Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 220.127.116.11
On a side note, Iím planning to go to webmaster world conf in November, maybe Iíll learn more there?
I'll be attending my first PubCon this year, hopefully I'll see you there. :)
The obvious 2 questions are:
1) What do your visitors come to your site for?
2) What affiliate things have you tried?
I would (without knowing specifics about your site) suggest that your visitors arrive looking for a) freebies, and b) cheap/discounted stuff
A lot of companies pay money for "leads", not hard sales. Let me explain:
1) Company X offers free samples of its products
2) You become an affiliate of company X
3) Company X pays you a small amount (maybe as little as $1 or $1.50) per person that enter's their email and postal addresses to receive the free sample.
4) Company X makes it's money when it follows up on the lead, eg, emails the person a month later saying "did you like the free samples? we're running a special offer atm, get the full product at a 10% discount if you buy now".
It is simply a case of matching the right product to the right person.
If my above predictions were correct and people are visiting your site for freebies/discounted items then trying to sell them full priced items as an affiliate will offer a very low conversion ratio.
But you might try replacing the adsense ads with affiliate product links and compare the income. Then consider if the lower revenue stream would be sufficient.
Not all top sites. If your content and theme is oriented towards people who have already removed their credit cards from their wallet and are looking to buy, affiliate links are still working.
I don't see shopping.com, dealtime etc moving to an exclusive adsense model. (They're super-duper-affiliates at the end of the day).
Who knows, maybe over time you'll hit upon something that makes even more than Adsense for you? But if you never do anything other than Adsense you'll never find out.
If you cannot make money with aff program links, it is probably because your visitors are not buyers. Adsense is the first program since the early days of banners that pays well for traffic that does not convert. The best thing to do IMO would be to focus on trying to get "buying traffic".
It amazes me when folks say they have sent hundreds of hits to any merchant without a sale/lead. Even the worst converting stuff for me is 1/150...