Adsense Vs. Affiliate Sites
My main goal heading into the future is to build a website that generates income from an advertising program such as adsense which pays website owners based on CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). This is in contrast to affiliate websites which make their money by referring customers to online merchants.
There are tons of reasons I can think of why this would be beneficial to webmasters – and if I were a super affiliate or even half-decent gambling affiliate than I’d really be looking to diversify into adsense very soon.
Google has stated that they place no value on “pure affiliate sites”. You can read more about Google’s stance on affiliate sites here. It’s not all bad news, after all Google also stated that you can stay on their good side (I doubt they really have one) if you provide unique value-added content that “distinguishes your site from other affiliates.”
Even given the last part though, do you really think it’s possible to make a value-added site that relies purely on affiliate programs? Maybe you can – PokerNews.com and Parttimepoker.com are good examples of this in gambling. But the difference is that these sites probably spend A LOT of money on high quality writers and professional editors. I know from personal experience that PokerStrategy.com pays their writers $15/hour (almost as much as a graduate makes in the UK). Other than this, there’s not a whole lot you can do with your affiliate websites to truly add user-value. And this is where I’ve got stuck in the past and why I venerate adsense/CPM advertising sites.
Why Adsense Revenue is Better than Affiliate Revenue in the Long Run?
Because you can build a better site!
The problem with affiliate websites is that you’re aim in the long term will always be to channel you web traffic to a specific page and push them into signing up to a program. Most of the time users won’t want to do this. This is the first road block to building an affiliate site with user value.
The second road block is your content. With an affiliate site you’re mostly going to be focusing your energy on writing articles based on specific keywords, particularly branded program keywords (such as PokerStars Bonus) in order to receive better converting traffic. There is little if any incentive to write super high quality articles when you consider the ROI that these will bring.
With an adsense site the roles are totally reversed! You can build a super high quality adsense website with an emphasis on unique articles for visitors. You don’t need to “funnel” your traffic inconveniently.
The more high quality articles you publish, the more page views you’ll receive, and this directly corresponds to your income. Now it doesn’t seem a waste of time investing money in a professional editorial team because this will directly increase your unique visitors, page views and ROI. Your high quality editorial articles will also get tons of natural backlinks – saving your money on SEO. In the gambling industry this hardly happens at all. In fact, in gambling you’re a million times more likely to get a spam comment than a sexy “aux natural” backlink.
How Much Traffic do you Need to Make Money with Adsense
This is a question I’ve been super interested in, even before I got into affiliating. I always used to see adsense ads everywhere and wanted to know how much the webmaster made from it. All you need to do to work out your expected adsense earnings is calculate your traffic x CTR% x CPC = profit.
The CPC or CPM in adsense varies depending on the theme and keywords of your site. (It’s also against Adsense’s terms and conditions to let others know what your CTR % is which is why you don’t see that many webmasters talking about it on the internet.) CPC’s can range anywhere from 5p for random stuff like entertainment portals up to $5 or even $10 for more professional services such as Forex, CFD Trading and Precious Metals. A few forum posts I’ve read have said they have $80 CPCs in Adsense but I find it terribly hard to figure out what type of site they to get such a high CPC.
The CTR% also varies depending on your ad positioning and the theme of the site in general. Most webmasters suggest an average CTR% of 3% but this can rise to 5% or possibly 10% if you’re really clever with your ad placements and the ads are very relevant.
Using all the above information lets imagine we want to create a forex site that makes $1,000/month with adsense. With an average CTR of 3% and a CPC of $8 we’d need total traffic of over 4,000 unique visitors per month.
Building a website capable of receiving 4,000/month UV’s might seem a stretch to some. However what you have to remember is that there are tons of niches on the internet with no competition. I saw a silly “glee” dedicated site the other day which has traffic of 1,000/day. That’s 30,000 visitors per month! There are tons of other examples I think of but at the end of the day you just have to use some common sense. For better examples and with stats you can even browse through Flippa to see how much *cough crap* sites can make with adsense.