Two Million-Page-View Hubbers Discuss Maximizing Ad Income

embitca is the newest inductee into the Million Page View Hub Club, and what makes her success even more remarkable is that she achieved this impressive milestone in about 1/8th the number of published Hubs that I required to reach the Million mark.

Therefore, when she commented on the 1000+ Hub Ad Challenge I had published in my Hub:

What I've Learned From Writing 1,000 Hubs

I was extremely interested in learning from this Boston Prodigy any hints she could have to help maximize my own ad income, which I have repeatedly stated in various Hubs is relatively minute in comparison to my prolific Hub output.

I don't for one minute try to deny that I am anything but an Ad Agnostic. I stated in my Hub:

Hal's Not-So-Secret Method To Writing Successful Hubs

I have never written a single Hub around what I think I could get in AdSense clicks and I never will.

That conviction remains rock solid, but I would be a fool to not try to increase my earnings by jiggling around ad placements, tag selection, and other elements which do not directly impinge on my own editorial freedom and commitment to serve my readers first and foremost.

Therefore, here are embitca's comments, interspersed with my own. I am publishing this "conversation" in the hope and expectation that many Hubbers will be able to pick up some tips from our combined experience in order to earn as much money as possible on the superlative HubPages platform:

Hal, great hub! Your hubs are amazing and clearly you know how to capture the Google love, so I think there's got to be a way to increase your income with what you already have going here.

embitca, thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated coming from a fellow Million Hubber.

Do you know what hubs are currently making you the most with Adsense? If not, figuring that out is the first step.

I've spent many an hour poring through the various AdSense reports and it turns out that there is very little statistical fluctuation from one Hub to the next.

Let's take a look at May 09: My lowest Page CTR was 0.44% and my highest was 2.29%. Based on up to 4,000 Page Impressions per day, the highest number of clicks I received in one day was 34 which resulted in earnings of $8.56.

I recently had a day with more than 5,000 Page Impressions where the Page CTR was 0.29% with earnings of $2.22! There are some Hubbers reporting on the Forums that their Page CTRs reach 50%! I find it very difficult to believe that any Hub can reach those levels. If we do a bit of math, I should have earned $400 that day!

I have had days of over 13,000 Page Impressions where I have earned ten bucks on about 20 clicks. By having a 50% Page CTR, I should be looking at a thousand dollars on that one day!

Actually, in reviewing some of my earlier Adsense reports, here is an interesting day: almost 37,000 Page Impressions, Page CTR of 0.17%. Ouch!

I am approaching the Hubbers who claim that they are converting half their page views into clicks with the same sort of skepticism that I reserve for those individuals who insist that they were kidnapped by flying saucers. I'm not overtly stating outright that they're insane, but until they can provide some hard, real, verifiable evidence, I'm going to maintain my skepticism.

Even if you decide to only track the first 20 or so of your highest traffic hubs, I think it would give you some valuable info. But if you can, I would track your top 200.

I regularly have about 20 Hubs that receive over 50 page views per day every single day. I'm ready to track them in any way you deem preferable.

Once you are tracking, then it is time to start tinkering. I would leave the MPG hubs exactly as they are, but for a lot of your other hubs I would move the photos that are to the right of the first text capsule.

There are two ways to experiment:

1. Move the photo up so its the top capsule and takes up the width of the hub

I understand the ad reasoning behind not having the top photo to the side of the text at half column width: It allows for a straight through ad placement at that point: and in order to avoid that reader distraction that's why I usually place them at half width... I'm sure you can tell by now that I am not really an enthusiastic ad placer!

2. Bump the photo down the page. (Sometimes I cut my text into two capsules so that I can display a photo partway down a long text page.)

I'm not clear on the reason behind placing the only image halfway down the text, though. Is it to plunk a horizontal band of ads right smack dab in the middle of the article?

What we want to see for no. 2 is Adsense ads immediately to the right of your first paragraph of text. For no. 2, it will basically be Adsense, Photo, Adsense (which is the way your MPG hubs are already laid out).

It's interesting that I never consider the placement of ads as relative to the vertical column. It's a point that I believe many Hubbers could learn from.

See Lissie's hub on Adsense Placement for visuals.

It is an excellent resource and one that every Hubber should read right now.

I would also add more tags and see if you can get the Adsense ads a little more relevant. For the MPG hubs, you have four tags, and don't include the brand names of the vehicles you are writing about in your tags. So in the Honda MPG hub, I'd add Honda MPG, Honda Motorcycle MGP, Honda Sixes, Honda Boxers, etc.

I am notorious for finding the writing of tags a semi-imposition. Again, it's my old "Write For The Reader, Not The #$%&ing Ads" mentality that I simply cannot exorcise no matter what I do. However, I have had a long series of 43 Hubs which had over 24 highly relevant tags each and they didn't perform any better or worse than the statistical norm.

I think if you start just with tweaking Adsense, you should see some results. Then you can always add Ebay back in there later if you want to. Ebay motors can be very lucrative, but that would probably require much more tinkering with your stuff and you may not want to do that. Increasing your adsense income though shouldn't be too difficult, as long as you are tracking things to see what works.

I've published hundreds of Hubs with eBay Capsules and many of them have been on Automotive issues. I just checked my eBay earnings and they were $2.05. That's total since I started two years and over 1,000 Hubs ago. My Amazon total earnings for the last two years are $23.45 and with their minimum $100 threshold, I look forward to receiving my first cheque from them sometime in November, 2015.

And as I stated in my 1,000 Hub Hub, Kontera has yet to sign me up even after I've included their tags on each and every single one of my Hubs ever published and exchanged a fair number of emails with them. Not real happy with that.

Therefore, embitca, thank you for your extremely valid input and insight. I look forward to continuing this conversation which hopefully will assist as many of our fellow Hubbers as possible to maximize their ad earnings... including me!

And, yes, the race to 2 million page views is on, embitca! But I'm pretty sure you're going to trounce me! You're awesome!

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Comments 28 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Thanks for the tips, still hoping to earn $2.00 all time total this month! Can't churn em out like you do, Hal.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

My best advice: You've got to get "in the zone" and then the Hubs flow like water from a stream! :)


nms profile image

nms 7 years ago from Cochin

gr8 to hear from u


embitca profile image

embitca 7 years ago from Boston

I just took a look at some of my stats. While I have some individual hubs that might get close to a 20% ctr each month, my average across all of my hubs month to month is 2 to 3%. I believe that is about normal if you are writing articles that are designed to be read by people :)

Now just looking at one day, yesterday the 11th, my lowest ctr is .65% It's a food hub with recipes. I'm guessing that the ads are all for dieting. But most of them are around 2-3% and then I have a whole bunch that are around 10%. My highest ctr yesterday is 33.33%. Of course, to really tell the tale I'd have to share eCPM and I think sharing both is against Adsense TOS. So let's just say, my eCPM % is quite a bit healthier than my CTR %

I think achieving a 50% ctr is probably possible if you are strictly writing for search engines which basically means a high ctr because there's nothing remotely useful on the page the reader has landed on. Personally, I don't care to work that way and obviously, neither do you!

<i>It's interesting that I never consider the placement of ads as relative to the vertical column. It's a point that I believe many Hubbers could learn from.</i>

I never really did either until I read Lissie's hub. I am testing the theory on some of my hubs now so we will see what happens. So far, I actually have yet to see a change so maybe I jumped the gun LOL But I still think it is worth testing, at the very least.

As far as Ebay goes, I'm pretty certain that I've always done well with Ebay because when I include the Ebay capsule, I tend to specifically mention BUYING THE ITEMS ON EBAY in my hubs *g* For example, practically all of my timeshare hubs say Ebay is the best place to buy a timeshare (and it is).

One of the things you learn in sales and marketing is that you have to ASK for the sale. So if you don't want to do that, probably just not bothering with Ebay or Amazon is the way to go. I don't draw attention to those capsules 100% of the time, but I frequently do. LIke if you take a look at the hub I just published on Tarot cards, I mention a book that is out of print and then suggest that you might want to snap it up immediately if you see an Ebay listing for it (and the Ebay capsule immediately follows LOL).


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

Bookmarking - love this exchange between the two of you! Hal, my impulse is to be like you and ignore the SEO stuff, write what (I think) people want to read but my desire is to be like embitca and EARN the $$


THe Sock Puppet oF Fear 7 years ago

http://makemoneywithadsense.today.com/2009/02/17/s...

I forgot to leave this link before.

My advise (as no expert) would be to pick out a few high performing hubs and see what adwords come up in https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExter... (drop the hubpage urls into the website content search)

You can see what adwords come up for a site. Then toggle to see what the adwords pay.

If you are lucky you can find an adword that pays well and that won't wreck your page if you optimise for it.

By optimising I mean making sure the adword (usually a phrase rather a word) gets 2 or three mentions in the text plus one in the title and one in the summary. Using the phrase in links to other sites also helps.

Just be careful and gradual in your tinkering. Google reacts in strange ways to keywords changes and your site visitor numbers may go down for a while. I would only try tinkering with one site at a time until you understand what is happening.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

nms: My pleasure!

embitca: In comparing your CTRs to mine, it's clear that you're averaging around four times as high a clickthrough rate as my Hubs. As you know, I like to write SEO-exclusive copy as much as I enjoy abdominal surgery sans anaesthetic. I'm going to take a good hard look at Lissie's suggestions and see what I can derive. By all means, keep me posted on your results. My big two bucks I've earned on eBay Capsule purchases have really soured me on the whole thing. Asking for a sale can be worked into logically in some Hubs (not in others... at least in the type of Hubs that I write), as averaging 0.2 cents per hub IMHO is a huge waste of time. But perhaps I should experiment with it on some Hubs just to see what happens. Thanks again for your great participation and information!

dineane: Thanks! Again, I love money as much as the next person, and I will definitely experiment with implementing many of the various tips that embitca has given as most of them fall short of writing SEO-junk. We'll see what happens!

THe Sock Puppet oF Fear: Thank you for the great info. I'm going to try the keyword tool, if for no other reason than sheer curiosity. Since my Hubs are usually around 800 words, I'm sure it won't devastate the copy to include the term three times in the body, plus once in title and summary. Let's see what I can come up with!


Don Simkovich profile image

Don Simkovich 7 years ago from Pasadena, CA

Hal, thanks for publishing this and I'm in a similar position to you. Yet, I've just recently learned about improving my CTR through ad placement. Many of my visitors come via Google. I'm going to bookmark this Hub to re-read and learn from. I think information you've posted on this one is similar to what I've read on two others.

I need to compile and then write a Hub based on what I've learned.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Don Simkovich, thanks, and please keep me apprised of your research findings. With the assistance of all these stellar Hubbers, I think we might be well on the way to compiling the ultimate process on making serious money on HubPages! :)


Camping Dan profile image

Camping Dan 7 years ago

I try to write my hubs about what I know. They may not be the hot topics that generate lots of traffic but they are easy for me to write about them so well.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

I'm the same way. You'll find no Hubs from me about Bollywood movie stars or fashion, which seem to be inordinately popular topics on this platform. I write what I know about and try to pass along as much information as I legitimately can to the reader. Thanks!


Paul 7 years ago

Hey hal ,

listen by the amount of hubs you made ,you should have been making around 7000 US per month had you done atleast some keyword research .There is this guy at a website called keywordacademy.com ,he makes 700 US ,with making only 100 hubs ,if you want to truly increase your ad revenue ,you should read his website ,and also download the ebook.

(not trying by jack ass ,just thought it might help out :) ...)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Paul, I appreciate the link and I will be looking into it. However, I have to reiterate the fundamental problem that I'd rather rake latrines than write "keyword heavy copy" thus if a compromise solution can be found to increase my ad income it has to be one that will not impinge one iota on my editorial freedom. I have to continue to be able to write Hubs on topics that interest me and in the style that I currently implement. Otherwise, I'll be more than happy to leave that money on the table.


Ghost32 7 years ago

Hal, I've got to state that signing on as one of your Fans was one of the better acts of Hubtivity for me so far. Despite my considerable need for "real" income, I don't bend to hustle the coin either. Reading your Hubs are not exactly like looking in a mirror--I wouldn't insult you that severely--but are definitely like getting a letter from a brother.

If I happen to tumble onto a non-toxic method for letting a rebel get paid for quality, hard headed writing, I'll be sure to pass it on.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Ghost32, I would be very proud to call you brother, and it would be great if two old rebels like us can work out a way to make all that Adsense money that's now primarily flowing to hucksters and snake oil salesmen be redirected to support the efforts of "quality, hard headed writing." Never surrender and never say die, bro. Quality always wins out in the end! :)


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

Hal - I felt much better after reading your hub - I was beginning to think I was doing something wrong with my adsense. Not that I'm writing exclusively for adsense, but it wouldn't hurt to get a few $$ along the publishing way.

Heck, I'm still trying to figure out how to improve my hubscore LOL


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Hi, Enelle Lamb. Adsense seems to be a bit of an elusive subject. I've just posted a new Hub which discusses my earnings:

Hal's 40 Best Google-Topping Keywords & Adsense Earnings

at

http://hubpages.com/community/Hals-40-Best-Google-...

Let me know what you think, and Happy Hubbin'! :)


girly_girl09 profile image

girly_girl09 7 years ago from United States

Keyword research would definitely help you out.

It is possible to write articles that are 'keyword heavy' without it being noticeable to the reader but very noticeable by SE's, thus increasing your PR. I have 85 hubs right now and made $75 my first month and will make about $150 this month. I attribute it to keyword research, but I think my articles are still fun for people to read. Most of them, anyways...;) I would someday LOVE to get up to 1,000 hubs...if I did keyword research for all of them, I would be sitting pretty. Definitely try out keyword research, I actually find it fun and it usually gives me additional ideas to write about! With your ability to write about cars and tech stuff (unlike me!), you could easily be making $1500-$2000 a month. Woohoo!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

As I have stated in my Hub Income Challenge

http://hubpages.com/community/What-Ive-Learned-Fro...

I've done the keyword research on many Hubs and still laid an egg. I'm more than happy to share "my new wealth" with anyone who can guide me on how to get those Adsense revenues up! I like money! It's fun! :)


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 7 years ago from Oxford

Why would you want to sign up for Kontera ? Haven't you heard of their Clause 4.2 ?

Kontera's Payment Terms4.2 Payment Terms ............ Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Revenue Share for any given month is five dollars ($5) or less, Kontera shall not be liable to the Publisher for any such payment. i.e. if you make less than $5 in a month (which is most people I wouild guess) they keep it for themselves !


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Yeah, that seems to be one of the big hits against Kontera and one that has people not real happy with them! :(


Acronyms 7 years ago

Check out Infolinks. Much better returns, script perfomance and publisher interfaces compared to Kontera


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

There is no built in support in HubPages to Infolinks, so I've restricted the discussion to just the features built into this platform: Adsense, eBay, Amazon, and Kontera.


Learn Keyword Research 7 years ago

You can learn to focus your hubs more specific to keywords that will convert better and make you more money. If you have over 1K hubs, you could really convert those into money making machines by doing a little tweeking and link building to them to increase your traffic.

Let me know if I can offer more assistance or guidance


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

You're on. Let's go! :)


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Yeah don't waste your time with kontera. Thanks very much for the link Hal- I hadn't seen this hub until now! We aren't supposed to be talk about CLR with Adsense but lets just say mine is in 2 figures (just) using that layout with a new author ID I setup who has used the layout exlusively for 60 odd hubs over the last 6 weeks. I would consider anything over 20% clr as dangerously spammy. In general with my Lissie ID I get a woeful 2% at best.

You don't have to worry about add the keywords all over the place in the url and title are the most important, as a tag counts plus maybe once more (I often use it asa title for a news capsule)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Lissie, you are extremely skilled and fortunate if you have your CTR up over 10% and I certainly will be checking out your Hubs with that "new layout" to learn your deep, dark, secrets! :)


supermom_in_ny profile image

supermom_in_ny 4 years ago from NY

Wow! Something is definitely off somewhere. With the type of traffic you're getting I would have earned a full time salary. That amount of adsense clicks on one of my blogs would have earned me close to $100. in a day. The most I earned in a day was about $28. with clicks around the teens. My Amazon conversions on my Squidoo lenses have hit over 28%. This post scares me. I'm concentrating most of my time on my hubs right now and putting my blogs and Squidoo lenses on hold. I hope I don't regret it. So far, I am receiving my first payment this month and am almost half way my second payout for next month. I've only gotten 35,000+ views total for 40 hubs. I guess I better continue publishing hubs...

Voted up, great tips and stats! ;)

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