What is the Difference Between Affiliate Marketing vs AdSense

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Google Adsense is a program is run by Google. The program allows the publishers around the Google network of content sites to offer automatic text, video, images, advertisements to name a few. All of this is directly targetted towards the site content and the audience.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting and marketing specific third-party products or services in order to capture leads, make sales, or generate traffic for the third-party site or scheme.

The principle of affiliate marketing is that the affiliate – the person marketing or promoting someone else’s offerings – gets paid a set rate of commission for every successful action they achieve. This action might be as simple as getting a click through to the partner site, or it may involve making an acquisition or triggering a sale.

The affiliate is responsible for marketing and promoting their affiliate partner’s goods or services across whatever channels they choose – from websites and blogs to email mailshots, paid adverts and more – and their success in doing so determines the level of their pay outs.

Affiliates have complete control over what they choose to promote and how they choose to do it, and they manage their content and promotions themselves, deciding when, where, and how to showcase them.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

I have already alluded to some of the advantages of affiliate marketing. Let me lay them out to you in point form;

  • For publishers, affiliate marketing is a good way of monetizing their sites and channels.
  • Affiliate marketing can become a great source of passive income.
  • For brands, affiliate marketing is a good way of spreading the word while only paying when the desired outcome is reached. Affiliate marketing is performance based. If an affiliate does not produce results, then the brand has no obligation to pay him or her.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing does have its disadvantages;

  • For affiliates, the field is so crowded that it can be rather difficult to make even a single sale.
  • Affiliates have no control over the products that they are selling. The nature of the product and its pricing is determined by the producer.
  • It sometimes happens that affiliates sign up with a not so honest merchant. When that happens, the affiliate is never sure whether or not they will get paid for referring people.

What is AdSense?

So, what is AdSense? Well, AdSense is an advertisement publishing platform operated by Google, which enables publishers that join Google’s network of content sites to show automated adverts to their visitors. These may be in text, image, video, or interactive formats, and are designed to compliment the type of organic content and audience demographics of their host site.

AdSense marketing is delivered automatically by Google, who chooses and places the ads on the third-party site rather than the site’s owner picking and showcasing ads of their own choosing. The owner of the website that hosts AdSense ads earns commissions for doing so, which may be paid out per impression of the ad, or per click received on the ad.
AdSense ads are placed only on sites that Google chooses, and they can’t be integrated into email mailshots.

This means that people who host AdSense ads are Google affiliates, although AdSense isn’t strictly what one would think of as an affiliate scheme in the true sense of the word.

AdSense Advantages

The following are some of the advantages of Google AdSense

  • For publishers, it’s an easy way of generating extra revenue from your site (if you have the traffic). Indeed, if you have the traffic, AdSense can be a great source of passive income.
  • For advertisers, Google AdSense offers a great way of targeting the right kind of person. That’s because ads are not displayed at random. Instead, they only get displayed alongside relevant content.
  • Google AdSense is simple to setup on a website. Once you have an account, you can set up Google AdSense on as many sites as you wish.

AdSense disadvantages

Google AdSense does have a number of glaring disadvantages;

  • The only way to make it work is if you attract huge volumes of traffic to your website. In fact, the average blogger probably will make only a few dollars a month from Google AdSense. I have already mentioned that you need about 10000 visitors a day to begin making meaningful amounts. Now, if you have that kind of traffic, there are better ways of monetizing your site than through AdSense.
  • Google tends to be arbitrary about the running of Google AdSense. If, as an example, they suspect that you have clicked on your ads, you will be banned for life. And there can be no negotiating!
  • Displaying ads on your site can be annoying to your visitors. Some people are likely to hit the unsubscribe button because of it.

AdSense or affiliate: How it works in practice

When you join Google’s network of content sites, you become part of the Google affiliate network, and are able to show the ads and promotional content on your own websites that Google decides are a good match.

Google affiliate sites aren’t generally set up specifically to make money with AdSense – they are usually designed for another purpose that is compatible with the AdSense model, which enables them to cover some of the costs of operating the site and potentially, make a profit by selling ad real estate.

However, despite the fact that the term “affiliate” is often used to refer to people who partner with AdSense to showcase ads, the lack of control over the showcased content and the limited ability to choose an appropriate commission structure to work within makes it very different from a standard affiliate scheme. Affiliate schemes offer a greater degree of flexibility, freedom, and control, as well as the potential to earn much larger sums of money than is the case for AdSense affiliates.

what are the core differences between Affiliate marketing vs. AdSense?

• Affiliate marketing allows the prospective affiliate to choose between a wide range of different schemes to find the one that is the best fit for them. Google AdSense affiliates and partner sites have to work under Google’s own set framework and payment structure.

• Affiliate marketers can pick the commission structure that they want, in terms of the action required to trigger a commission payment, and the level of commission they can earn. With Google AdSense, this is predetermined.

• Affiliate marketers have complete control over the products and services they offer, and can choose those they like and want to work with. AdWords partners showcase ads chosen by Google, who place them automatically within the content.

• Affiliate marketers can choose where, when, and how they promote their affiliate products and offers, with a much greater degree of control over their business and promotions. AdSense partners only have static, set locations to place their ads within, on their own website pages.

• Affiliates can advertise and promote their offerings across the internet at large, mobile ads, email mailshots, paid adverts and much more. AdSense partners don’t have the opportunity to do this, and particularly, there is no AdSense email marketing provision to allow you to send out mailshots.

• It is almost always the case that a busy, successful website or host portal that brings in a lot of traffic (and so, potential customers) will generate more cash when monetized with affiliate offers than via AdSense.

• Virtually any niche you can think of has an affiliate scheme serving it – whilst many niches are excluded or banned in AdSense.

• There are low barriers to entry when it comes to joining an affiliate scheme – most schemes work hard to encourage new affiliates with information and guides on how to become a CPA affiliate (an affiliate who earns money via the cost per action payment model, for achieving a predetermined action on the part of their site’s visitors). However, Google AdWords will only accept certain types of partner sites and content, which places it outside of the reach of many website owners.

Affiliate marketing and Google are closely linked

Affiliate marketing and Google are of course inextricably linked – you can’t effectively promote an affiliate scheme and get it seen by internet users who might want to buy from it without ensuring that it can be found in search results.

You may also want to make use of Google AdWords and/or AdSense to pay for ads and promotions to stream traffic to your affiliate partners and earn commissions – or alternatively, host both AdSense ads and affiliate content within your websites.

However, the more ads and different types of promotions you show on any given website, the lower the chances of each of them generating interest that converts into commission – so tread carefully, and don’t risk compromising your income by showcasing too many different types of ads or promotions at once.

If you want to earn a low level of passive income from a website that is designed to serve another purpose too, AdSense can provide this – if you are accepted as part of their network of content sites.

On the other hand, if you are prepared to do more work and are keen to earn potentially significant streams of revenue – with a high level of control and choice at your disposal – affiliate marketing is better.

So Which is Best: Affiliate Marketing Vs. AdSense

Affiliate marketing will give the better opportunity to make the most money. AdSense will make you smaller amounts of cash regularly with very little maintenance. However, it needs a fair amount of traffic to be really profitable, while you can use a mailing list to sell your affiliate products. You can build up a large list over time, even with a small amount of daily traffic.

AdSense is a good choice if you don’t have the technical ability to operate autoresponders or the time to seek out appropriate affiliate products for your site. However, you will find that autoresponders are usually made very easy for newbies to operate, and you need very little technical expertise to build your own list and sell to it.

The main problem with AdSense is the relatively low income per click, so you need a lot of traffic to make money. You are also trying to persuade people to click on adverts selling products you could sell yourself as an affiliate! Affiliate Marketing Vs. AdSense – the choice is yours.

Why not use both?

In my view, there doesn’t actually need to be an Affiliate Marketing vs AdSense debate. The good news is that you can use both Google AdSense and affiliate marketing on your blog, and nobody is going to assassinate you because of it. In fact, this is what most bloggers do. If you are not worried about annoying your readers, then, by all means get AdSense. And, while you are at it, find out some affiliate marketing opportunities in your niche. Add affiliate marketing links to your site, and kill one bird with two stones (or is it the other way round)? Anyway, most people will take even a few dollars wherever we can find them. In that case, using both Google AdSense and affiliate marketing on your site is a good way of ensuring that you stay afloat. Some people are worried that having affiliate links will get them banned from AdSense. That is not true! You can use affiliate links alongside Google AdSense!

5 Major Benefits of Affiliate Marketing Over Google Adsense

I personally like affiliate marketing because it allows me to earn money whenever I want. All I need to do is to set up a proper blog sales funnel, drive targeted visitors and promote the right products to make money. That being said, here are few of the biggest reasons why you should use affiliate marketing over AdSense.

1. Make Money While You Sleep

The #1 reason people go after affiliate marketing is it’s the surefire way to make money even when you sleep. It’s the greatest passive income source for majority of the bloggers and marketers.

Pick the right products to promote, drive targeted visitors to see those ads and you will be making money every time they buy from you. It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to beg people to buy products from you or spend money to increase your sales.

You just need the right kind of attention and products that suit your target audience and if they find value in them, you will be making money even while you are sleeping.

Sharing below screenshot for one of my affiliate account:

Affiliate Income Screen

So you can see, I made over $53,000 while sending 17,665 clicks only to one of affiliate product I’m promoting. You cannot think of making such amount while showing Adsense ads on your blog.

Take Away: Show affiliate products on pages where you are getting traffic on commercial intent keywords.

2. Build First, Make Money Next

Building trust is the key to making more money from affiliate marketing. The best example is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and his blog generates over 100,000 dollars every single month.

Do you know his #1 income sources for his blog? It’s affiliate marketing. Almost 80% of the money comes from affiliate marketing. He is able to generate so much money from it because of one simple reason and that is the trust he has built over the years.

When he recommends something, his audience give it a try and that way he makes commission. Bluehost is his biggest income source where he usually makes over $30,000 a month alone from it.

Affiliate marketing can help you keep your visitors stay on your blog whereas Google AdSense kills your readership.

3. You Don’t Need Huge Traffic

The reason why I always prefer affiliate marketing over AdSense or any other income source is this: “I don’t need huge traffic on my sites”. Even with a couple of thousands visitors seeing my site, I can make decent income from affiliate marketing.

The best part is I can get huge commissions if I choose the products carefully. Not only I can add value to my audience by recommending them the right products but I can make money in the process. So it’s a win win approach.

4. You Can Promote “Relevant Products”

Google AdSense won’t let you pick the ads for your target audience that means you are irritating your blog audience with your ads. Whereas with affiliate marketing, you can promote relevant products that suit your audience.

You can increase your clicks by promoting the relevant products to your blog audience. So even with limited amount of traffic, you can drive more affiliate sales. That’s what I like about affiliate marketing.

5. You are Your Own Boss

You don’t need anyone else’s promotion to start making money from affiliate marketing. To make money from AdSense, you need approval from Google Adsense Team. Only then you can make money from it. Even after getting your AdSense account, you never know when Google bans you (if you violate their rules).

So here’s where affiliate marketing clearly wins the race. Set up the right products, build the right audience and promote it accordingly to increase your affiliate sales.

5 Core Benefits of Google AdSense Over Affiliate Marketing

For 99% of the bloggers, Google AdSense is how they start making money from their blogs. Not that AdSense is the easiest way to make money blogging but it is undoubtedly the fastest way to earn money online.

Google AdSense is hands down the best money making source for majority of the people who run micro sites or blogs. Here are 5 of the major benefits of using AdSense over affiliate marketing.

1. Google AdSense is the Fastest Way to Make Money Online

Making money from affiliate marketing takes a lot of time. You can’t make affiliate sales within a month or two especially when you have zero online marketing skills. This is where AdSense comes into play.

It is the quickest and reliable way to make money from your blogs. Drive enough visitors from search engines to your sites, use AdSense ads and you will be making decent money every month. That’s the beauty of Google AdSense.

2. You Don’t Need Any Online Expertise

Seriously, making money using AdSense doesn’t require you to become an expert in your field. Thousands of new bloggers without any expertise in their fields are launching new sites and making money from AdSense.

We all know building online expertise takes a lot of time (not months but it usually takes years). This is where most people give up and fail miserably to build profitable blogs like Mashable, Techcrunch etc. Luckily, AdSense allows you to quickly make money and all you need is decent amount of traffic coming from search engines to your sites.

3. You Don’t Need Any Products

Seriously, you don’t need to find any “perfect products” to promote. Google AdSense takes care of everything. Once you apply for AdSense and get approved your account, you can find relevant ads to place on your sites to grow your AdSense earnings.

4. If Done Right, AdSense can be Your #1 Passive Income Source

Amit Agarwal, Darren Rowse and few other guys are making millions of dollars every single year just from Google Adsense. That means AdSense can be your #1 passive income source if you properly use it.

The only reason why most people can’t make enough AdSense earnings is they either don’t get enough traffic from Google or they try to get random visitors by using vague keywords while creating content. If you take care of your traffic and drive targeted visitors to your sites from search engines, your Google AdSense earnings can skyrocket easily.

5. You Don’t Need Any Special Skills

Seriously I’ve seen so many new bloggers launching new sites and making money from AdSense. Why would you need special skills when you can create some good content that gets you enough traffic and increase your AdSense earnings.

But make sure you are NOT creating content just for the sake of AdSense. Give importance to your audience, create good content around their needs, do proper on-page optimization and you can easily increase your AdSense income.

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