Google AdSense 101: How to Start Making Money Through your Blog

Blogging is one of the best things that I’ve ever decided to do. It allows me to write and create on a regular basis, and has allowed me to connect with so many amazing people along the way. (Like the lovely ladies in my blog tribe, which you can read about here.

So when I learned that I could turn one of my favorite hobbies into something that brings in a little extra cash, of course I was super excited!

Google AdSense can be a bit intimidating to those who aren’t familiar with it or how it works. Trust me, when I first started my blog, I knew next to nothing about any of this. But today I wanted to share with you how I got approved to start making money on my blog through Google AdSense within just 24 hours after applying to the program.

I’m going to cover the basics of how to get approved, what Google looks for in a blog, and some things that will help you ultimately merge your passion with profit.

Because seriously, what could be better than that??

Before we get started, there’s a couple things we should define, in case you keep reading and find yourself asking “What the heck is a CTR??” No worries, it’s super simple:

Impressions- How many views an ad gets.

CTR- Click through rate. AKA the percentage of impressions that lead to a click.

PPC- Pay per click. 

To apply to Google AdSense or to check it out, start here.


1.) Own your site. 

To put ads on your blog, you have to be able to edit the HTML source code of the website you submit for AdSense. It also helps to have your own domain, because Google wants your blog to look as professional as possible. This isn’t to say that having a .wordpress or .blogspot blog wouldn’t get approved, but having your own domain helps.

2.) Make sure your blog is visually appealing and easy to navigate.

We all want this anyway, but a huge thing that Google looks for when you apply is a clean-looking website that is free of other ads, which brings me to my next point:

3.) No third party ads. (Amazon Affiliates, ClickBank, Etc.) 

You don’t want your blog to already be cluttered with tons of advertisements. It just doesn’t look good. Even though Google AdSense allows you to use other ad networks along with them, it doesn’t hurt to remove any existing ads until you get a reply.

4.) Consistent, original content is a MUST. 

Before I applied, I read a few other articles that insisted you should have over 50+ original posts, but my blog only had around 24 when I applied since I started blogging in January. All that Google wants to see is that you are putting out original content on a regular basis. So think QUALITY over QUANTITY. This should go without saying, but also make sure you don’t have any copyright content on your blog!

5.) Add the Google Analytics code to your blog.

Adding Google Analytics code to your website is as simple as installing a plugin, but it shows the Google team that you are serious about your stats and are interested in who is coming to your website. Also:

6.) Consistent traffic.

You don’t have to be getting thousands of unique page views per day to get approved, but it looks good to have a steady income of traffic to your blog daily.

7.) Make sure it’s clear who you are and what you’re about.

Basically, your blog should have an about page, a contact page, and a privacy policy or disclaimer that are all easy to find. I can’t stress this enough! These don’t have to be anything elaborate, but make sure that they’re in plain sight and easy for readers to find.

I made sure that I had done these things before I applied to Google AdSense, and I got approved in under 24 hours! Though it can typically take between a couple days to a couple weeks. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away or if your application gets rejected.

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As you can see from the email above, once Google accepts you into the AdSense program, you have to create your first ad unit and place it on your website to fully activate your account. 

If you’re not very coding savvy, don’t worry. Google basically walks you through how to do everything step-by-step.

Customize your Ads

Once you’ve created an ad unit, you can do a lot of customizing to the look and content of your ads. You can choose the size of your ads, and if you prefer text-only ads, graphic-only ads, or both, as well as the color scheme. Once you’ve finalized all of that you can save it and simply copy and paste the code into where you want your ad to display on your website!

I recommend not to overdo placing the ads on your site, because let’s be honest, too many is distracting and off-putting. Have you ever been to a website or blog and instantly clicked away because it was filled with too many ads?? Yeah, don’t let that be you. 

I started by placing one at the top of my blog and then went on to put two more in the side bar and content.

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Leaderboard ads typically get the largest amount of impressions & clicks since it is the first thing people see when they visit your blog besides your logo. 

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Why hello there, Kate Spade ad…what, a 30% off sale is happening now?? Let me go get my wallet…

You can also select the type of advertisements that display on your site, and equally important, what you DON’T allow. For me personally, I try to stay away from more controversial subjects like politics and religion. And as you can see, I have quite a few categories that I’ve blocked. Because I personally wouldn’t care for these ads, I doubt my readers will either.

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So how do you start making money?

Once you’ve been approved and have ads on your blog, it’s time for the fun part…actually making money! How much you make depends on a variety of factors like ad placement, type, and how much traffic your blog gets.

While you can earn income solely from impressions, the majority of your Google AdSense income will come through PPC or pay-per-click that you get. Google pays monthly if you reach a $100.00 minimum. But if you don’t earn that much in a month, the amount will keep rolling over until you reach the $100.00 minimum necessary to get paid.

I also recommend downloading the Google AdSense app, which allows you to check how much you’re earning from your phone. For example, if I’m out and notice my views and earnings are a little low that day, I will promote a blog post to raise them up a bit. It’s a great way to stay in-the-know about your blog stats.

Remember, while it’s nice to make a little bit of money from something you love, you shouldn’t alienate your readers with ads they don’t want to see or things that have no relation to what you’re talking about. You should always think in terms of enhancing your readers experience on your blog and not making it so spammy that they never want to return…

Please note: It’s also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t click on your own ads or encourage others to click on them either. Google has very strict policies in place that prohibit doing anything that will give false impression rates or CTR’s. Doing so is a quick way to have your account get taken away.

These tips are from my own personal experience and don’t necessarily mean they will work the exact same for you. Stay tuned for part two of my series about how to increase your earnings on Google AdSense!

Do you use Google AdSense or another blog monetization site? Let me know in the comments below what has worked for you!

Let’s get social! Use #AskKatelynBlogs on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ to chat! 🙂


As always, thank you so much for reading!


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