AdSense Profits Interview: SimonBlog.com

By Daniel Scocco

The launch of the AdSense Profits Course is getting closer (February 14), and I have two more interviews with past students lined up for you. Today’s interview is with Simon Ng.

Simon blogs at SimonBlog.com. As you might have guesses it started out as a personal blog, but after a while Simon started focused on the iPhone, and today his blog is one of the most popular in this niche.

simon-blog

Another interesting fact is that Simon is not located in the US, and yet he’s making a nice living thanks to his site, proving that you really can do this from anywhere around the world.

1. When and why did you start your blog?
I started simonblog.com in June, 2007. At that time, I just wanted to learn about blogging, WordPress and AdSense. So I registered the domain and started my personal blog. At the very beginning, I had no idea what to write. I only published a few short posts related to my personal life. Rather, I focused on testing out different WordPress themes and plugins.

2. When did you decide to focus on the iPhone?
I bought the original iPhone in October, 2007. You might know that the first generation of iPhone was not sold globally. You had to jailbreak it and use special software to unlock so that it could be paired with any SIM card. I bought one through a local store in Hong Kong. The iPhone was already unlocked and it worked pretty well with my carrier. I loved the iPhone but after five days, the iPhone hung with an iTunes error shown up. That really scared me up. As a tech guy, I started researching solution to fix the problem. It took me a few hours to bring my iPhone back to normal. I wrote up a detailed post sharing my experience and how the problem got fixed. It turned out the post received quite a lot of feedbacks. From that time onward, I occasionally wrote articles about jailbreaking and iPhone hack. One year later, my blog was devoted to iPhone covering jailbreak tips, hacks, news and app review.

3. Were you planning to make money with the blog when you started it?
Yes, absolutely. Like many bloggers, I hoped to earn some side income from the blog. But honestly, I had no idea how I could make money from it, other than putting up AdSense on the blog.

4. When did you decided you should monetize it, and how did the first few months go?
As I mentioned, one of the reasons I started blogging is to learn about AdSense. I would like to know how easy it can be integrated with WordPress and to see I could really earn a few bucks. So right after I put up a few posts, I implemented AdSense on my blog. Without a good traffic, the initial result was, of course, disappointing. I earned two dollars for the first month. My site’s traffic sucked at that time. I got 10-30 visits per day when the blog was first launched.

I thought there should be something to do with the AdSense. I tried out different ad position and adjusted the theme layout. Obviously it didn’t help. I still got a few cents each day.

Finally I decided to devote my time writing up useful guides and tips about iPhone. Since Apple released iPhone 3G in July 2008, the blog traffic kept increasing. People started searching for guide about jailbreaking and unlocking. Luckily, some of my blog posts ranked pretty high in Google and received decent traffic. After that, I regularly earned the AdSense minimum every month.

5. How did you promote the website, and what strategies worked well to increase your traffic in the past?
I do not promote my website using Adwords or other types of ads. From my experience, the best way to promote the blog is to keep writing good content regularly. People love good content and Google loves it too. As I put up more useful articles on my blog, the traffic keeps increasing.

I have to highlight the word “regularly”. Even when I first decided to focus my blog on iPhone, I didn’t write regularly. Sometimes, I put up daily article for a whole week. But when I was busy with my day job, the blog was not updated for over three months.

I came across an article on problogger.net. Don’t ask me for the link (I already forgot it) but the key message is that you have to publish article regularly. It can be daily or weekly. Having a regular publishing schedule, your reader knows when you’ll have fresh content. Most importantly, Google prefers websites with consistent update frequency.

Since then, I wrote a daily post. Even I was on vacation, I prepared the posts in advance and scheduled the posts. This “Write Regularly” strategy did work for me. The traffic improves gradually.

6. How did your earnings change after you joined the course?
I was already making over a thousand dollars when I joined the course, so I had some experience with AdSense and was curious to see if the course could help even someone relatively experienced like me. It turns out that it can, as my earnings jumped by around $200 monthly after the course, so my investment paid out pretty fast.

7. What concepts and strategies you learned in the course that you liked the most?
The best part is Daniel’s personal advice. In the first week of the course, he personally reviewed my site and offered detailed suggestions. I’ve optimized my blog title and it turned out the traffic improved indeed.

Honestly, I wasn’t new to AdSense and the optimization techniques as I mentioned above. But I still learn some thing new from Daniel such as his own technique for split testing, link building and keyword research. These techniques can help you improve both site traffic and revenue.

8. What tips do you have for those who want to get started with AdSense?
Tip #1: Don’t focus too much on AdSense optimization when you first start your blog. Focus on the content! Over time, as you build up your audience and traffic, it’s easy to receive a monthly check from Google.

Tip #2: Find a niche that you truly love. Remember you have to write regularly if you’re serious in making money from blogging. It’s very difficult to create good content if you’re not passionate about the topic.

9. What plans do you have for your blog, and how much do you expect to reach in terms of earnings?
I want to add more content (e.g. iPhone development). I also want to add a forum to the blog.

I think the blog might potentially earn several thousands dollars a month when the site traffic keeps improving.

Do you want to start making some real money with AdSense as well? Then click here to join the AdSense Profits Course (doors stay open until Friday only).




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28 Responses to “AdSense Profits Interview: SimonBlog.com”

  • Leif G.S. Notae

    Good interview and something to keep in mind for those of us (like myself) who want to take it to the next level with blogging. Always inspiring to read these, thanks for sharing with us!

    Looks as though I will have another class to attend.

  • dojo

    Some excellent tips here. Although Adsense for me is still the worst advertising revenue solution, I am keeping it on my sites and trying to make it work better. It works for others, should work for me. Adding constant content and increasing traffic will never hurt anyway 🙂

  • Jamie Northrup

    It’s good to hear about your story Simon, keep up the good work and you’ll reach your goals!

  • Cyza

    Nice to learn and know how from the experience of others. I have my part of getting monthly adsense income, however, rhe past 3 months has seen my adsense income drop drastically. I’m not sure why, but it seems that my niche blogs are either getting less traffic or/and the clicks are low value. I’m now trying to improve and boost up my income.

  • Amandah

    Thanks for this in-depth interview.

    Regarding “Point #8. What tips do you have for those who want to get started with AdSense?, Tip #2: Find a niche that you truly love,” I totally agree with this. I’ve found myself getting burned out from writing for two of my blogs. It’s not fun anymore. I have a lot of content on the one which is why I’m hesitant to ‘throw in the towel’ on it.

  • Daniel

    Nice work, Simon.

    Personally I have mixed feelings about Google Ad sense.

    Without a large amount of targeted traffic, you can only make pennies(a dollar or two at best).

  • InternetTechie|SEO Tips

    This massively awesome Interview. Simon You’re too Lucky to have a SEO Expert like Daniel. Here I also had 20-40 Visitors per day how ever same like as Simon. i Won’t post regularly That’s the main Problem for me. Some how i have more then 5 niches in my blog. So i should Write day by day like daily posts. Today i learned a new thing is if a Quality Content converts to a heavy and decent Traffics. that’s also awesome. nice Interview and thanks Simon for you’re some Advises.

    Thank you.
    Mohamed Shajid. – Itechie Admin

  • sasikumar

    Thanks Simon for spending your valuable timing for us. Daniel we are waiting for Feb 14

  • Rahul Singh

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have just started blogging and posts like these where people share their personal experiences really helps a lot.

    I especially agree with your tips about focusing on good content and being passionate about the work that we do. Everything else is secondary.

  • Ehsan

    Hi, I’m Ehsan Ullah and I’m also working on Google Adsense and I have a blog about Technology and web tips etc. I’ve never made more than 10$ a month! I don’t know why!

    My question from Simon is that how many daily pageviews do you get and how much $$ are you making monthly?

  • Paneru

    It is a wonderful article for we kind of people who are new to blog.

  • leasy

    Hi Daniel and Simon

    Really interesting, I myself is trying to make a side profit. Little bit hard with danish content, the audience isnt that huge compared to the US :/

  • James Gibson

    You mentioned you’re rereleasing the Adsense program,
    can you tell us when? I won’t miss out this time.
    Thanks Daniel!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @James, February 14.

  • Abhijit

    great article, and an inspiring story.

    its far too easy for bloggers to get disappointed when they dont get traffic and revenue.

    rather than writing with the purpose of earning adsense income, bloggers should perhaps just focus of how they can be maximum use to more and more people through their blog. Those who can do this successfully, can also then choose to monetize their blog and earn from it.

  • Giannis

    Is he a premium adsense publisher?

  • dendi

    great interview..great jobs simon. i really love your work, it’s fantastic. i also want to write a good content. i agree about “Find a niche that you truly love”. That’s make great impact to our blog. If the niche is someting that we love, it can be some power add on to our blog to grow better and making money more and more.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Giannis, nope, you need to earn a lot more (e.g., $20,000 per month or more from what I heard) to be promoted to premium publisher.

  • Galina

    I´ve read the interview with great interest. It is very nice to know that people like Simon are able to be successful with Adsense. I wish I had their abilities.

  • Lindsey Hightower

    I have started making a tiny bit from adsense,but it will be great when I get that first 100.00 check,I am always looking for way to increase the clicks,thanks for the post.

  • Ray

    I was a long term reader of simonblog. I had no idea that he was making a decent stream of income from his blog. Bravo! his hard work and effort totally deserves it.

  • Sid

    Thank you very much for this post that highlights quality content and regular blog post is key for using adsense as a way of earning income. I am keen to enroll in the Daniel’s program.

  • Georgiana Mihalache

    Daniel, Simon,

    When did you see your visitor number increase naturally? How much content did you have? How many posts approximately? I have a new blog with 26 posts – it’s only one month old and I’m struggling with visitors. I’m sure I should wait and register my blog in blog directories and all that, but when did your visitors’ number start increasing naturally?

    Thanks a lot,
    Geo

  • Anshul

    I have taken a slightly different approach to making money with AdSense. Instead of building one or two big sites I have built lots of mini sites targeting low competition keywords and been able to quickly scale up my income.

  • Steve Wade

    I have over a hundred websites with Adsense on most of them, I have earned $160 in two years which when broken down is less than my hosting accounts cost me per month. The Huge mistake I believe I have made which has cost me dearly is all the websites I have built have been on very low cost per click niches which means every click is for pennies only. Do you guys believe my thoughts on this are correct or am I missing something?
    Best regards Steve

  • Giannis

    @Daniel how can he ad 5 ad units on his blog without being a premium publisher?

  • Edgar

    How is it possible for SimonBlog to display 6 Google Adsense Ads?

    According to the Google TOS, you may not display more than 3 AdSense units per page.

  • Isabela

    Thanks Daniel for this wonderful Interviews i really like to read all the interviews here, can get good tips to improve the earnings and correct my mistakes what i am doing in my blogs, waiting for the rest of the interviews

    Thanks once again

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