Can Google Adsense (And The Like) Really Fetch You Money?

It’s all over the web. I mean, all the hype about Google Adsense. How it can fetch you hundreds to thousands of dollars every month. And how it can transform your blog into a machine that spins money even in your sleep.

I’m sure you’ve read and heard enough of that, too.

No doubt, many bloggers are truly making money through Adsense. But the truth is, Adsense and other PPC ad networks aren’t really working for most Nigerian bloggers, including me. I mean, these networks aren’t as lucrative as most people think.

You might want to disagree with me. But bear in mind that I didn’t state the above out of conjecture. I carried out real tests to see things for myself. Read on to know what I discovered.

Google Adsense Nigeria

About one year ago, I started a blog targeted at Nigerians (not this one you’re reading), and the blog now attracts about 1,300 daily visits (majorly from Nigeria) — thanks to SEO and other tactics.

With that amount of traffic, I expected to start earning huge figures when I get an Adsense approval. Of course, a traffic volume of 1,000+ daily visits is decent enough.

Basking in optimism, I applied for a Google Adsense account about 6 months ago. Unfortunately, I never went past the second review phase. I always got my application rejected at this phase. And “Site does not comply with Google policies” was the usual reason for the rejections.

I read the Google Adsense policies several times, and I was cocksure I never violated any of them. And since I’ve read many similar stories, I concluded that Google’s automated review bots are just zealous to a fault — or probably biased.

When Adsense wouldn’t approve my application, I turned to Addynamo, another PPC ad network, to give them a try. I can’t remember having to wait for an approval; I was approved immediately. And I wasted no time in placing their ads on strategic places on my blog. That was about 5 months ago.

Two weeks after placing Addynamo ads on my blog, I checked my earnings, and what I saw shocked me. The ads have been clicked 225 times, yet my total earnings was $1.05. That’s less than N200 for two weeks. It’s crazy, you know? I didn’t waste time before bringing down the ads — because they were useless!

Suggested:   My Second Adsense Experiment: The Results (And Lessons You Should Learn)

Then I came across PromoNigeria (now OpenAdNation), a new PPC ad network. And I decided to give them a trial. Again, there was no review process per se, as I was able to generate ad codes immediately. I placed their ads on my blog and waited to see how much I would earn from them.

After two weeks of flaunting PromoNigeria ads on my blog, I checked my earnings. Another shocker. I earned just N275 over the 2-week period. Yes, two hundred and seventy five Naira (they pay in Naira). I quickly took down the useless ads. I was comfortable leaving my blog without ads for the next couple of weeks.

Having discovered that Addynamo and PromoNigeria were not just good for me, my mind went back to Google Adsense. I applied again, and it was the same old story.

But I was really curious to know how much I would earn if I ran Adsense ads on my blog. So, last month, I contacted a friend of mine who had an Adsense account. I requested that he place some ad codes on my blog, which he did. We both knew it was risky running Adsense ads on a blog that has been rejected several times for reasons best known to only Google, but I was sure I wasn’t violating any policies. So, we ran the ads on my blog to see how much money they would fetch.

After the first day, I earned $0.74, and on the second day 2, I earned $1.48. After leaving the ads to run for two weeks, we checked the earnings, and it was still less than $20. Granted, the earnings were far more than what obtained with Addynamo and Adsense, but $30-$40 per month is just too meager — to me.

I would have earned more from Adsense if their ads display on mobile devices. More than 60% of my traffic comes from mobile devices, which means I cannot earn from this larger half of my traffic.

I also understand that I would have earned more from Adsense if I had more traffic. But having to triple my current traffic just to earn $100 (around N16,000) per month from Adsense made zero sense to me. So, I brought down the Adsense ads once again.

Suggested:   My Second Adsense Experiment: The Results (And Lessons You Should Learn)

(Throughout the 2-week period for which I ran Adsense ads on my blog with my friend’s account, we received no warning or ban from Google. This only drives home the point that my blog is fine and is not violating any policies. The multiple rejections, as I stated earlier, must have been due to an overzealous or biased bot.)

So, what did I do afterwards?

Less than two weeks ago, I decided to go the way of private ads. I put up an “Advertise here” page on which I stated my monthly traffic volume and where the visits are coming from (I added screenshots from Google Analytics as proof). I also stated the benefits that advertisers will gain as well as the prices for each ad slot. I then designed and uploaded banners that read “Click to advertise your business here.”

Within the next three days, I had received emails from three people who wanted to advertise on the blog. While I’ve not received any response from one of them after my first reply to his mail, the other two seem serious. And presently, we’re ironing out the best way to maximize the ads before sealing the deal.

And for your information, each ad slot on the blog goes for N5,000. If all 6 slots are taken up, that’s extra N30,000 per month (about $200). That’s far more than I would make with Adsense. And of course, as my traffic grows, the prices will increase, too. For now, it’s over between Adsense and I.

Can you really make money with Adsense in Nigeria?

Yes, but you will need very huge traffic. And a huge fraction of that traffic must be from PCs, not mobile devices. In addition, your blog must cater to a global audience, as most Nigerians are already “blind” to PPC ads.

Bottom line

If you’ve always nursed the dream of growing a blog and earning 6-figures from Adsense or other PPC ad networks, you’d better looked beyond them. And if that’s the only monetization idea you know of, you’d better start learning about other ideas.

I’m not saying you cannot make decent profits from Adsense, but not with a blog like mine that attracts “just” 1,300 visits per day. And considering the time it would take you to build a blog that attracts that amount of daily visits, you may want to agree that Adsense shouldn’t be a top-priority monetization method.

Suggested:   My Second Adsense Experiment: The Results (And Lessons You Should Learn)

Have you ever wondered why the world’s most successful blogs aren’t monetized with Adsense? I guess it’s because Adsense sucks when compared with other monetization options.

There may be strategies that can increase one’s Adsense earnings, but I still don’t think Adsense is worth my time.

Your turn?

Before now, what was your mindset about Google Adsense? And did this post change that mindset? Do you disagree with some of my points? Or do you have some other points to add? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

And, please, share this post with others on Facebook and Twitter. Let them know that Adsense isn’t really what they’re taking it for.

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