Problogger's Best Money Makers (BONUS: FTM's Unwanted Comments)

Interesting reading, of course. Informative, but not overly practical. Below, I take a look at the list and add some practical info. If we're lucky, Darren will do the same at Problogger.

1. Chitika (Cool, but exlusive)

Chances are, you'll be making pretty good money from Adsense and other less restrictive programs before you'd be accepted into Chitika. Beside some undisclosed traffic requirement, they seem to reject applications for various, arcane reasons (never explained). One reason appears to be that they're prone to screw up.

2. Adsense (Your friend and mine)

Let's not bother with this one, since every single site in the known universe is running Adsense.

3. Text Link Ads (See Chitika)

Another program that seems to (more or less) require a well-trafficked blog. They'll check your Alexa traffic info as well your backlinks via Yahoo. A new-ish company (like Chitika), their customer service and communication methods can be less than polished, to hear tell.

4. Amazon Associates (Snaz')

In my experience, Amazon is easy to join and offers their affiliates flexible, sexy ad options.
It's also hard to find a blog theme that Amazon won't work with. Most high-traffic site owners I've heard from see Amazon as a nice, steady earner. This is definitely an option any blogger should consider.

5. Private Ad Deals (Whateva')

Applicable to about 1% of the blog-for-money crowd, max. From what I understand, by the time this becomes an option for you, advertisers will be seeking you out, not the other way around. I'm not criticizing Darren's inclusion of said ad deals - he's just answering reader questions - but for the average money-motivated blogger... whateva'.

6. Miscellaneous Affiliate Programs (Solid)

This option is available to any blogger. Commission Junction is still the king of affiliate networks (1500 or so programs), but Linkshare and Performics are also good; and if you're feeling naughty, Clickbank is still all-too-popular.

7. BlogAds (are cooler than you)

Yaro said it was cool (over a year ago), Darren says it's semi-ass, and Randy says it's a complete bucket of ass. Additionally - for some reason - membership is by invitation only. Does your blog have 900 readers per day and a razor-sharp focus? If so, I'm pleased to inform you that, according to BlogAds, that just may not be enough.

To summarize, when your blog traffic has surpassed your wildest dreams and you're drowning in Adsense and Chitika revenue, look up the Blogads guys; the amount of revenue they provide may be laughable, but now you, too, can act like you're Too Cool For The Room.

That is all.

Update: Randy of Besting Adwords has revealed his own list of top money makers.


  1. A few extra notes. Both Chitika and BlogAds lie when they screw up. Without exception never take either at their word.

    These days, I make well over 50% from AdSense, 2nd is direct ads, 3rd is FeedBurner, 4th is Amazon, 5th is BlogAds. The money I make from Amazon is mostly not via blogs, as such, I use them only as alternates for Google. Chitika works for product blogs, or so I've heard.

    I think you are correct about direct ads. Direct link ads are only viable if you get a domain and pagerank of 6 or higher.

  2. Yeah, I remember the whole "audit" thing Chitika did where they cut a bunch of commissions by up to 90%, and then blamed the problems on the customers. Not their brightest moment.

  3. thanks for the link - but I am just a touch perplexed by how your information is practical and mine isn't?

    The point of the post was to share a list of top earners not share exactly how to optimize them all (something I've written about for each one numerous times previously)...

    Open to suggestions though on how to make it more practical and useful.

  4. Good article.

    I especially like how all the negative articles you dug up about Chitika were from [checks articles] 2005. I'm sure they, like all other companies in the world, are exactly the same as they were over a year ago.

  5. Cindy: They weren't -all- from 2005. ;/ At any rate, trashing Chitika isn't my goal. I just noticed a little dirt, and am compelled to pass it on.

    Darren: Your info was practical as far as the stated goal of the post; I didn't mean to imply that it was "impractical" per se. When I first read it, it seemed to me that it would be cool to include info on where in a blogger's progression each option might fit (or maybe, where in your own progression). Anything to counter the nebulous nature of the traffic (and other) requirements for various programs. I commented as much on your original post.

  6. Amazon is ok but highly competitive.
    Need volume to earn well 'cos
    commission is pretty low (4-8.50%).
    Most ppc's (include Adsense)I avoid
    getting involved. I hate the tons of
    TOS they imposed, especially Big Goog.
    Adbrite is the best of all in terms
    of site monetization. Am doing it,
    not bad. Adbrite's concept is entirely different. You won't find
    any nasty TOS from their site !

  7. Ambiguous/selectively enforced TOS issues can be a pain, I agree. You say AdBrite works the best for you... what advantages does it have for a site like yours?

    Thanks for stopping by, sir. -j

  8. John,
    Adbrite is "non-contexture"-it doesn't really matter what your
    contents are, hence you've alot of
    flexibility. As long as there's
    traffic (visitors/readers, I mean),
    the Adbrite Ads can be anyhing
    (of course you can reject unhealthy
    content using the filter). People
    actually "buy" ad space from your
    site at a price--this is the tough
    part initially as the competition
    is as much as 18,000 other sites,
    some are big names.
    Initially (as anyone starts as a
    Publisher) the Network CPM Ads
    do help to earn a consistent small
    amount (without clicks). An associate of mine started with
    Adbrite 4 months ago and earning
    quite well, that's why I began to
    try on it.
    For more details you can click
    onr of the Adbrite button at my
    site and have a look.
    My own view may not be accurate as
    I don't have personal experience
    with Adsense and the rest. I run
    quite a bit of Adwords and am
    sick of the rampant amount of click
    frauds associated with Adsense. I
    guess I'll soon forget aout Adwords
    Have a nice day.

  9. Cool info, thanks Schee. -j


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