I feel like it’s about time that I paid back to the community for all of the knowledge and help that I received along the way. Hopefully this post will help you get started in the AdSense business even if you have little or no money to spare but desperately want to try your hand at it.
Normally Google won’t approve AdSense applications for free websites, but there is one exception. So if you’re short on cash for hosting and are eager to get started, you might give this a try.
Not long after Google bought Blogger.com, they made AdSense available to Blogger blog owners. Blogger is great because it has an easy interface, Google and Yahoo crawl the blogs quickly, and best of all if you’re broke–they’re free, and Google loves to give out AdSense accounts to Blogger owners. 🙂
So if you’re looking to get started with AdSense and not spend much money, Blogger is a great way to get started.
Before I talk about how to setup a Blogger blog for AdSense, though, let me tell you what an RSS feed is and how it works. If you already know this you can skip ahead. I make reference to this in the setup instructions, so it’s important to understand.
An RSS feed (as it applies to a blog) is basically a list of all of the recent posts made to your blog. People can use “RSS Aggregators” (software that continually checks up on your RSS feed to see if there’s anything new) to keep up with new posts on your blog. Websites will also want to publish your RSS feed on their sites if your content is good. This gives them fresh content for their visitors. And we all know that content is King in the world of website building.
Blogger blogs come with an RSS feed built-in, and you can use this to your advantage to generate traffic to your blog. I’ll discuss that in a bit, but first let’s get into building the blog.
Create Your Blogger.com Account
Determine Your Blog Topic First
Before you create the blog, you need to figure out what topic the blog will focus on. Think about your skills or hobbies that you’re really good at. You might not be a mechanic, but if you’re really good at working on cars on the weekend, and you love to do it, that would make a great blog topic. Brainstorm your skills and interests to determine what you would enjoy writing about. It’s important that you like to write about it, since you will have to do so to build up the blog!
I will say this: If you have some knowledge on a commercial or industrial topic, this will usually get higher paying AdSense ads. But a hobby blog can do very well also (I know this from experience!).
Create the Blog
Once you have a topic chosen, it only takes about 5 minutes to setup a blog. From the Blogger homepage click the “Create Your Blog Now” link and follow the blog wizard instructions. I won’t get into detail about them because it’s pretty straight-forward, but there are a few points I want to make.
First of all, when you choose your blog URL, make sure that the URL contains the keywords for your topic. For example, if you’re creating a blog about health insurance, “healthinsurance.blogspot.com” is ideal, or “health-insurance” or even “health-insurance-blog” or “health-insurance-12345”. Just make sure that your keywords are in the URL, that will help you be found when people search for your keywords in the search engines.
Also, be sure to pick one of the professional looking templates. I suggest you just pick the plain-white one that is first in the list of templates when you’re creating the blog. Once the blog is created, then click on the “Templates” tab and select one of the nicer ones shown there. I’m not sure why Blogger doesn’t show you all of the available templates in the blog setup wizard, but they don’t.
The Settings Tab.
A discussion of the important points of each settings tab is outlined below.
On the “Basic” settings tab, set your blog title to the keywords you want to show up for in the search engines. That will help you get ranked.
Give a good, detailed description about the benefits of reading your blog daily. You want to get people to add your RSS feed to their aggregators and websites so you can get traffic, and this will help.
Answer “Yes” to the question “Add your Blog to our listings?”. This will have your blog appear on the main page of Blogger when you make new posts (albeit for a brief period of time), and allow people to search and find your blog using Blogger’s search tool.
One other, lesser known detail about setting that question to “Yes” is that if you set it to “No” Blogger will shove “nofollow/noindex” meta-tags into your blog template header, which will prevent your site from getting crawled or indexed. I believe this was done to fight what Blogger called “spam blogs”.
Set the “Notify Weblogs” setting to “Yes”. This will send a notification to Weblogs every time you make a new post. Weblogs is a site that lets people (and search engine crawlers) know when new content appears on a blog. You want the crawlers (and visitors) to hit your pages when you add new content, so be sure this is set to Yes.
You can do what you want on this tab–I personally set the number of posts on the main page to between three and five.
Allow comments unless your blog topic is really controversial and you’re likely to get a lot of flaming (people lashing out at you for what you have to say). Allowing comments is good because it gives more food to the search engines and keeps your blog updating and fresh even when you’re not posting to it.
I usually let anyone comment, and don’t limit it.
If you’re concerned that people might flame you, but you want to allow comments, enable comment moderation so that you have to approve each comment that is added before it goes live.
If you want to be notified when a comment is made, set the Comment