Many people reading this will know this already but for those that do not let me first explain the whirlwind that was May 2011.  First of all I was hardly ever here during the month and for the past 4 weeks or so I’ve done virtually no work, either here on IB, nor anywhere else.  I have been in another world of poopy diapers, lack of sleep, and taking over housework ordinarily done by the wife.  I have also spent a lot of my free time with family and with my new baby boy who was born in mid-May.

As one can expect with the birth of a child the month surrounding the birth becomes centered on the new child and I am happy to say that I took advantage of this and stayed far away from my normal routine of publishing.  It was like a babymoon, a vacation from the normal to bond with family and our new son.  Thanks to all who have wished us well.

Benefits Of Media Pages

Before this vacation hit however I was suggesting to many people here on IB to focus more on adding pictures to your articles and then to link to those pictures from the body of your text.  I discovered that the picture pages (aka media pages) earn at a much more efficient rate as the articles, they can sometimes be found in search results, and it is much faster to add three media pages per article than it is adding an additional three articles to your library.

I didn’t add as many as I would have liked in May but the first week or so of May I added 2-3 media pages to about 20-30 previously published articles and as a result my media pages views per day increased roughly 72 percent May over April despite overall page view declines and my Adsense earnings on my Media pages alone increased to $33.00 on the month.

Amazon Successes

In the first week of light work I put in over the early part of May I also added some more contextual links to Amazon and tweaked some of my Amazon links to try and make them more appealing to readers to click on.  As a result my Amazon earnings increased quite nicely to my highest level yet.  I also benefited from my travel coffee mug article (the prime example used in my Amazon case study) popping back into the SERPs in a positive way. 

That article which I’ve wanted to rank for “best travel mug” is now ranking in the 6-7 position so it is starting to get a lot more search traffic than it did in March and April.  As you might expect this has caused it to start earning efficiently again.  It made a modest $2.60 in Adsense in May and $23.78 in Amazon earnings, a total of $26.38 (excluding Chitika) on the month. 

Let me just say it’s really important to find articles which perform well and then try and replicate them and nurture them.  This article has more potential.  I know the first link to Amazon in the article performs well and the second doesn’t – I will edit the second link and see if I can get more clicks on it for the remainder of June and see if I can get a second article to perform just as well for Amazon.

IB Layout

The ongoing optimization of ads here on this site has been something.  I know the site went over a big transformation back in Feb as IB 2.0 was released.  Subsequently the site ad layout was altered to make for a better appearance which was focused more on community and reader usability but the monetization efficiency suffered a bit as a result.  This, which has coincided with algorithm updates leading to a slight drop in page views site wide has really punched a dent into many publisher’s incomes.  Mine is no different.

I noted in my last income report for the month of April 2011 that my views had dropped and my CTR had fallen to an all time low.  In May I can at least report that views have stabilized and some of the ad slot optimization that site management has been doing has been helping a bit.  Overall CTRs have been higher for me in May over April although they are not what they were originally.  It may be that I am too small to see site trends but I’m not that small – I imagine my data is similar to that of the site.  This does encourage me that optimization is working but I do wish we could get back to the level we were at before.

My InfoBarrel Income

My earnings definitely are effected by the earning efficiency of the ad layout but for me in the month of May my earnings really were also hit by my lack of use of the site.  Because I essentially took the month off I only got 75 percent of the possible ad views.  Had I worked to attain the 90 ad view share I would have seen roughly a 20 percent increase in my earnings in Adsense and Chitika.  That’s money left on the table and a good illustration to new writers how not to maximize your InfoBarrel Earnings.

The most money I ever made on InfoBarrel was back in February and march when I was in the low $600s.  During that time I was experiencing higher CTRs and was getting a full 90 percent ad share.  That was also pre-Panda.  Today, I’m still a good deal below those levels as I have only been at a 75 percent ad share and I’m getting worse CTRs and less search traffic but nevertheless my numbers were higher in May than they were in April.

May 2011 InfoBarrel Income

Adsense - $298.24 (-5 percent month-over-month)

Amazon - $104.94 (+302 percent month-over-month)

Chitika - $44.58 (+113 percent month-over-month)

Total IB Income - $447.76 (+24 percent month-over-month)


Here is a bar graph of my all time IB Income by month:

My Infobarrel Earnings By Month - May 2011

What Next?

So there you go.  I didn’t make a whole lot in May for a few reasons but by doing a little work in the optimization department I was able to grow my income over April by 25 percent.  I suggest that you give some thought to optimizing your articles as well.  This can include anything from adding long-tails to existing publications, to adding sub-headings to old articles, to adding contextual affiliate links to older articles, to beefing up your media page collection.  Optimization is not glamorous but it can reap significant rewards for minimal effort if you do the right things.

It’s also no surprise that I am focusing much more on my own sites these days.  In my link building efforts I like to use IB as one of my primary sources of backlinks.  Not all of these links come from my profile or my collection of articles but some come on other profiles as well. 

In May, one of the few times I got to work I purchased six new domain names and have started up six new sites.  I outsourced some of the content, wrote some of the other content, and a couple of the sites are still just a shell of a site.  If you haven’t yet done this I recommend you give it a try.  IB is an amazing place to market your new site.  You can use the signature area to link to your site or via contextual links from the body of articles.

I recommend this highly because as you build your site your marketing efforts (article and link building on IB) pay you for your efforts.  Right now I’m starting a new PostRunner site for The Keyword Academy which I will be marketing here on IB among other places.  There is no reason you can’t broaden your approach as well.

As always, don’t fret over your earnings today.  Understand that the actions you tae today will make a significant difference in your earning next year.  As you can see above, this time last year I was making next to nothing on IB.  I’ve only published about 150-200 IB articles since then and now look at my earnings.  You can do this too.  Get in it for the long haul.  Good luck everyone.