Should I Use Adsense as a Newbie Blogger? (2018)

8 min read(Last Updated On: February 11, 2018)

Hey, it’s Hoz with a new ask Hoz session and in today’s session I’m going to be answering the untested question: would I recommend Google Adsense to a newbie blogger as a way of monetization?

Well, the real answer is you have to test it, but I will say a couple of things that you should be aware of. But before I do, let me touch upon the testing.

What you’re really asking here is:

If I use Google Adsense on my blog will I make money?

The answer is that it depends on many things. But the main drivers are going to be:

  • the type of people who end up on your blog
  • your blog content

I will expand on these 2 points shortly.

The ‘problem’ with Google Adsense is that when somebody clicks on an ad that they see on your blog, it doesn’t open a new tab; instead, it actually loads in the same browser window, so you’ve effectively lost that visitor.

Once they’re off your blog, they’re distracted by something else.

The counter-argument is that that visitor was not interested in your blog anyway and that what you’re doing is actually monetizing the visitors who would otherwise abandon the blog.

I think this is hard to measure in most instances. It’s complicated, namely because Google Adsense works on retargeting, so if I visit a couple of websites prior to landing on your blog and I’m browsing for a pair of jeans, when I end up when you blog I could well be very interested in the blog post that I’m reading, but the Adsense ads that I’m going to see on the sidebar or inside your content are going to be based on the information in my cookies, which means that those ads are going to be very relevant to me.

The ads I’d expect to see would be for jeans – the same jeans I’d been looking at earlier. Smart marketers are going to use those retargeting ads to present coupon deals and discounts.

So now I’m in a situation where I don’t want to miss out on that offer because I’m actually looking for jeans and I know that if I don’t click on that ad I’m probably going to lose that ad. I may not see those jeans and that offer again. So guess what your content

So guess what? Your content is going to have to take a backseat while I click on the ad and I go and get my jeans.

Now, at this point, you may well say that this is good news since it’s the very thing you wanted to achieve.

Well, as a newbie blogger, your priority should be to build an audience, which is the opposite of what took place in the above example.

What I’m saying is that everybody who clicks on your Adsense ads is not necessarily somebody who wasn’t a good fit for your blog. This means sacrificing potential subscribers – not the best strategy for a newbie blogger or even a veteran!

Yet another layer of complication in this argument is that Adsense in many cases can cheapen a blog; it can make it look like an ad fest if you go crazy with that snippet code.

We've all visited a website or a blog that was packed with ads. It's not a good experience.Click To Tweet
When you land on a site full of intrusive ads, it becomes obvious that you're there to make the website owner money.Click To Tweet

Some popular blogs take this approach once they’ve built up a massive following, and I personally stop visiting them after I spend 2 minutes fighting with ads and struggling to read the damn content. I’m sure you’ve seen those blogs around too.

Forbes, for example, have these incredibly annoying pre-pages that appear and play a video that you cannot escape. The premise is: if you want to read the content, you have to watch the entire video (and make us money) until the video ends and then the content will load.

Screw that. That’s a crap user experience. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make money of course, but if you’re doing so at the cost of the readers’ time when they actually committed to landing on your page and reading your content, then – all things being equal – that’s going to hurt your subscription rate.

Note: I would imagine that some of those publications will have paid subscriptions that will enable you to skip the ads altogether, and that’s a good monetization model if you have the subscribers of course – I’m talking here only from the context of monetizing a blog as somebody who’s just starting out or is relatively new.

How can a Newbie Blogger Monetize a Blog?

The whole point of being a blogger is to connect with other people. Your visitors – in many cases – are giving your content a chance. Interrupting them with ads is counterproductive to building an audience, but I get that you’d want to generate revenue from your blog.

Which leads me to one key point in this discussion: your Adsense ads may earn you a cent or two per click. You’re certainly not going to be getting rich from your Adsense ads unless you have a massive number of visitors that like to click on ads.

So unless you have the volume, in some instances Adsense could ruin a new blog.

If you’re brand new to blogging, I really wouldn’t be thinking about monetizing your blog so quickly.

Stick to the proven way, which is to build up an audience, build up traffic and get consistent numbers.Click To Tweet

If you’re averaging 1000 to 5000 visitors per month, then you could test Adsense if you really want to give this a go, but test and be prepared to turn those ads off if you need to.

If you have a lot of visitors and your ads end up paying your bills (or some of them) then great – as long as it’s not hurting your subscribers and your overall opt-in rate.

If you see a drop in either of those, I’d consider turning those ads off.

A smarter strategy for making money from a new blog

You’d be a lot better off focusing on building up your subscribers and then promoting good solid affiliate programs or products that you believe in (preferably products that you personally use) as long as they’re a good match to your subscribers and you’re certain that those products will add value to them.

For example, if you use a banner maker and many of your subscribers are bloggers, they may be interested in the same app. That would be a good product to offer them if the software maker has an affiliate program that you can join.

The affiliate commission that you can earn on referrals is typically many times more that of an equivalent Adsense click.

So where does Adsense fit it, if at all?

Adsense does have a place of course and is used very effectively by countless websites. My argument is that that place is not on most new blogs.

As I said at the beginning of this post, making Adsense work for you depends on:

  • the type of blog
  • the niche

If you have the type of blog that publishes content that people typically only visit once, then Adsense could work well for you.

An example would be a news blog about celebrities. Such blogs publish content that is very timely – i.e. tied to a particular event. For example, let’s say a famous celebrity drops her bra in public (hey, it could happen!) and you publish a blog post about it…

… there’s going to be people searching for that content, who may land on your blog post. Generally, those people are not going to be searching for that content next week, so this type of content has a very limited shelf-life.

Adsense on a blog with this type of content could actually do well, especially if it’s a high traffic blog. You will be literally monetizing your visitors on the way out, so to speak. If you’re churning out timely news-style posts and pulling in the visitors, then regardless of the age of your blog, Adsense is certainly something that you should test.

In this case, you’re not compromising your potential subscribers, because you’re publishing one-hit wonders. Depending on your ROI, you could also run ads to promote your one-hit-wonders – at least those that have the potential to draw in a large volume of traffic (bra dropping could do that…) as long as the numbers make sense (i.e. ad revenue is more than ad spend).


Depending on the content of your blog Adsense may or may not be right. How much traffic you get to the blog and the type of content that you’re churning out are major factors in this.

If you’re trying to build a readership then Adsense is probably always going to be the wrong way to monetize your blog – at least at the beginning. That said, things need to be tested so that real numbers can guide your decision.

If you test ads on your blog, turn them on, watch what happens and be ready to turn them off if things go pear-shaped.

This was an Ask Hoz question featured on the Youtube Channel. Make sure you CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE to catch all the video updates!

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