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How Much Money Can You Make With Chitika Ads?

How much money can you make serving Chitika ads on your site? Pretty much none. Seriously, Chitika has to be one of the worst major ad platforms for publishers out there in terms of payouts. In point, you run their ads, send traffic to their clients, and you receive pennies — literally — in return.

What is Chitika?

Chitika is a search-targeted advertising network that mainly works around a pay per click system. They are one of the biggest and most popular ad serving networks out there, and have even had big names in blogging like Darren Rowse promoting their service.

My experience serving Chitika ads

I’ve used Chitika ads at various points over the past three years, and I know that if they are well placed they do generate a respectable click through rate (percentage of ad impressions that lead to clicks). The problem with Chitika is that they pay their publishers ridiculously low rates. I’ve found that I make roughly 1.4 cents per click on average, which is more than 30 times lower than what I make with other pay per click advertising networks. In point, I’ve found that Chitika ads are not worth losing visitors to.

Chitika-Logo_320x245There are three levels of publishers in the Chitika network: gold, silver, and bronze. Gold tier publishers get a higher PPC payout than silver, and silver gets paid more than bronze. I was in the silver level throughout my time in the program. I applied for admittance into the gold tier but never heard anything back from Chitika about it, and eventually I gave up waiting. To gauge the traffic ballpark I play in, my main site brings in over 80,000 visitors per month and my network over 90,000.

Below is a table which shows my stats for the final week I ran Chitika ads on www.VagabondJourney.com and across the Vagabond Network:

Date Impressions Clicks CTR eCPM Revenue
Total 34,871 98 0.28% $0.04 $1.30
Dec 30, 2012 4,706 12 0.26% $0.04 $0.17
Dec 29, 2012 4,715 15 0.32% $0.04 $0.20
Dec 28, 2012 4,820 12 0.25% $0.04 $0.18
Dec 27, 2012 4,800 12 0.25% $0.03 $0.15
Dec 26, 2012 4,163 5 0.12% $0.02 $0.07
Dec 25, 2012 3,929 15 0.38% $0.05 $0.19
Dec 24, 2012 4,041 15 0.37% $0.05 $0.19
Dec 23, 2012 3,697 12 0.32% $0.04 $0.16

As you can see above, I was sending away over 90 clicks per week to Chitika’s clients for pretty much no money at all. 98 clicks for $1.30 = a horrible advertising program.

I then became curious how many clicks and traffic I would need to generate in order to make a respectable amount of money with Chitika, and the results were laughable.

Using the stats above as a basis, in order to make a measly $100 with Chitika I would need to generate 7,140 clicks. How much traffic would be needed for this amount of clicks? Using the click through rate above, I would need to show Chitika ads 2,540,200 times for a hundred bucks. This pretty much means that if I ran these ads on all of the pages of the Vagabond Network for an entire year I would make roughly $150.

These are insanely low payouts in a market where respectable ad networks pay between 30 and 70 cents per click. To put it simply, 1.4 cents isn’t worth having a visitor leave my site. Chitika ads have now been removed from the Vagabond Network. Our advice is to stay away from this under performing advertising platform.

Filed under: Digital Nomad, Make Money, Traveling Webmaster

About the Author:

Vagabond Journey has been featured on MSNBC.com, The Daily Mail Online, Business Insider, Gizmodo, the Des Moines Register, CBS Phoenix, NBC LA, and numerous other international and local publications. has written 2687 posts on Vagabond Journey.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/funwithalf/ alf

    Good to know, I am working on launching a website in hopes to at least go through my savings a bit slower while traveling. A few days ago I noticed those ads on your website and I was wondering if those were any good.

    • Wade Shepard

      What is disappointing about Chitika is that their ads are good compliments to other advertising platforms, and you can run them on pages together. It’s just irritating that they don’t pay out more. If they had respectable PPC rates I would have been making around $45 per week with them, which would have been an excellent additional source of revenue.

      If you have any questions regarding starting a website, feel free to ask me via email and I will post responses on this blog. Thanks.

  • BasitKhan1

    You right Mr. Wade Shepard, and I agree with you. If you suggested some alternatives to chitika it would be so appreciable

    • Vagabond Journey

      BasitKhan1 That’s the problem, most pay out the same.

  • jhon

    chitika is waste of time believe me

    • VagabondJourney

      Very well put. The CTR of their ads is excellent, but they simply don’t pay.

    • jesun

      i cannot believe ,,

  • jhon

    chitika is waste of time believe me

    • VagabondJourney

      Very well put. The CTR of their ads is excellent, but they simply don’t pay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/indoposting Indo Posting

    So, what’s the best alternative for Adsense?

    • VagabondJourney

      Get another profession. That’s pretty much it. I have not yet found an ad program that can compare with it.

  • http://www.internetpositive.com/ Rudy Prasetyo

    So, what’s the best alternative for Adsense?

    • VagabondJourney

      Get another profession. That’s pretty much it. I have not yet found an ad program that can compare with it.

  • http://www.bloodygoodgames.com/ BloodyGoodGames

    Absolutely agree with you. I’m in the process of removing Chitika from all my sites as I’m literally getting less than 1 cent per click. Absolutely NOT worth giving them space on my sites, particularly when I’m losing AdSense clicks because of it. Would recommend everyone stay away from them – they are charging their advertisers a HUGE amount of money (they only allow advertisers to advertise with Chitika who pay more than $50,000 a month) yet paying their publishers NOTHING.

    Worse ad program I’ve ever worked with.

    • VagabondJourney

      It’s true. What they are doing is almost criminal.

  • http://www.bloodygoodgames.com/ BloodyGoodGames

    Absolutely agree with you. I’m in the process of removing Chitika from all my sites as I’m literally getting less than 1 cent per click. Absolutely NOT worth giving them space on my sites, particularly when I’m losing AdSense clicks because of it.

    Worse ad program I’ve ever worked with.

    • VagabondJourney

      It’s true. What they are doing is almost criminal.

  • Rahul

    which is the second best ad program and cpm after adsense ?

    • VagabondJourney

      I haven’t found one that even comes close to comparing. That’s the problem.

  • http://www.borneocareeron9.blogspot.com animefreak

    it’s true..chitika has a low pay out..but how about Bidvertiser??it’s good??

  • http://www.wapgot.com wapgot

    i have using chitika, but earning slowly after visitor down because google update…
    Any trick do you have? :D
    thanks bfore

    • Wade Shepard

      This is the post-tricks era of the internet. Play by the rules.

  • http://www.nigerianrooster.com NigerianRooster

    Hello VagabondJourney,
    I just started my website and looking to put up chitika ads, as my site isnt old enough to apply for adsense. please any advise on how to maximize earnings fro chitika?
    thanks

    • Wade Shepard

      It’s the CPM that’s the problem. No matter how much traffic you get the payout is not going to be adequate. Sure, you can make money with Chitika, but I think you’d really have to use all of their ad options (in content links, that pop up ads, as well as banners), but, at the end of the day they are not going to pay fairly.

      • http://whatshouldbetchescallme.tumblr.com Betch

        Was running adsense and lijit on my tumblr whatshouldbetchescallme.tumblr.com and was getting between $0.30 and $0.40 CPM for each ad unit which was the most comparable to adsense, however they’re having an issue with bots and tumblr so they haven’t been serving ads to me the last two weeks and I’m desperate for a replacement since my ad revenue is literally paying my rent right now. Any suggestions very very welcome

  • http://techmotus.com Sekhar

    I don’t have much traffic on my site. But out of curiosity I did registered for Chitika publisher program, but never started with putting ads on my site. But after reading your post, I think I made one right decision. Thanks

  • http://www.balancebiketrainer.com Kenneth Elliott

    I’ve been playing around with Chitika as well and I have gotten the same result. It laughable to hear people say that chitika is comparable to Google adwords. Can anyone recommend anyone else that pays something like Google or near it?

  • Putz

    I was curious since chitika pay me fairly low, then I found this information, and I think it’s true, thank you very much for providing us this information, I wish i have another alternative for this problem

  • http://www.techrecite.com Dean

    Thanks for the eye opener article. I was under impression that Chitika is way better than Google Adsense..

  • http://www.mobilehelponline.co.za Kervin Mathumbu

    I have just implemented their codes onto my site and waited for clicks with eager expectations as I all the while knew nothing of their PPC rates and hoped to learn of it then (enrolled under Silver too). Very depressing to know they pay that low. I can’t wait to be approved by Adsense! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://themostbeautifulcakes.com Rosvitha

    The traffic on my blog is not a very representative one but going up, as I see. I have applied for AdSense but rejected for a few times already. So, I have made a deal with Chitika. I think that I will have to wait for two years to get some money out of it :-( . I still don’t understand why was I rejected by AdSense. How old my blog has to be to get AdSence? Or, what is wrong about my blog that AdSense doesn’t like?
    Thanks

    • Shaswat Saxena

      Your blog does not follows the Adsense terms and condition or your domain is not old enough that’s why you have been rejected

  • http://www.readunbelievablefacts.blogspot.com Ram

    hello vagabondjourney
    i have a blog but it doesnot get too much views about 6000 per month. can you tell me some usefull ways to increase the no. of viewers on my blog

    thank you

    • Wade Shepard

      Develop a presence in a well defined niche. Become and expert in that topic. Work 10 hours per day and post multiple times daily for 5 years, then maybe . . . just maybe you stand a chance of getting a decent amount of traffic. It’s extremely difficult these days for an independent webmaster to develop a high traffic blog. Also, get off Blogger.