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How To Get Started With AdSense

Justin Cooke Updated on February 29, 2020

How To Get Started With AdSense

With 125 posts on, Joe and I just realized we’d never actually written a post about how to setup and get started with an AdSense account!  Rather than writing it ourselves (it’s been a while!) we thought we’d take on a guest post from Steven to tackle the subject.

This is post is definitely for beginners…if you’re looking for more intermediate or advanced AdSense strategies, check out our podcast episode on AdSense tips, tricks, and hacks.  I’ve added some notes that are italicized below.  Now…over to Steven!

The Google AdSense platform, representing the other side of the Google advertising empire known as Adwords, is an advertising system through which the ads that Google customers buy (through Adwords) get posted to the websites of site owners that have signed up and have been approved for an AdSense account. It’s a great way for Google to expand their empire. Instead of just having advertisements on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), they can also have advertisements on the particular sites that people click through to, expanding their reach for the advertisers.

By signing up to AdSense, a site owner then has different types and sizes of advertising blocks, contextualized to their content and able to be placed on their site or blog pages. Every time a site visitor clicks one of these ads, a small payment of anywhere from a few cents to several dollars is made to the webmaster that is attached to the AdSense account for the site that’s been clicked on.  Once the account owner has reached the payment threshold, he or she will receive their first payment via AdSense. (via direct deposit or check)

Through this system, Google rewards website owners who know how to create well-optimized and rich content that’s in a particular niche and is also popular; since the more visitors a site garners, the more ad clicks and thus revenue it also generates for the site owner.  The relationship between visitors and clicks is known as Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and is dependent on the placement of the ads on the site, relevance of the ads, the niche selected, etc.

No porn allowedHowever, there are also certain conditions that any site owner who applies for AdSense has to abide by: For one thing, no pornographic, illegal, or copyright violating content can be displayed. Secondly, the content must be genuine and have a certain (somewhat arbitrary) timescale during which it has been online.

Note: If your content is even close to being questionable, don’t place AdSense on it.

Finally, certain ad-related rules prohibit you from clicking on your own ads, redirecting people to pages full of ads through some sort of spam related means or creating purely advertising related AdSense pages that are empty of valuable and meaningful content.

Because of these design features and the immense advertiser market that exists on the Adwords side of the Google business, site owners who sign up with AdSense can be quite richly rewarded for having popular, high-quality, content-rich websites that talk about relevant subjects in one or more niches.

The niche you select and the keywords you target will have a direct relationship on the Cost-Per-Click and, ultimately, the amount you’ll get paid per click.  Target keywords that don’t have a very high CPC and you won’t earn much per click.  Target keywords that have too high a CPC and they’re likely to have heavy competition.  The trick is to find just the right balance with regards to keyword research.

In some cases, people have been known to generate many thousands of dollars per month in personal income just from the few cents they earn per click on the ads that are placed on their pages.

While this is definitely true, I should mention that the vast majority of AdSense publishers make less than $100 per month with AdSense.  This usually has to do with the fact that they’ve added AdSense to their site as an afterthought or they simply don’t (yet) know what they’re doing.

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what AdSense is, let’s take you step by step through how you can set up your own AdSense account and start earning money with AdSense too.

If you prefer a video, then check out this more up to date video our director of marketing did on what is Google Adsense:


Step One: Get Your Website Ready

You can’t join AdSense until you’ve got your own well-established, well-fleshed out website or blog up and running. Of course, it doesn’t have to be some sort of internet superstar with thousands of pages and thousands of monthly page views, but it should meet at least a few basic content and design guidelines. Essentially, as an AdSense applicant, you’ll need to at least possess a blog/site that has a decent amount of richly written text-based content, has reasonably good traffic and is at least 3 months old.

Also, the site doesn’t necessarily have to be yours but you will at least need to have access to the source code for its pages so that you can coordinate where to post your ads on the pages.

I’d definitely recommend using your own site here.  While you can get approved using someone else’s site, it’s not advised by us.  Having your AdSense code on someone else’s site is not the best option.

Finally, the site isn’t allowed to link to any pornographic content, host material that infringes copyright (because we all know YouTube, which is full of Adsense ads, also doesn’t) or be a site that’s built or advertised in a way that can be considered highly spammy. With regards to the spam aspect, if you’re unsure, just make sure your site abides by Penguin or Panda SEO standards and you’ll be totally in the clear.

Step Two: Register a Google AdSense Account

This is fairly easy; simply use an existing Google account that you already have and attach it to your AdSense application or, if you don’t actually somehow have a Google account of any kind (You really should, Gmail is amazing!) just sign up within a few minutes directly here.

Step Three:  The Application Process

Once you’ve logged into AdSense, the first steps will consist of a series of questions about your website; things such as the nature of its content, URL and the main language in which your site will be written (English, French, Spanish, etc). You’ll also have to agree to Google’s terms and policies, which you really should stop to read through.

AdSense Application

Afterwards, going through the same series of events, you’ll continue by filling out your full AdSense application and including details about your name, billing address/postal address, account type (Business or Individual) and country of origin.

Once you’ve clicked “Submit” you simply need to wait roughly 24 to 48 hours and see if you’ve been approved.

48 hours seems to be true in most cases, but I’ve heard of some having to wait close to a week for approval.  If you haven’t been approved within a week, you can visit the AdSense forum to find out more information.

Download your free report

Step Four: Make Money!

Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn much of anything with Adsense, but if you run your keyword research and content well, work on developing your sites effectively and make sure you don’t break any of Google’s major rules against spam, low quality content or banned content, you really can start successfully making anything from a few hundred to a few thousand or more dollars per month with relatively little work on your AdSense pages.

After you’ve been approved, you’ll have to make slight modifications to your pages’ source code but this isn’t usually complicated and if in doubt, either ask a friend who’s already done the same, look up the numerous online tutorials that are available or hire someone to help you out.

There, that’s it and good luck with building your AdSense Empire!

Steven Chalmers has been immersed in the online marketing community for over 10 years. When he’s not writing about marketing, you can find him covering virtual environments. Find out more information here or check out

If you’re just getting started, we’d really recommend checking out our guide, Building A Niche Site Empire. It’s free and we give away our best tips and tricks for getting started building niche sites and working with AdSense. Was this overview helpful? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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  • This was a quick and helpful guide that got me set in the right direction. I’ve been studying and practicing online marketing for three years now and have been earning $ serving private clients in various services. Now, (not solely due to this guide), I’m ready to start building my own AdSense sites. I’m glad that this guide showed me exactly what the bare requirements are and also provided a bunch of helpful links for additional study. You guys are the real leader in the domain buying / selling / brokerage / info space.

    Thank you for what you all do at EF!

  • Conrad says:

    Good grief Justin and Joe. That was one well laid out and super comprehensive guide / eBook. This is education marketing at its best cause you just got yourself one more advocate 😀 … damn that was a good read…..

  • Rick Fernandez says:

    hey guys, thanks for the tips. could you look at our travel blog and give us one or two tips to get better results?


    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Rick!

      I see you profiled Jojie on the site. I had the opportunity to meet her at one of the Blog Weekend Bootcamp events here in Davao…cool girl and an awesome photographer!

      I’d say that what you’re looking to do is much less straightforward than our niche sites. We target VERY specific niches so that our visitors are highly-targeted and focused…and so the ads are highly-targeted and focused towards them. It makes them much more likely to click on the ads once they are on our site. Your site is much broader than that and will require a much larger audience to make the same amount of money.

      That’s not necessarily a bad thing…just know that you’ll either have to pump out a TON of content or (the better option in my opinion) deliver content that will get people coming back over and over to read more from you. This second option will mean you’ll have to look at monetization other than AdSense. (Return visitors are even less likely to click on ads…they become “ad blind”)

      I love the photos on your site and I would definitely keep that up. I found some of your content lacking depth, though. In an interview, you asked a question like “What are your inspirations in life?” and “If you hear the word Davao, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?” Those are kind of fluff questions that won’t get you substantial answers or content. Ask much more pointed/direct questions, I think. Be more of a journalist and get to the heart of the issues!

      For traffic, I would get involved in related forums and start helping people. Answer questions, give advice, etc. You don’t have to push your site too much…just have links in your sig and be over-the-top helpful. I’d also reach out to guys like Mindanao Bob (don’t be shy) and ask him if you can write guest posts, do an interview with him, etc. He gets a ton of traffic to his Davao and Mindanao sites and would be great exposure for you.

      For monetization, I don’t think that I’d stick with AdSense for long here. If you’re targeting expats for the site, maybe you could write and then sell the ultimate guide to living in Davao for expats? It could include (video) interviews with expats that are here, detailed case studies on cost of living, restaurants, etc. If you went WAY over the top and sold through Amazon, I think you’d get some takers! Plus, you’d have something that really stood out, I think.

      Here’s another option. Months back I was in a meeting with the head of tourism in Davao and other city officials as they were looking for ideas on boosting tourism to the city. We gave them our ideas and promoted the fact that THEY should be promoting their city bloggers as they’re on the front lines. They were receptive to the idea, but I don’t know what ever came of it. I would try to organize some funding from the City for your blog. This might be more of a long shot, but I DO know they’re open to spending money to drive more tourists to Davao.

  • Mike says:

    Step Five: Get Banned by AdSense and Find Other Ways to Make Money Online! OK, that’s just my own experience, but might make for an important cautionary tale, especially for newbies (like I used to be)! As always, love the site!

  • juvie indiola says:

    Would like to think a start to do adsense. But like to learn more about content writing if anyone had a great ideas about it, please let me know.

  • Adam Baum says:

    Hey AdsenseFlippers, been following you for some months now in the pursuit of passive income. 🙂
    I am finding trouble after creation of the niche sites… Currently have like 8-10 that just sits there, barely a few visitors/day.. So was just wondering, is the linkbuilding part in your ebook the same as your ‘current blueprint’ for sites with 5-10 articles?


  • Getting started with AdSense is easy. Simply go to their sign up page and follow the directions. They will guide you through the steps of signing up and putting the code on your page.

  • Anisul Islam says:

    It’s a helpful post indeed for the newbies! Thanks guys for putting this up 🙂 A little off topic but I have decided to take on WSO tests. I was thinking for something like this as well and got the inspiration from your niche idea post. I have put up a blog at . Hope you’ll find my blog useful in the long run

  • Karen Barr says:

    Nice post! Hope to see you listing some sites for sale soon 🙂

  • disqus_T5zP9LGvjs says:

    hi guys nice post 🙂
    when are you going to list sites for sale ? can’t wait !

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Soon I hope! Joe’s in Manila checking in with some biznass contacts, but he should have more sites posted in the next few days. 🙂

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