Can Google Adsense (And The Like) Really Fetch You Money?

It’s all over the web. I mean, all the hype about Google Adsense. How it can fetch you hundreds to thousands of dollars every month. And how it can transform your blog into a machine that spins money even in your sleep.

I’m sure you’ve read and heard enough of that, too.

No doubt, many bloggers are truly making money through Adsense. But the truth is, Adsense and other PPC ad networks aren’t really working for most Nigerian bloggers, including me. I mean, these networks aren’t as lucrative as most people think.

You might want to disagree with me. But bear in mind that I didn’t state the above out of conjecture. I carried out real tests to see things for myself. Read on to know what I discovered.

Google Adsense Nigeria

About one year ago, I started a blog targeted at Nigerians (not this one you’re reading), and the blog now attracts about 1,300 daily visits (majorly from Nigeria) — thanks to SEO and other tactics.

With that amount of traffic, I expected to start earning huge figures when I get an Adsense approval. Of course, a traffic volume of 1,000+ daily visits is decent enough.

Basking in optimism, I applied for a Google Adsense account about 6 months ago. Unfortunately, I never went past the second review phase. I always got my application rejected at this phase. And “Site does not comply with Google policies” was the usual reason for the rejections.

I read the Google Adsense policies several times, and I was cocksure I never violated any of them. And since I’ve read many similar stories, I concluded that Google’s automated review bots are just zealous to a fault — or probably biased.

When Adsense wouldn’t approve my application, I turned to Addynamo, another PPC ad network, to give them a try. I can’t remember having to wait for an approval; I was approved immediately. And I wasted no time in placing their ads on strategic places on my blog. That was about 5 months ago.

Two weeks after placing Addynamo ads on my blog, I checked my earnings, and what I saw shocked me. The ads have been clicked 225 times, yet my total earnings was $1.05. That’s less than N200 for two weeks. It’s crazy, you know? I didn’t waste time before bringing down the ads — because they were useless!

Then I came across PromoNigeria (now OpenAdNation), a new PPC ad network. And I decided to give them a trial. Again, there was no review process per se, as I was able to generate ad codes immediately. I placed their ads on my blog and waited to see how much I would earn from them.

After two weeks of flaunting PromoNigeria ads on my blog, I checked my earnings. Another shocker. I earned just N275 over the 2-week period. Yes, two hundred and seventy five Naira (they pay in Naira). I quickly took down the useless ads. I was comfortable leaving my blog without ads for the next couple of weeks.

Having discovered that Addynamo and PromoNigeria were not just good for me, my mind went back to Google Adsense. I applied again, and it was the same old story.

But I was really curious to know how much I would earn if I ran Adsense ads on my blog. So, last month, I contacted a friend of mine who had an Adsense account. I requested that he place some ad codes on my blog, which he did. We both knew it was risky running Adsense ads on a blog that has been rejected several times for reasons best known to only Google, but I was sure I wasn’t violating any policies. So, we ran the ads on my blog to see how much money they would fetch.

After the first day, I earned $0.74, and on the second day 2, I earned $1.48. After leaving the ads to run for two weeks, we checked the earnings, and it was still less than $20. Granted, the earnings were far more than what obtained with Addynamo and Adsense, but $30-$40 per month is just too meager — to me.

I would have earned more from Adsense if their ads display on mobile devices. More than 60% of my traffic comes from mobile devices, which means I cannot earn from this larger half of my traffic.

I also understand that I would have earned more from Adsense if I had more traffic. But having to triple my current traffic just to earn $100 (around N16,000) per month from Adsense made zero sense to me. So, I brought down the Adsense ads once again.

(Throughout the 2-week period for which I ran Adsense ads on my blog with my friend’s account, we received no warning or ban from Google. This only drives home the point that my blog is fine and is not violating any policies. The multiple rejections, as I stated earlier, must have been due to an overzealous or biased bot.)

So, what did I do afterwards?

Less than two weeks ago, I decided to go the way of private ads. I put up an “Advertise here” page on which I stated my monthly traffic volume and where the visits are coming from (I added screenshots from Google Analytics as proof). I also stated the benefits that advertisers will gain as well as the prices for each ad slot. I then designed and uploaded banners that read “Click to advertise your business here.”

Within the next three days, I had received emails from three people who wanted to advertise on the blog. While I’ve not received any response from one of them after my first reply to his mail, the other two seem serious. And presently, we’re ironing out the best way to maximize the ads before sealing the deal.

And for your information, each ad slot on the blog goes for N5,000. If all 6 slots are taken up, that’s extra N30,000 per month (about $200). That’s far more than I would make with Adsense. And of course, as my traffic grows, the prices will increase, too. For now, it’s over between Adsense and I.

Can you really make money with Adsense in Nigeria?

Yes, but you will need very huge traffic. And a huge fraction of that traffic must be from PCs, not mobile devices. In addition, your blog must cater to a global audience, as most Nigerians are already “blind” to PPC ads.

Bottom line

If you’ve always nursed the dream of growing a blog and earning 6-figures from Adsense or other PPC ad networks, you’d better looked beyond them. And if that’s the only monetization idea you know of, you’d better start learning about other ideas.

I’m not saying you cannot make decent profits from Adsense, but not with a blog like mine that attracts “just” 1,300 visits per day. And considering the time it would take you to build a blog that attracts that amount of daily visits, you may want to agree that Adsense shouldn’t be a top-priority monetization method.

Have you ever wondered why the world’s most successful blogs aren’t monetized with Adsense? I guess it’s because Adsense sucks when compared with other monetization options.

There may be strategies that can increase one’s Adsense earnings, but I still don’t think Adsense is worth my time.

Your turn?

Before now, what was your mindset about Google Adsense? And did this post change that mindset? Do you disagree with some of my points? Or do you have some other points to add? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

And, please, share this post with others on Facebook and Twitter. Let them know that Adsense isn’t really what they’re taking it for.

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Abass Toriola

I'm a seasoned freelance writer, internet marketing strategist, and online business coach. And I'm a university graduate, doctor-in-training, husband, and father.

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Updated: April 13, 2014 — 8:19 pm


Add a Comment
  1. Hello Abass,

    I agree with you that Adsense is overated. But, there are some things you need to know:

    1. Traffic from US, Canada Britain and other European countries yield the highest click value. It’s therefore natural that you got peanuts from your efforts (since you predominantly had Nigerian traffic).

    2. You could display ads to mobile visitors via such programs as Dudamobile. This renders your mobile site version with all your Adsense ads to visitors who use mobile devices.

    3. You could also consider using the search bar provided by Google…that brings in some dollars too.

    While I don’t use Adsense myself (and have no intention of trying it out in the near future), I’m pretty sure if you had known what I just voiced out, you’d have had a better story.


    1. Akaahan,

      I’m always delighted whenever I received a notification about your comment on this blog. You wonder why? Because your comments are always enlightening and resourceful. And they add additional value to the post. I greatly appreciate this.

      Now, to your comment…

      I agree with you that traffic from US, UK, Canada, and the like brings better Adsense profits. Of course, Nigerian advertisers bid very low on keywords in order to cut campaign costs, which is bad for us publishers.

      As for Dudamobile, I’ve never heard of that before, but I’ll learn more about it. And I may give it a trial IF I consider trying Adsense again.

      Once again, thanks for reading the post, and for your comment.

      1. Its a great idea you value my opinions voiced here…I would be extremely glad if you leave some feedback about your next experiment (if eventually you change your mind).

        Do have a very great day!


  2. thank you for this exposure, i was opting for Google Adsense but i think i will explore other means of marketing. sir have u tried bludos. com cos i think is good for writers like your self

    1. Michael,

      Let me quickly add that my experience with Adsense isn’t enough proof that others will get the same results. Don’t jettison the idea of monetizing with Adsense until your have tried it out first.

      Of course, it’s great to have as many as possible means of monetizing one’s blog. I’ll be publishing a post soon on other ways to make money from one’s blog aside Adsense.

      As for, I’m just hearing about that for the first time. I’ll check it out.


  3. What a story!

    First, I will like to say you’ve got a nice new look(i mean your blog)

    Secondly, I didn’t get the email notification U send each time u make a new post

    As regards the Adsense issue, The targeted audience are nigerians with mobile devices so you should get the ADSENSE FOR MOBILE as terungwa as rightly said.

    Moreover, I will advise that you should try again with a different site that meet the guidelines and has not been rejected before. After which you can now put the same codes on the site with the huge traffic.

    Also google likes privacy policy dat contains double click dart cookie

    Keep up the good work bro.

    1. Ife,

      Thanks for your comment on the new look of my blog. I’ve received similar complements from other readers, too.

      As for the notifications you no longer receive, I think you once unsubscribed from my mailing list because I received a notification when you did that. It might have been a mistake. If you don’t mind, I will re-add your name to the list.

      Thanks for your recommendations, I will try to implement them.

      You’re awesome!

      1. Sire, I dont mind. Please readd me

        1. Ife,

          I tried adding you but I was notified that I cannot manually re-add a subscriber who once unsubscribed from the list. So, you will need to re-subscribe yourself by downloading my free ebook once again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  4. Private ads with a blog of 1,300 visitors per day… i run an entertainment blog with my views hovering btw 1,300-1.600 ..yet i haven’t made a single dime nor mails from advertisers, i also pulled addynamo from my blog a week after it was placed tho i took blogging serious February

    1. Lanre,

      If I may ask, where are you getting your stats from? If you’re not using Google Analytics yet, I’d advise you to set it up, as it gives the most accurate details about a website’s traffic. I guess you’re relying on the traffic counter on the Blogger dashboard. If that’s the case, then you need to know that it is known for producing exaggerated figures because it counts visits by crawlers and spam bots as part of your traffic.

      I’m doubting your traffic report because I checked your Alexa traffic rank, and your blog presently ranks 1,312,818 in the world and 11,246 in Nigeria, while mine ranks 366,002 in the world and 3,639 in Nigeria. If your traffic report were correct, then how come your Alexa ranking isn’t ahead of mine?

      The far distance between both blogs shows that your traffic, in reality, isn’t close to what you claim it is.

  5. well said sir,it’s the blogger stats i rely on,I’m going to set up the Google analytics soon sir and ler you know

    1. Lanre,

      That would be better. This post will guide you through the process:

      1. i Already have the Google analytics running,as at the time of writing this comment, it says 97 pageviews while blogger stat is on 499

        Thanks a lot sir for helping out

        1. Lanre,

          I’m glad you can now see the difference for yourself.

          1. Yes sir,the difference is clear …… Thanks alot once again…

            I’ve learnt a lot since i landed on this blog

  6. Hy abass,
    You are really doing a great job. It is rather rare to find sincere people like you in Nigeria. I would love you to help me access my blog and give your candid advice and improvements which i can make.

    1. Bro,

      I will advice you not to go further with that niche you chose. I checked your blog, and I saw fakism. That won’t work, bro.

  7. Well, there are some things that other countries enjoy very well that Africans don’t really enjoy. Back to the blogging and adsence issue, most people think it is a get rich scheme that you can come in and start making money.

    I just have to say over time as your blog grows bigger so does your earnings too. But if there are other available means to earn from blogs better and steadier for Bloggers here in Nigeria, it would be better.

  8. I’m sure you’ve by now believed in the efficacy and ROI of adsense and some of this ads engine, right?

    I didn’t too at some point but ever since I started my entertainment blog, that is and I’ve started monetizing it with adsense, I’ve since been enjoying ads networks.

    I still prefer Affiliate Marketing and sponsored posts though cus that way I can control the money I earn.

    Btw sire, you rock!


  9. Godwin O. (Gentle)

    Wow! This is an eye opener… I hv nursed silent feelings all ds while of hw I ws going 2 make it frm adsense, bt thank You for saving me frm disappointment. I appreciate

  10. Google adsense is performing well below expectation in Nigeria only that powerful bloggers wont feel it

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