Frugal LivingStarting a BusinessFinding a JobIndustriesBusinessReal EstatePersonal FinanceSelf-EmploymentScams & FraudInsurance

The Best Alternatives to AdSense for Bloggers

Updated on August 3, 2016
ChristinS profile image

Christin has been successfully self-employed for over 17 years. Her passion is helping others hone their skills and find good opportunities.


So, you have a blog and are looking for ways to monetize it that go beyond slapping on your standard AdSense ads. Welcome to the club! At one time, AdSense was a good way to earn money in and of itself, but for most bloggers, those days are over.

I'll give you an example. I have developed several niche websites and blogs over the past 12 years. Initially, my oldest website which is in the metaphysical genre, routinely made 800 or more per month with AdSense alone. I got spoiled to that and never did a lot to expand my horizons.

A few years ago, AdSense revenue began declining rapidly. There are numerous speculations and debates as to why this happened. These are all too complicated to delve into here, but suffice it to say, that same website today, although still going strong, only brings in about 200 per month from AdSense. This is after updating it and making it completely responsive across all devices. It also has more traffic now than it did at my peak revenue period. Sigh.

My frustrations mounting; I decided to explore other ad revenue programs. Here are some of the one's I found and my thoughts on working with them. These are of course, my own experiences and your results may vary.

Top Pick

By far, my top pick as an alternative or even for use alongside AdSense is, the ad program by Bing/Yahoo. I love that these ads display as "related searches" and ad value to your visitor. they are highly targeted and specific to each pages content leading to a high CTR.

This program isn't necessarily any easier to get into than AdSense. However, if you do get a website accepted it will earn money. Their customer support is fantastic and you have an actual, real account manager and person to talk to if you have questions, need advice or want to appeal a decision etc. Try getting that with AdSense! yeah right.

I have had no issues getting paid on time each month and on many days have earned more from them than with AdSense. I have used their ads for almost a year and only wish I would have discovered them sooner.


  • Easy to integrate
  • A real live account manager
  • Excellent customer service
  • On time payments
  • Only top-quality websites accepted
  • They will accept low traffic sites so long as they are quality sites
  • The ads appear as "related search" and add value to the content


  • Ad styles, while being customizable, are pretty limited
  • Earnings can be low unless you have good traffic
  • You have to have every website and blog approved individually
  • Your site will likely be rejected if it is not responsive across all platforms

Overall, I am very impressed. I've been able to customize their ads well enough to blend in effectively to my various websites leading to more click throughs. I've had engagement from their staff and they are super professional and friendly.

One thing to keep in mind if you run this with AdSense: When there are no relevant ads to show; they will show back up ads that may include AdSense ads. You have to be careful that you do not have too many AdSense ads displayed on your website or you risk a TOS ban by Google even if it is a third party displaying AdSense ads.

This is easily avoided by only blocking 2 slots each per page for each ad program. This way any potential overlap doesn't cause you to accidentally be in violation.

From now until October 2016, they are offering a 10% earnings bonus to all new sign-ups also. This is a great time to give them a try.

Learn More: Sign Up for

Advertising Programs Ranked

My Rating 1-5
Earnings Potential
Good for blogs that are product based
Good (depending on your content)
Very good, but with caveats, see my review.


This is another thing I wish I would have discovered much sooner! It doesn't work for every niche site, however when you find a good match, it's a powerful, time-saving tool. This works a bit differently than the others as it monetizes your links using a variety of affiliate programs all in one place.

Instead of going out and finding and signing up for multiple affiliate accounts, you can sign up for this, paste a bit of code in your site, activate and off you go. Definitely good for those who want something to "set and forget" code wise.

For example, let's say you have a blog about coffee and tea. In your posts; you mention a specific brand of coffee pot that you love and adore. VigLinks will insert a link into your post automatically that goes to a sales page for that product. If you make a sale, you get a commission. Easy.

VigLinks works with numerous affiliate programs including big players like Amazon. Insert a bit of code and let it take over. I love this program for so many reasons. It can take awhile to see results. This program works best for bloggers with good traffic and a loyal following. If you have developed a following though; the potential here is amazing.


  • Extremely easy to set up
  • They handle the legal disclosure part for you
  • Customizable (you can choose fewer links or to optimize for max revenue)
  • Earn from multiple sources
  • You can exclude links (if you are already an Amazon affiliate, you can choose to not have those links redirected through VigLinks)
  • Customer support is pretty decent
  • Won't interfere with AdSense


  • You don't have as much control as you do with other ad programs
  • If your site doesn't recommend a lot of specific products it may not work well for you

So, if you have a great niche blog or website where you like to recommend products to your visitors you'll definitely want to give VigLinks a try.

Sign Up for VigLinks


This program is similar to viglinks in that you earn money when your visitors click on ads and then make a purchase. Ads are targeted to your users interests and links and ads are served based on this.

With this program you can have pop-up type ads served along the bottom of the screen. If you write a great review lets say on your favorite kitchen gadget. It will serve ads that are likely to get your visitor to go and buy that item.

One great feature is the user-initiated ad. If they hover over a certain item in your text, a little flyout ad will appear. It's less intrusive than standard ads and more interactive and dependent on the actions of your visitors.

If your site or blog is geared towards items, this kind of advertising converts very well. They also have friendly customer service available to help you.


  • Versatile with many choices
  • Great customer service
  • Highly targeted so better conversions


  • Works best for product centered blogs
  • Can appear a bit "spammy" if not done right

Sign up for InfoLinks

This site is a lot like Outbrain or Taboola, only it works with smaller publishers. If you have ever visited Yahoo's main page or even your favorite news site. Chances are you've seen photos with links that are "click bait".

It works well for getting people to take action. I placed this on one of my niche sites to test it out as an experiment. I made money immediately - within the first few hours. Everyone wants to know "the one weird trick to eliminate wrinkles" or whatever...

I was really hooked and thought great! I'll make some good residual income with this from people who were not really going to stick around my site anyway. I felt a bit like a sellout, but hey, times are tight and those hosting fees aren't going to pay themselves...

After about a month however, I noticed my niche website was losing traffic. After a bit of investigation I learned that I had received a manual penalty from Google for redirecting to unrelated content. This manual penalty results in reduced rank in search results.

I was pretty sure it was due to the ads running on my sidebar, and sure enough, I was right. Once I removed them from my blog, I submitted an appeal and my manual penalty was removed.

SO, why are you recommending this? I hear you ask.

Well, if you have a site or blog that depends more on social media for traffic and are not as concerned with search engine results, this could be a good program for you.

If you have a blog geared towards beauty, trends, celebrities, etc. you likely wouldn't get a penalty as I did because their content is more related to those subjects.

I will likely use it again in the future on a different project. However, I depend on search engine traffic for the blog I tested it on.


  • Very enticing article/content ads that people will click
  • Earns money right away
  • Easy to integrate on any website
  • You can choose the rating of content that appears from G to R
  • Does not interfere with the ability to use AdSense


  • You might get a manual penalty from Google for links to unrelated content
  • It can appear a bit spammy depending on what appears on your site
  • Some of the images they use are gross. Seen those toenail fungus ads for example?
  • Only works for related niches

So, overall not a horrible program, but you need to ensure you are using it with a niche where the content is related. Also, you may lose some revenue, but I would recommend to keep the images/content below the "R" rating to ensure your site stays within the TOS of other programs.

Learn More: Sign up for

Have you used any of these AdSense alternatives?

See results

© 2016 Christin Sander


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 7 months ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 7 months ago from Midwest

      You're very welcome Sparkster, good luck on your new website.

    • sparkster profile image

      Sparkster Publishing 7 months ago from United Kingdom

      Seems I stumbled upon your article at just the right time. I've actually been thinking of starting my own website to promote my other material and maybe get some other things going but have refrained from doing so until now because I am unable to use Adsnese. However, you have provided some good alternative options here so thank you!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 9 months ago from Midwest

      HubPages Amazon program was what I meant by "HP" :) good luck with your hubs

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 9 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks Christin, I will try them again. Did not know about HP Amazon.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 9 months ago from Midwest

      Wait until your blogs have sufficient traffic and then reapply for Amazon. The HP Amazon program is good too, and usually results in more earnings due to the higher percentage of revenue.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 9 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for sharing, very informative. Will come back as I only have adsense on my blogs. Tried to implement Amazon, but was refused, although I have them on my hubs.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      Thanks flourish, glad you enjoyed the hub. Have a great day.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

      I like how you provided both pros and cons. The ratings and photos are important elements and it's good to know how much control exists.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      Hi CYong. I did try Chitika once several years ago and just didn't impress me at all. The earnings were pitiful and the ads they dished up were just not the best quality. Of course, they may have changed since then, this was like probably 5 or 6 years ago that I tried them for a little while.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      Thanks so much Cynthia. I agree with AdSense. I did everything I was supposed to do, spending hours upgrading my sites to make them modern and cross-platform friendly. My traffic grew and AdSense revenue took a nose dive. I've been pretty happy with these alternatives and I use of course multiple streams of revenue.

    • CYong74 profile image

      Cedric Yong 14 months ago from Singapore

      Thanks for sharing this information!! I've been trying Chitika as an alternative and it really ... ... Would be checking out your suggestions.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 14 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Hi Christin, I found this "enticing" and applied a couple of the programs right away to my blog. I enjoy hearing about alternatives to Adsense which is pretty dismal right now in my experience. Thank you so much for sharing! I will, in turn, share your link extensively. ~Cynthia

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      This is for your own blogs and websites. HubPages runs its own ad program and you participate in that directly through hubpages.

    • Lancie Herald profile image

      Lancie Herald 14 months ago

      Fantastic resource and nicely written, thanks for sharing!

      Would this work mainly for websites you own, or can it working on Hubpages too?

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      Thanks MizBejabbers, there is a learning curve for sure with the blogging and website development, but there are so many tools that are making it easier. If you're a prolific writer and want to earn income after retirement; you can definitely do it.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 14 months ago

      Using a computer has been one of my tools of the trade since 1983, but I don't know squat about blogging and websites. Yours is one of the doors that I will be darkening when I decide to retire and get serious about making money freelancing. You definitely are an expert who writes knowledgeably about the subject.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      If you can use AdSense, you should be able to use also. VigLinks maybe not because it's targeting shoppers here, but I'd have to look into that further. You can indeed use InfoLinks on Indian sites. Good luck :)

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 14 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very informative and useful. But, I doubt whether it works for all other countries other than U.S. For one like me who may target Indian audience through my blogging?

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      You're very welcome Bill, glad you found it useful. Thanks for commenting :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very helpful, Christin. Thank you so much for this resource.

    • fastconversion profile image

      Samar 14 months ago from Gurgaon

      Thanks Christin...

      we are using infolinks .. it is good alternate for fastconversion

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 14 months ago from Midwest

      Thanks sallybea hope it helps you. I appreciate the read and comment :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 14 months ago from Norfolk

      Very interesting Christin, I am going to bookmark this one so that I can return to study it in more detail. I am sure this Hub will be of interest to lots of us.