- Chapter 1 — Getting Started
- Chapter 2 — Installing WordPress
- Chapter 3 — Publishing Your First Article
- Chapter 4 — Making Your Articles Pretty
- Chapter 5 — Igniting Your Articles
- Chapter 6 — Optimizing Your Article
- Chapter 7 — Social Media
- Chapter 8 — Enhancing Your Blog with Plugins
- Chapter 9 — Monetize Your Blog: Google Adsense [reading now]
- Chapter 10 — Monetize Your Blog: Text Link Ads
- Chapter 11 — Monetize Your Blog: Kontera
- Chapter 12 — Stick to the Formula
I bet you didn’t think that the money chapter would be towards the end, since this is a book about how to make money, right? Well, here’s the thing: setting your blog up to make money is the easy part. But “setting” the blog up to make money and having a “quality” blog that “actually” makes money, is a whole ‘nother story. And that’s exactly why chapters 1 — 8 dealt with precisely that: setting up the foundation with quality, well marketed, plugin powered, properly titled, organized articles. Now that the foundation’s in place, it’s time to reach out to the advertisement networks to get paid! To make some moolah. To get those greenbacks… To make that paper! To…ahhh…okay…, you get the idea.
It’s time to take your blog all the way to the bank, while writing about your passion. Heck of a deal if you ask me. But you’ll soon find out for yourself. Let’s begin with the most traditional way of monetizing your blog: contextual text links.
How Contextual Advertisements Work
Contextual links are links provided by advertisement networks (or simply “ad networks”) that place relevant links throughout your articles—links that relate to your content. When a user clicks on the link, you make money each time. Here’s how it works: advertisers pay the ad networks a fee to place links on blogs (publishers) associated with the network.
Publishers, like us, agree to have those links on our site, after registering and being accepted into the ad network. In return, the ad network takes a portion of their fee (received from the company being sponsored/advertiser) and pays us for each link clicked. Not the whole amount they charge, but a portion. This is sometimes known as revenue- or profit-sharing.
So everyone wins. The ad network makes money from the advertiser. The advertiser is happy because people are clicking on the links, which generates sales and promotion for their product. And we, the publishers, make money through the revenue share, each time the relevant links are clicked on our blogs. It’s a win-win-win situation.
Applying to Ad Networks to Monetize Your Blog
Let’s discuss the main ad networks and how to get them running on your blog. However, understand that you must be accepted into each network. Each has their own requirements, agreements, payment methods, profit-sharing guidelines, etc.. Generally speaking, if your blog is at least decently established, with, say, a few dozen high quality articles and 50 or so daily readers, you shouldn’t have any problems getting accepted. All of my blogs, within 3 months of starting, have always been accepted into all of the ad networks we’ll be discussing in the next few chapters.
If at first you’re not accepted, that’s actually a good sign, because it means that your blog isn’t of high quality yet. You’ve basically received a free assessment of the quality of your articles and the strength of your marketing.
It means that you have to work harder! Keep on writing great articles and keep on marketing them as you’ve learned how to in Chapter 7.
Then reapply. For the first 2-3 months, focus solely on building up your content. A good benchmark would be to have 60-100 articles before attempting to monetize, unless you’ve written some insanely great articles that have garnered at lot of attention quickly—which can happen, depending on the subject matter.
Over the next several chapters, we’ll discuss the major contextual text link ad networks and how to add each of them to your blog. In this chapter, we’ll discuss Google’s Adsense.
Getting Started with Google Adsense
This is the most popular by far and is used by hundreds-of-thousands of bloggers daily. Some people make a few cents a day and others make hundreds or thousands a day, just to give you an idea of the potential. But slow down cowboy, first let’s hit our $100 dollar a mark—then sky’s the limit!
Go here and register your blog for an account.
If you already have a gmail account, you should be able to use your current username / password to register, as Google does a good job linking all of their services together.
Once in your Adsense account:
- Click on the “Adsense Setup” tab in the navigation
- Click “Adsense for Content” button
- Keep the default selected “Text and Image Ads” and press continue
- Select from the drop-down menu “336 x 280 Larger Rectangle”*
- Below, select how you want the ad to appear by clicking on the small square color boxes. I highly recommend that you select a white background and white border, as to blend the ad into your design. For the “title” color use blue. For “text,” and “url” I recommend using black, which is usually the color of your blog’s content.
- Select “Arial” for “Font Family”
- Keep the default “Font Size”
- Leave all other options below as default and press “Continue”
- Now you’ll see a section called “My Channels.” This is where you’ll be able to organize your various ads throughout your blog and even your other future blogs. Click on “Add New Channel” and create a name for the ad you just created. I like to name it something like “BA_336x280_txt_img” which tells me everything about it: “BA” represents my blogs name (pick two letters to represent your particular blog), “336×280” represents the size of the ad, and “txt_img” tells me that the ad I chose will display text links and images. Now press “ok” then “continue” to proceed.
- Now on the next page titled “Adsense for Content” you’ll see the name you created for your ad. Now press “submit and get code.”
- Now, copy and paste this code into a text editor (Word, Text, etc..) and save it in a folder called “ad codes” on your computer. Name the file “Adsense Codes.”
* This size (336×280) has been proven to be the most profitable, so I recommend starting off with it. As you become more experienced, you can experiment with various ad sizes, colors, fonts, etc.
Adding the Code to Your Blog
First, make sure that the “adman” plugin is installed on your blog. You’ll need it now.
- Log into your WordPress admin
- Click on the “Settings” tab from the left menu and select “Adman” from the drop down menu.
- Now with the adsense code already copied, paste it into the section “Ad-code to appear in the middle…” Add the following HTML code to the top “<p align=”center”>” and “</p>” to the bottom of the recently pasted code. (This will make the ad be perfectly centered in middle of each of your articles).
- Now press “update options” (on bottom of page) and go check out one of your articles. After about 10 minutes, refresh the page, and Google would have updated your site with relevant text links. Don’t worry about the text links not being 100% relevant at first…It’ll take a few days for Google to read through all your content and adjust their settings. It should look something like this:
Google Image Ads
Google Text Ads
Make sure that the checkbox, located towards the bottom of each WordPress editor page (of your article) is always “unchecked.” There are many plugins out there that can display ads automatically, but I find adman to be the best functioning. The only tedious thing is that you’ll have to re-uncheck this box each time you edit your article (which may be never). Though, this is a inconvenience when you think about how much money you’ll be making.
To check your earnings, simply login to your adsense account and click on “reports.”
CAUTION: Never Click on Your Own Links!
And that’s it folks! But please, no matter what, never—ever, ever, ever—click on your own text links or have your friends/family click on them. This is called “Click Fraud” and Google takes this very seriously. They’ll respond by banning you for life and your chances of reaching your $100 dollar a month mark will be severely limited. It’s not worth it. This goes for all text links on your site, from all ad networks.
Next chapter we’ll step things up a notch and discuss a company called “Text Link Ads,” and how to get started with them.
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