Google AdSense is one of the oldest contextual and rich media advertising programs on the web. It is also regarded as one of the best ways to earn revenue from your blog or website. However, if you run a personal brand or small business website, is it such a good idea to be using AdSense for monetization?
The short answer is no, it's not a great idea, and I'll share my reasons 'why' shortly.
You're probably unaware of this right now. Still, if you're using Google AdSense to monetize your personal brand site, to whatever extent, then you're probably doing your business more harm than good.
I've done the Google AdSense thing for several years. In fact, I opened my Google AdSense account back in 2006, but I didn't actually start using it until 2010.
Back in the day, almost every blogger that I came across was using AdSense to monetize content.
Even to this day, AdSense is still the simplest and the laziest way to earn a few bucks from your blog or website.
Yes, that's right... I'll repeat it, a 'few' bucks because in almost all cases, that's all most people earn from AdSense.
Let's face it unless you've worked super-hard to have built a popular blog in a lucrative niche with a ton of traffic each month, you're really only going to earn cents from AdSense. Pardon the pun!
As I said, when I got started, I was using AdSense almost everywhere on my blog, and I loved it.
Each week I would log into my AdSense account to see the earnings increase ever so slightly.
I wasn't earning a great deal, mind you, around $70 to $100 per month. However, It was free and easy money, right? All I had to do was create more content for my blog and whack on some AdSense ads!
But here's the thing:
I was sightless and didn't really know any better. I should have paid more attention to creating other reliable and profitable income streams from my blog, rather than invest all my time in AdSense. Or use any type of ad network similar to AdSense.
Many bloggers either use AdSense or do affiliate marketing to monetize their blogs. Some do both. I would argue wholeheartedly that affiliate marketing is a way better monetization strategy.
So, if I loved using Google AdSense so much, why do I now think it's terrible business?
Asides from the fact that it's not very profitable? Let me explain something else.
If you're trying to build a brand, a business with your blog/website, then using AdSense isn't such a great idea.
I stopped using AdSense when I realized that I wanted to build a REAL business from blogging.
If your website exists to help you promote and grow your brand, your products, or services, using AdSense to monetize will more likely help to kill your conversion opportunities like nothing else.
Here are some things you might want to think about very carefully before using AdSense for your small business or personal brand website.
Banner ads are more or less the same thing, in my opinion. They, too, take visitors away from your site. However, I would much prefer to use affiliate ads instead of AdSense.
Because the profit of a potential affiliate sale is far greater than a single click on an AdSense ad!
I would very much prefer to earn $50+ from someone making a purchase via one of my affiliate banner ads, than I would have some stranger click on an AdSense ad and earn 20 measly cents.
Remember, these days, website visitors are much savvier than they ever used to be. And, most of them are blind to blatant advertisements, regardless whether it's an affiliate ad or Google AdSense block of ads.
I'm not saying that AdSense is 100% bad. What I'm saying is that I don't think to display them on a personal brand business website, where you're trying to build a brand and promote your own products or services, is a smart strategy.
However, if you really want to use AdSense to generate revenue from your site, first make sure you have a decent amount of traffic. Micro-niche websites and blogs are great for AdSense. But definitely not eCommerce, personal brand blogs, or freelance websites.
Again, that's just my opinion.
When it comes to monetization, I prefer to create my own digital products to promote and sell. Such as my blog planner workbook.
I also provide services through my blog because, as I said, I'm focused on building a business.
Also, I recommend quite a few affiliate tools, apps, and services that I have used in my business.
In the future, I plan to create online courses and publish a book. So that's my monetization model.
For your personal brand website, you should be focused on growth. You should also be creating great content, building a community, creating your own digital products aligned with your business or goal, and providing relevant services, if you want to, of course.
The other thing you should be entirely focused on doing is building your email list.
Converting visitors into subscribers should be a top priority, in fact, because they're the ones who are going to be your customers later down the line, over and over again in many cases.
Those many visitors you lost, or could potentially lose, through a quick AdSense click? They're never going to come back.
If you're thinking of using AdSense on your personal brand blog or small business website, please, please, please think very carefully about it before you do.
Do let me know your thoughts on this debate.
Best of luck!