QuickStart AdSense:A Step-By-Step Guide

You can be up and running with AdSense in just minutes. Sure, you’ll need a bit more time if you want to use all of the advanced strategies and techniques I discuss in the rest of this book, but you don’t have to wait until you’ve figured everything out before you can start earning with AdSense. Remember, every minute that your site isn’t showing online or isn’t showing ads, you’re tossing money down the drain. If you don’t have a site yet, or if you’re not showing ads on your site, before you move on to the rest of this book, follow one of these guides. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to start making money with ads!

AdSense QuickStart Guide #1: Building A Blog
Blogging is probably the easiest way to get online with AdSense fast. The sites are already online, you don’t have to worry about graphics and the domains are all set up. All you have to do is sign up, write and earn!

Step 1: Surf to www.blogger.com
Complete the registration page, choose a name for your blog and pick a template.

Step 2: Apply For AdSense Through Blogger
Another form, another five minutes. It will take a day or two before your application is approved. In the meantime, you can play with Blogger’s AdSense preview tool, and...

Step 3: Write Your First Blog Entry
Not sure what to write? Start with your family, spout off about a story in the news, put up pictures for your friends to see... it doesn’t matter. Everyone has something that occupies their mind, that interests them or that they’re good at. Put up anything. You can change it later but for now just get in the habit of writing to the Web. Once you’ve done it once you’ll see how easy it can be — and how addictive.

Step 4: Play With Your Ads
Once AdSense has approved your application, you’ll be able to start playing with your ads. You can change the colors, fix the font size, remove the border and move them into the sidebar if you wish. You can get everything geared up and ready to...

Step 5: Bring In The Traffic
It’s taken you minutes to get your site set up. Now you have to let people know you’re online. Chapter 20 will tell you how to bring in the traffic but for now you can start by telling your friends, swapping links with your favorite sites and submitting your site to the search engines. Hold off on the paid advertising though until you’ve got enough content to make it worthwhile. You’re rolling!

AdSense QuickStart Guide #2: Building An Ad-Supported Commercial Site With Zlio
Writing content is just one way to fill a site that will earn from advertising. Another is to display products for sale. That might sound hard but with a website, it’s very, very easy. You don’t have to see the products, store the products, touch the products or mail the products. All you have to do is market the products... and take a cut of the sales price. Usually, ads on commercial sites don’t work too well. You want people to buy from you, not from a competitor. When you use Zlio.com— an online store-building service — to build your site though, you don’t need to care who gives you the money... as long as someone does.

Step 1. Sign Up And Choose Your Store Name
Zlio’s registration page is very simple. The only thing you’ll need to consider is the name of the store. You might want to think about that for... maybe a minute. Just choose something that’s simple to remember and which sums up the products you plan to sell.

Step 2. Pick A Template
There’s no programming with Zlio. Pick one of eleven ready-built templates and you’re ready to go.

Step 3. Add Products
Zlio has over three million different products that you can add to your store and receive commissions on sales or even payment for clicks. I’m sure you can find something you want to sell...

Step 4. Add AdSense
In addition to placing units containing products for sale, you can also include AdSense units. And Zlio’s AdSense API makes it a breeze. You don’t even have to go back to the AdSense site to get the code. It’s all automated from Zlio’s own site.

Step 5. Start Marketing
Building the site is easy. It will take about five minutes. Bringing in customers will be a bigger challenge and take a little longer. But it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with some hard work and steady learning

AdSense QuickStart Guide #3: Building A Site From Scratch
Using an automated system like Blogger or Zlio is the easiest way to get started with AdSense but it’s not for everyone. Create a complete website from scratch is going to take a little longer... but not a lot longer.

Step 1: Pick Up A Name
The first thing you’ll need is a domain. You grab one of those at either GoDaddy.com or NetworkSolutions.com.

Step 2: Build Your Site
You can build your site yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Or you can take a pre-built template and pack it with your own content. Yahoo! has a program called SiteBuilder (http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/index.php) that’s packed with a good range of templates that you can use and play with but you’ll have to upload the finished site onto their servers. If you’re in a rush, it’s a great way to get online and earning fast.

Step 3: Create Your Content
Keep it simple! You don’t have to pack your site with Flash images or anything fancy. Write about what you like! If you’re into fun at the beach, create pages with reviews of your local sand spots. Into skiing? Discuss your favorite ski equipment. Everyone’s got something that lights their fire. Find yours and put it on your first site. You’ll find that a site that interests you interests all the people like you... and gets you the sort of following that wins clicks.

Step 4: Apply For AdSense
Once your first pages are up and built (and none of this should take you more than a few hours) you’re ready to apply to AdSense. Fill in the form and wait for the approval.

Step 5: Bring In The Traffic

While you’re waiting for the first ads, you can start submitting your site to the search engines and building up the traffic.

Step 6: Play With Your Ads
When the ads come in, don’t forget to optimize them for your site. It’s very simple and will have a massive effect on your CTR, even at this early stage.

And that’s all there is to it, apart from the final step... spending the money! I don’t think you need my help for that, do you?

Google’s Referral Programs

One of the biggest changes that Google has made to the AdSense program since the last edition of this book came out is in its referral programs. Initially, these were pretty poor. The products were Firefox, Picasa, Google Pack — a collection of different programs — and the AdSense program itself. If you have users that include publishers interested in signing up for AdSense then you might be able to make some money. (The AdSense referral now pays $100 for a publisher who makes the same amount within 180 days... provided they’re located in North America, Latin America or Japan).Most publishers though, don’t write content for other publishers. They were left hoping to earn a dollar a download for Google Pack. Most find it more cost-effective to use that spot on their page for something else. It turned out that those early referral products were just filling space. Today, Google offers referral products in more than 26 categories, from animals to travel. Those products come in every format you can imagine and pay different amounts for different actions. It’s a whole other way of making money on your website.

What Are Referrals And How Do They Differ From AdSense?
The biggest difference between AdSense units and referral ads is why you’re being paid. Most AdSense ads pay for each click they receive. Some pay each thousand times they’re shown. Referral ads pay on a cost-per-action basis, or CPA for short. It’s not enough to get a click on an ad to earn income. The user has to do something when he reaches the advertiser’s site. That might be downloading a program, leaving an email address or even making a purchase. It’s very similar to an affiliate system in which you’re paid a percentage of a sales price for a product. The only difference is that payable actions aren’t limited to buying. Clearly, whatever the action the advertiser demands, it’s going to lower your success rate in comparison to your AdSense units. If 5 percent of your users click a referral ad and only 5 percent of those users take the action the advertiser wants, then you might generate only a few of these actions each month. Higher payment rates should make up for the lower conversions. We’ve already seen that the AdSense referral program can pay out $5 quite easily once you get the referral, but the payouts available on other referral products can be much, much higher than that. Although most seem to fall between $10-$15, it’s not hard to find referral products that pay more than $50 for each user that takes action.
You should be building multiple revenue streams by placing different kinds of ads on the same page. Ideally, each Web page should use at least three different types of payment system. Those could be cost-per-click ads, cost-per-mille ads and cost-per-action ads. That would help to ensure that you get something out of all your users. A few users will take action on the referral ads and generate the most money per click for you. Some will click your AdSense ads and generate larger numbers of small payments for you. And your CPM ads will make sure that you get paid even if your users do nothing but look at your content and leave.