1. Low Traffic
Generally speaking, the more traffic you have, the more profitable your website will be—it’s a simple numbers game. Only a small percentage of visitors will click ads, and you’re not going to make big money per click. If you want to make more money through adsense, one of your primary goals should be to increase your traffic.
2. Poorly placed ads
Obscure ad placements will also hurt your chances of making money through adsense. Below is a graph from the adsense help page. The darker the color, the better the ad placement:
I’ve also read that large rectangles tend to outperform other ad sizes.
Let’s put this together: you should put a large rectangle ad directly over your content. The next ad or two can be placed alongside or under the content.
By the way: blend the colors with your blog—making the ads too gaudy will just irritate your readers.
Here’s how this looks on my fitness blog (strongandfit.net):
The ad above my content always makes the most money. Ads on the side also make some money (that "5 Tips To" is another adsense rectangle), but the top rectangle out-performs all other placements.
3. The topic/theme of your blog just isn’t conducive to making money on adsense.
This one is a little harder to explain, but I’ll try. I’ll give to you a personal example. My first blog (KuyaKevin.com) has now received over 400,000 hits (I’ve been writing post on it since 2006). But it isn’t profitable, and probably never will be. Adsense only helped slightly offset some of my advertising costs.
Here are a couple reasons KuyaKevin.com isn’t great for adsense:
1. It tends to draw ads from religious websites, which don’t seem to pay that well.
2. The content tends to be a bit random since it is my personal blog.
I basically just gave up using adsense on KuyaKevin.com. It was more trouble than it was worth (I found myself having to block all kinds of religious whacko websites).
It doesn’t mean I stopped blogging—I just gave up on using adsense for my personal blog.
Here’s where I’m going with all of this: if you have a personal blog that just isn’t profitable (despite decent traffic and well-placed ads), you may want to consider starting up another, more focused blog. Perhaps you have a hobby you could start blogging about. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to experiment.
I hope this article helps you with more profitable blogging.