We all love blogging, but at some point it all comes down to one cold, hard, thing. I’ll give you a hint: it’s made of paper, it’s green, and people will do anything to have more of it. Today, we’re here to talk about Google AdSense.
So, what is AdSense? The short answer is that it’s an easy way to start making money on your blog.
The long answer is below. This in-depth guide will give you everything you need to start making money with AdSense. As with anything, hard work and patience are going to be the two most powerful tools in your arsenal.
Step One: Create a Website
None of this is going to work if you don’t have a blog or website. So, start with that. Keep in mind, this is going to be a basic overview of the process. If you need something more in-depth, check out my guide on How to Build a WordPress Blog. It is, like so many things I do, the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Creating your website can be done once you have chosen a blogging platform, and you’ve purchased a domain. You can create a free website, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the sole reason that those don’t make anywhere near as much money, or any at all for that matter.
You can’t get something for nothing in this world, which brings me to my next point. If you’re looking to get into the business of being your own boss and creating a blog or website, you’ll need to invest in both a domain name and hosting service.
As far as those two things go, you can scour the web looking for a good deal, and maybe find a few, but time is money and you know I don’t like to waste either. For both of your needs, check out Web Hosting Hub.
By clicking that handy link there, you’ll also be getting a nice little discount on your domain name and hosting services. You can expect to pay less than a cup of coffee costs at Starbucks per month to have a site that is entirely under your control.
As always, if you need help setting it up, On Blast Blog is full of resources for just that, some of which I’ve already mentioned in this very article! Here’s a bonus one for you though: while I recommend WordPress wholeheartedly, I put together a blogging platform comparison chart for you to check out.
Tonight’s Top Story: I Want to Make You Lots of Money!
Google is making fat stacks on those “Sponsored Results” you see at the top of every search result, something I’ll explain in a moment. Well, this is your chance to get a cut for yourself. A little off the top as it were without any chance of you going to jail for money laundering or avoiding taxes. All the benefits of running a gangster marketing agency, minus the legal problems.
You see, by applying and joining up with AdSense, you can display text and image based advertisements right on your blog!
When people click on them, money gets paid out, and you get a cut of the profits. Google’s nice about it too, they give you around 65% of the money, so more than half. Who does this program work for?
Well if you sought out to create a blog that really relies on original posts and maybe a few countdowns and how-to-guides, like mine on how to build a blog, then you don’t really have a product or a business that’s going to generate revenue. That’s where something like this comes in. A way to turn those readers of yours into customers that earn you money.
I want to make something perfectly clear though before we move on any further. This isn’t a miracle that you stumbled upon that instantly makes you rich enough to kick down the doors of Donald Trump’s penthouse and shout, “YOU’RE FIRED!” to him.
This is a way to make money, but it’s not a way to get rich in less than sixty days or some crap like that. Hard work, perseverance, and a whole lot of willpower will bring you success, but it comes with time and all those things.
You see, they have a program called AdWords that companies can use to advertise on the search engine. Time for a detour.
Slight Detour: Wait, What’s AdWords?
Though it doesn’t completely apply to us here, I thought it would help if you saw the big picture. AdWords is a program that Google runs with various companies who are looking to advertise on the search engine. You know when you search for something and it comes up with these “Sponsored Results” above or near the actual search results?
Bingo, these are links that companies purchase.
The way it works is they bid on specific keywords and whoever has the deepest pockets gets the top result when people search that word or phrase. You may be shaking your head but its business and it works not only for them, but for you as well. Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled article.
Step Two: Fill it up!
AdSense isn’t an exclusive club by any means, but you still have to apply to get in. I’ll get to that in a minute though, as this is the part of the preparation you need to get in. My advice is to set up your website or blog in a niche or topic that you are an absolute guru of. Make it about something you know a lot about.
It may seem obvious, but doing this is going to give you plenty of content to use for posts right from the beginning. That key to becoming a part of AdSense is having lots and lots of content on your site. Need some help with post ideas? Sure thing, check out these 151 blog post ideas I came up with, just for you.
Of course, content is only half the battle. You also need traffic. No, I don’t mean the kind that has you banging on the steering wheel of your car. This is the good kind of traffic, the kind of movement that spreads word about your site or blog.
If you have more people coming and going from your site than your competitors, well, clearly you’re doing something right. If you’re struggling with this though, I can show you how to promote your blog and increase traffic.
Give it to Me Straight Matt, What’ve we Got Here?
Well, the good news is it’s not a tumor. Luckily, I don’t have any bad news either. AdSense is a method by which you can monetize your blog. It’s a way to start making money, something we all like to hear I imagine. Not only that, but adding it to your blog is easy and you can start earning money right away.
Am I talking about it raining hundred dollar bills? No, not right away, but I am talking about generating real revenue. You may want to hold off on telling your boss how you really feel and storming out until this takes off, but it will with my help.
This program allows you to enter into a partnership with the almighty Google in which you help them earn revenue from advertisements on your blog. This is how the impossibly perfect search engine earns most of its money so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Step Three: It’s Time…Are You Ready?
Not to blow this out of proportion, but for someone reason I imagine the process of applying to AdSense like this royal audience with Google.
You’re dressed in a Shakespearean outfit with frilly sleeves and you’re carrying this rolled up parchment paper with your blog posts written on it. Google is sitting on this throne of HTML code, munching on some bottom tier website.
It watches as you approach with a thousand eyes, analyzing the SEO of your blog before you even unravel the parchment. You walk with courage though, confidence even, because you’ve followed all of my advice.
Luckily we don’t live in the medieval ages, so you can actually apply once you have at least thirty pages or posts on your blog. Head over to the AdSense website to begin the process. Not if, but when you’re accepted, you will be given an HTML code (don’t freak out) that you can simply paste into any of the posts where you want the ads to be displayed.
There are options for text or image based advertisements, in addition to both. You have control of where these things go and what they look like, giving you power over them. Beyond this, you can also display the advertisements vertically, horizontally, and change the colors of them to blend right into the chosen layout of your site.
I [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE] Fully Understand That This Won’t Get me Rich Overnight and I promise Not to Yell at Matt Banner if I don’t Make Money Super-Fast
That header is legally binding. By even reading it, you’ve promised not to come at me with emails and comments like “I didn’t make thousands of dollars overnight like you said I would!” No, the crazy guy with the cheap suit and headset shouting on your television at three in the morning promised you that, not me.
What I am bringing you is a sustainable and viable method to receive money for your hard work. So, let’s find out how to make this happen.
Realistically, How Much Can I Make With AdSense?
Realistically? I haven’t the slightest idea. Wait, don’t leave yet, and allow me to explain. Beyond knowing someone in the deepest recess of Google’s colorful lair, there’s no actual way to tell anyone exactly how much they’ll make on an average.
The reason for this extends back to the little interlude I took when I was telling you about AdWords. You see, the actual cost of the ads and keywords is constantly changing. Think of it like a stock market floor with less shouting and more typing.
That being said, there are some spectrums out there for you to go on. People have reported earning everything from two cents, to fifteen dollars per each click of an advertisement on their site.
Earning more than a dollar per click of each ad is tough, so I would expect most clicks to be below this. Like I said though, there is no “average per click” rate because the landscape is shifting more than quicksand in a rainstorm.
Part of this, of course, is based on your niche or topic. If you’re working in a niche where the keywords are more popular like, say, “money,” then you’re bound to make more. This is something to remember, if you’re ads are associated with commonly used keywords, you’re bound to make more money per click because the bidder behind the scenes paid a lot for that advertisement.
You can login to your Adsense account and see a handful of performance reports, which aren’t limited to, your average cost per click, how much you’re making per every thousand page impressions, as well as how much total money you’ve accrued over the course of a day, week, month, or year.
Ultimately, these factors will play into how much your blog can earn:
- How Much Traffic You Have
- The Relevance of Your Ads to Your Audience
- The Placement of the Ads
- How Much You Get Per-Click
Matt, Help! I’m Not Getting Approved
Okay, so you’ve tried everything, you’ve followed my advice to the letter, and you’re still not where you want to be. As with anything, this isn’t an exact science. You have to tweak things, mess around with placement, color and content until everything comes out right.
That being said, I understand how frustrating it can be not to have everything fall into place like you imagined it would. Let’s talk about the first problem posed above: you’re not getting approved by AdSense.
Tips for Getting Approved
As much as working for Google and having access to those secrets would be awesome, I have chosen another path, so I have to speculate and speak from experience. A lot of the time, the reason you’re not approved has to do with the content of your site.
Remember, earlier I said you need at least THIRTY PAGES of content or posts to really have something going. In addition, your posts should be laser-focused. Make everything you write about your niche, and structure it with SEO keywords that are related to your topic.
If you need help staying on topic and tracking your SEO, there’s a great plugin for it. You can find it, and plenty more in my list of the 20 best plugins you need for WordPress. Google is looking for websites that stay focused on their specific topic because it makes choosing ads far easier because there’s a cohesive audience.
The next tip I can offer here, is focusing on longer posts and articles on your blog.
Shoot for posts that are at least 800 words long. Honestly, if you could shoot for something between 1,000-1,5000 words, that would be ideal. Google likes a website that has something to say. You can’t make it look like you structured your entire site around ads.
Finally, the best advice I can give, is to give each post the attention it needs for proper edits. Polish up awkward sentences, check grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and make sure that everything is laid out in a way that make sense.
Make your blog like the perfect person: classy, smart, sophisticated and really good looking. Don’t make it shallow, but don’t dive so deep that no one can follow.
A Final Disclaimer
This process works, it really does, and a lot of people have truly made money doing this. Good money. However, a lot of your revenue success depends on your inbound marketing strategy. Here’s a few ways you can leverage inbound marketing to your advantage.
That being said, Google does reserve the right to disable your account if they detect any potential signs of suspicious activity.
While there isn’t anything out there that clearly defines what this means, we can assume that it’s clicks earned through less than honest means. Bots, spammers, things like that. They monitor this incredibly close, because money is spent by very powerful people every time an ad is clicked, so Google wants to make sure that money is being put to good use.
It used to be that Google would only throw the switch if they KNEW something was wrong. Now, they’ll do it if you look at them the wrong way. Because it’s impossible to know exactly what they’re looking for, this can be a potential downside of the service.
If your account gets disabled, that’s all folks! No money, no checks. There’s usually no warning either, so by signing up, you’re agreeing to all of this. Am I trying to scare you off? No, of course not. I am merely giving you all the facts so you know what you’re getting into and what the potential benefits and downsides of this are.
The pros outweigh the cons in my opinion, but this is a great lesson to learn when it comes to blogging online. You can’t depend on a single stream of income to pay for everything. Yes, Google AdSense will make you money, and yes, it’s worked for a lot of people.
Like anything in this world, it can disappear in an instant though, so don’t put all of your eggs in the same basket.
I Want Your Thoughts, Give Them to Me Now!
You have all the tools you need to get yourself situated with an AdSense account, and a way to start making money on your blog. Let’s all remember though, this is not the only option out there, and while I would recommend it, I would also pursue other methods of monetizing your blog.
There’s plenty of ways to make it happen, so keep an eye out, and always remember to check On Blast Blog for the best tips in the business.
Now it’s your turn though, tell me what you think about AdSense, about monetizing blogs, about anything that’s on your mind. I want to hear from you, so tell me your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot me an email!