Bali. How a slow internet connection helped me double my AdSense revenue

bali

We’ve been traveling through South-East Asia for almost 3 months now. Last 5 weeks we spent them in Bali, moving around from south to north of the island seeing the many different faces and landscapes a relatively small island like this can have; from the endless and calm beaches of Kuta to the world-known waves of Uluwatu, the jungle and rice fields in Ubud or the fascinating coral barrier at Nusa Lembongan.

Take a look at some of the amazing places we’ve visited in Bali.

Living from Passive Income more achievable than ever

This is not a travel blog though, so I won’t go into too much detail about what to visit and that sort of stuff. What I will tell you is that Bali can be a great place to live if you make a living through passive income. Plus if you like the idea of living in Bali long-term you don’t actually need to have such a large portfolio in order to live there as you would need if you lived in a large city like London or New York.

A regular meal in Bali goes for about $5 and if you rent long term you can get a pretty nice house for about $400 a month. Those numbers alone make the dream of living from your passive income portfolio much more achievable if you consider living in Bali.

Bali also offers the opportunity to really enjoy your free time without having to spend a lot of money. Unlike big cities were having fun usually means spending money (restaurants, movies, etc.) in Bali you can have tons of fun without taking out your wallet. Surf, hike, horse ride, snorkeling, sailing… these are just a few of the entertainments you can find that will cost you virtually $0.

Working from Bali

Of course not everything about living in Bali is perfect, and one of the main obstacles you’ll find is the internet connection, which is advertised to be a 4mbps connection at its best, meaning you actually only get 3mbps if you are lucky and much less than that if you are using a public network at a café or hotel. It can get pretty frustrating some times.

We have become so used to high speed connections that going back to anything slower seems like a nightmare. The funny thing is if you stop for a minute and think about it we had those same internet speeds in our homes not so long ago (at least I did), and we did perfectly fine…

Now as they say, every cloud has a silver lining and in my case the slowness of the internet connection lead me to increasing my AdSense revenue by almost 100%!

I was doing some maintenance on my site WikiArquitectura.com and was becoming quite frustrated at some points were I was working from a cafe and each page took 30 seconds to load. It was then that I realized how annoying it was that you had to go through a middle page every time you wanted to see an image on the site. This had never bothered me before when I was browsing the site with page load speeds of just a couple of seconds, but when that loading time went up thanks to the slow connection it became a huge problem. Imagine if each page takes 30 seconds to load and you want to see 100 pages that will already take you 50 minutes. Now imagine you had to go through a middle page to go from one image to the another, that means in order to visit 100 images you will have to go through he middle page 98 times, which means it will take me 99 minutes to browse those 100 images. I just lost 50 minutes of my time because of a simple UX mistake! That is 50 minutes I could have spent surfing, snorkeling, hiking…

I reached out to my go-to wiki programmer and he was able to find a way around this in just a couple of days. Getting rid of that middle page also required adding some new elements to the origin and destination pages, navigation elements mainly so that you could move from one page to the next. This gave me the opportunity to rethink how adds were placed on these pages and replace the ones I think could be optimized.

After we released the fix the results were immediate. Not only I was saving tons of my own time (which was already a good enough reason to fix it), but people were also liking the change. The page views per session went up, and most importantly, the click through rate of my ads went from 0.20% to 0.50%, literally doubling my daily earnings from this page! :)

double-adsense-revenue

Screenshot of a 2 months period Adsense statistics

To me traveling isn’t just about visiting new places, and I think this case study is the perfect example. Traveling is also about seeing firsthand how other people, other cultures live, and it’s also about putting you in the right situations and mid set to create new and extraordinary things. I could probably tie most of my successes to a particular trip I made. Although the connection might be hard to prove sometimes I see it there 100%, and in this particular case I have the numbers to back me up!

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