Affiliate or AdSense: Which Makes More Money?

When we consider affiliate marketing programs, one of the first questions that come to mind is “Affiliate or AdSense?”

This is like a trick question, however, because if you are a professional blogger like I am, you can’t afford to play with your recurring income, and you can’t afford to miss the opportunity offered by affiliate marketing, where the real money is.

In this post, I will share some of my experiences in this regard, and you can decide which is right for you: AdSense or affiliate marketing.

If you are new to affiliate marketing, you can read my post on what is affiliate marketing.

Let’s have a brief look at my model: I use affiliate marketing banners + AdSense + direct advertisements to monetize my blog.

There is a very common misconception that Google is against affiliate marketing, and this is not true. Google allows you to keep the affiliate link but insists that you place it on a quality blog. If you publish low-quality content and place ten affiliate links within that low-quality content, no search engine bots will accept this shoddy work.

Things to know: AdSense vs. affiliate marketing:

  • It’s easier to get into an affiliate network than it is to get an approved AdSense account
  • Affiliate marketing pays more than AdSense
  • Most of the affiliate companies offer PayPal or Payoneer as a payment method, whereas AdSense does not.
  • You can find affiliate products for all niches, but AdSense is not allowed on certain niches.
  • AdSense is managed by Google alone, whereas there are many large and small affiliate companies.
  • Affiliate ads are more attractive and generate more money than Google AdSense.

Clearly, just from a look at the points noted above, affiliate marketing is more lucrative and beneficial than AdSense.

Still, before drawing your own conclusion, there are a few things you should know about affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing works only on certain pages, so every page of your blog will not be making money for you. AdSense, on the other hand, works even for those pages that do not work for affiliate marketing products. Adsense is a backbone for any blogger when it comes to making money online, because it keeps your cash machine flowing, though the payout per day is less than a single affiliate sale.

With one affiliate sale, you can make somewhere between $10-$100, depending on the product that you are pitching. In my case, the payment from one affiliate sale will be more than what I will be making with AdSense in a week.

One thing that I can do here is to take down my prominent AdSense ad spots above my post and replace them with any affiliate banner from within my niche.

This can be risky, though, because it might perform very well…or it might not.

If I end up making 5-7 sales a month, it will be better than my AdSense unit for that location. But if it is not, then I might end up making $0.

If you are like me and you rely on both AdSense and affiliate sales, I would suggest working on a combination of both AdSense and affiliate sales, done in the proper manner, so that you don’t become an affiliate market blogger.  With useful content, you will end up making some handsome amounts of cash by the end of the month.

Make sure your most clickable areas, like above the post and the sidebar 350 block, are covered with AdSense ads.

In my opinion, you can select these fields for affiliate placement:

  • 125*125 (sidebar)
  • 728*90 (header,Footer)
  • 468*60 (below the post, below comments, above comments)

Always remember that using the maximum AdSense unit does not guarantee maximum revenue. In fact, using 1-2 ad units mixed with links and search units yields better results.

Read: Can you use affiliate links with AdSense on your blog?

Do let me know your opinion. Which do you prefer…AdSense ads, affiliate banners, or both?

Update: 1 1/2 years after writing this post, I am here to let you know that affiliate marketing has worked better for me. Even with 1-2 banners, the conversion is high, because target visitors convert more for affiliate product sales.

Use the comments section below to let us know whether affiliate marketing or AdSense is working better for you.

If you find the information in this post useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

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Authored By
A blog scientist by the mind and a passionate blogger by heart ❤️. Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and Cryptocurrency space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud and CoinSutra, and a Speaker at Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. He has won numerous awards for his work at ShoutMeLoud. Life motto: Live while you can! Teach & inspire while you could & Smile while you have the teeth.

111 thoughts on “Affiliate or AdSense: Which Makes More Money?”

  1. Hi, I’m a part of your pro-affliate course and i was like very much excited and getting more interested into this field while reading each of your words in all posts from shoutmeloud.com, though i was a new blogger. you are like an inspiration to me and i will consider this website as a free learning institute of digital marketing.
    Thanks for your work harsh!!

  2. Thank you so much sir for sharing your experience with us . I am also a new blogger and your every word inspire me a lot to do better.i am also the part of your course and I am really feeling Blessed and lucky that i am learning something from you ….Thanks a lot sir!!

  3. Sulav Sapkota

    Hi Harsh,
    Thank you for this easy to understand article. I just enrolled in your “Pro Affiliate Marketer Mini Course” and this being the first lesson, I was very much pumped up while reading it. I am a complete beginner regarding Affiliate Marketing and am sure with your blogs I will get to learn more and more. I will be reading your blogs more seriously and will give my 100 percent to take something out of it. I am very selective while subscribing to other peoples work but choosing your program was a very easy decision for me. I will bookmark this page for my future self to look back at this moment when things started. I hope this you will guide me further down the road, to be better and act better.

  4. Hari Mohan Sharma

    Hi Harsh.
    I have not monetized my website yet. But, I feel a combination of Adsense ads and affiliate banners will work best for me.
    Thanks for the clarification on these two monetization methods.

  5. Most likely if the blog post can be related to a certain item, it would be much easier to put hyperlinks to certain words on the blog.

    Whereas AdSense would feel more like a distraction to the reader and it would look, um, is scammy the right word, I can’t think of the right way to describe it.

    The only way I can see Adsense making sense, hopefully not cents, dollars, would be if the website was very picture/video heavy. Although there are already two platforms for that, Instagram and YouTube.

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