Burning the Midnight Oil to the $1K Day

When you work for yourself online there are times when you’re just not in the mood or it’s inconvenient to do that bit of extra work, you do work for yourself after all. In this post I want to share a recent experience that shows what an extra hour’s effort can bring.

On the Saturday just gone one of my writers needed to take a day off so I made a few extra blog posts. As it’s my silly season at the moment I am checking stats a lot more regularly, one of which was Adsense. As I’m in the UK my Adsense day is effectively 8AM -> 8AM, which means I can check the previous days earnings as soon as I get up (a nice motivation to vacate a comfy bed).

When I checked stats again at 9PM I could clearly see that I was on for a record day, mainly down to traffic. This was surprising as Saturday has always been my quietest day (though I have seen all sorts of strange growth spurts this month). I kept checking throughout the evening and could clearly see it was going to be close to my first 4 digit Adsense day. At 2.30AM I decided to crash for the night but as you do, I had to check stats one more time, I was still looking good for a record day but maybe not a $1,000 day so I could go to bed and wait or try to raise the ante, guess what?

I spent a bit of time looking for something to write about that would hopefully bring a few readers in from my RSS subscribers and other sites. It didn’t take long until I found the particularly cool Bright Blind, so I wrote the post, went for what I hoped would be a catchy title. resisted the temptation to check stats again and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning eager to see if I’d managed to break the $1,000 barrier, I knew it was going to be close. Total Adsense earnings for the day came in at $975, it was a record but I’d fallen just short.

Sunday’s are generally more profitable for me than Saturdays so after that near miss I was hopeful, so I continued to post like normal and monitor stats every 6 5 3 couple hours or so, it was again going to be a close one. I crashed out at a more reasonable time than the night before though did find it difficult to sleep.

Monday morning came and I was logging into Adsense at 8.01AM, the previous days earnings came in at a stonking $1,012, way hey I had something to write about 🙂 and looking at traffic stats for that day one of the most popular and linked to posts was the one I’d written at 2.30AM the night before, the Bright Blind, without that extra traffic I wouldn’t of hit the $1K.

You might be thinking when you’re aiming at goals like $1K day that it’s easy to put in the extra time and effort. And you are right it does get easier, however the reason I am at this level now is because I put the extra effort in when I was earning bugger all.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. I have a number of those times where I step the extra mile in a day. One happened a few weeks back (maybe a couple of months back) where I wrote a couple of extra posts and Gizmodo picked up and linked to both of them with in a couple of hours. Links and traffic were up quite a bit that day and traffic stepped up to a new level from then onwards.

    Even if you have written everything you can in a day you can still write more… and it’s that more that helps growth.

    The 8am – 8am is cool for me too as I arrive in the office at 8am and it’s the first thing I check although I find that 8:15 is usually when the stats are final as adjustments seem to be made just after 8.

    • Matthew of GadgetVenue –

      Out of curiousity, what are your AdSense earnings like? I like what you are doing with your site …

      • I should be seeing my first $1k month in December. So not huge, but seeing progress after months and months (18 to be precise) of working each and every day on it.

        • Wow, congrats. That is definitely a substantial chuck of change.

          In your very early days, what were the earnings like? Did you go a while without really earning anything, or did you have a small adsense income from the outset.

        • I had a very small online income nearly from the beginning as I had a very old hobby site that I put Adsense on, it was making a dollar or so a day (and still is I think). If you look at the graph in my previous post you can see how it grew over time.

        • GadgetVenue was more of a portal in the early days (2005 or so). In May 2006 I switched to WordPress to go the blog route. At that time traffic was double digit uniques per day which I think was around $5 – $10/Month. It grew from there and got to where it is now.

  2. Al …the 1k are just from one website ?

  3. Awesome, so this is the story of a 1k adsense/day/site. 🙂

  4. I’ve recently started to run out of steam as far as blogging is concerned. My SEO business is keeping me so busy that I have a hard time trying to generate content at the end of the day. Maybe it is time to hire some writers…

    • That sounds like a good position to be in! The problem with hiring writers for an SEO blog is that if it was your blog I would be looking for your opinion as an SEO expert. I would think if you were to find time to maybe do 3 posts per week with someone else taking the other 2 then it should work well. I wouldnt just leave it to someone else though 🙂

      • Maybe you’re right. But my posts take a LOT of time to write, I put a lot into the. Especially the Google Analytics tutorials. Maybe I should start writing some quicker tips…

  5. Congrats 1k$ per day for adsense thats a lot!

  6. Gadget Venue – How do you get featured in Gizmodo ? Any tips ?

    Al1.Are you a premium Adsense published ? 2. What can you say about the other earnings besides Adsense?

    • 1. No I’m not, it would be nice though but my traffic is no where near, yet
      2. They exist 🙂 Currently my second highest earner is Chitika and I am a premium publisher with them (link on the right). I do experiment with a fair few different revenue streams but Adsense does work best on most of my sites.

    • Just write content that they are interested in and someone will pick it up if they like it and havent posted before. It works just like anyone linking to you but with Gizmodo or Engadget it’s a lot larger effect as they have a ton of readers which follow through and sometimes link to your site.

      • Matthew, i visited you site. It’s pretty OK but i think you should invest more time in SEO optimisation. There are a couple of things that could be done better there. And they’ll bring you an increased number of visitors from SE for sure 😉

        On the other side, just want to say something. I believe it’s brave of you to try to compete in the extremely overcrowded niche of gadgets and electronic gizmos. I had a site in this niche a couple of months ago but I kind of abandoned it. The competition in this domain is way too fierce for a new blog with no/very few money to invest to be able to reach the surface…

        • It was brave, but I have been running the site for about 24 months now and concentrated more on it over the last 18 months. I am happy at the progress 😉

          I will drop you an email in a few.

        • Hi Mike

          I run a gadgets and technology blog as well, /wave Matt.

          It certainly is hard work competing against the likes of Engadget and Gizmodo, as these guys have huge resources, get a lot of insider tips, and are always one step ahead of everyone else.

          But there is definitely room for new fresh blogs within this area, look how successful sites like Coolest Gadgets, Technabob, Slashgear etc are, and the reason they are successful is that the provide something different and unique to their readers.

        • Hi FatGadget (great name) I actually don’t see it as competition, I find the gadget niche a very friendly one with links and credit being given out freely when deserved, It is difficult being the first to report on something new but it’s far from impossible.

          Great site you have there by the way, added to my reader 🙂

        • Quick tip for you FG, add you feed to the header (do a view source on this page) so that readers can subscribe easier (it tells the browser that the site has a feed and will display the feed button in the address box of Firefox)

        • Hi Al

          Thanks, glad you like the site:)

          Thanks for the tip on the feed, I will get that installed.

          The gadget niche is definitely very friendly, and I have found other people who run similar blogs to be extremely helpful.


        • I also agree that it’s a very friendly niche. I have made a bunch of good friends in this niche.

        • FG, I’m familiar with gadgettastic, used to read it back when i was involved with gadgets too (although i like to believe i still am 😛 ) As for the gadgets niche, I’m not saying there’s no room for other sites here, I’m just pointing out the niche is overcrowded. As for the comparison between Engadget and CG or Slashgear, i don’t think they can be compared. Engadget is a generalist site, Coolest gadgets has the tiny geeky things (:P) while Slashgear goes for a more technical approach…

    • Michael. I don’t really understand what you mean by getting featured in Gizmodo, but if you meant: “How do you get cited by Gizmodo?”, it’s pretty simple.

      Find unique sources they don’t have. Chinese & Korean sites might be one of them. Cause on normal stories, it’s kind of impossible to get the post before they do…

  7. Congratulations on your 1k Adsense day, that is pretty impressive.

    I have been reading Coolest Gadgets for quite some time, and have just found this site via an article on Problogger.

    Excellent site by the way, it is refreshing to see a money making site going into detail on how you make money online.

    I have just spend the last hour reading through some of your articles very informative 🙂

  8. Dude,
    I know that checking stats can be addictive. I suffer from that a lot over the 5 years I’ve been dabbling with AdSense. If you want to give yourself a break from the bad habit, just think of all the time you spent checking the stats and what useful things you could have done.

    Granted, you need to check stats 2-4 times a day but I don’t think any more frequent than that is required.

    Awesome blog, BTW and great achievement. Congrats!

    • That’s the exact same advice I give other people 🙂 . I find when I’m near a milestone I check stats much more often, it’s difficult to resist but you’re right pretty unproductive.

  9. It just shows how much a little extra work would bring in return.

    You’re such a entrepreneur

    You know when to do what and it always works which is a luck factor 😀

    Great Achievement

  10. Excellent work Al, that is exceptional, hope I make it some day to the 4 figure a day mark, still stuck at the 2 figure….

  11. Aiming for $1,000 in one day, is definitely a major incentive to burn the midnight oil. Hopefully in a few months, i’ll have the same problem.

    As an entrepreneur the work is NEVER done, but the rewards far outweigh the burnt oil.

    Congrats on reaching your goal.

  12. I’ve read the post over on DP when you reached the $1k day goal. Comments such as “lucky so-and-so” make me laugh.

    They don’t understand the work and effort put in to sites like yours.

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