Monetizing a blog is a great way to make extra income and profit off the effort you’ve put into building your website. Of all the ways to monetize, advertising is generally the easiest and most lucrative way to go—if you do it right.
That being said, the key to making money with ads is all about having the right partner. The right partner can help you scale your earnings and make earning so easy- it’s basically passive. But, on the other hand, the wrong network can not only take money from your pockets but can ruin your brand’s reputation too.
Whether you’re new to advertising or are a rookie Google AdSense user (we’ve all been there), the information in this article is going to help you find the right partner.
It’s Worth Mentioning
It’s important to take a moment to acknowledge how competitive the blogging world can be. That being said, networks can afford to be picky with who they work with. So, it’s just as crucial to have what they’re looking for as well.
Before knocking on any network door– so to speak– take a look at what you bring to the table. The best advice for any publisher looking to earn with ads is to have good traffic and quality. Brush up on the traffic requirements of any partner you’re interested in. In terms of quality, you’ll want to avoid traffic fraud (which is never tolerated) and borderline content (such as sex, guns, drugs, and gambling-related topics).
What to Look for in an Ad Network
It should come as no surprise that understanding the demand pool of a network is critical. This refers to the advertisers directly bidding and supplying your website with ads. Two important things to consider here are network size and quality. Have both, and you’re sure to have a successful monetization experience!
A larger network size will give you access to more advertisers and inventory. For publishers, having more competition bidding between your units is always a good thing (more profit!). Additionally, the size of the demand pool at your disposal will directly impact the relevancy of the ads shown, fill rate, and ad unit value.
The quality of demand partners can make or break your monetizing experience. So, it’s essential to do your research around this. Malvertising and redirecting are just two ways bad ads can ruin the user experience and website quality. In truth, there are several types of ad fraud out there, some of which can quickly lead to ruin. However, quality advertisers will have third-party companies and strategies to prevent these mishaps.
There are various compensation models, like CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-impression). Depending on your niche and audience, one may benefit you more than the other. So, it’s important to find out what you need and who can supply it. If you’ve tried CPC and haven’t seen much revenue (but have decent traffic), it’s time to try a CPM payment model. Also, take note of any service fees or contractual commitments; it’s common for companies to take ~15-20% of total revenue for their own.
You do your part by putting ads in front of an audience, and you deserve to be paid accordingly. But, unfortunately, non-payment is a big risk many bloggers face. Sometimes this is because of bankruptcies or network clawbacks; other times, it’s due to fraudulent networks that had no intention of paying. Revenue recovery can be nearly impossible in such circumstances. Therefore, bloggers should check out a network’s payment history to save themselves from potential trouble later.
The number of ad units on your site and the types, layout, and design directly impact how your ad units perform. But, there is no one-size-fits-all ad format for success. Instead, high-performing ad units and layouts are crafted through data and experimentation. This means you’ll need a decent amount of control and capability to make changes and experiment. If a network has restrictions over ad unit types and where they go, you may be limiting profits.
Support and services
Even ad-veterans run into issues and questions, so having reliable support from your network is a must. Especially in this ever-evolving digital industry. When a change happens within the industry, having a network that keeps themselves (and their bloggers) up-to-date can save you from hassle. Additionally, great customer service and support can give you a relatively streamlined process (and spare you from the grey hairs).
You should also inquire about any extra products or services networks offer. For example, some networks offer you the ability to whitelist and blacklist advertisers, consent management platforms, or even layout optimization.
The list of networks and partners is endless. But, here are a few recommendations:
- AdSense: Undoubtedly the biggest name in advertising, this network offers a very streamlined process and hands-off approach that makes earning easy. Although it’s a beginner-friendly way to start monetizing with ads, scaling or growing is nearly impossible. In addition, AdSense has a lot of restrictions, so if you’re not a new site, consider a different partner.
- AdSterra: This is a popular ad network within the smaller website community. They offer high CPMs and a competitive demand pool. Publishers also benefit from their commitment to brand safety through their fraud protection detection systems.
- Monumetric: Another well-known ad network, they cater best to lifestyle bloggers. They deliver relevant and quality ads to publishers within their niche.
- RevenueHits: A reliable network choice. They have an excellent payment reputation, ad format options, and decent size inventory. Fun fact: They boast a 100% fill rate!
Getting Started with Header Bidding
Header bidding is an advanced programmatic technique that brings an array of advertisers together to bid for your ad units in real-time. Networks work with a pool of advertisers, whereas header bidding providers work with a collection of networks (that’s a lot of advertisers!). It also makes your job easier to figure out which network/s to partner with.
- Newor Media: Newor Media specializes in revenue maximization while maintaining website quality. To do this, they work with a competitive network stack and offer a streamlined setup process, AI optimizing tech, revenue-generating solutions, and brand safety tools. A publisher favorite, Newor is willing to work with AdSense and does not require exclusivity. Overall, a great choice for bloggers hitting 30,000 unique impressions per month.
Hopefully, everything covered will help you on your journey to finding the right partner. Be sure to get to the core of what you need and what networks offer to succeed.
Heading bidding can make a world of difference in monetizing, so don’t wait too long to hop on the trendy platform. Instead, check out this free earnings calculator to get an idea of what you could be making!