If you are a writer, I highly encourage you to have a professional writing website, and writer’s blog. Not only is it a great way to reach new freelance writing customers, it is a good way to build an audience and practice your writing craft as well. In addition, it gives you a nice, easily accessible, repository of writing samples.
There is some difference in opinion about putting ads on your writing website. After all, the website itself is a bit of an ad for your writing services and products. On the other hand, monetizing a successful website is just smart business. I’ve sort of split the difference. I don’t show ads on my “main” writing business part of the website, but I do display ads on the writing blog.
Do whatever feels right for you.
Making Money Writing Your Own Websites
That being said, writer’s websites are tricky to monetize. It turns out that a large percentage of writers are both poor (relatively speaking), and internet savvy. Those are the people least likely to make you any money by hoping they click ads or buy products. If you are hoping to pay the mortgage from the ads on your writing blog, you are probably going to need to buy a very small house.
However, as a writer, you should be writing and publishing on numerous websites that you own and operate. After all, writing about writing isn’t your only talent. For example, my financial advice website does pretty well, and has a nice selection of money management and finance articles should anyone be looking for a freelance financial writer. (Note to self: Work on boosting your ranking for freelance financial writer.) It also draws enough traffic to make ad placement relatively profitable.
It turns out that many writers are not interested in the effort that goes into placing ads on their websites. This is understandable. I still make much more money writing for clients than any of my websites kicks out in ad revenue. Recently, however, Google has made its AdSense program even easier to use.
AdSense Auto Ads
The latest marketing comes around something called Auto Ads. Much like the name implies, these ads not only automatically display based upon your content (they all do), but they also automatically choose WHERE to display on your webpage. This is increasingly important as readers come from all different devices and viewers these days. I used to drop a large ad at the top of every post because that worked all the time. While it still works, I might be missing out on other ideas, especially for viewers that come in on mobile devices.
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The Adsense AutoAds work like page-level ads. In fact, if you already have page level ads, the new Auto Ads automatically replaces them, so you don’t have to do anything. If you don’t have them, then now is the time.
To use Auto Ads, just go into your AdSense account and enable them. They will automatically work in place of any page level ads. If you don’t have page level ads, then you just need to copy the ad code and then paste it in between your header tags. (Note to self: Finish writing eBook about website programming and coding for authors.) That’s it. Google handles everything else from choosing which ad to display, to where to display it.
Are Auto Ads Best
One of the things I’ve noticed over the year in my experience with AdSense is that what is good for the aggregate of across all Google AdSense users isn’t always the same as what is best for my specific websites. For example, I block “education” ads on my writing websites because they are all for shifty writing courses and degrees from dubious “colleges.” The kinds of people that my websites appeal to have passed beyond that kind of thing. However, the keywords match perfectly and Google chooses those ads almost exclusively to display.
Again, across all Google publishers, having those ads is probably good, and a solid money maker, but on my website, they are worthless.
AutoAds works similarly. While I have no doubt that Google’s AdSense artificial intelligence is top-notch when it comes to maximizing earnings across all publishers, I can’t tell yet whether or not it is right for my particular sites, so I’m starting slow. My ArcticLlama blog has Auto Ads enabled, but I haven’t yet enabled them on other pages until I see how the earnings look.
Has anyone else jumped into Auto Ads? Do AdSense Auto Ads make more money for you? Have you seen any difference when implementing AdSense AutoAds?