How I Increased Adsense Income on a Small Niche Site to Well Over $100 per Month

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Increased Adsense EarningsYou know that feeling of euphoria when you finally accomplish or achieve a long-term goal. It could be something like paying off a credit card, a car loan, student loan debt, or even your house. It could be hitting a certain income threshold at your day job or hitting a milestone with your retirement savings. These are all big wins. But the little wins are just as important. In my case, it has been a goal of mine for quite some time to reach the $100 payout threshold for Google Adsense on a recurring monthly basis. I’m ecstatic that I’ve been able to do so for a couple of months straight now – and it appears that the income will remain steady and stable. In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how I did it and how you can use the exact same technique to grow your Adsense income. But first, a short story about the day that I first hit the $100….

The Day I First Hit the $100 Adsense Threshold

I remember it vividly. It had been 3 years and 2 months since the day that I first signed up for Google Adsense. In February of 2010 I was just learning how to post content on the internet and create my own websites and blogs. I signed up for Adsense with high hopes of getting rich off of my free .blogspot blogs like this one. I was dumbfounded when I realized that nobody visited my blogs and likewise nobody clicked on my ads. The Google threshold for payment is a minimum of $100 – meaning they won’t send you a payment until your account shows that they owe you at least $100.

Fast forward three short years – and I had now learned quite a bit about blogging, internet marketing, SEO and niche website creation. And then one day it happened. In April of 2013, I finally hit the $100 threshold which meant that Google would be sending me actual money the next month! Woohoo! This was a very big moment in time for me. I’ll always remember where I was and what I was doing when I found out. Kind of like remembering the same kind of stuff when 9/11 happened, or when the Challenger space shuttle blew up. In this case, I was at my day job – driving a semi-truck up northbound US-131 between Big Rapids and Cadillac, MI. I have an Adsense app on my Android phone, and I would periodically check it. Admittedly, I would check it way too often. Several times throughout most days – just because I could. So when I opened the app and saw that my lifetime earnings had surpassed $100 – boy was I excited! While driving up the highway, I was yelling and screaming and doing fist pumps. I had the biggest smile on my face and I wanted to tell the world. I could have announced it over the CB radio, but nobody probably would have heard me and even if they did they would have no idea what I was talking about. Here is the tweet that I sent out shortly thereafter…

And then it was over. The excitement wore off. I called my wife and another friend who knew about what I was doing online. They weren’t nearly as excited as I was. Life went on and I continued to work to increase my Adsense and other online earnings.

Getting Google to Send Me Money Every Single Month

Getting Google to send me money once was awesome. But getting Google to send me money every single month would be the coolest thing ever! So I made that one of my goals for 2013. And I talked about it at the end of my income reports for the last several months of 2013. I never ended up reaching that goal, but I got close. I think I earned around $66 in December of 2013. Then things turned the corner and I crossed the $100 barrier in monthly Adsense income during the very first month of 2014. Things have really taken off for me as far as Adsense goes. My passive income from Google Adsense continues to increase dramatically as 2014 marches on. Take a look at the following screenshot and see for yourself (January 2013 to March 2014 by month)!

Increased Adsense Earnings
Sensitive data blurred to comply with Adsense Terms of Service

Here are my total monthly earnings for the past several months:

  • Nov 2013 – $35.60
  • Dec 2013 – $66.78
  • Jan2014 – $234.07
  • Feb 2014 – $458.22
  • Mar 2014 – $531.90 and counting.. (writing this post on March 25th)

And here is a breakdown of the URL’s where these earnings are coming from…

Adsense earnings by URL for 2014 so far


As you can see, approximately 96% of my Adsense income is coming from the one niche site. I’m sure you’re wondering about that site and how I was able to increase it’s income so drastically. Ultimately, that is what this post is all about. It only took me 800 words to get here! haha So, here we go…

How and Why I Started this Small Niche Site

Although I have not revealed the site and don’t plan to – I can show you where I’ve talked about this site before on the blog. This was actually a site I was using as part of an experiment where I was testing the effectiveness of social bookmarking links that I obtained automatically with SocialADR (affiliate link). I never intended to grow the site this big and never thought that it would do this well. A quick recap of the experiment:

  • published only 4 articles optimized for 4 great keywords (1 main and 3 highly relevant)
  • setup SocialADR to automatically drip social bookmarking links to the posts
  • monitored and recorded results over a 30-day period
  • watched the site steadily climb to the 3rd page of Google with only these links

I then let the site sit and started working on other things. Whenever an opportunity would arise or if I felt like it, I added a new post or a backlink. I really didn’t do much with the site though. It was July 2013 when I started the site. By October or November, it had worked its way up to the first page of Google (hovering around position 9 or 10) without much effort by me. By December, this site was responsible for most of the $66 that I brought in from Adsense. Before December though, I had noticed what was going on and I started to put my plan into motion to increase the income from this site.

How I Increased Adsense Income on My Site

You ready for the secret sauce? Content. That’s it. I added content. Lots of it. Well, not a whole lot. But far more than the 4 posts that I originally had on the site when I thought I was done with it. As of today, the site now has 26 published posts, with 4 still in Draft mode just waiting to be edited and published. I’m currently working on a plan to add at least 50 more articles to the site as well.

But just adding content isn’t really the secret.

The secret is the type of content that I’ve published and continue to add to the site. Every single article on the site is very purposely and intentionally targeted and optimized for low competition keywords that have good Adsense metrics (good CPC and High Advertiser Competition). And all of these keywords are relevant to the main topic of the site. When I say low competition keywords, I’m talking about keywords I found using Long Tail Platinum (affiliate link) that have KC scores below 30. Low 20’s is better for secondary articles like these and KC’s in the teens is outstanding. Search volume doesn’t even matter to me for these secondary articles. I will have articles written for keywords with low KC scores even if they have as few as 50 searches per month. 50 searches per month and low KC keywords will be easy to rank an article for, and the long tail traffic that comes in naturally as a result is the real key here.

Side note: All content on this site is outsourced to my private writer. It’s a topic that I’m not really interested in and have no use for. It would probably drive me absolutely crazy to have to do research for and write articles for the site. And it would take me WAY too long. My writer does a fantastic job, and much more expediently than I could. She does all of the research and creates awesome articles that are obviously working as far as Adsense conversions!

How to Find Low Competition Keywords for Secondary Articles

As mentioned above, I use Long Tail Pro with the Platinum upgrade for all of my keyword research. Here is a short video I recorded awhile back which shows how I find keywords to write articles for.

This video was intended specifically for how to do keyword research for blogging. But it’s pretty much the same thing for niche sites. Just make sure your seed keywords are relevant to the main topic of the site. In my case, I usually use the same keyword list that I had when I found the main keyword. Or start a new campaign in Long Tail Pro using the main keyword as the seed keyword. I then go through the list of keywords and find all of the ones that look like they are relevant and would be good for secondary articles. I click the Calculate KC button (within Long Tail Pro) for each and every one of them. After I am done with the entire list, I sort the list by the KC column (lowest to highest). I now have a list of the lowest competition keywords for this niche. Depending on search volumes, I usually start at the top of this list and start assigning keywords to my writer for her to produce articles.

Did you know that I sell lists of keywords like this?

Not ironically, at the same time that I was figuring out how well this strategy works – I was also in the midst of launching and beta testing my Keyword Research Service. I actually use this exact same process to produce keyword lists that I sell as part of my Keyword Research Packages. The popularity of the service has amazed me, especially since my blog isn’t super well-known yet. So far, my customers have been really happy and appreciate the fact that all of this work is done for them. Not only do I find and provide great main keywords that will be easy to rank for, but I produce massive keywords lists which will provide ideas for most of the secondary articles for the niche site as well.

Check Out My Keyword Research Packages for Sale Now

I Increased Adsense Income on My Small Niche Site and You Can Too

I just realized that I didn’t really completely define what I meant by “small niche site.” I mentioned that it started out with only 4 articles. The local monthly search volume for the main keyword is only 1,900. It originally had a KC score in the high 20’s (I think it was 29 when I started). The current KC score is now at 36 for the main keyword and I am ranking in the number 2 position in Google. The site is on track to make close to $700 during the month of March, and probably even more in upcoming months.

I share with you these stats about my main keyword just to point out the fact that they don’t really matter. Yes, I get a good amount of traffic from my #2 ranking for the main keyword. But the vast majority of my traffic comes from long tail keywords. And these long tail keywords that I am ranking for are the direct result of creating a lot of content based on lower competition keywords that get less searches per month.

Creating more content and getting valuable links are the two biggest factors to increase Page Authority and Domain Authority. When these metrics increase for a site, rankings tend to go up across the board for many keywords that the site is ranking for. More content also attracts more readers who might also have web properties, which in turn attracts more natural links (given your content is worth linking to).

So, all-in-all – creating more content based on low competition keywords is the secret sauce. Based on my experience, this is what you need to do to create increased adsense income from your niche sites. Find the low competition keywords that have good Adsense metrics. Don’t use this strategy for keywords with low CPC or Low Advertiser Competition. That won’t do much for your Adsense income. Create as much content as possible. Get some links whenever and wherever you can and watch your Adsense income explode the way mine has!

Finding Low Competition Keywords with Long Tail Pro

As mentioned above and demonstrated in the video embedded within this post, the Platinum version of Long Tail Pro makes this process extremely easy and fast. I don’t know how I could even find these types of keywords without this tool. I know it is possible, but very time consuming and difficult to try to check all of the metrics that indicate the competition levels of  keywords manually.

If I didn’t own Long Tail Platinum, I wouldn’t even be trying to find these types of keywords. In other words, I would probably just be guessing on which keywords to have articles written for. I would have no idea whether they would be easy to rank for or not. That is exactly the strategy I used before I purchased Long Tail Pro, and my results were reflected. My sites were terrible. They didn’t rank and they didn’t make hardly any money. The Platinum version of Long Tail Pro really has been a game-changer for me. I would not attempt to build a niche site without it. If cost is an issue for you, check out my post about the 3 ways to make Long Tail Pro pay for itself.

Get Long Tail Pro Today


To be continued…

Update: One day after originally posting this article – I realized that there are a few other things that I actually did to increase the income on the niche site I talked about here. Publishing more content was definitely the most important thing, but there are other factors as well. I could write another entire post about those, and so I will. Later. Get signed up for my email list if you’d like to stay up to date. I usually send out an email when I publish new posts that contain value like this one (which isn’t very often these days). Unfortunately, I’ve been spending more time working on my niche sites lately and less time blogging about it here. And look what it’s doing for my income!

Remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.


Image Credit – quickonlinetips via Flickr

57 thoughts on “How I Increased Adsense Income on a Small Niche Site to Well Over $100 per Month”

  1. Nice Matt, you’ve inspired me to revisit my Adsense site. I only have around 8 posts on it, so I’m sure following the steps you’ve outlined here will help increase the earnings.

    • Awesome Tom. Yeah, definitely try some of the really low competition keywords that don’t get very many searches first. It’s really encouraging to see even just one of your posts ranking at the very top of Google search results. Then build out more from there.

  2. Great post Matt! Its funny but I had the same reactions the day I exceeded $100 for the first time and then started exceeding $100 regularly every month. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

    I can totally back you that low competition KC content is the way to go. I took my NS1 site from 20 posts to around 60 posts and that really put the income/traffic into over-drive. I think the natural addition of keyword rich content and authority links only helps to establish your authority. And as you said once your authority goes up, pretty much everything else goes up along with it!

    • It’s absolutely a great feeling MMD. Google Adsense on a site like this is passive income at it’s finest. It’s almost bringing out the greed in me. Now that it’s coming in steadily and regularly, I want to increase it more and more and more!

      Thanks for backing me on the content strategy. Believe me, I’ve been watching what you and others have been doing to create the same kind of success. All of us niche siters are in this thing together. It’s really fun to be able to blog about it, share notes and read about what others are doing on their blogs.

    • That’s what makes this strategy so great Philip-Daniel. So many people think the way you have and don’t bother to go after the keywords that get less searches. That’s why they are so easy to rank for. And usually you only need really good on-page SEO to rank for these types of keywords. Let me know how it goes for you.

  3. Nice work matt and great strategy. I’ve been trying to do the same thing for my amazon site – pile up a lot of the search terms that are easy to rank for and start building up traffic that way instead of going for some of the bigger (and more competitive) keywords first.

    • Yeah Jeff. Also a great strategy for an Amazon site – but make sure you funnel the readers to your main product links somehow. One suggestion: If you have one of those handy comparison charts, maybe link to it in the sidebar and make that link “sticky” so that it stays on the screen when readers scroll down (the same way that my opt-in box does on this blog).

    • I did a little bit of blog commenting right after the 30-day experiment. Not much though. I’m not sure about the value in that. I found 3 relevant expired domains and built those out as part of my private blog network. Not awesome metrics on those domains, but highly relevant backlink profiles. I was able to trade links from some of my sites for links from other relevant sites from other niche siters that I know. Got maybe 5 links this way, again not real high authority. The rest of the links up until about two weeks ago were natural.

      More recently, I’ve been experimenting with buying links from PBN’s. I’ve purchased two over the past couple of weeks, and they are definitely working!

      • Ah I see. So PBNs and expired domains are a key factor in the success of this project. Seems to be a recurring theme in SEO at the moment.


  4. Matt I called my business partner after reading your post and told him to add a “adsense rehab” tab to our case study section of our site. I had about $73 in my adsense account and he had $89—both of us laughed.
    We use Spencer’s lt kw pro and your strategy makes perfect sense.
    I have a site with about 19 articles and a CTR adsense theme that I may try to resurrect. Thanks for the motivation…….I will focus on lt kw’s with low comp, high cpc, and high advertiser comp.

    • I hope both of you get as excited as I did when you hit the $100 threshold! haha

      I guess I didn’t realize that the strategy I’ve been using was such a secret. The way some of these comments are reading, it’s as if I’ve revealed an incredible revelation. I didn’t really see it that way – but it’s cool that I’m shedding some light for some of you guys. Let me know how it works out for you.

  5. This is awesome Matt! I’ve never had luck with adsense…I have $90 sitting in it right now LOL Definitely time to re-evaluate!

    • Oh cool – thanks for using my link to get SocialADR Misty! Much appreciated, for sure. Once you figure out how to use it, make sure you take advantage of the WordPress plugin. I’ve been using it for my niche sites. I only need to make a few quick changes within the post editor inside WordPress and the post gets automatically submitted to SocialADR per my settings.

      I think you could have awesome success with Adsense Misty if only you would go after the right niche. You have an amazing ability to crank out content really fast. If you were doing so for the right niche, I just know you could build an incredible Adsense site.

  6. Very cool Raweewan – I’m humbled to hear that I am actually an inspiration to you and others. It means a lot to me that you let me know. Congratulations on the beginnings of your successes. I know it’s going to keep growing for you. Good luck!

  7. Congrats on your success with Adsense. It took me quite awhile (not 3 years, but at least 1) to get my first cheque from Adsense. After my first, they started rolling in every few months, and now at least every second month (if I just miss the $100 mark). I would LOVE to make more money on Adsense!

  8. Hey Matt – Well done! That’s fantastic and I can’t wait to read the follow up post.

    Thanks for describing the scene when you checked your Adsense app. 🙂 Pretty exciting.

    Do you have a plan to move on the site that “still has a chance?” If so, is it the same kind of strategy as the site featured on this post?

    • The site that “still has a chance” does not have as much content potential as the site I described here. If I produced many more articles, they would pretty much all be saying the same thing. I just need backlinks for that site, and they have not been a priority. Doesn’t hurt to let the site age while I work on other things, then maybe come back and add backlinks later.

  9. Hello Matt,
    This is really a very impressive post. We all know that making money via adsense is not easy. I also created my adsense account same year with you but, I’ve not even gotten to the $100 mark.

    Its really painful but, there are many other ways I’m covering it though. Seriously, I’ve decided to work on my adsense sites again after reading your post. Thanks for renewing my spirit.

    Please Matt, i just sent you an email via your contact form, hoping you will reply it.

    Please, how do you decided on the writer you should chose at Odesk?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Just replied Theodore! It’s exciting to see that you and several others have been inspired and motivated to rejuvenate Adsense sites just because of my post. I love it! I wish you well with yours.

  10. To make extra money with Adsense is like to jump in the deep water. It is easy and at the same time requires a lot of skills to make it happen…and patience, patience 🙂

    Wish you to reach your daily wage someday.

    • Hey StefanDo – interesting analogy. I like it. And thanks for the well wishes. Previously, I was unsure it would ever be possible for me to match or beat my day job wages with Adsense income. Now I know it will be possible. I only need to replicate my success, over and over and over again.

  11. Great post Matthew,

    you say that kewyords with low CPC arent worth to focus on. What do you consider a low CPC?



    • For the types of keywords I usually work with, I usually consider anything under $0.70 or so to be not worth my time. I try to focus on keywords with CPC over $1.

  12. Mate, you sound just like me, so so excited at the first $100. My first month, and im at $45 for 10 days.. on track for 100 to 150.. and yes,, content is key

    • Turns out, you’re like me too Alan. I constantly calculate in my head the amount I am on track to make based on the earnings so far that month. Seems funny to think back to that first $100 when I am on track to easily break a grand this month!

      Keep plugging away Alan. Before you know it, your earnings will start to multiply. Sounds like you’re off to a great start.

  13. I laughed out loud about your fist pumping, and your wife’s lack of excitement! I remember the day I crossed the $100 lifetime threshold well. My wife thought I was an idiot for getting excited about $1 per day.

    She was much more excited when I started making $100, 200, then $500 per day on Adsense!

    We were both quite bummed when my Adsense account was banned, without any kind of reason back in 2012 when everyone was getting banned.

    Be sure to continue to diversify!

    • Haha Kevin! The fact that I made you LOL made me LOL when I read your comment! Good stuff man.

      That sucks that your account got banned. Luckily for me, I was just getting into building these niche sites around the time the EMD hit and also when accounts were getting banned. I was starting to go down the road of building low quality sites, but glad I got off that road as a result of seeing what was happening to everybody else. I’m not concerned about my account getting banned due to the quality of the sites that I put my Adsense code on.

      But regardless, I am diversifying as much as I can. With that said, I am more excited than ever about my possibilities with Adsense!

      Are you not trying to get another Adsense account (in your wife’s name or something)? If not, what are you doing now? Amazon sites?

  14. Hello Matthew, I really likes your blog and you are sharing really useful information. I am doing keyword research and building niche sites.

    Matthew can you share how much traffic, CTR and CPC you are getting. Just want to know, so that i can work more and build sites fast 🙂

    • Kulwinder – no I cannot share all of that information, as that would be violating the Adsense terms of service agreement. I can tell you that the site has had over 12,000 visitors in the last 30 days and that those traffic numbers are increasing.

      • that’s really good amount of traffic on niche sites 🙂 Well I have some keywords and now I am building those sites. Will target keywords with low competition first. Thank you reply 🙂

  15. Hi Matt – i’ve been enjoying your site and all of the useful content. Thank you for sharing all of this with your audience. While I’m not at the point to use this tool, I did notice that one of your links is not pointing to the correct URL. I presume you had intended to insert your affiliate link in “- setup SocialADR to automatically drip…”. Just a heads up if that is the case!

  16. Matt, thanks for the strategy update. some of my friends use this strategy, simply by adding much more content (without backlink), and they got thousands of traffic everyday. they even never look on the search volume of the secondary keyword.

    currently, i just start testing this strategy, adding 3 articles daily until the next 5 months (total 450 articles). let see what happens….

  17. Hi Matt. Thanks for sharing your nice tip. Btw, I have one question about this method. Just adding good content is that all? or should I make it place on the top 10 list? I just started to add some contents, and they are ranked around 20th or 30th. I wonder if I just keep adding, and the ranking also will move higher or not.

  18. Hey brotha. I love the article and have long tail pro. I was wondering what you do for link building to rank these keywords? If you could share a couple tactics that would be awesome! Also do you have to have a main keyword or can you just base your company around more of a brand base, where you have a cool title and just target a bunch of lower competition words? Thanks so my my friend.

    • Hey Chris – this was an older post you commented on. At the time I wrote it, I was using automated social bookmarking links via SocialAdr and I had just started purchasing some PBN links and buiilding some of my own private PBN sites. I no longer do any link building at all (except for a little outreach now and then).

      No – you don’t have to have a main keyword. Just a main topic is fine, like you said. I’ve actually had pretty good results using this tactic and going after way lower competition keywords that don’t get as many searches.

      Good Day!

      Matthew Allen
      Dumb Passive Income

  19. it sure works! but problems is, most high CPC niche already have a lot of competition! of course if we can find high cpc with low competition it will works! to bad my forex niche doesnt give any result! most of them already filled with huge site such as investopedia, broker company and etc! just FYI, don’t touch forex niche! it really bad for noobs! huehehehe

  20. Thank you for your Information. However, based on my experience as a blogger, I have noticed a high CTR on downloads niche blog and a very low CTR on a blogging niche blog. But the CPC is more on blogging niche and less on downloads and tech niche.

    Some people are saying, using fewer ads will increase the revenue. I am not sure about it when Google itself providing the facility. Since my inception of the blog, I have placed ads in the same place by utilizing all the ad space, even I know my blog is eligible for matched content ads. If you don’t have content and have ads placed’s hard to earn, if you have content and even if you don’t place ads correctly, your income may be little less…

    Anyways, after reading your post I changed few things on my blog. Those are very useful in increasing my CTR. Now I am getting CTR 3% to 4%. That feels good to me…..

  21. That’s very informative. I just wanna ask a question. I am new in blogging. I have a blog about teachers, will AdSense approves such topic or will I choose another?

  22. Hello Allen.
    Apart from the social tool and LTP, what was the special thing you did to this site.
    1. Did you build any links.
    2. How did you improve the DA of the site.
    3. Did you improve the old content.

    I have been blogging for 8 years, but still need to find the SEO mantra of success.

    Anyhow, its useful to know your experience.

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