Expectations on Affiliate Ads Often Over-Blown

We hear from many sites that they want to run affiliate ads or links on their sites. For example, a site that reviews books might want to include links to those books and Amazon.com will pay that site when someone clicks to link and buys it from Amazon.com.

We can follow the logic of the blogger who reviews books and believes that their traffic will convert to book sales.

In our experience, however, many bloggers often have outsized forecasts for earnings potential from affiliate advertising. We see it from personal experience as WordPress.com is the largest blogging platform and yet we earn relatively little from affiliate programs.

For most sites it’s tough to get a conversion and when it happens the affiliate partner will pay around 4% of the sale.

For sure there are real case studies of sites that have done very well with affiliate programs. Generally, they are sites created for affiliate programs and are in high end niches like travel and electronics. An example is the WireCutter which reviews tech products.

If you think you can bring in a large viewership for high end products like this which can be monetized via affiliate links we would encourage you to try. For other categories, we don’t think its worth extra work. Rather, WordAds uses software to automatically insert affiliate links so this is something you don’t have to be concerned with.

Broad Brand Campaigns and Multi-pronged Approach

So, if affiliate ads are not for everybody, what works? In our experience broad brand campaigns, often click to play video ads, perform the best and have good ad quality. Additionally, we like to run a dozen or more ad types at once. These include mobile ads, ads in images and videos, related content ads, and more. Each ad type might not be significant on its own, but when combined, you get more meaningful earnings.

 

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Expectations on Affiliate Ads Often Over-Blown

  1. Ms. Roberts says:

    Interesting. I understand about the broadband approach. But WordAd videos always perplexed me because wouldn’t the ad only work (get money from) if someone wanted to click on it and watch the ad? I never met anyone who liked to watch commercials before.

  2. jonburke says:

    Actually, we are paid by impression for the video ads, not by click. Of course the advertisers want views and we get a very high click through rate on the videos, by online ad standards.

    • Ms. Roberts says:

      Ah, yes, I see. Thank you. I think WordAds now is a good choice because of the ad impressions. Thanks so much. Now all I have to do is wait for approval.

  3. Do these click through rate produce revenue? Because I’m not seeing it.

    • jonburke says:

      Yes they are included. Unfortunately it generally take hundreds of thousands of impressions in online advertising to get to meaningful earnings.

  4. Is there an opportunity to run more than one ad. Many food bloggers have one at the top and 2 or three running on the side. Is that a possibility without self-hosting? I’d probably need to switch themes, but I’m willing to do that for more ad space.

    daisy

  5. gordonskene says:

    Actually, I’ve been thinking of switching to a theme which is able to accommodate more ads, while trying to keep my present design more or less intact (aside from larger photos which I would like). Is there a list somewhere of which themes are available that can do that? As for affiliate ads – I run music during the evenings and weekends, but I am not sure running a link to Amazon.com for example would benefit all that much – the promises from the Affiliate Program on Amazon are a bit more optimistic than reality, I have found. I already link to whatever bands’ site I feature on any given evening, so they get the traffic which is the point.

  6. John Hayden says:

    I think you’ve convinced me that the WordAds program is probably best for an ordinary blogger like me. I have no desire to spend my time on the advertising end. I think people do click on a video if it catches their interest, and if they’ve come to expect the videos to be entertaining. I need to focus more on good content to get more traffic.

  7. I would love to try WordAds, as a fairly newbie blogger I am still quite not sure how advertisements work. I’m guessing I need to own my domain first.

  8. Ms. Roberts says:

    I love the idea of optimized ads too. When I get approved, is it possible for me to have them as well?

  9. “If you think you can bring in a large viewership for high end products like this which can be monetized via affiliate links we would encourage you to try.”

    Well, can I put Amazon links (or links from a similar the bookstore, like “Livraria Cultura” in Brazil) when I write a post about a particular book?

  10. I am quite a fan of the program. I tip my hat to the quality, placement and feel of the ads that are selected and run on my site and appreciate that the WordPress staff seems to take as much pride in each indiviual blog, where WordAds run, as the indiviual bloggers do. Although, I have no questions or challenges at time, I am glad I stumbled upon this informative post and blog. Thanks again for the work you do for us all. You are appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,219 other followers