A New Personal Best

It was an amazing month for me.  I set a new personal best and my AdSense goal for the month and saw a few interesting trends in my earnings.  While the Christmas season and the intense earnings won’t last forever, I intend to ride the wave of earnings as long as I possibly can.  Here’s how the month panned out for me.

My Earning Totals

November AdSense:  My best month ever on InfoBarrel.  I stated in my last report that I’d like to hit $2,500 this month on this very site in AdSense income.  I made it.  I finished up at $2526 according to AdSense, giving me some room to spare.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but the last three days of the month were all over $110 each.

Best Days:  I had several $100 plus days, but my single best day was $129.  That’s not a record, but it’s not too far off.  My month income graph shows typical peaks and valleys, with the spikes generally occurring early in the week and dropping off substantially on Friday and Saturday.

Worst Days:  My worst earning day was Thanksgiving at about $48.  This was the only day below $60 for the month.  Generally I have a bigger difference percentage wise between the highs and the lows, so this month was much more consistent in that way.

Best Performing Articles:  $378!!!  This is the best a single article has ever done for me in one month.  I expected an earning spike with the article this month, based on the time of year.  This article topped $40 on a single day this month.  If you have 7 grand in your pocket, I’d probably sell it (wink-wink).

Worst Performing Articles:  Too many to list. I have lots of duds that didn’t earn a penny.  That’s the nature of the beast.  This isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Cherry Articles:  I had a total of six articles make over $100 this month.  I have a few that consistently make this amount that fell off and didn’t get to this level, due to the unseasonable content.  Luckily, a few new ones took their place.

Christmas Articles:  My best Christmas article did just short of $150 this month on InfoBarrel.  I had another earn just over $60 this month, which I didn’t see coming.  A few others did okay, but nothing to brag about. 

Amazon:  I’m becoming a believer.  Many of my articles simply aren’t conducive to products for sale on Amazon, but I decided to create some additional links to see if it made a difference this month.  It did.  I made more in sales this month than ever before and judging from the products ordered, most came from the links I created.  I only sold products to earn me about $100 in total, but this is a big increase, especially considering I only added probably 20 links.

Chitika Earnings: Right around $170 for the month on InfoBarrel.  Chitika certainly isn’t a major money maker for me, but it does add up to a nice little chunk.

Total Income from InfoBarrel:  I ended up through all combined sources finishing up just under $2,800 this month on InfoBarrel.  This represents fulltime income for many people.  I am very thankful for the site and the ability to earn enough money to really change my standard of living.

Other Sites:  Seekyt made me almost $300 for November.  The site reminds me a little of IB a few years back when I started.  It’s a small site, just getting off the ground, but seems to have decent potential.  Xomba was still okay for me and posturown dipped just a little.  My articles on Hubpages aren’t doing very well with the new earning model, so I will probably move some of them and post on other sites.  I dabbled with some other sites a little, trying to find another one that performs well for me.

Did you know I co-authored an ebook course with x3xsolxdierx3x?

My Productivity

Articles:  I did just enough to get the increased revenue share and pretty much nothing more on InfoBarrel.  I’m still trying to find another site that performs close to this one, so that’s where most of my time is spent.

Other Online Work:  I submitted a lot of articles on Seekyt.  I purchase most of my articles for this site, but only post my own work on InfoBarrel.  This started out as nothing more than an experiment, but has turned out to be profitable.  I also created links for Amazon, which paid off.

December Goals

AdSense:  I’m not sure exactly what to expect this month.  Earning should be great for the first two or three weeks, but I suspect they will drop off after that.  I guess my goal is simply to earn what I made in November again this December.

Productivity:  I intend to write enough articles to get the increased revenue share.  I will also work to make some additional links to Amazon for additional earning potential.  I even have an idea or two up my sleeve for Christmas articles in 2012.  It’ll be a full year before I see the results, but I think it will be beneficial.

Tips for Writers – Keyword Selection

I’d like to take some time going over keyword selection this month.  I consider myself to be very well-versed in keyword selection.  At one point, I was selling keywords to authors on another site.  I quit doing this a while back, but would like to share some basic tips for others to use.  You can use them or ignore them, but they have worked well for me.  If you try the methods I describe, I’d suggest you write at least 25 articles using these methods and give them time to mature before you determine the success or failure of the keywords.

*** There is a common misconception in the online writing world.  People all over the web state that you have two options – write about keywords or write about what you want and your passions.  That’s crap.  You can do both.  I love four wheeling and four wheelers, as I’ve stated a million times.  If I want to write about them and make money at the same time, all I have to do is find keywords in that topic.  It’s not nearly as hard as people think.

Back in the day, I only used free keyword tools.  Many of my best performing articles are the ones I wrote when only using freebies.  I used Wordtracker for the most part, but the free version isn’t nearly as good as it once was.  The good news is, if you take some time and use the methods I’ll describe, it should work for any and all keyword tools.

Selecting a Keyword Tool

Check out this forum thread for lots of options.  You can use any tool you want, but I’ll again suggest you try a tool that doesn’t use Google AdWord results. I’ll most likely, once again, get lots of emails and pm’s about how that shouldn’t be done, but I stand by it.  Everyone and their Aunt Nellie uses Google’s tool or a tool that uses Google results, making untapped keywords harder to find.  If you look at what the masses do when writing online, look for the flaws, and make alterations, it will almost always pay off.  If you really love the Google tool, this method will still work for you.

Make Lists of Potential Keywords

Make a list of all the potential keywords you want to write about using the kw tool you select.  Record the search total or score that’s listed and keep the kw’s separated by length.  **Note:  Don’t get hung up on the score if you use a tool that doesn’t use Adwords.  Many will show search results/scores from a small sampling of search engines other than Google.  The numbers could seem low, but it’s often misleading. 

In general, I don’t like to write about anything less than 3 words long and generally target longer keywords whenever possible.  My best performers are all 5 words long or longer, excluding stop words like a, the, and, if, to, it, etc.

Record Google Search Results

For each potential keyword you look into, make a list of the total Google search results.  Continue to keep the lists separated by kw length.

Convert to Ratios

If your keyword tool showed a score of 80 and the Google search results were 800,000, there is are 10,000 search results for each point on the kw tool.  10,000 to 1 is the ratio.  Check all of the keywords you found, continuing to keep them separated by length.  Ultimately, you’re looking for the lowest ratios possible within each group of keywords you sorted by length. 

Longer keywords can generally have a higher ratio and still be relatively easy to rank.  I found that you could add about 50% each time you added a keyword.  So, if the 4 word long strings had a ratio of 2,000 to 1, the rough equivalent would be 3000 to 1 for 5 word strings, and then 4500 to 1 for 6 word strings, etc.  The actual ratio you get will vary depending on the kw tool.  These numbers are simply made up.

Additional Keyword Filters

Now, there is a point where a ratio can be very low, but it’s still no good.  If the kw score from the tool you use is excessively low, which will vary by kw tool, you might want to skip it, even if the ratio is good.

When you Google the kw string, do you see any plain old blogs or rev share sites on the first page?  If so, there’s a good chance you can outrank them.  You can outrank eHow, HubPages, and ANY other writing site with InfoBarrel articles.  Page rank is overrated.

You can also use the allintitle: command on Google.  If my keyword is cheap four wheelers for sale, I’d put --  allintitle:  cheap four wheelers for sale – into Google.  This will show you all the results with those keywords used in the title.  If there are tons of results, it could be harder to rank.

Why Long Tails are the Cat’s Arse

Long tail keywords are those that are at least 3 words long, excluding the meaningless stop words.  Yet, people tend to be confused about the power they hold in earning potential.  Since the kw tools will almost always show very low scores or search results for long keyword strings, people mistakenly look at them as less worthy of writing.

Let’s say you want to write - cheap four wheelers for sale under 500 dollars.  It will show very few results on most kw tools.  However, in time (after the article matures in 6-12 months), you can rank for – cheap four wheelers – four wheelers – cheap four wheelers for sale – four wheelers for sale – four wheelers under 500 – four wheelers under 500 dollars, etc.  You need to dig a little deeper.  You need to look at what the masses do, find the flaws, and make the appropriate alterations.

In addition to all this, the CPC of each of those strings I listed could vary.  Google will generally push out the better paying ads, all of which are likely to be very relevant.  Google will constant alter the ads based on performance (what makes the most money overall, which could be low pay with high CTR or lower CTR with higher CPC)  Let Google do the work for you.

Common Misconceptions

You must target only high traffic keywords:  Pure crap.  Almost everyone does it, so it’s very hard to rank.  That’s not to say you should ignore high traffic strings by any means, but it does mean you can target lower traffic keywords and make a good amount of money in the process.  My $300+ article shows a big, fat zero in Google Adword tools for searches.

You Can’t Outrank High PR Sites:  You can, but it’s harder to do.  It is, however, getting easier.  Study up on SEO, including LSI, as mentioned in my prior earning reports, and you’ll have the potential to beat them.  That’s not to say it will always work, but it can be done.  I pay no attention to who I am specifically competing with, just what type of sites I’m competing with.  If they are blogs or revenue sharing sites (even the almighty eHow), I try to outrank them.  PR is overrated.

No Sense in Writing on Low CPC:  That’s garbage.  You can manipulate the ads to get a higher CPC with relevant ads.  By way of example, using made up numbers:  Advertising keyword string #1 is I need help paying my electric bill.  It has a CPC of $3. Keyword #2 is I need assistance with utility payments and it only has a CPC of ten cents.  If the string with utility payments had a great ratio and you felt you could rank with it, all you would need to do is use advertising keyword string #1 a couple of times in the article to trigger the higher paying ads, which would be completely relevant.

AdWords are #1:  Sort of true, but false.  Does that make sense?  I mean there is a difference between advertising keywords and traffic keywords.  As illustrated in the previous chapter, you can have both.  Everyone and their brother looks at the Google Adwords tool and tries to capture the higher paying advertising keyword strings.  They falsely assume they should target those words as their traffic words.  There is a difference.  Quite honestly, I don’t even look at the CPC anymore and haven’t for a long, long time.  By using different strings, I know I can force out higher paying, relevant ads.

Thanks for reading.  If you have questions, feel free to either leave a comment or send me a message.