It is very possible to earn money with Google Adsense, but the question is whether or not you can earn good money with it. Paying just pennies per click, can you actually make a full time income with display ads on your website, or is it just chump change for bloggers?
Table of Contents
- How To Make Money With Google Adsense
- What I Like About Adsense
- What I Don’t Like About Google Adsense
- Who Should Use Adsense?
- Alternative Options To Adsense!
- The Affiliate Alternative: Big Earnings With Less Traffic
How To Make Money With Google Adsense
Actually getting paid from Adsense is pretty darn easy, and it's why a lot of people like to use it as their first stop for earning income from their website. The rules are basic. Implementation is easy. Payouts are reliable.
To get started with Adsense ads, you need a website first. Also, I recommend having some traffic before even signing up. A beautiful website with no traffic history is going to get rejected. How much traffic? There's no set rule, but I think 50-100 visits a day is reasonable.
Even at 100 visits a day, you won't be earning more than a few dollars per month, so it's not like you're missing out on too much in the meantime.
Once you have those two things sorted out, you can head over to the official page to sign up. Follow the prompts, and you're done.
To actually get the ads to appear is pretty easy too.
Option 1 is to use the Auto-Ad code. This is the one I recommend you start with. Google puts ads on your website automatically, then figures out the best spots and sizes for your traffic.
Option 2 is to put ads exactly where you want them, piece by piece. This option gives you more control over where your ads appear, as well as what sizes and type of ads appear. However, it can be difficult to monitor and test these ads to optimize your earnings, so I recommend auto-ads for newbies.
What I Like About Adsense
1. Easy To Use
The most appealing thing about using these types of ads on your website is that they are just plain easy to use. You might get a bit scared of the code they show you in the beginning, but if you can figure out how to copy/paste a chunk of code onto your websites just one time, you can start making money from your traffic.
The very basics are dead simple. Beyond that, some people add multiple advertisement blocks per page, and some like to experiment with positions to what makes them the most money.
2. Easy To Monetize
You don’t even have to consider anything about the ads being served to your visitors. There are a few simple questions you answer about what type of content you have on your site, but in the end, Google is going to decide which ads to show people on your site.
More Traffic = More Money! This means you don’t have to mess with testing and analyzing data to figure out what people want and how to get them to buy it.
Your ONLY job is to get traffic to your website. Normally, this means writing content. Essentially, you just make your website about whatever you want, write whatever you want, and at the end of the week Google pays you. Simple, right?
3. Good Track Record of Payments
You also don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re going to get paid. If you follow the rules, you get paid on time.
What I Don’t Like About Google Adsense
1. Easy To Get Banned
A friend of mine was banned for a mysterious reason that they never revealed to them. 7 years later, they are still banned. Even murderers get a second chance to be a good citizen, but in Google’s world, you’re banned for life. Google does not need to explain to you why you were banned, and good luck trying to get anyone to investigate the reason for you because once you are banned, you are forever a leper and never to be spoken to again.
Tons of people have gripes about the banning policies, and most have no idea why they were banned. They have now even expanded the banning umbrella to include potential infractions. Yes, they can ban you for simply suspecting that you will break the rules in the future. Not only that, but there are no rules saying that they must tell you why they did this, and there's no chance of reinstating your account.
2. Doing Your Competitors Work
All those advertisements on your site? They might your competitors. Depending on what type of website you run, it might be a big deal.
Affiliate commissions are huge compared to Adsense payouts, so while you may earn a couple pennies for a click to product sales page, you might be missing out on an opportunity to earn commissions by promoting that exact product.
In other words, you're sending people away from your website, onto your competitor's website so they can make the big money!
You might have spend 2 years building this website and gaining trust in the search engines to get good rankings. Are you sure you want to let just anyone put their ads there and make money from your hard work?
3. Tiny Payments
The worst part is the tiny amount of money you make. Google pays you 68% of what an advertiser pays per click. The cost of a click is determined in a bidding process through a program called Adwords. Price ranges from $.05 to $5+, so how much you make per click really depends.
However, most advertisers are striving for cheap clicks, so they are actively trying to make you earn less money!
You are getting paid pennies each time someone clicks away from your website and goes onto someone else’s. It can take hundreds of thousands of visitors per day just to make a decent income this way! Luckily, there are better ways to earn money online.
4. Other Methods Pays Better Per Visitor
I rely on affiliate income for most of my earnings. It's amazing how much you can get paid to promote products online. A single product costing a few hundred dollars could pay you $10-$100 per sale. Just a few sales a day is a significant income.
With a well-crafted review page and a decent conversion rate, you can earn excellent money with just a couple hundred visitors per day.
To earn that some income with display ads, you'd need several thousand visitors per day.
In other words, you're earning more money per visitor by doing affiliate marketing instead of display ads. The content and products are more relevant, so you get more clicks, and you get paid more per “action” the visitor takes.
Who Should Use Adsense?
Google Adsense can be appropriate for some people. If you have personal blog that you don’t want to sell stuff, it could be an easy way to earn a side income. If you have a website topic that you feel there are no products or services available that you could promote directly, this display ads of any kind could also appropriate for your site. A celebrity gossip blog is a great example, although I suspect they sell diet pills and face cream pretty well.
Another great potential for Adsense ads is adding income to an already-earning website. For example, if my website is earning $5,000 per month from affiliate links, I can add a couple sidebar display ads and maybe a header ad for an additional $400/month payment. In comparison, 400 vs 5,000 doesn't seem like much, but who really would turn down an extra $4,800 per year of income?
Plus, that income jump will add pricing value to your website if you decide to sell it in the future.
Alternative Options To Adsense!
There are many other display ad networks out there, but I'm not going to break down every single one to you right now. You can research that on your own time. What is super interesting to consider is ad management brokers which are becoming more and more common these days.
These are companies that run the ads on you website kind of like the Auto Ad option from Adsense previously mentioned. Install the code. They populate and test your ad units.
The cool thing about these companies is that they use more than just Adsense, so you get a variety of high quality ads to show your visitors. Contrary to popular opinion, quality ads can actually add value to a website, instead of just be annoying!
I used to be a real hater of Adsense, but I've since come around, and now make a decent income from ads alone. In 2015 I decided to create my own display-ad-focused website, and it's now earning money. It earns about
$1k $3k $5k 6k per month between Amazon and display ads.
Since it's earning about $6k passively right now, I could sell it for about $180k-$240k.
The company I use is called MediaVine, but there are others out there like AdThrive. MediaVine has a 25k session/month minimum, so are tough to get into for newbies, but my favorite options for super simple, effective, website monetization via display ads. Plus, you can opt to turn off their ads on your affiliate posts, and “double up” income from affiliate promotions as well as display ads.
The Affiliate Alternative: Big Earnings With Less Traffic
For complete newbies I still highly recommend getting started with affiliate marketing training because you can learn the basics of how to earn money online, and figure out how to earn income by doing affiliate promotions.
I have found that I can earn pretty good income from sites with just a few hundred visits per day…no need for huge numbers like you need with Adsense lol!
To make GOOD money off of LESS traffic, affiliate marketing is the way to go. I created one website that got only 100 visits a day and it earned about $2000 per month. Crazy right?
Instead of placing some general ads you have no control over, affiliate promotions focus on getting targeted traffic to a relevant product. We place affiliate links in strategic locations within the body of content, and this results in many more sales.
If you have a website already, fantastic. You are ready to start making money through affiliate marketing. If you don’t have a website yet, you need one, and then you need to get traffic to it.