Google AdSense is something that I spent a lot of time researching when I first started as a freelancer and building my own websites. Then, it quickly became something I forgot all about since I never earned a penny. The problem, of course, was that I ignored all of the advice to build a full content driven site first, and then worry about AdSense.
A Good Guy Makes Money With Google AdSense
So, it was with some surprise when one day I received a PIN number out of the blue in the mail from Google for my AdSense account. I put it in the “To Be Filed” stack and went about my business. But, when I got an email informing me that I had to confirm my various information if I wanted to get paid, that got my attention.
Turns out that some of my sites, like my real world personal finance site, had built up to the point where they were getting real traffic. And, since that traffic was generated from organic search results and the visitors from those search results found real and useful content on my sites, they clicked the ads. And, when people click the ads the site earns money.
I made something like $75 in the previous month. That plus the $30 and $50 months for the preceding months added up to over the $100 minimum that starts the process of Google sending you a check. Well, actually they electronically deposit money into your checking account.
Quick Guide for Google AdSense for Freelancing Writers
My unanticipated success made me run out and try and figure out what I did, and how I could repeat it, or what I could do to enhance what was currently working. If you have done any searching for information on Google AdSense and how to use it and make some money from it, you already know where my frustration is going to come from.
The Internet is FILLED with sites claiming to be experts on AdSense and offering tips, tricks and techniques that will boost your ad revenue to the moon. Yeah, right. There is a lot of repetition, much of the information is flat out wrong, or out of date, and getting details versus some high-level overview is virtually impossible.
When I did finally sift through all the junk and found the good resources for AdSense info, I was bombarded with maybe too many details, theories, and arguments. I wasn’t interested in rebuilding my sites in order to squeeze every possible penny from my ad programs, I just wanted to know if there were some simple things I could be doing to make things better. What I needed was a quick start guide or a Cliff Notes type guide.
Google AdSense for Dummies – Wait, I’m Not a Dummy
When I found the book Google AdSense for Dummies, I figured I was all set. Only one problem; I’m not a dummy! Turns out the Dummies book has some of the same flaws as the Internet sites. Books are inherently out of date from the day they are published (especially Internet category books) and they only get more out of date from there. Secondly, no one will pay $19.95 for a 12-page book, so even the Dummies AdSense book has way too much info for a successfully busy freelance writer and business man to sift through properly.
An Idea is Born
Since I don’t have time to figure out AdSense from soup to nuts in one shot and there appears to be no quick start guide that has what I need, I decided to correct the situation.
I’ve been interested in “quick info” guides for various topics for a while. It has been on my projects list for almost a year, but I just haven’t gotten it off the ground. This latest triumph / speed bump with regards to properly using ads on my various sites has given me the push to get started. I’ll be building a new site for the end product, but I’ll chronicle the journey here, and on my thinking, theorizing, mind-mapping, blog at Best Hubris.
Wish me luck and enjoy the ride.
AdSense Quick Start Guide First Information
I suppose the first thing I should do is understand the rules of the program I’m using. They are in the Terms of Service (TOS) on Google’s AdSense website.
The point of a guide like this is not to repeat, but rather to sum up and get the info out quick and easy. So, in regards to the recent issues at one of my favorite writing sites where they got suspended for having their ads under a heading that said “Sponsors”, I’ll start with what can’t be used with any Google Ads placed on a site:
Google calls this rule: No Encouraging Clicks
The details: (copied from https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=48182 on 01/07/09)
- May not encourage users to click the Google ads by using phrases such as "click the ads," "support us," "visit these links," or other similar language
- May not direct user attention to the ads via arrows or other graphical gimmicks
- May not place misleading images alongside individual ads
- May not promote sites displaying ads through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites
- May not compensate users for viewing ads or performing searches, or promise compensation to a third party for such behavior
- May not place misleading labels above Google ad units – for instance, ads may be labeled "Sponsored Links" but not "Favorite Sites"
Now, I just need to distill that down from there. This should be fun 🙂