Adsense – A Review

For a video summarizing my review of Adsense as an affiliate program, see the bottom of this post.

It’s time to say something radical: Professional Bloggers might not exist if it weren’t for Adsense.

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Shocked?

Well, don’t be too surprised!

Adsense was a trailblazer in showing people that blogs could make money, and if it weren’t for adsense, we likely wouldn’t have half the affiliate programs we do today. But how does Adsense work, and does it work for you?

My take:

I’m a big adsense fan. That said, I’ve only discovered the power of adsense with a niche blog, and with good adsense placement. For several years, I had a moderately well-trafficked personal blog with tiny adsense units practically hidden in the sidebar. Even on the few massive traffic days I had with tens of thousands of visitors (!!) I would make hardly more than gas tank’s fill up (circa 2004 gas prices! ) with adsense. In all, I made less than a couple hundred dollars throughout the life of that blog on adsense, and I had I never had the highly trafficked days, it would have probably never topped a dollar.

In contrast, niche blogs can do well with adsense, because the ads are targeted.

If you have a blog, and it has a focus (no matter what the focus is) you should definitely sign up for adsense.

Here are a couple key things to remember to optimize your adsense units:

  • Placement is key. A tiny sidebar ad on some blogs might as well not exist, whereas a tiny adsense unit front and center on some blogs could easily pay for your groceries!
  • Size is important. The bigger the better. That said, you want a size that doesn’t annoy your readers and make them turn from your blog!
  • Try and Image and Text Ad Units. Different bloggers have different takes on this, but I tend to agree with Darren of ProBlogger that a mix of Image and Text ads are the way to go with adsense units. This may differ for your crowd, though.

Here’s my video review of what I think about Adsense:

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