Posted by: nickgerlich | October 29, 2007

Making Cents of Old Age

Much has been said about the Baby Boomers and their already-senior-citizen parents never really quite retiring. Perhaps because of fiscal necessity, or perhaps out of boredom or feeling like they have plenty of good years left, today’s graying generation will probably remain active to their graves.

But until a couple of days ago, I had not realized just how savvy some of these folks are. This is not the Afternoon Shuffleboard Club. No, they’re busy building websites and making lots of dough from Google’s Adsense program.

Google AdsenseSure, the dotcom boom of the late-1990s may have been the domain of Gen-X and Gen-Y, but now the silver streakers are claiming a portion of the action for themselves.

The Adsense program is what puts those little text ads atop or alongside the content in a web page. Anyone can apply for the program (it’s free), and every time a visitor to your site clicks one of the ads, you get paid.

Google keeps track of the CTR (Click-Through Rate), and your paycheck is not only a function of each click, but the percentage of visitors who click. Google’s software monitors everything on your website, and knows the precise amount of activity on your site. Legitimate advertisers pay Google to put their text ads across the internet, and every time someone clicks, you get a small portion.

The internet zeitgeist is full of stories of Adsense riches. Of course, while it is Google and its stockholders who are making the bulk of this money, any website that has lots of traffic can generate revenues in the thousands oif dollars each month.

And that’s where senior citizens come in. They often have time to dedicate to designing websites (which is pathetically easy these days with software and online templates).

Of course, not just any site will turn grandma into a millionnaire. There has to be traffic to the site in the first place before anyone can see those ads and then click them. But savvy seniors are developing sites that tap into their years of experience and know-how, and people are finding them. How-to sites are very popular, as are recipe sites. By the time you reach 65, you probably have a lot of knowledge on one or more topics…enough to put into type and try to leverage for cash.

Of course, it is usually the biggest sites that garner the most traffic (and clicks). Comprehensive sites with hundreds of pages will likely fare better than a 5-page site with little information. And, there is a strategy to all of this, and knowing how the Adsense program works in the back end can help your money-making on the front end.

Which has me thinking. I really don’t see the need to wait until I am 65 to do this. I’ve got over 600 blogs from the last two years sitting here on my computer, plus countless lectures. If you read about some Marketing prof getting rich from his how-to site, remember that you heard about it here first.

Dr “Click Here” Gerlich



  1. This senior (70) is building a web site, but I have no intention of using Adsense. The site will be an expansion of my blog, which I’ve been growing for almost a year and a half. Once the site is up and running, I’ll be writing ebooks based on the type of content I write about in my blog. Special content memberships is another avenue I’m going to explore.

    Very curious as to how you can provide useful content for 600 blogs.

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