Google AdSense is still a favorite in the blogging community. It’s easy to get accepted to the program, easy to install on your blog, and if you know what you’re doing it’s easy to make money, too. But you’re not here to talk about the benefits of using AdSense to monetize your blog. You want to know about the challenges.
While it’s not difficult to be accepted, it’s not automatically a done deal, as many new webmasters might assume. You have to have a blog first, and submit the URL on your application. Google then checks out your site to make sure it’s compliant, meaning you must have unique content, clear navigation, and a decent load time. If your site has malware or appears spammy, forget it.
The Real Challenge Is Choosing Your Niche
Advertisers have to pay Google every time someone clicks on their ad. In turn, Google pays you a percentage of that fee. To determine that fee, advertisers bid on keywords for each ad they place. Which means that each ad that shows up on your blog will have a different rate. In some niches those rates can be as low as a penny a click, and in others it might range as high as $50 or more.
There are two ways of looking at it. Some bloggers do extensive research to find the niches with the highest paying ads and the least amount of competition. When they find a niche they build a corresponding blog, using they keywords they discovered to attract those high-paying ads. While this might sound like the best way to go about it, you have to remember you’re going to be blogging about this topic for a very long time.
When you’re running an AdSense site organic traffic is crucial, it’s the most important type of traffic you can generate. So it’s also important that your site and each of your posts rank as high as possible on the Google index. And in order to rank well with Google you need to be consistently updating your blog with good quality content. Long gone are the days when you can build a simple 5-page AdSense mini-site and move on to the next project.
The other way to look at AdSense is to build your blog first, in a niche that’s going to hold your interest for the long-haul. You’ll be more likely to consistently maintain your blog with fresh content if you’re blogging about something you really enjoy.
On the downside, depending on your niche, you may have more competition and the advertising rates may be lower, which means you’ll make less money per click.
However, either way you look at it, you’re going to have to generate traffic to your blog before you can even start to get clicks. And while one ad may pay out at a much higher rate than the other, that also means there will be fewer clicks on that more expensive ad. So it’s essentially “Six of one and half a dozen of the other.” It just depends on how you prefer to run your business.
I think most AdSense users will tell you that once you get beyond these initial challenges, AdSense is really a piece of cake. It’s all about understanding keywords and how to generate traffic. And once you have that down, it’s just wash, rinse and repeat.