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Life After AdSense: Part 2 – Picking up the Pieces with MASSIVE ACTION!

Got banned from AdSense or told to remove AdSense from your site? If so, read on...

In this part of the guide I’ll show you how to replace your AdSense income.

The crucial thing we need to do here is to MONETISE OUR EXISTING ASSETS.

This means that we need to find a way of making money from our existing sites, i.e. the ones we’ve taken AdSense off of, or want to diversify away from AdSense.

Now I’ll point out that if you’re still quite new to making money from websites, then you’re in a great position. Don’t bother worrying about AdSense – it’s a good way of making money online, but it’s not the only way. It may not even be the best way of making money online!

Monetising Existing Assets

If you’ve already got sites that you had to take AdSense off, then there are a number of options:

  • Sell them.
  • Monetise them with an AdSense alternative.
  • Monetise them with Amazon.
  • Monetise them with a CPA network.
  • Monetise them with direct affiliate offers.

So which one is best?

The exact strategy largely depends on what your site’s niche is.

Amazon Associates

If you have a site like www.buy-swimming-goggles.net then quite honestly the best alternative to Google AdSense is going to be the Amazon Associates affiliate plan. Amazon will pay you around 6.5% commission on most products that somebody buys after visiting your site.

Of course, in this case they’re probably be looking to buy swimming goggles. But you’ll also get commission for other stuff that the shopper buys at the same time. Sometimes you’ll find that people go on a shopping spree and buy dozens of things! I wrote a couple of pages about electric screwdrivers. Once one of my website visitors clicked through to Amazon and I got commission on a $300 rare book! That commission was $19.95 so it was a pretty tasty sale.

If you’re going to go down the Amazon route then my top tip is to put a big photo of the item you’re writing about and hyperlink the photo to the Amazon page for that item. People love to click on photos, and it’s convenient that your photo takes them right through to the place where they can order the item.

I’ve been an Amazon Associate since 1999. I’ve never made a huge amount from them. This is largely because I’ve never created a great deal of shopping related articles or websites.

The other drawback with Amazon is that you only get credit if somebody buys something from Amazon.com. So unless your traffic is primarily from the USA then you’re leaving money on the table. The country specific Amazon sites do actually have their own affiliate schemes, but it’s a hassle having to sign up to them all, and probably not worthwhile unless your site has over 1000 visitors a day.

AdSense Alternatives - Direct Replacements

AdSense has a whole host of alternatives. Examples are Chitika, Bidvertiser, Kontera and Clicksor.

The good thing about these alternatives is that they’re so easy to add to your sites. They normally just use a snippet of JavaScript code, and you can paste it into your Wordpress widget boxes and site templates just as you would with AdSense. They also use much the same standard ad block sizes.

Another good thing is that they allow you to monetise just about any old content you’ve got, regardless of niche.

I’m not going to cover these in too much detail though. The honest truth is that none of them are good alternatives to AdSense! This is because none of them have the sheer number of advertisers and the high CPC that AdSense can offer.

By all means try these alternatives, but you’re probably going to be disappointed. I’ll point out here that I haven’t personally used any of these as AdSense replacements. However, I have tried them out over the years.

Three of these AdSense alternatives I’ve tried are Bidvertiser, Chitika and Kontera.

Kontera was junk – I only got $0.01 clicks most of the time, so it was a waste of time. Furthermore, the Kontera ads are quite intrusive, and I always think sites with contextual advertising in the text are total junk.

Bidvertiser, well that was total junk. I never got any clicks at all using this AdSense alternative, so I can’t tell you if it’s any good. My experience of Bidvertiser was also that the advertisers were junk. I put it on a site that does well with AdSense, but all Bidvertiser was showing was ads for crappy online games and scammy weight loss products.

I also signed up to Bidvertiser as an advertiser, but I had a terrible experience there. They took a week to approve my first ad! Well needless to say if they treat their advertisers like that, then you’re not going to get many good ads showing on your site through their network!

You could try out InfoLinks. I tried to get into their programme, but my site was rejected! I take this as a fairly good sign that they’re not just letting anyone in, so give it a go.

Chitika is potentially good, but it depends what your site’s niche is. I put it on a couple of my sites and it’s also on my InfoBarrel articles. I’ve made a couple of payouts from Chitika, which is always a good sign.

The problem with Chitika is that it is very focused on shopping and actual products. Put it on a dating niche site and you won’t make much money. But put it on a site about scarves and hats for example and you’ll probably do OK. It’s probably a good companion to the Amazon Associates programme (more on that above).

AdBrite were reckoned to be about the best of the AdSense alternatives. But unfortunately they closed down a while back.

The main thing you have to know about these networks is that they don’t pay so well as AdSense because:

  • They have less advertisers competing to be displayed on your site.
  • They don’t have many advertisers in certain niches. If your sites are in competitive niches (weight loss, forex, loans) then you might find you do fairly well with these AdSense alternatives. But outside these niches then you’re gonna say hello to mainly $0.01 clicks.
  • Because the ads will often be less relevant to your content, your site visitors won’t tend to click on them so much. So not only will you get less clicks, but each click will be worth less.

Sell Text Links

OK so Google frowns upon this, but who cares about them, it’s a really good way of monetising your sites!

You need to be discreet though, and not make it obvious.

My friend runs a successful forum, and he makes some good money from selling text links. Sure, Google don’t like this, but why would he care? His site is big and popular and would survive any retaliation from Google.

So for this monetisation method to work, you really need a BIG, WELL ESTABLISHED website with a lot of TRAFFIC. If your site gets less than 1000 visitors a day then it’s not really worthwhile.

But if your site is old, popular and is an authority in its niche, then you’ll find that everyone will want links from your site!

I must mention that I’ve never personally sold text links from any of my sites. If you’re going to do this then you must be careful. Here are my tips:

  • Never respond to those spammy emails that ask you to place a text link on your site. It’s better to go out and seek your own customers!
  • Be careful what you link to. Don’t link to poor quality sites. Don’t get involved in backlinking networks. Don’t put in too many links to sites unrelated to your own. If you run a fashion forum, stay away from links to payday loan companies!
  • Decide what your links are worth. Do you want a one off fee, or a recurring payment (you could use Paypal for this!).
  • Don’t advertise your links for sale on your own site! And don’t let your competitors know that you’ve been selling links.
  • Which sites should you link to? If you get approached from someone who wants to buy links, then you should be selective. Turn down 75% of all such requests! The ones you should go for are sites with products who you are an affiliate of, or they actually sell the goods and services your site is about. So if you run a site about property renovation, then sell text links to sites with skips for hire, builders’ merchants, firms of architects etc.

Split Your Sites

One thing that AdSense is good for is monetising sites that cover a wide variety of topics. If you run a general news site, or a site with random articles (e.g. HubPages, InfoBarrel, WikiPedia) then AdSense makes it so easy to monetise the whole site in one go.

So if you have a site with 2-3 topics, consider breaking up the site and establishing separate niche sites. This isn’t always possible. I don’t think HubPages could ever split their site given how diverse their articles are. On the other hand, my friend runs a site that can be best described as covering both babes and weird stuff (think FHM). He’d be better off splitting his babes in bikinis stuff from his other stuff and establishing two different sites. Then he could monetise the babes stuff using dating and muscle building offers, and monetise the weird stuff with something else (maybe PeerFly).

Sell Your Site(s) Altogether!

Losing an AdSense account is a time for soul searching. So ask yourself if you really want your sites.

If your site was making good money through AdSense, then it is possible to sell your site on Flippa or on Empire Flippers.

Sites sell for higher amounts if you can prove their earnings history. Of course if your account is banned then you might not be able to prove this, although Google Analytics does also record AdSense income (although not very accurately).

As a general rule, you can expect to sell a site on Flippa for between 10 and 40 times its monthly earnings.

Affiliate Marketing

If you’re in a niche with desperate buyers then you should have no problem finding affiliate products to offer.

Here are some examples:

Niche Recommended Monetization
Health eBooks
Weight Loss Diet trials, eBooks, diet plans, exercise equipment, personal trainers, gym memberships.
Dating Dating site offers.
Stopping Smoking Electronic cigarette trials, eBooks, books.
Travel Hotels, flights, books, insurance.
Software and IT Software. A fantastic niche for affiliate offers. Training courses. Books and eBooks.

 

For most niche sites, I believe that affiliate marketing is the best way of monetising them. So in a later section of this guide I’ll cover affiliate offers in much more detail.

In-Text Affiliate Links

I was so preoccupied with my AdSense Ad placements that I forgot the most important place to put ads in your site – in the text itself!

By this I mean including affiliate links in your text.

Please don’t make the same mistake as I did!

If you’re marketing affiliate products then textual links are the most important place for your links. Why? Because somebody actually reading your text is obviously engaged in the subject. The result? Far higher conversion rates when they click through to the offer.

The best affiliate links are those which you add to your articles by hand. However, this is a chore, and it’s a hassle if you ever need to change the link.

One shortcut worth checking out is an affiliate manager. For Wordpress sites you can use something like Wp Auto Affiliate Links. This is a nice little plug-in that allows you to add affiliate links throughout your site. To avoid an SEO penalty however I recommend you set it to only show a maximum of two affiliate links per page.

One other nice thing is that if you put in more affiliate links in the text, then you can remove a load of advertising from your site (e.g. banners in the side bar). This means you’re less likely to get a too-much-advertising penalty from Google, plus you won’t annoy your readers so much. Do you know that I rarely bookmark sites that have a lot of advertising on them? I am not alone in doing this!

Sell Advertising

This seems obvious, but not many people actually do it.

If when you had AdSense on your site you saw the same old advertisers, then why not strike up an advertising deal with them? Since you’re cutting out the middle-men, you can offer them a much lower rate than it would cost for them to advertise on your site through AdSense!

So see if they’ll pay you a flat rate sum or a monthly fee for advertising on your site.

Getting some recurring revenue from monthly ad placements is a wonderful way to monetise your site.

By the way, if your site is quite large, then it’s possible to buy ad manager software tools like BanManPro. These tools allow you to schedule your ad inventory, rotate the ads, count click throughs etc. etc.

Read Part 3: Be Prepared With Plan B, C and D!

 

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