Isabel Isidro and her husband, Nach Maravilla, reached what Isidro calls a “turning point” for their website, PowerHomeBiz.com, in the summer of 2009. That’s when they found out about Chitika’s newest ad unit, the Mega Unit – an ad unit that would go on to increase their site revenues by 450% in the first month alone. We sat down and spoke with Isidro about her experiences as a web publisher, on running Chitika ads, and on how their earnings have been impacted over the past six months.

How did PowerHomeBiz.com get started? “We started PowerHomeBiz.com in December 1999. We saw the tremendous growth potential of the Web and knew that we wanted to start an online business. We both were scammed by work at home business opportunities advertised in magazines, and we knew that there is a huge market of people out there looking for ways to earn money from their homes. We decided to start an information resource site to help people start, run and manage a home-based business the legitimate way.” Do you currently own any other websites? “We have since added two other sites to our network – WomenHomeBusiness.com for women entrepreneurs; as well as Learning from the Big Boys showcasing lessons that small businesses can learn from big businesses.”

What were your first experiences with online advertising? “We tried several CPM ad networks, but we’ve always been so disappointed with the earnings. While our traffic increased through the years, our income from these ad networks stayed at the same negligible levels – even after giving them prime “real estate” in our site. Our mistake was in assuming that Chitika will perform just like the CPM ad networks we have joined. We joined Chitika in 2005, and we basically didn’t expect anything from it. We just joined Chitika, and promptly forgot about it. We barely displayed the Chitika ads, and if we did, we placed it in less visible pages and in less visible part of the page. As a result, income from Chitika was negligible.”

..the way Chitika emphasized that their product is compatible with Google AdSense caught our attention.”

“We were doing extremely well with Google AdSense and direct ad sales at the time we joined Chitika, and all our premium real estate were given to AdSense and to our own direct advertisers. There was no question as to which ad network we should be focusing on and giving our prime real estate. We started thinking about Chitika when Chitika Premium was announced. Our main priority has always been Google AdSense, but the way Chitika emphasized that their product is compatible with Google AdSense caught our attention. We already know from our experience with Google Adsense that our visitors are highly responsive to ads. Plus, PowerHomeBiz.com receives a huge amount of search engine traffic. Still, Chitika remained in the backburner.”

So what changed your mind about keeping Chitika in low prominent placements? “The turning point was when a Chitika email newsletter announced the availability of the Mega Units 500×250 and 550×250 in the summer of 2009. The newsletter also demonstrated the best practices for these new ad units, again emphasizing that these ad units are compatible with AdSense and how these units could work with AdSense on a page. I think that was the first newsletter from Chitika that I really paid attention to and read.”

The first month alone of implementing the mega units saw an increase of 450% in revenues – and that was only for a handful of our pages!”

“After reading the newsletter, we implemented the Mega Units at the bottom of a few articles to test it out. We were greatly pleased with the results. The first month alone of implementing the mega units saw an increase of 450% in revenues – and that was only for a handful of our pages! We knew that the time of ignoring Chitika was over. We are now in the process of adding the Mega Unit in all our pages. We’re looking forward this year to seeing Chitika become a major revenue source for PowerHomeBiz.com. And we’re off to a great start – for the first half of January 2010, our unaudited earnings is already equal to what we earned from 2005 to 2008!”

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