ASK TONY: What is the best Google Adsense Optimized WordPress Theme?

Posted on March 24, 2012

So I recently received an email asking me for advice.

“Do you do wordpress setup using adsense optimized themes? I have domains that are one word and two word domains. I want to monetize the domains with wordpress websites according to the niche. What do you think is the best adsense optimized wordpress themes?”

Unfortunately I can’t recommend any adsense optimized theme.  The whole concept of building a website to try to earn money with Google Adsense is completely outdated and pretty much pointless.

If you have great content, you’re much better off by leveraging that interest, traffic, loyalty and more into selling your own products.

Let’s assume you are trying to build a site that earns you just $1,000 a month.

If you pick a genre that pays you on average 50 cents a click, then you need 2000 clicks a month.  There are niches that pay that much per click, but they tend to be pretty competitive, so your content will have to be absolutely unique and something that people will want to share, tweet, and email to their friends.

Now 2,000 clicks a month might seem easy, but you have to remember that ads are pretty much ignored these days. It’s not a new thing to see text ads on a site anymore.  To get 2,000 clicks, you’ll likely need about 60,000 visits per month if you’re lucky enough to get a 3% click through.  That’s incredibly high.

Then you’ll need to wait until the end of the month, plus an additional 30 days before you get paid.  That means you might be getting paid as late as 59 days from now.  If you’re really pouring your heart into a site and generating compelling and unique content, then that’s a long time to wait to get a good paycheck.  And that’s only if you are getting great traffic from the very day you start your site. (not likely)

If you’re repurposing other people’s content, well you’ll need more than good luck.  Google has completely cracked down on sites that show content that is scraped or generated from other’s content.  And if you have a high bounce rate, (people come and leave quickly) due to the fact that your content is of poor quality then you will not rank well in the search engines.

Even if you outsource all of the writing, you now have an entire link building campaign to go into and you have to hope that whatever techniques you’re using aren’t considered spammy by Google.

Now on the other hand, if you’re generating amazing content that a very niche group of people really love, and they’re sharing, tweeting, and commenting, the process of creating inbound links is now much easier, and you’re much more likely to get ranked by Google.  There’s a reason why Google spent all of that money to build and promote Google plus and to pay so much attention to Facebook and Twitter activity. Google knows that interactivity is what indicates whether or not content is actually any good.

Now let’s say you’re creating great content and you still want to earn at least $1,000 per month.

At the bottom of all of your amazing and helpful content, you create a small ad that talks about a new course you have.  That course is just $27.

In fact, there are no ads on your site at all, other than a great deal on a course that’s normally $99, but it is now only $27 for the first 50 people who buy your course.

Now, after paypal or credit card fees, you only need to sell 40 courses a month to clear $1000 a month.  And you don’t have to wait 30 to 60 days to get paid.  With paypal, I can receive money and by the time I get to the ATM, I can withdraw it or instantly buy something online.

By the way… since you only need to sell 40 courses a month to hit your goal, that’s only about 10 courses sold per week.  If you can build up the traffic where you’re getting only 3,000 unique visitors a month and you’re not selling 1 or 2 courses per day, then you’re not selling something people want, or you’re not selling it right.  That works out to about 100 visitors a day, and a super low 1 to 2% conversion rate.  That sounds a lot easer than trying to drum up 60,000 unique visitors doesn’t it?

Plus, once you have a few sales and have proven yourself, you can start an affiliate program and pay out 50% of it to the affiliate.  Clickbank is just one of many ways of doing it.  You can raise your rate to $79 per course and still clear $27, but now you have dozens of others promoting your work.

Plus, even if you create a product and make nothing from it.  You now have 40+ buyers a month who are much more likely to buy something else you have. This could be a monthly-recurring membership program, a $500 consulting fee, a $900 weekend event, etc.  The sky is the limit, just depending on what you’re into versus the quality and saturation of your competition.

I’m going to be frank with you.  

I used $1,000 a month as a number because I used to make this much with adsense each and every month.  That was back when it was easy.  Now with the exact same content up, I’m lucky to make $5 a month with adsense.  Yes, I was cloaking, autoblogging, outsourcing writers, pinging, sharing and all that long before most of the courses about it were ever written.

Plus, these days all I need to make an extra $1k a month is one or two consulting clients.  No SEO traffic required.

So there you have it.  Somehow I felt compelled to write this long response.  I simply don’t want to see you venturing down that path only to spend your valuable time and hard earned money, just to find disappointment.

Use those one and two word domains to build up genuine interest in amazing content and you’ll do much better.

QUESTION:  Do you get pitched with outdated money making schemes?  What have you tried and what still works for you? Scroll down and leave a comment below.

Want to ASK TONY about something else?  – Simply Click here

– Tony

18 Replies to "ASK TONY: What is the best Google Adsense Optimized Wordpress Theme?"

  • Kevin
    March 25, 2012 (10:51 pm)

    Thank you for this write-up on not only adsense, but on other qualities on blogging or running a website. I am very new to this, it probably shows with my content. What I have found more beneficial is the articles that stand out are the articles that are genuine and original. The articles that are rehashed 5,000 by other bloggers and websites barely get any traffic at all and are less likely to be shared.

    Since I am fascinated with tech and social media, I still want to stay on this path of publishing, but I am taking another approach on how I deliver my content. It will be more original and have a personal feeling with my readers. By doing this, I hope I will get more dedicated readers/subscribers who want to share my content. Word of mouth marketing seems more appealing to me than buying my advertising for my site.

    Once again, thank you for your insight Tony!

  • DynnaLou
    May 29, 2012 (11:21 pm)

    This is definitely very helpful and I just want to share this too so more people can benefit from this..

  • Claire
    May 31, 2012 (1:50 am)

    It will be more original and have a personal feeling with my readers. By doing this, I hope I will get more dedicated readers/subscribers who want to share my content. Thanks that you’ve shared.

  • Hang
    June 12, 2012 (2:16 pm)

    Hello Tony,
    Thank you for your follow on my Twitter. =) I’m so glad you did! I currently work for a start up in the Silicon Valley and we’re trying to get our SEO up and more traffic to our site. Your posts and knowledge of SEO and such will be really helpful!

    Thanks so much! =)

  • Karson Brayan
    June 16, 2012 (2:29 pm)

    Hi Tony, Your article is great to monetize a site. I am agree with you. Selling a course is better than adsense to monetize a site. I like your idea much. Thanks for your great idea.

  • Mani K
    July 19, 2012 (2:01 am)

    Great post! You are right. In order to generate that many clicks you need to have huge traffic. But even after that it depends on the visitor’s mood to click the ad. That’s why it is better to get into affiliate sales as well.
    Mani K recently posted..Top 10 Depilatory Creams For MenMy Profile

  • Felix Figuereo
    August 14, 2012 (4:46 pm)

    Great article Tony. Heard about you via “WordPress” google alerts.

    We have been tooting the same horn for years reference custom v. prefab themes. If you want a unique look and feel – you need to hire a pro.

    Today, many folks are skimping on security. Keeping their WordPress site running on the most current version seems like an option to most. Until…

    Keep up the great work man!

  • Colby Trevionn
    August 30, 2012 (10:06 am)

    Thanks for your frankly speaking to help us by your great tips about the best Google Adsense Optimized WordPress Theme. Also I’m very grateful to you.
    Colby Trevionn recently posted..maxworkoutsreviewed.netMy Profile

  • Ethen Dino
    September 9, 2012 (9:31 am)

    Your idea about earning at least $1000 per month is great. I think by following your idea people can earn this amount of money by their blog easily. Thanks for this great idea.
    Ethen Dino recently posted..Kim KardashianMy Profile

  • vinodh
    September 9, 2012 (6:37 pm)

    thank you. you saved my never ending effort (which made no money) on adsense.
    vinodh recently posted..Http xml post request urlMy Profile

  • nishant
    October 13, 2012 (4:53 am)

    you really demotivated me . . i was really into adsense and nw after reading all of it , i think i made the wrong choice . .and worst i knw nothing about marketing 🙁

    • Tony Baker
      October 13, 2012 (11:09 am)

      Hi Nishant. Please know that my intent was not to de-motivate you, but rather to educate you so that you can make the right decisions. Don’t worry if you have already started a project towards making money with adsense. Simply refocus that project and your energy on providing content for a product that you can sell. It can be an ebook that you have written, or any type of electronically delivered content that you have the rights to. You don’t have to know a lot about marketing to be successful. Just provide people with great content and network with those that find value in it.

  • rich
    October 22, 2012 (3:59 pm)

    An illuminating and actually inspiring piece! I’ve been trying to something web based that will earn me a living (not a fortune, just a living) for a while and was convinced adsense was the way to go. back to the drawing board i guess!
    rich recently posted..Star wars beta site up and runningMy Profile

  • Jason
    October 26, 2012 (3:53 pm)

    I used to monetize my website through adsense and earned about $100 a month. In the last two years adsense has died, people have become immune to ads or something. I wrote several ebooks and market them through my site without any advertisement, save one affiliate ad. My income has skyrocketed and I don’t have to mess with constant SEO worries, traffic concerns, etc. Things pretty much sit on auto-pilot. The best advice out there is to write high quality content and promote your own products.
    Jason recently posted..Fire Lieutenant Oral Board QuestionMy Profile

  • Shawn Kingston
    October 31, 2012 (5:25 pm)

    I have never considered using the pay per click services on my site. If they can be able to earn up to $1000 per month or even more then that is what I should be focusing on right now. Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Shawn Kingston recently posted..kimkardashian24h.comMy Profile

    • Tony Baker
      October 31, 2012 (6:15 pm)

      I think you misread the article. You should read it again.

  • Monika
    June 3, 2013 (8:37 am)

    Great article! I am so happy I can focus on the content or ebook writing and forget about the adsens crap:) Thanks a lot!

  • Antonius
    October 11, 2014 (12:58 pm)

    Hi, I think adsense is something of the past for small websites. You really need a lot of traffic and that is only possible on certain subjects like entertainment and hi-tec. My sites just pays the yearly domain fee from adsense, although making money is not my primary focus, but it has surprised me how little one actually makes. I totally agree, sell a good product (like eBooks etc.) on which you will make much more. AdSense only works on site with 100,000 visitors per month and more.

    Great post, thanks
    Antonius recently posted..Nutrient uptake of cucumbers depends on light intensity and air temperatureMy Profile

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