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Why You SHOULD use AdSense on Your Blog

AdsenseIn this post I’ll explore some of the reasons why bloggers should consider using AdSense as a way to make money from blogging.

I recently released a video post which explained some of my reasoning for stopping to use AdSense as a means to make money from ProBlogger. The post got a lot of attention – however some readers thought that it meant I was giving up on AdSense altogether on all of my blogs. A couple even called me ‘Anti-AdSense’.

This is not the case – while I don’t use AdSense any more on ProBlogger – I do use it on some of my other blogs and it continues to one of my biggest income earners.

In fact since I started to use AdSense it’s earned me just under $400,000 USD.

That’s not bad considering that I’ve been using it for 4 years and it started out earning me just a dollar or two a day.

With earnings like that I’d be a little silly to be Anti-AdSense.

Like every method of making money for blogs – AdSense isn’t always the best choice – however there are plenty of good reasons to test it out. In the remainder of this post I’m going to explore when it IS a good option. Later in the week I’ll share the other side of the coin – when it ISN’T a good option.

Hopefully between the two posts we’ll have a good balanced look at AdSense:

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Using AdSense on your Blog

1. International Traffic – if your blog has a considerable amount of traffic that comes from outside of North America it can be difficult to find an advertising network that will allow you to participate (particularly if your traffic is from some parts of Asia). Some ad networks will simply not accept you as a publisher, others will not serve their ads to non US traffic and others will serve other less relevant and lower paying ads to this traffic. AdSense does none of this. The beauty of AdSense is that they have such a large supply of advertisers using them that there is almost always some advertiser who wants traffic from your your reader’s part of the world. Of course there is more competition for some traffic than others (which drives up prices) but I know as someone who has a large Australian readership of some of my blogs that it is one of the best ways that I’ve found to make money from that traffic.

2. Easy Implementation – when I first started experimenting with making money from blogging just over 4 years ago I experimented with a number of options. The reason that I stuck with AdSense was that even as a complete technical idiot I could get an AdSense ad unit up and running on my blogs within minutes. Of course since that time AdSense have made implementing ad units on blogs even easier (particularly in the last couple of weeks with server side ad management). While other ad networks have followed in the footsteps of AdSense in how they let publishers design and add ad units to blogs – I still find AdSense one of the easiest to use. This makes it ideal for the beginner wanting to experiment for the first time with an advertising network.

3. Massive Advertiser Base – AdSense has had years to establish itself in both it’s back end but also it’s presence in the Advertising community. The result is that they’ve managed to build up a very large base of advertising clients. This increases the chances of them being able to serve relevant ads to your blog (see my next point). There’s no way that an individual blogger would be able to have access to such a wide array of potential advertisers.

4. Obscure Topics – one of the issues that some publishers face when starting a blog on a tightly targeted niche is that it can be difficult to find ways to make money from it either through finding a sponsor for the blog, finding an ad network that is relevant to the topic or by finding an affiliate program that relates. While AdSense is better for some topics than others (read on for more on this) I’m constantly amazed by just how targeted ads can be on even obscure topics. The myriad of advertisers using this system are competing by bidding on millions of keywords on virtually every topic that you can think of.

5. Make it Easy For Advertisers to Target Your Blog – AdSense servers ads from advertisers to your blog in a couple of ways. Firstly there’s one that is completely contextual – they look at your content and then serve ads from their system that they think will relate to that content and have a good chance of earning you (and them) money. The second method is where advertisers specifically target your blog to have their ad appear on. This all happens without you really having to do anything – but it’s good because it is often used by advertisers to test your blog – which can lead to other things. Every few weeks I get an email from a potential advertiser who had been testing ads on my photography blog via AdSense and then wanted to further the relationship (whether by going with private ad deals, sponsorships, affiliate programs etc).

6. Set it and Forget it – many bloggers just want to write content. They don’t have the time or expertise to approach, pitch, negotiate with and then collect money from advertisers. AdSense takes a lot of this work away from you and many bloggers simply add the code to their blogs and then forget it. Of course for best results you should pay it a bit more attention than that and experiment with different design and positioning of ads – but it does take a lot of the work out of things.

7. No Minimum Traffic Levels – if you are just starting out and don’t have much traffic yet it can be difficult to find advertisers or an ad network to take you on board. Some networks have minimum traffic levels before they’ll accept you into their program – but not with AdSense. While your blog may not earn you much – even with small amounts of traffic you can begin to make a few dollars over time.

8. Able to be Used with Other Ad Types – when I first started experimenting with AdSense there were fairly strict rules in place as to what other types of advertising you were allowed to have on a page that had an AdSense unit on it. However in more recent times it has become a little more relaxed and you can run many different types of ads on the same site and page as AdSense.

9. Multiple Ad Formats – one good feature of AdSense is that you’re not just restricted to one type of ad with them. Not only do you have many ad unit sizes to choose from – but you have the ability to serve Text Ads, Image Ads, Video Ads, Adlink units, referral ads (CPA) and use their ‘search’ tool which also is monetized. Many other ad networks just major in one or two of these different formats – in a sense AdSense is something of a one stop shop.

10. Reliable Payment - one of the questions that I’m regularly asked about new ad networks coming onto the market to compete with AdSense is ‘how do we know if they’ll pay up?’ The reality is that most ad networks do pay up – but you do occasionally hear stories of publishers who are not satisfied with this aspect of some ad networks. AdSense has had a few problems over the years with individual publishers – but considering the vast numbers of publishers that they must have – they’ve done pretty well. My payments come in like clockwork and the one time that I did have a check go missing it was promptly replaced.


Of course this post has only argued one side of things (and I’m sure others will give more reasons why they love and use AdSense). So to give a well balanced view on whether to use AdSense on your blog – later in the week I’ll take a look at the flipside and explore some reasons why AdSense might not be the best option for making money from your blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Abhijeet Mukherjee says:

    Its true that when it comes to monetization adsense still rules….some people might not consider adsense to be a good option but as amit argues here,it can be a source of decent living!!!

  2. DefogMyBlog says:

    @Gab:Advertising hits your page rank

    Did you mean to tell us more because when I go through to your site I get “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.”

  3. Rome says:

    I would partially agree to saying that higher traffic = higher earnings. yes, this could be a factor but there really is more to it.

    This is a nice post for all the newbies like me. We tend to get caught in the online advertising frenzy today. A little snap to send the rookies (me included) into reality.

  4. Modaro says:

    hmmm…
    I’m not so lucky like you all guys
    im from Indonesia and if my blog use Indonesian languange the AdSense would show the google public service ads check this.!

  5. Ben says:

    Great post about Adsense. Very informative and lists most of the reasons why I use Adsense on my blogs.

    For you newbies, I have used Adsense for over 2 years and had many 0 days and weeks in the beginning. Continue to post and promote your blog and the money will follow. Also, position and an attractive layout also help to encourage CTR.

    I visited quite a few of the commenter’s websites and frankly some of these blogs just don’t have “saleable” content. It would be like me trying to sell digital cameras on my blog. It just doesn’t work. I know because I’ve tried it with other affiliate programs and had no sales over month of testing it.

    Adsense is still the easiest way to make money. Hang in there, and have some patience. Things will work out.

  6. I’ll consider using it on my blog.

  7. I’ll consider using it on my blog.

  8. MG says:

    Great post,tnx!

  9. Oops. Sorry.

  10. Y. S says:

    Well written article ;)
    I started a new blog. My problem is that adsense is not showing relevant Ads., which made me change from using 160*600 format to the other smaller squares with only two ads in them.

    Can someone please have a look and let me know if I’m doing something wrong? That would be highly appreciated.

  11. David says:

    No matter which ad network you use the important thing is the amount of traffic to your site. no traffic = no $

  12. Peggie says:

    I had adsense on my blogs, but it got so they were putting ads for things I was totally against or opposite what I was saying on the blog, so I cut them out. I wish there was a way to regulate what they put up.

  13. The problem I face has to do with my own perceptions about advertising on Blogs.

    When I visit blogs that has too much advertising I tend not to return unless there is a huge pressing needs. The main reason for many blogs is that it is too hard to find the content.

    Since my blog now has a reasonable reader base (300+) subscribers I have been toying with the idea that some revenue would be useful, but how due I do with a tastefully and not alienate my readers.

    Initially I though that I would be ‘pure’ whatever that really is, but now I am leading to the other sides.

    Your articles have helped better understand some of the issues with ads.

    Thanks

    Niels Henriksen

  14. Open English says:

    Great post. I think adsense probably is the easiest and fastest way to start making money from a blog. After that you could probably get more complicated and sophisticated but I think probably for beginners it is the best option.

  15. akshay says:

    well for some keywords google is still the best .like forex and finance will always give you 1$ min and also their is more competition for advertisers in google.since it is the solo market leader in search engines.

  16. CompuWorld says:

    AdSense “must” be used by bloggers…

    Very true Darren on point that it is easy to implement and people can set it and forget it. Although there are few friends of mine who log into there adsense accounts daily I think that dosen’t help a lot. I prefer checking my adsense account once a week and that is fine. I have done some testing with adsense and as I said before I would be doing more testing soon after my exams.

    The policies like AdSense has no traffic restrictions to become registered member of adsense is real bonus for new bloggers who find it hard to attain even the $1 mark.

    AdSense should be used by people but they should be careful on its placement. Bad ad placement can easily kick back your readers.

    I got no ideas left as to why else people should use adsense. You got all of them there..

  17. DefogMyBlog says:

    You must have an excellent 6th sense. I am just thinking about AdSense and it is useful to have this information. So I look forward to reading part 2 and then making a decision.

  18. Skruples.com says:

    When you are new to blogging, what else is there? I am focused on building a better blog so I don’t care about the money right now. I hope to get more options once I prove that I can create a blog worthy of being monetized.

  19. Wag the Dog says:

    This is my second blog. Learning a lot about Adsense ad placement. Write about Hurricane Katrina you get public service ads. Write about a hotel get hotel ads. Write about what is hot today get good ads. If your blogging for money pick a hot topic.

  20. Madlab Post says:

    Adsense has been a consistent earner for my one blog although the revenue has not been very significant. While it would be great to use other ad networks, many of the ones that I tried out have brought in 0 dollars, which makes it not worth the time, effort and even blog space to add them.

    Even if I make a few cents each day on the low end, that is still higher than other ad networks that I have used so far. So, adsense seems to be a keeper and a reliable source of revenue for my blog. Now, I just have to work on trying to increase the CTR with the current traffic levels while also trying to increase the traffic in that process.

  21. hotdogman says:

    When I started out nearly a year ago it took me 4 months to draw an adsense check ($100 pay out limit). I drew my next check 2 months later. Since then I’ve received a check every month and the past 2 months were near $200!

    The key is eyeballs. The more there are looking at your site, the more clicks you’ll get. I am making over $1000 per month with my blog now and adsense is a significant part of that total. By this time next year, I hope to be doing $1000 a month in adsense alone.

    I have a friend who writes a “local news” type blog and he’s anti-adsense. We have a constant argument about whether it’s a good thing or not. My answer: Open any newspaper and what do you see? ADVERTISEMENTS.

    People are conditioned to seeing advertising in written media, why shouldn’t I provide it and make a few bucks while I’m at it?

  22. Good points Darren. I think AdSense profitability can be very dependent on topic given the difference in payout and the higher CTR from a less tech savvy audience.

  23. You need lots of traffic to earn a real income with Adsense.The payout per click is depending on the niche, and so far the income has been quite modest for me.

  24. money maker says:

    Ultimately it all boils down to TRAFFIC again. If you have the traffic, chances are you will have better income whether it’s AdSense or direct advertising.

    Provided of course you use some common sense in choosing the right ad programme for your type of blog, eg. product ads for product related blog

    Always it’s CONTENT=TRAFFIC=MONEY

    cheers
    mbm

  25. Sangesh says:

    Sure, each point that you have pointed out is why people like have stuck with Google adsense and still will be with Google for a lot of years to come.

    Google has now become a brand name and it has put a strong name for itself in the global marketplace.

    Cheers.

  26. Sallie Mae says:

    Being a part time blogger, ease of use makes AdSense my first choice. Like others have said, you better stick to a profitable niche topic to get the correct ads targeted.

  27. Glen says:

    using adsense on my blog has been like going to the ATM the money is easy and almost automatic. recent changes have seen my income increase every month

  28. coolthought says:

    If the banner is CPM, Cost per thousands. Ads has the potential to earn even more for the blogger than what a sponsor might be willing to pay for. Especially, if the internet traffic to the blog is still growing exponentially.

  29. Linette says:

    When you’re new to blogging, it’s a great first step to monetizing your blog. It’s easy to get approved for Adsense, Most other advertisers and affiliates require your blog to be at a certain level of traffic, or established to run their ads.

  30. Adnan Ashraf says:

    It is Adnan here and i belong to Pakistan recently started work with google adsense programme and applied for registration. I personally advised to every Pakistani for making money in easy way; should join Google Adsense because it is very popular among the people because of its features like, easy use, sing in blogging, reliable for payment, simple use, Honesty, Advertising community and better than others.

    I really appreciate of all staff members of google for introducing this programme in Pakistan and all over the world. It is fact that is new for me but i am fully hopeful for better result.

  31. We’ve got a lot of learning to be done with Adsense. I barely started and it’s lean season for me. Probably lack of traffic? But I’m getting a considerable traffic. Or is it that a growing number of site visitors are ad-blinds now? And that, Google Adsense has saturated every niched here and there.

  32. zainuri says:

    Just started a blog. Great advice I must say. Really appreciated it.

  33. mcangeli says:

    The biggest problem I have with AdSense is that once accepted, you have to walk on egg shells around it in order to not be called on “Click Fraud”. Yea, excessive click fraud is an issue, but if there’s an ad for an item on MY page that I want to know more about, I should be able to click it with out fear of retribution.

    That and once “let go” for any reason from AdSense, you should be allowed to reapply. This ban for life is absurd.

  34. Deb Ng says:

    Adsense continues to be my biggest money maker. It took a dip in November but is starting to rise again, and nicely. My readers are more clickers than buyers and I haven’t found another form of advertising that compares to Adsense so far.

  35. Hectril says:

    Generally If you don’t have a lot of traffic going to your blog then your Adsense wont really work. Have a lot of visitors to your site and double your epcm ratio for that big whammy of a click on your ads. Also have your own adwords that could easily attract visitors to your site.

  36. EarnBlogger says:

    I love Google AdSense because of it’s flexibility. You have given the best reasons to go for AdSense. It should be the first option for every new blogger, who wants to earn some money! Thanks.

  37. Adnan Ashraf says:

    REALITY OF GOOGLE ADSENSE

    I really appreciate Google Adsense programme as we know that unemployment ratio day by day increasing not only in Pakistan but also all over the world but i want to draw your attention that there is no actual concept of Google Adsense in Pakistan. There are number of people have cheated by some person who offer get money online to noble people. I personally advised to Google’s ( Country Manager) please publish a book on this topic in URDU language which is accessible all over the Pakisan then i think it will be better for your marketing. In other words i can say that Google Ad sense programme can decrease the ratio of Unemployment especially for those who have knowledge about computer with high school atlest. I assure you Google will be founder of decreasing unemployment especially in Pakistan.

  38. AdSense is one of my favorite tools. It is a great source of stats, an easy way to monetize, and being Googly, it is a trusted partner to work with.

    I highly recommend signing up for an AdWords account if you are planning on making the majority of your income from AdSense ads or similar. It gives you a deeper insight into search word popularity, info you can apply to tailoring your content to maximize traffic (and maybe revenue!)

    Other fav Google products you may find useful: Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Both help you manage the indexing of your site and track statistics.

  39. Just wanted to clarify, I don’t think you should necessarily use AdWords to bring traffic to your site if your main reason for doing so is to gain revenue from AdSense.

    The search trend information available in AdWords is possibly the most valuable and compelling aspect of the AdWords product for professional bloggers and the like.

  40. I’ve been using Adsense on my Mathew Packer dot com website for about 12 months now and basically made the best part of $8.

    I think I need to do a little optimization work to get a few more conversions..

  41. rjs1138 says:

    I started using AdSense this mongth with a brand new blog. It’s funny, but I was thrilled when I made a $1.00. For now, I’m hosted on blogger, but my goal is to move to a new domain at some point in the future. I’m just wondering if staying with a blogspot domain will hurt my chance for more revenue?

  42. m07 says:

    adsense is gr8 and better than its peers

  43. Emma says:

    I was especially interested in your point on Australian bloggers and advertising as this is where I live. I have been deliberating on whether (or not) to use google adsense both on my website and blogs. So, (after waying up the pros and cons) I have decided to use it! Thanks to a great article!

  44. Greg says:

    I am just now implementing AdSense, but like most bloggers I am still struggling with getting TRAFFIC!

  45. Adsense is good if you get targeted traffic. However if you are getting a lot of traffic from stumbleupon or digg, it can work against you by lowering your quality score and subsequently earnings..

  46. ridwan says:

    i just started using the adsense.i’m a newcomer and not an expert in this field.But then,i’m building and optimizing my blog as best as i can.i believe that good income comes from a good work.:)

  47. Justin Dupre says:

    “Why You SHOULD use AdSense on Your Blog: Problogger, one of the top blogs on the net, doesn’t use Adsense, but they provide good reasons why it is useful. Just to counter themselves they make sure to publish why you shouldn’t use Adsense as well.”

    http://www.moneyandblog.com/2007/12/blog-links-of-day-december-18th-2007.html

  48. When I first started running these ads I used Google. After a while the clicks became cheaper and cheaper. I have since switched to Yahoo! ads and have tripled my income just from text link ads like that of Yahoo! and Google.

  49. Lenard says:

    I have signed up for the adsense but have yet to fully implement it.. I am just getting my blog up and going, have domain but not much else yet, just setting up wordpress so I can go live very soon. I like your ideas as to why use adsense, for me ease of use and setup are key.

    You blog has helped me greatly on what to do and what not to do. Keep up the good work, I don’t miss a day without checking to see what you have to say.

  50. Dan says:

    great post, thanks, i’m new to IM and adsense seems the way to go.