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AdSense Or Affiliate Marketing? Which Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?

6 min read

If you’ve been researching how to make money online, then I am sure you’ve come across these 2 words:

“Google AdSense” and “Affiliate Marketing”.

But which is the best way to monetise? Which is the best option for you? How do you get started?

Don’t worry, with this post I am going to share with you my own experience with both methods and I will be sharing my tips, tricks and opinions on both.

I have tried and earned money with both of them, but I do have a favorite.

Are you ready to find out the best way to make money online?

This information can be an eye-opener for you like it was for me a few years ago. After making a few adjustments, my income blew up and now I’m making a full-time income using just an internet connection.

If you just lend me 10 minutes of your time, I will show you how to do just that yourself.

AdSense Or Affiliate Marketing? Which Is The Best Way To Make Money Blogging?

AdSense Or Affiliate Marketing? Which Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?

What Is Google AdSense?

Google Adsense is a platform you can join for free, and once accepted, you will be able to place a code on your website (sidebar or in the content) and Google will display ads there which it gets from Google AdWords.

As a member of the AdSense program, you are basically “renting out” space on your website for the advertisers using Google Adwords.

Some experts claim that you will get paid 30% of what the advertiser paid for the click.

So let’s say an advertiser buys an ad with Google for $1 a click, if the click comes from your site, you will get $0.30.

I used $1 to make the math simple, but while there are search terms that go for more than a dollar a click, the majority goes for less.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is basically you selling other people’s products for a commission. Easy as that.

You find a product you like and if they offer an affiliate program, you start promoting it on your blog / website.

If the visitor you send ends up making a purchase then you get paid a commission.

How much the commission is depends on the network and also your sales volume. If you use the Amazon Associates Program, you can expect anywhere from 4% and upwards. Again; depends on what you are selling and how many of it.

There are others which will offer 50% or more. Even 100% commission are not rare. (This happens when a product offers upsells. You get the full front purchase and then they make money off the upsells.)

There are a lot of ways your commission rates will be calculated so make sure you know all the details before you decide to promote a product.

So Which Is Better? AdSense or Affiliate Marketing?

This may cause a bit of a stir but in my opinion, you should totally focus on affiliate marketing (especially if you are new to online business).

Sure affiliate marketing is going to take some more effort than just placing an AdSense code on your site but once you master it, you are going to make a whole lot more money.

In my opinion, Google AdSense is best used if you have a LOT of traffic coming into your site, and I’m talking 1000s a day.

However, I know most of my readers are newbies here so the chance of you having a site like that right now is not probable.

Why Do I Think Affiliate Marketing Is Better?

If you have tried and failed with Adsense, don’t worry; in my opinion affiliate marketing is a much more reliable and profitable business model.

Simply find a product in your niche (on Amazon or any other affiliate network) and promote that instead of using AdSense.

Let me walk you through the math on this one:

If you are getting 100 visitors a day and only making cents, that is not an ideal way to make money.

However if you are getting 100 visitors and you convert a very modest 1% on a product that will earn you $5 commission as an affiliate, you are looking at $75 a week at least.

You get my point here?

I find that the websites that make a lot of money using Adsense are huge sites that have millions of visitors every week / month.

Sites like the Huffington Post, eHow, Mashable and other “household” brands like these make a killing on Adsense sure, but that is only because they have millions of readers.

If you do not want to get rid of Adsense, then keep it but do try affiliate marketing, you might be leaving a lot of money on the table with just Adsense.

Also, there is no reason as to why you can’t do both.

It’s also good to remember, that “Adsense” is mainly used by affiliate marketers to promote their own products.

So a visitor comes to your site, they leave via an Adsense ad, you get paid $0.05 for that visitor and then the affiliate marketer tries to convert him into a $50 product.

Might as well try being the affiliate marketing yourself, right?

How I Use(d) Adsense

I’d be lying if I said I never used Adsense, but I have no shame in admitting that it never made me any real money. This is what I’ve made in the 4 years I’ve been using Adsense;

Obviously, I could’ve made much more but it was soon clear to me that with affiliate marketing, I can earn more.

Sometimes I still use Adsense still, when I have a blog post that is going viral, and it has no offers on the page, I might consider placing an Adsense banner on there and “see what happens”.

To be honest, I am only trying to reach the $100 mark so I can withdraw that money, probably once I do that, I will never touch AdSense again.

So Which One Are You Choosing?

Adsense or Affiliate marketing?

I really hope I didn’t put you off Adsense altogether. It might work for you if you have a sizeable audience and if you are currently making money with Adsense, do not remove it.

But do try affiliate marketing.

If you’re interested, I published a free eBook for you that will help you understand better how to make money with affiliate marketing. You can download the book here:

How To Win At Affiliate Marketing”.

So which one will you choose? Let me know in the comment section below and tell me why.

Also, I would love to hear about your experiences with either method, I’d be fun to have your opinions on this so leave a comment down below with your thoughts.

Thank you very much for reading. I hope this post was informative for you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about what we talked about.

PS: Take a few seconds to sign up to the “3HUNDRD Roundtable” too, that way I will be able to send you all my online business advice that I publish every week or so.


10 Comments AdSense Or Affiliate Marketing? Which Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?

  1. Chris

    Interesting article but hard for me to digest seeing that 2 of my 5 websites are adsense sites…and you’d probably lose your voice if you realized how much they give me a month!
    Affiliate marketing is great – but nowhere near as easy as people make out.
    A simple bit of market research can draw in A LOT of adsense rewards. Once you have found a popular niche you can basically rinse and repeat within that niche.
    I have two freinds who do this on a monthly basis and have never even considered promoting affiliate products. At the end of the day it;s all down to whether or not you are up for the challenge – building websites isn’t really that hard…is it? 🙂

    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Hey Chris. Actually no I don’t mind if you disagree with me. Actually, I’m glad to hear you’re doing well with Adsense and I’m glad to have second opinion on this.

      Obviously I’m not saying AdSense is not good, just from my own experiences, I have found affiliate marketing to be much more worth my time.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.

  2. Matthew Thomas

    It somewhat depends on the niche, but in my opinion, affiliate marketing is typically the way to go whether the site gets a lot of traffic or not. What you’re doing with Google Adsense, in essence, is driving visitors away from your site for pocket change, which simply isn’t a great strategy. You’re better off attempting to have visitors click through your site and potentially make a much larger purchase, ranging anywhere from $10 to $100 to thousands of dollars. It’s a better strategy for much larger profits in the long run.

    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      I agree with you Thomas. My point exactly. Glad to see this turning into a friendly debate in the comment section.

      Thanks for cmmenting.

  3. Alex

    When I first learned about the way you can get paid online I had the same question burning in my head. I didn’t know if I should focus on adsense or affiliate marketing but the more time I spend in the online business world the more and more I’m leaning towards affiliate marketing. Although I do have an adsense code pasted on my rolling blog I’m have a goal of writing down more reviews on my website. I’d rather rely on the sales of commission. Thanks for information.

    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Yes definitely do more product reviews as they will lead to much higher rankings and even more sales since you will be found by people that are looking for the products.

      Thank you for your comment Alex.


  4. Peteni Kuzwayo


    Great post!

    And I definitely agree with you, Affiliate Marketing is the way to go.

    In your article, you highlight that it is reliable. And that is so true. In addition, and more importantly from my personal experience, is the fact that you can scale your Affiliate Marketing efforts.

    If you find a winning product and campaign, the income levels and massive.


  5. Warren

    Chris, I really like your reasoning for suggesting newbies choose affiliate marketing. It seems adsense is OK but without a lot of traffic, the return is very small. With affiliate marketing you learn how to get the traffic and then, who knows, just add adsense to your site. Good information here. Well done.


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