Advertising On Your Blog — AdSense Vs. Affiliate Programs

The following is a guest author post from Chris Reynolds, a Web developer and entrepreneur with Web Hosting Search. Chris has an active passion for the industry of website hosting and domain name management. Part of his recent work has been involved in analyzing website profitability and new ideas in web design.

When you’re starting to get a stable volume of traffic to your blog, it is time to choose what kind of advertisement you want. You basically have two options – Affiliate programs or AdSense. If you want o make money of your blogging it is important that you know the pro’s and con’s of these advertising alternatives.

Making money on blogging is far from easy. Getting traffic on the other hand isn’t all that hard.

  1. Blogging softwares like WordPress are well optimized to start ranking in Google quickly – use a WP and you’ll have your blog indexed in a couple of weeks from launch.
  2. Keep a steady flow of weekly content updates.
  3. Remember to add frequently searched keyword in title, body and headers.
  4. Add meta data to every post including keywords.
  5. Get 1-3 backlinks from websites with decent pagerank.

Follow these steps and Internet users will start finding your blog soon enough – even if it is mostly through search engines on obscure long-tail keyword phrases in the beginning. With time, obviously if you blog is good enough, people will start back linking to you and the amount of visitors will start to grow. Just make sure that your WordPress hosting provider gives you enough bandwidth to handle the traffic.

Next obstacle is making money on your blogging, or better yet, the traffic your blogging and site optimization generates. As mentioned above it comes down to ads – banners, text ads etc. Depending on the niche of your blog you basically have 2 options – affiliate programs or AdSense. If you start generating more traffic to you blog, you can even choose to sell advertising space.

AdSense Ads on your blog

The advantage with AdSense is that it only requires a Google-account and somewhere to put the ad. You can specify the ads content by adding keywords, otherwise the ad will adapt to the page content. AdSense pays commission under a $1 when visitors click on the ad, so you don’t have to worry about “converting” your visitors in buying a product or making any kind of acquisition. Having AdSense on your ad is free and appreciated by Google, increasing your blog’s chances of increasing impressions in the search engine.

The disadvantage with AdSense ads is that it generally has a low CTR (click through rate). Site visitors rarely consider AdSense ads to be of high value. You will thus need a large numbers of visits to reach a decent level of clicks in the ad. AdSense is by far the easiest type of advertising but also the one with least money-making potential.

Affiliate programs

Advertising using affiliate programs requires a bit more effort. As you will be advertising a merchant’s services or products, getting commission through their affiliate program, it is up to you to find something to market that you think your visitors will appreciate. If your blog has a defined niche and can be connected to a specific target group (e.g. mid-age business men, florists or first time moms) finding an affiliate program won’t be hard.

However, if you are anything like the majority of bloggers out there, your blog hasn’t got a particular niche – addressing any imaginable topic you might come across. Your visitors are probably stretching from age 16 to 65, represented in almost all working and hobby category. Finding a product or service that applies to such a broad audience is a common struggle for many bloggers today.

Advertise the element of surprise

Making money on blogging is hence not easy. But the main advantage affiliate programs have is the element of surprise. There are hundreds of thousands of merchants out there, all offering commission for online lead generation, so your chances of finding a product or service that few have yet to market are much higher than with AdSense.

The above is a guest author post from Chris Reynolds, a Web developer and entrepreneur with Web Hosting Search. Chris has an active passion for the industry of website hosting and domain name management. Part of his recent work has been involved in analyzing website profitability and new ideas in web design.