Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies
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You can raise money for your company through advertising, by selling ad space on your micro-entrepreneurial website or blog. Google’s AdSense handles the advertising logistics for you, selling ads that you display on your site.

Google sends you a line of unique code, and you simply paste this code into your website. It automatically displays ads that Google chooses (based off the information that you provide and that its search technology can glean from the site).

Each visitor to your site that clicks on these ads can earn you cash. More visitors to your site means more potential revenue for your business, in addition to any potential ad revenue they create.

If you’re interested in placing ads on sites that target a specific audience, you can do that through Goggle as well, through a service called Google AdWords.

If you use Google’s AdSense, you can get paid in two ways:

  • Impressions: Impressions means that you get paid when visitors just view the ad on your site.

  • Clicks: Being paid from clicks means you get paid when visitors actually click on an AdSense ad.

Additionally, you can also earn money by including a Google search box in your website’s code. If visitors to your site use it, you’ll earn a percentage of the revenue that is relevant to their search terms.

1st consideration for Google’s AdSense: website content

When you register for AdSense and allow space on your website or blog to carry AdSense advertising, you’re allowing Google to place ads that it believes are most appropriate for the content that you’re publishing. As a result, your website or blog’s content is essential.

The best AdSense results are typically generated on pages that provide great content on a very specific topic. For example, if you love gardening and you have a gardening blog, Google will place ads relevant to gardening.

Because you get paid per click in the AdSense program, the great temptation for site owners is to find a way to click on the ads that are present at the site to artificially boost income from the pay-per-click aspect of the program. Be forewarned; doing so will kick you out of the program and jeopardize any revenue you may have earned from AdSense.

2nd consideration for Google’s AdSense: website keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that your potential customers type into the search engines when they’re looking for products or services.

The goal for you in terms of making money with AdSense is simple: Just keep posting fresh and original content (strategically including important keywords) at your site to keep attracting visitors, and a certain percentage of them will click on the AdSense ads.

When visitors to your blog or website click the ad, you’ll get a percentage of the amount the advertiser pays per click. For example, if the click costs the advertiser a dollar, Google may pay you 20 cents. Google doesn’t have a set percentage paid to those participating; it’s generally a secret formula that Google sets.

3rd consideration for Google’s AdSense: ad placement

To achieve AdSense success, you ultimately need to consider where you place the ads. Ads come in blocks (definable segments in square or rectangular shapes on a web page that contain AdSense ads) and can either be horizontal (rectangular shaped) or vertical (square or rectangular).


[Credit: Illustrations courtesy of William Donato]
Credit: Illustrations courtesy of William Donato

Advertising professionals have differing views on placement, but the latest thinking is that vertical placement and to the top right area is optimal. Many folks like to test out various methods of placement and analyze over time which placement strategies have worked best.

Additionally, many have had great results by placing relevant images near the ads. Make sure that you’re also analyzing what others are doing to keep your strategies fresh and effective.

The most typical ad sizes you can choose from include the following:

  • 336 x 280 large rectangle; horizontal, almost square

  • 300 x 250 medium rectangle; horizontal, almost square

  • 160 x 600 wide skyscraper; vertical

    [Credit: Illustration courtesy of William Donato]
    Credit: Illustration courtesy of William Donato

Skyscrapers are large vertical banners you typically see on the right side of a web page. They’re long and usually appear in the top fold (or top section of a web page that is immediately viewable in the visitor’s screen). If you think of a web page as a newspaper, the top fold is the top part of the web page you see without scrolling.

In addition, keep these points in mind about ad presentation:

  • Some ads can be a clickable picture (image link) or in a text format where the words are clickable (word link).

    Image link format means that the advertisement is a picture that you can click on. The most popular image links formats are .jpg and .png files that are basically simple static image files.

    Word links (also called text links) are simply the text that appears as the link. If you have ever seen the words “click here” underlined in blue on a web page, then you have seen a word link.

  • If you’re using an ad block, think about the most suitable color or color palette for an appearance that more closely matches the overall look for your site. Some sites like to have a large contrasting color to help the ad stand out.

  • Some like to break up the ad blocks and do two (or more) strategically placed small ad blocks. Some prefer to use a single large ad block that goes vertically and be adjacent to the content.

Make sure you test and test some more to figure out what works best for you and your site.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Paul Mladjenovic is a certified financial planner, micro-entrepreneur, and home business educator with more than 25 years' experience writing and teaching about financial and business start-up topics. He owns RavingCapitalist.com and is also the author of Stock Investing For Dummies.

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