an AdSense Business With Free Blogs
Building an AdSense Business With Free Blogs
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
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
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
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
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.
Don’t show the comments in a pop-up window, because that
will prevent the crawlers from being able to get to the content
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
Notification Address to your email address.
Set your archiving to daily if you post every day, or weekly if
you only post every few days. If you post every day daily is the
best way to go, because it gives the search engines more unique
pages to crawl and index. More unique content means more traffic
to your blog and more clicks on your AdSense ads (I’ll get
to adding your AdSense to the template in a bit).
If you don’t do a daily archive (and maybe even if you do),
enable post pages so that each post will still have its own unique
page even if multiple posts appear on the same archive page. Having
multiple posts on one archive page is not a bad thing if you have
post pages enabled, since the posts tied all together make for yet
another unique page on the blog.
Definitely enable the site feed. If your posts tend to be very
short, you might enable full descriptions. But if you have long
posts (which I recommend), do not enable the full feed, use the
short feed. Here’s why:
If you put the full post in your RSS feed, then the person reading
the feed doesn’t have a reason to go back to your blog since
they have already read the full post. No visitors to the blog means
no clicks on your ads. AdSense has an “AdSense For Feeds”
in beta testing, but it’s not open to all publishers yet,
so at least for now you need to induce people to visit the blog.
If they can only read part of the blog post, then if they want
the whole story they will need to go to your blog. You can plan
for this by making sure that your title and the first 255 characters
(about the first 50 words) really pull in the reader’s attention.
You need to use those first 50 words to make them just have to read
Also, if your RSS feed appears on websites, you don’t want
to give away the farm by showing the whole post. You’re letting
websites use your feed so you can get clicks on the posts in that
feed and get visitors to your site to build AdSense revenue.
So set the “Descriptions” to Short, write long posts
and make the title and the first 50 words count.
The Templates Tab
If you haven’t already picked a nice template from the list,
click on the “Pick New” link under the templates tab
and select one of the templates that you like and that fits your
If you don’t already have an AdSense account, you can click
on the “AdSense” link and apply for one straight from
the blog instead of having to go to Google.com to apply. That’s
how badly Google wants Blogger blog owners to use AdSense on their
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to paste your AdSense
code into your template. Click on the “Edit Current”
link if you’re not already there.
There are two methods of setting up your template. You will generate
the most clicks by doing the following:
1) Find the section of the template that looks like this:
<!-- Begin #main - Contains main-column blog content -->
<div id="main"><div id="main2">
2) Paste your AdSense code for a 336x280 large rectangle directly
after the second
tag. Be sure to format the colors of the AdSense to blend in with
the background of your blog for maximum results.
3) Optionally, if you want to show a second 336x280 block at the
bottom of the list of posts, look for this code in the template:
Put your AdSense code between the </Blogger> tag
and the first </div> tag.
Click the “Preview” button to make sure the AdSense
blocks look correct and did not mess up the look of the template.
If all is well, click “Save Template Changes”.
Note: Once you’ve made changes to your template, if you go
and select a different template with the “Pick New”
link it will overwrite your changes and you will have to put your
AdSense code back into the template.
Setup Your Profile
Once your blog is setup, you want to setup your profile. To do
this, click the “Back to Dashboard” link at the top
of the browser window. Once at the dashboard, click on the “Edit
Profile” link in the right hand column.
Check the “Share my Profile” box, and the “Show
my Real name” box, unless you have a really good reason not
to. It helps build trust if you have this information showing on
your blog because people can see you’re a real person and
not some anonymous nobody. Your profile by default will be shown
on your blog.
If you don’t mind people contacting you via email, you can
select “Show my email address”.
Click “Select blogs to display” and make sure that
your new blog is checked.
If you have a photograph somewhere on a website, you can point
to it with the Photo URL. I recommend doing this because again,
it builds trust and makes you more real and personal to your readers.
If you don’t have a picture on the web, or don’t have
a website, I’ll gladly host a picture of you on one of my
servers for free. Sticky-mail me and we’ll arrange it. Just
one of my little ways of paying back to the Webmasterworld community.
Go through and fill out the rest of the information. Focus on the
“About Me” box, because that will show on your blog
pages. Use that description to establish yourself as an expert on
the topic that your blog is about. People like to know that they’re
reading an expert opinion that they can trust. This box is your
chance to prove you have an expert opinion!
Save your profile when you’re finished.
Getting Traffic to Your Blog
Once your blog is properly configured, spend about a week making
a good, informative post or two per day. You don’t want to
go advertising an empty blog, so it pays to make some good posts
You can post to the blog by clicking the “Posting”
tab. Make your title be eye-catching while still containing the
keywords that the post is most relevant to. For example, if your
post is going to be about how to build blue widgets from scratch,
and you want to be found when people search the engines for “Build
blue widgets”, try and make your title at least start with
those keywords. For example, “Build blue widgets – from
scratch”. The dashes help the search engines differentiate
the keywords from the rest of the title.
You might get some stray traffic from people searching for blogs
on Blogger, and your posts appearing in the “most recent posts”
list, so don’t be surprised if you get some traffic and AdSense
clicks even before you start advertising.
Submit Your Blog to Blog Directories
To get the traffic rolling you need to submit your blog’s
RSS feed to as many Blog Directories as you can. If you search Google
for “RSS submission site”, the number one result as
of right now lists off 55 directories that you can submit your feed
With a Blogger blog, your RSS feed is always your blog url plus
“/atom.xml”. For example, if your blog url is:
Your RSS feed url is:
This is very important, because it will help attract the attention
of the search engines as well as get your blog noticed by people
who are searching for information and for content for their websites.
All of this will result in getting in-bound links to your site.
Most people will use the title of your blog as the link text for
the link to your site, and that’s why it’s important
for your title to be the keywords that you want your blog homepage
to rank for in the search engines. Having in-bound links that contain
the keywords you want to rank for is a very powerful way to get
ranked well. I have blogs that rank on the first page of search
results for my keywords because of this (some even in the first
or second position).
But you don’t want to sit around and wait for the links to
start to gather. You want to…
Trade Links With Related Websites
Another thing I do to help get my blog ranked is to trade links
with other webmasters who have sites on similar topics. I find them
by searching for the keywords I want to rank for. If the blog category
is not a competitive, commercial category, you can write directly
to the webmasters of the top 20 - 50 results and see if they will
exchange links with you.
If it’s a more competitive, commercial category, you can
find out who links to the top websites for your keywords by searching
for “link:http://www.YourCompetitor.com/”. That will
show a list of URLs that link to your competition. Write to the
webmasters who own those linking sites and see if they will trade
links with you, too.
When you request a link exchange, be sure and make the request
personal. Mention something that you like about the webmaster’s
site and why you think that your blog is a good match for a link.
You might even go a step further and put up a link to the webmaster’s
site before emailing them. That way you can say “I’ve
already put up a link to your site on my blog and wanted to see
if you felt that my blog was a good match for a link back from your
site”–or something like that. Take the first step, it’s
a good gesture and it helps you get more links. Of course, if they
don’t agree you can always take their link down. ;)
If they agree to exchange links, make sure that you have them link
to your site using the keywords that you want to rank for. For example,
if you want your blog to rank well for “Home Made Widgets”,
be sure to have them use the link text “Home Made Widgets”.
You can manually insert the webmaster’s link and description
text into your blog by modifying your template. I try to put it
in the left or right hand column just below the archive links. To
do this, modify your template and look for this code:
And finally, below the links, add this:
Every time you make a new link exchange with a webmaster, just
go in and repeat the <li> code with the new link and
description just above the </ul> tag.
The more competitive your blog topic is, the more links you will
need to get to rank well. But if your posts are informative, witty
and humorous where appropriate, word will soon spread about your
blog and your traffic will grow as people link to you without you
even asking for a link. Growth in traffic means growth in AdSense
I hope this tutorial will help some of you who are on a restricted
budget and just getting started with AdSense to start making some
money by creating quality blogs at Blogger.
It takes some time and effort to make good informative posts, but
once you have learned to create one successful blog you can repeat
the process and create another, and another, until you achieve enough
success to start putting up your blogs at your own domain name instead
of “yourblog.blogger.com”. Blogger lets you do that,
too, but that’s a subject for another post. :)
Here’s to your success!
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