After creating a blog and getting a decent amount of traffic, you next possible move would be monetizing the traffic. If you don’t have your own product or service, you can monetize your blog by promoting other people’s products.
Two of the most popular ways to make money promoting other people’s products or services through blogs are affiliate marketing and Google AdSense. But between affiliate marketing vs AdSense: which one earns you more money?
How Affiliate Marketing and AdSense work
Affiliate marketing involves promoting a specific product or service through your blog. An affiliate link to the product owner’s site is placed within your content. Your goal is to convince the reader that the product or service is worth investing in.
If they click through the affiliate link and perform a specific action such as buy or sign up, your affiliate account is credited with a commission. Affiliate commissions are therefore earned through cost per action or if a sale is made.
AdSense on the other hand, involves placing ads on your web pages. These ads are placed by Google. The goal is to have as many eyeballs viewing the ads or clicking through. AdSense commissions are earned through cost per impressions or cost per click.
What factors determine how much money you can earn?
Traffic is the main factor that determines how much you can earn. If your site gets a lot of traffic, your earning potential goes up. Therefore to make money on both AdSense and affiliate marketing, you’ll need to drive large amounts of traffic to make the most money.
What your blog is all about
Affiliate marketing works best if you’re targeting a specific niche for your online business. The niche has to have a buying market that’s interested in the product or service you’re promoting.
AdSense on the other hand is a bit more flexible. The ads placed on the blog need to be related to the blog theme. It can come in handy when your niche doesn’t have a buying market or your readers are simply interested in getting information.
The commissions you earn
As mentioned, AdSense pays commissions on either cost per impression or cost per click. This is calculated as a percentage of the AdWords amount the advertiser is paying. For example, if the rate is 2% per impression and 5% on a click and the advertiser is paying Google $1, you can either get $0.02 per impression and $0.05 per click. This amount, however isn’t fixed as the AdWords rates can change any moment.
Affiliate marketing on the other hand, pays a percentage of the sale amount or a fixed rate determined by the product or service owner. Some affiliate programs pay up to 75% of the sale price. This can make you more money per sale than hundreds of AdSense clicks.
Since AdSense commissions are paid out based on the number of impressions or clicks made on the ad, Google has placed a number of restrictions to ensure that publishers won’t use unethical ways to make money. You’re not allowed to click on the ads placed on your blog’s pages.
In addition, you’re not supposed to entice readers to click on the ads. Interestingly, the search giant has ways of knowing if you’re not following the rules. If they suspect that you’re using unethical ways to get people to click on ads, then your account is terminated.
Affiliate marketing is more lenient. The affiliate program owners want to make as many sales as possible. They therefore allow you to entice readers to click through the affiliate link to make the sale and earn commissions. However, it’s advisable to notify the reader that you are promoting the affiliate product or service for compensation. Such a disclaimer can further build trust with your readers and also encourage click through.
So which can make you more money?
If your blog targets a specific buying niche, affiliate marketing is best since you can find affiliate products to promote. For a less targeted blog with little or no products to promote, AdSense can be a good option.
If you have little traffic, affiliate marketing can make you more money if you build a list and promote products to them frequently. For AdSense, you need a lot of traffic to make a decent amount.
If you can create fresh content regularly for your blog, affiliate marketing will make you more money in the long run. If you just want to build a blog that’s not regularly updated, but gets a decent amount of traffic, AdSense will do.
The key to knowing which between AdSense and affiliate marketing will make you more money is looking at your blog. You need to answer questions such as how much traffic does it get per month, the type of traffic, the type of content you publish and whether the monetization strategy you select will be good for long term income or not.