Sadly, there is no easy way to suddenly become rich through blogging. But you can make money through your WordPress site through tools like Google Adsense. Adsense is an advertising network that targets the ads on your site based on content and audience interaction.
There are a lot of different ways that you can put advertisements on your site, but Adsense is one of the most hassle free methods out there. You don’t have to try to collect the money yourself or deal with the advertisers at all. The is that Google takes a share of your money, but most people agree that that little extra slice of the pie isn’t worth the time or the trouble of handling your advertising by yourself.
Adsense does pay on a cost-per-click basis. This means that you only get paid when someone actually clicks on an advertisement. It can be tempting to try to click on your own ads or ask friends and family to click in order to increase your earnings. Don’t do that. Google knows how to detect this type of behavior and it can get you banned from Adsense, leaving you with no earnings.
Getting Started with Adsense
The first step to putting Adsense on your WordPress site is to get approved. Log into the Google Adsense page, either by using a pre-existing Google account or by creating a new one. Once there, fill out an application and send it in. You should receive an email in 6-8 hours telling you whether you’ve been approved or not.
If you are rejected, the email will include the reasons why and what you can do to try and resolve the issues to get approved. There are rules about what kind of content Adsense will accept and what it will not.
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Building Your Ad
Before you build your first ad, you are going to have to agree to Adsense’s terms and conditions. Everybody is guilty of clicking through these without really reading them. There are some conditions that you should be aware of, though.
As covered before, you cannot click on the ads yourself. You cannot trick other people into clicking on them either. For Adsense’s purposes, asking friends and family to do it qualifies as tricking someone else.
Other terms and conditions include how you display the ads. For example, they cannot appear in a popup. Really, you should avoid popups on your site anyway. Nobody likes them. Also, once you design an ad, Adsense generates the code for it. You are not allowed to change this code.
But before any of that becomes an issue, you need to finish putting Adsense on your site. So let’s get to it.
Designing Your Ad
Once you’ve been approved, log into Adsense and click on the My ads tab at the top of the page. A button will appear that says + New ad unit. Click on that button. This takes you to the page where you design an ad.
Nobody sees the name except you, so name it anything you want. Next, pick a size. Go with whatever you want, but the recommended sizes generally have the highest cost per click. For ad type, text and display ads are best.
Backup ads are what is displayed when Adsense cannot find an ad to put there. This almost never happens, but it’s good to be prepared. You can choose to leave the space blank or you can put your own ad there.
Custom Channel lets you track which ads perform best on your site. If you are serious about monetizing your site, this is a helpful tool. If you’re just hoping to offset the price of your web hosting account, you can skip this step.
Ad style gives you some control over what the ads on your page look like, but it only applies to text ads. It is best to match the color scheme of your site to keep everything consistent and help the ad match the rest of your content.
If you want to take a break from designing the ad and come back later, use the Save button at the bottom of the page. If you’re all done and ready to continue, click Save and get code.
Inserting the Code into WordPress
Once you have the code, it needs to be inserted into your WordPress site. This is very easy to do. In your WordPress admin area, go to Appearance>Widgets. Drag and drop the text widget to wherever you want the ad to be displayed on your site. Sidebar ads are the most common, but you can put them in the header or footer if you want.
All you need to do next is copy and paste the code from Adsense into your text widget. Ads within posts tend to generate the most clicks, you can also paste the code directly into your post editor. Do not put it in a floating widget as this counts as a popup and violates the terms and conditions agreement, which may get you banned from Adsense.
That’s all it takes to start making money off your site. If you want to get a little more proactive in your ad management, plugins like Adsanity will help you track which placements get the best results. Either way, all you have to do is wait for people to start clicking and your earnings to start trickling in.