In Asia countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, the best way for an average blogger to monetize your blog would be via Adsense, that is featuring advertisement in your blog.
Exceptions from this would be:
1. If you blogging to promote your small business- then the focus should be to advertise your own business and not to feature advertisements from potential competitors
2. If you are blogging to promote your own skill such as photography, writing and graphic design
3. If you have your own products to sell such as digital products, course, crafts, etc
4. . If you are a known personality with followers and fan base where you can choose and engage directly with advertisers
5. If your blog target segments from countries like US and Canada whereby you can potentially do better with affiliate sales such as Amazon
5. If you do not need the money but blog simply for the passion of it. And you feel advertisement may make your site look ugly
The usual blogger…
But if your blog is content and information base, and you are not considered as an authority in your niche, in my experience, Adsense or other paid advertising would be the best way to sustain.
Even if you are one of the above- for example, if you are trying to sell an e-book or e-course, you could be building a list and working for months and you may not be able to make much sales. It is often the authority bloggers who would be earning the most of the money. Placing at least an advertisement or two in your site can help.
I have followed a few bloggers who when they started out first listened to what the blogging gurus out there are saying…. affiliate, affiliate, affiliate. But they find they are not earning enough even though they have significant number of traffic.
Affiliate sales are very country targeted. If you are from Asia and most of the visitors are from Asia as well, it is hard to make a living with affiliate sales like Amazon. Whereas for Involve Asia (affiliate sales program in Asia) I am also getting feedback that the publishers are not getting paid.
But you would probably not be able to quit your job if you depend on Adsense
10 years ago, many bloggers were earning tonnes of money from monetizing with Adsense. But the scenario has changed dramatically. Now if you want to earn an amount to qualify for a full time living, you need to have tonnes and tonnes of organic traffic.
This is because the CPC (cost per click) is very low. Out of every 100 visitors, perhaps only one or two may click. And you may only earn few cents to fifty cents (in USD) per click. You can see you would need like ten thousands of clicks per month before you can consider doing this full time.
Honestly the blogging scene is very competitive because there is a low barrier to entry since anybody can just set up a blog and hosting within a short time. If you do not love blogging, you might do better in getting a full time job.
Nowadays, if you want to consider going full time, you can still earn money but it would be indirectly from blogging. For example, you may write a blog like mine and offer services to set up websites or to maintain websites for companies. If you keep writing quality content and as your blog ages, it would attract more and more organic traffic. From your writing, your potential clients who go through your blog would be able to get a feel of your personality and would feel they could trust you even though they have not meet you.
Yes, building websites and maintaining sites for others are active income. They are not passive income. But they are income that would be enough to have you put food on the table and pay the bills.
Eventually you may get to the point where you are able to outsource a part or most of your work out. This would be long term planning to earn indirectly from the blog.
Meanwhile, there is no harm in placing some advertising on the blog to tie in the earnings. Especially if your work is targeting audience within your country but you can potentially earn from advertising when visitors from other countries visit your site to look for information. With Adsense, they would be served with ads that are geotargeted and relevant to them.