What To Do With Low-Paying CPC Keywords

by Mark Sierra on May 14, 2009

When you’re researching keywords to build your niche site for the purposes of making money with Google Adsense, it’s important to find keywords with a high cost-per-click (CPC) and relatively low search volume (low competition). This is the low-hanging fruit that I’ve outlined recently.

But what if the CPC stinks, but the search volume looks ideal? Do you build the site anyway and hope for the best? Well, you could, but you might make more money with what I’m about to tell you. Before I get to that, here’s a disclaimer:

If you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or know someone who is pregnant, then inform your spouse immediately. Success may result if this information is used properly. If you experience profit for more than four hours, then seek the counsel of a financial adviser and invest responsibly. Dizziness may occur if you spin in place really, really fast. Do not operate heavy machinery after taking this advice because, well, this information has nothing to do with educating you on that.

Okay, good. Got that out of the way. :)

There have been many times when I’ve found keywords that fit this scenario. I tend to avoid CPCs lower than, say, $1.75. Not all the time; it could be lower or higher, and that could be based on my overall feel of the niche I’m researching or if it’s late at night and I’m just too darn tired to care.

But in either case, my eye naturally gravitates to the upward end of the spectrum and your’s should, too. We need to find a way to maximize our profits while minimizing our efforts.

So what can you do to boost your profits with these keywords?

If the niche interests you, but Adsense doesn’t seem to be the way to go, then why not build an eBay store using something like BANS or phpBay Pro? The money you’d make would then come from commissions made off sales or new customer signups. It’s like giving all that information you’ve collected a second chance, which can be very rewarding.

But don’t setup shop just yet! There’s more you need to know that could help maximize your profits even more. Details for that will be in my next post.

In the meantime, I’d like to direct your attention to a buddy of mine, Mark Mason. He’s put together a video on Josh Spaudling’s amazingly popular report called the $5 Mini-Site Formula. Both the video and report are free, btw. The video will explain in detail the process I use when building niche sites and profiting from them.


Mikael @ Retire Early (11 comments.) May 15, 2009 at 5:44 am

Hi Mark, I might be a bit tired (just woke up) but what was the information you provided in this post that would make me successful and unable to drive heavy machinery? ;)

Mark Sierra May 15, 2009 at 6:12 am


BTW, you’ve probably noticed that I keep having to approve your comments. I’m not sure why though. ??

bradleybradwell (1 comments.) May 17, 2009 at 12:04 am

I really don’t think it’s worth putting the effort in to even attempt to make a niche site off of a low paying cost per click keyword. I think it’s much easier to go onto the Adwords tool and simply search key phrases similar to your original keyword.

There’s no point in pushing forward when there’s barely anywhere to push… <- Did that make sense?

Anyway, great post

Mark Sierra May 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Hi Bradley, welcome to MeAndMyDrum. :)

Actually, I’m a little confused by your comment. Could you please clarify so that I may respond appropriately?

Anna (8 comments.) May 19, 2009 at 12:29 am

The first niche I ever made money in (and it was with Adsense) was a low-CPC niche. It worked for me because I had a lot of interest and material for the niche. But sometimes it is frustrating how low the CPC is!

Then I realized once that even with the lower CPC, my actual click-through rate was higher than my other niche (which has a higher CPC) so that their revenue per page impression was actually not that different.

In any case, finding new ways to maximize monetization is always good. But I have had far more success with Amazon. I have stores on some of my sites that sell both eBay and Amazon products. I have yet to make $5 from eBay sales, while Amazon makes hundreds/thousands. But I would like to try and test new monetization strategies soon!

Another which is worth looking into is Shopzilla. Very easy to implement and does make money, though I haven’t done a full analysis of it yet.

Mark Sierra May 19, 2009 at 6:20 am

Hi Anna,

It’s great that you’re making so much from Amazon. I tried that and got absolutely nothing from it. But that was a while ago, so maybe I ought to give it another try.

Zath (46 comments.) May 19, 2009 at 4:08 am

Interesting subject and some good advice, particularly for me as I’m looking at diversifying into some more niche areas.

These niche sites that you make, are they blog-style sites that get regular updates, or are you producing a fairly static site which hopefully attracts links off the back of it’s content?

Mark Sierra May 19, 2009 at 6:24 am

Hey there Zath!

I mostly create blogs for these niches. Once I set them up, I don’t update with new content. The idea is to do the proper research for the optimal keywords, set it up, leave it alone, and spend time submitting articles to article directories and creating backlinks.

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