By Shannon Belew, Joel Elad

One of the most popular revenue streams for blogs comes from Google and its ad-based moneymaker, AdSense. This program makes it relatively simple to display advertising throughout the pages of your blog. Ad formats include text links, banner and other display ads, and video.

Among the most popular, and easiest to display, are text links that complement your blog’s topic, which are referred to as contextual ads. In other words, Google’s AdSense crawls the content on your site and then matches it with ads that target related products or services.

Not only is it easy to use (and requires no selling on your part), but the ads are also more effective and more likely to generate revenue because they’re selling products that relate to your blog.

You can place the ads throughout your site, but they most often show up in the sidebar on your pages. The display and video ads work in a similar way, in that Google attempts to serve ads that match your site’s content and audience interests.

Setting up ads for your site is a matter of registering for the program, providing information about your site, getting approved by Google, and then placing code on your blog to get the ads to start showing. The hardest part is waiting for Google’s approval, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

To sign up for AdSense, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google and click the Advertising Programs link in the lower-left corner.

  2. Under the Make Money from Your Site section, click the Get Started button.

    A new page appears that contains important information about AdSense and the sign-up process. Before proceeding to the next step, have your bank account information ready. Google requires a physical address that matches your bank account before you can complete the sign-up process.

  3. Click the Get Started Now button, or the Get Started with AdSense button.

    You need a Google Gmail account before proceeding to the next steps. You can use an existing account or create one.

  4. Click the Yes, Proceed to Google Account Sign In button.

  5. Sign in to the Gmail account you plan to use for AdSense.

    You cannot change this e-mail address, so choose carefully.

  6. Provide the necessary details, such as the URL of your website where AdSense ads will appear, and the primary language of your content.

  7. Review the AdSense policies, and then click the Continue button.

    You’re agreeing to Google’s AdSense policies, along with other statements concerning your account. You can review AdSense policies in detail.

    If you violate any part of the AdSense policy, you can be immediately and permanently banned from using AdSense. Google is notorious for having a one-strike-and-you’re-out rule. In other words, no second chances — so read carefully!

  8. Complete the form, telling Google about your site’s content, and then submit the application.

    Within eight hours after submitting your application, Google sends an e-mail to tell you whether or not you passed the first part of the review process.

  9. Upon passing step 1 of the verification process, log into your new AdSense account.

    You see a red bar on the page with code for AdSense ads.

    You must complete all payee or payment information before you get paid.

  10. Place the code from the red bar on a page of your site.

    After the code is activated, Google conducts a final review of your website. The process takes three to four days. When Google gives you final approval, you can access your AdSense account.

If you’re signing up for AdSense from a YouTube or Blogger account, you need to start and complete the registration process from that account. The application process is different than the one just presented.