Can You Run Ads on a Free Website and Earn Money?

Do you want to make money online but are tight on cash? You’re probably wondering if you can run ads on a free website to start bringing in an income.

Can You Run Ads on a Free Website and Earn Money? | Hannah Haefele

While it’s possible, it may not be the best option. Read on to learn more about how to run ads on a free blog and other ways to make money.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Check out my full disclosure policy to learn more.

The Thing With Free Website Platforms

If you’ve never started a blog or website before, you may be tempted to do it for free the first time. This can be a good idea because you can abandon the project without any financial loss if you don’t like running a site.

However, free websites aren’t the best tools to make money. Think of it like a business in that you need to invest a bit of money upfront to get things going.

But if you really want to start a free website, the best option is to use Blogger. All other free website platforms come with significant restrictions, including some related to how you can earn money.

How to Run Ads on a Free Website

If you want to test the waters of running a blog or website and want the option to make money, you should know the right steps. Here’s what I’d recommend doing.

Set Up a Blogger Blog

First, you’ll need to create a new blog using Blogger. If you already use Google, you can set everything up under your existing Google account; otherwise you’ll have to create one of those first.

Now, as the name suggests, Blogger is more of a blogging platform than a website platform. You can’t make the front page a static page, but you can add pages along with the main blogroll.

If you want to start your website completely for free, you can use a subdomain from Blogger. However, you can also purchase a domain through Google Domains to connect to your new blog.

Domains are only a dollar or so per month, so it’s almost free. But you’ll be able to brand your website and make it look more professional.

Publish Some Content

Unfortunately, Google won’t approve you to show ads on a completely new, bare website. You’ll need to publish a decent number of articles on your blog, though Google doesn’t specify a number.

I published around 30 blog posts on one of my niche blogs before the blog was accepted into Google AdSense. That’s a good number to shoot for, and you can publish once a week, once a day, or at any other frequency.

Make sure you write about topics that are all related to your niche of choice. You can also optimize the blog posts for search engines to increase the chances of getting more traffic to earn money once you start using ads.

Apply for a Hosted AdSense Account

The nice thing about using Blogger is that, like Google AdSense, it’s a Google product. That makes it super easy to connect the two services to start making money.

However, you’ll need to apply for a hosted AdSense account, which is slightly different from a regular account. It’s like what you might use to make money from ads on YouTube videos.

You can apply to AdSense from within your Blogger dashboard. If you don’t get in the first time, publish some more good-quality articles and try again.

Join Amazon Associates

Another way you can run ads on a free website is to use Amazon Associates. Now, this is an affiliate program rather than an ad program, but you can generate code for display ads.

Amazon doesn’t have as many requirements to get in compared to AdSense. That means you could start showing ads on your blog way earlier than otherwise.

If you later join AdSense, you may want to take your Amazon ads down to keep from showing too many. However, it can be a good option to use in the meantime.

Other Ways to Earn Money From a Free Website

Whether you can’t run ads on a free website yet or don’t want to, you can still turn your website into an income stream. Here are some options to look into.

Affiliate Marketing

One of my favorite ways to make money from any website (free or paid) is to use affiliate marketing. This is where you get a special link to a product or website that can track the traffic and sales you generate.

If someone buys a product you recommend through your affiliate link, you’ll get paid a certain percentage of flat rate. Some affiliate programs have traffic or audience requirements, but a lot of them don’t.

That makes it the perfect option for beginners. You can promote existing products on your website, and as it grows, your income can start to grow.

Digital Products

Another option is to create digital products that you promote through your website content. Sadly, you can’t host the downloadable files on a platform like blogger.

However, you can upload the files to a platform such as Teachable. Yes, the platform is mostly for courses, but they recently added the option to sell downloads.

So you don’t have to upgrade to an expensive website host. Instead, you just create content through your current website, and you can link out to your Teachable page for the products you want to sell.

Other platforms where you can host products include Gumroad and Buy Me a Coffee.


Maybe you have some extra time to use to make money. You could offer some services related to the niche of your website and use your content to promote those offers.

For example, maybe you have a blog about pets. Consider offering a dog walking or sitting service to people in your local area.

Of course, services aren’t great if you want to set up passive income. However, they are good for getting money in your bank account relatively soon, and you don’t need a ton of traffic to make good money.


After you’ve had your blog for a while, you may want to run ads on a free website. But you can also market your blog to potential sponsors.

A sponsored blog post is where you write content like normal, but you add a special note advertising your sponsor. In many cases, you’ll need a specific number of page views per month, so it’s not ideal for beginners.

However, it can be a great way to make a decent amount of money working for yourself. You’ll get to publish the content that you create, and you can work with brands you genuinely love.

Is It Worth Having Ads on Your Site?

Placing display ads on a website can be a good option, but it’s not always worth it. If your website is new, you may not get much traffic at all.

So placing ads may only net you a few cents here or there. On the other hand, if you get thousands of monthly page views, placing display ads on your website is a great choice.

How Much Money Can You Make From Ads?

You could make no money from ads, or you could make thousands of dollars per month. The exact amount depends on your website niche, traffic size, and more.

It can also vary from one month to the next. For example, I earned a lot more from ads around the holidays last year, but that income dropped quite a bit in January.

Is Google AdSense or Amazon Associates Better for Ads?

Google AdSense and Amazon Associates work in very different ways. For example, with Google AdSense, you can make money from every ad impression and ad click.

However, if you want to make money from Amazon Associates, you have to get people to click on your ads and buy something. At the end of the day, it’s still an affiliate program, even if you use their display ads.

Final Thoughts

You can run ads on a free website, but not all website platforms allow it. Be sure to set up a blog/website on Blogger so that you can access the Google AdSense network.

And while you’re waiting, consider some other ways you can make money with a free website. That way, you can increase your earning potential even more.

If you want to include affiliate marketing in that list of revenue streams, enroll in Affiliate Marketing Superstars!

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