A question I see asked from time to time is what is the difference between Clickbank vs Adsense (aka Google Adsense).
In this short article I’m going to answer that question for you.
The fundamental difference is that Google Adsense is an ad network, whereas Clickbank is an affiliate network.
As mentioned above, Adsense is an ad network.
What this means is that a publisher (e.g. you with a website) can apply to join the network, and then if approved you can run Adsense ad units on your website.
Chances are that many websites you visit on a daily basis are part of this ad network, as it is a popular way to monetise traffic to a website.
Google pays you when people view and then click on the ads on your site, or sometimes just when people view (this varies depending on exactly what ads you have set up).
As a general rule, you need quite a bit of traffic to do well with Google Adsense. You might be lucky to earn 20 cents per click with Adsense, so you’d need dozens of clicks – and therefore many times more traffic – to make a meaningful income.
However, it can also be a fantastic monetisation option if you run a website that doesn’t have a particularly strong availability for affiliate products, or in niches where there are high CPCs in advertising (e.g. insurance).
You can learn more about the platform on my Google Adsense review.
Clickbank is an affiliate network.
It brings together publishers (people who create products) affiliates (those who promote products for a commission) and customers (those who buy the products).
Unlike with Adsense where you earn if someone just clicks your ad, it doesn’t work like that at all with Clickbank.
You only earn when someone buys a product through your affiliate link. You might drive 1000 clicks to your affiliate link for a particular product, but if nobody buys then you make $0!
Despite this, Clickbank does offer a number of advantages from a monetisation perspective. With a well converting product you don’t need anywhere near as much traffic as you would do with Adsense, in order to make a good amount of money.
You can learn more on my Clickbank review.
Can You Use Adsense & Clickbank On The Same Site
Yes, you definitely can.
However, you want to be wary of doing this (in my opinion) as Adsense ads may take clicks away from your Clickbank product links, which are more likely to earn you a larger sum of money.
So while you can mix the two, I generally advise against it. Others may disagree, but I think you are probably better to focus on one or the other.
Conclusion – Google Adsense vs Clickbank
To conclude, Adsense is an ad network. You apply to join the Adsense network, and if you are approved then you can run Adsense ads on your site.
Depending on how much traffic you get, what sort of niche you’re in etc, then you can earn ad revenue from people who click (and sometimes people who see) your ads.
Compared with Clickbank, you’ll tend to need a lot more visitors on your website to make meaningful money (unless you are in certain niches that have extremely high CPC). The advantage of Adsense vs Clickbank is that Adsense doesn’t require you to sell any product – people are far more likely to just click an ad than actually buy something – and it can also help you to monetise sites that might not have obviously available affiliate products.