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Why Use Affiliate Ads Rather Than AdSense or YPN?

by Robyn Tippins on September 6, 2006

Over the last year I’ve become more and more jaded with Google Adsense and YPN. Both are very popular and Cinderella stories about the vehicles abound. However, for most, they are not the vehicle through which you can quit your day job.

I run a ‘deals’ site ( that gets a little traffic and pays enough to justify my time there. Of course, as you can see I don’t even update it daily (big no-no) and I *just* added a weekly email newsletter, so with effort this could certainly be a six figure earner for me.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that a common question many people have is “Why do people choose affiliate ads over Adsense/YPN?”

I think this case study will tell you:

One advertiser recently sent me an email reminding me of their current affiliate promotion. It was roughly (details changed to protect my hide):

1. 10 Subscriptions – Get $50 Home Depot or Best Buy Gift Card

2. 50 Subscriptions – 2G iPod Nano

3. 150 Subscriptions – XBox 360

4. 275 – Home Theater System ($1000 value)

5. 500 – Tickets to the Affiliate Summit, $500 airfare and 3 days lodging

6. 1000 – Serious renumeration

Now, this was for a service that costs between $10 and $20 dollars, depending on plan, and it’s a really popular service at that. And, remember, this is, in addition to the $15 lead spiff. So, in essence, for option #6 you would make around $5K for the above bonus and $15K for the lead spiff.
1000 subscribers to this sought-after service would yield you $20,000! The details are that you have a full quarter to participate (ie 3 months to get the 1000 subscriptions). I mean, can you imagine that spending $5K in Adwords would probably bring you 1000 subscriptions? That’s a profit for the affiliate of at the least $15,000.

Now, compare that to $1K a month in Adsense earnings on a popular blog…

Affiliate advertising pays, big-time.

Popular Affiliate Networks:

Commission Junction (easiest and largest)

Linkshare (great advertisers like Dell and iTunes)

Performics (less high-tech, but worthwhile and easy to navigate)

You can hover over the ad in my sidebar or over the Linkshare link above to see what affilate links look like. Feel free to ask me any questions on this one. I have learned alot this year, after running my own site as a publisher and helping clients investigate the advertiser role. And, wish me luck on the 1K subscriptions. LOL

Stay Tuned: I’ll be posting a few followups later this week that explain 1- How to effectively use affiliate advertising (three part) and 2- Why advertisers are interested in affiliate advertising at all.