Increasing CTR by

How I turned a website with little traffic and no profit into a $10 a day profit machine

Pay attention, because these are concrete, specific tips of the kind that are not usually shared in the domain name industry.

I have a blog – whose name I will not furnish because I don’t want to violate any Adsense rules –¬†where I write reviews of money transfer services. Not the most exciting of subjects perhaps, but important to the millions of people who regularly send remittances overseas. I don’t publish new material often – one article per month or so – but I do write the articles myself and I try to make them useful.

To find an article topic, I go to and do a search for “money transfer”. As I sift through the results I ignore press releases. I keep scrolling until I find a genuine news piece. I read it, absorb the info, then summarize it into a concise article, using my own phrasing and adding my own observations. This usually takes about half an hour.

Alternatively, I look at my stats to see what search phrases readers are using to find my website. I take one of the more popular phrases, do my own search and read up on that subject, and write an article about it.

I also occasionally answer readers’ questions about problems they may be having with online transfer systems or online bank accounts.

The website was created with WordPress, is monetized with Google Adsense, and has always paid quite well per click. The problem has been the lack of traffic, and the low CTR. There is some search traffic, but not enough to generate significant income. Recently I decided to try driving traffic to the website with Google Adwords. I was able to get traffic for as little as 2 cents per click, but the problem was that the Adsense CTR (click through rate) was quite low, on the order of 1.5 percent.

To address this issue, I installed the Heatmap theme, which is an Adsense-optimized WordPress theme. I monetized the website fully, with five Adsense units on each page, three of those being ad units, and two link units, using the sizes and placements recommended by the Heatmap theme. I used the Adsense Injection plugin to place some of the ads strategically.

Initially I set the Adsense ads to image and text, which is the default setting. With the new ad placements, the CTR climbed to between 5% and 7%. Then I tried setting the ads to text only, no images, and I saw another jump in CTR, to between 10% and 15%.

Yes, the ads are a bit over the top. They do somewhat take over the website. But it worked. With the CTR as high as it is, I can now drive traffic with Adwords and make a profit. I spend about $3 per day advertising this site with Adwords, and it generates about $15 per day on Adsense. So it’s quite a good profit for a website that requires a time investment of 30 minutes per month.

The next challenge will be to bring in traffic from other sources, and to update the website more frequently – perhaps once every three or four days – with new articles. I may do this myself, or contract it out, but the key is that the articles must be quality writing, with useful tips and news. Content is still king.

One Comment to “Turning a Dormant Blog Into a Money Maker”

  1. Jeff | August 26th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks, I really appreciate the practical tips!

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