As an online freelance writer, I have a lot of content that I have published around the web that wasn’t produced for clients. One of these places is Finance Gourmet, a personal finance and financial planning blog that I write, and there are lots of others too. These websites and blogs that I build do more than satisfy my urge to write my own stuff. They provide a way for potential clients to see writing samples, and validate my expertise in both writing and various topic areas. These websites also send potential clients to me when someone reads something like my review of Acorns or my Credit Karma reviews and decide to click one of the links to the writer of those articles.
All those intangible benefits are really the driving factor of publishing online, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way for me to earn money directly from those same websites and webpages I write?
Freelance Writers and AdSense
Google AdSense is an advertising platform from Google. It allows smaller web publishers to place advertising on their websites. It uses the same search index as Google to determine what a particular webpage is about, and then places ads that are relevant to that content on the website.
There are various ways to earn more money from advertising, but they all involve a lot of work. Directly selling ads on your site could be more profitable, but you would have to take time away from your freelance writing business to market to businesses and get their ads published, for example. With AdSense, you put a piece of code (Don’t worry. Google writes it for you. You just have to copy and paste.) on your webpages and Google fills in the space with ads that it already reviewed and sold.
The key to making money with AdSense as a freelance writer is volume. Most people don’t click ads, and your webpages are no different. In fact, as a professional writer, your webpages may actually generate less clicks because people find your well written content to be both informative and enjoyable to read, so they don’t need to click ads for more information. However, if you get thousands of people reading your pages, a small percentage will click, and those clicks add up. You’ll need tens of thousands of visitors to make real money, but it’s pretty easy to cover the cost of hosting your sites with even modest traffic.
The best part is that AdSense sits there all day, every day, waiting to make money on your writing. Build enough sites, and generate enough traffic, and you’ll have to start wondering if it is worth writing for other people, or if you should just focus on writing for yourself.