Website Income

Monetization Strategy Rev 1

So far some of my monetization strategy has been working well while other parts have not. This post will be short and outline what has gone well, what has gone poorly with Rev 0 of my monetization strategy and what Rev1 of my strategy will include.

What’s gone poorly…

  • Adsense CTR – due to Adsense terms of service I can’t share but it has been below 2%
  • Adsense CPC – due to Adsense terms of service I can’t share but it has been below $2
  • Opt Ins – Total of 3
  • CPA offer link not working for 20% of visitors

What’s gone well…

  • Overall income – $105.39 on 906 unique visitors in October
  • CPA Offer CTR – over 20%

5 Changes for Rev 1 of My Authority Site Monetization Strategy

  1. My top AdSense block was responsible for 70% of my AdSense revenue so I have replaced the bottom AdSense with a CPA offer.
  2. My AdSense CTR was low so I have selected the default color scheme to see what my CTR and CPC will be moving forward.
  3. The CPA offer is set again to open in a new tab but I still haven’t figured out why the link is not working for some people
  4. An AdSense widget to display only rich media has been set up to go into the top of the sidebar
  5. I have moved the opt in form out of the prime real estate on the sidebar as it is clearly not providing value to the visitors with only 3 opt ins!
authority site monetization

Future Changes I Am Considering for Rev 2

  • Test other related CPA offers
  • Split test text on CPA offers
  • Add links in sidebar to relevant affiliate resources (credit score, loan etc)


Ethical Concern With AdSense

I try and stay true to my internet marketing cornerstone beliefs, read them here, but since we cant control the ads that are placed on our site with AdSense we open ourselves up to promoting products we don’t believe in. For example, I am 100% against pay day loans and would never offer them on my website as a CPA offer, yet it is an offer that likely shows via AdSense for many of my visitors.

How do I reconcile my dislike for some ads Google pushes with the convenience of Google AdSense? For me I have started blocking ads that end up being displayed that I don’t believe in.

However, this solution is not perfect as there are hundreds of Pay Day Loan advertisers and there is no practical way to block them all that I am aware of.

Perfect Solution – Have the only monetization on the website be placed there by me for CPA offers I believe in. I am not there yet but that is what I will be working towards.


How Do You Ensure You Endorse The Ads That Get Displayed On Your Website?


About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Kristy @ says November 13, 2012

Jon I had the same concern with my site, lots of AdSense ads for make money online stuff I couldn’t endorse.

I tried in vain to try and eliminate the ads I didn’t like but then just decided to promote affiliate products I did believe in.

Thanks for sharing so much detail about your successes and failures, its really appreciated!


    Jon says November 13, 2012

    Thanks Kristy, that is definitely one route I will consider going. Being able to control the ads 100% would definitely be a good thing.

Sam says November 13, 2012

I was wondering when I read your beliefs how you would control the ads that go on your website. I haven’t faced the problem you are having but I don’t think its unethical to allow Google to display ads since they are custom for every person.

    Jon says November 13, 2012

    Sam I agree with you for the most part especially in this niche where I believe most student recognize ads for ads and not endorsements from the website those ads run on.

Travis at Rossome Marketing says November 13, 2012

Luckily I haven’t come across any ads on my sites that I’m vehemently against. However, I believe you can block certain ads from ever showing up again on your site, which is nice in this situation.

From Google Adsense support pages:

“To give you editorial control over the ads that appear on your site, we offer several options for reviewing and blocking ads that may appear on your pages.
The Allow & block ads tab in your account, is the place where you tell us if there are any ads you don’t want, and what kinds you don’t want.”

    Jon says November 13, 2012

    Hi Travis, yes you can block ads and I have done so on a few pay day loan ads the problem is there are so many of them and I want to create multiple ads for split testing that its really tough to keep up with blocking all the stuff I want to block.

Daryl Mander says November 14, 2012

Hi Jon,

Lots of respect for your ethical stance on Adsense. It’s something I hadn’t really thought of before – whether I am ok with the products that Adsense is promoting on my site. I think a review is overdue.

Re links opening in a new tab: I assume then that the new tabs were not the culprit for the clicks drop off? Did you ever figure it out? There is usually some drop off because one system will measure outbound clicks from your site, whereas the other system measure clicks that actually arrived at the destination. Drop off occurs due to slow load times causing the user to cancel the request, or server down time on the other end. However, 20% drop off to me sounds to high to be explained by that. Did you ever figure it out?



    Jon says November 14, 2012

    Daryl, no I have not figured it out yet. I agree if I saw a 5% to 10% difference in tracking and no reported issues I wouldn’t be concerned.

    But link works find on my computer but not on my IPhone / IPad and it does work on some peoples Mac. I will keep testing and working with people to try and figure it out.

    Thanks for your comment and suggestions!

Joe @ How I Got Rich says November 14, 2012

Good on you for being so ethical, I hadn’t really thought much about this. Although I don’t really use Adsense.

    Jon says November 14, 2012

    Its not something I think about in most niches because a lot of times there isn’t an offer I feel is counter productive to a visitor to my site. But in this case I hate pay day loans enough that I dont want the ads on my site.

    It might not be completely altruistic of me either since I don’t want the (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) “brand” associated with pay day loans.

Dun says November 16, 2012

Thanks for showing in so much detail how you are going about monetizing your site. This isn’t something most of my clients are interested in so it definitely is nice to see how you go about monetizing sites.

    Jon says November 17, 2012

    Thanks Dun, glad you found it helpful!

Financial Samurai says November 16, 2012

Hey Jon,

It’s been a while I focused on Adsense. Can I ask some questions here?

* Does the pay per click you receive go UP the less Adsense blocks you have? If so, is it best to remove a full adsense block to increase pay?
* Any idea how to embed an adsense block within your content and have text wrap around it?
* Is the CPA offer through Google Adsense as well?



    Jon says November 17, 2012

    Sam, thanks for the questions, I will do my best to answer them….

    1. I dont know foresure its an interesting question. What I do know is that the the CPC is higher for ads typically at the top of the page than ads at the bottom of the page. But would the CPC for the top ad block increase if all other ad blocks were removed – I don’t know – but its an interesting question. I am not getting enough clicks to make a statistically relevant comparison but possibly in the future I will test this.

    2. How To Embed Adsense – Really really simple with the plugin called “quick adsense” – It is awesome!
    Here is a tutorial –

    3. The CPA offer is not through Google Adsense, I signed up for a company directly. I found them by seeing that they were advertising frequently via adsense on similar sites.

    Let me know if you have any follow up questions.


Quinn @ Cubicle Free says November 23, 2012

Great Work Jon! Great to have found your site. I am an engineer and am building authority sites too. Looks like we share a similar approach – a winning one I think 🙂 Really like the “Get Updates” opt-in here. How did you arrange for that? Keep up the great stuff. Quinn

    Jon says November 23, 2012

    Thanks Quinn, I think your authority site project is going to be very interesting one to follow with your ability to leverge off your existing sites and more importantly customer knowledge.

    The “Get Updates” opt in is done using Aweber wordpress plugin.

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