There are several ways of monetizing a website. But Google AdSense and affiliate marketing enjoy the most popular status. Lets pick the better option.
What Is Google Adsense ?
Google AdSense is the biggest online advertisement program. You basically lease out ad spaces on your site to Google and Google further allocates them to the advertisers in its network. It follows a PPC model, a publisher gets paid each time its visitor clicks on an advertisement and lands on the advertiser’s page.
What Is Affiliate Marketing ?
Affiliate marketing is a way of monetizing a site. You, as a publisher, promote someone else’s products and services and refer your audience to their sites. You get a commission each time a visitor that you directed makes a purchase.
1.Control- Adsense Vs Affiliate Marketing
As a site owner, you may want to control which products gets featured at your pages. You may also want to decide which products reach your audiences through your site. If you use Google AdSense, you lose complete control over these things.
Imagine that you owe a niche site that discusses WordPress and you have Google AdSense setup at it. Now lets assume that you aren’t really a big fan of some X WordPress plugin that Google is advertising using your ad space. You can’t do anything about it. Not even complain. Once you sign up for a Google AdSense account, you actually authorize Google to manage it. Google will pick ads to place in your ad spaces. There is no way of controlling what products/brands Google chooses to promote using them.
Also, you need Google’s approval for setting up an AdSense account. You have to meet some eligibility criteria for getting this approval.
And the most critical information, your AdSense account remains Google’s property. Google may shut it down anytime, without any prior intimation. Carefully consider this possibility if your revenue model is going to be just this program.
On the other hand Affiliate marketing lets you promote and push your audience for buying products that you truly believe in. So, if you use a plugin Y and think that your readers too should try it, you can market it at your site. If your readers trust you then they won’t mind buying on your recommendation. And when they do so, you get a cut.
2.Ugly Ads- Adsense Vs Affiliate Marketing
You can’t tell Google to customize an ad banner for your site. But an affiliate would happily oblige. You can ask your affiliates for customized marketing collateral. You don’t have to worry about ads disturbing your site’s look.
3. Quick Money- Adsense Vs Affiliate Marketing
It’s true that many people have managed to secure a steady income with Google AdSense but this is not possible with every site. You have to be very patient with this program, it does not make you rich quickly. In fact, you won’t really see many returns for a really long time. The money that you can make with Google AdSense depends upon the amount that an advertiser is willing to pay for a click from your site. Bidding ensures that you get the best pay for your ad space. But there are many factors that contribute to this.
The popularity of your site within your niche, the traffic that you get and the social engagement that you enjoy determine your bid rate and your worth in a PPC model. Making money with Google AdSense tries your patience. Period.
However, with affiliate marketing, you can start pocketing money from the first sale. Lets say, that you sign-up as an affiliate for a product worth $100. And the affiliate commission is 30%. You pocket $30 with your first sale and with every such sale. You may never know how long it could take AdSense to show this kind of money. (At least initially)
4. Recurring Commission- Adsense Vs Affiliate Marketing
Many affiliate programs offer recurring commissions too along with the regular schemes. You earn a recurring income till a customer that you referred continues with the seller. Google AdSense has no such mechanism.
Conclusion: Creating a niche site with a loyal readership is very demanding. But you can build relationships and trust with your audience if you consistently provide value. Once your readers know you as a source that they can trust, they’ll welcome and seriously consider any recommendations that you make.
Affiliate marketing is a complete win-win situation. Your readers get help in picking the right product. You earn money for reaching great products to them. Promoting the right products also earns you credibility.