Now that you’ve decided to make money online through a WordPress blog, it’s probably a good idea to go hunting for a great WordPress theme. There are so many free ones on the web already, but many of these are either buggy or they haven’t been optimized for the purposes of making money online. By contrast, the Sensely Template — which serves as the subject of this review — has been designed from the ground-up with Adsense optimization in mind. Naturally, you can swap out the Adsense units for whatever ad network you like.
Professional, Simple and Clean
The first thing that strikes me about the main Sensely landing page is that it doesn’t look like one of those gaudy sales letters. The layout is much more inviting and that’s because it seems that this static site is powered by WordPress. You almost get the feeling that Sensely.com is a blog and not a sales site.
Of course, we all know that Sensely.com was set up for the sole purpose of selling the Adsense Optimized Template by Sensely. I should mention that, according to the site, the Sensely theme can be used for both Blogger and WordPress. If you’re serious about blogging, it might be better to opt for the latter on your own domain.
Maximize Your Adsense Earnings
So how good is Sensely at maximizing your Adsense earnings? Let’s have a look at the theme and the ad units included in the template. You can see a semi-live demonstration at the provided demo site.
There are three ad units and one link unit included in the template, all of which come with a color scheme that blends in perfectly with the green-and-orange theme found in the Sensely template. I’m not 100% positive, but it looks like there is a left-aligned inline 300 box, a 336 box off to the right, a 120 skyscraper in the center sidebar, and a four link unit just below the header.
Normally, you wouldn’t want so many ad units on the same page, because you’re effectively letting the lower bids get some precious screen real estate, but seeing how they’re all different sizes, this becomes much less of a concern. Also, based on the self report, this theme is supposed a great click-through rate of about 10%. Your mileage will vary based on keywords, content, and so on.
In terms of layout, the Adsense optimized theme has a very organic feel to it. It seems like the template would work particularly well for blogs focusing on nature, health supplements, alternative medicine, and that kind of thing. It might not be as appropriate for make money online blogs unless you change the color scheme.
The one design element that I particularly enjoy is that it’s a hybrid between being a two-column and three-column template. Near the top of the page, it looks like a two-column blog with a large Adsense block on the right. Scroll a little further down and you get the extra functionality of a third column.
Normal and Premium Affiliate Program
Making all this money from Adsense is probably not enough for you, right? Thankfully, you can also make money by selling other people on the Sensely theme.
While it’s a bit of a lie to saying that this is a unique opportunity, selling people on the Sensely theme is an opportunity for you to make some money. There are two levels to their affiliate program. Normal affiliates earn $20 on every sale, whereas premium affiliates earn $35 on every sale. You become a premium affiliate by selling more than 20 copies a month. Payment is handled by PayPal with a minimum payout level of $50.
There is also a complete affiliate backend so you can keep track of total impressions, total clicks, and total sales (approved/pending/declined). It’s not the most powerful admin tool, but it’s more than what some other Adsense theme sellers offer. There is a limited supply of ad creatives that you can use to sell people on the theme too. I’ve included one of these at the end of this review.
Customize Sensely For Optimal Returns
Is the Sensely Adsense Optimized Template worth $139 of your hard-earned money? That’s up to you to decide. (The lack of testimonials doesn’t help.) I think that the theme looks clean and professional, but it’s also a little too simple for power users.
A little customization on your part can help push this template over the top and if that 10% CTR really comes to fruition, then you can totally justify the $139 investment. Whether that claim is hogwash or not, however, remains to be seen.