Can Bloggers Make Money Without Google AdSense?


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.

But, what about people who’ve been banned by AdSense, or who can’t get approved by AdSense? Is that the end of making money via blogging for them?

No! It’s not!

Blogging without AdSense
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In this article, I will be sharing how having your AdSense account banned, or not getting AdSense approval, is not as much of a problem as you may think it is.

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 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.

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.

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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:

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.

Half of them spend months trying to get their AdSense account approved, and they end up making dumb mistakes which get their accounts banned.

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!

Also check out:

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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.

183 thoughts on “Can Bloggers Make Money Without Google AdSense?”

  1. Alex William

    Very informative. Thank you, Harsh! I will try the Viglink because I’m starting a fashion blog. But that’s not why I’m here, I forgot what I searched about actually. Good thing I found your article.

    While I’m here, I will share my experience about Amazon affiliate, I started in 2011 and I have a Blogger site with 1 article with 100 words and 1 amazon affiliate link then I forgot about it for 5 years. I login at Amazon affiliate dashboard and I found out I had $72 earnings for 4 months, my account stop earning because I close my Blogger account in 2012. I didn’t know I’m earning until after 5 yrs. That was my very first article and my very first affiliate program.

    Now, I’m starting another blog with another Amazon affiliate account. I plan to post 2-3 articles per day so I will get more earnings. I hope to make at least $1,000 per month from Amazon.

  2. Clint

    hi harsh, what will u say is the best way to earn through blogging in places like Africa and the blog is about news/information…

    very informative and awesome post btw 😊

  3. Mitch Mitchell

    Bidvertiser has gone kind of bad. I’d actually forgotten I had it until I got an email telling me how they’d changed things around. I decided to give it a try, added it to my blog, and it almost immediately shut down with malware warnings. I’m never trusting it again; it’s possible I’d had problems before and that’s why I dropped it in the first place.

  4. Khanjadi

    Hi Harsh,

    You have shared a great post. It’s a must read for every blogger who aims to earn from blogging and it’s a great guide for newbie bloggers. Here, I am sharing my experience, AdSense has always been a secondary source of income for me. My best bet has been local affiliate marketing Lazada and it still constitutes the major share of my blogging income.

  5. Gaurav Khurana

    Is there a blog post where you have described what are the topics keywords or the way to search these things which can generate more traffic from countries apart from India, Pakistan , Malaysia as you have informed that they will not bring much income.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey gaurav,

      For geotargeting keywords, you can either use Google keyword planner tool or you can use SEMRUSh and construct your post around them.

  6. Yasir khan saqlaini

    Really great article… Finally i got that affiliate marketing is better than adsense

  7. Muhammad Mairaj

    Hello Harsh,

    Well everyone has their own opinions but as compared to Google Adsense affiliate marketing is much profitable. With affiliate marketing bloggers who don’t have Google AdSense accounts can earn good money effectively.

    Mant thanks for sharing with us another quality piece of content 🙂

    Keep writing



    1. leela

      Does Affiliate Marketing need blog approval to use Amazon Affiliate Ads in our blog (As Adsense needs blog approval)?
      Please suggest what are the rules for a blog to use affiliate ads.

      1. Harsh Agrawal

        Rules are similar to what AdSense looks for. A quality blog with good design & great content.

  8. Mahesh Reddy

    Really love your posts….every time when is see your post I got more and more inspiration…we have to start from bottom…then we can reach to top…. yesterday I got my Adsense approval…now I’m making 2-2.5$ a day … I hope I can earn more day by day

  9. Angu Ransom

    Hello, thank you for this article. I equally started blogging without knowing what blog monetization is all about. The first method i tried was with Google adsense. However,it has not been the best. One of the main way i make money on my blog is by selling my bulk sms services. Today, i am looking forward to creating my own company in my country thanks to all the skills and opportunities i have had through blogging.
    Recently i decided to engage in affiliate marketing. I have been able to make a few sales on Shoogloo media, an indian based affiliate marketing network. i had been abale to make sales equally on Avnagate. I will be using click banks in my next blog. Thank you to all bloggers for the sacrifice in giving free knowledge to people. You deserve a million dollars each and God will bless you all one day. Let us keep working hard applying the best strategies to make money. Have a wonderful day shouters.

  10. Pawan

    Thanks for great article.
    My blog is one month new. My future goal is make money with affiliate marketing as well as Google Adsense. But, my first priority is affiliate marketing.

  11. Sanjay

    Hi Harsh, thanks for article.. i got adsense approval after 6 years.. many times try always rejected but after 6 years i got Approved adsense i earn $800 in a 10 months. but now days my earning is 0 can you help me how i earn again $174 monthly…

  12. Mero Kalam

    Hi, Harsh ! Just I wanna say Google Adsense is still a good way to earn money. It is the easiest and strong way to make money online. Thanks

  13. Novian Pradana

    Thanks Harsh for sharing, I just started blogging and I get a lot of experience on this site. even though my site was still quiet, I am also interested make money from blogging.

  14. Oluchi

    Hi,your post is quite inspiring and educating. I intend monetising my blog but the issue I have is that it’s a blog. How possible can I make money through affiliate links on this blog because I intend using some money off it to upgrade to a self hosted domain later. Will really appreciate your advise.


  15. Ewan Sims

    Google Adsense is a great way to earn but I left it in 2013 because the payout is too much less as compared to other options. Then I started affiliate and made more money than Adsense and now my primary focus is eCommerce sites that sell goods to common people all over the World and I think being an affiliate is not profitable than selling the goods yourself as a manufacturer,

  16. Saikat saha

    Very much inspired article I must say.Recently I have launched my own site and it is mainly news based.I got adsense approved also.But my income is not great.l also loosing my hope.How to recover my site cost and maintenance..But after read this It makes a hope for me and my site.Thank you Harsh as always writing such inspiring articles.

  17. shan

    Can I monitize free WordPress blog with Google Adsense without buying domain or hosting.

  18. Aru

    Hello Harsh,

    Thanks for the article. I newly created a recipe blog. But since it’s new blog, I am not eligible for adsense.

    So my question is can I go for affiliate marketing or with any other ad placing company other than adsense on google blog? Does google allow that?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Aru,

      Yes,you can use affiliate marketing or any direct advertisements from day one.

      1. Ramirez Margaret

        how to get the direct advertisement? can you tell me harsh?

  19. Mciheal

    Right now am just tired the way in which google keep banning my adsense acct, at first I thought of quiting blogging, but after read this post. I’m right of giving it a try. I pray it works out well.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Mciheal,

      Not getting approved for Google Adsense is not the end of your blogging career. There are multiple other ways by which you can monetize your blog. All the best for your blog.

  20. Anmol Duggal

    Hey Harsh, I’ve been a fan of your blog since the last six months and have started blogging after reading your income reports and success stories from your other blogs as well. I have started a blog on the blogging niche and the amount of research i have done made me understand that adsense is mere a haystack compared to affiliate marketing when it comes to the amount of money that can be generated online.

    My query here is that is selling ebook the only affiliate option in our niche?? Is there something else you suggest i can use through affiliate marketing

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Anmol,

      What is your niche?

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