A hundred dollar bill on top of a keyboard

If you run a WordPress review blog, odds are you’ve wondered about the possibility of making some money off of it. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of money, just some small financial reward for all of the time and effort you spend writing amazing reviews.

Although there are several ways to monetize your WordPress blog, today we’ll discuss one of the easiest to implement – advertising.


Advertising can take any number of forms including banners, text links or display ads. They are usually placed in the header or sidebar of a website, or embedded within the content itself. Ads are generally targeted, meaning that only those ads that are relevant to your content or visitors will appear on your website.

Payment is usually based upon one of two methods – pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-impression. For PPC, when someone clicks on an ad on your site, you receive a commission. This is typically just a few cents. For pay-per-impression, payment is based on the number of times an ad is viewed. So you can expect to make a dollar or two for every thousand impressions. Obviously, the more traffic you have to your site, the higher your earnings will be.

To place ads on your website, you typically use an ad network. An ad network is a company that connects advertisers with publishers, essentially functioning as the middle man. One of the most popular ad networks is Google AdSense.

Google AdSense

To get started with Google AdSense, you’ll need to sign up with a Google account. Once your application is approved, you can log in to your AdSense account and customize details such as ad size, type and style:

Screen capture of the Google AdSense "Ad units" page
Customize the size, type and style of your ads

You can even prevent certain categories of ads from appearing on your site:

Screen capture of the Google AdSense "Allow & block ads" page
Allow or block general categories of ads from appearing on your site

Once everything is configured to your liking, the next step is to integrate Google AdSense with your blog.

Integrating Google AdSense

There are a couple of ways to integrate Google AdSense with your blog, depending on whether you want ads to appear in your sidebar or not.

Text Widget

Showing ads in the sidebar is pretty straightforward. Start by copying the Google AdSense code snippet:

Screen capture of the Google AdSense "Ad code" dialog
Copy the Google AdSense code snippet

Next, go to Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress dashboard. Drag and drop a text widget onto your sidebar, and paste the Google AdSense code into it:

Screen capture of the Google AdSense code snippet pasted into a WordPress text widget
Paste the Google AdSense code into a WordPress text widget

Google AdSense Plugin

If you want to show ads in the header, footer, or some other section of your site, you can install the Google AdSense plugin. The plugin will analyze your website and recommend the best areas for inserting ads:

Screen capture of the Google AdSense plugin showing the best areas of your site in which to show ads
The Google AdSense plugin recommends the best areas for inserting ads

Click on one or more of the suggested areas in order to insert ads. You can even preview your site to see how the ads will look before saving your changes:

Screen capture of the Google AdSense plugin showing a preview of your website with ads
Preview how your ads will look before making changes to your live site

Ads are not the most lucrative strategy for monetizing your blog. It certainly helps if you get a significant amount of traffic to your site. Even if you don’t, I tend to think that some money is still better than no money, don’t you?

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