My education blog, edungr.com, for the month of March 2020 earned $608 from AdSense. Fast forward to the next month (April 2020), it made only $71. The month of May is looking just a little better than April.
What happened? Why did it get so bad? What lessons did I learn?
Below are the things that caused a significant drop in my AdSense earnings:
1. My target audience
This is the major reason behind the drastic fall in my AdSense earnings. EduNgr being an educational blog targets students. The contents are for students, the visitors are students, at least 80% of the time.
But it is not just that…
A large percentage of the visitors to my site are JAMB students – students seeking admission into the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Because of this, my traffic drops significantly after JAMB exams!
My AdSense earnings for the month of April was that bad because as at the end of March, JAMB exams were already concluded. This means content on JAMB doesn’t pull in the much-needed traffic any more.
JAMB visit dropped, traffic dropped, AdSense earnings plummeted.
Then came coronavirus, the lockdown and schools closure that followed.
Although JAMB constitutes a significant portion of my traffic, other educational stuff also plays their role and contribute their quota to the overall traffic of the blog.
But as schools were shut due to coronavirus, the traffic went further down, so also my AdSense earnings.
3. Advertising was affected
This became a general trend. Advertisers began to spend less as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The implication of this is that if advertisers spend less, publishers will earn less.
This is how the advertising thing has affected my earnings so far:
- CTRs did not drop
- CPC dropped (worst hit)
- RPMs dropped (of course)
The lessons learnt
The good part of it all is that I learnt some obvious lessons. I call it obvious because I knew beforehand but kept postponing taking appropriate actions.
1. Seasonal niche means seasonal money
By seasonal niche I mean the fact that most of my traffic is related to JAMB, I get most traffic during JAMB build up until the exam. Afterwards, things go down.
This means my blog gets significant traffic seasonally.
What to do in a situation like this:
Try to have an all-year-round traffic plan if you notice that your traffic/content is about something seasonal. Of course, every month cannot yield the same result, but with the right balance of content and target audience, you can be happy all year long.
2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Although this does not apply for my blog much because I have monetized products (apps and PDFs), but for someone who might be getting started in this blogging thing, make sure to diversify your income source.
Actually, ads earnings are not so awesome compared to having products that sell. But the reality is that coming up with such products is not easy in most cases.
While AdSense can get you started quickly making money online, try to have products or services to sell. On the long run, products can pay more.
My plans going forward
I have already started diversifying my contents, targeting a wider audience, while also sticking to the educational niche.
Here are some of the things I am giving a shot at:
Project Topics and Materials: Make available project topics and the project reports, in a variety of topics. This is already taking shapes at edungr.com/materials and in the next couple of months I can judge if it is a hit or miss.
Scarce resource: sell scarce materials such as professional exams and job recruitment aptitude test past questions, etc. This is what edungr.com/shop is taking a shot at. Will it be a hit or miss? Time will also tell.
If you are into blogging or you are getting started, I hope you have picked one or two things from this article that you find helpful. This can also apply to other online businesses.
Read my article on how to start a successful blog. And remember, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!