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Can You Really Make Money with Google AdSense?


Yes, but if you want to make really good money with Google AdSense, you either have to have a ton of traffic or you have to be in a unique niche in which advertisers will pay a lot for clicks on their ads.


Google AdSense with niche sites

Finding those unique niches takes a bit of keyword research and usually doesn't happen by accident. There are many people in the business of hunting for these high-paying niches, creating websites strictly for the purpose of capitalizing on valuable keywords and making a lot of money in the process. If you want to see a real life example of building a site like this, check out Pat Flynn's very interesting series, Niche Site Duel.
There are tools to help you find great keywords. A free and popular tool for keyword research is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Court gave an overview of how to use it at the end of the video in this post.
A more robust tool for keyword research is Market Samurai. If you want to see how it works, check out their very informative tutorial videos.

 

Google AdSense with high traffic

For those of us blogging in niches without valuable keywords, high traffic is the key to making good money with AdSense. I know plenty of bloggers making hundreds (and in many cases thousands) of dollars every month with AdSense.
In my case, as of this writing I don't have my main AdSense ads up (I'm always experimenting you know). However, before I took them down, I was making several hundred dollars a month. My highest AdSense payout was $640.89 (April 2012). Otherwise my monthly payments in 2012 have hovered in the $400 range.
But that's just peanuts compared to many.
I recently bought Laurie Turk's online course called Mom Blog to Money Blog. Laurie gets 7 million pageviews a month on her craft blog (TipJunkie.com) and makes over $12,000 a month from Google AdSense alone.*
Another excellent (and free) resource to learn the ins and outs of Google AdSense is TentBlogger's A Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense series. If you're interested in getting more details about AdSense, this is a great place to start. Free is always nice.

 

Takeaways

There are no magic bullets. What works for one person won't necessarily work for another and vice versa. There are no guaranteed, across-the-board results either.
Google AdSense works well for some and not so well for others. It really depends.
If you're just starting to monetize your blog, I still think the best way to figure out what might work for you is to look at well-established bloggers in your niche and take note of the monetization methods they use. Start there.
But don't limit yourself either. Always experiment. Don't be afraid to try new things. And aim for a diverse number of income streams.
*If you're interested in Mom Blog to Money Blog, I definitely recommend you start a website first (I will shamelessly plug my How to Start a Blog series here) and only consider taking her course once you gain some good traction. Her course is definitely more suited to someone who has been blogging for a while and has a solid understanding of blogging basics. I believe the coupon code MONEY will still give you a 10% discount. Remember, she's been blogging since 2007 so she's been at it a while. Also, 7 million pageviews a month would be really, really hard to duplicate for the vast majority of us so our results are likely to vary drastically.

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