How to get started with adsense

How to get started with adsense


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With 125 posts on, Joe and I just realized we’d never actually written a post about how to setup and get started with an AdSense account!  Rather than writing it ourselves (it’s been a while!) we thought we’d take on a guest post from Steven to tackle the subject.

This is post is definitely for beginners…if you’re looking for more intermediate or advanced AdSense strategies, check out our podcast episode on AdSense tips, tricks, and hacks.  I’ve added some notes that are italicized below.  Now…over to Steven!

The Google AdSense platform, representing the other side of the Google advertising empire known as Adwords, is an advertising system through which the ads that Google customers buy (through Adwords) get posted to the websites of site owners that have signed up and have been approved for an AdSense account. It’s a great way for Google to expand their empire. Instead of just having advertisements on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), they can also have advertisements on the particular sites that people click through to, expanding their reach for the advertisers.

By signing up to AdSense, a site owner then has different types and sizes of advertising blocks, contextualized to their content and able to be placed on their site or blog pages. Every time a site visitor clicks one of these ads, a small payment of anywhere from a few cents to several dollars is made to the webmaster that is attached to the AdSense account for the site that’s been clicked on.  Once the account owner has reached the payment threshold, he or she will receive their first payment via AdSense. (via direct deposit or check)

Through this system, Google rewards website owners who know how to create well-optimized and rich content that’s in a particular niche and is also popular; since the more visitors a site garners, the more ad clicks and thus revenue it also generates for the site owner.  The relationship between visitors and clicks is known as Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and is dependent on the placement of the ads on the site, relevance of the ads, the niche selected, etc.

No porn allowedHowever, there are also certain conditions that any site owner who applies for AdSense has to abide by: For one thing, no pornographic, illegal, or copyright violating content can be displayed. Secondly, the content must be genuine and have a certain (somewhat arbitrary) timescale during which it has been online.

Note: If your content is even close to being questionable, don’t place AdSense on it.

Finally, certain ad-related rules prohibit you from clicking on your own ads, redirecting people to pages full of ads through some sort of spam related means or creating purely advertising related AdSense pages that are empty of valuable and meaningful content.

Because of these design features and the immense advertiser market that exists on the Adwords side of the Google business, site owners who sign up with AdSense can be quite richly rewarded for having popular, high-quality, content-rich websites that talk about relevant subjects in one or more niches.

The niche you select and the keywords you target will have a direct relationship on the Cost-Per-Click and, ultimately, the amount you’ll get paid per click.  Target keywords that don’t have a very high CPC and you won’t earn much per click.  Target keywords that have too high a CPC and they’re likely to have heavy competition.  The trick is to find just the right balance with regards to keyword research.

In some cases, people have been known to generate many thousands of dollars per month in personal income just from the few cents they earn per click on the ads that are placed on their pages.

While this is definitely true, I should mention that the vast majority of AdSense publishers make less than $100 per month with AdSense.  This usually has to do with the fact that they’ve added AdSense to their site as an afterthought or they simply don’t (yet) know what they’re doing.

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what AdSense is, let’s take you step by step through how you can set up your own AdSense account and start earning money with AdSense too.

If you prefer a video, then check out this more up to date video our director of marketing did on what is Google Adsense.

Step One: Get Your Website Ready

You can’t join AdSense until you’ve got your own well-established, well-fleshed out website or blog up and running. Of course, it doesn’t have to be some sort of internet superstar with thousands of pages and thousands of monthly page views, but it should meet at least a few basic content and design guidelines. Essentially, as an AdSense applicant, you’ll need to at least possess a blog/site that has a decent amount of richly written text-based content, has reasonably good traffic and is at least 3 months old.

Also, the site doesn’t necessarily have to be yours but you will at least need to have access to the source code for its pages so that you can coordinate where to post your ads on the pages.

I’d definitely recommend using your own site here.  While you can get approved using someone else’s site, it’s not advised by us.  Having your AdSense code on someone else’s site is not the best option.

Finally, the site isn’t allowed to link to any pornographic content, host material that infringes copyright (because we all know YouTube, which is full of Adsense ads, also doesn’t) or be a site that’s built or advertised in a way that can be considered highly spammy. With regards to the spam aspect, if you’re unsure, just make sure your site abides by Penguin or Panda SEO standards and you’ll be totally in the clear.

Step Two: Register a Google AdSense Account

This is fairly easy; simply use an existing Google account that you already have and attach it to your AdSense application or, if you don’t actually somehow have a Google account of any kind (You really should, Gmail is amazing!) just sign up within a few minutes directly here.

Step Three:  The Application Process

Once you’ve logged into AdSense, the first steps will consist of a series of questions about your website; things such as the nature of its content, URL and the main language in which your site will be written (English, French, Spanish, etc). You’ll also have to agree to Google’s terms and policies, which you really should stop to read through.

AdSense Application

Afterwards, going through the same series of events, you’ll continue by filling out your full AdSense application and including details about your name, billing address/postal address, account type (Business or Individual) and country of origin.

Once you’ve clicked “Submit” you simply need to wait roughly 24 to 48 hours and see if you’ve been approved.

48 hours seems to be true in most cases, but I’ve heard of some having to wait close to a week for approval.  If you haven’t been approved within a week, you can visit the AdSense forum to find out more information.

Interested in Buying or Selling? Click to Create Your Account

Step Four: Make Money!

Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn much of anything with Adsense, but if you run your keyword research and content well, work on developing your sites effectively and make sure you don’t break any of Google’s major rules against spam, low quality content or banned content, you really can start successfully making anything from a few hundred to a few thousand or more dollars per month with relatively little work on your AdSense pages.

After you’ve been approved, you’ll have to make slight modifications to your pages’ source code but this isn’t usually complicated and if in doubt, either ask a friend who’s already done the same, look up the numerous online tutorials that are available or hire someone to help you out.

If you’re just getting started, we’d really recommend checking out our guide, Building A Niche Site Empire.

There, that’s it and good luck with building your AdSense Empire!

Steven Chalmers has been immersed in the online marketing community for over 10 years. When he’s not writing about marketing, you can find him covering virtual environments. Find out more information here or check out

 It’s free and we give away our best tips and tricks for getting started building niche sites and working with AdSense. Was this overview helpful? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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