Q&A: Can You Really Make Money with Google Adsense?

Yes, but if you want to make really good money with Google AdSense, you either have to be in a unique niche in which advertisers will pay a lot for clicks on their ads or you have to get a ton of traffic.

Google AdSense with niche sites

The way this works is, you build a website around a particular high value keyword. By “high value keyword” I mean a keyword that advertisers will pay a lot to target. (This might be a good time for a refresher on keywords.)

Finding those unique niches takes a bit of keyword research and usually doesn’t happen by accident. There are many people in the business of hunting for these high-paying niches, creating websites strictly for the purpose of capitalizing on valuable keywords and making a lot of money in the process. If you want to see a real life example of building a site like this, check out Pat Flynn’s very interesting series, Niche Site Duel.

Google AdSense with high traffic

For those of us blogging in niches without valuable keywords, high traffic is the key to making good money with AdSense. I know plenty of bloggers making hundreds (and in many cases thousands) of dollars every month with AdSense.

In my case, as of this writing I don’t have my main AdSense ads up (I’m always experimenting you know). However, before I took them down, I was making several hundred dollars a month.

But that’s just peanuts compared to many.

I recently bought Laurie Turk’s online course called Mom Blog to Money Blog* (see note below). Laurie gets 7 million pageviews a month on her craft blog (TipJunkie.com) and makes over $12,000 a month from Google AdSense alone.

Another excellent (and free) resource to learn the ins and outs of Google AdSense is John Saddington’s A Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense series. If you’re interested in getting more details about AdSense, this is a great place to start. Free is always nice.

Takeaways

There are no magic bullets. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another and vice versa. There are no guaranteed, across-the-board results either.

Google AdSense works well for some and not so well for others. It really depends.

If you’re just starting to monetize your blog, I still think the best way to figure out what might work for you is to look at well-established bloggers in your niche and take note of the monetization methods they use. Start there.

But don’t limit yourself either. Always experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new things. And aim for a diverse number of income streams.

Note: If you’re interested in Mom Blog to Money Blog, I definitely recommend you start a website first (I will shamelessly plug my How to Start a Blog series here) and only consider taking her course once you gain some good traction. Her course is definitely more suited to someone who has been blogging for a while and has a solid understanding of blogging basics. She’s been blogging since 2007 so she’s been at it a while. Also, 7 million pageviews a month would be really hard to duplicate for the vast majority of us so our results are likely to vary drastically.

*There are affiliate links in this post.

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Comments

  1. says

    Can you make money with Adsense. Not really. If you actually start making good money they will find some reason to avoid paying you. They went as far as to say i can’t advertise or promote my blog BECAUSE it had Adsense ads on it. It was ridiculous. Then 20 dollars before thresh hold they sited me for “fraudulent clicks” i never clicked my own ads not even once nor did anyone else from my house. Its a scam from the get go. They decide who makes money if any is made at all. If they don’t want you to make money they will find w way to avoid paying you.

  2. says

    Right about that Amy, you gotta get more traffic and USA or European traffic to earn money that is for sure. I get the highest paying per click of $1 from UK and form USA I get average .60 cents per click and with my current traffic I get around $500 a month which pays my rent thank God.

  3. says

    Great beginners tips. Google Adsense can be one of the most lucrative to make money with your web page forms. But Adsense is not a get rich program. A primary requirement is to work, if you want to make good money. But do not spend the overnight. You have to build a site with a lot of traffic to make it worth while. However, in order to make your website a success, you must have the original and exceptional content and have a large number of visitors.

  4. says

    I have actually done away with using AdSense completely on my blog, and other ads and ad networks. The reason being, you really do have to have a decent amount of traffic to make good money with the program. But there is more to it than that. We have our blogs as a capture place for people looking for specific content and information. So why would you want to lose a potential visitor on your on site/blog and make a few cents off of them? Doesn’t make sense to me. Much more money and value in offering visitors specific products through affiliate programs. It also makes your website less spammy with ads and helps your visitors and readers pay more attention to what you have to offer. I think AdSense is a great program, don’t get me wrong, but you can make more money and provide more value through other programs, besides ad networks. One other thing – AdBlock Plus (ABP) plugins, etc, do block ads and with more ad more people using Google Chrome and Firefox, its just blank space. Google may block those plugins at some point or at least they should because they are losing revenue from it. Popups and interstitial ads are annoying and definitely should remained blocked, though. This is just my two cents, take it for what its worth.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Josh. Good point about the ad blockers. Same goes for apps like Pocket and Evernote that allow the reader to block out the ads too.

  5. says

    Google adsense is the most popular and easy way to monetized with blog but it is also very easy to get ban from google. Someone click on my adsense many time and google banned my account and there is no way to get back my google account.

  6. says

    Excellent article. I have been making a lot of money using Adsense for the last few years now, and if anything, I have noticed that my revenue keeps climbing. In other words, Adsense for me has shown absolutely no sign of stopping. However, what I have been noticing with many is that they think Adsense is a get rich quick scheme. It is not. It takes a LOT of work to make good money with it. More work than many things.

    In fact, what I have noticed is that top earners treat blogging as a full time job. That means that they are working at least eight hour days and putting in nights and weekends sometimes. Some like to say that you don’t need to do this, but for many, the truth is it does take a lot of work. Nothing good is easy.

    Adsense is just one product for making money. Many people not only use Adsense on their blogs, but do consulting, write ebooks and use affiliate networks. Also, many people comment all over the internet to get views on their blog. Learning about SEO and trends and finding niches are yet other ways in which one must spend time. There is so much to learn about making money online.

    Good luck to all of you who are serious about making money with Adsense and blogging! It can be done, but it takes time – a concentrated daily effort.

  7. says

    Nice post, I have a question, my blog runs on technology niche and wordpress themes, is this a higher value keyword?

    • says

      It is definitely not a high paying niche. Also, a lot of people who read/follow tech blogs, know what an ad is and they are sort of blind to advertisement. However, on the bright side, you can still make money from your blog. A lot of top full-time tech bloggers make most of their money from affiliate sales and providing other services like WP installation, help with hosting, etc.

  8. says

    I just installed adsense onto one of my sites that had gained some decent traffic, then found your article as I began digging for more info on the subject. I just wanted to say thanks for linking other great resources into your article – looking forward to learning more!

  9. says

    I have an approved adsense account but i’m not receiving enough traffic on it.I have a blog and youtube video i monetize.Is there a particular site i can purchase traffic to my adsense?

  10. says

    At a first when i apply for adsense.They pass in first review and then in second step verification they give me reason of less post (15) .
    But now i have more posts than that time (42),still they don’t pass my adsense even,now they are not clearing my first reveiw.

  11. says

    My Google AdSense account approved but show “Your AdSense account is enabled only to show ads on YouTube. If you want to show ads on a different site, you’ll need to provide us with the URL of the site you want to monetize. You can do this via a one-time application form. Learn more.” Please solution my problem.

  12. says

    Niche sites pay huge CPC & CTR in my country India as compare to other sites generally get cpc & ctr. Btw thanks for your article.

  13. says

    Wow, really fantastic article about adsense earning. I will love to earn with niche site which will pay huge.. I am currently working on it.

  14. says

    Hi Amy,

    First time reading your blogs and I must say you have great information. Even though adsense can be a great income, it can also be a distraction if you have other affiliate programs you’re working on

  15. says

    This is very amazing Miss.
    Many People say that Google AdSense can give income from online content in blog/website. I am interesting to follow it and try to earn money from my blog. However, I don’t know why I am not yet get money from Google AdSense :D

    I think I must follow your information so that I can get it. Thanks for your sharing Miss. I hope we can be best friend :)

  16. says

    Great article! Thank you Amy ! I do have one question for you, I do not have Adsense yet, and I am wondering if I place Adsense on my site and then I get banned for some odd reason down the road, will my site get banned from google search as well? Thanks for any info you can share!

  17. says

    I started my website a month ago and I am now looking to get traffic, I don’t get much but I am working on it everyday. I am still making a little bit of money with the little traffic I get. However, I see I would have to get tons of traffic a month in order to make any type of decent money with Google.

  18. says

    Amy,
    Great Blog! I recently started Adsense on my blog/website and being in a niche market I am still working on the in’s and out’s of monetizing with it. It’s nice to read that there are those out there that can benefit from Adsense, Only made a few bucks so far, keeping my ‘fingers crossed’ that I can make it work :)

  19. says

    Amy,
    as I see your page rank is still at level 3. Does this mean that there is no strong relation between page rank and the traffic, respectively, income?
    Congratulations for the great blog!

  20. says

    Very informative Post. I was little bit confused. Now, everything solved out. Now, please let me know that if Google approve any type of websites. Is there any rule like this.

  21. says

    I am still creating niche sites and making some money.
    There is definitely scope for good earnings.
    a lot of sites dropped of the map when Google updated last year.
    That means there is a little less competition.
    I think that next year will be a better year than this year for adsense.
    especially when Google see’s how much their Adsense revenue must of dropped since penguin and panda updates.
    I am now creating sites that are based around local business’s.
    I am able to sell them on to a business if I feel the adsense income is to low.
    most business’s will buy if the price is right and they are getting hits.

    Great blog

  22. says

    There are a lot of good tips there relating to Adsense.
    I think it is well worth a try once you have some traffic coming in.
    The only thing I find difficult is the ad placement. On my other websites I can place
    the AdSense code anywhere, but with blogs I am restricted to side bars and under text
    and I find the clickthrough rate is lower, whereas on my other websites I could merge the AdSense code in so that it looked like normal text and I could receive really high click throughs and higher earnings.

  23. says

    I found that if you have a number of blogs or websites you stand a better chance with adsense earnings. When starting a blog or site with adsense it is very important to do your keyword research to find out the amount of visitors and competition, it’s hard to get to the top.

  24. says

    Hi Amy,

    Do you know anything about how Google crawls a web site and determines that you have copyright material? They’ve rejected my site, “Copyrighted material: We’ve found that your website contains copyrighted material.” I am an affiliate selling some books and I host some link parties – is that what they are talking about?
    Thanks for your help!
    Monica

    • says

      I think it could be a whole lot of things, but I would google “how to get accepted to Google Adsense” or something similar and see what tips you can find. I know I’ve seen articles written about getting accepted after being rejected so you might google something of that nature as well.

      • says

        I was banned from adsense for no reason, upsetting to say the least! We run an advertising site, is it because they don’t want to have ads on an advertising site?

  25. says

    thanks alot for your informative tips. well, i was getting good payment via adbrite. the adbrite is close. now i have to concentrate again on chitika and google adsense.

  26. Susana says

    I got banned from Google Adsense, and tried so many services that paid so low :( but I came across a site that pays me well, and it shows adsense ads as well. The service is serious and trustworthy, I got paid by them for a long time now. And another thing that I like from this service is that when you have doubts, you can email them and they answer you! UNLIKE other sites that I don’t want to mention here…. I’m happy with this service now. You may want to try the service, just follow this link: http://goo.gl/rkjGA

  27. says

    My biggest problem with Adsense is that you can end up with ads that disagree with your values. For instance, I’ve seen dog blogs dedicated to animal rescue with internet puppy sales ads that support puppy mills.

    I know that my first home buyer blog has lots of advertising possibilities. But the last thing I want to see are ads for predatory lenders who violate the fair and responsible practices I’m promoting.

    Adsense can be fast and easy. But I prefer to keep control over any message appearing on my blogs.

    • says

      Yes, very true, although you can block specific URLs and you can allow and block ads on the Allow & block ads tab as well.

  28. says

    I wish I could say the same. I tweaked my ad placements, and started making quite a bit more ($5 a month verse 10 cents). And then, out of the blue, I got an email from Google saying they were banning me from the program – and they would not give any further details when I inquired. It was really disappointing, because I know I wasn’t doing anything illegal – and I took it personally that they said I was. I was very disappointed, but, I’m glad for those that can make it work!

    • says

      Oh Kristen, I’m so sorry. I know for sure it’s not just you–I’ve heard many bloggers who’ve had the very same experience. Did you try appealing? I’ve heard of people getting reinstated so I know it’s possible. I’d google it and see if I could find any help from anyone who has gone through the process.

      • says

        Indeed, I did appeal, but they said they could not disclose any information about why I was being banned. It was awhile ago, when I was still new at blogging, so I didn’t know enough about finding the statistics to back my appeal. I’m hopeful that with the new Google announcement of changes to adsense that perhaps I can try again. Although, now I’m a little cautious to try…

        • says

          Same thing happened to me, except they said I was buying traffic (which is crazy, because I don’t even have any idea how to do that, and I was only running their ads on my email feeds.)

          I appealed and they still rejected me. But hey, they didn’t pay nearly as well as my other ads anyway, so it’s not a huge loss. Just annoying.

  29. Janet Foster says

    I put google ads on one of my sites last March and my pay out this month will be $500 for the first time. I could kick myself for not doing it sooner but it never crossed my mind. I would never depend on Adsense for my entire income but it’s a nice way to make some extra cash. It’s now paying my hosting fees and any extra business expenses.

  30. says

    I went back and looked at Tip Junkie’s site. I used to peruse her site well before I even thought about blogging. It is great. What I find interesting though, is I can go to her site and block out the ads and focus on the content and it doesn’t bother me at all, but when I consider putting ads like that up on my own site, I feel like it would look horrible or it would be shouting I’m more about the ads than the content. I guess, I judge my own site more critically than I do others. Ha! Ha! With the views she has, clearly she can do pretty much what she wants and visitors will continue to visit. Also, when you did have your adsense ads up, I thought they blended beautifully with your site. Thanks for more food for thought.

  31. says

    Hey Amy, it’s interesting you mentioned the Mom Blog to Money Blog program. Have you read/heart about Copy Blogger’s Teaching Sells (teachingsells.com) program? Registration recently closed for the recent class, but I’m wondering if you’ve heard anything about it in the past. It’s very pricey, but makes some big promises!

    • says

      Yes, I have been receiving the free downloads and emails about Teaching Sells. I don’t plan on signing up myself, but CopyBlogger has an excellent reputation and Brian and Sonia are great.

      • says

        Hey Amy, I’m curious what your thoughts on Laurie Turk’s program are a few months later? I bought it to help monetize an established niche site of mine and I had high hopes. I have to say I was kind of disappointed in the overall quality (the videos and printables were very, very blurry), the quality of the “tips,” and the overall presentation/navigation of the material (the interface and all the new windows opening for every link [one of her tips for whatever reason]). Also, I emailed a question about a broken link over a month ago and I never received a response. How’d it work for you a few months later?

        • says

          I appreciated her insight as an AdSense user and learned some great insights regarding her blogging model. I don’t use AdSense myself very much, so I didn’t feel it directly applied to my situation so much but I know there are a lot of bloggers using this model that have really benefitted.

  32. says

    I recently switched just the placement of my adsense ads, and couldn’t get over the difference in adsense income with only a small increase in traffic. I hated they way they looked (which is why I didn’t switch them sooner), but when my adsense income literally quadrupled the first month I moved them, I decided I could get over the way they looked! :) It definitely helps to experiment, and now I’m kicking for not moving them around sooner.

  33. Shelley says

    I guess I need to read more and understand keywords and Adsense better because I understood and see ads based on my recent online history and the ads I see are not related to the topic on my page. For instance, if I just paid bills I get banking ads or search for a hotel I see vacation/hotel ads. So, maybe I am doing something wrong ?

    • says

      If I’m understanding you correctly, I don’t think there’s a problem. Google shows ads to you based on what it thinks you’re interested in, thus the banking ads after you’ve done banking. For someone else, it might be different.

  34. says

    Thanks Amy for the info. It is always nice to hear about success stories. Looking forward to reading the Tentblogger series you recommended.

  35. says

    My big beef with Adsense is that it grossly undercounts page views/impressions. I mean to the point that the undercounting is ridiculous. I took my Adsense ads down, I am not going to give them free impressions because they aren’t counting them. And I’ve been around a while, I exclude spiders and feeds from my numbers when I compare my stats to what Google reports. This seems to be a pretty widespread issue.

  36. says

    Amy, thanks for pointing us to these resources. I looked at the niche site duel and realized that my niche, while I enjoy it as a hobby and would like to grow my readership is not going to make a ton of money. I get 10x the visitors on my site that the one security guard training one does yet make about 1/2 on Adsense that he did.. It’s obvious there are really two types of blogs for making money. Cold calculated niche sites that can make you a few hundred bucks and if you have 20 of them, you can make some decent money! Then there are the ones you are passionate about and pour way more time and energy into them hoping to make a few dollars. Thanks for showing us the way!

  37. says

    Hi, Amy,
    Can I ask why you don’t have them up now and what your page views were like when you were in the 400.00 a month range?
    It’s o.k. if you don’t want to share!

    • says

      Oh, I’m doing a super secret, highly unscientific experiment. Not really, I just decided to take them down while I concentrate on some of my other income streams. Mostly I’m just addicted to tweaking things. :)

      My pageviews were right around 100,000 a month.

      • says

        Hi Amy! When you say your page views were 100,000 per month was that unique viewers or total views? Actually separate question, the difference between unique views and total viewers is unique views is separate views from different ip addresses correct? Total viewers may be the same viewer clicking on different posts from the same ip address? Am I understanding that correctly?

  38. says

    Great article, Amy! As usual. :-) We make a pretty good income with Adsense….I’m thankful that it’s around, because I do better with it than advertisers.
    Have you considered doing some posts on how to get bloggers to find advertisers for their site? How to find sponsors, etc.?

  39. says

    What I liked about AdSense is that it is very simple to sign up for, and use, so if you are new at blogging, you can have it up and on your site in minutes, and get your readers (even if at that point they are just family) use to seeing ad’s on your site. It might not be a great income earner for those just starting out but I am noticing that every month I earn just a bit more than the last month as my numbers are increasing.

  40. says

    Hi Amy – isn’t it great to hear about earnings of $12K, but very very rare for die-hard bloggers, the traffic is unreal to get that kinda traffic, I wonder if she’s doing paid advertising to get that kinda traffic too, perhaps out of $12K, she’s spending $6K, it’s a really tricky business… :) Kate

    • says

      Hi kate
      I had a very big traffic to my blog( about 800k per month ) but i don’t get paid only 100 $ per month e
      I don’t know where is the problem , its really hard to understand
      Hisham

      • says

        Hi Hicham,

        You’ve really done a great job to be recording this consistent monthly traffic to your site.

        I think the problem might be that your traffic is not targeted. Check and work further on your traffic source and your website theme/topic.

        There are several good places online to learn about adsense optimisation.