Honesty Increases AdSense Revenue But So Do Big Numbers – Which Is Better?

Written On Day: 230

When I decided to create this website the first thing I did was open an account with a web host service.  The second thing was to create a few email accounts.

Three email account where created:

  1. info@: this is used for the contact page.  When a visitor fills out the contact form and clicks send I get an email from info@.
  2. roman@: I use this address when I want to email somebody or when I need to leave a contact address.  For example, on blog comments and on my AdSense account.
  3. paj@: When someobody fills out the PAJ order page this email is used.

It is amazing how optimistic and ignorant I was.  The reason I created 3 different accounts was for organizational purposes.  I imagined that emails would be flooding in all day.  By having 3 email address I would be able to quickly determine what the email is about.  Is it a contact page submission, PAJ order, or a response to a blog comment I left?  It was suppose to be a great time saver.

Seven months have gone by since I created the email accounts.  No emails have come in via paj@.  Not a single order for a PAJ.  You are not surprised – I am.  Of course I did not expect 100’s of sales but at least 1 or 2 a month.  Nope – nothing.

I also expected that people would have questions and comments about the website.  Where did you get that number? How did you make that graph? Can you tell me how I can…?  I was actually worried that I would be spending all my time answering email questions and have no time to work on the website.  I have proof of my ignorant optimism – when you fill out the contact form the thank you message states:

Thank you for your comment. I read all emails, and I try to respond to all emails.

TRY to respond to all emails.  Large mail bags arriving everyday and my hand cramped up from writing to all my fans….I will try to respond to all emails.

Reality: the contact page has been up for 227 days.  I have received 12 contact page emails.  Around one contact form email every 20 days.  Wandering around the Sahara desert for 227 days I would certainly stumble upon a oasis more often.  Every time an email comes in from the contact form I think it is a mirage – it has been so long since I have seen one.  I will try to respond to all emails. 

A couple days ago I received one of the precious and rare contact form emails.  For me it is an event – I do not just open the email.  I savor it – somebody took the time to send me an email.  I get an coffee, close the door, turn on some music, and click on the email.  Before responding I read the email over and over again.  What do they need?  What are they asking?  How can I help?  Taking a sip of coffee my brain begins to formulate a response.

But the email I received a few days ago was different then the 12 before it.  I read it over and over again.  I could not believe what I was reading…it had to be a mirage.  An email that cannot exist. 

In essence it called me a liar.  It questioned my honesty.  It stated that the numbers on the website must be fabricated.

The reason the person doubted the numbers was that my AdSense revenues are too high for the first month.  The first month my AdSense revenue was $40 dollars.  That is too high.  The whole website it bullshit.  That was the message of the email.  It was not a mirage, the oasis was real, but the water was poisoned.

Why The AdSense Revenue Was High During First 2 Months

Here are my AdSense Revenue’s for the first 6 months:


Month – 2009 AdSense Revenue ($)
January 40.14
February 53.80
March 11.60
April 14.03
May 11.82
June 13.51
July 24.51

As you can see for the first two months AdSense revenue was great.  Much more then the next five months.  How can this be explained?  There are two possibilities:

  1. I am a liar – and this entire website is spattered with fabricated information.
  2. The numbers are real. There is a rational and logical explanation for the high AdSense revenue.

The first possibility cannot be discounted – I am making the numbers up.  Even though the homepage states: “This website is a no nonsense, no hype, honest account of how it makes money online.”, it is just another lie on a fly infested dung heap of lies.  This website should have been called: How This Website Lies To Make Money (and how much it lies).

Of course there is nothing I can write to persuade you to believe me.  You do not know me and I do not know you.  The safest thing for you to do is not believe me.  The only argument I can give is that there is no reason for me to make up numbers.  How do I benefit by fabricating numbers?  Would this website make more money if I made less during the first month? I have no idea.  I cannot think of any reason to pull numbers from a hat.  It is actually easier for me to give the actual numbers because it requires no thought from me – I simply take numbers from one report and enter them into another.  Monkey work – no thought required.

Fabricating number with an intent to make more money is a level of thought beyond me.  I do not even know where to start.  Should I be claiming that I get more traffic?  Will more people click on Ads if I do?  Will that improve my SEO?  Or maybe it is better to claim that I get very little traffic.  People will come to my website just to see what kind of loser I am.  I do all this work and all I get is 10 visitors a day – would this website make more money if people thought I was an idiot?

Lets assume that you do not think I am an idiot and that the numbers are real.  What could be the logical explanation for the large AdSense revenue the first two months and then the big drop thereafter?

Here is a graph showing the traffic sources for this website for the previous 7 months:

Website traffic sources

Looking at the graph, what sticks out like a pimple on a super model, is that for the first two months most of the traffic is from referral sites.

The first two months I received almost no traffic from search engines – the website was new and not indexed.  All my traffic came from forums I visited.  Forums in my niche: make money online.  I was leaving comments and the signature was a link back to this website.  People who clicked on my signature where exactly like me – they were looking for ways to make money online.  They come to this website and see ads about making money online.  They clicked them because the ads are specifically targeted to them.

This was great.  I was driving perfectly targeted traffic to my website.  And made money with AdSense.  The problem was that it was a lot of work.  I spent countless hours on the forums reading and making comments.  Roughly an hour a day.  So for the entire month I spent 30 hours driving traffic to this website which earned me $40.14. A little over a dollar an hour.  Pathetic.

Month 2 was more of the same – 30 hours work for $50 dollars.  I needed a new plan.  Driving traffic from forums is too much work with very little gain.

So at the end of month 2 I changed strategy.  Instead of working like a donkey for a measly $1 an hour I changed focus.  Decrease my forum time and spend more time I getting search engine traffic.  Increase backlinks, improve SEO, add more content to the site.  Because of this change my AdSense took a big drop.  Search engine traffic is targeted but not as perfectly as the forum traffic.

The hope is that in the long run it will pay off.  If ever the day comes that search engines start to send me traffic in the 1000’s per day then I will be making a lot more in revenue and doing a lot less work.

And as this is going on I will be diligently updating the website’s tables and graphs.  Monkey see number, monkey copy number.  Of course, when I do become a success there will be lots of people who will not believe the numbers.  But whether that will help or hinder the website I have no idea.  Honest sells, but so does a lot of 0’s.

  1. August 19th, 2009 at 14:24 | #1

    This is truly an important matter which more people should think about. When you are discussing on forums you may get a few visitors but as soon as you stop writing they will stop visiting you. If you instead work with generating backlinks and SEO your work will have value also when you stop promoting it.

  2. August 19th, 2009 at 17:04 | #2

    Yes but, the reason the blog and the traffic isn’t growing is that there aren’t enough posts on it for decent SEO. The more posts, the more keywords, the more traffic.
    You did do very well with Adsense in those first two months, and knowing you Roman, I have no doubt the figures are real. But the killer for the blog has to be the lack of posting. Find some more time to do that and you’ll see all those numbers start to climb again.
    Apologies if I sound like I’m preaching!

  3. roman
    August 24th, 2009 at 11:29 | #3

    Mike, if I was a galley slave and you the galley master then I am certain that my back would be covered with slashes and blood.

    Thanks for the wipping – it is exactly what I need to get this boat moving faster.

  4. Zocyn
    November 20th, 2009 at 22:51 | #4

    What a great read. I signed up to your mailing list because of it. Refreshingly honest and funny. Keep it up. Can’t wait to explore your whole site – really.

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