The Top 5 Display Advertising Networks: Monetize Your Blog The RIGHT Way

By Last updated on:
ad networks

Display advertising is one of the most common ways to monetize a blog.

It’s simple, easy to get started with, and can be very profitable.

Traditionally, site owners used to have to go out and find advertisers directly.

They would have to do everything manually from negotiating deals, signing the agreements, collecting the fees, and putting up the ad.

This takes a ton of time and work to put together.

Advertisers can churn quickly, and you’ll end up spending dozens of hours each month doing outreach and trying to sell ad spots.

For most site owners, display ad networks are the better option.

An ad network is a platform that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers.

Traditionally, the ad networks role is to collect unsold inventory from multiple publishers, then offer this pool of unsold inventory to advertisers at a much lower price than a publisher’s direct quote.

This made it so the ads weren’t great quality. They were referred to as non-premium.

Today, more networks aim at offering their advertisers exclusive deals at premium prices.

They sift through and pre-buy inventory from a number of top-tier publishers, then resell it at premium prices.

Although this arrangement may be more expensive for everyone, it insures premium placement of their ads to make the most money.

How do display Ad Networks benefit publishers and advertisers?

Publishers

Publishers save a ton of time and get to fill their ad spots almost instantly.

Instead of having to go out and look for advertisers and sign contracts, all you need to do is copy and paste in a piece of code onto your website.

The network will then automatically match your ad spots with the best advertisers at the given time.

Ad networks also come with sleek reporting and analytics so you get a better overview of your CPM’s.

Advertisers

Advertisers also save a lot of time when joining a network.

Instead of having to go out and find each individual website to advertise on, they get access to hundreds or thousands of websites instantly.

Once signed up to the ad network, the advertiser won’t need to sign insertion orders again for each publisher. It’s a one time action.

Advertisers get access to deep analytics so they can see how their ads are performing on each website, and can make quicker actions on which sites to pour more money into, and which websites to scrap from their list.

Let’s take a deep look into the 5 best display ad networks for online publishers.

5 best display ad networks for bloggers & publishers

Top 5 display ad networks for WordPress bloggers and publishers: 

1. Google Adsense

best display ad network for 2019

Google Adsense is first on the list because they’re the largest, most popular, and is the recommended network to get started with.

It’s easy to sign up, it’s free, and you don’t have to have a minimum amount of pageviews to be accepted.

How much money can I make from Google Adsense?

There’s no set answer for how much you can make.

It depends on many different factors.

But here are some things that could influence your revenue:

  1. The amount of traffic your site gets. With Adsense, you get paid per clicks on the ads. Click through rates are normally between 1% to 5% so the more traffic you have, the more money you’ll make.
  2. The niche/topic of your website. The more advertisers there are in a space, the more money you’ll earn per click. For example, a blog about credit cards will earn a lot more per click than a blog about baking recipes because there are more advertisers in the finance space.
  3. Ad placement. Because Adsense pays per click, the placement of your ads can make a big difference in how many times it gets clicked. Ads within the content will perform best compared to ads in the sidebar. Take a look at this article for help on increasing CPC.
  4. The kind of traffic you get. Not all traffic is counted equally. Where your traffic is coming from plays a big part in your CPC. Google generally pays more per click from organic traffic than other traffic sources like social media.
  5. Demographics/location. And lastly, where the visitor is located will affect your CPC. In most cases, Adsense pays much higher for US traffic than other countries.

What is the best way to make money with Adsense?

It’s a numbers game. The more traffic you have, the more money you’ll make.

You’ll want to build large scope sites that have the potential to grow over 100,000 visits per month in order to make significant money.

Adsense pays 68% to the publisher, and they keep 32%.

As far as niche compatibility, Google Adsense has such a gigantic network or advertisers that any niche has the potential to be profitable.

Jack Herrick’s website WikiHow is probably the best example of what’s possible with Adsense. 

WikiHow is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and is profitable.

They monetize their site purely with Adsense.

WikiHow has articles on just about every topic imaginable. Adsense allows them to display relevant ads on each page automatically.

Policies

Like all ad networks, Google Adsense has their own set of policies. Here are a few of them:

  • No encouraging clicks or views
  • No copyrighted material
  • No invalid clicks and impressions
  • No abusive experiences

Click here for the full list.

Adsense made their approval system a little tricky.

Even if you make a tiny mistake, you’ll get rejected right away.

Here’s more information on what it takes to be accepted into Google’s Adsense network.

Here are a few reasons why Google Adsense would reject you:

  1. Page type/design. Yes, Google Adsense judges the book by it’s cover. Your site must have a clean and clear design that is appealing to the eye.
  2. Must have pages. If you don’t have an About Us, No Privacy Policy, or Contact Us page, they won’t accept you.
  3. Poor site content. If your site is full of 300-500 word articles and grammar mistakes, it will get rejected immediately.

2. Ezoic

Ezoic ads

Ezoic has the potential to make you more money with the same traffic because they allow you to test ad placements, sizes, and publishers to find combinations that generate the most money and is best optimized for usability.

On top of this, they even improve their results over-time with machine learning technology.

In other words, the optimization will be done for you, which means more earnings over time as their platform finds the best ad combinations for your site specifically.

Also, when you get accepted into Ezoic, you get access to Google’s Ad Exchange program.

This is a higher tier ad network than Adsense from Google that most publishers can’t get into.

You need to be a Certified Publishing Partner to be accepted, which gives you access to more exclusive advertisers with higher rates.

They’ve worked with over 21,000 websites, increasing their revenue by an average of 115%.

Now if you’re wondering how to make revenue using Ezoic, here are a few steps that you’ll need to follow: 

  1. Create an account and make sure to link it to your blog using CloudFlare.
  2. In your blog’s header, you’ll need to add the Ezoic script.
  3. Next, convert all existing ad units to serve via Ezoic, and create new ad units.
  4. And last but not least, you’ll want to start using the Ezoic Ad Tester.

Publisher Requirements

Ezoic seems to cater to people that are somewhere in the middle of the ad network world.

The publishers who are a step above Google Adsense, but not quite at the point where they can learn DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers).

Because of this, they have a low minimum traffic requirement of 10,000 pageviews per month.

This is mainly so that they can produce reliable and confident results when using AI. You’ll be asked to share your analytics and if you’re not at 10k yet, you can always apply.

There is also a large list of policies that you must follow. Some of these include:

  • No invalid clicks or impressions
  • Not offering counterfeit goods
  • Site should have reliable traffic sources
  • No content that is copied from other websites
  • No use of illegal content
  • No gambling content
  • No falsely encouraging clicks

Click here to apply.

3. Mediavine

Mediavine ad managment

Mediavive is a fully adaptable, ready to grow, future proof, full serviced ad management company.

They work directly with the largest ad exchanges and advertisers to get maximum profit for it’s ad inventory.

This results in faster load times, improved user experiences, and more traffic.

It’s a great network to switch to once you hit their minimum requirement to be approved into their network.

Publisher Requirements

25,000 sessions per month.

That’s a lot more than what you need for Google Adsense and Ezoic, but once you meet the requirement, you should definitely at least test it out as some bloggers have reported seeing a 2-3x increase in earnings.

There are a few other things that Mediavine searches for in applicants. To be accepted, you must have:

  • Original and engaging content.
  • Clean, verified, white listed traffic.
  • A good standing with Google Adsense.

Why use Medavine?

Your RPM is close to double of that of Adsense.

That means if you’re currently making $1,000 per month with Adsense and you switch to Medavine, you could potentially double your earnings.

Why does Medavine pay so much more?

With the combination of Google Adsense ads and Mediavine’s own partners, they have a very valuable inventory of ads.

That being said, the highest bidding advertiser will take the spot.

They also give you 75% of the earnings, compared to just 68% with Adsense.

Click here to apply.

4. Adthrive

Adthrives

Adthrive is another premium ad network that has the potential to double or triple your earnings.

It was founded in 2013 by a married blogging couple looking to help others grow their ad income to be able to work their dream jobs.

Their services doesn’t just include ads but also things like video monetization, publisher dashboard, learning tools, expert support and guidance from a team of experienced ad users.

Adthrive also gives publishers 75% of the earnings and they have a very large network of advertisers. However, it’s not easy to get accepted.

Publisher Requirements

  • 100,000 pageviews per month.
  • The majority of your traffic must come from the USA.
  • No previous advertising infringements and are not blacklisted with Google or any other providers.
  • Your content must be unique, original, and appeal to a wide audience.

Top 5 reasons to use Adthrive:

  1. Adthrive is overseen by Google. As they are a certified partner publisher, you’ll get access to premium technologies and campaigns unavailable anywhere else. You’ll also get access to Google’s resources, training and expertise. They also make sure your ads are up to date on Google’s policies.
  2. The customer Service is outstanding. Any questions? Just ask. You should get a response within a few hours, instead of within 24 hours. You questions are answered through email by a core team of 3-4 people, so it’s likely you’ll be consistently hearing from the same people when you need help.
  3. No spammy ads. Adthrive aims to use high quality ads. If you don’t like one of them that passes through your site, you can send them an email and they will make changes accordingly.
  4. They’re reputable. Adthrive is currently #20 in the Comscore rankings, reaching an audience of over 92.5 million readers per month. They rank #1 in the category of food and family, and #2 in home.
  5. Their team works hard for your increase. Usually Adsense customers see a revenue increase the day after joining. If not the day after, it’s generally very quickly.

5. Monumetric

Monumetric has a bit of a different strategy from the other ad display networks mentioned above.

They will automatically show dynamic ads based on your content and your visitors interests.

Most ad networks like Google Adsense only offer static ads.

With Monumetric, the ad units will constantly keep updating and show new ads even if the reader stays on the same page.

Because of this, you’ll generate more clicks, ad impressions, and more revenue.

Reasons to join Monumetric:

  1. Personalized support and consultation. They have reps that can help you come up with strategies, then help you implement them.
  2. They do the work for you. As long as you give them access to your dashboard, they’ll go in and place all the ads in all the right places for you. You don’t have to do anything.
  3. Monumetric has a large selection of ad units, meaning more relevant ad impressions and clicks for you.
  4. You earn revenue from just the ads displaying, no need for readers to actually click on the ads.
  5. If you’ve been banned by Adsense, don’t worry. Monumetric does not require you to have an Adsense account.

Publisher Requirements

  • Like Ezoic, you need a minimum of 10,000 monthly page views to be eligible for Monumetric.
  • If you’re at 10,000 but below 80,000, you’ll need to pay a setup fee of $99. This doesn’t need to be paid upfront, but they will take it out of your ad revenue until you’ve paid it off.
  • You must have organic and direct traffic.
  • No inappropriate content regarding alcohol, drugs, hate speech, etc.
  • Original, frequently updated content.
  • An engaged audience is a must. Things like enabling blog comments can be helpful to show them you have responsive readers.

Which one pays the highest?

While Adsense is the largest and most popular ad network, it’s not the one that pays the highest.

Ezoic, Mediavine, Adthrive, and Monumetric all have the potential to be the highest paying network for you.

It’s not always the same for everybody and depends on many factors.

Some people have reported that Mediavine pays them the highest. Others have seen the biggest revenue jumps from Adthrive.

The most important thing is testing.

Once you meet the requirements for the more premium networks, you should apply and test them out for a month or two. Changing ad networks is one of the easiest and quickest ways to increase your monthly earnings.

So, what's the best display ad network for me?

 

  • If you have a newer site, you should start with Google Adsense since they don’t have any minimum traffic requirements.
  • When your site reaches 10,000 pageviews per month, apply to Ezoic and Monumetric. When you hit 25,000 sessions per month, apply to Mediavine.
  • When you hit 100,000 pageviews per month, apply to Adthrive.

 

Hope this article helped you get a better understanding on how to monetize your traffic with display ads. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment box below.

24 Comments

  • Reply
    Nomar
    July 22, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Good list Andrej. At the moment I am solely doing adsense and it is bringing in some good figures. Would love to double it but not sure if ezoic or mediavine will do the trick. Maybe try with 1 smaller site and do a case study

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 22, 2019 at 7:41 am

      Thanks, Nomar. They’ll do the trick 95%+ of the time. Ezoic slows down the site a bit more, so I’d go with MV if you’re eligible. You can apply and continue using GA till they approve you (usually within 2-3 weeks) and then do a 2-3 month run to test the RPM.

      • Reply
        Kingsley Felix
        July 23, 2019 at 1:34 am

        Is Monumetric part of Google Ad exchange like the others on the list?

        • Reply
          Andrej Ilisin
          July 23, 2019 at 4:12 am

          From what I know – no, it’s not.

      • Reply
        The CryptoStaunch
        July 25, 2019 at 4:42 am

        Since they don’t mind if you have adsense account, what happens if i have an adsense account while applying to their ad network?

        • Reply
          Andrej Ilisin
          July 25, 2019 at 6:04 am

          Nothing 🙂

  • Reply
    Babs
    July 22, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve heard of Mediavine and I currently juggle GA and Ezoic.

    Mediavines net 75 method of payment and exclusive network is kind of turn off for me… I should try Monumetric though.. Thanks for the heads up on this one.

  • Reply
    Warren Hauck
    July 22, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Howdy Andrej,

    I have given up on EZOIC for now, though I still have an account with them. Their need to point my nameserver to them seemed to slow down my load times, and all that wrapping – I prefer to spend my time on content.

    I started with Monumetric a couple months ago and they’re my best performer by a decent margin. I also use AdSense and a company called Pixfuture. I’ve also had an account for many years with Conversant. They’ve sucked in recent years, but recently converted to Header bidding, and I’ve got a conference call with them coming up.

    AdThrive – if I’m not mistake they want to take all your traffic and be totally responsible for all your ad revenue.

    Speaking of, one thing that you may want to discuss in an upcoming blogpost is the best way to parcel out ads for those of us who use multiple ad providers.

    In my case, I use PixFuture, Monumetric and AdSense for display ads.

    For the most part, I give a third of my pages exclusively to AdSense, a third to Monumetric and a third to PixFuture.

    I don’t like to mix-and-match: a page has a Google banner with a Monumetric rectangle and a PixFuture Skyscraper.

    But is this the best strategy?? I don’t really know? What’s your experience and is there a prevailing wisdom?

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 22, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks for the insight and for sharing your experience, Warren.

      I’m not really mixing up different networks on my sites. I’m primarily monetizing via affiliate offers and supplementing/getting ROI on my info posts with display ads. Haven’t personally done much testing, but I’ll have a guest (huge post) answer all your + a lot more questions in a couple of months.

  • Reply
    Nasir
    July 22, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    I am happy with Google Asense so far. Tested Ezoic and iZooto and PropellerAds. Its my be my bad luck or I couldn’t make most of them but Adsense has really been best performer so far.

  • Reply
    Dharmen Bhammu
    July 22, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks Andraj, Please also list the Advertisers which are profitable for cpa offers.

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 22, 2019 at 11:52 pm

      That’s something for another day, but will do 🙂

  • Reply
    Warren Hauck
    July 22, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    That will be great Andrej! Looking forward to reading it.

    BTW I have a website (versus a blog) and affiliate marketing doesn’t work for me – just the display ads and vids like Playbuzz.
    I have a lot of real estate on some of my pages and have started to slap up some Amazon ads, but purchases are few and far between. Then again this is my offseason, so hope springs eternal when football season starts.

    I’ve considered putting up some type of request for Ad-block users, something like:

    “we have a lot of expenses here at mywebsite.com, I need to pay several writers, etc. I make money via ad sales, if you are using Ad Blockers, please help us out by making Amazon purchases through our portal.”

    I’m not sure if that will get me in trouble with Amazon, or if it will be considered “Spammy” or low class. What do you think?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 22, 2019 at 11:51 pm

      If you’re putting amazon ads on your info content the conversions will be low – because of the search intent. Affiliate offers should match a certain BOFU type of content/keywords in order to convert at a reasonable rate.

      I’d put that popup on your info content. On the content where you’re promoting affiliate offers, I’d remove the ads and have only one clear CTA (affiliate stuff).

  • Reply
    Dan
    July 22, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks Andrej! I just started blogging 6 months ago. My niche is solo travel and backpacking. I am currently using Google Adsense and Media.net but still I am getting low revenue. I have done SEO and get organic traffic up to 40%. Any advice on how get I my revenue up? Here is my site if you wanna check out http://www.dantravels.org. Thanks

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 22, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Dan,

      feel free to check Adsense articles we have here on the blog. There are a ton of articles that cover stuff that’ll help you out.

  • Reply
    Solomon
    July 23, 2019 at 3:37 am

    Good list here. At the moment I am solely using adsense and it is bringing in some good figures. I would like to know if I can use Adsense on a music search engine as well. If no which other ad network can I use on it.

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 23, 2019 at 4:10 am

      Thanks, Solomon. I can’t see why not, but it’s always best to check with them directly.

  • Reply
    Carlos
    July 23, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Hi, Andrej, great list you got up here. I’ve been working with Adsense but sometimes I believe my blog could make bigger figures with different ad companies. I have two questions maybe you can help me with. 1. My traffic come from latin countries mostly, do you think Mediavine want me in that way? and 2. If I work with Mediavine I have to give up Adsense or I’m going to have both? Thank you so much in advance!

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 23, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Hi Carlos, thanks for stopping by.

      1. Not 100% sure, but I think you’re good to go.
      2. Google AdSense is essentially an ad network, whereas Mediavine is an ad manager. Mediavine works with several ad networks and partners to serve ads on their publisher websites. One of these partners is Google AdExchange, a premium version of Google AdSense.

  • Reply
    The Business Guy
    July 23, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    I use Ezoic, they significantly improved my earnings. At first I was skeptical when a marketer from Ezoic contacted me. However, after a while, I decided to give them a trial and I am happy I did. Ezoic is running 100% on my blog now.

  • Reply
    AJ
    July 26, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Andrej, this made me think:

    “They also give you 75% of the earnings, compared to just 68% with Adsense.”

    Google AdExchange is probably Mediavine’s biggest ad partner. Isn’t it so that Google would grab a percentage from a Mediavine publisher’s ad revenue after which Mediavine takes their 25% cut? In other words, a publisher with Mediavine (or AdThrive for that matter) would ultimately have to hand over a bigger percentage of ad revenue?

    Net revenue for the publisher would still be higher than with AdSense because with Mediavine and AdThrive you get access to more ad units, but still.

    • Reply
      Andrej Ilisin
      July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am

      Hm, yeah, that makes sense. I’ll reach out to my account manager and verify. But, in any case, if I get better results/more moolah, I’m a happy camper 🙂

  • Reply
    Varun Sharma
    August 3, 2019 at 2:59 am

    I heard about them that they pay highest, but I use AdSense. Thank you for the list.

Leave a Reply

Zero To 100K With SEO

A free 5-part SEO email course that will show you step-by-step how to grow traffic from zero to 100,000 visitors per month (with search).

Sign Up