A topic of discussion that has seen much debate over the years has been whether or not it is more profitable to use AdSense or the Amazon affiliate program to monetize your website. Many people hold the position that AdSense is better because you get paid for each click, regardless of whether or not the person doing the clicking decides to make a purchase of any kind. Others say that using the Amazon affiliate program is better because you can get much larger payouts over all along with many other benefits that are often overlooked. We will take a look at the benefits of each, and hopefully help you determine which program you should use to monetize your website.
The AdSense program pays you a certain amount of money for each advertisement that is clicked on your website. This amount is determined by a number of factors and can range from anything as little as a few cents to as high as several dollars per click. While you can't determine exactly what you will make for each click, you can make a good guess based on the market that your website is based on. For example, a web site based around car insurance is sure to pay out much more per click than a website based on can openers.
AdSense advertisements are placed on your site with relation to the context of your site. AdSense will search through the text of your page and then show relevant ads based on the information it gathers. This makes using AdSense extremely easy, as placing the same "ad block" code on multiple pages will show different ads for each page, depending on the subject of each page. As long as you are sure to write your pages well and deliver good content, you can be sure that the ads displayed through AdSense will match the subject of your pages.
AdSense is extremely easy to use and can pay very well depending on the subject of your website, however it depends greatly on the amount of traffic you can deliver as well. You can not expect everyone who visits your site to click on an advertisement, and you may experience low click through rates depending on the subject of your site. It is recommended that you try AdSense and be sure to test it at different locations on your pages to determine which locations give the best click through rates.
The Amazon Affiliate Program, on the other hand, does not for each click. Rather, they will pay you a certain percentage for each sale that is made within a 24 hour period of someone clicking on a link from your site. One of the upsides to this is the fact that you will receive credit for any item bought through your affiliate links, not just the particular item that was being advertised on your site. Another benefit to the amazon affiliate program is that it is perfect for websites dealing with certain products, as you are able to link directly to products that you may be discussing on your website using pictures rather than just text links.
Which should you use? The answer in many cases surprisingly is "BOTH!" If your website deals with products then you should be sure to use the Amazon affiliate program to promote the products you are dealing with. If you are promoting an expensive product you can be sure to make good money through Amazon. However, there is certainly no harm in running AdSense ads on your site as well, giving your visitors more options to choose from.
Many companies will advertise their products through AdSense as well, so running these ads on your website can't do any harm. Leave it up to your visitors to make the choice. They will choose what best suits what they are looking for. In my experience running both AdSense and the Amazon Affiliate program has proven to be the most profitable way of monetizing my websites. Good luck!