Google AdSense Video Units - How Do They Work?

A few days ago, I decided to give Google AdSense Video Units a try. These are videos that you embed on your blog, that come with AdSense ads so you can make money from them.

The setup was pretty easy. You need to have an account at YouTube, so do that first. I happened to be signed in to my YouTube account when I went to Google AdSense to set up the Video Units, and this worked well.

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You go to your Google AdSense account, click on Adsense Setup, then click on Video units. This will take you over to YouTube, where you set up the AdSense Player you want. There are three sizes to choose from, 400 x 415, 500 x 510, and 780 x 560. You then choose a color scheme, and for the video content, you can either have YouTube automatically select videos for your Terri Jane site (you can enter some keywords if you want to help it out), or you can select from some predetermined categories or content providers.

I placed the Video Unit in the footer of the page, so it would show up right below the post on a single post. I did this on two blogs.

One problem I noticed was that in your AdSense account, all the Video Units for different blogs are lumped together in the reporting. There is no way to select a channel like you can with the other types of ads (at least, I could not see a way). I would have been able to live with this, though, if they had performed well.

The content selection was not that great. I selected “Pets & Animals” since I was placing it on pet-related blogs. I was not happy with a lot of the other selections, anyway. I wish there was better content to choose from.

I did not feel that the Video Units worked very well for me. Maybe it was because of the position I had it in, but the click through rate was really poor.

I ended up removing the Video Units from both blogs. I just could not justify the space they took up, with the poor performance they got.

I wanted to show you a sample Video Unit in this post, but somehow it did not show up right in a post. I will place one in the bezplatna zoznamka footer of this blog for a while, just so you can see what it looks like - just scroll to the bottom. (I selected “Pets & Animals” for this sample too.)

Anyway, you can check the sample and see if this is something you would want for your blog. It might work on the right kind of blog, but it did not work well for me.

- Pat B. Doyle

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How Often Should You Post?

I have been posting every day during the week on this blog, and I find it hard to give up that idea.

This is my first week without a job to go to, and I am still adjusting. I have so many things on my to-do list that I neglected while I was working. Now I want to get them all done at once, and it’s frustrating when I can’t do that.

Lately a lot of bloggers have been posting about how often you should post on your blog. I would link to them here, but I forgot what blogs they were. Anyway, there seem to be two schools of thought. One says you should blog every day. The other says you should post less frequently, and you will have time to do more quality posts.

Since I was just starting this blog, I felt that I needed to post every day to hold people’s attention. And I did not have any trouble coming up with things to post about.

Now things are a little different, though. I have some other projects that I need to catch up on, so I am not always thinking about this blog as much as I was.

So, I have decided to relax my rule about posting every week day. At least for the next few weeks, I will be posting a little less often. I will only post when I have something to post about.

I hope I will not lose any readers by doing this. I urge you to subscribe to my RSS feed or my email list, so that you will be able to find out when I make a new post. In a few weeks, I should be caught up on my other projects and will be able to post more often again.

How do you feel about this? How often do you post on your blog?

- Pat B. Doyle

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Exponential Growth In Blogging

When you are first starting out, it is easy to get discouraged. Here are some words of encouragement from Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.

He explains how looking at the percentage growth rather than absolute numbers helped to motivate him to continue with his blogging.

I hope this gave you some encouragement. Even if you are only making a small amount of money right now, if you keep your blog growing, you can do great things in the future.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just to stick with it.

- Pat B. Doyle

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Case Study Part II - Keywords

Today I’d like to continue discussing my case study of a blog that I am reviving. In Part I, I discussed how I was getting content for the blog. Today I will discuss keyword research.

There are two main aspects to a good keyword: (1) the price you can get per AdSense click, and (2) how competitive the keyword is. If the keywords are too competitive, it will be hard to rank for them in the search engines, so it will be hard to get traffic to those posts.

Tools for Keyword Research

There are several good tools for keyword research. First I will list some of the available tools; then I will tell you what I use.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool - It used to be that you could use this tool outside of AdWords. But today when I was trying it, it kept telling me that I needed to sign in to my AdWords account. So you might need to sign up for an AdWords account to use this tool.

You enter one or more keywords, and it will come up with a lot of suggestions for additional keywords. The nice thing about this tool is that you can also find out what advertisers are paying for clicks on the keywords, which will help you to see whether you will get good money per click in AdSense. Remember that you will not get the entire amount listed here. Google takes their share, so you only get a portion of it.

Seobook Keyword Tool - You enter your keywords, and this tool will give you a list of suggested related keywords and will give you a lot of information about each one. While you get a lot of great information here, and it is free, I don’t like the fact that you have to do a lot of clicking around to get everything, and there is no good way to get a list of your results.

Wordtracker - I don’t use this one, but I am mentioning it because a lot of people swear by it. You do have to get a paid membership to get the full benefits. You can pay by the week, the month, or the year. You can also get a free trial, but I believe the free trial is limited in what you can do.

Keyword Elite - This is the one that I use. It is a paid product, but you only have to pay once, and you can use it forever, instead of paying every month. You can watch the videos on the sales page to see what it can do.

It can generate lists of keywords that you can export into an excel file or into your AdWords account. It gives you information from other tools, such as Google cost per click and Wordtracker information.

You can get some of this information from other tools, but Keyword Elite gathers it all into one place, and I like being able to save it into a excel file for later use.

The only drawback to this tool is that it is slow. It runs for quite a while. You used to be able to just leave your computer and let it run, but now you have to stay nearby to enter “captcha” characters every once in a while. I believe this is for Wordtracker. Keyword Elite used to use the Overture/Yahoo keyword tool, but that is no longer available. Still, for me, it is worth it. I would rather have to enter a few “captchas” than pay huge monthly fees, and I only have to do it once. After that, I just refer to my excel files.

Using the Keyword Data

Anyway, no matter how you gather the keyword data, you then use it to create new posts on your blog.

You don’t need to worry about “keyword density” (the percentage of time you use your keyword on the page). The search engines are more sophisticated and will not be fooled by artificial keyword density. Just write your article naturally and be sure to use the keywords where they are appropriate.

Do a separate post for each keyword that you want to use (unless they are closely related). For example, you can write about dog, dogs, and canines in the same post, but do separate posts for Jack Russell terriers and poodles. This part is just common sense.

The real use of the keyword tools is to let you know of keywords that you may not have thought of, and to let you know which ones would be most profitable to focus on.

For example, doing keyword research for my dog blog, I found the keyword Cesar Millan. I had no idea who he was. I found out that he is a very popular dog trainer with his own show on the National Geographic Channel. Dog lovers love Cesar Millan. Now that I know who he is, I love him too. (Both because he has such great ideas about dog training and because writing about him brings me great traffic. :) )

Application To My Case Study

So for my case study blog, I ran Keyword Elite and got a huge list of keywords. I then sorted them by KEI (a Wordtracker gauge of keyword effectiveness - measured by number of searches versus number of results found for those keywords). Keywords with a high KEI are good ones to use because they have a lot of people searching for them but are not super competitive.

I looked through the high KEI keywords and found some with high Google cost per click. I am going to take these and write some posts about them on my blog. Hopefully this will bring me lots of traffic for those keywords, and when the traffic gets to my blog, their AdSense clicks will be worth a lot to me.

I will let you know what happens, and tell you what else I am doing with this blog, in future parts of this case study.

- Pat B. Doyle

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How Do You Manage Your Time?

I think one of my biggest challenges in being a full-time entrepreneur is going to be managing my time wisely.

I have so many projects I want to work on. It is going to be difficult to choose which one to work on first. Most advice I have heard says to focus on one project and complete it before going on to the next.

However, I do tend to get bored easily. That’s why I have several projects going at a time. I think it will work out well if I work on a few projects at once, each for a couple of hours a day.

Also, let’s not forget about health. I have a membership to the Y that I have not used in a while. This will be a great time to get back into going there a few times a week, at least.

Craig Harper recently posted that he is getting out of shape from spending too much time blogging. He has devised an ingenious fitness program for bloggers and other people in sedentary jobs. It’s a little 7-minute routine that you do once per hour.

Hmmm… I’m not sure if I want to be jumping up to do this every hour. On the other hand, it could be a really good idea. I may try it to see how it goes.

My biggest time management challenge is going to be not spending too much time reading other blogs! Terry Dean told me in a comment that he only reads blogs once a week (except for a select few). I don’t think I could limit myself to once a week, but maybe one hour per day would work.

If any of you who are already full-time entrepreneurs have any tips for me on how to manage my time, I would love to hear them in the comments!

- Pat B. Doyle

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Below is an example of a Google AdSense Video Unit (small size) - see my post on AdSense Video Units for details.