Several bloggers in my area were having a debate over the best source of passive revenue for their blogs. We all run about the same size blog network and have close to the same number of readers on our popular sites but what we found was amazing was the different conversion rates we were seeing from these sites and the varying amount of passive revenue generated. Each blogger had their preference and were using different revenue sources for their passive income streams for a variety of reasons.
The most common sources for passive revenue that came up in our debate were:
1. Google Adsense
My most successful source of passive income on many of my blogs is Google Adsense and I had not experimented with any of the other ad networks simply because of the success I was having with this revenue source. However, hearing the other bloggers rave about their successes with other sources, I had to find out myself.
Chitika is seen as one of most reliable sources for passive revenue for those people who have been banned from Google Adsense for violations in their terms of service. It’s a contextual advertising network very similar to Adsense and from previous experience with this network, revenue is anywhere from 40-50% of what you would expect from Google Adsense. Infolinks is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad network that can be run in conjunction with other revenue streams. It inserts hyperlinks into content and can offer a steady source of passive revenue for large sites.
I had accounts on all three of these ad networks but I wanted to find out the best source of passive income between Google Adsense, Chitika and Infolinks?
My experiment was simple. I selected three blogs that have had a proven revenue source of between $10-$15 per week over the last 3-years. One blog would continue to run Adsense, the other would be switched to Chitika and the final one converted to Infolinks. I would run the alternatives to adsense for a one week period during what is largely the busiest week on each of these sites as determined by Google Analytics.
The results were a little eye-opening in my experiment to find the best source of passive revenue between Adsense, Chikita and Infolinks. The site running Adsense performed as it had over the last three years, hitting its revenue mark as was expected. The site I had converted to Chikita surprised me. Passive revenue received on this site was almost identical as to what it had previously been running Adsense. The Infolinks site performance performed well below what I was expecting. Revenue dropped by almost 95% over the week that I ran Infolinks.
Not convinced that one week was enough to determine the revenue performance from these sites, I left the ad networks in place and ran the experiment one additional week.
Again, Google Adsense performed as I had expected when compared to historical levels of passive revenue. Chikita did not fair as well in week two, but it still provided about 80 percent of the historical levels obtained through Adsense. Infolinks improved to about 20% of what was previously received with Adsense.
When I compared the published ads showing up on the sites, I found that both Adsense and Chikita offered ads very relevant to the content on the site. This was to be expected as they are both contextual ad networks. Infolinks ads were very random, did not match the content very well and did not provide ads relevant to the content (at least in my case).
In this small experiment, I was convinced that Adsense was still the best source of passive revenue for my sites. However, Chikita was shown to be a viable alternative. Infolinks did show promise as being an additional source of passive revenue as it can run in conjunction with both Google Adsense and Chikita without violating their terms of service.
This means another experiment is in the works. How much will my passive revenue increase when I combine Adsense with Infolinks? Will Infolinks running in conjunction with Google Adsense harm my Adsense revenue?
What’s your experience with the different advertising networks? What do you use for your source of passive revenue?