Earn More Money on Google Ads

Most of my websites contain Google ads. My main goal in doing so was to generate a bit of additional revenue to cover my direct costs to host the sites and my time to add content and maintain them. For the most part, these goals are met, albeit often only paying me minimum wage for my time.

A couple of months ago, Google announced it changed its search algorithms to give greater credence to “real” content publishers — like me — and less attention to those who merely throw questionable or valueless text online in order to get clicks.

I didn’t give this much thought until I received my most recent revenue check from Goggle. It took a 50% jump! (I’ve since heard that some of the biggest offenders saw a 90% drop!)

This is both exciting and affirming. Goggle implicitly sees value in the content on my sites and is rewarding me for it.

Even so, revenue from Google will never be significant to solely cover the creation and maintenance of informational websites, but it is a nice bonus. I am acutely aware that just as they tweaked their search algorithms to my benefit, they could later do the same to my detriment.

I’m thankful for Google but not depending on them.


What the Growth in Magazine Readership Means

I am tired of hearing about the demise of magazines — especially when it is not true.

David McDonald, of True North Custom Media wrote in the February 2011 issue of Folio: magazine that “year after year magazine readership continues to grow,” noting that “magazine readership has increased for the past five years — right through the recession.”

He then shares some facts to back this up:

  • 4 out 5 adults read magazines (MPA)
  • Young adults — those under 35 — read the most, “despite the abundance of new media alternatives” (MRI)
  • 90 percent of magazine subscribers prefer the printed format over using an electronic reader (CMO Council)

That’s why authors want their work to appear in magazines, not online (online is a secondary bonus, but not a main objective).

And that’s why print advertising deserves a higher priority and more attention than online. Advertisers should put their dollars were the reader are.


When to Mail Magazines: It’s Not When You Might Think

I regularly receive more that a dozen magazines. Although I am intentional about reading each one, it is never right away. Generally I have a few in queue waiting for their turn – expect for over the Christmas holidays. As magazine publishers have migrated away from producing an issue each month, many seemingly have strategically avoided the holidays. The result of this is that my magazine queue shrinks and eventually I am caught up.

As the pile of waiting magazines decreases, I find that I begin reading more articles in each one, read them more slowly, and read them more thoroughly. This is good news for those who do send me a holiday-time issue – their message is more likely to be seen. The same goes for the advertisers in those magazines.

(As an aside, I wonder if the holidays might be a good time for a direct mail piece to gain more attention. There would certainly be less competition in the recipient’s mailbox.)

Before you categorize me as an anomaly, doing an abnormal amount of reading over the holidays, which is not the practice of “normal” people, let me share some anecdotal support.

Many of my websites – all of which would be classified as “informational,” not e-commerce – enjoy a spike in page views during holidays. This is not just for the Christmas/New Year season, but also Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, and Thanksgiving weekend. I sometimes see a similar blip on my blog traffic as well.

Lastly, I usually see a spike in subscription requests over each of these holidays as well.

So even if “we” spend time with family over the holidays, a good many also find time to spend reading and surfing the net.

If you’re in publishing, taking a break for each holiday, while seemingly sage, may be a missed opportunity.


Two Print Publications Set Revenue Records

In the November issue of Folio magazine, Matt Kinsman reported that two print publications recently hit records for advertising revenue.

One was Premier Guitar, a relative newbie on the print scene at only four years old.

However, for the other magazine, The Atlantic, the record is much more impressive — given that they’ve been around for 153 years.

Imagine that, hitting a 153 year high in print revenue — and at a time when the economy is less than ideal.

Just imagine what will happen when things actually turn around. I’m ready — are you?


The Risks of Mailing Product with Magazines

Marketers try different approaches to connect with prospects. One such method is sending a CD or DVD with a magazine.

Sometimes the magazine and the product are both slipped into a polybag, and other times the product is slid into a sleeve that is stitched into the magazine.
In the example on the right, the DVD was put into a heavy flexible plastic sleeve, designed to offer maximum protection. It was included in the magazine for several months and each issue I tried unsuccessfully to remove the DVD its carrier.
Then one month it arrived broken. While it could have been damaged when it was inserted into the sleeve or when the sleeve was stitched into the magazine, I suspect that it was occurred at the hands of the USPS. This isn’t a slam on the US Postal Service, as their record of mail being delivered on time and without incident is stellar.
My point is that in marketing sometimes things don’t work out as planned, be it a sleeve that protects so well that it can’t be opened or product that was damaged in transit.
(By the way, the following month, I did preserver and extricated the DVD from its seemingly impenetrable sleeve. However, I was then satisfied and never did play it.)