AdSense Profits Interview: TucsonOnTheCheap.com



As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I’ll be posting interviews with some of the people who took the AdSense Profits Course back in June. Below you’ll find the second interview, with Kate Reynolds. She owns TucsonOnTheCheap.com, which is a website dedicated to finding the best deals in her city. She pretty much doubled her AdSense earnings within months, so check it out.



1. When and why did you start TucsonOnTheCheap.com?
I’m a freelance writer and belong to quite a few online writing groups. About three years ago, an online friend in one group starting writing about her blog, Atlanta on the Cheap. Her inspiration was to post bargains and deals attractive to Atlanta visitors. Well, a bunch of us thought that sounded like a great plan–especially since this economy is rough on freelancers–and we formed a group. We call it Cities on the Cheap (http://CitiesOnTheCheap.com), and it’s a network of hyper local bloggers. All of that is how TucsonOnTheCheap met the world. Here’s one interesting gem we all learned: we may have started by thinking our blogs were intended for visitors to our individual cities, but we quickly learned that our true customers were local. It’s good to be flexible and observant. We found our niche.
2. What goals did you have for it initially? Were you planning to make money?
To answer the second question first: You bet. I knew exactly nothing about making money from a blog, but I knew it had been done. Initially, I wanted to post only ephemeral sorts of deals (a dinner bargain at a local restaurant good for only three days etc.). I later learned that people were using my blog to find fun things to do in Tucson that don’t cost a lot. So it became a blog that highlighted not just passing deals but also inexpensive ways to have a blast (festivals, cheap but good Mexican restaurants etc.). A tip: Try to make your blog useful to someone. That’s the key element that determines what I post. Is the information useful?
3. When did you decided you should start monetizing it, and did it go for the first months?
I put up AdSense ads about two months after starting the blog. Nickel after nickel rolled in until I had earned a whole dime. I’m kidding, of course, but quite seriously it didn’t go well. I recall that I didn’t earn my first check from Google until about four months after putting up the AdSense ads (Google only sends out checks after you earn at least $100). After that, I regularly earned the minimum each and every month. So AdSense has been kind to me after a slow start.
4. Do you know HTML/CSS? What other technical knowledge do you have?
I do know HTML but not CSS. But I cheat: my husband is a computer guru, and he helps when I need something special. I try not to bother him too much. Knowledge of CSS would be a plus, however my blog is on WordPress, and CSS is not essential.
5. How do you promote the website?
For a while I put up AdWords, but I stopped when I realized that AdWords is a better tool for people with an actual product to sell. In my case, I give away information and hope people will click on my ads or buy from my affiliations. I do regularly tweet and make Facebook status changes. I try to engage with my readers on Facebook and have become friends with some. Twitter and Facebook are huge for me. StumbleUpon is ok, but the people who come via that route are not my target audience and they don’t stay or come back. So Twitter an Facebook are fine traffic sources, but organic search is better. Some people may not understand that good SEO is also good website promotion–in fact, it’s vital to getting the word out. What good is an excellent blog on any subject if nobody knows your blog is there? Most of my visitors come from organic Google search.
6. How much were you making before you joined the AdSense Profits course?
Here’s the breakdown on the months just before I took the course:
March 2011: $355.36
April 2011: $418.87
May 2011: $328.35
The average was around $360. As for traffic, I was receiving around 15,000 unique visitors per month.
7. How did your earnings increase after it?
On the months that followed the course I noticed a big increase in earnings. Here’s the breakdown:
July 2011: $855.94
August 2011: $669.95
September 2011: $713.39
The average is $740, so you can see my earnings pretty much doubled in a matter of months. My traffic increased as well.
8. What concepts/strategies did you learn from the course that had a positive impact on your earnings?
I had not understood the value of ad placement and size until I took Daniel’s AdSense class. Daniel personally looked at my site the first week or so of the class. He made personalized suggestions that I implemented immediately (talking about ad placement & size here). I kid you not: within maybe two or three days I had earned so much more than usual that the entire cost of the class was covered. My AdSense revenue has remained solid since then.
But that’s not all I learned. I had no idea about the world of buying and selling websites/blogs. I was simply stunned. Not only that, but I have decided to sell Tucson on the Cheap soon and plan to use methods I learned in the course. Who knows? I might wind up buying and selling websites for a living now!
9. What tip do you have for beginners that are just getting started with Adsense?
Tip # 1: The more specific your blog niche, the better Google will be able to target your site.
Tip #2: Learn where to place your ads on the page. It matters. Really.
Tip #3: STUDY the AdSense rules. Google takes its services seriously and will throw you out if you do not follow the rules. So sit down, read them, and learn.
Tip #4: Grow your audience before placing ads. In the first place, Google shows preference to older sites, and it also shows you to be a reliable blogger who isn’t looking for an easy buck. All that matters to Google–and to you, too.
10. What plans do you have for TucsonOnTheCheap.com, and how much do you think it can potentially earn per month?
I think TucsonOnTheCheap can be a highly profitable blog, and someone can make decent money with a couple of hours of work per day. That someone should be a person who understands marketing (not one of my strengths). I think my blog might potentially earn several thousand dollars/month. But I am ready to move on, and I am hoping to sell TucsonOnTheCheap soon as I mentioned.
by Daniel Scocco


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1 Respones to "AdSense Profits Interview: TucsonOnTheCheap.com"

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December 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM
 

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