Website Monetization First Steps

First steps in website monetization

Today we’re here to explore the journey to website monetization, which properties are eligible and where to begin.  If you’re already partnering with PubGalaxy or running your own monetization setup, this article won’t be of much use to you. But if you’re just starting out in the digital publishing business and you’d like to start monetizing your website – you’ve come to the right place.

Getting started with website monetization

For publishers that are in the very early stages, the only viable option for website monetization is usually AdSense. Simply because they don’t meet the traffic requirements for most of the other platforms. If you’re in that situation – don’t despair. AdSense is actually quite a powerful solution and is still being used by website owners of all sizes. With the proper strategy and implementation, you can make a decent amount of revenue with it. Especially on larger placements getting plenty of clicks.  

In case you’d like to try out any alternative solution, then, by all means, go ahead. However, keep in mind that there’s plenty of fraudulent companies lurking around the corner. Getting suspiciously lucrative offers with a small amount of traffic is usually a ‘too good to be true’ type of situation and best to be avoided. 

When should you start monetizing

Applying for AdSense requires a domain history of at least 6 months, but doing so at that time is not always the best move. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It really depends on the growth you’ve achieved during that period and whether or not your business has become sustainable. Even a solution as light as AdSense still adds some latency and clutter to your website. So if you’re struggling to maintain an audience then maybe you should hold off on getting into advertising. Unless you’ve managed to go viral, the traffic you’re averaging at that point isn’t going to bring in huge amounts of money. So you’re better off focusing on long-term growth instead. 

What else should you know?

You must be 18 or over 

Sorry young publishers, if you’re underage you won’t be able to get approval for your site yourselves. The good news is that you can get a parent or guardian to do it for you until you come of age. 

You need access to your root folder

Starting out with very basic coding skills may lead you to platforms such as Wix or BlogSpot. This allows you to create awesome designs and build a website with ease directly through the interface. Such can be incredibly useful in the early stages of your business when your needs are very basic. Yet, if you wish to pursue long term progress you should migrate to a full-featured solution as soon as possible.

The reason why is that such platforms don’t allow access to your root folder. Basically, that is the directory where all of your website files are hosted. This is a significant limitation as it doesn’t let you upload any custom files or scripts, which are often required for advanced monetization. With that in mind, it’s likely that you’ll need to migrate at some point. So you’ll be better off making the switch sooner rather than later before you’ve piled up a massive database that’s going to be a huge pain to transfer. There’s plenty of alternatives but we recommend choosing WordPress. It’s the most widely used solution that still features a relatively easy to use interface, but also allows for a lot of customization, root access and has great support. 

Privacy policy, cookies, and GDPR

This is quite an extensive topic and there’s plenty of information on the web to help you get familiar with all the steps you need to follow. The point is that you have to let your users know how their data is managed and collected, as well as give them an option to decline consent according to the newly established GDPR policy for all publishers based in the EU or such who manage EU data subjects. We know this is a tedious task but don’t skip this step – you may get into some serious trouble. 

Next steps in website monetization 

As your traffic grows, you will become eligible to apply as a seller on the rest of the major marketplaces. If you’re new to the business and have limited knowledge on the subject, this process can be overwhelming. So you’re better off signing up with an ad network or aggregator. Such can give you access to a lot of platforms right off the bat, which will honestly save you a ton of headaches. You can still run your own monetization at a later stage when you are a bit more knowledgeable. 

Website eligibility

To get your site approved for monetization both with AdSense and most other marketplaces, you need to make sure you cover the required criteria. The first part is rather simple and has to do with the basic website configuration – having a clear site structure, user-friendly navigation and so on. Unless you go completely nuts with your design you should be just fine in this regard, but things get a bit more tricky when it comes to the content you provide itself.

First and foremost, your content must be proprietary and relevant to your audience. That basically means don’t publish other people’s work. Unless you own the respective rights and stay within your vertical of choice. For example, if you’re a tech publisher you probably shouldn’t post articles about baking or travel. 

With that out of the way, let’s have a look at all the different types of prohibited content:
  • Adult content

* Monetizing such content is only available through specific non-mainstream channels

  • Violent content – this includes hate speech, threatening physical and mental harm, as well as advocating against any protected group
  • Content that displays sensitive or banned products and substances – weapons, tobacco, alcohol, recreational drugs & paraphernalia, etc. 
  • Gambling promoting content
  • Content that promotes the purchase of prescription or unapproved pharmaceuticals
  • Content that enables fraudulent activity

*E.g. document falsification,  distribution of disingenuous assets, hacking. 

  • Misleading or manipulative content 

* This includes directly or indirectly incentivizing the use of improperly represented activities or clicking on ads

  • Abusive experiences
  • Excessive profanity and sensitive imagery
  • Other illegal content

For more details on any of these policies, you can read Google’s in-depth description.

To sum up, getting your website approved for monetization is hardly difficult, but it does require you to pay close attention at all times. The outlined policies and principles don’t only apply in the beginning, but also throughout the entire life span of your website. You’d be surprised how often publishers put something on their website that doesn’t seem out of order on the surface but is actually against the policy. Making a mistake once in a while won’t get you demonetized so don’t worry. However, you can get into serious trouble if you’re doing so repetitively.

All of this sounds like an impossible amount of work? It definitely can be. That’s why we’re here – drop us a message below and we’ll get your website reviewed. Whether to set you up on the path to success or help you develop your existing business, Pubgalaxy is here to help!