Last Updated on June 14, 2021 by Jeremy
When it comes to blog advertising networks, there are many options to choose from. But not every ad network is created equal, and neither are their requirements for entry.
In this one, we wanted to summarize a few of the most popular networks out there for bloggers, and share a few of the key details you need to know for each of them when it comes to applying.
But first off, we want to talk about your earnings potential when running ads.
An Upfront Note About Ad Earnings (in RPM)
When it comes to discussing earnings within ad networks, the world revolves around the term RPM- or Revenue Per 1,000. The use of this term could be on a 1,000 page views basis or 1,000 sessions basis (some networks show both). As such, whenever anyone is speaking about RPM, it is best to clarify whether they're talking on page views or sessions. But over time, the industry is generally shifting towards this being on a $/1,000 sessions basis.
We would love to include a firm number in this guide on what your estimated RPM earnings could be for any given network. Sadly, this is impossible. There are simply far too many factors that can directly influence your earnings.
Factors can include how many individual ad services the network taps into (more competition = more money), how many ads you have on any given page (longer posts = more potential ad spots = more money), your niche (targeted ads = premium), your audience's location (US and English speaking audiences generally make more), the time of year (Q4 = big ad spends for the holidays), and many more considerations beyond these.
What we can say here is that bloggers often report earnings within a range of $5-$50+ RPM on a session basis. So for every 1,000 sessions, they'll make $5 to $50+. Since this is often discussed on a session-level over page view-level, your site's average pages-per-visit factors into play as here well.
The ad networks below are organized not by income potential but by traffic entry requirements from lowest to highest. While many bloggers will anecdotally say they make more money on an RPM basis with harder-to-enter networks, published data for this on a large scale is hard to come by for all of the reasons we mentioned above. Overall, that logic does have some merit but comes with a big asterisk attached.
Note: Traffic requirements and contract terms are prone to change, and may be different from our last look at network rules. Use these as guidelines only.
Generally speaking, Adsense does not have minimum traffic requirements. But in the trade-off of easy access, ad rates tend to be quite low. Potential users should also note Adsense does not pay out until you hit a minimum $100 balance which could take quite some time depending on your traffic and ad setup. As such, we generally don't recommend even turning on ads until you get to 1,000 page views per month (and even here it may take a year or more to get a payout). Otherwise only earning pennies or a dollar per month may be more discouraging than its worth.
Ezoic used to have a minimum of 10,000 session requirement to join the network, but in mid-2021 removed all traffic requirements for users. As such, this could be a great option for those who want to make a little more money out of the gate over Adsense as their RPMs are (from what we're told), typically a bit higher. While Ezoic is pretty transparent with their daily Ad Revenue Index, we've also read about a number of concerns with regard to site speed on this network and would be sure to stay on top of that if you join.
Moving away from Adsense and to private ad networks is Monumetric. This one offers the lowest traffic requirement of any non-Adsense network and requires just 10,000 page views for acceptance in most cases. Note that Monumetric charges a $99 setup fee for lower trafficked blogs and requires 30-days cancelation notice if you want to move networks.
SHE Media is a popular advertising network that generally recommends around 20,000 page views per month for most applications. It is worth noting here that this one requires a strong female audience that is primarily US-based, but we've read of some wiggle rooms in acceptance cases. SHE Media requires 12-month long contracts and 60-days cancelation notice before your contract is over.
Mediavine is often considered to be the gold standard in ad networks and is highly regarded by its thousands of members. They require 50,000 sessions per month to apply and prefer strong US audiences. Mediavine has a progressive revenue share tier that increases with higher ad views as well as years with the company (+1% per year for the first five years). Mediavine has an initial 90-day commitment and then a 30-day cancelation notice after that.
Disclosure: Mediavine is a featured expert on This Week in Blogging at our request. Jeremy has been a member of Mediavine since 2017.
On the highest end of traffic requirements, we have AdThrive. This service requires 100,000 page views per month and competitive RPMs due to having a large in-house advertiser list. Some people swear they make more money with AdThrive than Mediavine. Others Mediavine over AdThrive. But we would say they're the two big guns with regards to earning potential, and that's good enough for us for discussion purposes. AdThrive also has a 30-day cancelation policy.
Do you use an ad network? Share your opinions of them in the comments below!