Blog Income Pattern changes with your blog age!

When I started monetizing D$, the majority of the peanuts then used to come out of Google AdSense. Then slowly I started diversifying into other income streams such as paid reviews, blog ad networks, referral-affiliate methods, private ad sales etc.

In the last four to five months or so – perhaps due to the recession – the AdSense CTR and eCPM values have been pretty bad for me. At the same time, the blog income was steadily increasing as well – thanks to some of the monetization instruments mentioned above. Now, I am tending to believe that with the blog age and increased maturity levels, the income pattern changes as well.

The typical Blog Income pattern

Most bloggers go through the following (or similar) pattern when it comes to monetizing their blogs:-

Phase 1: Most people do not really start with a professional blog from day one onwards and hence they initially depend a great deal on AdSense or similar non-intrusive PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ad networks. Of late, the Google AdSense approval process has been a bit tough and the fresh accounts get started after six months. But this was not the case when I started blogging.

Phase 2: A couple of things that you pick as you network better in the blogosphere are the PR mania the advanced blog commenting symptoms. With these, you are likely to get some PR improvement which you monetize via paid reviews or sometimes via text-link-ad sales. Of course, we are too dependent on Google when it comes to these online money making methods.

Phase 3: With the traffic from search engines and social media picking big time, you will soon find that referral and affiliate banners will fetch more income than AdSense. Well, again, this depends on good quality traffic, optimized landing pages/posts and demographics. Around this time, some of the readers out of pity may also start donating some money.

Phase 4: When you have an established blog with a lot of loyal readership, a very good web & blogosphere presence, very good traffic and visibility, your main source of income becomes private ad sales along with affiliate links. You may still write paid reviews (and some might still use AdSense etc) but most people at this point are almost-professional bloggers and it’s about time to bid bye to PPC ads.

Phase 5 – ProBlogger phase: In this last phase, we are talking about people lik Darren Rowse or Brian Clarke. Their major income comes from pure sponsorships (The phase 5 name for private ad sales) or via referral income alone. ProBloggers do not really depend on AdSense or PPC networks nor do they write paid reviews. Some of them fondly return favors to their ‘business associates’ by writing β€˜shout out’ posts – in exchange of high profile dinners, sponsored vacation, goodies etc but it’s a crime to call them sponsored reviews at this point.

Your opinion?

I am sure most of us would have gone through the above phases will many of us are still in Phase 3 or 4. My questions to my blogger friends are:

1. Is AdSense still your main income source?
2. Have you got a reason why most established pro-bloggers do not use PPC Ads or AdSense?
3. In the context of my last post, do you believe that most of the established bloggers have de-risked their online business by not monetizing via Google?

Happy Money Making!


  1. Some people mix up with various phases and end up with nothing achieved..

    My friends have tried everything they could to make some money: sales pages, cpa offers and contextual networks. Many of the people do think concentrating on variety of monetization helps a great deal but it takes time, effort to test out all of them which is time consuming. I prefer to stay within 1 and 2 phase banner and in my sense you have got the “problogger” phase wrong. There are bloggers who are making a killer full time money with phase 1 only…


    1. YES. Maybe because of relevancy and the brand.
    2. The most established blogs do use adsense as far as I know (not the money making blogs)
    3. Nope. Things will ‘always’ go fine even if you’re not with Google.

  2. I am stuck in phase 1 only πŸ™‚ However the problem with adsense is that it treats all blogs and blogs as equal. As a result newbies and pro-bloggers tend to be treated as equal whereas common sense tells us that probloggers should get a premium for their high quality traffic.

  3. All these 5 phases you have written hold good only for blog like yours (MMO blogs & Blogger tips). People like Amit (labnol), Yugatech etc are still dependent on Google.

    1. YES, it is.
    2. I don’t agree with you πŸ™‚ So may be I haven’t understood yet πŸ˜‰
    3. Derisking is by looking out other monetizing options “in addition to” Google, not without it.

  4. That’s true.. We can see a decent growth after 6 months of age…and then at 1year..And i believe that it goes on when getting old.

  5. I’ve been blogging since before “blogging” or Adsense existed. And Adsense has always been a stalwart performer, regardless of the site.

    I think your pattern is relatively correct, but I don’t see people growing out of Adsense and into other kinds of monetization… rather, just using Adsense as one method that’s simple while learning the more complex tools.

    People enjoy having more control once they understand what’s actually happening in the process of someone visiting their web site, and I think for that reason many more advanced bloggers don’t use Adsense, but some bloggers I know earning 5 and 6 figures via Adsense are happily displaying Adsense on their site(s) still.

    I don’t think any affiliate offer or other monetization source presents more of less of a risk than any other, except maybe in industries where companies inherently come and go very quickly

    My two cents.


  6. Well for me at least AdSense is the primary way. I’ve not yet experienced the other stages in the evolution of my blog…

  7. nice post…i must say i am still at phase 1 but i know how to get myself going in future…planned to reach phase 3 by the end of this year

  8. I have a quick tip for phase 1 bloggers who are are going to apply for adsense. Use web based scripts to check your broken links. There should not be even a single broken link or incomplete page in your blog or website. If you do it correctly, your blog or website will approve easily. Adsense even approve 4 pages websites, but they have to be complete.


  9. I am in stage 1 and stage 5.

    Donno know how to get to stage 2 and 3 πŸ™‚

  10. 1) Adsense is only my minor income right now, but I may make it my main income source one day later as I keep building niche sites right now.

    2) In my opinion, people finds that selling private ads or writing paid post will be earning more compare to Adsense. By now, this is what I’m thinking too.

    3) No idea.

    Anyway, I’m doing good with Phase 1 and Phase 4 right now, selling private ads is still my main income source right now. πŸ™‚


  11. But starting blogger should not depend upon Adsense or other PPC ads.
    In starting blogger should focus on postings,good content and readers attention.
    If traffic boost then divert blogger can use all the phases.

  12. @Sid, thanks for your opinion on being happy with Phase I or II. As for probloggers, I see that most of those bloggers with 50K or more readers per day used AdSense once, but they don’t do it any longer.

    @SK, being at Phase I can be good if your CTR is decent. You are right about AdSense, but in a way, isn’t it a fair system for all? πŸ™‚

    @Raju, it’s not about MMO alone. Many top tech blogs don’t use AdSense. And as for AdSense usage by top bloggers, how many do we have who still uses AdSense? Perhaps only Amit?

    @Lax, yep, first few months can be very tough but there’re many who are still not able to monetize even after six months.

    @Jonathan, thanks for your detailed comment. As for AdSense (see my reply to Raju), I still feel that most top bloggers don’t use them as much as they used to. Some still use AdSense feedads but that’s it, I think. But your sense is right… Why not display AdSense along with other options?

    @Rajiv, for most of us it’s still AdSense right. For me, recently though, AdSense is not performing very well. Probably they hate MMO πŸ˜†

    @Tushar, good luck to you to reach Phase 3 sooner

    @Mairsh, thanks for the wonderful tip, it really helps those who want to apply for fresher AdSense subscriptions.

    @Nihar, that’s a different model altogether. Well, the phases I defined vary a bit depending on the niche as well.

    @Lee, good to know that your PVT ad sales are doing good… Thanks for your comments/views.

    @Sharma, Definitely the basic assumption is that the content is good and regularly updated πŸ™‚ The monetization part comes next.

    Thanks everyone!

  13. Yes, Adsense is My Shower for Dollar.

    Then Infolinks and Shaadi Rewards.

  14. Hiya Ajith. Funny that you should mention this and reflect on how the evolution and growth of a blog would affects its earning potential. I think when the day arrives that people are vying for limited ad space and reviews on your blog, it pretty much means that you’ve arrived, so to speak.

  15. As you told….your adsense was pretty bad for you. I think you placement need lot of testing. i found better place on my blog. and bit satisfied with my conversion.

    But i never think my self as pro-blogger. An avg… peoples never be pro blogger, but still they can earn full time from CPC. this will take year or so.

  16. I strongly believe that Adsense will die out as one of the mainstream methods of making money online. Why? It just takes tooooo much traffic to earn a decent amount from adsense. The same traffic that used to earn you a thousand dollar per month just 2 years ago will barely get you a hundred buck nowadays.

    Affiliate marketing is also getting crowded, so you really need to master PPC programs to earn from Affiliate programs.

    Other monetization methods, such as Article marketing, are all but dead, in my opinion.

  17. @Anish, I am yet to try infolinks… Would like to try it, if it can be customized for search visits alone. Regular readers might see it annoying? That’s the feedback I got when I was on Kontera long ago.

    @Jacques, I am yet to make it big…hope to do so when I have more time to blog πŸ™‚ or whenever I take it as a career…

    @Fun, I reduced the intrusive AdSense blocks by choice… I am sure, I could do a better job without much intrusion as well. Still playing around with it, I must add.

    @Richael, You are right about the kind of traffic it takes to hit even $100 from AdSense – I geuss, it’s roughly 25K page views per month. One thing is sure, you have to be really innovative with your monetization mechanisms in order to extract the best. I must say that I am not doing the best job in that πŸ˜†


  1. […] adsense. My view just got a little more confirmed with this post from Ajith where he talks about blog income pattern with ageΒ and asks the question, why don’t the probloggers use […]

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