I have talked a lot about Google AdSense in the past, and I have also recommended AdSense as one of the best contextual ad networks for your blog. With the high-quality of ads and its safe recurring income, AdSense is a great blog monetization network.
No! It’s not!
AdSense is considered to be one of the best money-making programs for bloggers for the following reasons:
- It is easy to use.
- You don’t have to worry about low-quality ads.
- You don’t have to manually change the ads after a certain time.
- You don’t have to worry about payment (AdSense payments are very reliable).
However, there are numerous issues which you face when using AdSense:
- You must abide by the content guidelines offered by the AdSense team.
- You cannot simply post anything you want to post. Even though you may not be violating any webmaster guidelines, you cannot publish certain types of posts due to AdSense policies. (Example: Websites which allow us to watch movies online.)
- To earn more from AdSense, you need to continually try out various optimization techniques, including using keywords with high CPCs.
- If most of your traffic is from countries like India, Pakistan, or Malaysia, you might earn mere pennies from AdSense.
None of these drawbacks make AdSense evil, but these issues do point to the fact that AdSense may not be as great as you think it is.
Why & How Your Life Is Better Without An AdSense Account:
Let me start by sharing my own journey with AdSense:
When I started blogging, I had no idea how to make money. I started blogging because of my passion for sharing knowledge & only heard about AdSense after a few months of blogging. Even after implementing AdSense on my blog, my first ad income was $47 from a DreamHost affiliate sale.
- It was not from AdSense or any other ad network.
You may be wondering why I would say this since I make lots of money blogging (over $30,000/month). But let me ask you: Have you ever seen AdSense ads here at ShoutMeLoud?
If you take a look at my AdSense earnings for 4 years, you’ll know that I’ve made almost no money with AdSense, compared to the loads of money I’ve made with other monetization techniques. The only good thing about AdSense is the recurring income, which can offer a feeling of security to some degree.
Now that you know my AdSense story, I will share my experience of successfully monetizing a few blogs without using AdSense at all, and what can happen if you choose to do the same.
Your blogging life becomes more experimental.
The best blogging education (apart from ShoutUniversity) comes from experimenting.
When you experiment with the latest monetization methods, you may stumble across a solution which works amazingly well for your niche. Experimenting also allows you to learn things from the experiences of other bloggers.
So instead of spending time experimenting with something completely new, you can start with tested methods which have worked for other bloggers.
For example, I have talked about Viglink, which is a great advertising network. But it’s not perfect for a niche like ShoutMeLoud. It does, however, work great for the fashion niche.
I don’t have a blog on fashion, but one of my clients does, and she trusted my judgment enough to allow me to experiment. And hey, it worked! Voila! It’s now a case study!
You can check out the case study of running Viglink on a fashion blog over here.
However, if you ask me “Hey Harsh, how great is Bidvertiser?”
I can’t say. I used it three years ago, and I have no idea how they have changed over those past three years. They might be serving up the same low paying ads, or they might have moved forward with premium advertisements. I really don’t know.
Takeaway: When you read about a new ad network, try it out. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, instead of simply looking for a review, search for income reports and/or a case study.
You will be inclined to earn using your natural set of skills.
I have a blog called WPSutra which is currently in its orphan stage. But the good thing is that I have a blog business plan ready, and I believe it will work. To what extent, I’m not sure. But this blog has been running for a while now, I do not use AdSense, and the blog is still making enough money to cover its hosting and maintenance fees.
You may be thinking “Sure, Harsh, but you have been using WordPress for eight years now, and you know how things work around WordPress.” And yes, that’s right. But WordPress is part of my skill set.
Have you considered what your skill set is?
- If you are running a technology blog, you can write an eBook on how to do certain tasks.
- If you are running a finance blog, you could offer to make a finance plan for your readers at an affordable price.
- If you are running a relationship blog, you could offer premium one-on-one consultancy around relationship issues.
- If you are running a health blog, you could offer to create a diet plan for your readers.
- If you are running a fashion blog, you could help people shop for fashion that works for them… and you could get paid for that.
Takeaway: There is a market out there for everything! All you need to know is how and where to sell what you have to offer.
Embrace affiliate marketing.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, affiliate marketing is the main source of income. You will find thousands (or maybe even millions) of marketers talking about affiliate marketing and recommending thousands of products to you. But they will never tell you which ones work and which ones do not.
Many of them will claim to make you a multi-millionaire in a day, but don’t fall for it!
If you are planning to earn income via affiliate marketing and use it as an alternative to AdSense, you need to work hard, and you need a proper plan to reach a sustainable income.
If someone tells you that affiliate marketing doesn’t require any hard work, they are wrong. Likewise, if someone tells you that affiliate marketing doesn’t offer recurring income, they are also wrong.
I know that every month, no matter what, I will earn at least $5,000 from affiliate marketing. That is the minimum amount I will earn because I’ve created a resilient sales funnel to sustain that amount of income every month.
The key to this kind of sustainable success with affiliate marketing is to recommend something that you personally use, and can also guide readers on how they can get the same benefit. While it is true that Google doesn’t like affiliate links, they don’t mind them if you are adding value.
Takeaway: There are many types of affiliate marketing, and you can choose what works for you. You can either create a blog and try to recommend every new product in your niche, or you can be selective and recommend products that you are actually using while teaching your readers how to benefit from their use.
If you are looking to achieve long-term financial success without selling your soul, do it the right way. It may be slow at first, but it will pay off nicely in the end.
Here are a few hand-picked articles to help you to learn more about affiliate marketing:
- What Is Affiliate Marketing and FAQ
- How To Promote Affiliate Products On Your Quality Blog?
- ThirstyAffiliates WordPress Affiliate Link Cloaker Plugin Review [30% Discount]
My intention with this article has been to show you the reality of life without AdSense. Many bloggers give up when AdSense doesn’t work for them, and they don’t even pursue anything else.
If AdSense is not working for you, let it be. Try something else. Try something which no one else has dared to try. If there is an ad network out there, chances are it’s working for someone. Why not you? You may want to ask yourself if you are brave enough to take that risk.
If you are, then do it!
I would love to know your monetization success stories which don’t involve AdSense. Share your experience in the comments below!
If you find this article useful, don’t forget to share it!