I’m always reading about how Adsense is the best source of income for a blog. While I love Adsense myself, I don’t believe it necessarily has to be the biggest source of income for a site. My sites’ biggest income comes from directly selling ads to people.
I make almost twice as much by directly selling ads when putting it side by side to my Adsense revenue. While it takes a little more time to direct sell advertising, the benefits in my opinion are far greater than just filling every little spot with Adsense. I know you’re thinking that in order to make twice as much, I must actively seek out advertisers for my sites. I don’t. I’ve only posted a want ad for advertisers once on one of my sites, and it has resulted in a grand total of zero advertisers. If you have a quality site, the ads will sell themselves.
To add a little perspective, if Darren Rowse had the ratio that I have, in addition to his $15,000 a month from Adsense, he would have an additional $30,000 a month from other ads. That would put his yearly total well over $500,000 a year. According to Jason Calacanis, Weblogs Inc pulls in a million a year now from Adsense. They could easily be pulling in another 2 million a year from other revenue. Either of these guys could be pulling well over that 2 to 1 ratio for all I know, or they could be pulling far less.
I’m just trying to say that while Adsense is nice, it’s also nice to be a little diversified. Having revenue coming from places other than Adsense just provides me with an additional since of security. It makes me feel a little safer since I don’t have all my eggs in one basket, that basket being Adsense. After all, if I relied purely on Adsense and Adsense failed, well then that would be the end of me. Anyway, the point is, research other ways to make money. Don’t just put Adsense up and never think a thing about other ways of making money.