Are Article Directories An Adsense "Cash Cow"?

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It seems that there are a couple of people now floating around online trying to sell Article Directory scripts with the promise that you can have an Adsense “cash cow”. Well nothing could be further from the truth in my experience and I daresay in the experience of several other article directory owners.

First of all, if you really want an Article Directory, search for Article Dashboard on Google and you can get a totally free, good quality script. You don’t have to buy one. It does need some tweaking, so you will need to know some html in order to "differentiate" your site from all the others out there. If you don’t do that, then you will certainly have duplicated content from a search engine perspective.

The next thing you need to know about Article Directories is that they are a lot of work. Sure, you can set them up and simply approve everything that comes in, but it still won’t come in categorised in the correct areas. This being the case, you will end up with a directory with 12,000 articles in the Miscellaneous category. Now that’s well presented isn’t it? If you’re going to do it, then at least do it properly. That means reviewing every article, checking the word count and categorising it correctly.
At the date of writing, I have nearly 5,000 articles in my directory and over 10,000 pages indexed in Google and today, according to my stats, I attracted all of 35 new visitors. Now if you work on the basis that several of these people would have been visiting to submit articles, that reduces the number of information seekers. My adsense income for the site today was zero. That’s right absolutely zero. I was earning a few dollars a day up until recently, but that was because I made a serious mistake.

I had several hundred dollars in Adwords credits, so I ran a campaign to attract authors and visitors. Well I couldn’t work out why I was getting so many clicks on the index page, but now it all becomes clear. I’ve even given a name to these visitors, I’ve called them “clickers”. Yes, they “click” on the Adwords ad, visit my site and then “click” out again from the index page. I would have been experiencing a net loss on every visitor in this way. Yes, it was my fault for not monitoring the Adwords campaign and I didn’t’ realise what was happening until I got my credit card statement. Of course, since then there have been several more charges, so I am “down the gurgler” for the lot.

So how do you make a profit out of an article directory? The only real way is to develop a great relationship with your authors. They are effectively your list and under your Terms of Service, you should have the right to email them with offers and product information. Under no circumstances should you abuse this with emails every day like some internet marketers, but once a week should be fine. You don’t always have to promote a product, sometimes it is appropriate to provide a tip or even a free download relevant to authors.

Whatever you do, don’t be taken in by the “spin doctors” that article directories are Adsense “cash cows” and don’t involve any work. I know for a fact that one “guru” is planning on bringing out a “How To” program about article directories and I don’t want to see people sucked in by hype.
If you are still keen on owning and running an article directory, then I would suggest a niche as opposed to a general one like I have. Work hard at developing your reputation and you will succeed but don’t expect a million from Adsense.

About The Author:
Ric Raftis is one of the webmasters at No Bull Internet Marketing at and also owns the article directory Best Content Articles at

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Article By: Ric Raftis

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