Affiliate Marketing vs Google AdSense: Which is Better?

In the world of blogging, one thing that drives bloggers to keep doing better is the greed and need for more and more traffic. And to get more and more traffic, there are so many things that matter.

SEO, PPC, proper marketing, AdSense – all these terms go hand-in-hand with the world of web, blogging, and websites.

In fact, right after a blog is started, the main aim a blogger has in mind is to earn revenue from it, along with building credibility.

There are so many things a blogger can do to earn revenue, but the most effective and highly trusted way is through ads. That is why blogs give so much importance to AdSense.

Affiliate Marketing vs Google AdSense


Another way to maximize revenue is through affiliate marketing.

Talking about these various methods to earn revenue, this article focuses on Affiliate Marketing vs Google AdSense today.

But before we can conclude as to which way is more profitable for bloggers, let us first understand these two elements in detail.

What Is AdSense?

AdSense is a program or an advertising network that is run by Google.

It will allow publishers that follow Google’s guidelines and are a part of the Google network of content sites, to use any visuals or any interactive text advertisements that are targeted towards the content on a webpage and to the audience.

In short, AdSense is an advertising network that allows websites to put up their ads on other web pages. These advertisements that a website gives is managed and run by Google itself.

When users click on these ads and reach the landing page, the website where the ad was displayed earns a certain revenue on a per click basis. This is what PPC is, pay per click. Websites all across the world depend on AdSense to earn revenues from ads.

How Does AdSense Work?

There are a few steps that you as a website owner have to follow to make AdSense work properly. For that you need to do the following:

  1. The first thing that you have to do is create an AdSense account. Go to Google AdSense and create your account, and it will be linked to your Gmail account automatically.
  2.  The next thing that you have to do is that you have to add AdSense to your website. Before AdSense approves your application, Google does its checking to see if your website follows the guidelines of AdSense. For this, you have to add the code from AdSense to your website so that Google’s bot can crawl your website and access the content.
  3. When you are on this step, you will not be able to see the AdSense ads on your website because they are hidden. Once your AdSense approval is done, you will be able to look at these ads, and then you will start generating revenue for each click.
  4. The last thing that you have to do is to set up your payment information on Google by following the steps that Google asks you to.
  5. Once you have completed this step, then you will start getting the money that is generated from a click on these ads.

Now that you understand how AdSense works let us look at what affiliate marketing is.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a sales strategy that a product owner owns to increase the sales of a product.

What a product owner does is that he finds other websites or other sources that have the same target audience as his and allows them to earn a certain amount of commission if these sources recommend his products to the consumers.

In short, the owner of a product tries to find other people to get them to recommend his products to consumers and gives them a commission in return.

These other sources or websites are known as affiliates. It is a lucrative offer as the affiliates get to earn money without actually having to go through the tiresome process of creating a product of their own.

It also does not affect the consumer in any way as the cost that a consumer has to pay for the product is the same as what he had to pay if he bought directly from the buyer.

Through this process, the owner of the product earns less money because he has to pay out commissions to the affiliates.

But still, a lot of sellers or product owners go for affiliate marketing because it gives them a huge reach which they might not have been able to reach by themselves.

While affiliate marketing sounds very attractive and it actually is, there are many who have failed to enter this out properly.

Before we start a discussion on whether AdSense is better for the profit of a business or affiliate marketing is, let us know the reasons why people fail in affiliate marketing.

Reasons Why People Fail in Affiliate Marketing?

1. One of the most common reasons why people have not succeeded in affiliate marketing is their lack of patience.

You need to wait till a customer or a consumer makes that purchase from your site. You cannot get impatient. You have to set up your website and invest time in it each day.

2. As a website owner, you might have undermined the importance of quality content.

If your website does not have high-quality content or even unacceptable standard of content, readers and potential customers will not visit your website.
Your content should not only be of high quality but should be relevant to the target audience as well.

3. If you think you are not the right person to write your own blogs about your niche, the best thing to do is hire a writer who can write quality content for you.

A lot of websites get impatient when affiliate marketing is not working out for them and resort to black hat SEO techniques.

As a person who owns a blog, you know how much Google hates black hat SEO.

If you resort to search techniques, Google’s algorithm will find your website and either penalize it or get it banned. The smartest thing to do is follow all the right procedures and wait.

4. Also, a lot of new websites get so distracted by the lucrative results of affiliate marketing that they don’t understand how important it is to promote the right product.

Before promoting a product on your website, ask yourself if you would have purchased that product at all if you were a consumer.

Do your research and find the product that people buy online, instead of just promoting everything.

Affiliate Marketing vs Google AdSense: Which is Better and Why?

For a lot of new websites that are starting out in the field of Internet marketing, this can be a confusing question.

Not just for starters, this question is in the minds of even those who have been in the business for some time now.

The reality is that after knowing in detail about each of these tactics, it might seem to anybody that affiliate marketing is the more lucrative and more profitable thing to do.

But like any other thing, it too has its shortcomings. Similarly, AdSense has a lot of advantages for website owners. So let us first look at the pros and cons of both Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

Pros of Google AdSense:

  • You can use AdSense on any web page of your website, irrespective of what the page content is. The ad that is displayed on your page does not have to be relevant to your content, unlike in affiliate marketing.
  • For the revenue that you earn from AdSense, it is a passive kind of income. This means that as a website owner you do not have to engage or interact with the customers, nor do you have to do any kind of email marketing.

You have to take care of your website and the content you update and then place the ads on those pages strategically.

  • The one great thing about AdSense is that you can create lots of web pages to put ads on and you will earn revenue from each of these ads.
  • Another great thing is that when you update the content of a specific page, the ads on that page automatically update themselves with reference to the new content. Google bot takes care of updating the ads without you having to do anything.
  • Also, once you have been approved by AdSense to use its ads, installing it is quite easy.

Cons of AdSense:

  • The revenue that you earn from each click on an ad is quite less. So you have to wait for a long time before you can consider AdSense as a reliable source of income.
  • Also, your income will start only when search engines find your pages. So as long as a search engine does not find your page, you have to wait.
  • Google and its policies are ever changing. They can update or totally change their policies any time, and that might lead you to lose your income from AdSense totally.

Then you have to update your entire website to adhere to the new policies and to keep the flow of revenue going smooth.

  • Google guidelines are so strict that it is quite easy to fall prey to them. In such cases, AdSense suspends your account and chances are that it might be terminated too.

Also, a lot of times your competitors might bombard your page with continuous clicking on ads. Google sees this as a suspicious clicking and terminates your account if done regularly.

• Also, the income you get from AdSense is not a reliable means for long-term business. Your website or business should have organic growth without being dependant on Google. Use Google as a side means to keep your business going.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing:

  • You as a website owner have the freedom to create a blog in a niche that is your area of expertise and then promote products in your niche only.
  • This method of marketing can serve as a means of regular income for many years, once you have built your credibility in your industry.
  • The commission that you get from the sale of one product is much higher than the revenue earned from a click on ads. Also, in affiliate marketing, you know exactly what you are earning, unlike in AdSense where the rate of per click can change overnight.
  • Along with using affiliate marketing techniques, you can also use other PPC programs for your website.

Cons of Affiliate Marketing:

  • The one major drawback of affiliate marketing is that it is quite time-consuming.

First, if you are a fresher, you have to build your credibility. Then once you have your regular readers, you have to spend time in writing promotional campaigns, writing email lists, searching for a new product to promote on your website, etc.

  • There are some affiliate programs available that have very strict rules for eligibility.

Like, your website should meet their requirements for a minimum amount of traffic, or your content has to pass a scrutiny test that will check the relevance factor of the content to the product being promoted.

You can use affiliate marketing on your site only if you meet these eligibility criteria.

Wrapping Up:

As we already told you, there are pros and cons in everything you do in internet marketing.

You still have to weigh out the two and choose what is best for your business.

Between AdSense and affiliate marketing, the more lucrative offer is definitely affiliate marketing, even after weighing out the cons it brings along. But the smartest bloggers in the web world use both of these for their websites.

Also, if you want to make your business grow immensely in the long term, you should stick to affiliate marketing. Using AdSense might be good for some quick cash in the recent near future.

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