AdSense vs Affiliate Marketing


Majority of bloggers world over monetize via Google AdSense. It’s only a few who monetize with affiliate marketing. The big question is, between Google AdSense and Affiliate marketing, which one is the best?

For my case, I have tried both. I started with Google AdSense at a time when the program was paying well, it was in 2012.Later, I incorporated affiliate links into my website. After realizing that affiliate marketing was working well for me, I dropped AdSense. If you’ve been keen enough, perhaps you’ve noticed that none of my blogs monetize with AdSense.

Let’s first see the merits of Google AdSense:

  • You don’t have to sell any product for you to earn money
  • Easy money
  • Income is good when traffic is high
  • Suitable for new bloggers

AdSense income is calculated based on Cost Per Click(CPC) and Cost Per Mile(CPM). Even if you don’t sell any product, you’ll still earn money.

Although AdSense looks appealing for bloggers, one realizes over time that it only makes you an average blogger unless your blog attracts millions of visits every month. One huge demerit of AdSense is that it can be terminated anytime. I have read numerous testimonies of bloggers who lost their accounts even without justifying reason.

With AdSense, you’ll sleep knowing that your blog has earned $100 that day but when you wake up the following morning, an email is sent that your account has been disabled. The sad part of this scenario is that you aren’t give a chance to appeal.

AdSense also limits your earnings…you can’t dictate what your blog generates.

Finally, if your traffic is low, the income will be low—this is different with affiliate programs.

In the case of affiliate programs, these are the merits:

  • You can earn a lot of money even with low traffic
  • You dictate what you earn
  • It’s hard for your account to be terminated
  • Your content may not be easily plagiarized

One thing I like about affiliate programs is that the content I write is highly customized to fit a certain topic and product. It’s always hard for other bloggers to copy such content. You’ll find that I own several signature articles which nobody will plagiarize. Most bloggers who monetize with AdSense post general stories which anyone can plagiarize. For affiliate marketing, your content will be competing with itself, hence increasing chances of selling the affiliate products.

Another thing is that even with one view, you can make money from affiliate marketing. Someone can read a story, click on the affiliate link and buy the product. In affiliate marketing, it doesn’t matter how many page views your blog gets, what matters is the engagement level and the action the reader takes.

There is something that motivates me most, that majority of rich bloggers earn through affiliate marketing.Smart Passive Income founder Pat Flynn is one of them. He generates over $200,000 monthly from affiliate marketing.WPBeginner is another blog that generates over $10,000,000 per year from affiliate marketing. The two cases, among others, show that affiliate marketing is better than AdSense for highly gifted bloggers. AdSense is only good for upcoming bloggers but at a certain level, affiliate marketing becomes the most ideal venture.

The main disadvantage of affiliate marketing is that you must sell a product in order to earn. If you’re not a good marketer, AdSense will perfectly suit you. Affiliate marketing is for bloggers who are able to show why a potential customer must buy a certain product and how the product will help them.

I will conclude that AdSense is for upcoming bloggers and those who have poor marketing skills. Affiliate marketing on the other hand is for bloggers who want to build a brand and are ready to become rich. AdSense will make you an average blogger while affiliate marketing will make one a millionaire.

Here are some of the most popular affiliate marketing programs:

Bluehost(Affiliate marketing link)

22Bet(affiliate marketing link)

A2 Hosting(Affiliate marketing link)

SEMRush(Affiliate marketing link)

One of the reasons why I stopped monetizing with AdSense is that my income was constant. My total monthly traffic was 1.5 million and income always averaged $1,400. No matter how hard I worked, the income didn’t improve. One day I resolved to try one affiliate program and in a month, I managed to sell 10 products, each product earned $120.In total, I earned $1,200. I asked myself, “if I am making this amount from one program, what if I join 10 programs?”

My income has been increasing steadily and now I am able to earn over $10,000 per month. Any time, every time I will choose affiliate marketing over AdSense.


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