Why earning $10,000 in a month could be losing you money.

Adsense offers a contextual advertising solution to web publishers who can simply copy & paste the code and then get paid for every click on the adverts, over the last few years there has never been an easier way to monetise traffic to our websites.

Let me just make one quick point that generally those adverts are there to take your traffic and sell them a product on another website, it is therefore a good assumption that for a lot of the money publishers make they could be earning more by removing the adsense code and replacing it with good contextual CPA (Cost Per Action) adverts if you have the time, effort and dedication to make it work. For many publishers its fast, easy and convenient to use adsense and it serves it purpose very well.

Having spoken to many webmasters about adsense over the years it is clear that most agree the $100 a day barrier is one of the hardest to achieve. As with any part of your online strategy adsense earnings are often looked at with goals, $1 per day $5 per day, $10 per day, $1000 per month and one of the hardest targets $100 per day.

A handy tool for improving adsense earnings is the Google page heatmap


Good Adsense ad formats for high click through rate are:

  • 336×280 large rectangle
  • 300×250 inline rectangle
  • 160×600 wide skyscraper
  • Most agree that once $100 per day is achieved it is then often much easier to  go to $200 per day, $300 per day. The one big target for many webmasters is the 5 figure one, $10,000 in a month, this represents huge success and for most would be a fairly acceptable monthly income! For me this happened in July 2006 when I achieved $11,726 from adsense that month.


    Interestingly enough most of the people that I know of who make 5 figures a month from Adsense will also turn around and say that it now does not make up all of their earnings, often representing 50% of online income. By the time you develop, expand and succeed online to the point you make 5 figures you’ll have learnt many a lesson, suffered quite a few bad days and long since discovered that the desire to stay at the top means developing into other income streams and analysing what you already have in a way to make it pay better.

    When you get thousands of visitors per day the smallest change can mean huge differences in your monthly pay, when you embark on a journey of goals to reach and finally get to $10,000 in a month you may look at what you have achieved and decide although adsense is great, it isn’t really the be all and end all. In fact there are other ways of making money from traffic to your sites, often with much richer rewards. I have since realised I had taken my eye of the ball with an almost unhealthy obsession of hitting $10k.

    I think I just needed to hit 5 figures, I have not really improved upon that $11k figure as I focused on earnings rather than ‘goals’ and overall I am much better of for it, so by all means have goals but do not let them cloud the real aim of the exercise, to monetise your traffic and websites to the best of your ability, don’t get too blinkered by large adsense payouts as it may be healthier for you overall to diversify your income streams along the way. At one point I had adsense on product sales pages giving me cents for clicks instead of dollars for product sales.

    On a side note if you are in the UK or outside the US then another beast rears its head, for me with pound being so strong against the dollar it makes a huge difference to how much you actually receive, to take an example when I received my first 5 figure adsense payment of $11076 that converted into UK sterling money of £6180.29. The exchange rate has been very unkind to UK webmasters dealing in dollars. If I earned $11076 today that would equate to £5625. I remember when I was working on a website for a client quite a few years ago when the exchange rate was more like 1:1.6 and $11076 would convert more like £6922. That’s a huge variation and one that might in the future make webmaster more aware of who they deal with, in which currency they get paid and the current exchange rates.

    About Scott Jones

    Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


    1. Nithanth says:

      Nice informative Adsense article :). And thanks for the “Google tool heatmap” too!

      5 figure earnings per month is a lot, and I’m sure would require years of sincere work. The most I’ve earned in a month so far is $109 :p.

      Thanks for the informative article :)

    2. great article!!!
      It’s nice of you to tell us the information.
      I will send the arcle to my friend

    3. Hi,

      That was really an ineteresting article from your side. i m impressed by your knowledge :). 5 figure earnings is a huge. I wish i could make that much from adsense as i m not good at it but still trying to work on that. By reading this article i came to know that it will be not that hard to get 5 figure as its explained very well. i came to know that the only thing is the design and the ad placement and yes the content. Thanks scott for a bunch of information.


    4. Kritesh says:

      Great article Scott. It gave me pretty good explanation on how to improve my earnings. If I could implement it well then it will be a hell of an earning per month! Thanx again mate. Pretty Useful :)

    5. Bhargav says:

      Neat article. I’ve had a lot of trouble making money on Adsense, but the heatmap should help.

      Thanks a lot!

    6. Good informative post, thanks for sharing

    7. This is a nice concept. Its interesting to see how you could loose money earning this much. I am going to recommend this article to all my friends who are hungry to keep increasing their internet money.

      Good article, Thanks for the info

    8. Very interesting article. The Google heatmap is going to really help me for adsense placement.

    9. Great article. I never made more than $5/ month with AdSense, I’ll follow some of your tips and see if they give me more earnings. Thanks!

    10. Great Informative article about Adsense, will really help me improve my Adsense earnings and maybe help me reach a 5 figure income from Adsense like you. Thks :)

    11. Good article,I like it. Thanks for the information.

    12. 5 figure earnings per month is a huge amount ,great information.

    13. wow. nice article scott. specialy for the Googleheatmap. and also 5 figure earning is a big chalenge. i only got 21$ a month. trying to go to 100$ a month and then for 100$ for a day. I didin’t know that those add formats get high clickthrough rate. i thing i should give a try. Thanx….

    14. Scott,
      Would you think it would be a good idea to wait for payments until the Euro / Dollar rate is a little bit nicer ? Currently I loose 30% on the bad exchange rate and I am wondering if I wait say 6 months until I get a pay out that this would save me some €€’s


    15. I know hwat you mean Paul but I use EFT so get paid direct into my bank a/c, I could opt for a cheque and wait but the exchange has been getting even worse recently.

    16. yup many people use just copy and paste, while others take hard time on writing articles and other copy and earn.so i love the idea of moving to CPA and removing adsense,yea but it needs extra time.
      Thankx for your artile.this could help many peoples,including me.

    17. I currently use EFT too. And it’s great. I normally get paid on the last day of the month. There isn’t any guarantee that the rate will get any better though !

    18. Really informative and good article, adsense is changing the life style of webmasters

    19. I finally manage my $10K Adsense month and Scott does a post like this :)

      Must admit I couldn’t agree more, generating $10K with Adsense is great but the advertisers are generating more than that with the traffic they’ve bought off me so there is still plenty of opportunities to improve.

      Also if I made $10K, Google probably made $10K so that means the advertisers will of paid $20K for the traffic and if they are making a profit it doesn’t take a genius to work out that I’m losing a big slice of the pie (though I’m not complaining at all).

      Great post Scott.

    20. Another great article Scott.

      $11000 a month is simply huge and are you saying Adsense only forms a (small) part of your income?

      Hat well and truly off to you.


    21. Thanks Ash, after I did 5 figures I got back to the matter in hand of earning so adsense is less than 50% income now & usually around $8k-$9k $8600 last month.

    22. Man, that is some useful information. Must have taken a lot of experience and time to collect it. I am still a newcomer and havent earned much but using such information can and will help me and many others. Its a dream come true if i was able to do so much ut still got a long way i guessed.

    23. I’m sure you’ve got it lined up for future posts, but i’d be interested to hear how much time you spend building links to your site(s) and what kind of budget you worked to and do now.

    24. I have a scrap pad with ideas for future posts so always happy to try and share anything specific, I’ll jot that down Ash.

    25. Thanks Scott the posts here are a great source of information & motivation.

    26. great post. im earning $1/day but working on achieving atleast $10/day before the year ends. thats my goal.

    27. Hii,
      WOw, your success story is really jealous one for me. :) I m thinking when can i achieve like you. But you haven’t mentioned how did u achieve this success, would you mind sharing it. ??

      Best Regards,
      Eliena Andrews

    28. Hi Eliena, most of my success will be or has been documented in the blog at various points, unlike Al I seem to have fingers in lots of pies so do lots of different things to earn my online income.

    29. $11,726.17 from a single month,impressed!!

    30. Thanks Richie, like Al I also saw it as a target I always wanted to achieve (6 figures) so it was a sweet payment & reward.

    31. Very inspiration for those who’s earning triple digits a day

    32. great article!

    33. Indeed this is a very informative site. I wish I can get enough courage to start my own blog…hopefully soon. I’m still overwhelmed though with all the barrage of ideas. Thanks for making me an ounce less ignorant.

    34. Thanks, thats a great help. My adsense earnings aren’t that great at the moment so now it’s time for a bit of experimentation.



    Leave a Reply