Affiliate or AdSense: Which Makes More Money? (With Earning Proof)

Affiliate versus AdSense
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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.

First thing first: Earning Proof

Here is my Earning proof from both the monetisation technique.

AdSense earning proof:

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Earning proof AdSense: $50K+

Here is my earning proof from Affiliate marketing. And, this report is only from a single affiliate program:

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It is clearly visible that affiliate marketing is more profitable than AdSense.

If you want to dive deep into the world of affiliate marketing, you can join ShoutUniversity’s affiliate marketing course which is for only $249 one time payment.

Also, 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.

Here are hand-picked articles to read next:

List of Best Affiliate Programs for the WordPress Niche

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

111 thoughts on “Affiliate or AdSense: Which Makes More Money? (With Earning Proof)”

  1. Nanda Kishore

    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, 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!!

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Appreciate your comment. Thanks for kind words.

  2. Aditya Raj

    Hey harsh it was quite useful for the bloggers who have started blogging recently. This shows the right way for monetizing the website.

  3. Saleem PNA

    Quality contents attract targeted visitors. I am learning and trying to improve my organic visitors. Actually, shoutmeloud has helped me a lot in my blogging career. As a matter of fact, I have not used Adsense to monetize my site. I always prefer affiliate marketing to monetize. But I am so far away from my target.

    Thanks for your guidance and support.

  4. Naziman Azlye

    Thanks, Harsh. You have opened my mind. Actually, at my first year blogging, I have been too greedy to take all types of generating income by blogging such as affiliate, and adsence. But after 3 years inactive blogging, the affiliate still generate money, I think it’s better to have focus.

  5. Dixcy Singh

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information regarding adsense and Affiliate Marketing.. 🙂

  6. Jason Cain

    just signed on to your “Pro Affiliate Marketer Mini Course”, i am not intending to use AdSense on my site, but am hoping to earn some income from affiliate. I have been slowly developing my web and blogging skills over the last few years (this being my 3rd attempt at getting a site working, so 3rd time around i think i have it sorted,) and your blog has really helped me to put the finial polish to my site, so thanks for your many tips.

  7. Josey mras

    This is really an interesting debate.
    Affiliate marketing seems to be the winning strategy for many since you only need a couple of sales to make more than $100 (depending on what you are promoting) where as, you will need 1000’s of page views & click-throughs for you to make the same amount of money on Google Adsense.

    Therefore, i also support Affiliate marketing. But i also run ads on my sites so i would encourage leveraging on both strategies to maximize your income.

  8. Aakash Waghmare

    Hello Sir,
    I am very happy to start with your course “Pro Affiliate Marketing”. And I am very excited to learn more about this. Thank you so much sir for your Big help. And by the way sir, I am your BIG Fan, 🙂 I feel very great when I read your blogs and case study and books.

  9. Leon

    This is true, my website runs Affiliate for over 2 months now and my Google Adsense just got approved. My Affiliate earns about $20 to $100 daily and Adsense only about $30 at max. I am finding a way to optimize my revenue. There is one drawback for Affiliate though, it’s less trustworthy compared with Adsense in terms of payment. (But luckily, I got my payment) :p

  10. furquan

    Hey hars, I love this post so much. I am new in the field of AdSense and affiliate marketing. So after reading a lot of posts I choose your post. Your post was so help full for me. As I mentioned that I am new so I decided to take your free course of affiliate marketing.
    Thank you for supporting me.

  11. Yashovardhan

    Hey harsh, nice article here!
    I feel that I’m pretty much limited in my choice as I’m using a Free blog. I think it’ll be worth mentioning that affiliate marketing is the only way for blogs which are not Self hosted.
    I’m not even getting enough views to switch to a self hosted blog (costs). Moreover, actively blogging for 3 months now, I’ve made nothing with Amazon. Just a few clicks regularly but no earnings!

  12. Aswani

    I have been using Adsense from long time but no luck as traffic on the site is not upto the mark. Same thing applies with affiliate marketing. You need to have good and targeted traffic on the site to make it work. If traffic on the site is good then affiliate marketing is a great idea and even better than adsense in terms of earnings. I will definitely go with it.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  13. kharis

    Comment:I prefer affiliate marketing to AdSense but I look forward to using a blog for affiliate marketing. I use instagram only

  14. Isaac Inegbenehi

    I get alot of clicks in my Adsense site. My site is around 4 months old and I got adsense account approved after One month of creating the blog (https://flashlearners[dot]com). I earn up to 20$ dollars daily with google adsense. My question now is, is it advisable to leave adsense for affiliate marketing since it said to pay more?

    I get 10k daily views daily as a result of the SEO tips I learnt here at shoutmeloud. I run an education education blog. Your suggestions will be highly appreciated.

  15. Abi Ogunbiyi

    This is awesome.I have been battling with affliate for about five years now to no avail.Although I have adsense account but third party type.I got approved through a site but never made a sigle cent.My area of intrest is affiliate without a website.I cant wait to receiving your free training on this! More power to your elbow!

  16. Emenike Emmanuel

    Thanks for sharing this with me. I think it is very interesting. Nothing makes money on the internet like Affiliate marketing.

  17. shahith

    Hi tanks for your lesson from this my opinion : the affiliate marketing is the best way of passive income but the only problem is the traffic. I tried all the ways but nothing increases the traffic it like “walking on the broken glass to open the door” any I trust that your lesson will help me.



    Your blog has done lot for me. One month before i was a person who was not tech friendly, i did’nt know, for what twitter is used, so no account, no google+ account, got to know Linkedin and Pintrest for the first time, my perspective of looking at facebook has changed. I always wanted to be entrepreneur, but did’nt know what to do without finance. Your blog has shown me new way, now i own a website,and planning to earn through adsense on blog and by affiliate on other web pages,my friends and family are in shock that i can make website. Its just because you sir. It was very great feeling when i saw myself on google searches, and gone mad when i optimised it to rank higher for the first time. Thank you sir creating such blog, and creating new opportunity for future brands.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thank you Mahesh for such kind words. I appreciate it.

  19. Shravani

    Hi Harsh,

    I have an approved amazon india associate a/c..but i have 30% traffic from US and other sales from those countries will be paid to me.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Yep, it will be paid.

  20. Menaka Bharathi

    wonderful info Harsh! I tried affiliate in the beginning, along with adsense. However in affiliate you do need to keep up with the changes and also make some effort to sell products which I did not know how. It lead to failure as affiliate. After reading this article I do think I will put in more effort in affiliate marketing and check if I can make it.

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