For those of you who are just joining us, we’re talking about how you can make money through blogging. I encourage you to go here to read all of the previous installments in this series.
There are many different ways to offer advertising on your blog. We’ve talked about affiliate marketing, today we’re going to cover a well-known and widely-used money-making method, namely, Google Adsense.
Google Adsense is an advertising program which is easy-to-use, easy-to-sign-up-for, and easy-to-implement. Advertisers bid on search terms and how much they want to spend per day on advertising. You choose how you want your ads to look and you add code to your blog where you want the Google ads to show up. Once the code is added in, Google takes care of serving up relevant ads based upon the content of your blog and what advertisers have bid on.
To earn money with this program, your visitors just have to click on ads. Every time someone clicks on an ad, you earn a little money — usually somewhere between $0.05 and $1. It varies depending upon what the advertisers have bid. Obviously, the more traffic you have and the easier you make it for people to see and click on your ads, the more money you will earn.
When you have earned over $100, Google will cut you a check at the end of the month. At first, it can be slow going, but as you build up your traffic, the checks will start rolling in much more rapidly. I’ve been amazed at the potential in earnings just from this simple thing!
As with most advertising programs, while there are some great features, there are also some downsides. I think the biggest downside to Google Adsense is that you cannot control which ads are shown on your blog.
Google automatically pulls up relevant ads based upon your blog’s content. For many blogs, this is not a problem, but if you care about what ads are showing on your sidebar, you may sometimes find the ads Google believes to be relevant to be very non-relevant or even offensive to your audience.
For instance, my previous blog was an overtly conservative Christian blog. When I tested Google Adsense on there, many of the ads which were served up from Google were anti-Christian and ones I would not want to run. However, on this blog, since I mostly talk about saving money, I’ve not had a problem so far with any offensive ads pulling up–most have been quite relevant and helpful.
You can choose to block websites you don’t want advertising on your site, but this requires a lot of policing and a lot of work–something which probably isn’t worth your time. So, depending upon your blog’s content, Google Adsense could be a good thing or a bad thing.
Another downside is that you only get paid when you earn $100. If you have a very small blog, it could take you a year or more to actually get a check–and that could be rather disheartening! I recommend you test run Google Adsense on your blog for a few weeks and see how it goes. You might find you really like it and are earning well from it or you might find you don’t like the ads being shown and it is not really learning much for you.
I also encourage you to try having your AdSense ad blocks in various places on your blog. You can have up to three ad blocks per page, so experiment and learn what works best. I’ve found it very interesting that ad placement can make such a difference in earnings. Keep testing until you determine what works best for your blog and blog audience.
Have any of you had experience with Google Adsense? If so, what do you think of it?
Related: Pro-Blogger has a thorough post up on why you should use AdSense on your blog. It’s well worth your time.