Show Me The Money – Top 5 Google AdSense Alternatives

This is a guest post by Jacob E. Dawson.

As a blogger in a competitive and increasingly saturated market, it can be hard to continually create magnetic content, build a community and increase your skill level. On top of that, earning money through a blog is no longer a shoe-in – it’s an ongoing challenge, and for a lot of bloggers Google’s AdSense is the only life-support system they have for their writing projects.

There’s something you should know: AdSense isn’t the only option for earning advertising revenue out there. Actually, there are a whole lot of competitors, but it can be difficult to work out which ad networks are genuinely good value and which ones are out to rip publishers off. Almost every network claims to offer ‘industry-high payouts’, but all too often that is a load of hot air, and some can’t even get their home-page looking good, so why would you choose to work with them? If you find yourself nodding in agreement to any of the above, then you’ll want to continue reading, as today we’re going to go through some of the best alternatives to AdSense that might surprise you …

Buysellads

google-adsense-alternatives-buysellads

Developed by Todd Garland in response to his frustration with the inefficiencies of other ad-publishing solutions, since its inception in 2008, Buysellads has built an impressive inventory of publishers from small to large., the team is still small and as a result when you use Buysellads you get the feeling that it is a business that understands the needs of small-publishers, which is a nice contrast to the fairly faceless character of Adsense. The site is largely automated, the interface is clean and their guidelines are easy to understand. One of the biggest benefits to Buysellads as opposed to Adsense is that the minimum payout is $20 and you can receive the money via Paypal.

Minimum Monthly Impressions: 50,000
Revenue Share: 75%
Minimum Payout: $20 (Paypal)
Payout Frequency: Monthly

Adbrite

google-adsense-alternatives-adbrite

Adbrite offers a unique way for publishers (including non-English speaking sites) to generate revenue on their content platform by letting publishers set a price for their inventory and then having advertisers bid on it. If an advertiser (or more than one) clears your minimum bid then your inventory goes to the highest bidder. Adbrite offers a whole variety of ad-formats as well, including video-in-banner and video pre-rolls, which is something that Adsense doesn’t offer. As a publisher, you have full control over the advertisers that are able to display ads on your site, and you also have access to a fully-featured control panel so that you can review the analytics and make the appropriate adjustments.

Minimum Monthly Impressions: N/A
Revenue Share: 75%
Minimum Payout: $5 (Check)
Payout Frequency: Net 60 (60 days from the end of the month your threshold is reached)

Clicksor

google-adsense-alternatives-clicksor

Clicksor offers a solid contextual-advertising solution for publishers alongside a strong degree of customer support. The platform offers a wide-variety of ad formats, including traditional text, graphical banners and pop-unders, and what makes them a great alternative to AdSense is that they offer a variety of payment options for each one. Although in the past there has been talk of Clicksor ads inserting malware, they have now joined The Media Trust, the same verification system that Google, Yahoo! And YouTube also use.

Minimum Monthly Impressions: N/A
Revenue Share: up to 85%
Minimum Payout: $50 (Check, Transfer or Paypal)
Payout Frequency: 15 days

ValueClick Media

google-adsense-alternatives-valueclick-media

ValueClick Media sits in the middle tier of advertising networks, offering smaller publishers the opportunity to generate revenue without having to be huge (a minimum monthly impression of 3,000 is a very reasonable amount that most bloggers will be able to reach within the first 6 months of going live). They offer a variety of different advertising formats including traditional banners and skyscrapers, and their level of customer support is good. ValueClick also offers a 5% referral program, so there are extra bonuses if you belong to a network of bloggers or know some people who are thinking of getting into the industry.

Minimum Monthly Impressions: 3,000
Revenue Share: 65%
Minimum Payout: $25 (paypal)
Payout Frequency: Net 20

Clickbooth

google-adsense-alternatives-clickbooth

ClickBooth (also known as CB), is one of the few ad networks that can genuinely claim to offer industry-high payouts, due to their focus on affiliate marketing. Clickbooth offers yet another unique alternative to Adsense, with the option to go for both CPA (cost per action) and CPC (cost per click) solutions. CPA is the highest earner, and it’s interesting to have that opportunity if you’re not quite up to scratch with earning revenue through affiliate advertising at the moment. Their CPC option is very popular, so at the moment it is invite only, but the CPA is definitely worth looking at!

Minimum Monthly Impressions: N/A
Revenue Share: Variable
Minimum Payout: $50
Payout Frequency: Net 15

With this round-up, courtesy of Kikolani, you know have a few options to turn to when your blogging venture begins to really take off and you’re beginning to think about how to monetize it, or, if you’re already successful then you know that you’re not chained to Google!

Have you had any experience with the ad networks mentioned above? Do you think I’ve left any off the list that deserve to be there? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your opinions!

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Comments

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Buysellads, I’ll be interested to see how you go with Clickbooth – good luck!

      Cheers,

      Jake

  1. says

    Alternatives are always helpful to consider. If nothing else it ensures that you can find the service that best fits what you need, rather than being forced to chose the one option (adsense). I wouldn’t say that adsense is something to be avoided, but it’s nice to know that if you have issue with using it, you don’t have to. Hopefully the competition between these companies forces them all to continue to refine their programs and develop more profitable methods for bloggers.

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment – I absolutely agree with your take on this – alternatives force each competitor to improve their offering and we as the user benefit from that. We also have different needs as website owners, and having a range of options is critical to finding the best solution.

      All the best,

      Jake

  2. says

    Hi Jacob,
    A very interesting line-up you’ve made here, although i have heard about most of them before but have not really used any.

    There are other adsense alternatives out there such as Chitika and the rest of them. But i think google adsense is still the best compared to the others. The issue is that the use to get abnormal sometimes and thats why its very good to have some good alternatives.

    @ Jacob, thanks for sharing.
    @ Kristy, thanks for allowing Jac to share with us his ideas.
    Theodore Nwangene just posted Effective Guest Posting Strategies that works like Magic

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Theodore,

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve used adsense and I feel that it works fairly well at what it does, but the fact that other companies can offer different payment percentages and terms as well as technology means that we benefit in the long-run,

      Cheers,

      Jake

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Wayne,

      I’m glad the article is helpful! I think that your strategy at Sprout Geek is really smart, as some of these options only apply once you’ve really hit some tremendous milestones in terms of audience size – all the best!!

      Cheers,

      Jake

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Bishwajeet,

      Thanks for your comment – although I have to say that while Adsense pays a 68% share, some of the alternatives above pay up to 85%, which is more money in your pocket at the end of the day!

      Cheers,

      Jake

  3. says

    I have heard of all of these except for the Value Click Media one. I haven’t tried any of these specifically, but I have tried a couple of others not mentioned. The ones I tried I would say had extremely low per click publisher earnings. I mean like I would get a penny or two per click, which wasn’t even worth using. If any of the ones you mentioned actually have rates or earnings closer to Adsense then I would certainly look into them with greater detail.
    Ray just posted 4 ways to Add Google Analytics to WordPress

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Ray,

      The alternatives I’ve mentioned are all well-regarded in terms of revenue share / per click earnings – I’d be interested to know the names of the low-quality providers you’ve had experience with so we can all avoid them…

      All the best!

      Jake

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Samuel,

      Thanks for you comment, I’m glad the article was useful for you!

      Cheers,

      Jake

  4. says

    Hey Jacob! Is there any one of these you would particularly recommend for blogspot blogs? Your article resembles another I saw several months back. At that time, I went down the picture list provided and found most of the services were either not doable or not user-friendly. Some were quite complicated, others had many qualifiers. There was even one that had gone out of business earlier in the year.
    Dave Lucas just posted Google Could Disappear in Five Years?

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Dave,

      This list is fresh and all of the providers have passed the ‘quality’ test – there were 10 times as many that I assessed and dismissed! To be honest I’m not familiar with running ad networks on blogspot as I’ve only had experience with custom sites and WordPress – maybe that’s an article for another day:)

      Thanks for your comment,

      Cheers,

      Jake

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Prabhat,

      You’re right, getting approval for buysellads is a little more difficult than some of the others, but it really is a great option if you are approved!

      Thanks for your comment,

      Jake

  5. says

    Excellent post, when people start blogging they all try AdSense as it is what they hear about first and often they never know of or hear about other networks that can do the same thing or be better.

    Some of these I had forgotten about myself. I shall take and share. Thank you.
    Andi

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Andi,

      That’s great to hear – you’re right, Adsense is the default beginner’s option but I think it’s important that people know that there are more options out there!

      Thanks for your comment:)

      Cheers,

      Jake

  6. says

    I have been using Adbrite on one of my sites and so far it hasn’t been performing as well as I expected. there is another network I stared using (media.net) which it almost is earning me as much as the adsense block.

    I am going to give CB a try, mostly for CPA as I am very active with CPA marketing and I have been hearing lots of good things about CB. Thanks
    Satrap just posted How To Make Money With Credit Cards In 5 Steps

    • Jacob E. Dawson says

      Hi Satrap,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article – that’s interesting that you haven’t had a great experience with Adbrite, it sounds as though you’re taking a very intelligent approach by testing several alternatives on your properties!

      Thanks for your comment,

      Jake