What is Google Adsense?
As described by Google, ‘Adsense is a free, simple way to earn money by placing ads on your website.’
If you look around my website, you will see various adverts which are all supplied by Google.
All I need to do is put various pieces of code on my website, telling Google what spaces it can utilize for advertisements – I can provide Google with as much or as little space as I wish.
Google will populate the space with targeted text, video, or image adverts, and I earn money when visitors view or click the ads.
It is one of the easiest ways to make passive income from your blog – and you can’t get a more trusted source than Google!
The ads shown will be based on one of two methods:
- By your content – For example, if you have written a blog post on building a website, the ads on that page are likely to be of hosting providers and other website services.
- By the user’s cookies – This is based on the user’s search history. For example, your user may have visited a floral website earlier, and now the floral company is re-targeting that user with ads on your website.
Google Adsense will optimize the space that you have provided them. They will show targeted ads that are more likely to get a higher click-through-rate (CTR) and a higher cost-per-click (CPC).
Who is Google Adsense for?
To make any worthwhile money from Google Adsense, you must have (or intend to have) a high amount of good quality traffic. Otherwise, this process is going to be a waste of time for you.
You can’t just place Adsense on your brand new website and then next month you’re cashing out $1000+! This isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. It still requires work to grow the website and the traffic.
You can still apply for Adsense and get approved with minimal traffic but you must have the intention of growing in order for your efforts to pay off.
I would also advise you not to rely totally on Google Adsense for your income. Firstly, because you should never put all of your eggs in one basket. And secondly, because there are other ways for you to monetize your blog that have the potential to make you a lot more money. Think of Adsense as just the cherry on the cake.
My website and Google Adsense
On the 5th January 2017, I purchased a domain and hosting for LittleRozMoments.com (which I later changed to RoseannaSunley.com). On the 18th January 2017, I was approved for Google Adsense – just 14 days later. (I know that is actually 13 days later, but I included both the 5th and the 18th because I was working on the website on both days.)
14 days is a short time span, and a little bit unheard of in the Adsense approval world. If you do a quick search, you will see that some websites are taking months, or even years, to get approval.
The shortest time period that I have managed to find thus far has been two months – and I managed to do it in two weeks!
So, the question that you’re probably asking is, ‘how did I do it?’, well here are some hints and tips that will help take you from no website at all, to having one approved by Google Adsense in 14 days – just like I did.
The main thing to keep in mind throughout this post is, ‘QUALITY’.
1. Do your research
Before you start building your blog, take a moment to consider what your niche will be. Bear in mind that your niche will also determine your potential earnings with Google Adsense.
All ads are not created equal!
Firstly, there are certain niches that would never get approved for Adsense – no matter how awesome your website is. Check out Google’s Prohibited Content List first and make sure that your category is not on the list.
Secondly, some niches will pay more than others. The cost per click is set by the advertisers through Google Adwords – when someone clicks, you share that revenue with Google. It is not a ‘one flat fee for all’, type of model.
Each industry is willing to pay a different amount per click. Therefore, some niches will generate more per click than others.
If you are serious about making money from Adsense, you may want to check out the highest paying keywords in Google Adwords and create your blog around one of those niches.
2. Get good quality hosting
When choosing your hosting company, remember that the cheapest is not always the best.
Similar to building a house, you want to start your website off with a good, quality, and solid foundation. Therefore, you need a hosting account that is secure, optimized for speed, and has very little downtime.
My favorite hosting provider is SiteGround. For the past four years, I have hosted every one of my websites with them (even this one) and I cannot recommend them highly enough. (It’s no wonder that they constantly nearly achieve 100% customer satisfaction rates.) I absolutely love them and think that they offer great value for money.
Of course, they’re plenty of other good hosting providers around – just make sure you do your homework before purchasing.
It’s important to note that in certain locations, such as China and India, there is a requirement that you must have owned your website for at least 6 months. Here is the official statement from the Google Adsense team:
“In some locations, including China and India, we require publishers to have owned their sites for 6 months. We’ve taken this step to ensure the quality of our advertising network and to protect the interests of our advertisers and existing publishers.”
I have heard of quality sites being approved in less time, but please do bear in mind the above restriction. If you are outside of the restricted locations, then you shouldn’t have much of a problem.
When choosing your domain name, I would avoid free sub-domains, such as blog.mywebsite.com or mywebsite.blog.com. Your goal is to prove to Google that you have built a professional and quality website, so try to stick to a simple mywebsite.com.
4. Get a quality theme – ideally optimized for Adsense
Within WordPress there are hundreds of free themes – some of them are really good, and some of them are not so good.
You need a theme that is lightweight, responsive, and that will enable you to have a good website structure.
We’re going for a quality user experience here. The site must load quickly, be able to be viewed on multiple devices with ease, and it must be easy to navigate.
It also helps if your theme is optimized for Google Adsense. This doesn’t necessarily help you get approval, but it will help you manage your ads and make your life so much easier when you are approved.
The WordPress theme that I used when I got approval was from MyThemeShop. Their themes tick all the boxes for me, many are optimized for Adsense, and they also have a wide selection of free themes to get you going!
This theme that I am currently using is from ThemeForest and is designed to help you maximize your Adsense earning.
5. Start posting quality content
So, this is what it’s all about – your content! You must write high-quality content.
Bear in mind that when I say ‘high-quality content’, I don’t mean the type of content that you would write for a literature degree – that is a completely different type of content.
I’m talking about content that gets visitors to your website, that is simple to read, easy to understand, and that your users can engage with.
Here are some tips:
- It’s not about you. The best type of content is content that helps others. Aim to create content that answers someone’s question.
- Use short sentences and avoid complicated words. It should be simple and easy to read.
- It needs to be unique content. Do not copy and paste from other websites, you will be penalized by Google for duplicated content.
- Posts should be of decent length. I recommend each post to be an absolute bare minimum of 500 words, but for SEO purposes you should be concentrating on long-form posts of 2000+ words.
- You must have enough content. I recommend a minimum of 10 posts. I got approval when I had 10 posts, but I was rejected due to lack of content when I only have 5 posts.
- Follow Google’s content rules. There are certain types of content that Google prohibits, such as adult content, weapon-related content, and content that advocates against an individual, group, or organization. To learn more about Adsense’s content policies, click here.
6. SEO your pages (Yoast)
Make sure that your pages are optimized with a meta title and description. If you have a WordPress website, your ninja-must-have-tool is a free plugin called Yoast SEO.
Once installed, you’ll have a handy little box at the bottom of every post. Just click ‘edit snippet’ to optimize your metadata.
It is not possible for a human being to check every website manually, so your website will be crawled automatically by Google. The metadata that you set will help describe what your content is about for Adsense purposes – as well as helping make your site search engine friendly.
7. Get your site registered with Google
Take full advantage of all the free tools available from Google. This will not only help you get approved for Adsense, but it will also help you rise up the ranks in Google Search.
An absolute must is Google Analytics and Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools)
Google Analytics allows you to measure your traffic and your visitor’s behavior to gain vital insights.
Google Search Console allows you to verify ownership of your site, and to submit a sitemap for Google to crawl and index. If you have a WordPress site and you have installed Yoast SEO (as per the point above) then submitting a sitemap is as easy as copying and pasting.
8. Traffic is not a requirement
Your website will be approved or rejected based on its quality of build and quality of content – not on its quantity of traffic. My website received around 20 hits per day at the time I got approved.
High traffic is not a requirement to gain Adsense approval. However, please remember that in order to see any worthwhile monetary return, you are going to have to generate high amounts of good quality traffic in the future.
9. Don’t worry about your affiliation links
If you do affiliate marketing and you have some affiliate ads and links on your website already, don’t worry about them. You can still get Adsense approval.
At the time I got approved, my website included affiliate links to seven different companies.
10. Apply using the root domain
To apply for Google Adsense, click here.
When you do apply, I recommend using your root domain. By this, I mean mywebsite.com and not mywebsite.com/blog or any sub-domains such as blog.mywebsite.com.
11. If it doesn’t quite work out the first time…
Don’t worry about it, you’ve not had your website marked with a red pen. And you can always re-apply.
In the email that you get from Google informing you that your Adsense approval was unsuccessful, they will also tell you why.
The first time I applied, I was rejected, and Google informed me that it was because I didn’t have enough content on my site. At this point, I only had five posts, so I doubled it to ten, reapplied, and success!
Look at the reasons why Google has not approved your account, fix them, and then re-apply.
Need more help?
If you need any more help, you can visit the Adsense Help Centre. Alternatively, pop any questions that you may have below and I’ll do my best to help.
Did I miss anything? Again, just post a comment and let me know 🙂