When Do You Add Adsense to a Website?

I recently received an email from a long-time reader who I have spoken with on several occasions and have done business with in the past who is looking for Adsense advice.   He gave me permission to include parts of his email into this post to get opinions from my blog readers:

We finally launched the websites last week (www.FoodBlogs.com and www.MommyBlogs.com).

We’re not in a big hurry to sign advertisers on FoodBlogs.com yet, as traffic is just starting to build.   My developer suggested I put up Adsense (color matched to the site) as an interim solution.   I’ve heard a lot of positives. I’ve also heard that there are negatives to putting up Adsense ads on a newly developed website.

These are fully developed websites targeted to a very large (yet niche) audience.     We intend to develop them further and grow the user-base and traffic to its full potential.   In other words, we’re in it for the long-haul.   Eventually, we will have relationships with direct advertisers or with Ad Networks.
What are your thoughts on Adsense as an interim solution versus something else.

Would you put Adsense on a newly launched site or hold off? If you would hold off, when is a good time to add your Adsense blocks? How do you balance the “stigma” of adding Adsense too quickly with the need to begin generating revenue on an expensive development project?

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I typically use this method:

    Grow the site and the business first… get the traffic and the user base built up…

    THEN worry about monetizing.

    The money and ads should take care of itself if you
    concentrate 100% on building up the business first.

    That’s been our plan.

  2. My opinion. Forget about adsense at the moment.

    Adsense was never created to be a sole revenue source but as a revenue addition for established sites. In my experience you will enjoy a much quicker rise in organic placements without adsense on new sites like this.

    The # 1 question you have to ask yourself is how much money makes you happy.

    If a whopping $200 a month makes you happy then sure kick in Adsense and hope for a few clicks a day but if your plans are bigger and better than a VW payment every month forget about the the couple bucks you will lose by not having adsense on your site at the moment and focus on building content.

    Still want to show ads – then do exactly what you did on on mommysblog.com (mommyblogs.com/bannerad/banners/foodblogs%20skyscraper%20ad2.jpg)

    create banners to promote one site on the other.

    Build it and they will come.

    Adsense will pay for your coffee but will not build your house.

  3. Advertising revenue should be last on the list because what should be concentrated on first is [quality] traffic. Without the quality traffic, any advertising you put on the website will fail.

    “If you would hold off, when is a good time to add your Adsense blocks?”

    It becomes apparent when you start to see returning visitors or return users.

  4. i know adsense is not a good source of income.but with adsense you can know who are advertising targeting your niche.

  5. I don’t believe you should throw away any potential traffic when in a beginning stages you should focus on building a list or subscription base informing visitors of upcoming and grounding breaking news in your niche. Usually referring quality products that you use or news about it You can go with two models on this subscription base adv you can charge a company for exposure or affiliate marketing but make sure you are building a relationship with viewers not being to spammy. So don’t throw away traffic monetize and build simultaneously and provide quality info and non reused content.

  6. One nice thing about adding AdSense to your site is it sets a baseline for what you should charge direct advertisers. If an AdSense unit makes you $200 a month, well, you should charge a direct advertiser at least that. If the direct advertiser says “I’ll offer you $100 a month” you can respond honestly with your adsense revenue and show them exactly why you will not accept their offer of $100 a month. In other words AdSense is handy in assigning a value to ad slots on your site.

    If you have no traffic yet, it doesn’t really matter IMHO.

  7. John,

    All you need to do is plug keywords into Google and MSN to see your advertisers – over 90% of all advertisers have search enabled … much more than content ads.

    No need to ad Adsense to figure this out.



    In theory you have a concept but in practice it should not work that way. Doesn’t really matter what others are spending or what revenue you are giving up to accept a new ad spot.

    If you have traffic you can set your own prices.

    Companies who argue over a $50 or $100 should never be your target market. Set your own prices (within reason), build your traffic and advertisers will come.

    My favorite quote is “stop thinking in cents – anybody can make a buck” – its so true. Build your brand, build your content and then when the traffic is built …. or as TIA said …. “it becomes apparent when you start to see returning visitors or return users”

    then make a list of the 50 people you want to advertiser on your site. Scour the web for ad placements made by these companies … contact the sites they advertise on for rate cards. Use this data to make your prices.

    Your rates will be a lot more than $100 and still a steal for the advertisers.

    Think big ….

  8. Great job Lance! I am going to show my wife your blogs. She’ll love them.

    Off topic, if I may – Lance, is the application used to run your Website a ‘planet aggregator’? Do you or anyone have recommendations for novice Webmasters? Perhaps PHP. Don’t have a clue about Python : )

    FYI, all I know about this is what I gleaned from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregator

  9. As a follow-up to this thread, I was contacted by an Ad Network that is focused on the foodie / culinary community. They have relationships with advertisers and ad agencies, and they were looking for food-related websites to display their ads on. Their model is pay-per-impression (CPM). Their ads now display on our website. Thanks again for all the feedback.

  10. Is it possible to get a super-brief primer on how much you should expect / charge per visitor? I know most advertisers won’t be interested if you have any less than X visitors per week/month. What are some ballpark figures on a) minimum traffic needed to attract monthly advertisers; and b) what you’re entitled to charge per visitor once you reach that threshold. ….Thanks, everyone!

  11. I kind of have a different opinion from some. If you want to make money from your site(s)… why don’t you test it? Does having adsense make you more or less money? If it’s more, keep it. Basically you need to test it. That makes more sense than ‘thinking’ about what ‘might’ happen if you do or don’t add it.

    Too many marketers make that mistake of what they or someone else, even well meaning, ‘think’ will happen. Always, always test. You will maximize earnings by science and not potentially fallible opinion.

  12. Spot on Paul. Why not test? If even for 2 weeks. What if the Adsense does well? If it does well it can only justify at least a baseline to charge direct advertisers. If the adsense does poorly, well that doesn’t mean you can’t charge direct advertisers whatever you want. If it does do well you’ve at least got hard numbers to back up your claims.

  13. Try adding adsense only after getting 500 or more uniques per day. First try to focus more on content creation and building a list. Then you will get more returning visitors. Try to optimize more for Search engines and acquire more search traffic. Then you are good to gain something out of adsense.


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