A couple of months ago I was looking for CPM networks to sign up one of my sites. I found Mediavine ad network and was eager to apply in hopes of making more revenue with my blogs.
What is Mediavine?
Mediavine has been around for a while. They have been an Internet publisher since 2004. They are a full-service ad management company helping bloggers build sustainable businesses.
Mediavine is part of a Google Certified Publishing Partner. There aren’t many ad networks that have this status and that’s quite important. It means that they have met strict qualification standards to prove they are the specialists on the field.
Mediavine has also shown great customer satisfaction with high ads viewability rates. They focus on mobile-first and ad videos.
In short, Mediavine has great reviews with excellent customer service and are on top of their game with their ad and video placements.
About My Site
My site was getting pretty good traffic (approximately 100,000 sessions a month) but I was failing to monetize it. I used Adsense and Media.net but my CPC was very low, actually almost nonexistent so I didn’t make any significant amount of money. The site is in a niche where overall CPC is quite low. Adsense and Media.net combined made me around $5 a day.
Why I Was Hesitant to Sign Up with Mediavine
When I heard about Mediavine, I was hesitant to sign up with them. There were several reasons that scared me:
- Mediavine takes 20-25% of your earned ad commissions (Adsense takes nothing). That seemed like a lot and I was afraid of losing money with them.
- You need to be with them for 3 months before you can cancel. This was another reason why I was hesitant to sign up with them. Can you imagine if you would lose money, you would be stuck with them for 3 months?
- You need to use their ads exclusively (no other ad networks are allowed on your site, except native ads such as Content.ad etc. at the end of posts).
These 3 reasons were enough for me to really think about signing up.
Additionally, at the time (October 2016 when I applied), Mediavine seemed to be popular with food bloggers and I wasn’t sure if my blog would be ideal for their advertisers since I was not a food blogger. I thought maybe they didn’t have enough advertisers for other niches and I would earn less.
However, since my earnings were not so significant, I thought I would try them out for 3 months.
Signing Up with Mediavine
Before signing up with Mediavine, I went to their website and used the chat feature to ask about above-mentioned questions. My questions were answered instantly and I started the sign-up process.
First, you’ll need to apply and complete a simple Mediavine Publisher application. One of their requirements is that they will only bring on publishers that have at least 30,000 visitors a month. Also, they ask if you have an Adsense account or if you ever have been banned from Adsense. Note: as of now (2019), they will accept sites with 25,000 sessions per month. You need to have 25,000 sessions for at least 30 days.
You can still sign up with them even if you have a previous ban with Google Adsense. If that’s the case, you are required to have 100,000 visitors a month. You need to make sure to tell them if you’ve ever been banned or had an unresolved policy violation with Google Adsense. Note: as of 2019, I believe they will not accept a site if you don’t have a good standing Adsense account.
After the short application, they will want to verify your traffic to their ad partners. You’ll have to run a report out of Google Analytics using a template that has been approved by their ad partners and emailing Mediavine the results. You’ll basically need to give them limited Google Analytics access.
You’ll need to add them to your account and send back the PDF format with some of the analytics such as monthly pageviews, monthly users, average session duration, bounce rate, pages session, page views by country and sources and users by devices. They will give you detailed instructions on how to do all this.
When you have sent your Google Analytics report, Mediavine wants to make sure you are approved as a partner within their Google AdExchange. You will need to fill out another form to get the process started. If you already have one site with them then you don’t need to apply for the Google AdExchange program again.
It takes approximately 10-14 days to get approved or not.
How Did Mediavine Perform for Me?
I’m happy to tell you that Mediavine has proven to be a huge success. I’m definitely making more than $5 a day from my site. Mediavine earnings have been around $25-$30 a day, some days $40. I was actually stunned, I couldn’t believe that Mediavine had performed 500% better than my previous earnings with Adsense. That’s a huge jump.
I would probably be making even more money from their ads but I have disabled the ads on the posts where I have affiliate offers. Just trying things out for now.
I’m actually signing up with another site too and hoping I will increase my earnings again.
Mediavine claims that you can earn around 200% more by using their ads but I didn’t really have any expectations. It also depends on the niche I guess.
Easy to Use Dashboard
Mediavine’s dashboard is simple to use. You’ll need to put their ad code on your websites head section and that’s pretty much it. The ads will appear on your site.
There are many options you can choose from the dashboard. You can disable ads on some of your posts if you’d like to.
You can add GumGum ads on your images, or add GumGum in screen (appears on the bottom of the page).
You can add mobile interstitials. However, Google is not fond of those.
You’ll also get detailed earnings about different devices, CPMs for those devices, different ad unit impressions and revenue, and your top performing pages.
Why I Like Mediavine
The obvious reason is that it has improved my earnings.
Moreover, they have great email support. I’ve had some questions and had a fast same day or next day reply.
It’s simple to use. I don’t have to implement and test different ads and ad layouts.
Mediavine wants you to be successful so they have written down all kinds of tips you can implement to increase your RPM and revenue. For example: if you have a short content/blog post, you should:
Lenghten Your Content
Add more large and vertical images to your blog posts. This is a simple way to add more length quickly. Medianet adds a sticky ad on your sidebar and that means the longer your visitor scrolls down your post and sees the ad, the better RPM you’ll have.
You can also add more text to your blog posts. This will lengthen your post and increase your in-content ad performance. Needless to say that Google also likes long, detailed content. Things you could do:
- Break up your article’s into shorter paragraphs. Make sure they’ll be 2-3 sentences long or 2 lines per paragraph. This way it’s also easier for your readers to digest your content and it adds much-needed length to your post as well. You can find more information about the tips here on Mediavine.
- You can also add charts, block quotes or infographics to your posts. Anything that adds value to your readers and increase the overall length of the article is a bonus.
- Your Mediavine ads can only appear between paragraphs, and often only text paragraphs based on your ad settings. So make sure you have enough places where your ads can appear.
Additionally, you want to make sure your “focal point” of the post is at the very end because you want your readers to scroll down to the very end of your post. You don’t want them to click on something and be leaving in the middle of the post. You’ll earn more revenue if your visitors are going to scroll down to the end of your article.
Once you’ve made all of the changes, check out your post. If you are seeing 2-3 in-content ads then you’ve optimized your post’s performance.
Note: make sure to check your site’s health on the Mediavine dashboard. You’ll want to see all “teal” colors there. If you have reds or greens, you need to better optimize your posts for maximum revenue. Red being not-so-good, green is quite good, and teal color represents the excellence. The saying “go for teal” is a thing within the Mediavine community.
The only negative thing is that the ad revenue is not real time like Adsense. You’ll be able to see your earnings the next day at 7am Eastern Time. Also, there’s a delay in getting paid for your previous month. But that is not a big dealbreaker for me. You’ll have to wait 2 months to get paid.
Mediavine used to pay only via PayPal but as of 2018, you can also add your bank account and get paid via your bank instead.
Who Should Sign Up with Mediavine?
Anyone with a blog that gets 25,000 sessions a month can try to monetize with Mediavine. And especially if you are in a niche with a low CPC and you have a hard time monetizing your site, Mediavine might help you as it helped my site.
I believe you’ll definitely make more than just using regular Adsense. However, I can’t guarantee your success. I’m sure some niches do better than others but I think it’s worth a try.
Still going strong with Mediavine. I’ve been with Mediavine for 3 years now. I have two sites with them and I just applied to get my third one approved. Things are getting better and better with this ad network. Since 2016, they have tried different ad layouts and done some minor changes. They have also implemented video ads now. I just added a video feature and I’m loving it.
I also love their royalty bonus. For every year you are with Mediavine, your revenue share increases, that’s called loyalty bonus. the loyalty bonus is your additional revenue share. Each publisher receives approximately 75% of their earnings but you’ll get some % back if you stay with them long-term.
Since I have been with them for 3 years now, I get 3% back every day. You’ll get 1% for every year. If you leave their network and come back later, your royalty bonus will start from the beginning again.
How I’m Making Extra $6,000 a Month with Mediavine Video Feature
I was pretty skeptical about the video feature at first. I saw the example video and I wasn’t really impressed. I thought it would annoy my visitors. Now I wish I had implemented this already last year.
What is This Mediavine Video Ad?
It’s a video you can make yourself. This means, you create your own video or ask Mediavine to create one for you and place it to every post.
You can also just add different videos to every post or have one like “featured video” added to all posts. I made one by myself using Lumen5 jus to try it out. According to Mediavine, you can increase your RPM with the video ad. I made the video and to my surprise, I’m making around $200/day from my video. This is about $6,000 extra revenue for one of my sites.
Sidenote: my site has grown a lot in 3 years. I get approximately 3.7 million sessions a month. Don’t expect to get $6K extra revenue for a site that doesn’t get much traffic. But regardless, you’ll get some extra bucks and who doesn’t like that?
The video is not invasive, it’s placed on every post but it doesn’t appear annoying. The default is a silent video to not bother visitors too much. If they click on it, the sound will come on but the volume is set pretty low. You can adjust the video features on the Mediavine dashboard. Mine is set to automatically play silently on mobile.