Adsense And Blogs
By now you have established that making money online with the Google Adsense program is not a myth. However, there is a lot of advice regarding using adsense on websites. You may find yourself in a position where you ask, but what about a blog? How do I monetize my blog using the Google Adsense program? Well, in this post I attempt to put your mind at ease and show you that monetizing your blog with adsense is easier than you might think.
There are many questions which I have received regarding traffic of blogs, whether or not it matters to Google when they consider a blog for the adsense program. Well on this front I would say you need to get a minimum of 200 visitors a month to your blog in order to be considered. On the other hand, if you have a great design then you can apply immediately. When you can apply is not stated in the Google Adsense TOS (Terms Of Service).
Many of you have also asked which ad formats work best for a blog. Well in my experience the following formats receeive more clicks.
336 x 280 (large rectangle)
300 x 250 (rectangle)
250 x 250 (square)
125 x 125 (square) defined as button in Adsense
Ofcourse it may vary widely from webmaster to webmaster but these are the formats that have worked well for me. There are also factors like relevant ad placement in your blog, the quality of your content, remember the saying 'Content is King!' It is as true for a website as it is for a blog. Choose the right keywords for your blog in order to optimize your blog. Do keyword reasearch with the overture tool, the google adwords tool, good keywords, wordtracker and keyword country. There are many other free and paid keyword tools available on the net. When choosing a keyword, you would typically focus on the keywords with high demand and low supply for example, demand would be 60 000 searches a month and supply would be 7000 websites available for that particular keyword. Ofcourse this would also help you determine a niche topic for your blog. The ads served by Google Adsense will also become more focused to your keywords on your blog.
All this is good and well but without traffic your ads don't really bring you much returns. So how do you drive traffic to your blog? Below I've listed a number of ways you can source free traffic for your blog.
Register on blog carnivals like blogcarnivals.com
Register in Forums and comment on others' blogs and leave a signature linking back to your blog like a permalink
Sign up for webrings
List your blog on portals and blog search engines like Technorati
Submit articles to article sites and leave your blog address in your signature
Establish a newsletter
Tell your friends and family about your blog
You can establish a firm readership and it can grow in numbers if you update your blog regularly, it is important to post regularly. When you increase your traffic, your ads have a higher chance of being clicked on if they are relevant and the relevancy of ads can be changed if you put more focused keywords throughout your blog or use section targeting. Section targeting enables you to select sections of your content and allows you to specify which paragraphs in your content you want matching ads for. This topic will be further discussed in a post named 'Section Targeting in Adsense' to be released on April 4, 2007.
When you own a blog, pick keywords that are high paying and have ads served. It doesn't help to pick a high paying keyword but there are no ads for it. Be sure to have a seperate page for each of your blog topics, this way adsense will focus the ads more. Google allows you to blog irrelevant ads that adsense may serve. I use this technique to block irrelevant ads because sometimes Google does show ads that are totally off topic and this could cost you revenue. When the adsense bot goes through your page, it searches your main content, your menu area, your header and your footer. Make sure you optimize these sections as well.
Remember to always design your adsense ads to fit in with the background and look and feel of your website. Placing your adsense ads is a matter of trial and error some may argue. However, I have found that the following placements are extremely effective.
a) Above the fold - this means placing your adsense ads on top of your page above the header or the main navigation panel
b) In Content - here, you have to make sure relevant ads are placed because the adsense ads will blend in with the content in your blog and give the user a feeling of continuation of what he or she is reading. You cannot have ads about rugby balls if your topic is about how to build a CPU! At least not in your content section.
c) On the sides - it is an ongoing argument that placing your ads on the left hand side yields better results than placing them on the right hand side. I say it's a matter of trial and error. I have found that my ads perform the same whether I place them to the left or to the right of my content.
Any adsenser who has been working with the Google Adsense program for a while will tell you over and over again how important it is for trial and error of your blog and how important it is to also create adsense channels and monitor the performance of your ads. This will give you a true indication of what works and what does not work for you. So follow advice, test it, try something else and yes, test again.
Hope this post was of help to you.