. That is passive income.

Notice that in this scenario, you did absolutely nothing. The oil company did the exploration, they did the digging, they pump out the oil. You do nothing. One might argue that you did something by owning the land, but that only works if you bought the land for the purpose of collecting the royalties. Otherwise, the money is a byproduct of another decision and, therefore, truly passive.

Contrast the situation above with one where you buy a domain, build a website, write lots of quality content, and then start earning a few thousand dollars every month from Google ads. This is NOT passive income. You made the investment, you did the work to build up the online property, and now you earn money off of that effort. This is residual income, you are continuing to be paid for something you did work for.

Theoretically, if you never work on the website again, and it continues to earn money forever, you might be able to make the argument someday that the income is now passive. You heirs certainly can make that argument, when and if your website ever passes on to them. However, therein lies the rub, as they say.

It is highly unlikely that your hard work will end up developing a web property that is so amazing, so well linked, so well ranked, and so well optimized that it will continue to earn money forever with no further effort from you. In reality, any site that you build that has continued success does so because you make continued effort.

Ongoing Work vs Passive Income

Just because no one is paying you an hourly wage for your work does not make your income passive. That, actually, just makes you a business owner. Businesses of all kinds make investments in labor, materials and money that does not pay off immediately. Microsoft spends years developing a new operating system (like Windows 2012 Server) or a new version of Microsoft Office. When they start selling the product, that is when they get paid, but each copy of Office sold is not residual income.

And, just like Microsoft, you can’t just put your product out there and then disappear. In Microsoft’s case, there are patches to be written, technical support, and various licensing activities, and so on. In the case of making money online by writing, or building websites, there is writing new content, updating old content, answering comments, building links, and so on. Every hour of effort is work. Work that you will be paid for later, but work nonetheless.

The key is to understand that if you want to make money writing online or via any other internet pursuit, don’t search fruitlessly for the path to passive income. Rather, find something you like, or are good at, and start building. Don’t make extra work, and never skip over a time saving idea, but don’t assume the money will just start coming in. The oil companies never show up and start pumping out from under your online websites.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

AdSense Earnings Drop During the Day

Over the last year or two, I’ve moved a lot of my efforts and focus to my more passive income type earnings online, versus just concentrating on my online freelance writing business. One of the facets of making money writing online is advertising. The simplest online ad system is Google AdSense.

AdSense Earnings Adjusted Same Day

Google’s AdSense program has a lot of moving parts. However, recently, I’ve noticed an uptick in a certain quirk related to earnings.

First, Google adjusts your earnings as an AdSense publisher all the time. The most noticeable adjustment occurs every month when your “Estimated Earnings” is converted into the actual earnings they are going to pay out to you. On the second or third day of a new month, Google will post the actual amount you are getting paid. This number is almost always smaller than the estimated earnings you have been shown all month long. For me, it’s usually a pretty insignificant amount, a rounding error, really.

falling adsense earningsDuring the month, if your ad clicks are particularly worthless not converting well, you may be “smart priced” which is a fancy way of saying that the amount you are getting paid per click will be lowered. This keeps advertisers from trying to cut off certain publishers and potentially costing Google revenue. There is no notification that you have been smart priced, nor is this really something talked about on the publisher (AdSense) side. It’s actually something more readily mentioned on the advertiser side (AdWords). Either way, it’s real and it happens, but it usually requires comparing time frames to see it happen.

Honestly, I don’t really have a lot of experience with Smart Pricing. Either it’s been happening to me from the very beginning, or it just doesn’t happen to me enough for me to notice.

AdSense Earnings Dropping Intraday

What I haven’t seen a whole lot of, in my experience, has been Google adjusting your earnings in real-time, or within the same day. However, lately, I’ve started to notice downward earnings adjustments on some of my accounts.

Check out my look at whether Credit Karma is a scam.

To begin, let me just admit that I check my AdSense account a lot. Honestly, I probably check it too much. On the other hand, it’s so easy to just make a quick click in between projects, phone calls, or meetings. I don’t take the time to necessarily drill down into the data, but I do like watching the amount of money I’m earning online go up and up. I also use channels, ad groups, and site by site reports to keep a rather detailed eye on which sites are making what money, and when.

Which brings me to today’s issue.

Recently, I’ve noticed that sometimes a particular website will report something like $67 for the day so far. Then, 30 minutes later, when I check the same channel on the same website, the earnings will have dropped to something like $53. The RPM will have dropped too. Again, I haven’t drilled into this phenomenon a lot (yet), because this is when I’m supposed to be earning money online by doing other stuff, but it would appear that the CPC has been revised downward, not the number of clicks.

What is odd about this is the time frame. I’ve never seen these almost real-time adjustments before. Typically, you either get a lower CPC and you never really notice it unless it is less than previous days, or they adjust your earnings down at the end of the month. I’ve never known Google to lower your earnings midday like this.

I’ll have to do some more digging, I guess.

Has this happened to anyone else? Am I finally being smart-priced, and this is just how it looks? Has Google updated the way AdSense works so that it make quicker, smaller adjustments during the day rather than bigger. all at once adjustments at the end of the month? 

Leave a comment if you have thoughts.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Secret Formula For Google AdSense Money Making Websites

money There is a lot of information out there about how to make money with Google AdSense. Most of it boils down to some version of:

  1. Research Keywords
  2. Write Keyword Optimized Posts or Pages
  3. Build Backlinks to Optimized Articles
  4. Move Up in Search Engine Rankings
  5. Profit

If this sounds about right to you, I have some bad news for you. There is a very good chance that even if you fully succeed at the money making method listed above, you may never earn more money from AdSense than a few pennies.

If earning money from Google AdSense ads can’t be done by following the methodology above, then why do so many people repeat it?

First, off, congratulations on asking the right question. Secondly, the answer to that question is actually in the question itself. So many people repeat what they have “learned” about search engine optimization, or SEO, and making money with AdSense that it has become accepted conventional wisdom, even if it is not entirely true. If you are serious about making money writing online, it is imperative to be able to distinguish knowledge that has been used and verified first-hand, and the so-called knowledge that has been copied from sources second-hand.

The good news is that the formula for making money with Google AdSense above is not false, so much as it is incomplete. The most important step for earning money with AdSense has been left out of the formula, unintentionally, by hundreds of writers and webmasters trying to make a name for themselves as money making bloggers by reading information and then passing it on. There is nothing wrong with doing this. I do it everyday as a professional freelance writer by creating content and articles for publication based upon research that has been given to me, or data that I have researched myself. The catch is, that in order to be useful, the research that writing is based on must be both accurate, and complete. (You can read my freelance writing blog for more information and freelance writing tips.)

What Is Missing From Google AdSense Formula for Earning Money?

The key to making money with AdSense is getting clicks on the ads that are placed on the website or the advertisements displayed on the webpage that you have build with perfect keyword optimization. Most AdSense manuals of instruction provide the insider information for making money using Google AdSense by saying that you can expect a one percent (1%) click through rate on the Google ads displayed on your high-ranking webpage. However, while that number may be inline with most reported click-through-rates or CTR studies, that number is an average CTR rate, not a standard CTR rate.

The reality of Google AdSense is that some keywords get much higher click through rates. The bad news, is that many keywords get much lower click through rates.

If you spend a lot of time optimizing high-quality content and then linking it to the #1 position in Google search results (sometimes called Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs), but nobody clicks on the ads that get displayed, you won’t make any money with AdSense no matter how good you are at high-ranking, keyword optimized, content for the web.

How do you find out what searches have keywords that get clicked a lot? Unfortunately, the only true answer is trial and error.

Some webpages can literally get a 25 percent CTR or even higher because the people searching for that information are so likely to be in need of services or products provided by Google’s advertisers. Other webpages can get less than 0.01% CTR because the people looking for that particular information have no need for the products or services provided.

The best way to find high-paying keywords for profitable AdSense targeting is to research high-volume, good-paying keywords and then publish well-written, high-quality web content around those keywords. Then, build some links to those articles and webpages in order to increase web traffic by having high-ranking search results linking to your content. By checking your AdSense Reports and your Google Analytics reports, you can determine which webpages are resulting in high click through rates and cross-reference those pages with what keywords are driving traffic to those webpages. Using those keywords to create high-ranking, top-quality, keyword optimized content to drive profitable traffic to your website that will actually click on your Google AdSense placements is the key to making money writing online by using AdSense.

Next Steps Making Money With AdSense

When you are ready to get serious about earning money with AdSense, important steps cannot be skipped.

First, you will need to start a writing business so that you don’t have to give your social security number out to everyone in order to get paid. Second, you will need to get approved for Google AdSense accounts. Third, it can help to be approved for Google AdWords as well. Finally, you will need to build a profitable website. One of the easiest ways to create a quality website is by using WordPress. Don’t get bogged down in WordPress themes that are search engine optimized and flashy. They are not any better for making money with AdSense and can cost you more dollars for webhosting if they use too many resources. Instead, look for great WordPress themes for writers that can feature your content without appearing boring or amateurish.

Then, grab the Make Money Writing Online Feed to stay up to date on all of the best money making writing techniques.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS