There’s no denying that Google dominates the internet in just about every area, from search to email services, cloud storage, and more. So if you want to start an online business and grow your income, Google is a good partner to have.
There are a lot of ways to make money with Google, and AdSense is definitely one of the easiest for beginners. This guide will show you how to make money with AdSense from your new website.
How To Make Money with AdSense
First, a quick introduction so you understand what this Google program is, how it works, and how you can make money with AdSense.
Google AdSense is essentially an advertising network. You allow Google to place ads on your website, and get profits when people click on them. Mashable.com is an example of a very popular website that makes money with AdSense:
The ads can appear at the top of your site or in a sidebar, and usually blend in pretty well with your regular content.
One reason AdSense is a great option for beginners is that Google does a lot of the legwork for you. You just have to attract traffic to your site and grow an audience. Google will use its own data to find ads most relevant for your site and place them there.
How much you earn for each ad click is called Cost-Per-Click (CPC). So if an ad CPC is $3, the advertiser pays that much to Google for each ad click, and you get a chunk of it. How much the CPC is will depend on which kind of ads your site is compatible with. Google determines this by analyzing keywords on your site.
Before You Apply
Before you apply for AdSense, you’ll want to make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements to increase your chances of being accepted. Google has published some guidelines on the topic, but there are a lot of reasons outside of these that they might reject your application.
Here are some things you should do before you apply:
- Create a website
Of course, the first thing you’ll need is a functioning website. If you don’t have one yet, refer to my website setup guide.
- Create quality content
Your website will need to be a blog or news site that provides quality content to a target audience. Your content should be original, informative and useful. Google doesn’t tell how much content they want before you apply. If you’ve just built your website, take some time to add blog posts to your site to flesh it out.
You may be able to handle all the writing yourself, but you’re going to need help if you really want to scale your content creation. Think about heading to a freelance site like Upwork or a popular job board like ProBlogger and put an ad out for writers.
- Add a privacy page, contact us page, and about page
Google wants to know your site is quality and legitimate before approving you for the AdSense program. They don’t want their ads displayed on spam sites. A privacy page, contact us page, and about page provide good evidence that you’re a real person with a real site trying to reach your target audience and earn extra money along the way.
These pages don’t need to be anything fancy. You can look at my About Page for inspiration.
- Make sure your site is user-friendly
Make sure there aren’t any issues on your site that turns your site visitors away, like broken links or other on-page elements. There are broken link checker tools to help with this. Take steps to improve your site speed to keep people from navigating away. There are some WordPress plugins you can use to improve your site speed, or you can hire a freelancer to make these changes for you.
- Promote your content
You’re not going to be able to make money with AdSense unless you have a healthy flow of traffic to your site. Blogging regularly isn’t enough to achieve this, you’ll also want to promote your content. Use social media, influencer marketing, SEO, and more to get more visibility for your content and more traffic in the process.
If social media isn’t your forte, or you simply don’t have the time to manage the accounts, social media managers are very affordable. You can hire one part time to keep your profiles updated and use proper promotion tactics for your content.
You can also hire an SEO expert or manage the task yourself. If you hire an expert, they’ll likely have access to advanced keyword research tools that you can benefit from. Otherwise, use a plugin like SEO by Yoast or All in One SEO Pack. They’ll help you make sure you cover the keyword optimization basics for your content:
- Remove other ad networks
If your site isn’t new and you’re already working with other ad networks, you’ll want to remove these ads from your site before signing up for AdSense. AdSense does allow you to have other ads on your site, but having them in-place for the review process could hinder your chances for success. You can always add them back on later.
- Check your traffic sources
Google doesn’t want to work with sites that are receiving paid or spam traffic. You know you’ve never paid for traffic before, but someone could be spamming your site with fake traffic without your knowledge.
Use Google Analytics to analyze your traffic. If you don’t already have an account, set one up and connect your website to it. Use it to look for unusual spikes in website traffic which could come off as spammy.
The Signup Process
Once your site has all the elements it needs to get approved, you’re ready to sign up for AdSense. Here’s what you do:
- Create an AdSense account.
You’ll need a Google account to sign up, so if you don’t already have Gmail, create that account first. Next, go to https://www.google.com/AdSense/start. Click “Sign Up Now.”
You’ll be prompted to select a Google Account to sign up for AdSense. If you have more than one, pick the account associated with your website.
Then, enter your website URL. Follow the rest of the steps to accept the AdSense Terms and Conditions.
- Activate your account.
Once you reach your AdSense homepage, you’ll notice you’re blocked from doing certain activities. That’s because you need to activate your account. Do this by completing the list of tasks on your AdSense homepage, including:
Google has guides that walk you through how do each of these things (see links above).
- Wait for final approval.
Once you’ve activated your AdSense account, Google will automatically review your site to see if you meet their policies. This could take a day or a week to complete. If your site isn’t approved, they’ll send an email explaining why, and what steps you can take to get approval. Otherwise, you’ll receive an email notifying you that your account is fully activated.
- Set up ads on your site.
Now all you have to do is create ad units, copy the HTML code, and paste them onto your site. Don’t get nervous about this step, it’s easier than it sounds. Google has a tool called QuickStart that will make the code for you. Here’s their instructions on using QuickStart. Once you’ve created the code, you can add it to your WordPress site using widgets.
In your WordPress dashboard, click Appearance>Widgets.
Then drag and drop a text widget to where you want the ad to appear (usually in your sidebar). Copy and paste the AdSense code into the widget, and you’re done!
- Start earning money.
AdSense will mail you a pin to your address once your ad earnings reach $10. When you get it, log into your AdSense account and enter the pin. Once your earnings reach $100, you can enable AdSense to direct deposit payments to your bank account.
Growing Your AdSense Business
The nice thing about making money with AdSense is that Google is already optimizing the ads you display to your target audience. Now all you need to do to grow your business and get more clicks is to keep creating content and promoting it to attract traffic.
Take the time to grow your audience and make money with AdSense, and you’ll find yourself with an extra stream of income — well on your way to financial freedom.
Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.