If you are a webmaster who has been, or is, even slightly interested in monetizing your website or blog, then I am sure you have heard about Google Adsense. Its popularity comes from its ease of implementation and higher CPC. It is as simple as getting your website accepted into the program, integrating the HTML codes into appropriate spaces for the ads to show up, and not violating the rules so that your account remains in good standing. That said, it is the first and third part that sends most webmasters looking for alternatives to Google Adsense. Many give up after getting their application rejected a couple of times, while others start the search after their account, for whatever reason, gets banned by Google. Recently though, the stories of people getting their account closed is running rampant in the Internet Marketing world. Whatsoever the reason maybe, it is always a good idea to spread your risk, and to have other means of income as a backup ready to cover, when the need arises.
So in this article, I will be going through some of the best Adsense alternatives out there. Not only this, the article will also show you some other popular, and in some cases more profitable, ways to monetize your website.
Before we get started though, know that as far as payout is concerned, no other generic PPC ad network matches the effectiveness of Adsense, but many do come close. The only way you can get something higher (in terms of CPC) is when you choose a vertical specific Ad network, entry into which is almost impossible for smaller websites.
Here are, in no particular order, 11 of the best Google Adsense Alternatives:
Media.net has a huge ad inventory, making it a good adsense alternative. Media.net scans each web page looking for important keywords based on which highly relevant and targeted ads are displayed. These ads are mobile optimized as well. The minimum payout is $100 and payment options include Paypal and wire transfer.
Things To Consider Before Joining an Ad Network:-
- Do you have enough traffic? Let’s be honest- a website receiving less than 1000 impressions might not be a good money maker as far as advertising revenue is concerned.
- Is the customer service team responsive? While compiling this list of Adsense alternatives and weeding out potential networks, I came across several threads on marketing forums where publishers were venting out their agony on how they hadn’t been paid by their network for several months, and furthermore, the customer support teams were not returning calls or emails.
Let this not happen to you! Do your research on the network’s reputability, and read reviews before applying. Also, don’t forget to contact the customer support just to see how efficiently they answer your questions.
- How is the ad quality? What ad formats do the network offer? Users, like it or not, associate a websites’ ad to its owner. It is very important to check whether the ads displayed on your website will be relevant to what your niche is. Does it flow with the content or is it totally un-related? Also, if you find an ad offensive or not relevant, does the network give you an option to take it down?
- What is the net effective CPM? Because it does come down to money.
- What does their payment methods, payment cycle and minimum payment threshold look like? Also, read reviews to see whether the network pays on time.
- Do they offer tracking tools? Do they offer real time statistics? These will come very handy while optimizing and customizing the ads to make it high converting.
Adside is a PPC ad network that focuses on bringing advertisers and media agencies together with highly targeted publishers. It is a great adsense alternative. Instead of delivering relevant ads based on keywords, Adside is a platform that matches a publishers’ website according to the advertisers’ requirements. To qualify for their publisher program, your website should receive a minimum of 500,000 unique visits per month, and the traffic should primarily be from United States, Canada and U.K. Their minimum payment threshold is $50, which can be redeemed via check.
They offer seven contextual ad types: Margin Ad, Corner Ad, Banner, Pop-under ads, Interstitial ads, inImage ads and inVideo ads. All the ad copies are reviewed and made sure to adhere to Adside’s advertisers guideline.
- Margin ad- This ad unit sits on the un-utilized margin on the right side of your website. Ads only appear if the browser is wide enough for the unit to fit. For example, in cases where browser is not fully maximized the ad won’t be displayed. Also, ads will remain fully visible even when the user scrolls down the screen. Publishers have control over the cap time, text color, fonts, exposure frequency and other display settings.
- Corner Ad- Depending on the publishers’ choice, this ad unit can sit on any corner of the users’ screen. The publisher also has full control as to when the ad appears. The users have the ability to close the window making it non- intrusive. Ad remains visible while the user scrolls up and down the screen. Also, this ad unit makes for a clean and uncluttered look with its semi-transparent background, and the ad context, which is comprised of a single line with 50 characters or less.
- Banner, Interstitial and Pop-under ads- These ad units contain text as well as images that have been pre screened. The ads come in all IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) approved standard sizes. Publishers have full control over the display settings, font, color etc.
- in-Image- This ad unit consists of a single line text on a semi transparent background that automatically adapts to any image. These ads can be closed by the user and are fully customizable by the publisher. In-Image ads also come with a image visibility detection tool that makes sure to only display ads when the image is fully viewable by the user. This prevents ad blindness and keeps the CTR high.
- InVideo- Just like inImage, this ad unit consists of a single line text (up to 50 characters) that lays across the bottom of the video area. The publisher can customize the ad launch time, exposure time, and frequency.
Launched in 2003, its fame has soared especially over the last four to five years. What makes Bidvertiser unique is the fact that along with paying you every time a user clicks on an ad, they also pay you for each conversion. It is relatively easy to get approved by Bidvertiser, unless your website is in the adult, gambling, illegal drugs or other questionable niche. Although there are no traffic requirements, high traffic blogs will earn more, especially if they are from USA, UK or Canada. Bidvertiser only allows the top bidders to display ads on your site. This makes sure that you make more money. They support 4 types of ad formats: Banners, Skyscrapers, Rectangles and Mobile.
Bidvertiser also offers a toolbar that you can create with your own logo. When users search through your website using the toolbar, they will be shown sponsored ads in the result section. These ads can be customized to blend in nicely and look like a part of your website.
The minimum payment threshold for Bidvertiser, if you choose to be paid through Paypal, is US $10. If you opt to receive the payment through check, the minimum threshold for that would be $100. The publishers are paid every 30 calendar days.
Bidvertiser also offers a referral program, where when a user signs up as an advertiser through your affiliate link, your account will get credited with $5 for the first $10 spent by the referred advertiser. If the same advertiser spends $50, then your account will be credited with $20. If, on the other hand, another publisher signs up using your link, your account will be credited with $10 when that publisher earns their first $10. Consequently, when that same user then earns $50, your account will be credited with $40.
Chitika is among the top contender in the race of the best Google Adsense alternatives. It has a publishers’ network of over 300,000 websites. They offer intent driven ads to users with their sophisticated targeting and optimization technology. Their advertising partners include Yahoo!, HomeAdvisor, SuperMedia and Hibu.
Chitika can be used on its own, but for best results they should be used alongside other ad networks like Adsense.
- Search targeted ads- which makes sure that the ads displayed are based on the users’ search engine query,
- Local Ads- which makes sure that users who have searched for local results get displayed local ads.
- Mobile Ads- these ads are optimized for Mobile devices
The ad payout is low especially if the traffic is not from USA, UK or Canada. To improve your Chitika earnings, they offer:-
- Silver level ad program- whose ad base is much smaller that the Gold level but still offer higher payout than a standard account.
- Gold level Ad program- for which your website needs at least 5000 unique impressions per day from United States.
Their minimum payment threshold for Paypal is $10, and for check is $100.
Also, with their referral program, for every publisher that signs up using your link, you can earn 10% of their revenue for the first 10 months.
Clicksor is a contextual ad network which means that the ads adapt to the content of your webpage, keeping it relevant at all times. They offer five ad formats:-
- PPC Inline Text Links- These ads appear in a boxed format when users hover their cursor over certain words within your web page. The ads come with clear and concise call to action. Although small, these ad creatives are enough to ignite curiosity among users and encourage them to visit the partners’ website. Also, they make for a great option if you don’t have space available for traditional banner ads.
- PPC Text Banners and Graphical Banner- As the name states, text banners are simple textual ads with one or two lines of text with a link at the end. Graphic banner, on the other hand, are much more aesthetically pleasing to the publishers’ website. When user clicks on the banner, they are taken to the advertisers’ page.
- Pay per view Pop-Unders- These are much more non intrusive than pop up ads, as when a user visits a site with pop under ads, these ads will open under the current window using css and JS.
- Pay per View Interstitial Ads- These are full page ads that are shown between two web content pages. They are like TV commercials that comes up between your favorite shows. You can customize the ad frequency depending on what you think is the best ad display cap for your users.
For average revenue information on each ad format, please click here.
Clicksor does not demand exclusivity and allows you to have ads from other Ad networks, like Adsense. The only requirement is that you can only have 3 ad units per page from Clicksor.
For payment via Paypal or Check, the threshold is $50, and for payment via wire transfer, the threshold is $1000. Payment cycle begins every 15 days.
6. Exit Junction
Exit Junction is really unique in that it lets you take advantage of your websites’ exit traffic. Here is what I mean- when a user enters a search query, they are presented with a results page, from where they then click on a link to visit a website. In most cases users, after browsing through the site for a few seconds, click the back button right away. This is where exit junction ads come in. Instead of taking the user back to the search results page, they are taken to a page with sponsored results. These ads are relevant to the query they first inputted into the search engine, and they are also relevant to their location. This makes sure that the CTR remains high.
This is ideal for people who still want to run ads from other networks. Plus, it does not affect the user experience.
For Paypal, the payment threshold is $25, and for check it is $50.
They also offer a referral program whereby you can earn 10% of the referred publishers’ earnings for lifetime.
Infolinks is another popular Google adsense alternative that is relatively easy to get approved for. They offer 4 types of ads- Insearch, Intext, Intag and Inframe.
- Insearch ads- These type of ads let you monetize the incoming search traffic. They only appear when a visitor enters your website from the search engine. It is displayed as an overlay ad. After a few seconds they shrink down to just a headline. When users hover their mouse over the headline, the full overlay ad will re-appear.
- Intext ads- They appear as hyperlinks on the main keywords of your web page. When user hover over those keywords, the ad gets displayed. This makes the whole process non-obtrusive. The publisher can choose the color of the hyperlink as well as how many ads they want on a page.
- Intag ads- Intag ads are similar to intext, as the ads are only displayed (in a tag cloud format) when users hover their mouse over the link. You can choose the location of ads.
- Inframe ads- Inframe ads utilizes unused margins of your website, and frames it with attractive and relevant ad displays. Their platform automatically detects the difference of the window size when compared to the browser size and adjusts the ad accordingly.
Infolinks approve websites based on content and not traffic. Because Infolink ads are non obtrusive, they can be used in conjunction with other ad networks. Their ads are mobile optimized. This means that all your traffic sources can be monetized.
Their payment options include Paypal, Wire Transfer, eCheck and Western Union. The payment threshold is $50 and the payout cycle is every 45 days.
Launched in 2009, Intellilinks allow website users to sell text links to advertisers. The publishers have the option to place text links on the sidebars (regular ads), within the content (context ads) or both. They also have the control to approve or deny any links. The great thing is that your payment does not depend on clicks. Once Intellilinks approves your website, they will suggest to the advertisers a price, which they should purchase links from you. This price generally ranges from $20-$100 per month, but can be changed by contacting their support team.
There is no payment threshold and the publisher is paid monthly via Paypal. They can be used in conjunction with other ad networks and the advertisers do not see the URL of your website until after they make their payment. This helps them make their purchasing decision based on keywords, traffic and page rank rather than the appearance of the website.
Kontera offers ads based on a cost per click model, which means every time a user clicks on the ad, you get paid. Their advertising clientele include Kellogg’s, CBS, Healthy Choice, Bank of America, Verizon, Intel, Microsoft and Audi. Kontera offers laser targeted intext ads, and contextually relevant video and image ads, that can be customized by the publisher. To make sure that the ads are even more relevant, Kontera has started using semantic analysis technology.
It is relatively easy to get accepted to Kontera, unless your website is in the adult niche. They can be used alongside other ad networks and their ad inventory is pretty massive.
Their payment threshold is $50, and they pay via PayPal, wire or International EFT, and check.
Qadabra helps publishers monetize their website through Banner advertising. Here are the different rich media ad formats they offer:
- Stay on ads- These are ads that “stays on” the same place even when the visitor scrolls up and down. They will be able to view the ad at all times. They can also be placed on the bottom of the website. The best performing ad size in this format is 728×90. The best thing is that it does not intrude with the user experience because it can be closed with the click of a button. These ads have a higher eCPM than a regular banner ad.
- LightBox- They appear as a banner in a box right in the middle of the screen, when a user opens your website. They are the first thing a visitor sees when they enter a website, making them attention grabbing. Although these can be of any size, the highest performing one is 800×40. Users have the option to close the ad with a click of a button. The publishers have full control over frequency cap and ad duration.
- Slider ads- These are a type of banner ads that slides up and down while the user scrolls. These ads stay with the user throughout and demands a lot of attention; hence instigating a higher CTR. The ad remains static and visible while the user scrolls through the page.
- Other than the formats mentioned above, Qadabra also offers Pop-up ads, Pop-under ads, and Standard banner ads of sizes: 728×90, 468×60, 160×600 and 120×600, 300×250.
The payment threshold for Qadabra is $1 for PayPal, and $500 in case of Wire transfer. The payment cycle is every 45 days after the end of a calendar month.
These ads can be placed with other ad networks, such as Google adsense, provided that they don’t look too similar to Adsense ads.
11. Vibrant Media
Vibrant Media is a popular advertising network that offers premium display ads. They only work with high trafficked publishers with at least 500,000 page impressions. They review each website very carefully. Their publisher guidelines can be found by clicking here.
They offer one of the highest CPC rates amongst their competitors. They serve both In-text advertising and In-image advertising. Using their IntelliTXT technology, Vibrant Media searches for relevant keywords, which are then double underlined. When a user hovers over these highlighted keywords, the ads are displayed. They offer up to 11 different ad formats. Along with In-text advertising, they also offer In- image advertising.
Moreover, they offer Vibrant Brand Canvas ads, which are fully user activated. When users hover over a highlighted link, a lightbox is displayed with a video ad that starts after a few second countdown. These ads close once the user stops hovering the mouse over the underlined word. With these, publishers are paid on a cost-per-engagement basis.
Vibrant media pays publishers every 45 days via check or wire, and the minimum payment threshold is $50.
Don’t want to go the Advertising Route? No Problem!
Here are a few other ways you can monetize your website:
The Product Owner Route
Is there any special skills, knowledge or talents you have that would make the lives of others easier? You might already be running your blog or website around it. Monetize on it by creating a product. This could be anything from an e-book to a membership website. There are a lot of unsolved questions in this world- how to grow taller, how to improve vision, how to lose weight without getting off the couch… you get the point!
Lets take a few examples:
- Nichepursuits.com by Spencer Haws got banned, but now you’d see a lot of products (primarily ebooks) being sold on the subscriber list made by the webmaster.
- Bob from Bloggingyourpassion.com sells a training program on his website, also see this link about why people lose their adsense accounts.
But by becoming a product owner, you will be able to sell unlimited copies of your work for a very long time, creating a nice passive income stream. Don’t have the marketing skills to sell you product? No problem!
Let the affiliate marketers do it for you! There are many ways to reach them. The traditional way calls for submitting your product on a digital marketplace like Clickbank, Commission Junction or Jvzoo, from where affiliates find your product and promote it while earning a nice commission for themselves on each sale they make. Off course, the better your product, and the higher the commission, the more affiliates you will attract.
Most of these affiliates have email lists of thousands of targeted subscribers to whom they will promote your products, thus bringing in more sales for you. Other than email marketing, they might buy traffic using ad networks, and banner ads or promote it on their own website. Click here to read the story of Mike Geary- a man who makes millions per month by selling his “Truth about abs” e-book on Clickbank. I know a lot of people who are happy after losing their adsense account because they would have otherwise not explored these other ways to monetize their website. A lot of them make much more, than what they were earning using adsense.
The Dropshipping Route
Want to start an e-commerce store but don’t have the capital for the inventory? Dropshipping might help. In this model, when a consumer orders a product from a store, the store in turn purchases the product from a third party who ships the product directly to the consumer. This removes the need for an inventory and the merchant only needs to purchase the product after a sale has been made. The best part is that as long as you have an internet connection and the means to get in touch with your customers, you can start your drop shipping business from anywhere.
The Affiliate Marketing Route
Don’t have a product, but still want to sell something? You can do so through affiliate marketing. In this model you promote and sell products while earning a nice little commission from every sale. The commission percentage varies from product to product. Some might offer 10%, while others might offer as high as 70% as commission. There are several paid and free methods to promote products. One of the most famous ways is by building a list.
This method calls for acquiring a visitors’ email by offering a high value product for free. This could be a short report or an ebook. (Sidenote: You can off course write this “free gift” yourself, or get it written, but a cost effective option would be to buy a PLR product and to dress it up.)
Once you get them on your list, you can then promote as many products to them as you like. Off course, how many of your subscribers actually buy the product through your link would depend on how well you take care of them. If you email them only to promote products, chances are that they will see you solely as a salesman, and let’s be honest people don’t like them. A more effective way to keep your subscribers interested would be offer them high value information and freebies, keeping them engaged, while limiting the sales oriented emails for a few times a week. This will instill trust in your visitors’ mind for you, making you appear as a friend rather than a blatant seller.
Here is a link to a story that might help you understand the kind of income you can generate from affiliate marketing:- 150+ websites making $6-$100 per day.
Unlike CPC/CPM, with affiliate marketing you don’t need a huge amount of traffic to make a considerable income, although a high volume of targeted traffic means more chances of selling, but the commissions that you get from a single sale (in most cases) are much much higher than what you will earn from a single click.
The CPA Route
CPA advertising can be a huge money maker on websites with high volume of visitors. This is very similar to affiliate marketing. With cost-per-action you get paid whenever the user completes the necessary action. This action could be as small as the user entering their email, or their zip code, or it could be a larger action, where they will be required to purchase a product in order for you to get paid. Now, the payout depends on complexity of the action. Most email or zip submit offers offer low payout, such as $1-$2. In cases where the user needs to purchase the product, the payout will be much much more. Some good CPA ad networks include Peerfly, MaxBounty and Neverblue.
Want to learn the basics of CPA? These links will help you out:
I hope this article was helpful and gave you several ideas on how to earn from your website even if Google Adsense stops working for you. Remember that it is never a good idea to depend on one source. For income – Diversify! It will save you from panicking later.