There has been a debate for years now in the business of blogging, writing and publishing of content on the Internet. For those of us who write content on the web as our business, we need to maximize the amount of money we earn from each article or blog post that we write.
What is the debate?
Who do you write for?
Do you write for Google, or do you write for human readers?
What do I mean?
Writing for Google
Those who write for Google are very big on researching everything before they write at all.
- What topics does Google like, and pay a premium for?
- What keywords should I feature in my article, and especially in the title, to capitalize on what I can earn from Google?
- What other “white hat” tricks can I employ to squeeze a bit more money out of Google?
These types of considerations are very important for those who “write for Google.” You may have a hard time what I mean about “writing for Google.” You see, because Google advertising (AdSense) is featured on many blogs, a lot of people concentrate very deeply on what they must do to make Google happy, and maximize the revenue that they get from Google through their advertising program. Of course, real live humans have to come to their blog for them to earn anything, but many people have the attitude that their first concern is to please Google, and that will maximize the earnings when real people come to their sites.
Writing for humans
The opposite consideration is to concentrate your writing on what your readers want to read. To write information that is entertaining or informative to the people who visit your site. I am a big believer in writing for humans. The way that I see it, if I write articles that are interesting to read, that will bring more traffic to my site, and the earnings of the site will take care of themselves.
Of course, there is a balance that must be considered. You can’t, in my opinion, go 100% in either direction. If you write 100% for Google your articles might be very dry, and uninteresting. If your articles are not interesting, nobody will visit your site, and thus you will make nothing from advertising. On the other hand, if you totally write for humans and don’t even consider what is good for your revenue, then a lot of people may read your site, but you won’t make any money. You have to find a balance, and capitalize on it. I prefer to lean pretty far toward the “human” side, and I don’t concentrate much at all on what Google wants. I often tell people that I don’t write for computers (like Google’s web crawlers), I write for my readers. The truth is, you still have to put a little effort into making sure that you will be in line with Google’s policies though.
Truth is, if you concentrate more on your readers, you might, and probably will, get a bit of a ding from Google, and make less than if you really concentrated all of your efforts on doing what Google’s computers want. But, there is a remedy for that, one that I have found to be very effective.
What are those remedies?
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Find other ways to monetize your site, other than just Google advertising.
What I have found to be very effective is selling my own products and services. Selling eBooks on the topic that you write about. Writing and selling books on the topic of your site. Truth is, these products are much more profitable than advertising in most cases.
I am not saying that you should eliminate advertising on your site, but what I am saying is that you should not count on it for 100% of your income.
Think about this, most pay per click advertising pays a very small amount. Based on my contractual commitment to Google, I cannot give specifics in terms of how much you get when somebody clicks on your ad, but let me say that most publishers make only a small amount from pay per click advertising. Yes, there are some people who make thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands. Such people are rare, though. Some people only make $1 per month or so. I don’t know what the average is, but I would guess that the average blogger makes less than $20 per month from pay per click advertising.
Now, I have a lot of eBooks that I have published. I have eBooks that cost from $9.99 up to $49.00. If I sell one of those eBooks, I have made more than a lot of people make for a whole month. And, on average, I sell more than one eBook every day. Sometimes I sell way more than one book in a day. But, it is rare that a day goes by that I don’t sell at least one book. I also make a “way above average” amount from advertising on my sites.
My motto is to make sure that I don’t do something that gets me penalized by Google, but other than that, I write what my readers want (at least that is what I try to do, of course some articles are more successful than others). I find that it works for me.
How can you get penalized by Google? By breaking their rules. Some things that Google will penalize you for are simple mistakes like having poor spelling or grammar on your site. Of course, nobody has perfect spelling, everybody makes mistakes, but just try to minimize the mistakes. Don’t publish duplicate content, that will get you on Google’s bad side. What is duplicate content? Having the exact same article on your site that appears on other sites too. It’s not hard to stay on Google’s good side, just make a commitment to yourself that you are going to do that, and you will likely come out just fine.
So, my advice is to write for your readers, follow Google’s quality policies, and aim for a mix in revenue sources for your site. If you do this, and keep doing it over time, it is likely that you will experience some success in publishing on the net.