How to make extra money with Google
Earlier this month, I got engaged with a conversation on Twitter from a friend that asked me if I can write some “stuff” regarding my best performers, as far as making money online is concerned. If you noticed, only on very rare occasions that I will show you “numbers” as it is really not my thing. While I do realize that it might provide more confidence when making suggestions to users, on the other hand, certain business models sometimes works for one and not for the other. In lieu of that, my main objective about this matter is to provide you with information and actionable steps you can take to make things happen. I do hope that by sharing my experiences with you, you can pick up a few things to work on.
Anyway, that suggestion did spark a good idea for letting people know what works for me and with that said, I will probably be writing more specific posts about it. Today, I will start with Google AdSense.
How To Make Money With Google AdSense
AdSense, which requires no major introduction, in my opinion is just like blogging, you need patience and take action on several things for it to work for you. I have seen countless people saying that they don’t make money with it, they only get cents per click, no such thing as high paying keywords, and after a whole year running it, they still are waiting for that first check to come in.
Well, let me tell you a bit about my experience. I started running AdSense exactly like that, nothing, and probably took me some 6 months to get that first check from Google. Got impatient and started to slap “AdSense” ads all over the place and still nothing. Created MFA sites (Made For AdSense) and although it helped, still not good enough. At a certain point I started to think that it was a waste of time, and virtual real estate spaces, you know, occupying spaces where I probably can put something else. And it goes on. Until…
I started to apply some things, here and there, to try and improve my AdSense earnings. After taking a series of actions (things that go way beyond just copying and pasting codes), I finally arrived in the position where not only do I get paid monthly, but also became one of my top performers. Following below are some steps you can take to get that desired monthly check from this program. Note that I am saying “monthly” checks and not cents that will take you forever to get paid.
Actions You Can Take To Improve Your Google AdSense Earnings
Before I begin, I would like to inform you that most likely, I will be pointing you towards posts that I have already written about AdSense in the past. I don’t see any reason why I should repeat them here. I will however guide you through them, as they are there, waiting to be read, lol.
- AdSense Checklist – Make sure that you are covering every aspect about the “basics” of AdSense”. If you think you are over that, just skip this step. Otherwise, running through the AdSense Checklist is a good start.
- AdSense Webinars – A series of free live online webinars are available for you, compliments of the Google AdSense team. These webinars focuses on several topics, such as, AdSense for Search, important technical tips, best practices for optimizing ad placements, formats and colors on your site, placement targeting, using custom channels, etc. If this is new to you, here, I provide more info about Google’s AdSense Webinars. It is free!
Traffic – This is not to discourage you at all, but, I want to be realistic and tell you right now that traffic is one of the major factors you need to work on to improve your AdSense earnings. Unless you find those keywords that pay $3 per click or higher, having some few clicks would probably be OK. Nonetheless, trust me, if you don’t have enough traffic, specially organic, you will go nowhere with AdSense. Want to know how to improve traffic on your site? Here are tons of traffic generation strategies you can apply, provided by several bloggers, with proven experience about the subject matter. You may also want to work on your SEO practices.
Ad Placements – Ohh, the never ending, put here, and put there. Blend the colors and all that stuff. Yeah, this is all important, but you should know that all websites have different structures and layouts. Your users behavior while on your site can, and is, different from that of mine, for example. The best way to see how your visitors move around your site is to look at your own “heat map”.
Google has recently given us yet another tool called in-page analytics. This tool gives you a pretty good idea how and where you can display your ads (also good for other type of ads). Ultimately, there is no magic formula for ad placements, although I am still in favor or them not being intrusive for your readers. Test them in various places and see which ones works best for you. One “trick” that works well for me is to display ads on all of my high traffic pages.
In addition, this is the reason why it is important to understand, why you should not neglect the next topic, custom channels.
Custom Channels – Simply put, custom channels are “labels” that you give each of your AdSense units, so that you can easily track how each of them are performing. When someone clicks on your AdSense ad, you would want to know which of them have been clicked. This gives you a good indication as to which “units” perform better and where. Using custom channels are a must, and you can find everything you need to know about them on, How To Use AdSense Channels. Good stuff here, which includes video tutorials, and a very important step which you might or might not be doing. This leads us to the next step, Placement Targeting..
Placement Targeting – Placement targeting is an AdWords feature used by an advertiser to choose a specific ad placement for their ads to appear. They can target your website or blog specifically for certain placements, should this match their criteria for topics, themes, etc. What you probably don’t know is that placement targeting also makes your content available to Google’s internal sales teams. This sales team work very closely with many advertisers and generally help them to look and target a certain audience or type of content. When setting up your custom channels, you are provided with the option to make that channel targetable. If you choose that option, you can provide a lot of “compelling” reasons why advertisers should give preference to your site.
Category Filtering – Category filtering allows you to block ads that fall into specific categories. These categories can be dating, religion, politics, etc. Regardless of how ads are targeted, they will be filtered if they are within one of the categories you have selected. This is an option you should be using to avoid “certain” type of ads to be displayed within your site. The more you filter categories, the more relevant your ads will be. I am sure you have seen ads displayed in your site that has nothing to do with your chosen topic or niche.
[alert]Be careful when using this option if you run AdSense on multiple sites with multiple topics. A created filter works as a global setting and you don’t want to filter categories that are relevant to you. Bummer, but this is how it works (for now at least).[/alert]
Units/Other Options – As you know, there are many type of AdSense formats. What is the best format that you should use? Can’t tell you exactly, but 120X600 (for sidebar) and 728X90 (for header and footer) are the ones I recommend most. In-post, 300X250 and 468X60, work better. Anyway, as I said, keep on testing and monitor your channels.
Other options include, CSE (Custom Search Engine), RSS feeds, etc. While I do have AdSense for feeds, I must admit that it does not convert at all. CSE on the other hand has been good, specially on other niche sites that I have. In my opinion, I don’t see why you should not be using it. It is better than the “standard” search box you may have, and you can customize your AdSense search box in so many ways you probably do not even know about.
Google Keyword Tool – High paying keywords – Do they exists? Yes they do, and it is not “meso….” whatever, that has been there for like a decade. Recently, a list of the Top 20 Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWords advertising has been released. Head over there and try to guess which ones they are. Just remember that it is equally important that you are choosing the right topic or keyword to target for.
In addition, this article, although written for domain investment purposes, should give you an idea on how to find those high CPC keywords.
Also, for the sake of giving you an example, some days ago, here on my blog, I got clicks that ranged between $1,3 to $13,01. Yes, that is one click only… and as you can see, they exist… Sadly, I don’t know what exact “ads” generated those clicks, something that will remain a mystery to us all.
NOTE: Before I forget, I want you to know that my best AdSense performer is not here on iBlogzone. It is on a niche site where although the clicks I get are less in value, are compensated with higher CTR. The key is to find a topic that people are searching for to buy, and not to get informed or learn about something. I will cover this on a next blog post.
Integrate with Google Affiliate Network – While this is not directly related to Google AdSense, you might want to read about Google’s Affiliate Network (GAF) and give it a go. Why? Because all earnings that you make on GAF gets integrated to your Google AdSense Account. This way, you are able to reach that payment threshold much quicker. Nothing to loose.
Should You Start Or Continue Using Google AdSense?
This is really up to you, although I don’t see any reason why not, should you wish to give Google AdSense a go or another try. I continue to recommend the program and if you take action on what you were informed about here today, you should see some improvements in your earnings. There are many other valuable resources out there for sure (Lisa’s 2createawebiste is one them), and it is most likely that I have covered enough here to get you going. I would speculate that you have here a ratio of 40/10/50 to make things happen. That is 40% of information here, 10% that I might have missed out and 50% which is all about you, taking action.
That’s it! How about you? What experience do you have making money with Google AdSense?
50 thoughts on “How To Make Money With Google AdSense and Increase Revenue”
AdSense will be lucrative if you got a lot of traffic. Without it, the AdSense is simply waste of time. That’s my conclusion after a year doing AdSense 🙂
Hi. I agree you do need traffic to make a decent income out of AdSense, but I won’t just quit on it as it can be very rewarding 🙂
Yes, I do agree, It has huge potential once you get the rhythm 🙂
Good seo strategies is what you need..and not only that you should work your but off on writing great content so people will come back.
“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”
Hi Antonio. In a nutshell, what you said is what it takes.. lol. Work your butt off and get those quality content pumping..
Tuan @ TechWalls
I’ve used Adsense for more than 1 year and it is by far the best revenue source for my blog. I’ve tried some solutions like you mentioned above and it works really well. Never stop experiment with various ad placements and increasing traffic at the same time are my 2 points to optimize Google Adsense earnings.
Hi Tuan. Glad to know that you are doing good with AdSense. Doing experiments or testing placement, units, etc.. are important factors to improve your earnings. Lastly, like you said too, increasing traffic is the key 🙂
Could depend on the site, content, keywords, all that stuff. Also, if it is a website resource type of site people tend to be more familiar with adsense and seem to avoid the ads. Adsense is a decent program, but people assume they are going to get rich or make a lot of money with it, and that usually doesn’t happen. It’s not out of the question, and some do get lucky. You do need a lot of traffic if you want to make anything. For me it’s up and down.
Hi Ray. Up and down, sounds about right 🙂 I also agree that it is very important to choose the right topic or niche if you prefer. Most of the time, a little adjustment of some things, here and there, could already make a difference. Thanks for stopping by.
Ramcel @Meek Watcher
Generating income from Adsense for me is synonymous to beating yourself up to improve and increase your blog’s traffic. If your traffic is not that massive yet, then you should not expect a lucrative return from Adsense. It’s like a lucky draw game, the more entries you have the more chances of winning.
This goes without saying that to get a handsome profit from Adsense you need to stop worrying about it and focus more on how you can generate the traffic that you need. Once you have a steady and massive traffic, you can see your Adsense revenue increasing as well. And that is when it is more exciting to experiment on placements, hot spots, etc. to improve earnings leveraging on your traffic.
For now, don’t waste your time on experimenting for a few cents and start driving traffic.
Hi Ramcel, you got a good point – the more entries you have the higher the chances on winning. These entries can be both posting regularly quality content and people actually visiting your site, right?
But you are right.. Worrying too much about AdSense when you still don’t have a well established website is not the right move. Focus on “things” that will generate you good organic traffic and then, apply other techniques to improve your earnings.
Great, I use adsense on my blogs and the information on this post is very useful.
Glad you liked it Eddie. I hope it serves you well 🙂 Good luck!
web hosting forums
Hi, Ditesco !
well same is the case here, but in my case traffic is not a problem the main problem went with me was click through rate, which took me months to understand.
BUT what I say is every experience is not applicable ever where, you need to check and maintain things on your own to see how it work with your site(s).
BUT I would say traffic is the key, because if you’ve traffic you can go different way to monetize it, but if you don’t have it then you’ve nothing to optimize here, so first step is to build couple thousands of returning visitors and then move further.
Best of luck with your checks… 🙂
Thanks for the good wishes 🙂 I think that we are both on the same radar.. “if you don’t have nothing to optimize for” – it really does not make that much sense 🙂 I mean, you still can make money out of it, will less traffic, but the expectations should be in line with that too 🙂
Yes, traffic is the main thing. One more interesting thing that you’ve mentioned is – create sites where people want to buy stuff, not just be informed… it’s important to select buyer keywords against marketer keywords, which is the basic mistake all of us make while selecting our niche.. I’ve been guilty of that as well and am running a niche website currently with that mistake…
anyway the internet is all about failing, learning and re-testing…. success to you all! and yes -adsense rocks!
PS – $13 for a click is a total killer, it would be great if we could figure out the market.
Hi Sandeep. Sharp eye you got 😉 Everything actually comes into play, traffic, topic, keywords, etc.. If you can find those nice paying keywords, all the better. While it may not be an exact science, that link that points to Domain Investing is a good starting point to “locate” high CPC keywords 🙂 Thanks for stopping by
I have a problem understanding the concept of Placement Targeting. I don’t really get how it works. It is used solely by the advertiser, or does the published have to do something ?
Hi Kat. Placement targeting was originally developed for Advertisers. This would allow them to target their ads better. However, Google provided publishers the possibility of providing more information about each ad unit we have to help advertisers find your website much easier. So in a nutshell, Advertisers use the tool to find potential websites, while publishers provide information to help advertisers find you… did that make sense to you?
My experience with adsense (after having enough xfactor sites and some attempt at authority sites) is this: Its all about choosing the right niche! Sometimes it happens by design but often by accident.
The money earned from adsense is a combination of demand (search volume), supply (how many sites), competition (how strong) and monetization potential (CPC).
I have sites that does not get too much traffic (it is a training niche) but the click through rate from this traffic is pretty high. The CPC is very high as well. I have another site that gets 5X the traffic but makes 1/5 the amount of money.
While my own experience with Adsense is an evolving one (I don’t consider myself a success yet), I feel building MFA sites is a waste of time (but they do work well!). Focusing on a big authority website is a better option.
Hi Amanda. Thanks for sharing your experience and I have to admit that you have pretty much nailed the “formula” for making a decent income out of AdSense. Traffic aside (which is always needed regardless), my experience has also proven that the choosing the right niche is a very important factor. Having a high CTR compensates for the need of massive traffic and you provided a very example of just that. Sometimes it is just sheer luck, but then again, it is just like a lottery ticket, you won’t win the game unless you play it, right 🙂
As for MFA, I think it could work but you need tons of it to make something out of it. That’s purely a numbers game (I think).. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. All the best and to your success..
Jane | Find All Answers
Oh that’s an elaborate guide on Google adsense. I should say that I don’t have an approved adsense account yet. I applied a while back and got it rejected. Never bothered to apply again. Now you are tempting me 🙂 Putting that on my list now and bookmarking this post 🙂
Hi Jane. Wow, that is a surprise to me 🙂 I think that your website is a very good candidate for AdSense, specially because you have a good niche in it, that being “personal development”. The bids for related keywords on that topic could be really high, and considering that you have now a stable traffic, I really think you should go for it. You may be loosing some good income potential there.. Anyway, nothing to loose.. if it does not work, you can always take it off 😉
experimentation really helps in increasing revenue. earlier is was lazy to do it but once i tried now i can’t stop
Hi. Lol.. now you can’t stop 🙂 Well, it is good to do experiments, but once you find what is working, I suggest you stick with it for a while 😉 All the best
Adsense is all about traffic. And I agree with what a lot of people says’ “more site and traffic = more money from adsense”.
Hi Ron. yeah the so called no traffic = no money. If you really think about it, it makes sense.. To make money with AdSense, you need to convert, to convert you need people coming your way first, and then hope that they find something compelling to click on 🙂 Then there is the matter of how to get traffic? You need to work on your SEO, provide value to your potential readers, etc.. It is like a loop, but that’s what it takes to earn a decent income in not only AdSense but pretty much everything. Thanks for stopping by
Agg… the dreaded Adsense. Thanks for the tips. I recently got banned from adsense for having a site that ‘is all about sending traffic elsewhere,’ however, at the time, I only had a few posts. Shortly after my adsense banning, I researched other google adsense alternatives, although (to be honest), I miss Google. 🙁
Going to the online seminar, I will do that. I’ll be back here in a week or two to really utlize this post… with the hopes that Google will be returning my publishing rights to the Money Diary.
Hi Molly. Hmmm, I am sorry to hear that your AdSense account got “whacked” by the big G. Perhaps you can send them a reconsideration report or just signup for a new one. If you choose to signup for a new one, try to submit “different” information from the other one you had. Might be easier to get approved that way 😉
Saw your post about AdSense alternatives. They are good but I still prefer AdSense, and I understand why you miss it 🙁
My latest blog is Adsense free because I don’t want to detract from what I am selling on that blog.
That blog asisde, and those blogs that Google has disabled adsense on like my sex blog an loadofbullsh1t blog, all my other blogs have adsense. You are quite correct in saying that you need traffic, and the best traffic has proven to be search engine related. The blogs that perform the best are the ones that get a lot of traffic from the search engines, at least that is what I’ve found.
Hi SIre. My experience is just that.. sites with “good” organic traffic are the ones that perform well, although they are more like “quantity” over “quality”, i.e., good CTR but low CPC. Oh well, can’t have them all.
How’s your lottery site doing? That must be the one that you are talking about not showing AdSense.. makes sense 🙂
Not too bad, it’s a slow start but then it is brand new. It’s all a matter of driving traffic to it and then providing content that will encourage people to join. That all takes time.
Some good strategies for Google Adsense placement. I would also recommend to look at the heat map made by Google.
Thanks.. will check it out
Salman @ Tech Blog
Truly awesome post … Agree with your points ! One has to keep on experimenting various ad formats and placements to find success and not to forget, the organic traffic 🙂
Hi Salman.. that’s the formula right there.. Increase traffic, test various placements and see which ones perform best.. then stick to that formula 🙂 Good luck
I have had a love/hate relationship with AdSense. Some days it can be frustrating when looking at my earnings, while other days it can be exciting.
AdSense is by far my biggest income generator online. It took my over a year to get my first Google cheque, but since that time I have received on each month. It has also taken a lot more visitors than the average site to generate a decent income. Since my blog is more informational, people are looking for answers to a problem, and not to purchase something. Not only that, but many of the tech keywords a low paying, so it does take quite a few clicks.
The one thing I do notice, though, is that each year my blog exists, the amount I get per click has increased. I’m betting the age of a site has something to do with how much you get per click.
Hi Paul.. well there you go. We basically have the same experience with AdSense. Took a while before it “lifted off”.
As for your site being informational in nature, yeah, that is a slight drawback as it does not “convert” as well, compared to “product related searches”. I do run a “related” tech blog and I have clicks that goes as high as $4.. I guess you have to “look” for those keywords that advertisers are bidding high for 😉
If your earnings is related to the age of your site.. Makes sense as “Google” may play it safe to put high CPC ads on starter blogs, specially if the owner/author is not yet credible enough. I don’t however have “solid” evidence that this is the case, but experience does tell us something.. Thanks for stopping by and more AdSense earning to you!
Stephen Jack @ Compare Prices in Nigeria
Well, DiTesco even after so much detailed explanation of adsense I still believe that adsense is a myth or a mystery about which you cannot say anything with some type of assurance this thing includes hell of variables and a big chunk of luck whether the ads will be convincing for the visitor to click or he will just ignore them. May be I am being pathetic because I still haven’t earned much from the adsense even after a year and the traffic is on the blog is also reasonable. But their is a decrease in the CTR of Google ads as much of the internet audience is much aware of them. I remember my college days when I earned 100$ in 2 months from adsense and the site was build on free domain and free hosting.
Hi Stephen. I agree with you and there is really no exact science for AdSense. However, after applying everything that I mentioned above, I did notice a considerable improvement from my earnings with them, and have been consistent for the last seven months or so… Takes some hard work and after doing several things over and over, I think I might have found the right niche 🙂
Great information there 🙂
Please tell me if “photography” a good niche to start with.
I have got page rank of 4 with alexa rank 3 around million.
PS: I make around 6 $ a month with Google Adsense.
Hi. Photography is a very competitive topic and if you are just starting, perhaps your best bet would be to start on a sub.niche of photography and them work your way up. If you have a lot of images, consider joining GumGum or Luminate.
hello Franc, thanks for the great tips. Indeed, Adsense is a good way to have a passive income, as long as you have hundreds of visitors daily. About the high paying ads, as far as I’ve seen, companies which offer expensive services like medical and weight loss surgeries or equipment, like professional ovens etc, have very high rates per click, so it’s possible even to earn up to $40/per click! So, it depends on the niche of your website
Hi Steven. My thoughts exactly, AdSense is a great source of passive income and better yet if you have good amount of organic traffic. Those niches that you mention about which are high paying, are great.. the problem is even if I wanted to set up some sort of “medical stuff” I would not.. dangerous stuff, if you don’t know what your are talking about 🙂 One thing that we do agree upon is, “it depends on the niche you are in”… Thanks for your input and all the best
Adsense can be a great source of passive income, but it’s also good to diversify. There have been many people that have been banned from adsense due to no faullt of their own. This can be a scary prospect if your depending on that kind of income.
Hi Di Tesco
I have been doing Adsense for years and I get more than a full time income from that.. In the beginning it seemed like forever to get to that first $100 but it is all uphill from there.
I believe Adsense does not suit all blogs but can be used in the meantime, until you find your blogs true calling.
Ryan @ Roth IRA
From what I’ve seen, and experienced thus far if you can master getting traffic (winning at SEO) adsense will follow naturally. Likewise Google traffic has a much higher conversion rate than referral links or social media. Anyone who wants to make serious money I think should learn SEO.
thanks for the tips I have still yet figured out adsense, but this has helped.
I’ve been studying adsense for a while and it’s not easy, you need a massive amount of traffic and great layout for ads. Hopefully I could gain some profit from it. Nice read!
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