If you have a tech/gadget related site and are running only AdSense on it, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. And you probably already know that, since everyone writing about how to make money online is telling you this. But it doesn’t make it any less true. By putting just one new ad unit I almost doubled my blog income overnight.
To supplement my blog income I have been running another CPC network – Chitika – ads for more then a year now. And the income from it never amounted to much and was certainly not comparable to what AdSense was generating. Until this January. When Chitika started earning almost the same amount of money as AdSense, which effectively doubled my blog income.
What happened? Well, Chitika introduced a new ad format, called “Related products unit” (RPU). It looks like this:
If you are writing some product related posts, RPU’s are a perfect fit. You put this ad right under your post text, style it with CSS and it doesn’t look like an ad at all. So you get a very good click through rates. For tech products, the CPC of RPU ads are even better then the average CPC I get from AdSense. And when one of my blog posts was dugg, Chitika RPU pulled in two times more then all other ads combined.
High CPC + High CTR = High eCPM = Very good additional income stream.
And you can get an even better CTR, by making Chitika serve contextual ads. It needs some hacking, but is pretty easy to do:
- In your blog theme files, find your Chitika ads code and then find a line that says: var ch_queries = new Array( ). The keywords that you entered when configuring your ad in Chitika console, will usually be displayed between brackets.
- Delete those keywords
- Enter php function that displays your blog post title, like this: var ch_queries = new Array( “<?php the_title(); ?>” )
- That’s it. Sit back and enjoy increased CTR
Now whatever you write in your blog post title will be be sent to Chitika as keywords to match their ads against. So if you write a post “Motorola RAZR V3 Review”, Chitika will look up and serve the ads for motorola RAZR phones.
If you don’t want to use post title and you are using some tag plugins, then you can send the post tags as keywords. This hack for Ultimate Tag Warior plugin is described in detail at Techtites.
Some of you may have heard a lot of bad things about Chitika in the end of 2005. There was a huge uproar in the blogosphere when Chitika started auditing and cutting publisher earnings by as much as 70%. Which was a really stupid thing to do and cost them dearly.
But that was more then a year ago and since then Chitika got its act together. Sure, it still audits publisher monthly earnings 3 weeks after it publishes them. And after the audit, my monthly earnings get a 15 to 20% haircut. Which sucks.
But with the level of income Chitika is generating me with new RPUs, I think I can live with a little smaller paycheck, then what I saw in my monthly results panel.
Darren Rowse, the daddy of all Probloggers himself, seems to agree. He recently published an update about how his blogs are doing and Chitika is the biggest earner for him, pulling more then AdSense or any other program.
So what are you waiting for? Go and check out Chitika now! (And earn me some referral income too )