If I had a dollar for every time someone I know had asked me, “What is a blog for, anyway?” I’d have a lot of dollars. Eric Giguere’s answer to this question can be found in Make Easy Money with Google, a manual that purports to be about “Using the Adsense Advertising Program.”
I think the title misses the major audience Giguere seems to be aiming for – as I read this book, it is less about how to sign up for Google’s AdSense advertising program than it is about how (and why) to build a blog. The answer to the question, according to Eric, is that you can earn money by writing a blog, if you power up with the Adsense products, and follow the examples with which the book is generously illustrated.
Make Easy Money with Google is beautifully designed, and printed in full glossy color – you could get away with it on your coffee table – and sensibly organized into five sections: Starting, Content, Design, AdSense, and Traffic. Liberal marginal notes provide squibs of information, links to useful sites (many of them Giguere’s), and tips on accomplishing the major goals of the section. Because the author speaks directly to the new, unfledged blogger, he carefully explains many topics that other guides skim over: hosting and domain ownership, pop-ups vs. new windows, even AdSense-specific items like click-fraud and AdSense for search.
Even though there is an entire section called “AdSense,” each section spends some time with the Google advertising program. Illustrations are usually specific to the Google product, and “Content” and “Design” are discussed with reference to what works well with Google ads. If you have other manuals from which to learn general web-site or blog design, this will be an excellent supplement to them – but be aware that Make Easy Money with Google‘s focus on the money-making aspect of blogging informs every design and content choice the author recommends.
I was dismayed to discover the slenderness of the “Traffic” section – since AdSense is a numbers game, the more visitors you can bring to your site, the more money you can make. But I had jumped there first – once I went back to read through the earlier sections, I realized that, like “AdSense,” the “Traffic” topic is distributed throughout the book. I had already encouraged my rather large family to buy Amazon products through my blog – and Giguere’s advice on building traffic to your site is about how to use that same natural approach to lead others to your blog. Like everything else in the book, it is based on common sense, and geared toward the beginner.
If you’ve already got a blog, “MEMWG” (as Giguere himself abbreviates it) will guide you to the most lucrative choices for Google’s text ads. But if you’ve already got a blog, the best result of reading this book might be to have a ready answer for all your clueless friends. Next time they ask what your blog is for, tell them. “It’s to make easy money with.”