If you are a blogger who attempts to make money online completely through Google AdSense, writing paid reviews, or even by selling advertising blocks, you are probably missing out on a huge amount of income each month.
When I first started placing advertising on my blogs, the logical place to start was with Google AdSense. 6 months later, I’m making between $1.00-$5.00 a day with Google AdSense. Not bad right? At first I thought so, but I had no idea that I wasn’t living up to my potential. Paid reviews? That is a one-time payment and usually requires a lot more work than should be required for the amount you are paid. Sell paid advertising blocks on your site? There is nothing wrong with this, but if your blog isn’t mainstream yet, you probably are having trouble finding advertisers for your website.
So, what is the best way to make money online? I am now 100% confident that the best way to do this is through affiliate marketing. I still use Google AdSense, but I only place one ad block per page and only display it on homepages or posts that are x number of days old. That way, it just serves as a supplemental income, rather than my primary income.
Now rather than dealing with 1 or 2 cent AdSense clicks, with affiliate marketing I know exactly how much I will get paid each time I refer a sale. I also know that affiliate marketing is much less intrusive on your readers, because you’ll be focusing on getting conversions from your search engine traffic. If you pick the right affiliate programs, you can make up to $100.00 each time you convert a sale. Yesterday I made $2.14 with Google AdSense, but I made $95.00 via affiliate sales from some of my websites. That is comparable to what I would typically make working an 8 hour day sitting at a desk for a large corporation, and there was no active work. Those same affiliate links may make me another $50.00-$200.00 tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, or I might go a full day without any sales. It does tend to even out over the course of the month, however. Keep building upon it and your income should go up over time. Heck, one day I made $270.00 by the time I woke up for the day!
So, where do you start? More than likely most of my readers already have at least one site setup. No matter what your blog’s niche is, there is going to be an affiliate program available that would convert well for your audience. You just need to find it. I also pull a large percentage of my income from BANS websites, which takes an hour or so to setup and optimize.
Here are the main sites you need to find affiliate programs, listed in order of relevance:
- Commission Junction – Commission Junction has probably the biggest selection and deals with huge companies. One of my best performers here is Bass Pro Shops for example. You’ll find all sorts of large companies here.
- Clickbank – Clickbank is great for digital and electronic stuff, so if your site is in this area, here is probably where you’ll want to start.
- Amazon Associates – Amazon obviously does Amazon products, so you can get paid for basically anything that is sold at Amazon.com. As a matter of fact, you can refer someone to their website and get paid for anything they buy, even if you don’t refer them for those specific products!
- Linkshare – Linkshare is one I haven’t had much success with yet, but I do have an account with them and I have read about others who have found success with them.
- E-Junkie – E-Junkie has some nice products, but they don’t keep the money. In other words, you have to rely on the affiliates themselves to pay you, which usually happens (but I’ve had a few times I didn’t get paid).
- ShareASale – ShareASale is fairly new, but I’ve already got a few companies with them that are producing fairly well.
These are the 6 that you should concern yourself with when you are starting out. If you use BANS, you will also be working with the eBay affiliate network (though everything sets itself up).
For now, if you have an established blog(s), go ahead and sign up for any of the above companies that interest you and get started digging for good affiliate programs that match your audience. I will hopefully be digging into these companies a little further in the future.