So you have a web site or web sites, and you’re interested in making money online. Where should you focus your money making opportunities? Commission Junction, paid banners or Google AdSense?
The answer: all 3 (and more)
You should experiment with everything on your site, find out what works and what doesn’t. Google AdSense is a easy way to make some money on the web site, but you could definitely be selling yourself short. Shoemoney now frowns on AdSense on the site saying basically you’re selling your traffic away. Instead of having a potential new visitor to the site, you might be throwing him away for .10 cents. In the end, that visitor could be worth much much more.
I agree to a certain extent, but understand that certain sites can be more successful with AdSense. For example, a valuable lesson learned about site monetization. There was a post a while back at Digital Point Forums (you should definitely have that bookmarked and be visiting every day!), that had an extremely valuable point. The point was there are two different types of visitors to your site. Buyers and Readers. You have to understand what people are coming to your site. If ‘readers’ are coming to the site, then your affiliate products and banners might not work so great, since they’re all about reading articles. Here is a good example of where AdSense can work for you. If you’re site targets ‘buyers’, then you’ll want to take advantage of offering products that they’re looking for and encourage them to come back, etc. This is a good reason NOT to have AdSense, since you’ll make more money off of the commissions than AdSense.
Community sites are a good opportunity to get both buyers and readers to your site, and if you’ve become ‘established’, you may be at a position to sell paid banners. Paid banners are just ‘gravy’ in the world of affiliates, since the site owner will pay you a monthly feel to post their banner on your site. An extremely good and easy way of making solid cash. The catch is that you need to be established and pull good traffic. So as you’re working on new sites, you should keep that in the back of your mind for another revenue stream for that particular site when it achieves that level. Also, if you reach this point, you can start to remove Google AdSense and replacing them with higher valued ads (ie: John Chow just recently did this).
Depending on your site, Commission Junction Network might be a fantastic opportunity. Currently, eBay is a advertiser there, and there has been a big push to create niche stores using RSS feeds and PPC targeting ‘buyers’. I have a few sites that use this, and are performing well. I like to keep AdSense on these sites to help ease the cost of my PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, but this all depends on the niche and the ‘action’ I get off of those. For example, I had a niche (sorry, don’t want to tell), that was getting extremely high click on AdSense, but ‘okay’ clicks on the eBay auctions, but I was getting good sales from the clicks. I was thinking that my AdSense was too blended into my site and these users were unintentionally clicking on them, but these users were definitely ‘buyers’. I immediately moved them AdSense to the bottom of the page and added color backgrounds to disrupt the blend, and sure enough, clicks and sales increased. I get fewer AdSense clicks but get a few. Now, my AdSense account pays for my PPC campaigns and I’m getting a solid return from the auctions.
It all comes down to experiment and test. If you have a site, then start playing with different ads, placement and techniques. Determine who your visitors are and start focusing on what would work best for them. Also, I would recommend testing for a month at a time. Don’t try something for a day and say it doesn’t work. Give it a month and make strong calculated decisions to increase your success. This line of work is insanely hard and takes dedication and perseverance.