When should I monetize my blog? This is a very common question that gets asked pretty often. You see, there is no perfect answer to this because different people have different opinions. Some bloggers like me prefer to build a base of solid audience before considering blog monetization while there are other bloggers who start monetizing from the very beginning of their blogging journey.
Whatever you choose to do, if you plan to make some decent income from your blog then you must understand conversion, split testing and ad placement. I will be discussing this further in my next blog posts but today, I have a quick guest post from Susan who shares her simple adsense tutorial which will help any newbie blogger monetize his or her blog with adsense. Let me know what you think in the comments. Take it away Susan…
Once your site is up and running, you can literally put it to work and have it bring in some passive income. This is possible by ‘renting’ some real estate on your site, and placing advertisements on it. Companies will actually pay to have visitors of your website view an ad about their company or product.
There are many ways to do this, but the most popular way is probably Google AdSense which is our topic for today.
Google AdSense is a flexible, hassle-free way to earn revenue by showing relevant and engaging ads alongside your content. You can easily show AdSense ads on your website, mobile sites, and site search results.
With AdSense, Google serves up specific ads that match the keywords and content of a specific page or blog post. This is called Context Sensitive Ads. The ads served with one post are often completely different from ads served with another post because of the difference in keyword indexing in each post.
There are a number of different options for displaying ads through Google AdSense. The ad format that you select should be based on how well the format will integrate with your website. The formats supported by Google currently are text ads, image ads, rich media ads and video ads. The most popular by far, are the text and image ads.
- Text ads – are composed of text alone. You can have headings, body text and urls in a text ad.
- Image ads – incorporate text with images.
- Both – You can enable text and image ads and have them displayed interchangeably on your website.
These adverts are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google, and they can generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis. Pay per click pays you each time a reader clicks on an ad. Advertisers will not pay you for hosting their ad. They only pay when their ad is clicked. Pay per impression pays you each time the ad is displayed to a unique user. You get paid a commission, something like 60% of the revenue that Google receives for each ad.
Adsense is not a get-rich quick scheme. It takes time to build a network that is large enough that will earn you a lot of money. But it is nevertheless a great way to monetize your blog. It is simple and all perfectly legal.
Here is a simple video from Google that explains what Google AdSense is.
Salman: I would like to add my view on this 🙂 Adsense has been popular for a long time and it’s a fact that it’s one of the most common ways to monetize a blog. I am not sure if I should say “it’s the best way” but I agree that it still works. Although there was a time in March and April 2013 when a lot of adsense accounts were suspended. You can read Spencer’s story here. He wasn’t the only victim. Pat Flynn from smartpassiveincome.com also joined the ban list. However, Pat didn’t give up. He still makes a decent 4 figures from his niche sites (SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com) and some of them are monetized with adsense.
Shoemoney is known for his big fat adsense check back in the days which gave him a lot of publicity. Adsense is still cool and works great but a good sum of traffic is required to make some decent money.
Setting up Google AdSense on your blog
Before anything else though, start with a clean slate. Solve any outstanding issues on your site before you start adding advertising code. It is also important that you spend sometime planning how you can place ads on your page so as to ensure visibility (and therefore monetary value) without jeopardizing content quality that your visitors are used to seeing on your blog.
It is important that you don’t overload the page with ads, making it an unpleasant experience for your visitors. Google does not like spamming in any form and will penalize you if you add more than three ads on a page according to their adsense policy. You may want to test various formats, placements and color schemes to see what gets ads traction on your site. If the theme you use on your site is already ‘ad ready’, then you can set it up even quicker.
You can place ads directly in your template files (requires coding) or through plugins. If you plan on editing the template files, you could potentially face issues with alignment and positioning. The specific files you edit will depend on the theme your site uses. But these can be handled through proper CSS styling. Always remember to validate your site after any code change, preferably in multiple browsers.
If coding isn’t your cup of tea, there are a number of plugins that will help you manage and administer Google AdSense. As with every plugin, you will need to ensure that when you update your WordPress, the plugins you use are compatible with the new version of WordPress.
Salman: Avoid cluttering your blog with ton of codes and plugins. If you are running on a shared hosting without CDN (content delivery network), too many plugins and ads can make your blog slow and thus affect in search engine ranking. Also note: more than 3 adsense ads on a page are not allowed and can get you suspended. It also ruins your readers experience with your content. You do not need many ads for making money. The trick is in proper ad placement and split testing. Try different variation of the ads and see which one performs the best.
I always prefer coding the script within the template as it doesn’t greatly affect blog speed and performance compared to plugins. However, not everyone is a coder or a tech savvy in which case, you have some awesome plugins that can get the job done 🙂 My suggestion would be: do not use all the plugins at the same time. Try them out and use the one that works best with your blog.
Here are a few AdSense plugins that you might want to experiment with.
Google AdSense Plugin– enables you to implement Google AdSense on your site in a jiffy. It really is the simplest way to add Google AdSense to your site. Install the plugin and once done, navigate to the plugin page through the ‘BWS Plugins’ link on the left navigation. All you need to do is enter your publisher ID, and then select various parameters such as format (text ad, image only ad, text with an image or as links), size, color of the elements at the ad block, rounded corners and also position of the ad block on the website and more. Should you decide to support the publisher, you can also decide to donate a percentage of your earnings to them.
Google AdSense Lite– From the makers of Easy Ads (multi ad provider plugin), the Google AdSense Lite plugin is designated for Google AdSense only. It is an easy to use plugin that enables you to manage the color and size of ad blocks and more. It even contains widgets for the sidebar. Once installed, you will find the plugin page under Settings. There is a Lite and a Pro version. The Pro version gives you advanced features as well as a nifty filter to minimize the chance of your AdSense account getting banned. It does a quick check of the content on the page to ensure that none of the content is offensive to Google. The Pro version costs $5.95 and can be purchased online with instant download link.
Quick Adsense– enables you to manage your ads (not just AdSense) in a simple and easy-to-use management tool. It enables you to position your ads in default locations (beginning, middle and end of post) and also enables you to specify that the ad appears after x number of paragraphs. Ads can be specified or run randomly on your site. It can display up to 10 ads on a given page (if you are using Google AdSense, it will only display a maximum of 3). Simply install the plugin and access all these features from the Settings menu.
Content is the king and SEO is the queen. Blend them well together in your blog and you will generate some decent traffic in no time. Good traffic means more exposure to you blog and ads. However, you have to split test ad colors, design and placement for best conversion. Now go ahead and make some money while I work on an advance version of blog monetization guide. Let me know what you think about monetizing your blog with adsense.
This is a guest post written and contributed by Susan who is with blogVault, a Premium WordPress Backup Service. The author’s views above are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Mastermind Blogger.