2 Google AdSense alternatives for low traffic websites

There are many ways to make an income from a website and showing adverts is one of the most popular. Google AdSense is good, but isn’t for everyone and here are two alternatives worth trying.

Millions of websites use AdSense to display ads, but there are actually billions of websites on the internet. This means that most websites do not actually use AdSense. Some sites do not want adverts of course, and there are none on Wikipedia for example, but some people use AdSense alternatives for various reasons.

AdSense is recommended, after all Google makes most of its billions from advertising and is pretty good at it, but there are several reasons why it might not be the right ad partner for your site.

For example, you may find it difficult to get accepted and Facebook groups and other discussion forums often have stories of website owners applying to AdSense and not hearing anything for months, or they are turned down for some reason, sometimes more than once.

Not everyone is accepted and one problem may be the volume of traffic to your website or blog. A lot of daily visitors to a site is essential to earn a significant income from advertising. A hundred daily visitors will not earn enough money to make it worthwhile for Google to accept you and it is only when you exceed 1,000 a day that advertising becomes a good way of earning an income.

However, it is possible to earn some money from a low traffic website, but don’t expect to give up the day job. You can certainly earn sufficient to cover your web hosting cost and have a bit left over.

Here are the things you must do to get accepted by Google AdSense. If you don’t get in or if you cannot use AdSense for other reasons, two popular alternatives are Media.net and Infolinks. Let’s take a look at how they work.

Earn an income with Infolinks ads

Infolinks does not have a minimum number of page views in order to join, which means in theory it is open to everyone. However, if your website or blog traffic is very low, your income from advertising will be very low as well. It takes a lot of visitors to earn just a few dollars, so bear this in mind if you don’t have the traffic.

Providing you are not publishing anything anyone might find offensive or illegal, then joining Infolinks should not be a problem. Signing up is quick and easy, and some code is supplied to insert into your site while it is reviewed.

There are plugins available for WordPress, Blogger, Drupal and Joomla websites, and they can be downloaded from the Infolinks website. Alternatively, there are five lines of code that can be copied and pasted into your site. It has to appear at the bottom, after everything else on the page, and you may already have plugins that can do this, like Insert Headers and Footers. As a last resort, it seems to work fine if it is pasted into a Custom HTML widget as the last item in the page footer.

Once you are accepted, adverts automatically appear and are controlled and customized at the Infolinks website, not your own website. You don’t have to insert code into your website or use WordPress plugins like Ad Inserter. Ad insertion and placement is automatic.

Customising website ads using Infolinks
Infolinks ad types and customization

You choose what type of ads are displayed and where in the Customize section of the Infolinks website. There are InText, InFold, InTag, InFrame and InArticle ad types. Turn them all on and you might irritate your visitors with too many ads and I recommend choosing just a couple of these.

  • InText turns words in posts into links that show ads when the mouse hovers over them
  • InFold shows a banner ad at the bottom of the browser window
  • InFrame shows ads on the left or right of a page when the page width is less than the browser width
  • InTag shows text, display or recommendation ads at the top or bottom of the article
  • InArticle shows an ad in the article after the second paragraph.

These can all be enabled or disabled individually and can be customized, such as choosing to show them, left, right, top, bottom and so on. No changes are necessary to your website and everything is automatic. Changes are often seen on your site after a few minutes.

It takes time for Infolinks to get going and begin earning an income. The first week I made about $1, the second week I got about $2, then $3 in the third week, then $4 and so on. Every week my income has risen. Don’t give up if you see little income at first. Eventually, it will max out, but it will continue to grow for at least a couple of months.

See a report of Infolinks advertising earnings
Get reports of Infolinks earnings

If you don’t go mad with the ads and annoy your visitors, you can earn a fair bit of money with Infolinks if you have significant website traffic. It isn’t quite AdSense level, but it is pretty good.

You are paid 45 days after the month you reach the minimum payment threshold, which is $50. Several methods of payment are available and they include PayPal and Payoneer. Some payment methods have a small charge, but Payoneer is free.

Go to Infolinks website (affiliate link).

Earn an income with Media.net ads

Media.net does not state how many visitors a website or blog needs in order to be accepted into the program. It merely says you must “Have a reasonable volume of visitors.” How many is reasonable? Who knows? Bear in mind that if you don’t have many visitors, you will not make a lot of money.

The majority of visitors to your website must come from the US, UK and Canada. Google Analytics can show you where in the world your site’s visitors come from, so check it before applying. The site must have original content, it must be updated regularly, and it must be in English.

Media.net website ad program
View and edit Media.net ad units

Let’s assume you sign up and are accepted. How do you display ads on your site?

Select Ad Units in the sidebar and some default ads are provided, but you can create your own by clicking the Add New button.

To cope with different size screens on desktop, tablet and phones, ad units can be made responsive. In other words, they automatically resize to fit the space. There is also a Sticky Mobile Docked option that is used when ads are displayed on phones. Tick both of these.

Create an ad at the Media.net website
Create ad units and get the code for your website at Media.net

Select the size of the ad in the drop-down list and there are several to choose from. There are banners that are great for putting at the top or bottom of a page and narrow ads that fit nicely in a site’s sidebar.

The code is then provided and you simply copy and paste it into your website. The easiest way to do this is to go to Appearance > Widgets and add a Custom HTML widget to the sidebar. Inserting ads in other places depends on the theme and some provide places to insert ad code, but if not, a plugin like Ad Inserter can be used.

The quality of ads from Media.net varies a lot and sometimes they are good, but sometimes not. Ads are plain text links and are based on the content of the website. You should see a list of links related to your niche. It experiments with colours and occasionally tries some awful combinations that are hard to read, but mostly it is OK.

Media.net text links do not perform as well as AdSense ads, but they do get some clicks and therefore earn a little money. Reports are available showing earnings for each ad unit so you can easily see which ones bring in the most income and ditch ones that don’t.

Payments are made to a Payoneer account and you receive the money the month after your earnings exceed $100.

Media.net isn’t the best ad program, but it is worth considering if you can’t use AdSense or don’t want to.