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How to Grow an AdSense Empire

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Editor Staff
Aug 22, 2012

Most entrepreneurial types — at some point — consider ways they can make money online.


For example, have you ever wondered whether people actually make money from the Google advertisements on their websites? If so, you have probably thought on some level that you’d like to get in on the action yourself. Here is some information that could help you build your own AdSense empire.

What is Google AdSense?

Google AdSense allows people and businesses to display Google advertisements on their websites. Website owners earn money from clicks on those ads. Businesses of all sizes and in places around the world buy Google ads, and Google places targeted ads on participants’ websites. Website owners can also place Google search boxes on their web pages. When visitors use the search box, Google can more accurately place ads based on visitor search terms.

Google’s proprietary algorithm interprets site content so that irrelevant ads are not used, and only the ads most likely to generate revenue are placed on a given website. For example, if you run a travel-based website, the Google ads that show up on your site will likely be promoting travel-related services. Before posting an ad on a third-party site, Google reviews it with language filters and professional reviewers to prevent accidentally placing inappropriate ad content on websites. They also make sure that ads they place on websites conform to professional, editorial and ethical guidelines.

How Do People Use AdSense to Generate Income?

A small minority of website owners achieve quick and impressive traffic levels and “go viral.” The more people who visit a site, the more likely the website owner is to get clicks on Google ads and build up AdSense income. Most people are not fortunate enough to achieve huge traffic levels overnight, and so they use a different strategy.

Website owners who want to build an AdSense empire start out by buying several domain names and hosting services for them. They then build sites and place AdSense ads on them. These website owners then have to wait two months before even seeing a penny: one month earning AdSense revenue and then another month waiting for a check (Google pays out one month later). The next step is reinvesting part of the AdSense earnings into buying more domain names, which helps them earn more AdSense money.

How to Start Your Own AdSense Empire

Justin Cooke of is an expert at generating income from AdSense ads. We interviewed Justin about how a motivated person can learn to use AdSense for a steady income stream.

Q. How did you get started building your AdSense empire?

A. My business partner and I run an outsourcing company in Davao City, Philippines.  At the end of 2010 we had lost one of our major clients in the US and we were left with some great, well-trained employees without jobs.  The idea was to come up with a process that they could work on as a stop-gap solution until we could get them placed with new clients.

After reviewing several different solutions, we decided to try out creating niche informational websites that were highly targeted around specific keywords and monetized via AdSense.  After testing through the process ourselves with about a dozen sites, we wrote up the process and started to turn the work over to our agents.

It was slow going our first month…we spent around $2,000 in December 2010 and made a grand total of $32.89…ouch!  A few months later and we realized we were on to something that would be a profitable project for us.  We started to sell off some of our niche sites to fund increased growth and, in 2012, we’ve grown the revenue to just over 20K per month on average.

Q. Can you share a couple of your secrets to success with our readers?

A. We’re not shy about laying out our exact process, step-by-step on our blog and in our guide, “Building A Niche Site Empire,” but here are a few key points:

1. Keyword research is critical.  We spend more time, effort, and energy on keyword research than just about any other part of the process, and for good reason.  Keyword research is the cornerstone of success in targeting search engine traffic, and if your keywords aren’t selected properly in the beginning all of your other efforts in site building, backlinking, etc. will go to waste.  Rather than targeting the really profitable keywords to start, focus on the keywords that have less searches…the long tail phrases.  You’ll have a higher chance for success early and you can piggyback on that success to go after more aggressive niches.

We send out a free weekly newsletter at where we show you, week after week, the exact keywords we target and explain exactly why it is those keywords match our criteria.

2. Learn it yourself first.  Ultimately, you don’t want to be spending all of your time building niche sites (as it takes a LOT of effort), but you won’t be able to outsource the work until you understand it yourself.  Once you’ve built a few sites yourself, you can start to outsources pieces of the process that are really time-intensive.  Document it well (written documentation, screencasts, etc.) and then look for offshore assistants that you can build your team around.  This is something we cover in-depth in the AdSense Flippers Podcast on iTunes.

3. Stop chasing shiny new objects.  We all do this at times, but stay away from most of the automated programs, ebooks that promise the moon and stars, etc.  Once you have a profitable process going you’ll KNOW the tools you need to purchase to make your life easier.  Rather than looking for something that will tell you how to make money…start making money and buy tools that help you make more of it!

Q. How much can a motivated person make from AdSense ads placed on their sites (say in a year)?

A. Lots of bloggers look to AdSense to monetize their sites, but that’s usually a bad idea.  Personal blogs are not normally targeted towards keywords that are profitable with AdSense, and bloggers often disappointed with their lack of earnings with AdSense.  Instead, create niche sites or blogs that are specifically built with AdSense in mind and targeted around profitable AdSense keywords.  You’ll find a much higher Cost Per Click (CPC) with this micro-targeting.

That being said, AdSense can be extremely profitable.  After only earning around $33 in December, 2010, we were able to bring in over $100K in 2011 and we’re on track to earn more than $250K in 2012 with our process.  It did take quite a bit of work, though, and we did invest nearly $10K in the first few months before we started to turn a profit.

Q. Would you share an example success story with us?

A. There are others that have followed our process and have found success.  Take a look at who recently broke $10K in revenue with his niche sites.

Q. What would be your primary advice to someone who wants to create their own AdSense empire?

A. It’s important to know that you’re not going to be able to get started without some risk.  You’re going to have to invest some time and some money to test things out, get your process worked out, etc.  I’d point out that for everyone we’ve talked to that’s making a full-time living from niche sites and AdSense, it took them approximately 4-6 months and $8K-12K invested before they were able to start seeing a return.

Still, not everyone needs to go at it so aggressively or expects that level of income within that timeframe. Our best advice is to get started NOW so that you can make your mistakes early, get through them, and get to the point where you’re starting to see some success. 

Image Credit:

NanoStockk / Getty Images

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post,,, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.