Google AdSense is arguably the most widely used monetising program amongst bloggers looking to cash in on traffic and clicks. It's my go to recommendation for anyone looking to dip their toe into monetising their platforms but it is not without its setbacks. In this post, I'll be going over the pros and cons of Google AdSense.
Easy to set up and manage. Google AdSense is very easy to set up and accepted on most blogging platforms. Better yet, it is so widely used that most platforms come equipped with how-tos specific to the AdSense program. Once it's up and running, it pretty much takes care of itself.
Sweet sweet data. One of the major pluses of AdSense is the analytics. You can get reports on all your ad units and measure their performance. With this information you can experiment with placement and ad sizes. This info will also come in handy if/when you start renting out ad spaces privately on your site. AdSense can also be linked to Google Analytics so you can see all your stats in one place.
Passive income stream. Most of the heavy lifting is done in the setting up stage and after that you can just get on with the business of creating content and let the revenue roll in. That being said the amount of revenue you get boils down to traffic and clicks which leads me to...
Earnings can be minimal. AdSense operates a CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand-impression) model. This essentially means you get paid when someone clicks or a fixed amount when an ad has been viewed 1000 times. How much you are paid is dependent on the advertiser and the reality is you can earn as little as 1p per click on Adsense. According to Webgilde, blogs are likely to earn between $1 - $10 per 1000 visits. Unless you have a large volume of traffic passing through your blog on a regular basis, Adsense can't be your only revenue stream.
Threshold for payment. AdSense doesn't pay out until you hit the £60 mark. Noting how payments can be minimal, you could be waiting a long time before you get that first payment. If you decide to stop using Adsense before hitting that threshold, there will be no pay out.
Minimal control over ads that appear. You can't pick which advertisers post ads on your site and this lack of control means you could end up hosting ads that are off brand. You can set blocks on sensitive ad content i.e anything with an 18+ rating but that's about it.
As you can see, the main benefits of AdSense are the ease of use and the potential for your earnings to grow as your traffic increases. If your blog serves a niche and isn't likely to reach those heady numbers, then Adsense might not be for you. In the next issue, I'll be talking affiliate links and if they are worth the effort.
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