Commission Junction or Adsense?

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Hi, I thought about doing the Commission Junction affiliate program
that I found on a website.  But after I read fine print it was way too
much.  They wanted a privacy policy, all kinds of technical "stuff"
with cookies, and it just looked way to complicated.

I went to Google's adsense and it looked easy.

The site I wanted to build was just for a single product.  I thought I
would get paid on commission were someone to buy it.  Now, it looks
like it would be better if I had the item and just some adsense on the

I read it was hard to get paid with CJ, but better with AdSense.  Maybe
it's better to do a review and get the adsense.  I don't know.

Any comments are welcome.  Thanks.

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

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I use both Commission Junction (CJ) and Adsense on my site. I don't recall
having to provide a privacy policy for CJ, but then I don't collect any
information on my visitors (other than visitor numbers).

In my experience: I've found with CJ that you need very well targeted ads,
otherwise they are almost a complete waste of time. If you do identify the
right ads for a page then (for that page) CJ can easily outperform Adsense,
but if your ads aren't well targeted that Adsense can probably do a better
job. To give an example, on my site I have 4 or 5 pages that I know generate
revenue via CJ, for the rest I don't have well targeted ads so I use
Adsense. My total revenue for Adsense is about twice what I get from CJ, but
the Adsense revenue is generated across a hundred times more pages than CJ.

If your site is for a single product (mine covers a multitude of my
interests and isn't focused on a single topic), then if you can identify the
right ads to use then CJ should out perform Adsense. I would suggest going
with both. You can use Adsense on pages with CJ ads, so use both and see
what works for you.

Hope this is useful.
Brian Cryer

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

Brian Cryer wrote:
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Yes.  It is helpful.  Thank you.  I know I took it out of its context,
but here it is:

(e) Privacy. You must conspicuously post Your privacy policy on Your
Web site and otherwise make it available to all Visitors. Your privacy
policy must comply with all laws and regulations regarding the privacy
of Visitor information, be commercially reasonable, and fully and
accurately disclose Your collection and use of Visitor information. You
must fully and accurately disclose Your use of third party technology,
including CJ's tracking technology, use of cookies and options for
discontinuing use of such cookies.

Another thing that bothered me was this.  How the heck long am I
supposed to wait if they send me money before I could spend it?  What
if somebody returns the merchandise?

(b) Charge-backs. An Advertiser may apply, or CJ may apply, a debit to
Your Account in an amount equal to a Payout previously credited to Your
Account in circumstances of : (i) product returns; (ii) duplicate entry
or other clear error; (iii) non-bona fide Transactions; (iv)
non-receipt of payment from, or refund of payment to, the Visitor by
the Advertiser; or (v) Publisher failure to comply with Advertiser's
Program terms or other agreement with Advertiser ("Charge-back").
Charge-backs may be applied to Your Account at any time, including
previous payment cycles."

Have you ever had any problems with charge backs?  Thanks again.

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

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I do remember them making a fuss about privacy statements a couple of years
back, I think at the time they were trying to push a "privacy statement
generator". It sounds like I ought to look into this.

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I've not had a problem with this and I don't think the requirement for a
refund has ever arisen while I've been with them (5+ years). If you put it
into context then even if it happens it may not be a problem. I don't know
what type of revenue you are hoping for from any ads you might show, but I
might get 5 per lead. If I generate 5 leads in a month then this would net
me 25. If the following month the advertiser has a case for requiring
refund from one lead then my next monthly income would be 25 (assuming 5
leads again) less 5. The point is that if you make money then any refund is
an annoyance (because you are loosing money) but it should be covered by any
new funds you generate.

So, feel free to spend any income you get - BUT remember that its all
taxable income, so once you start getting any income you will need to notify
the tax man. (But don't bother telling the tax man until you actually get
money in your hand.)

Something important to consider (a reality check) is that when you first
start out you'll probably only generate peanuts. CJ won't pay until you
reach a minimum threshold, and if you only generate one sale a month then it
may take you a year to reach that threshold - and it could be a lot lot
worse. If between Adsense and CJ you manage to cover your hosting costs then
that's good. Giving up your day job for most people will only ever be a pipe
dream. (But its probably good to have a dream to aim for.)

Hope this is useful.
Brian Cryer

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

On Wed, 11 Jan 2006 12:15:40 GMT, "Brian Cryer"

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If they have patience and don't need group insurance, it need not be

I imagine there are other routes to web success, but I know this one

1. Build a good site. That doesn't mean it needs to be snazzy, but it
DOES mean lots of valuable content, arranged so that it is easy to
navigate, with one big idea per page so it's easy to search. It needs
to be a needed site. Hint: there are already too many sites out there
telling people how to build a site telling people how to build a site
that tells people how to build sites. Make it a *dynamic* site,
because you want users to return again and again. (People might visit
"hamsterdance" two or three or five times, but they get immunized
fairly quickly to NEVER return.)  

2, If it's a flange site, participate in flange newsgroups and on
flange forums. When someone asks whether to use a brass flange or one
made of papier mache, answer politely, and build yourself a reputation
as an expert. Note: it's a lot easier to look like an expert if you
choose your questions carefully, and answer only those you know the
answer to. Since every newsgroup draws newbies that ask the same ten
questions over and over again, it's pretty safe to answer these ten
questions. When you actually BECOME an expert, you can answer other
questions. Put your sig in your site, and never mention it; as an
person who offers helpful expertise without hype, people will trust
that you are capable and honest.

3. It helps to actually BE capable and honest. It's possibly not
essential, but it will help.

4. Don't worry too much about search engine placement. He who lives by
search engines, dies by search engines, and there's always going to be
someone new trying to jockey for top position. If you design your
pages with one big idea per page, you'll automatically get fairly
decent search engine results for SOME of your pages, and SOME search
terms, and that will probably change from time to time. A better use
of your time is to get reciprocal links. If you have reciprocal links
with ALL the flange websites, people searching for flange info will
bookmark your page and use it as the hub of their flange research. The
links you get on the other sites, moreover, do not change position all
the time - they just keep sending you six or ten or thirty visitors
each month, month after month after month.

5. Because you're an expert with a genuinely useful site, people will
give you unsolicited links. These are gems, because they are highly
trusted links. Instead of being part of a list of links (mostly to
lists of links to lists of links), they will be off by themselves, and
say something like, "Boy, Joe's site on flanges
(http://FlangesAmUs.tld ) is sure the place to go when you're looking
for flange information. You'll love using the flange-o-matic flange
specification writer, too."  

6. Generics are better than nothing - but only slightly better.
Affiliate programs aren't worth a damn, because if someone is going to
buy a lot of books from, they are going to set up their own
website so that THEY get the revenue from their own business. (Hint:
you might want to become an affiliate of anything you buy a lot of,
anyway.) Little customers even do that, although most of them earn $3
and never a penny more, and the company they've affiliated with
refuses to cut a check for less than $50.) Consequently, you aren't
likely to make very much.

You don't want to BE generic, either. Running an ad for coffee on your
flange site is kinda stupid. Your surfers are probably average coffee
drinkers, and coffee sites don't sell coffee to average drinkers. They
sell coffee to coffee fiends. That means coffee might make sense on a
foods or cooking website (going after the quality-oriented trade), or
a blood pressure website (going after the big consumer trade.)  People
who are interested in flanges, though, are interested in valves and
wrenches - and since the valve and wrench companies probably figure
that affiliate programs aren't going to be very useful to them, they
are the idea companies to approach. You may be able to convince them
to set up a system that tracks sales to people you send them - or you
might simply set up a site that sells their product to your users.

Companies can't sell products off-list because their regular dealers
will object - but they know that discount online sales could increase
their market share. You talk to Acme Valve, Ajaz Wrench and American
Flange, and some similar companies, and set up
Discount-Industrial-Plumbing.tld, which sells valves, wrenches, and
flanges, 10% off list and free standard shipping. You make the sale,
and they ship the product using a packing slip and label with your
name on it, everybody prospers.

Sometimes, you have to approach them. Sometimes, they approach you.
Every three months, I get a cashier's check for about $100 from
Romania for a tiny text link.  I never knew they existed. I stuck the
link in, figuring that I'd never see a cent, and I'd yank the link in
a few months. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. (Admittedly, there have
been plenty of the others. You win some, you drop some.)

But the thing is, this site has produced as much as $700 income per
month, and I'm not spending 2 hours a month to maintain or promote it.
It just keeps getting busier and busier, and more and more profitable.
Can you quit your day job for $700 gross income? Probably not. But you
don't have to restrict yourself to one site. We have three sites that
generated far more income than that one last year, although they
admittedly required considerably more effort. And we have several
dozen sites at this point that aren't yet generating any income. They
are young sites, and haven't built up much traffic yet - but we expect
several of them to pay off VERY well.

If you look at standard operating ratios, most businesses require $2
or more investment in capital for every $1 in annual income to the
owner (his salary and profits combined.)  A web-based business is
somewhat unique in that your investment is almost entirely sweat
equity, if you are willing to work it that way.

Figure less than $1000 out of pocket in the first two years, with
enough income the third year to recoup all those expenses, and
considerable profitability by year 5.  If you spend an hour a day on
your sites, you can start a new site every four to six months (I know
someone who is attempting one new site every month, but I don't think
their sites are very good.)

At that rate, if you're married to someone with good insurance, you
can be making more money in that one hour a day in year 6 than many
people earn in 40 hours a week.

But it takes more patience and persistance than most people are
willing to invest....

And if you haven't got another way to get good health insurance,
quitting that job can be a big mistake.



  If we're losing 40-130 species a day,
  How come nobody can itemize them?
  And why can't fruitflies be one of them?

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

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Some nice gems there.
Brian Cryer

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

Paul Ding wrote:
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Thank you.  I didn't understand something you said though.  I
understand you can't tell me what you are doing exactly, but I don't
get what you are doing.  Are you saying you have an affiliate or
commission type thing on a product and that you advertise that product
on a busy site that will send traffic to that link (the real company
that sells and ships it) and then that person buys the merchandise,
thus giving you a check? (whew).  Or are you saying you get click-thrus?

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

On 11 Jan 2006 19:09:12 -0800, posted
something that included:

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There's more than one way to skin a cat, and depending on the site,
I've done it different ways. I've worked out deals for clicks, worked
out commission deals, ended up making drop-ship deals.

There are plusses and minuses to each of those. If you're selling
clicks, you try to maximize click quantity; if you're getting a
commission, you try to maximize click quality. If you're doing a
drop-ship deal, you're concerned about customer satisfaction all the
way through to the repeat order and the repeat sale.

The important thing is to avoid commodity pricing.


  If we're losing 40-130 species a day,
  How come nobody can itemize them?
  And why can't fruitflies be one of them?

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

Thanks again!  What is commodity pricing?

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

on the CJ Vs Adsense debate, I would definately go with Adsense, they
have outperformed many of my old affiliates.

now I only swear by adsense... you can't argue numbers !


Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

   You could find information about adsense in:


Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

On 14 Jan 2006 11:46:08 -0800, posted
something that included:

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You know what brand of eggs they use for Egg McMuffin? What brand of
salt is in that shaker? What brand of gasoline is currently in your
car's tank?

Those are commodity items. It doesn't matter to consumers whether it's
one brand or another - they buy the cheapest. Despite people saying
Coke is the world's most valuable brand, I'd say it isn't. Most people
don't know whether they're drinking Pepsi or Coke, and most of those
who can tell the difference don't really care. That's why restaurants
may carry 40 wines and 10 beers, but they only pour one cola.

You want to be offering something that can ONLY be bought from you. If
you have a niche sufficiently narrow that you can capture the lion's
share of the traffic, and sufficiently broad that you've got enough
traffic for advertisers to bother dealing with you individually,
you're in the catbird seat.

Otherwise, you end up selling to Google, who tries to put some
lipstick on that pig by sorting out lowest-common-denominator traffic
according to the content of individual pages. It's not as good as
focused traffic, but thank goodness, it's better than showing those
ads to just ANYONE.

  If we're losing 40-130 species a day,
  How come nobody can itemize them?
  And why can't fruitflies be one of them?

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

On 11 Jan 2006 04:01:05 -0800, posted
something that included:

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I've done business with both CJ (as publisher) and with Adsense (as
advertiser and publisher.)

I no longer do business with Adsense as an advertiser, as I've found I
get more bang for my buck buying advertising directly from
carefully-chosen websites.

I no longer do business with Adsense as a publisher, as I've found
that I get more revenue selling advertising directly to companies that
can benefit highly from my targeted traffic.

However, IMO, Adsense is clearly superior. It is run by honest and
ethical people.

  If we're losing 40-130 species a day,
  How come nobody can itemize them?
  And why can't fruitflies be one of them?

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?


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Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

Paul Ding wrote:
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See, I'm not sure what you're saying.  I thought adsense gave the web
owner money if the visitor clicked the link.  It sounds like you are
saying you have ads, pay for advertising, and then people buy what you
are advertising, albeit from some store out there.  In essence a drop
shipper.  And if you're not using CJ, then how would you get the
commission?  I don't see how you are getting paid (why?).  I really do
appreciate your help.

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense?

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As a webmaster (i.e. publisher) I tend to regard AdSense as a means of
generating revenue from my site. However, you can use AdSense to drive
people to your site (in this case as an advertiser). What Paul was saying is
that he has used Adsense both to generate revenue and for generating traffic
to his site (presumably for a specific product of some sort).

Its not come up directly in this discussion yet, but I get the impression
that if you have something to sell then you will tend to generate more
revenue than if you are merely relying on click-throughs or sales on ads.
Brian Cryer

Re: Commission Junction or Adsense? writes
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I have both. CJ is absolutely nowhere. Adsense is significantly more
productive for me.

Craig Cockburn ("coburn"). /
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