Many new bloggers start writing content with the sole purpose of monetizing with ads. But, which ad network will pay you the most, are the best to work with, and will allow you to join at your size?
I have a complete review of Ezoic here. It shows you how much money I made, how to set it up, and how it affected site speed / overall traffic.
Ezoic is the best ad network for bloggers under 25,000 monthly sessions. Period.
Why? Well first because most of the other ad networks in this list won’t even accept you until you hit 25k-50k monthly sessions. Most small bloggers would like to turn on ads earlier than that and Ezoic is their best option to do so.
20,000 pageviews at a $20 EPMV is $400 a month from ads. I could run my entire blogging business for that much money.
And Ezoic isn’t just a lesser option that you can use while waiting to qualify for the bigger networks. They’re competitive in terms of features and the amount you’ll make from ads. You can do cool stuff like limit ads per page based on word count, remove ads entirely from your highest paying affiliate posts, control where ads go on your page, and more!
And Ezoic doesn’t require a contract. So you’re free to leave at any time if it doesn’t work out.
Wait, What is an Ad Network Again?
An ad network will place ads on your website in the appropriate slot and check with its partners in real-time to determine the highest bid for that ad slot. It sounds complicated but the graphic below shows how it works.
Basically Advertisers sign up with Ad resellers directly. And networks interact with ad resellers to deliver the best ads for your site. That’s where companies like Ezoic and MediaVine are in the chain.
I’ve met people that like AdThrive more than MediaVine, unfortunately they have a 100,000 monthly session requirement. So you need a very successful blog to get in.
That said, if you do get accepted, they offer a 20% earnings increase guarantee your first two weeks. Which means if you were earning a $30 RPM with MediaVine or Ezoic, they guarantee they can get it to $36 within 2 weeks or they’ll pay the difference.
And they don’t require a contract. So if you don’t hit those numbers you’re free to switch back to your previous provider. I know constantly switching ad networks takes time, but once you settle in you can set it and forget it for years at a time.
MediaVine is on another level. Particularly for lifestyle bloggers for which it specifically caters.
The problem is that in order to sign up for MediaVine, your blog needs to hit 50k monthly sessions. And it took my blog 4 YEARS to hit that mark. Bloggers below that threshold should start with Ezoic. Because why put off making hundreds of dollars a month while waiting to get from 5k to 50k sessions?
What I love about MediaVine is the guy who created the company clearly loves blogging. To the point where he created his own ad network because other options sucked at the time.
And while the 50,000 sessions requirement is a bummer for most bloggers, the selectivity is perhaps a good thing for those who get in. When an ad network only lets in the best of the best sites then it can justify working with the best advertisers and charging higher rates.
On Reddit there are mixed reviews about whether MediaVine or Adthrive pays more. But, they’re both going to pay more than Ezoic if you can qualify. It’s also a little annoying that MediaVine has a 90 day contract when you first sign up (30 days after that). So you can’t just leave.
Monumetric sits in-between Ezoic and MediaVine in that they require 10,000 monthly pageviews (and $99) to join.
Are they better than Ezoic or MediaVine?
I haven’t used Monumetric myself. But, the reviews I’ve read have not been shining endorsements. Its been a pretty mixed bag about whether you’ll earn more than you would with Ezoic. And the $100 fee, 30 day contract, and minimum of 6 ads per page turns me off a little bit.
I personally don’t see a huge reason to sign up with Monumetric minus being short of 50k monthly pageviews and not liking Ezoic.
Do you remember this graphic when I described what an Ad Network was? I had Google Adsense listed as an Ad reseller and not an ad network.
The graphic is off a little bit because Google Adsense is both a reseller and a network. The problem is there is no real competition between Google and any of the other ad networks out there. So you end up making far less money per click. I’m talking about reports of people only earning $2-$10 per 1,000 pageviews! It’s bad.
Because of this I really wouldn’t recommend you start with Google Adsense. That said, they don’t really have minimum traffic requirements and you will need to create an Adsense account for the Ad Networks to work.
Alternate Monetization Options
The following don’t make the list because they’re not traditional ad networks. That said, they’re interesting options for people looking for new ways to monetize their blog traffic.
Perhaps too obvious to include in this list. But, I make more from high paying affiliate deals than I do from ads.
And most of that is not Amazon affiliate either. Many products out there offer significantly higher commissions than retail does. Consider writing more product review posts on your own blog to boost your earnings per visitor.
Post Content Links
Sites like Outbrain, Taboola, and RevContent will pay you to place links to articles at the end of your blog post. You’re probably used to seeing it on other blogs, it looks like the image below (from Outbrain).
Why do this? It’s entirely possible you’ll earn more from this than you would with an ad placement in the same spot from one of the ad networks above. It’s not a replacement for ad networks but it can help you better fill a slot.
Keyword Specific Advertisements
Websites like Infolinks and Sovrn probably qualify as ad networks in their own right. However, they act differently than the networks above by being more keyword focused than user focused when choosing which ads to serve.
They also may embed the ads in more clever ways (as links from specific keywords) than only using straight up ad slots.
I unfortunately couldn’t find many reviews on them online so it’s difficult to compare earnings of something like this to traditional ad networks above. But, my guess is if they were competitive there’d be more chatter about them on Reddit. So I’d avoid for now.
Sell Specific Ad Placements
A website like BuySellAds lets you sell an ad placement on your website to a specific bidder for a specific price.
This is a very interesting way to sell ads once you’re established with an Ad Network like AdThrive or MediaVine. Because you can do calculations on how much you earn currently in each of your ad slots and then set the bidding for that ad slot at a higher price.