Google AdSense

Google Adsense is probably the easiest way to get started making money on your site. For those of you unfamiliar with AdSense, here’s how it works:

  1. A merchant trying to generate traffic to their website signs up for Google AdWords.
  2. They create their ads, and set a price-per-click (PPC) that they’re willing to pay.
  3. Google starts displaying their ad on their site.
  4. The ads are also displayed on any related sites running Google AdSense.

So say a ticket broker is trying to promote “Bruce Springsteen Tickets”. He would go to AdWords and create a new campaign. He specifies that he’s willing to spend up to $2 per click.

Now you decide to create a Bruce Springsteen fan site, get some inbound traffic, and throw up Google AdSense. Google is going to serve you ads that are related to Bruce Springsteen, and more than likely, a few of them will be from ticket brokers. If that’s the market you plan on targeting, including words like “tickets” and “concert” will help make sure that you’re served with those types of ads.

Then you just sit back, focus on generating more traffic to your site, and hope that some visitors click on those ads. For each ad they click on, you get paid. Some niches pay better than others, so you need to do some research to find out what the best market to target is.

It doesn’t sound very lucrative, but it costs you nothing but your time. On my first AdSense site, it took me 3 months to generate $100. But it was a learning experience, and the goal of the site wasn’t to make money. But here’s some proof that with the right planning, you can really kick some ass. ShoeMoney is a legend in the SEO community, and he’s even been featured in major publications, including Fortune Magazine. Here’s a picture of his largest check from Google:

Today, he’s making even more money than that, but he’s switched to payment by wire transfer, so no more cool pictures for us. If that’s not motivation, then I don’t know what is!

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