1. Text Link Ads (aff) – the team at TLA have gradually built a loyal publisher list over the past few months but providing an ad system that may not be as flashy or spectacular as AdSense in some senses but which works. Interestingly – I’ve chatted with a number of smaller bloggers over the past few weeks who say that TLA actually is their biggest earner. This is because it is not reliant upon clicks or traffic at all and is a very passive income for a blog that over time grows as more advertisers buy links. I spoke to an owner of a lesser known blog network recently and he told me that his network is earning five figures a month with TLA.
2. Amazon Associates – some publishers laugh off Amazon as not being worth the effort because the payouts are so small (4-6% in post cases) but I’ve chatted with a few publishers this week who are doing very well from Amazon. The advantage of Amazon over many affiliate programs is that they are a trusted brand. If you pick the right products to promote you can actually do quite well from them. I chatted with a publisher this week who is promoting lawn mowers and power tools on Amazon. Sell a $2000 tractor/mower a few times a week and it certainly adds up.
3. Chitika (aff) – as unpopular as they became with some publishers in their early days of launching they continue to be a big earner for some bloggers. They continue to be neck and neck with AdSense for me in the earnings they bring in. They continue to improve their products and expand what they offer in terms of channels, their recent launch of shoplinc etc and I know of a few product oriented bloggers who make more from them than anything else.
4. YPN – Yahoo’s contextual advertising system is still in beta (it has been a longer process than many expected) and is yet to fully compete with AdSense. I’ve given it a go (via b5′s account) and wasn’t too impressed with how it converted here at ProBlogger but do know of some bloggers who continue to find that it does well for them. I think it’s a blog by blog proposition but is definitely an ad network to consider if you can get into the beta test.
5. Direct Ad Sales – another emerging trend among bloggers (and networks of them) is the increased focus upon direct deals that are being done between bloggers and advertisers (and their representatives). This month I had a sponsorship with Canon on one of my blogs that has been well worth while and I know at b5media we are finding more and more advertisers willing to do deals as the word gets out that blogs are online real estate that converts pretty well for them. It’s not always easy to negotiate these deals as a single blogger with a relatively small readership but we’re now seeing networks of bloggers banding together which makes it much easier to negotiate such deals.
6. Product Bloggers – while there are not a lot of examples of this yet I suspect that 2007 will be a year that quite a few bloggers will launch products in their niches. Bloggers are starting to switch onto the fact that after a year or two of blogging on a topic that they are sitting upon a goldmine of information and expertise that can be reused in other forums. While this past year saw a number of bloggers release books I know of quite a few who are working up to releasing online information products, membership sites and coaching services in their areas of expertise. Whether they succeed or not is yet to be seen but it’s a logical next step for many bloggers.
Of course there are many other AdSense Alternatives out there for publishers also. The variety of systems open to publishers surely is having some impact upon AdSense and what people are earning with it.
[read full article and discussion at proBlogger]