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Affiliates Forum

This 116 message thread spans 4 pages: 116 ( [1] 2 3 4 > >     
Adsense verses Affiliate Programs
Jon12345

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 11:42 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Which is best? Are we allowed to discuss this in here?

 

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 11:53 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't see why not?

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 12:03 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Affiliate Programs = More risk, more reward
Adsense = Less risk, less reward

Adsense is easier to maintain (ie. you don't have to maintain it) but the flipside of that is you can't really control its somewhat erratic monthly swings.

Affiliate programs take a little bit more dedication but the potential rewards are higher.

But you don't have to choose between one and the other. You'd probably be better off having some of your eggs in a CPC basket and some in a CPA basket than all of your eggs in just one basket.

Jon12345

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 1:55 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Am I right in thinking you can't have adsense and an affiliate program on the same page?

tomkee

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 1:59 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

You can have both on the same page

CalArch90

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 7:24 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would be really surprised if you can find an affiliate program that generates anything close to the revenues you get from Adsense.

webmastertexas

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 9:56 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would be really surprised if you can find an affiliate program that generates anything close to the revenues you get from Adsense.

I'll make somewhere around $600 this month with one of my affiliates and around $70 with Adsense. :)

sean

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 10:42 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

really surprised

It happens. No surprise.

Advertisers bid based on their overall conversion rate on Google. If you can convert significantly higher than the average...

tebrino

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 11:30 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have about 3-4 times higher revenues with my per sale affiliate programs than Adsense or CPM programs. However, I also enjoy my Adsense revenue :)

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:27 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I also earn more from affiliate programs than with AdSense, but I earn even more by using both. :-)

triumph

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:39 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I run both adsense, and affiliate programs, and the earnings aren't even close. I make 30x more on Adsense. Maybe it's my keyword topic?

That being said, I was wondering today if I were to remove Adsense, would my affiliate sales go up? I'm guessing they would... But in the mean time, Adsense is just too good to pass up.

darkmage

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 3:58 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

A better comparasion would be to see the eCPM of the affiliate programs, with an indication of traffic volume.

If sites using affilate programs could post that info, you'll get an idea of which is better.

MrAnchovy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 4:21 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would be really surprised if you can find an affiliate program that generates anything close to the revenues you get from Adsense.

Booo! (hardy har har... there is your surprise).

Anywho, there are many, many sites that do so well with affiliate programs that they wouldn't even consider running Adsense. As long as you, your site, and your traffic meet the requirements for whatever affiliate program is avail, it can very well outperform Adsense.

A personal endorsement, for a targeted affiliate program can potentially blow Adsense out of the water. You can write several articles/page of actual, useful, informative content, that also serve as a platform to promote an affiliate.
You can't really do that with Adsense... while those ads may be highly targeted, there is little you can do to entice a visitor to action.

If you are talking a collection of sites, that range in topic, and you could only select 1 advertising method... then yeah, Adsense may be the best route. But a single site, single topic, with an available affiliate program that fits... you may be missing out if you didn't try the affiliate game.

Fwiw, my best Adsense day ever is less than 1/10th of my best affiliate program's top day.

There are plenty of AdWords bidders that do nothing but promote affiliate programs... and many are very profitable at it.
For example's sake, assume that a profit is indeed being made by the Adwords bidder.
-$1 top bid for Adwords term that does nothing but link to an affiliate program.
-Since a profit is assumed, the return has to be at least $1.01 for every click.
-You run Adsense only & the above ad appears on your site.
-Assuming a rather large EPC of 70% per bid... you get $0.70/click on the ad.

Since the return is at least $1.01/click & you are only getting $0.70/click, you are potentially missing out on an additional $0.31/click for not running the affiliate program yourself.

A great tip, imho, is to use the preview tool & find out what ads targeted towards your site are affiliate links. Then rush to the affilaite site & see if it may be more profitable to just sign up for that affiliate yourself. I've found several very profitable programs through this method.

and back to the original question...
Which is best?

That all depends on your site topic, the availability of targeted affiliate programs, and your ability to promote those affiliate programs.
Depending on those factors, it could easily go either way as to which is best for your specific site.

I would suggest at least searching for programs that would appeal to your site's visitors & then give them a go. Then can be incorporated to your site in any number of ways... all while continuing to run Adsense.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 5:52 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Affiliate programs and AdSense can complement each other nicely. Here are two reasons why:

1) Using both can result in a smoother cash flow, especially on sites that have seasonal ups and downs. For example:

- On my European travel site, AdSense revenues are more stable than affiliate bookings are. They don't drop as much in the late fall as affiliate bookings do, and they begin climbing again sooner in the early months of the year when users are beginning to think about vacations.

- AdSense has a different payment cycle than my leading affiliate programs do: If a user clicks on an AdSense ad, I get paid 30 days after the end of that month; if a user books a hotel through an affiliate parner, I may not get paid until several months later when the user has checked out.

2) On an editorially diverse site, AdSense can "monetize" subtopics that might not earn income from affiliate programs. Let's say that I write an article about rowing down the Rhine but I don't have an affiliate partner for that topic. With AdSense, my article will display ads for rowboat rental agencies, vendors, cruise outfitters, etc., and I'll make money with every click.

growingdigital

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 6:03 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have found affiliate revenue to be a little more predictable. Adsense can fluctuate so much. It does take a little more "marketing" talent to convert sales compared to clicks, but the rewards are often better too.

david_uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 7:23 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMHO it depends on site content, and if there are relevant articles to sell via affiliates such as Amazon etc.

I have tried a couple of affilliates, but they just don't work on my site (health information) - Adsense does. I guess it's because the items for sale on the affiliate schemes don't tie in with my site content, whereas there isn't a shortage of advertisers offering services relevant to my site contents.

clearvision

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 8:20 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

We use both: Adsense first - Affiliate Second:

Adsense doesn't require anything but a click to create revenue. It is up to the advertiser to be prepared for the vistor and make the sale. We are getting paid for sending interest. You win smaller, but if you can send more traffic its more profitable .....and you win everytime.

My take on affiliate programs:
1. People need to be ready to shop or take an action of some sort. They have to be ready to jump through some hoops...Each conversion is worth more...because they have to DO more:)

2. If the visitor is not looking to shop, the program/site must effectively "sell" their product once the visitor arrives. But it is up to the publisher to determine if they feel their visitors will follow through with what they are being asked to buy or do.

We like using both methods!

Adsense: Win everytime- lower value per lead...but easier to win a lead.

Affiliate: Win a percentage of the time at a higher value per lead...may be more risky, but can be worth it.

CalArch90

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 5:10 pm on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Interesting to hear the number of people who say they do well with affiliate programs. I personally have not had any success with them, and have found them to be a complete waste of my time and effort in the past.

It probably depends on the type of site and the audience it caters to. My site is informational and geared towards a professional audience. Adsense is ideal in my case because it delivers targeted ads based on the content of my site.

An ecommerce site may do well with affiliate programs if they offer merchandise that is complementary with what they are selling.

The problem with most affiliate programs is that they are based on a pay-per-conversion only model. This is great for the advertiser, they get free advertising, marketing benefits, free traffic to their sites, etc., but it exploits the publisher who gets nothing unless a sale is made. Amazon, for example, used to even penalize you if you did not complete a certain number of sales to reach the second tier in their program!

I'm not trying to bash affiliate programs, I'm just saying they definitely have not worked for me. Believe me, I would welcome the opportunity to make more money on my site through good affiliate programs, I just have not been able to find any worth my time. If I add up the dollar amount I make on affiliate programs, it ends up being a tiny fraction of what I earn with adsense, so much so, that it is not even worth it for me to keep them.

Adsense, as far as I'm concerned, has provided web site owners with a fair share of the market and eliminated the exploitation of publishers through the traditional affiliate model.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 9:15 pm on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

It probably depends on the type of site and the audience it caters to.

Precisely. And even on sites that do well with affiliate programs, not all programs work well. On my European travel-planning site, affiliate links related to travel purchases do quite nicely, but affiliate links for things like Amazon.com and travel accessories have always been a bust.

My site is informational and geared towards a professional audience.

My site is also informational, but it's geared toward an audience of travelers who are researching ways to spend their money. In that respect, it's more like a product-review site than a news or reference site.

The problem with most affiliate programs is that they are based on a pay-per-conversion only model. This is great for the advertiser, they get free advertising, marketing benefits, free traffic to their sites, etc., but it exploits the publisher who gets nothing unless a sale is made.

Whether it exploits the publisher depends on how well the publisher does. :-) By assuming the risk of conversion, the affiliate has the opportunity to earn more than he would with a pay-per-click model. And if the affiliate relationship doesn't pay off, the publisher can easily delete the affiliate partner's link(s)--assuming that the publisher wasn't foolish enough to sign a long-term agreement.

Elmo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 9:25 pm on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

MrAnchovy
A great tip, imho, is to use the preview tool & find out what ads targeted towards your site are affiliate links. Then rush to the affilaite site & see if it may be more profitable to just sign up for that affiliate yourself. I've found several very profitable programs through this method.

Great tip why didn't I think of that.

webmastertexas

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 8:38 am on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Amazon is one of my worst performers. Everyone has it. In fact, I make more using their search engine than I do their direct links. I don't know why I even bother with direct links. It takes time and I barely get any revenue from them.

hunderdown

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 1:44 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was a long-time Amazon affiliate when I signed up for AdSense a year ago. Immediately, with much less work than I've had to put into Amazon, I was earning more than Amazon. They are the only two programs that earn any significant income for my informational site.

However, AdSense income has been dropping for my site since then, and Amazon has been growing, so they are now just about even. And contrary to webmastertexas's experience, I find that direct links to individual products convert very well for me--IF they appear in the context of a detailed review of a product which visitors to my site will be interested in, and which they don't already have. So I am adding more of those pages, which at the same time adds really good relevant content. AND these are pages on which I can run AdSense.

So for my site, the two work together nicely. There's no single "best method"--you've got to tailor your approach to your site, to your audience, and to your available time....

Michael Anthony



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:10 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Adsense is definitely the lower performer for me. I'd be interested to see some comparitive EPC figures from Adsense outstrip my aff EPC. For CJ, my 3 month EPC is 133.02. Anyone do better with Adsense?

Stark

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:26 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have over time had a range of affiliate programs, adsense and companies buying ad space on a CPM basis.

Occasionally I have had affilate income that worked out at an incredible CPM for me (relative to adsense and what I would charge someone) but it rarely lasts with any given program. I also have had experience with major brands clearly not paying out properly on an affiliate program and it really dents my confidence. They were provided details of transactions that didn't track, apologised and credited me with the amount, but it hardly inspires.

I used to spend quite a lot of time rotating affiliate programs to provide appropriate offers to my users based upon my content, but frankly the time it took was so long. These things needed to be checked all the time as companies left the affiliate networks, or they changed their terms to screw you over, or they didn't convert - or in one case they just went bust!

Adsense on the other hand is fire and forget. Sure I make a low CPM rate off it, but it is ZERO hassle. It updates itself to be relatively appropriate, and I trust Google to pay me (being kicked out aside) regularly and mostly on time. The time I spent playing with affiliate programs was time I could have spent doing other things to make money, and has to be taken into account.

If your site is making 6 figure sums a year through its advertising, then it's well worth squeezing out maybe another 20% income from it with affiliates. If you are making 10k a year, and you spend a couple of hours a week rotating programs for the best return, are you really up on the deal overall?

Convenience and reliability of payment are always the main selling points for me with adsense, because I value my time too much to play around with the alternatives.

As the sites got bigger, I was contacted by companies wanting to advertise direct, and that is the best money maker of all for me and I rarely have any space left for affiliate programs now. Of course, this assumes you have content that someone would specifically want to advertise on....

notsosmart

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:33 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't even imagine putting Adsense above my affiliate partners.

Of course, I have private deals with most of them, so my epc is much higher than one could get with a new site and just compare adsense vs. affiliate.

But still, with a well targeted site, and excellent pre-selling content, I can't fathom how an ad bar on the side containing (often) poorly written short ads could ever outperform embedded affiliate text links.

But to each their own, I guess. The ease-of-use of Adsense could be a plus, though it's not like running an affiliate site is akin to working at a steel mill or anything.

adfree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:39 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

When I started using Adsense my Aff revenue went down 60% but I made four times as much than before with AS. Bringing AS into even more dominant positions drained my Aff reveune almost to nill.

I don't mind really, still running the Aff programs though for a better selection for my users. Despite the frequent swings, I am happy with a stable income due to much diversity across several sites.

In case something might happen to AS I would still have all Aff in place without having to change a thing at my sites.

MovingOnUp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 2:47 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have AdSense on virtually all of my pages, but I earn about 100 times as much from affiliate programs as I do from Adsense. For the most part, the affiliate programs I'm promoting are FAR more targeted than the AdSense ads.

notsosmart

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 3:23 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have AdSense on virtually all of my pages, but I earn about 100 times as much from affiliate programs as I do from Adsense. For the most part, the affiliate programs I'm promoting are FAR more targeted than the AdSense ads.

That's how it's done.

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 3:31 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I personaly think AS is more risk. They know if you are doing well. They see that you are making lots of money and can get you banned out of Google SERPS. Affiliate marketing can pay a lot more. Adsense is good for areas that don't have good affiliate programs.

ebizcamp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3311 posted 3:35 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would be really surprised if you can find an affiliate program that generates anything close to the revenues you get from Adsense.

Surprise? No

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