Author: Eric Giguere
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Year Published: 2005
Buy From Amazon.com
If you’ve ever wondered how you can turn a hobby site or blog into something that makes you a few extra bucks a month, then you’ll appreciate Eric Giguere’s book, Make Easy Money with Google. Written for the complete beginner, Giguere walks you step by step through the process of building a website and adding targeted ads from Google.
The book is broken into five main sections: Starting, Content, Design, Adsense, and Traffic. In Starting, Giguere explains the four steps to building a money making website:
- 1Create some web pages
- Show ads on the pages
- Drive traffic to the pages
- Monitor and update the pages
He then breaks into a discussion of the different types of ads you can display on your website and how Google’s Adsense program fits into the equation. The gist is that if you have good content on your website, you can apply to become an Adsense publisher. This means you can log into Google’s website and download specific code to be placed on your website that will allow Google to display ads throughout your site. For each person that clicks on these ads, you make a few cents. At the end of the month, if enough people have clicked on your ads to equal $100 or more, Google will cut you a check. If not, the money you made for that month will roll over to the next until you make $100.
The content section of the book discusses how to pick a topic that will interest your visitors and where to find information to put on your site. The best topics fulfill some kind of need. For instance, if you’ve ever searched the web for something and couldn’t find the information you were looking for, that may be a good topic to pick. You can also look at what keywords are popular and build a site around them.
Giguere doesn’t go into detail about topics like optimizing your content for search engines but he does spend some time talking about how to gather sources for your topic and links to some legal references on copyright, plagiarism, and fair use.
Once you have a good idea about what you’re going to put on your website, it’s time to think about creating the website, choosing a good domain name, and finding a web host to host your pages. Giguere discusses each of these topics in detail, providing tips on basic html coding as well as setting up a blog.
Finally, once you have a site and content, it’s time to set up your Adsense account. Here, we finally get into the goodies that the title promised. Giguere provides a hefty tutorial on how to sign up for the service, navigate the account management console, and place ads on your website.
I have to admit that I was disappointed with this section as it basically regurgitates the information from Google’s help pages. Here, Giguere summarizes the types of ads Google offers and provides a basic tutorial on how to place the code in your html template. There’s no discussion of which types of ads pull better results or where on your site you should place the ads for higher click through rates.
Finally, the last part of the book provides some low budget ways of promoting your site to build traffic. Making money is a numbers game, so you need to drive as many people to your site as possible to increase the chances that they’ll click on your ads, thus making you money.
Much of this book is written in the form of a dialog between the author and a few of his friends which gives it a lighthearted feel that openly embraces non-technical people. Giguere does a great job limiting the techie and marketing jargon while clearly explaining each step in creating your own website. It also assumes you know nothing about building a website, publishing content, and displaying ads on your website.
My main gripe with Make Easy Money with Google is that only about a fifth of the book focuses exclusively on Google’s Adsense, so if you already have a website, this book probably isn’t for you. It also won’t help anyone that is currently using Adsense and is looking for tips to improve their click through rates (which was my main interest).
The bottom line is that yes, pretty much anyone can make money by showing ads from Google on their website. However, unless you get a lot of traffic to your website, you’re only looking at a small amount each month. This is not a get rich opportunity but if you’re willing to put in the work to create a good website or if you already have a website and want to make some money from it, Adsense may be for you.