Advertising or Affiliate Marketing for your blog: Which gives you more dough?

Bloggers are always seeking for effective ways to make money blogging. Different tactics suit different bloggers and niches. By far two of the most commonly discussed methods of making money blogging are Advertising and Affiliate Marketing.


Display advertising involves placing third-party advertisements on a site. It usually includes options such as banners and videos. Visitors see these ads, maybe click on them and go to a website where they can be converted into customers. If you have a ton of traffic on your blog, ads can bring you a worthwhile income.

However, advertising conceals significant drawbacks for your blog. Visitors recognize ads and they know up front that you are trying to sell them something, so they probably won’t pay any attention to them. Also, when they stumble upon an ad, they aren’t actively looking for a product or service, so they may not be ready to buy.

When you place ads on your site, you don’t control the look or the kind of each ad or where the click might take you. In fact, you might appear next to products or services you wouldn’t recommend or even endorse. Due to various ad-targeting methods, products advertised from third parties on your site, may be from a direct competitor, breaking your business.

Affiliate Marketing

Another popular form of monetization that is at the top of bloggers' preferences is Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing has a much higher earning potential and offers more ways to promote products that you love than advertising does. As a blogger you can write reviews promoting your affiliate products, organize promotion challenges with the products you have used in your projects and share them on social media, like Youtube and Instagram.

In affiliate marketing, you choose a product related to your blog niche, create product awareness, and then, when somebody buys a product using your affiliate link, you receive a commission from the seller. It should be mentioned here, that selling is not directly from you, but rather, from merchants you are affiliated with (thus “affiliate marketing”). In that respect, it is a more lucrative and beneficial way for community-based websites, like blogs, that want to be monetized. The cornerstone here is trust.

Affiliate marketing is most effective when the bloggers have gained their audiences trust and stick on their goal to provide value to them, a goal that ads undermine. A targeted audience that relies on your trustworthy recommendations converts more to affiliate product sales.

Regarding traffic

Many bloggers claim it’s easier to make money with affiliate marketing when you have less traffic than you would need for ads. Optimizing your conversion rates with visual affiliate lists, calls-to-action and spreading your affiliate links on all your socials maximizes your impact which yields better clicks, sales and money for you.

With Affiliate Marketing, you are also in complete control of what links are placed on your site. You choose to promote the products and brands that are the perfect fit for your audience, without losing the value you provide to them. Thus, it can be much more effective, even if you have a smaller audience.