When I created one of my websites, I only had two types of advertisements on the site – Adsense and an internal banner. I still use Adsense on various parts of the site, but the RPC has been pretty low, so I sought out other monetization options.
After searching for something more niche than the big affiliate programs (never had much luck with those aside from a $30 Amazon payment no and again), I found a lesser known affiliate program, applied to it, and was approved. After implementing this program on the site, I saw a significant revenue lift (several hundred dollars a month).
To find appropriate affiliate programs, a publisher would locate sites like his own and then check out the affiliate programs behind the products or programs the other site owners advertised. The other option is to search through affiliate program offerings at companies like Linkshare, Commission Junction, Clickbank, Pepperjam and others.
One of the main problems with the big affiliate companies is that the programs with the higher RPCs have become overexposed, and it seems like everyone in a particular vertical is using the same ecact banners and offers. Even the best ads in their arsenal soon lose their pull, and it is difficult to earn revenue.
Niche affiliate programs may be a better option for publishers like myself. They often bait their programs with higher payouts and better customer incentives like coupon codes. In addition, many are more open to creative advertising banners and links. A niche affiliate program will likely give better support to the publisher and treat them better, too.
It takes detective work to find the best programs, but it’s often worth the effort. Many of them are found with lesser known brands and newer companies to the market. If you have a website in a unique market, you should investigate all of your options. Adsense is great, as are the big affiliate programs because consumers recognize them. However, you might generate more revenue with a nice affiliate program.