If you are looking to make more money from Adsense there are blog posts EVERYWHERE. One of the things I struggled to find when I went self-hosted was how to actually add Adsense to your blog. Although Adsense is widely recognised as one of the quickest and easiest ways to make money from blogging, it still takes some time to set up properly. Something that helped me a LOT when it came to setting up Adsense was the fact I work as a programmatic trader. This meant I was way ahead when it came to understanding the online advertising ecosystem. If you are a total newbie looking to add Adsense to your blog then consider buying a book like the Introduction to Programmatic Advertising. Having an idea about things like CTR’s, CPC’s and CPA’s will certainly help you. I also wrote an article myself explaining the basic digital marketing terms.
How to add Adsense to your blog: can it actually be done?
One of the first things you need to check if you want to add Adsense to your blog is if you can actually do so. If you are running your blog on a free WordPress account, you won’t be able to add Adsense. If you have a WordPress.org account or a Blogger account you will be able to add Adsense to your blog. However you run your blog or however you have your hosting set up – as long as you have access to edit the header script you should be ok. I am going to try and make this guide as universal as possible, so that anyone can follow along no matter what platform they use.
How to add Adsense to your blog: create an account
There are two basic requirements to open an Adsense account. Although there are a lot of things you need to adhere to to actually get approved, the two main things you need to do are:
- have a website
- be over 18
You can either sign up with an existing Google account or create a new one specifically for your blog or website. If you are going to add Adsense to your blog, you may just wish to use the Adsense account you are using for Youtube. There are a lot of opposing views on the internet about whether you should use the same account for your Youtube and blog, so I’m not going to advise either way. Let’s just assume you don’t have an account and go from there. Go to the Adsense homepage and click “sign up”. Once you have signed up with all of your basic details, you will be given a code to paste into your blog.
How to add Adsense to your blog: inserting the approval code
When you first sign up you will be given an approval code that needs to be pasted in to the header of your site. If you are using WordPress you can download the “Insert Headers and Footers” plug in. This makes it easy to just go in and add the Adsense code to your header. Once you have done this you will need to return to Adsense and check the box that says “I’ve pasted the code onto my site”. Then you just need to play the waiting game and see if your account gets approved or not.
How to add Adsense to your blog: getting approved
- do not use any copied content
- do not have any illegal content or adult content
- ensure that you have a good amount of content on the site as a whole and each post. If the Adsense employee scans through your blog and they see that you have written a selection of 200 word posts with little substance they are going to very easily realise you just want to monetise. Like everything in the blogging world, content MATTERS
- use a top level domain. This really does help
- make sure your domain is over 6 months old
- have a good Alexa ranking
- make sure you have a well-designed, and easy to navigate website
- make sure you get a high amount of organic traffic
How to add Adsense to your blog: creating an ad unit
Great success, you got approved. So now you need to add in some ad units, and start making some money. You’ll notice when you log in there is a sidebar that allows you to navigate all of the different Adsense functions. Click on ad units, and then on the create new ad unit option.
This is where it is worth knowing a little bit about online advertising. The inventory that will make the most money for you is inventory that is “above the fold”. Again, it is worth reading a book like Ad Serving Technology: Understand the marketing revelation that commercialized the Internet. The two main adverts that will appear above the fold will be your leaderboard (728×90) and probably the top sidebar ad (250×250). For the purpose of an example, let’s create a leaderboard advert. When you click create ad, Adsense gives you three options.
The leaderboard will be a display ad. In-feed ads are ads that will appear in-between your blog posts when they are listed on the page, and in-article ads are ads that will appear in each individual blog post nestled among the content. As they match the look and feel of the native content, these types of ads are known as “native ads”. Our leaderboard ad will be a traditional display ad. Select text and display ads. You will now get taken to a screen that lets you name your ad unit and add some details.
Once you have done this, you will find that you are given the option to have a responsive ad. Always click yes to this. This means that your advert will show in the correct size no matter what device people are accessing your blog from, and it is always recommended. Click save and get code, and you will be given the code you need to paste in to your blog to make the advert appear. Now that you have copied the code, you will need to add it in to your website. I am going to show you an example of a self-hosted WordPress website. We will need to go to the option that allows customisation of the theme and then click on the “widgets” option.
Luckily for anyone who is using WordPress, they make it pretty easy to find where your ad should go. So our 728×90 leaderboard is what is known as a header ad. As you can see if you are going to add in an ad unit for the sidebar this is also an option. When you have clicked header, you will then want to go through the process of adding a custom HTML widget. This is basically what you need to do on any platform. Ad units from Adsense can be added in automatically on some platforms, but to do it manually you just need to find out how to add widgets made up of customer HTML.
Simply paste the code in and save it and you are done! You have now successfully added Adsense advertising to your blog.
How to add Adsense to your blog: quick tips
- Use a keyword planner to find keywords that are not as competitive and your website can rank highly for
- Check your keyword density using a tool like Yoast
- Publish regular new content
- Figure out which ad formats work best using the Adsense reports
- Don’t use too many ads – this can be counter productive