I've been generating passive income using Google AdSense ever since 2006.
In this post, I'll share tips from close to 10 years of experience.
I'll do my best to explain what Google AdSense is, how it works and how you can use it to generate substantial passive income on a monthly basis.
By following this guide, you'll be able to start generating monthly income from your blog, website, or mobile app in no time.
Here's what you'll learn:
- What Google Adsense is and how it works.
- Ways you can make money with Google Adsense.
- How much money you can make with Google Adsense.
- How to integrate Google Adsense in WordPress or Blogger?
- The basics of optimizing and best ad sizes and types.
- The difference between Google Adwords and Adsense.
- How YouTube ads relate to Google Adsense?
- How do ads in mobile apps correspond with Google Adsense?
What is Google AdSense?
The concept is very straightforward – there are advertisers, there are publishers, and there is Google. The advertisers want increase online sales, and the publishers wish to generate income from their content. Google makes the connection between the two, and that is how the story begins.
Let’s talk about John & Bill.
John run a photography blog and shares product reviews, photography techniques, and more. While John does this as a hobby and enjoys it, he'd love to start generating income from his blog as a way to compensate for his valuable time.
Bill owns a photography store and sells cameras, lenses, lights and more. While Bill's shop does get busy at times, he'd love to expand and reach out to new potential customers.
The story begins: John turns to Google Adsense, Bill turns to Google Adwords.
John (the publisher) & Google Adsense
John says to Google: “Hey Google, I am running this photography blog, and I heard that you can help me generate income from it. Is that right?”
Google answers: “Yes John, that is true. If you place our ads on your blog, we’ll pay you for it.”
As a result of their productive conversation, John signs up for Google Adsense, selects ad formats and places them on his blog.
Bill (the advertiser) & Google Adwords
Bill says to Google: “Hey Google, I have this store and want to reach out to new potential buyers. Can you help with that?”
Google answers: “Sure Bill, just sign up to Google Adwords, set your budget and create some ads. We'll make sure they reach the right people”.
Learn more about Bill and how he can increase online sales for his business.
When does Google pay the publisher?
(1) Every time a visitor to his blog clicks on an ad (pay per click).
Alternatively, (2) Every time his blog displays a CPM ad (pay per 1000 view).
The two ad types compete against each other in an auction and Google shows the ad with the higher bid. PPC ads are more common, and they as well compete among themselves.
How does Google pay you (the blog owner)?
(1) Google places Bill’s ads on John’s blog.
(2) Bill pays Google for each time a user clicks on his ad.
(3) Google pays John a percentage of Bill’s payment for each click.
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How much money can you earn from Google Adsense?
Multiple factors determine the money you can earn with Google Adsense. Simple logic says – the more traffic your site has, the more money you'll be able to make with AdSense.
While the above at statement is not far fetched from the truth, traffic alone is not the sole factor in determining your Adsense earnings.
Variables such as keyword competitiveness, ad size, format, type, network, and behavior will be significant factors in determining your earnings.
Unfortunately, Google Adsense terms of service do not allow publishers to share Adsense earnings. However, what I can say that if you do your research and invest enough time and energy into it – you can definitely generate a substantial passive income on a monthly basis.
Optimizing Google AdSense for revenue
There are 5 top recommended ad sizes on Google Adsense, and these will be presented to you when you created a new ad. The more important thing, though, is ad placement and blending.
A simple search on Google will result in tons of case studies about ad placement; therefore I will not go into detail on this post. Nevertheless, among the top recommendations you'll find are:
– Blend your ads into your content.
– Place Adsense ads “above the fold” (i.e. in the upper half of the page).
– Use one of the recommended ad formats.
– Try to attract high paying keywords by writing great content.
This way you can show ads right where your user is most likely to look, while not interfering too much with his reading experience.
Examples of successful Adsense blogs
Even though I've decided not to place AdSense ads on my personal blog, I do run several websites that feature AdSense ads in them.
I constantly experiment and try new things, so if you'd like to get ideas and see what I've been trying out feel free to explore
– Adsense exposure (slightly outdated, but has some really powerful AdSense tips & tricks).
Easily integrate Google Adsense into WordPress or Blogger.
Integrating Google Adsense into your Blogger or WordPress site is extremely straightforward.
If you are using WordPress the easiest way to get Adsense on your blog is by choosing one of many AdSense plugins. In my opinion, Advanced Ads is the best Google AdSense WordPress plugin, but you can also try the official Google AdSense plugin as well.
YouTube Ads Explained
If you have a YouTube channel that passes the requirements set by YouTube, you can opt-in to the Partners program and start monetizing your videos.
The type of ads displayed on YouTube are different than ads displayed on websites, but once you’re approved as a partner the concept is exactly the same. Advertisers pay Google for selling ads, you allow your videos & channel to run the ads, and then you get paid per click or view.
I've been a YouTube partner since October 2011 and based on my own experience I know that unless your videos have millions of views – you won't be making much money at all.
Google AdSense Ads in Mobile Apps
Last year I created my first app for Andorid & iOS. It's called the plus editor and you can get it here for free.
Since the app is free to download, I'm using Google Admob to inject ads into the app. This helps pay back for the app development costs and the $99/yearly fee for publishing to the app store.
Google Admob is similar to Google Adsense in the way it works, but it's aimed specifically at mobile app ads.
If you're new to Adsense, I hope this post and infographics were easy enough to follow. If you plan to implement ads in your own site, I suggest reading more about getting started with Adsense, recommended ads, best ad placements, highest paying keywords and more.
There are people who make over $10,000 in passive income each month, and there are people who generate less than $10 a month. The bottom line is – in order to generate a decent amount of passive income on a monthly basis using Google Adsense you need to have constant traffic to your website or blog, and you need the time and patients to experiment.
If you consistently publish high quality content (and content that attracts high paying keywords), you'll start seeing a boost in traffic to your site. Once you have a large audience you should start experimenting with ads, and then it's only a matter of perfecting the placement, size and ad type.
The beauty is that there are no barriers. If you take things seriously enough you have high chances of generating a very decent amount of passive income from you blog or website.