Editor’s Note: Google Adsense – if you haven’t heard about it, then you are here for a treat. And if you have heard about it, or already using it to monetize your blog, this post is going to be a real eye opener. I got same questions from many of you ‘How can I monetize my blog?’ or ‘ How much can I earn from Google Adsense?’ . In this article you are going to get all the answers related to Google Adsense, not from me, but from a friend of mine who is earning a considerable amount from it. Let me hand over to my friend Abhishek Dey, founder of BeamingNotes.
When I was in my college days, back in 2010, content writing was one of the sources of generating pocket money, at least for me. AdSense was launched in 2006 and with that many content writing sites evolved. Hubpages and Squidoo (now acquired by Hubpages) were two such popular user-generated content sites, where you can make money by writing articles. A little bit of freelance content writing (and writing for Hubpages) did bring me around 5k per month.. Well, it was enough for a college student.. I used to party once the money gets credited to my bank account! Today, when I look back, I realize that blogging is more than making money! So many businesses actually rely on blogs. So many connections you can make through a blog..
But money is necessary for ‘anything’ to be self-dependent. If you have money, you can test new models, refine the existing ones, and the same is for a blog. So, today, we’re going to discuss about AdSense and how you can make money from a blog.
Let’s Get Started with Google Adsense
Well, it will take you about 15 minutes to go through this entire piece of writeup. So in a nutshell, before we begin, I am providing you with the takeaways, if you bear with me, a quarter of an hour.
- Your Basic Queries about Google Adsense will be clarified.
- You will know how to choose a niche for a blog.
- Some real statistics and screenshots from my Adsense account that will help you make smarter decisions for your blog.
- Few Golden tips that I always wanted to share with you.
- A list of alternatives to Google Adsense that aren’t really worth your time.
A lot of things have changed over the last few years, mainly in the field of blogging, but what hasn’t changed is the people’s curiosity to ‘make money online’. Does getting a website, buying a hosting and writing a few pieces of content let you become a “Money Making Gladiator”?
If we assume this to be true, there will be more gladiators and less crowd in the arena.. In other terms, there will be more bloggers and less audience to read the blogs… Well, that shouldn’t happen. Right?
Ins and Outs of Google AdSense: Things that Matter
Advertising has changed over time, from 100% contextual to interest based, then came re-targeting, and many more will come.
AdSense is one of the most lucrative programs for monetizing a blog.
What is Google Adsense?
Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows publishers in the Google Network of content sites to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience. These advertisements are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google. They can generate revenue on a per-click(CPC), per-impression basis(CPM) or engagement basis (CPE).
Is Google Adsense the Right Choice for Me?
If you’re into blogging, then obviously Google Adsense is the right choice for you.
How to Apply for Google AdSense?
In order to apply for Adsense you need to have:
- preferably a Self-hosted Blog (preferably not a blog in blogpost.com or wordpress.com).
- You need to use a good theme, (a free theme will do to start with)
- and some fresh ideas to blog.
I’d suggest you to blog regularly (4 posts a week) for the first 6 months before you apply for AdSense.
When Can I Apply for Google AdSense?
There is no rule to when you can apply for AdSense. But since you’re from India, I suggest you to focus on your blog for 6 months before applying for AdSense. When Google approves you as an Adsense publisher, you’re officially working as a business partner with Google and they have your records. You will be invited to Adsense seminars hosted by Google (and it’s free). In return, you’re expected to show some promise and consistency with your blog. If you’re consistent for the first 6 months, they believe, you will be consistent after that. Even if you’re aren’t, it doesn’t matter for them, because by that time your blog is generating traffic and traffic= money.
Can I Get Rejected?
Yes, you can. You need to read the Adsense terms and policies. The most important ones are:
- a no-no to adult content,
- a no-no to hate content (content that promotes hatred and racially biased),
- tricks that will break some else’s business including Microsoft,
- Also make sure, the pictures you put are family friendly.
Even if you follow all these, you can still be rejected because your content is not relevant to the Advertisers. If your blog is more towards person or social causes, advertisers won’t be able to make money from your site’s traffic and Google won’t approve your Adsense account to ensure advertiser’s ROI (Return On Investment).
What Will Happen if I Get Rejected?
Rejections should make you stronger. Take a sound sleep that day, wake up and work harder and intelligently; understand the reason for your rejection.
What Niches Should I focus My Blog to Start With?
Create a blog you can grow old with. Personally, I have created more than 10 blogs out of enthusiasm and scrapped them all. Take a month’s time, if required, explore your interests, set a goal. Have a reason/motivation behind starting a blog apart from making money. Please don’t imitate or copy from others because unlike exams, here you’ll be penalized for duplicate or plagiarized content. (Exam is the only place where we pass after copying other’s stuff, and sometimes do better that the original).
Now before talking about the niches you can blog about, let me tell you that you shouldn’t blog about the following things unless you’re exceptionally knowledgeable in the field
- Travel – This section is dominated by industry giants and you won’t get high search traffic which is the soul of display revenue generation.
- Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care, Hair Care, Cosmetics– This section is dominated by brands and beauty lovers. It will be very difficult to get capture by simple blogging.
- SEO/Web Hosting – A bit out-dated.
- Relationships – All said and done.
You can try the following niches
- Virtual Reality
- Emerging Technologies
- Inspiration- Inspiration is something that never gets saturated because, to some extent it’s dynamic in nature
- Raising a Kid – Esp. for Indian audience, you’ll get dedicated viewership
- Sexuality- If you’re an impeccable writer with a pun, you can try hands at this topic.
- Tutorials and Tips for Emerging Software
- About Your City
- Any Specific Technology
How Much Can I Earn from AdSense?
This actually depends on a lot of factors, including the niche you’re choosing and the quality of traffic you’ll be targeting to. What you should know is that online advertisement revenues are decent enough to quit your job and start a business of your own, or do something you have always loved.
If Approved, Can I Use AdSense Ads in More than One Site?
Yes, you can use ads on any site from day one, as long as the site is in compliance with the Adsense terms and conditions.
A Sneak Peak into My Google AdSense Profile
This is the first time I am sharing some info about my personal Ad revenue, because Saurav said that a lot of people in his circle have queries related to Adsense. So I hope, there will be some queries. I am sharing three images from my profile. I leave you in the hands of ‘Data’, because no one can tell a story better than them.
The first one, here, below, is Adsense revenue graph (Time Vs Earnings). As you can see, the revenues are nominal in the first 3 months and have only increase slightly after that. Remember, revenue starts rolling in as you get search traffic, which, I must convey, takes almost a year to see a substantial rise.
This graph shows my revenue for the month of March, which was around $693 (AdSense= $593 and monetizemore = $100) Thus, 62x 693 = INR 42, 966 (not much I know, but I do have a job, and I am into marketing research). For the month of April, it is $731 .i.e. 63×731= 46,053 (AdSense= $594, Monetizemore= 82$, Taboola= $55)
In the image below, I have provided a platform wise segregation of the traffic. You can skip this image as of now!
So, how to go about? What tools you really need? Well, there are a lot of tools that you need to be well versed with, and might be needing! However, make these your best friends for now. You can always swipe once you find better friends 😉
A Blogger’s Best Friend(s):-
- Google AdSense – You need to get an approval from Google
- Google Analytics – You need to monitor how your blog posts are performing.
- Google Keyword Planner – A free Google Adwords tool and highly recommended for keyword optimization.
- Google Webmaster Central – A tool that tracks Google’s interaction with your website.
- Google Trends – Helps you find what’s trending, and current topics to write on.
- WordPress.org – Your self hosted WordPress blog. (Here is Step by step tutorial from Sourav to setup your self-hosted WordPress blog)
- Official Adsense Plugin – Placing Adsense ad units on your self-hosted WordPress blog has never been easier.
- Themesforest and Codecanyon ( Both are Envato marketplaces for web related tools, kindly check it out)
- Canva (Helps you prepare graphics and images for your blog)
- Mailchimp (A listbuilder, crucial but not important to begin with)
Wrapping up with a Few Golden Tips..
Essentially, 80% of the traffic will be fetched by 20% of your blog posts.. But to get that 80% of your traffic you need to have those 100% posts of your blog posts and not the 20% of them. Remember this! Most discoveries are made through accidents! Nature’s rules apply here too.
If you’re aiming to target audience from India, then I think display ads (Google AdSense) is not a good option unless you generate very high amount of traffic. There are two reason for such a pessimistic remark,
- Cost per click for Google Adsense are not high enough for Indian traffic (around 5 cents to 10 cents) as compared to US and UK traffic (around 27 cents to as high as $3)
- Almost 50% of the traffic will be coming from mobile since India is becoming a mobile first, when it comes to viewing the web. This is what I have analyzed from my blog’s 3 million page views. The US and UK mobile traffic is around (22% to 26%) and is steady. While the Indian mobile traffic is still rising. Please check the third image from “A sneak-peak into my adsense profile” to see the page RPM for Indian mobile traffic and the volume of mobile traffic it brings.
Segment Your Audience- It’s very important to understand and segment both your content and audience. You should understand your audience. People these days don’t have the time and tenacity to read. But they will always do, if you providing them with something which they can relate to. So don’t write long pieces of content when not required. Test, test and test!
Don’t waste Time-
Some of the Popular Ad Networks that People Say are Promising, but not Worth Going for it
Never serve popups/pop-unders unless you have low quality traffic sites which are image/video rich.
Some of the Popular Ad Networks that People say requires good traffic, but worth waiting for
- Tribal Fusion- You need to have 2 million page views.
- Monetizemore- You can try them if you have an approved Adsense acount.
Few other premium ad networks are adblade, casale media, pulsepoint etc. You can always try affiliate ads if your blog is niche and highly targeted.
That’s a wrap from my end. Comeup with your queries, if any! I’d love to have a chat with you in the comment section below.