Google AdSense vs. Affiliate Marketing: Amazon and More

Imagine being able to quit your job to work remotely for yourself. To do that, you should compare Google AdSense vs. affiliate marketing to learn which method will work better for you.

Google AdSense vs. Affiliate Marketing | Hannah Haefele

Both can pay decently, but you need to think about your goals. Keep a few factors in mind when choosing which way to monetize your content online.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

How You Make Money

One of the most important differences between Google AdSense vs. affiliate marketing is how you earn money. With AdSense and other ad networks, you’ll earn a small amount for every ad click you get.

You might also get a smaller amount of money for each ad impression or view. For better or worse, that means you’ll need a lot of traffic to make a significant amount of money from ads.

On the other hand, you make money from affiliate marketing whenever you help a company generate a sale. The company will pay you a flat rate or a percentage of what their customer pays when they buy using your special link.

Income Diversification

Another thing to consider is how you can diversify your income to increase your earning potential. Ad networks, such as AdSense pay you based on ad impressions and clicks.

However, you can usually only use one ad network at the same time. While you may be able to use more, ad networks can’t “talk” to each other, so you could overrun your site with ads.

If you use affiliate marketing, you can join as many programs as you want. Then, you can include links to different programs in your content to increase the chances of making a sale.

Income Growth

Once you start making some money with Google AdSense or affiliate marketing, you may wonder how to increase that number. You can do a lot of things, but the strategies vary between income streams.

To increase income from ads, the most obvious option is to get more traffic to your website. You can do this by promoting your website on social media.

Another option is to switch to a different ad network with a higher CPC rate so that you make more per view. And finally, if you’re willing, you can change your content niche to something like finance, which generally offers a higher rate.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, you can work on driving more sales through your existing affiliate links. You can also join more affiliate programs and focus on higher-paying affiliate programs.

Requirements to Start

Before you can make money from Google AdSense or affiliate marketing, you need to set each option up. Whether you want to use AdSense or another network, you’ll need a decent amount of unique content.

Some other networks will require a minimum number of monthly sessions or page views. But Google AdSense only requires that you have enough quality content.

If you want to get into affiliate marketing, you may need to apply to each program individually. Some programs require an existing audience, while others will accept almost anyone.

Operating Costs

The next difference between Google AdSense vs. affiliate marketing that you should consider is the cost to keep it going. Because of the nature of Google AdSense, you need a website to host the ads.

Sure, you could use a hosted AdSense account with a free Blogger blog or even on a YouTube channel. But with a platform like WordPress, you need to pay for hosting to use ads.

Any reputable affiliate marketing program will let you join for free. However, it may help to purchase the product or service before you start promoting it to make sure it’s a good product.

You’ll also be able to create better content when you own the product in question since you can take photos and videos.

Pros of Ads

As you compare Google AdSense vs. affiliate marketing, you may wonder why you should use ads. No matter which ad network you choose, consider the following advantages.

Easy to Set Up

I’ve used Google AdSense on a couple of my blogs, and I’ve found it very easy to set up. If you use WordPress, you can use the Google Site Kit plugin to connect to AdSense without needing to use code.

After you set up the ads, Google will start to show the ads on your site. You can choose to place ads manually, and you can keep from showing ads on certain pages.

However, you don’t have to do anything other than create more good content. As long as you can get people to your website, you can start to make some money.

Works in Most Niches

You can use Google AdSense for almost any niche. I say almost because there are some niches that Google won’t approve, such as those having to do with adult content or illegal content.

But that will be the case with almost any other ad network that you would want to use. So you can create content about whatever you like and monetize it.

No Selling Required

Another thing I love about using Google AdSense over affiliate marketing is that I don’t feel like I have to sell anything. If someone visits a page on one of my blogs, the ad will do the selling.

I can just focus on creating and publishing good content. That can be nice if you’re still learning about things like sales psychology and other things that you need to do to make money with affiliate marketing.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

As nice as using display ads can be, affiliate marketing also comes with a few advantages. Keep the following things in mind when deciding how to monetize your content.

Join Multiple Programs

Most affiliate marketing programs and networks don’t require exclusivity. That means you can promote multiple different products, services, and websites.

The more affiliate programs you join, the greater your chances will be of making money. You don’t have to worry about people wanting to shop through a specific site, such as Amazon.

Look for tons of affiliate programs based on your niche. Then, you may be able to make more money overall from your affiliate marketing strategy.

High Commission Potential

Depending on the programs you join, you could earn 80% per sale or even more. Some programs, like Amazon Associates, have a low commission rate, so you’ll need to sell a lot to make a decent income.

But a lot of software, online courses, and similar products pay much higher rates. That means you don’t have to get as many sales, but you could still make a lot of money from affiliate marketing.

Another option, especially with programs like Amazon, is to promote higher-cost products. The commission percentage may be low, but the commission total will add up more quickly promoting three- or four-figure products than cheaper items.

No Blog Required

I love blogging, and I don’t intend to stop. However, I know that managing a blog takes a lot of work, and it’s not for everyone. But with affiliate marketing, you can still make money without a blog.

You can use other methods to promote your links, such as social media or email marketing. Instead of setting up a blog, create a landing page for each affiliate offer you want to promote.

Then, you can direct traffic to that page to help generate sales. If you have more time, you can always start a blog and add content to it slowly.

Use Google AdSense and Affiliate Marketing Together

You don’t have to choose between Google AdSense vs. affiliate marketing to make money. If you want to increase your earning potential, use both.

Ads are easy to set up and require little maintenance. Plus, you can create content to promote affiliate products on your own schedule, so you don’t have to publish new articles all of the time.

Final Thoughts

Making money online isn’t easy, but you do have options. You may want to compare Google AdSense vs. affiliate marketing to learn which is better.

However, you can use both together for the best results. So give both a try today to see which you prefer and which can be more lucrative for you.

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