Not depending on AdSense & Google

Joined
Nov 30, 2015
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#1
Hello builders! Long-time lurker here, but I've always been reading you guys. I've got a problem that's been going around my head for a few weeks now, so I thought what better way to gain some clarity than to post on BuSo?

My situation right now is I've got a few videogame websites (legit, no hacks and stuff) that get most of their traffic from Google & YouTube. My only form of monetization right now is AdSense. So as you can see, my traffic comes from Google and goes straight into Google's pockets. I feel this question has already been discussed here but I haven't found any thread so I'll just go and ask: What would you do to diversify? My ideas up till now:
  • Push notifications.
  • Newsletter.
  • Buy Amazon Affiliate/SaaS/E-commerce sites to diversify my portfolio in case of Google penalty/AdSense account ban.
  • Apply for Chitika/Media.net/??
My main issue with push notifications & newsletter is if they affect AdSense revenue? What's your experience with both of these options? Any ideas on how to depend less on big old G?

Thanks guys!
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
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#2
Here is a fairly comprehensive list of traffic leaks. https://trafficleaks.com/

Most people who read Kotaku don't do it because they randomly landed on the site through Google one day. Kotaku has personality and the comment section of the articles are always super engaging. It would be safe to assume that anyone would love to have a site like Kotaku in their portfolio. Large following, large traffic, large money.

But by taking a step back, you realize that Kotaku didn't just appear out of nowhere and became a powerhouse in one day. It took many years of building a community. Now, the chances of building something as successful as Kotaku is very small. However, if you even manage to score a fraction of the traffic, you'll be very well off.

If you wish to be like someone, mirror their actions and eventually you'll add your own twist and develop your own audience. Also, don't ignore the power of 'faking it til you make it'. Pretend that you're a very popular website that everyone knows about. Go undercover on discussion forums, social media, etc and mention your website. I've seen countless comments such as "I was reading Kotaku this morning...". How about you post comments around the web "I cannot believe what Mrodriguez27Gaming.com said about xyz!".

If you're not already writing under a 'real name', make sure you are! People want to read what real people have to say. This can be a pseudonym, just make it more believable that "John Smith". This will supercharge your ability to build an audience.

Latch onto something controversial. Controversy breads an audience and traffic. Controversy encourages clicks and shares. And in the video game space, you can be 'controversial' without writing anything that would be considered traditionally 'offensive' by the average person. Something controversial would be like writing an article about why "Diablo on mobile is the best thing to happen to the franchise".

But most importantly, have a personality. Go gonzo. I am talking full on Hunster S. Thompson. Don't be afraid to throw in a swear word every now and then. Say what people are thinking. Write in your article "I cannot believe that Blizzard said 'fuck you' to real gamers and decided to make the next version of Diablo a mobile game."

Obviously, this will all take a ton of work. But really, all you are doing is building momentum. Getting to 1,000 readers will be harder than getting to 10,000 readers, and getting to 10,000 readers will be harder than getting to 100,000 readers. Capture these readers with an email list, push notifications, etc. But your best audience won't need to be on any email lists or push notifications. Your best audience will know the name of your website by heart and type it into their browser every morning.

(With all of this being said, don't ignore SEO, YouTube videos, etc.. it's all important to build a whole community)
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
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#3
I am in the same niche. I think Youtube is a solid option otherwise honestly there is little you can do in gaming unless you build a brand. I've found forums that focus on a sub-niche can work also.