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 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 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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
WikiHow has articles on just about every topic imaginable. Adsense allows them to display relevant ads on each page automatically.
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
Adsense made their approval system a little tricky.
Even if you make a tiny mistake, you’ll get rejected right away.
Here are a few reasons why Google Adsense would reject you:
- 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.
- Poor site content. If your site is full of 300-500 word articles and grammar mistakes, it will get rejected immediately.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Personalized support and consultation. They have reps that can help you come up with strategies, then help you implement them.
- 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.
- Monumetric has a large selection of ad units, meaning more relevant ad impressions and clicks for you.
- You earn revenue from just the ads displaying, no need for readers to actually click on the ads.
- If you’ve been banned by Adsense, don’t worry. Monumetric does not require you to have an Adsense account.
- 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.