If you are looking to start making money from your blog, one of the easiest ways is to join an ad network. I recommend new bloggers start off with Google Adsense, as it is one of the more popular and easiest to setup ad networks out there. They do have some requirements, but as long as you are over 18 and have been blogging at least 6 months it is quite easy to meet them.
The Google Adsense requirements are:
You must have your own website that has been active for at least six months, or an account on one of their host partner networks (Youtube and Blogger).
You must be over 18 years old.
Your site is in a language Adsense supports (these can be viewed here)
Your site needs to meet the Google Adsense programme policies, including their content policy.
The content policy requirements mean your site must be:
PG 13 – No adult content, pornography, mature content.
No shock sites.
No content that threatens or advocates harm to anyone, including yourself.
No content that harasses, intimates, or bullies anyone or any group of people – e.g no racism, homophobia, sexism.
Nothing illegal – no malware, hacking/cracking content, or any other illegal activity, drugs and paraphernalia or content that infringes on the rights of others.
You can’t sell or distribute tobacco or tobacco related products, alcohol, prescription drugs, weapons and ammunition, coursework or student essays.
You cannot sell, promote or advertise products obtained from species that are threatened or endangered.
You cannot encourage people to click on your adverts or compensate users to click on them.
To help increase your chances of being accepted by Adsense you should have:
A decent amount of content. At least 15 posts is recommended.
A contact me page
Applying and Verifying Adsense
You can apply to Adsense by going to the Adsense website here and click sign up now. Fill out all the information asked. You will be asked to verify your site by inserting a HTML code into your websites header.
To do this, copy the code you have been asked to insert into your header. Then go onto your WordPress admin page, and go to Appearance > Editor.
This will take you to a code editor for your theme. By default, the editor shows your themes style sheet and it should look similar to the screenshot below (except with your themes files).
Under the list of “Theme Files”, select your header.php page. This now loads the header.php file in the editor. You now need to find the <head> and </head> tag. The screenshot below shows my <head> and </head> tags.
Now, copy and paste the code you were given by Google Adsense between these tags, on a new line. I recommend pasting it just before the </head> tag. Make sure you have done it after <head> and before </head> on a new line, and not on the same line as any other coding or between any code as this will break the theme.
Then click on the update file button, and then go back to your Adsense application and confirm that you have inserted the code. This now verifies your site, and all you have to do is wait for them to approve your site.
Inserting Google Adsense Adverts onto your site
The easiest way to insert adverts, is to use a WordPress Plugin. I use, and happily recommend WP QUADS as it is a simple easy to use plugin, which has a free version.
WP QUADS allows you to:
Save multiple adsense advertising codes, so you can show different styles throughout your posts.
Customise your advertisement placements (e.g. before posts, after posts, middle of post).
Use Widgets to insert codes into widgetised areas of your site such as your sidebar, and if supported, your footer.
It also limits the number of advertisements displayed to what Google Adsense allows. This is important as it ensures you are always compliant with the limit set in the programme policies.
To install WP Quads go on Plugins > Ad new and search for WP Quads. Install and activate the plugin, and a new section appears on your admin page navigation.called WP QUADS. Under this new section, select “settings”. This brings up a page similar to the one below.
Setup WP QUADs by following the instructions below:
1. I recommend gong onto the “Ad code” link. This brings up a page where you can insert ad codes that will be used in content. Go back onto your Adsense account, create some advertisements for use in content, and paste the codes into the different ad code boxes on WP QUADS settings.
2. go onto the Widgets Ad Code page, then go back to Adsense and create some more adverts for use in your sidebars (and footer if supported by your theme). Then copy and paste the code into the different widget ad boxes on WP QUADS and save them.
3. , you need to set the number of ads you want shown. You can leave it as unlimited and let the plugin decide for you but if you want to be safe, then make sure to read the link under “Read here” and set as required.
4. Next you need to select where you want to assign your adverts placements, and which ad code you want to display in each area.
5. Under visibility select where you want adverts to show up, and under post types select what type of posts you want adverts to show on.
6. The rest of the settings on this page are more optional, but edit them if you wish to.
7. Click save at the bottom of the page, and now you will need to insert widgets. To do this, go onto Appearance > Widgets. You should see a widget for each of the WP QUADS ad widgets codes you saved earlier, called AdsWidget(number) (WP QUADS). To choose where you want them to go, click on each one and then select which widget area you want them to be saved in, and then customise the exact placement within that area by opening the widget area and dragging it up/down the widget list. You can also drag and drop them into the widget area.
8. Great, all done. Now you can test whether your adverts are showing up. To help protect you from accidentally clicking your own adverts (As this will cost you your Adsense account), WP QUADS hides them from logged in users. WP QUADS lets you see where adverts are displayed, by going onto your websites home page, and select Ad Check > Show Adverts from the top bar. This will show a yellow highlighted area where your adverts are being shown, but hides the actual adverts to prevent accidental clicks.
So to test what it actually looks like, I recommend using an incognito or private browsing window to view your website. This will let you see your advertisements – just make sure NOT to click them!
Hopefully, your advertisements are showing up, if not, give it a few hours as it may be that Google is unable to populate the adverts right now.
Now your adverts are setup, the next step is to learn how to increase your advertising revenue with my free guide to increasing your Google Adsense earnings.
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