If you haven’t yet noticed, there are advertisements on most websites you visit. Majority of these advertisements are served through Google’s AdSense program.
If you are a creator or business owner in the creator economy, AdSense can be a key avenue to monetize your content online.
Brands of all sizes and digital marketing agencies collectively spend millions of Rands a year on advertising through Google Ads alone. With AdSense you are able to monetize your content without needing to find your own advertisers. Google does that for you.
In this article, we’ll guide you on applying and getting accepted into the AdSense program as a South African creator or business and lay down some proven strategies on how to get the most out of AdSense as well as provide you with the leading AdSense alternatives.
What is Google AdSense?
While Google gets to keep 100% of the revenue they generate from serving you with ads every time you type a query into Google, should you not click on any of those ads – and instead click on an organic listing which could be a blogger, a publisher, a newspaper and so on, many of these sites also have advertisements – which are more than likely served via the Google AdSense network.
But before you can become a Google AdSense Partner, you will need to meet some eligibility requirements.
Google AdSense Eligibility Requirements
If you are submitting a website, you need to be the owner of the site and have access to the backend of the website in order to upload a snippet of HTML. For Youtube, you will need to be the owner of the channel you would like to monetize
Unique and Interesting Content
Is your content unique? Did you copy someone else’s content? Or was your content produced by an AI software?
In order to be accepted into the AdSense program, your content must be unique.
Put yourself in an advertiser’s shoes, would you want to promote your product and services alongside a poorly written blog post which is thin in terms of content – provides no real value or is not even the work of the author?
In addition to producing unique content, you want to create content that is interesting and which offers value to the end user such whether it be satisfying their search for information or entertainment.
Are you 18 years old?
To sign up for your own AdSense account, you must be 18 years or older. If you’re not yet 18 and can’t wait, don’t worry! Your parent or guardian can sign up for AdSense using their own Google Account.
Finally, read through Google AdSense’s program policies and make sure you did not miss anything.
How do I sign up for Google AdSense in South Africa?
You will need a Google Account. If you are using Gmail or any related Google product or service, you most likely already have one. If you have a Google Workspace account on your own domain, for example [email protected], you could use that too.
Note for future: You will be able to link other Google Accounts to your AdSense account, however you will not be able to change ownership of the account. So ensure you will be able to maintain access to your Google Account in the future and that you will not change it.
If you are applying to the AdSense program as a business, preferably create a separate Google Account to your personal Google Account.
You will also need to provide your phone number and address which both need to be verified.
Your phone number will be verified during signup, and your address will be verified via mail (This might take a month or two, however you’ll be able to start earning as soon as your site has been approved).
When submitting your website for approval, you will need to add a bit of code to your website, or upload a file to a specific path in order for AdSense bots to crawl your site before it is manually reviewed by someone from the Google AdSense Team.
If you are using WordPress as your website’s content management system, you can make use of Google’s SiteKit WordPress Plugin to automatically get your site ready for submission to get Google AdSense approval without having to deal with any codes or file uploads.
To enable AdSense on your Blogger.com blog, you will need to follow a few steps.
- Sign in to Blogger.
- In the top left, select a blog.
- From the menu on the left, click “Earnings” and then “Create AdSense account”.
- If your blog isn’t currently eligible, learn how to qualify for AdSense.
- Select the Google email associated with your Blogger account.
- Fill out the AdSense form and click Create account.
- Enter your payment details and verify your phone number.
- Click Submit.
The system should then automatically take you to Blogger to complete the process. If it doesn’t, click “Redirect”.
- Sign in to YouTube Studio.
- In the left menu, select the Monetization tab.
- Click “START” on the Sign-up for Google AdSense card.
- When you’re asked to, enter your YouTube account password and re-authenticate when required.
- Choose which Google account you would like to use for AdSense.
Note: if you already use AdSense for other reasons outside of YouTube, such as your own website or a blogger.com blog for example, sign in with the Google account used with your existing AdSense account.
After setting up your AdSense account, you will be able to apply to the YouTube Partner Program, which allows you to earn from AdSense through enabling advertisers to advertise on your YouTube videos.
These advertisements include video advertisements and banner advertisements. You will have the option to customize which ads are shown, when and where.
In order to be accepted into the YouTube partner program, You must have no community guideline strikes on your channel, more than 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last year.
Check out our guide on making money with YouTube in South Africa.
Best Tips to get accepted into Google AdSense
- Make sure your about and contact info is up to date and it is clear who owns your website or YouTube channel.
If your site or YouTube channel does not get approved, don’t worry – you can always apply again in the future once you have sorted out any issues which may have caused the disapproval.
Additionally Google will also inform you as to the reason your site was not approved and what you can do to get it approved the next time.
How to make money with Google AdSense
Consistently produce and publish unique and high quality content, whether it is in the form of YouTube videos or blog posts and aim to grow your audience.
The more pageviews your site gets or views your videos get, the more ad impressions you will serve, which increase the amount of money you earn as you are maximizing the chances of someone seeing or clicking an ad which is relevant to them.
Use Google AdSense experiments, a really useful feature from Google AdSense, to test different ad formats, types and placements in order to improve your chances of earning more.
Lastly, create a good user experience for your users. No one likes 10 ads popping up before you even get to the information you are looking for.
If people enjoy reading your blog posts and the ads are not intrusive they may read more content from your site which in turn increases the chances for you to serve them with an ad, instead of forcing ads everywhere you can.
Educate yourself on best practices and see what others are doing to grow their AdSense revenue. Subscribe to the Google AdSense YouTube Channel, and find forums related to online marketing and advertising.
In the end it comes down to trial and error, find something that works – stick with it, and grow with it.
How much does AdSense pay per 1000 clicks?
This is a tough question to answer as it really depends on advertiser demand and competition bidding for your ad space. If you’re creating content around finance topics, you will earn more per 1000 clicks versus if you create content on painting and crafts for example.
However, this does not mean that finance related ads will not show up around your content, as ads can also be tailored to a person’s demographics, past websites they’ve visited and their interests online.
Next, we should also factor in that you will also earn from ad impressions. Some advertisers are paying CPM rate, in other words per 1000 impressions.
If an advertiser is paying R 30.00 CPM then each impression that is served will net you 0.03 cents. Or in other words if you showed all 1000 Impressions – you would earn R 30.00, regardless if no one clicks on the ad.
Once you begin serving ads alongside your content , you will be able to determine your RPM (Rate per 1000) for ads or views.
Additionally when you begin getting clicks on ads, you will be able to determine an average and then work out how much you will earn per 1000 clicks.
Note: For Displaying ads with AdSense for content, publishers receive 68% of the revenue, and for AdSense search, publishers receive 51% of the revenue. Learn more about Google AdSense revenue share here.
Another way you can calculate potential earnings with Google AdSense in South Africa is by using Google’s AdSense Revenue Calculator. Simply select your region, for example EMEA, then the category most relevant to the content you are creating.
Below you’ll see that if we were creating content in the finance niche, receiving 50,000 pageviews per month, and our audience mainly consisting of South Africans, our annual earning potential would be $ 11,682. This works out to R 202,001.00 at the current exchange rate of the time this article was published.
How much does AdSense pay per click in South Africa?
As previously mentioned, it is really difficult to give a solid figure due to it all being dependent on advertiser demand and competition. From personal experience, AdSense pays anywhere between a few cents to R50 per click.
It is important to remember that advertisers are the ones paying for the clicks and not AdSense, and that you share revenue with Google AdSense.
Google AdSense minimum payout in South Africa
The minimum payment threshold for Google AdSense in South Africa is R1000. This is paid monthly from Google’s Ireland Bank account directly into your South African bank account.
Benefits of joining Google AdSense
Simply add a snippet of HTML to your website and turn on Auto Ads. Google will automatically find the best placements on your site every time someone loads the page and serve them targeted advertisements.
If you want more control over the advertisements served on your website, you can create ads manually, both responsive and fixed-size ad units which you can place where you want on your site.
Google AdSense is not only limited to banner advertisements, but also native advertisements – which mimic the content on your site as well as in-article ads which work great if you are monetizing articles, and lastly in-feed articles, which work great in feeds such as a blog archive feed.
Google AdSense alternatives
Google AdSense is not the only ad networks or methods you can monetise your content online. Many other business models exist for example, affiliate marketing. Which allows you to monetise your content by promoting products and services directly and usually has higher payouts.
The leading alternatives to Google AdSense are Media.net and AdThrive. They maybe be harder to get into and generally only accept publishers and creators who have 10,000 to 50,000 pageviews per month, however if you meet those requirements it is worth a shot due to their higher RPMs versus Google AdSense.
If Your Audience is primarily South African, preferably make Google AdSense part of your monetization methods due to most South African businesses directing a lot of spend to Google Ads which trickles down to AdSense. ■
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Yibanathi Nhlakanipho has 6 years experience writing and curating verified entry-level jobs, internships, bursaries and career resources for South African youth. Every month, her articles on Scholarly Africa reach at least 1 million job-seekers.