Many of us are desperately looking for opportunities to make money online. The more passively it can operate the better. And although it has its limitations and drawbacks, Google AdSense has been and still is one of the best options to monetize you website, make money online or even make money as a writer.
In this article I am going to shortly introduce you to the Google AdSense platform, its possibilities and limitations. I am also going to give you some insights on how you can make money with Google AdSense.
What Will You Find In This Article
- What is Google AdSense
- How can you make money with Google AdSense
- Technical requirements
- Make money as a writer with Google AdSense
- How much money can you make with AdSense
- How can you apply
What Is Google AdSense
Google AdSense is a free to use platform where website owners or online content creators can rent out some sections of their website for advertisers in exchange for passively generated income. The whole process is done automatically.
The primary way Google makes money is by showing ads alongside of their search results. This is how they started out monetizing their content in the beginning and it is still one of their main income source. But they soon realized there are more content online than just search results.
Enter Google AdSense. The platform was created so that Google can match their advertisers spending intent with virtually anyone who has an online content.
If you have a website (see limitations below), you can register to the AdSense program. Then you can create ad slots on your website or let Google do the whole thing automatically for you. More on technical requirements later. The code you place on your website will take care of everything. You don’t even have to know who is advertising on your site, Google basically matches the advertisers, the content creators (you), and the visitor’s intent and interest to show the best ads for everyone.
How Can You Make Money With Google AdSense
Technically it is fairly easy to understand how to make money with Google AdSense. There is one key factor though, read more about that later.
- You have your content on your website.
- The code that you’ve placed on your websites communicates to Google, it takes care of everything.
- The visitor comes to your website. Google gets notified about the visit via the code.
- Google matches your website’s content, the visitors general or specific interest and advertisers targeting that specific visitor. Based on a complicated computation Google determines which is the best ad to be shown on your website for that particular visitor. This whole process takes place in a fraction of a second.
- The visitor gets served the original content of your website and the specific ad.
- If the visitor clicks on the ad, Google gets money from the advertiser.
- A portion of that income, currently 68%, they pay out to you at the end of the month. Payout is usually between the 21st and 28th of every month for the income of the preceding month.
The AdSense program is an easy solution to generate revenue for any website owner; you don’t really have to do much in terms of the ads. You only have to take care of having a large amount of visitors to your website, everything else is done basically automatically, without your intervention or even knowing who is advertising on your website.
But there is an important statement in my last paragraph. You need to take care of having a large amount of visitors to your website. Google AdSense, as an income source, is really a game of numbers. See how much you can actually make with this platform below.
Don't worry though if you don't want specific types of advertisements to be present on your site. In the AdSense admin console you have a pretty robust setting to control what type of advertisements you allow or disallow, and you can fine tune this even up to the specific ad level.
It used to be kind of cumbersome to show ads on your website, and it even included some kind of coding.
Those day are fortunately over.
The only thing you need to do is put basically one line of code into your website’s source code and AdSense will automatically take care of showing ads on your site. And if you’re afraid even that’s too technical, don’t be.
If you are using WordPress, Google’s own Site Kit plugin will even take care of adding that code to your website.
Being just a bit more tech savvy, you can use the good old Ad Inserter plugin that also let’s you easily place the required code. With this plugin you will also be able to manually select where you want the ads to appear on your website.
Make Money As A Writer With Google AdSense
I find this is a good opportunity virtually no one is talking about. Google AdSense is geared toward website owners and online marketers, and we generally tend to think about them as investors who create commercial content in large amounts. AdSense is generally referred to in this context.
And while in the majority of cases that’s true, the AdSense program is an excellent opportunity for any writer or aspiring writer to make some money online.
Don’t look at it as a means of monetizing your book that haven’t been sold more than 5 copies on Amazon, but instead another way of making income with your writing skills. You need to learn SEO copywriting, and you need to create specific content that people are actually interested in.
But other than this being a great way of monetizing your hobby, it also allows you to start making money from your writing, honestly something that a lot of aspiring writers struggle with these days.
Just to give you an example, publishing recipes online gives me personally an opportunity not only to make money from my favorite hobby, but also as a writer.
How Much Money Can You Make With AdSense
There is no definite answer to this question. But I can give you some estimate on my experience. Please note that it all depends on a lot of factors, and it is ultimately your AdSense report that will tell you how much money you’ve actually made in a given time period.
When it comes to online advertising, I find Page RPM is the best measure that can give you an estimate about how much money you can make with an actual content.
Page RPM stands for Revenue per mill, that is how much money one thousand pageviews generate. If your Page RPM is $10, it means that you need 100,000 pageviews for $1000 of income. That’s $1000 / $10 multiplied by 1000 as RPM counts every 1000 pageviews. Please note that pageview is not the same as number of visitors. If one visitor visits 2 different pages on your website, that’s already 2 pageviews.
The actual page RPM value depends on a lot of factors, like the niche of your website, the country or countries your visitors come from, the placement of your ads and other factors. For English websites somewhere around $5-$10 can be a good estimate for page RPM in 2021 or 2022.
This table will give you a rough estimate on how many website visitors you need in order to generate $1000, depending on the page RPM (rows) and the number of pages per visits (colums).
|Pageview per visitors (columns) →|
Page RPM (rows) ↓
As you can see, you definitely need a lot of visitors, and we are only talking about $1000. Therefore in my experience the biggest challenge when it comes to making money with AdSense is actually being able to generate hundreds of thousands of visitors to your website every month.
How Can You Apply
In order to be able to show AdSense ads on your website, you need to add your site to the list of websites in your AdSense platform and get it accepted by the system. All of your websites must be approved one by one, it doesn’t matter if it is the first one or you already monetize some of them.
Adding your website to Google AdSense is not difficult, you can use the above mentioned Google Site Kit WordPress plugin or read more about the process here.
What’s more of a challenge is meeting the requirements to be accepted. Unfortunately no definite list has been ever published by Google, we have to kind of guess what the requirements are. Here you can read about the AdSense eligibility requirements, but if you feel like you haven’t got much actionable information, it’s not your fault.
In my experience, to get accepted by AdSense, you need to post original content on your website, articles with at least 300-500 words, at least 20-25 articles, and already 1000+ visitors per month. But this is just a rough estimate, I’ve seen websites doing much worse than this being accepted, and sometimes a site with better metrics can be rejected.
As with everything, there are some drawbacks to making money with AdSense. Here I listed a few that I find are the most common ones. Take these into consideration, but I still think this is a good option to monetize your content so I encourage you to use the AdSense platform.
low income compared to Traffic
This is the most commonly heard drawback of making money with Google AdSense, but I think this is only partly true.
Yes, making $5 per 1000 visitors is not too much. But there are some types contents that can attract literally millions of visitors and are difficult to monetize otherwise, take recipes as an example.
Also the main advantage of the AdSense platform is its simplicity. You can start making money with literally just a few clicks, and that simplicity is what you trade in for the smaller revenue. And don’t forget that no one stops you from monetizing your website in other ways.
Your partnership can be terminated any day
It is the same situation that with all these tech giants. As your Facebook page can be terminated without even a warning, such is the case with your AdSense partnership. Though usually I find that Google is more “friendly” in these situations.
There are a lot of requirements your website needs to adhere to in order to show AdSense ads, read more about that in their program policies. If you fail to comply, your AdSense account can be terminated.
As a frivolous but real example, once the AdSense algorithm flagged one of my pages as sexual content, thus inappropriate for advertisement. It was a chicken breast recipe, and that was all explicit it was. Maybe using the word breast is too much for some robots… But anyways, it still got flagged, consequently banned from showing ads, and I still needed to request a review, which they fortunately accepted in this particular case.
Don’t Depend On One Source Of Income
One of the dangers of making money with AdSense is when you build it as your main income source.
Your traffic will come from Google serach results and your income from Google’s AdSense program. That’s too much of a dependence from one source, in my opinion. Get hit by a search algorithm, your income is gone. Get banned from the AdSense program, your income is also gone.
So while this last one is not a drawback of the AdSense program itself, I still encourage you to diversify you online income and visitor sources as much as possible.