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.