Blogging still has the potential to bring a decent amount of money in 2023. That is as long as you monetize it properly and can drive a lot of traffic to your site. But is AdSense worth using when setting up your blog?
In reality, there are plenty of pros and cons when it comes to AdSense. And although it’s unlikely you’ll ever get rich from the advertising platform, it can still provide a small passive income.
However, that income may come at a price.
What Makes AdSense Worth Using On the Blog?
When it comes to monetizing a website, AdSense is one of the first places a lot of people look. Google will send personalized and contextual ads to visitors, which increases the likelihood of a “click” and you make money doing nothing more than writing a blog post.
So, what makes this an attractive method of monetizing for the beginner blogger?
It’s Incredibly Easy to Monetize the Blog
Out of the many ways you can monetize a blog, AdSense is perhaps one of the easiest methods. The requirements are considerably lower than a lot of other platforms, which allows new bloggers to start generating income.
The important thing to remember is how much emphasis Google places on unique, quality, and helpful content. You can’t just slap any 300-word blog post together without a purpose and expect to get authorized by AdSense.
Still, in some cases, I’ve seen a single, 2500-word blog post be enough for Google to authorize AdSense for that user.
In fact, I was able to monetize one of my newer blogs with AdSense before it even had visitors. Without a single page indexed in Google, I was able to authorize the site and start showing ads.
Perhaps the reason the blog was authorized so quickly was because of the amount of effort I put into writing a well-crafted, researched article.
On a side note, it’s funny how much easier monetizing a blog is with AdSense as opposed to YouTube. The requirements for a blog are much, much lower.
AdSense Delivers Passive Income from the Blog
Like any other advertising or affiliate system in place, AdSense provides a passive income from your content. This means that the site will continue to generate income 24 hours per day.
Well, as long as you have visitors, anyway. A blog with zero traffic will make zero dollars.
The low requirements needed to join AdSense make it that much easier for new bloggers to start seeing a few cents from their efforts. But unless you generate a lot of traffic, it’s going to feel underwhelming. At least in the beginning.
I’ll go over that in a moment.
The fact remains, though, that nearly any blog with decent content can start pulling in a bit of money within a very short amount of time. And if you write some amazing topics that perform well in search, you could easily pull in more than you’d make using content mills to sell your content.
Case in point, I have several posts that have generated more than four times the amount a Textbroker client would have paid me for the same article. The difference is that it took a bit of time to reach that amount.
Still, I’d prefer blogging over content mills.
Why Many People Avoid Using AdSense On the Blog
As the adage goes, “Everything that glitters ain’t always gold.” And although AdSense is super easy to use with few requirements, not everyone is on board with using the platform.
There are a few realistic reasons why you might want to consider an alternative such as affiliate marketing.
AdSense Doesn’t Provide a Lot of Income
It’s no secret that AdSense has one of the lowest payouts of any method to monetize your blog. In fact, most people who make more than a full-time income from their websites generate that cash flow through a variety of other means.
It’s all about diversifying how you make money from the website. I’ll go over a few methods a bit later, but needless to say, you’re not going to get rich by using nothing but AdSense.
However, you might generate a bit of income from AdSense that will make it worth using.
For example, my blogs currently generate nearly six times the amount I pay for hosting every year. This means the sites completely pay for themselves purely from AdSense.
But I surely can’t retire on AdSense alone.
Depending on your niche, it could take hundreds of thousands of visitors per month to simply generate $1000. This is according to the RPM of AdSense for your niche. Some niches will have much higher values due to advertising and popularity.
For example, the health and fitness industry is far more valuable than freelance writing when it comes to advertisers. Hence, a fitness blog would be superior to this one in terms of how much it made from each click on an ad.
Will Impact the Blog’s Performance in Search
One of the biggest concerns with using AdSense is how it will affect site performance. If you run a speed test using PageSpeed Insights, you can see just how much of an impact it makes.
Given how Google prioritizes speed in search results, adding its own platform for ads could considerably decrease page performance.
It’s comical when you think about it. You’ll get penalized for performance from Google while using Google’s own platforms. Of course, there are a ton of other factors that go into SEO and page rank. Yet, AdSense will affect site speed.
Though, any system that uses a third-party server is going to impact performance. This is because your site has to wait for the data from another source before your page loads.
Still, I’ve seen articles appear at the top of search results that were covered in AdSense ads. This goes to show how quality content can overrule site performance issues.
Too Many Ads Appear Gaudy
Some believe that overloading a page with ads increases the likelihood of making more money. And while this has the potential to be true in some cases, it makes the content look horrible from a reader’s perspective.
How often have you visited a site and been turned off by the sheer number of ads?
Personally, I try to keep them to a minimum, but since I use Auto Ads, I can only cross my fingers that Google doesn’t make my pages look like the coupon section of a newspaper.
Overloading visitors with ads is also one of the reasons ad blockers exist. I don’t use them myself as I try to support creators by at least seeing the ad.
In any case, trying to increase revenue from AdSense by showing the most ads possible just looks gaudy. It will also influence whether someone subscribes to your email lists or notifications.
What You Need for AdSense to Succeed On Your Blog
When it comes to making more money through AdSense, there really isn’t a trick or life hack. It all comes down to how you attract an audience. More people equals more money.
Sure, you can try manual placements to optimize for the best places to show ads. Nonetheless, it still heavily depends on how you attract readers in the first place.
So, let’s go over some of the best ways to make AdSense work on your blog.
- Use Auto Ads
Ever since switching to Auto Ads, the RPM of my blog went up roughly 300%! This is because Google picks the best places for the ads.
- Focus on High-Quality Content
As I said, the more readers you have, the more chances someone will click on an advertisement. Write the best posts you can produce on your blog.
- Choose High-Value Keyphrases in Keyword Planner
One method that helped me increase income was by using Keyword Planner to find phrases for blog posts that advertisers spend the most money using.
- Optimize the Blog for Performance
Remember, AdSense is going to detract from blog performance. Do what you can to keep it as fast and as efficient as possible.
- Don’t Overload the Page with Ads
If you turn off visitors from too many ads, they may not come back. Return visitors are the bread and butter of any blog.
- Don’t Focus On Income
Create the best blogging goals centering around what you can control. In other words, don’t worry about AdSense income. Worry about delivering content people want to read.
The bottom line is that you can’t force anyone to click on an ad. You can’t force anyone to read your content. The best you can do is figure out search intent and deliver what your visitors want to consume.
Everything else will fall into place.
What About AdSense Alternatives?
AdSense isn’t the only ad-serving network on the Internet. However, some of them will have some pretty major requirements to join.
For example, Media.net requires 10,000 page views per month before you can join the network. To put that into perspective, you would need more than 333 visitors per day before you can sign up.
Then you have companies like InfoLinks, which work similarly to AdSense. However, when I tried InfoLinks in the past, the payout was quite a bit lower than what AdSense offered. But you might have better luck.
Recently, I tried out Ezoic’s Basic platform and it wasn’t that much better than AdSense and offered far less in terms of data, pay, and functionality.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of alternatives to using AdSense on your blog. The hardest part is trying different platforms to see which works best for you. But no matter how you slice it, all of them will impact site performance.
This isn’t to mention how not all of them will be nearly as easy to set up. Take Ezoic, for example. I’ve never seen such a convoluted mess to simply show ads on a website. Sure, I bet some people have had great experiences. Unfortunately, I was not one of them.
Did you know I have a book on Amazon about how I became a success as a freelance writer while developing my blogs? It’s a story about dealing with impostor syndrome and depression while striving to become more than I was.
Consider Other Ways to Monetize Your Content
Since AdSense really doesn’t have the best payout, it’s always a good idea to diversify your income stream. This means considering other methods for monetizing the blog.
A few ways you can monetize your website include:
- Affiliate marketing to earn commissions from sales.
- Selling your own digital products such as ebooks or art.
- Setting up freelancing as part of your offerings.
- Using platforms like Buy Me a Coffee to entice supporters.
- Using eCommerce with products or drop shipping platforms.
- Adding membership paywalls for certain types of content.
- All of the above simultaneously.
And these are just a few off the top of my head. They are also probably the most popular for bloggers of all kinds.
In the end, you don’t want to solely rely on AdSense to make money from your blog. While it could help pad the monthly income a bit, you should expand what you offer to generate a considerable amount of money.
How Do You Monetize Your Blog?
I know a lot of bloggers who are anti-AdSense. And that’s fine; each to their own. Personally, I’ll probably keep using it until I start generating far more money from things like affiliate marketing or Buy Me a Coffee.
In any case, it’s incredibly unlikely that AdSense will bring in enough from your blog so you can quit your job. But AdSense plus a great affiliate platform while selling a few eBooks per month just might be worth the time setting up.
What monetization methods are you interested in using on your website?
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