I didn’t do a post on my Internet earnings last week. Why not? It was because there were none! My total Internet earnings last week came to 75c. Sixty-six cents came from Adsense and 9c from Helium. Since I am spending $1 dollar a day with Adwords it was clear that something had to be done.

I have decided to concentrate my Adwords campaign on the US to begin with. This is my best choice simply because all my affiliates are based there. When I initially set up the adwords campaign to direct traffic to my Amazon aStore I set it up as a US campaign and that is how I should have left it. It was a mistake to try and get too fancy by setting up a UK aStore as well and running a separate campaign to point at that.

In hindsight, there was no need for me to upgrade my Adwords account from beginner to advanced. The beginners account allows you to create one campaign to run in one country. I upgraded in order to run a separate campaign for the UK aStore and also to run my ads in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and Germany; all of which countries figure relatively high in my visitors statistics.

A rather obvious problem with this is that in my particular niche lots of the items are live plants, many of which are only available for delivery within the 48 contiguous States so there is little point in paying for someone in Alaska to read my ad, let alone someone in Australia.

Lots of what I’m doing with Adwords now is trying to reverse what I’ve already done. So far I suspended the UK campaign until I have worked out what I’m doing with the US one. I have also specified to only show my ads in the US. Note: It’s worth keeping an eye on this. So far I have changed this setting twice now and somehow it keeps reverting to showing my ads in Australia, Belgium etc. When I noticed this happening from my stats I went back into Adwords to change it again. (Ok, ok. Maybe I just forgot to click on ‘save changes’!)

I have also decided to move away from the aStore and use more widgets and product placements in my blog itself. I have read a lot of criticism about aStores, saying that they look unprofessional and partly I have to agree with this. My initial success in the first couple of weeks seems to have been beginners luck and has ended. I have sold nothing in the aStore for the last two weeks – at a cost of $14!

My new strategy is to embed widgets and links in my blog and point the Adwords campaign to go directly my front page. The advantage I see with this is that it provides original content for the customer to read and gives them a reason to buy off my site rather than to go directly to Amazons or my other affiliates web-sites. It also brightens up my gardening blog with photos of other peoples work. Since I am only a beginner I don’t have any artistic creations of my own to show off. Having these pictures included in my blog might lead people to think I had something to do with creating them!

I noticed too that when I changed my Adwords ad to point it to a different url it took more than a day for the change to register. I made this change on Friday evening. According to my stats it was only this morning that the first hits were directed from the ad to my blog rather than the aStore, and even then they were from Australia!

Another change is that I have had a look at Commission Junction and I have signed up with some other affiliates. One of these pays 20% commission compared to Amazons 4%. It certainly was worth a look because a large proportion of the items in my aStore come from this affiliate anyway. The average price on one of these items is around $40-$50 so I’m looking forward to getting sales from them!

The final decision I have made this week is to drop Adsense from my personal blog. The simple reason for this is that it hasn’t worked. Adsense seems to be working pretty well on my gardening blog. There is at least something from it every day, no matter how small but I have not registered a single click from my personal blog. I have decided therefore to remove the advertising. Since I’m earning nothing from it anyway, I may as well give the impression of not being all about the money! I’ll try to work out another way to make money from my personal blog.