Google took a big hit this past week as they disappointed with their earnings reports. It was mostly due to the decline ad spending.

But does that mean that content sites will start dying due to lower ad spending? I don't think so.

During times of an economic crunch, marketing dollars are often the first dollars cut. I don't completely agree with that strategy, but that's a conversation for another day.

When ad spending is cut, content sites that rely heavily on display ads will see earnings plateau and maybe decline a bit, even if traffic is steady or increasing. We're in Q4 now, so it may not be as evident. But if you go back to Q2-3, there were many on Twitter and Facebook concerned with low RPMs and EPMVs.

From the affiliate front, I've seen a slight increase in affiliate sales YOY. People are still buying. I've still seen purchases of the high-ticket items one of my sites is focused on. I've also seen purchases in the $50-100 range as well for another site continue to stay steady.

Now, it could be that even though people are purchasing less with each order, the number of people purchasing online have increased. That's why revenues have seemed stable.

And that's exactly what's happened. Total earnings had a slight increase, but average revenue per click and order has decreased. That means there are more buyers, but each person spends less.

The increase in online buyers is why Amazon's ad business increased 30%. More people are turning to online products and services, which is why Google Cloud's business increased 38%.

These are some of the things that I often look at and consider when thinking about my sites - each one a small business.

Where do they fit in? Who's the target customer? How can I diversify to increase traffic and earnings?

Once you've gotten past how to set up a WordPress blog, write content, and basic SEO - I challenge you to take a step back and do the same.

  • Where does your site fit in?
  • Who's your target customer?
  • How can you diversify to increase traffic and earnings?

The other way to do it is to do nothing. Just continue publishing content. Ad revenues will turn around...eventually. Q4 will still be good and people will be riding high on Twitter and Facebook sharing screenshots.

But sitting on my hands isn't my thing. I'm always looking ahead and thinking about the future.



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