After you get the approval e-mail from Google, you can start using their Adsense ads on your blogs and websites. Adsense uses Keyword sensitive ads which means Google tries to publish ads which fit to your actual blog posts or your overall blog topic. The ads which Google Adsense serves on our blogs and websites are coming from other blog & website owners, from famous brands who promote their new products / contests or from affiliate programs.
As you build up your blog posts week by week, you'll notice that there are often the same Google Adsense ads displayed when you visit your own blog. This happens because your content is relevant to their keywords which they are using in their Google Adwords campaign. Most of these ads will show you an URL to their real website (when you use the sky scraper or banner ads - the URL won't be displayed if you use only the Text link ads). On my blog there have been a lot of "Grab a free report", "sign up for my list", "new advertising program", 50 Ways to make money online! ads which include an affiliate program.
If you use now these kind of ads not only by displaying them in your Adsense ads but by choosing to join their affiliate programs (and make money off Google Adsense ads) you could make not just a few cents for the click - you could make between 2 - 50 $ (between 10% and 75% of the product price) in case the visitor who clicks your affiliate link, joins the program and buys the book or the service. Every blogger will have other ads like Mommy blogger might have the ones for baby cloths for which several companies offer partner programs with a certain percentage of the sales price as a commission or the Amazon Associate program which you can use easily inside your own blog posts when you write about certain products which are distributed by Amazon!
Most important factor to remember with affiliate links is NOT to cluster your whole sidebars with different ad banners and text link ads as they won't be always relevant to your actual blog posts. Instead you could use your affiliate banners selectively in relevant blog posts as a picture on the left/right of your blog post, between or at the end of your blog post.
You should only put certain affiliate links in your sidebars which are always useful for your visitors to see. Put other affiliate links at the bottom of your sidebars, in this case new visitors who are interested in your posts and read more than the recent one still can notice some of your affiliate links and will make you money but not annoy your regular visitors!
What's your experience with Google Adsense (earnings, success, ban, payout)?
Which experience can you share about affiliate programs, earnings and your success with them?