Monetising your blog with display ads is one of the most popular ways to transform your blog into a money-making machine, and so it’s no surprise that this is the main goal of most site owners.
Having display ads on your site gives you completely passive income, and the more your site grows, the more money you’ll get – win-win!
However, although there are a plethora of ad networks that will monetise your site in a heartbeat, almost every blogger and site owner I talk to wants to sign up with Mediavine, one of the most popular advertising networks out there.
The trouble is, not only do Mediavine require you to have 50,000 sessions per month on your site, but they are also very picky about who they let in – I can’t count the number of bloggers who have worked their butts off to get to 50k sessions, only to have their site rejected by Mediavine!
What’s more, there are tonnes of Mediavine alternatives out there that will monetise your site with as little as 10,000 pageviews or less!
This is perfect if you know that you eventually want to switch to Mediavine, but want to earn passive income from your blog in the interim.
In this post, we’ll look at a selection of Mediavine alternatives, and I’ll also talk about my own experiences (both positive and negative) with some of them.
Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have found a managed ad network that works for you and you can start making money from your blog right away!
Here are my top Mediavine alternatives for 2023.
The Best Mediavine Alternatives 2023
What you should look for in an ad network
- A good income
It goes without saying that you want to make a decent income from your blog, but not all ad networks are created equal, and you will see vastly different results from each one.
This is part of the reason why Mediavine are so popular – they offer some of the highest rates out there!
- Easy setup process
If you’re not tech-savvy, you don’t want to be messing around with inserting codes, changing nameservers and other fiddly things that can be involved when setting up your blog with an ad network.
Finding a Mediavine alternative with a straightforward, beginner-friendly setup process is definitely a plus!
- Publisher support
Great customer service is always important, but it’s even more important where your money is concerned.
You want a team of customer service agents that respond quickly and go above and beyond to ensure your success.
The Best Mediavine Alternatives
With its 100,000 pageview minimum, AdThrive is one of the biggest players in the ad game, and it is Mediavine’s biggest competitor.
Although its 100k minimum means that smaller publishers are ineligible, AdThrive can be a great alternative to Mediavine if you have the traffic and are looking for a high end network.
In addition to its ad placement technology, AdThrive maintains relationships with advertisers who bid directly with them for placement in Adthrive’s publisher network.
While it is considered the best MediaVine alternative on the market, AdThrive has a tough approval process, and their quality assessment procedure is notoriously stringent.
After manually reviewing your site for conformance with initial requirements, your site and site traffic will be analysed even further, and they will also look at your audience demographics to ensure that the majority of your viewers come from the United States.
Who is AdThrive for?
Larger publishers with high quality, advertiser friendly sites.
Who is AdThrive not for?
Smaller publishers who have less than 100,000 monthly pageviews.
Pros of AdThrive
- Higher RPMs (more money!)
- Top-notch advertisers
- A large range of analytics in the dashboard
- Quick and easy setup
- Certified Google Publishing Partner
Cons of AdThrive
- Highest barrier to entry
- Difficult to pass quality assessment
If there is a more polarising ad network than Ezoic out there, I have yet to find it.
I used Ezoic for 2 years with my travel blog, and although I experienced some issues with the platform (which I will go into in a minute), there were definitely a lot of things I loved about Ezoic.
Firstly, you only need 10,000 monthly pageviews to start running ads with Ezoic.
This is way lower than Mediavine’s 50k minimum, making Ezoic a much more accessible ad network for smaller publishers.
They also have a programme called ‘Access Now’ if you’re under 10,000 pageviews, which allows you to use Ezoic’s technology to optimise your site and get it to that 10k threshold.
Not only does Ezoic have a lower barrier to entry, but they also offer a tonne of features that can improve your site, including their own caching system, CloudFlare, lazy load images, and other tools that can help your site speed.
Their Big Data Analytics is super in-depth, and tells you which pages are earning you the most money so that you can create more of that content.
Ezoic use artificial intelligence to constantly improve your ads, as well as giving you more control over your ad placements than pretty much any other ad network.
I’m sure you’re thinking that Ezoic sounds like the perfect ad network, and it is, in many respects.
However, I am not alone in experiencing issues with Ezoic, and they tend to have a pretty bad reputation with publishers.
First, my site speed was impacted quite heavily by Ezoic.
Although they do provide lots of useful speed tools, there was only so far that those tools could get me, and when I spoke to several developers on Fiverr about speeding up my site, they all told me that there was nothing they could do while Ezoic was still installed on my site.
When I switched to another network, one of the developers I’d spoken to was able to fix my site speed overnight.
Secondly, the customer service I received with Ezoic was not good.
If I encountered an issue, I would wait days for a response, and when I did receive a response, it was usually a vague, scripted answer that didn’t solve my problem.
I also experienced not one, but two Ezoic reps being rude to me – one was when I decided to leave the platform and handed in my ‘notice,’ so to speak, and another one insulted me in my Twitter mentions (yikes) when I replied to a friend’s Tweet saying that I made more money with another ad network than Ezoic.
I will say that I have friends who are with Ezoic and are very happy with them, but this was my experience.
Who is Ezoic for?
Ezoic is for smaller publishers who are passionate about optimising their site and analysing their data in order to make more money.
Who is Ezoic not for?
Those with higher traffic who don’t want to be troubled with bugs causing issues on their site, slow site speed and lacking customer service.
Pros of Ezoic
- Open to anyone with 10,000 pageviews
- Google Certified Publisher
- AI technology that continuously analyses and optimises your ads
- Free speed tools and weekly YouTube tutorial videos
- Very detailed performance reports
- Lots of control over ad placements
Cons of Ezoic
- Bad customer service
- Difficult to set up if you’re not tech-savvy (you have to change your nameservers)
- Can negatively affect site speed
- Lower earnings than other ad networks
If you have a female-orientated blog, then SHE Media could be the perfect fit for you.
SHE Media is an inclusive, female-led ad network that monetises websites in niches such as travel, lifestyle, food and mommy bloggers.
Another unique thing about SHE Media is the fact that they also provide SEO assistance, video content support, sponsored content opportunities and even invitations to exclusive events!
Some of the common complaints about SHE Media is that their ads can be a little intrusive, and you are also locked into a 12 month contract with them once you sign up, so if your blog grows to MediaVine or AdThrive levels, you’ll have to complete your contract with SHE Media before you jump ship.
In terms of traffic threshold, SHE Media is in the middle, with a 20,000 monthly pageview minimum (still significantly lower than MediaVine and AdThrive).
Like all of the other ad networks on this list, they also require original, quality content, a good standing with Google AdSense, and a US audience.
Who is SHE Media for?
SHE Media is for anybody with a decent amount of traffic, a female-focused site and a US audience.
Who is SHE Media not for?
If your audience demographic is not mostly female or from the US, SHE Media is probably not for you.
Pros of SHE Media
- Female-led, inclusive community
- Lower pageview threshold than MediaVine
- Sponsored content opportunities
Cons of SHE Media
- Annual contract
- Ads that some publishers find intrusive
Monumetric is the ad network that I am currently with on my main site, and I have been with them for 12 months at the time of writing.
Monumetric is a blogger-focused network that prides itself on providing high quality ads that are relevant for your audience.
Something that I really love about Monumetric is that they use a cost-per-impression approach rather than a cost-per-click model, which means you get paid when people view your advertisements rather than when they actually click on them.
The reason why this is so great is that from a revenue perspective, you have more control over how much you make.
For example, the longer somebody stays on your page, the more ads they will see, because the ads change at set intervals. If you want people to see more ads then, you can work on keeping people on your page for longer, giving the ads time to refresh and giving you more money.
It’s also worth pointing out that ever since switching to Monumetric, I have had no issues with site speed or performance, which couldn’t be said for Ezoic.
However, the thing I really love about Monumetric is the support they give their publishers.
Before I even signed up with them, I had a long video chat with one of their team, who sent me a tonne of information and answered all my questions.
Ever since, whenever I have had a question, I get an incredibly long and detailed response within a day.
I remember the first time I was confused about something, I not only received a lengthy email explaining everything in minute detail, but also a video recorded specifically for me, showing my own site and the ad strategy that was being implemented.
To say that Monumetric’s customer support beats Ezoic’s is an understatement.
With that being said, something that I do miss about Ezoic is the amount of performance data and tools that you have access to within your dashboard.
Monumetric’s dashboard is very simple, which is great if you’re a ‘switch on and go’ type of person, but not as great if you’re a data nerd and want to dive deep into what’s happening behind the scenes.
Something that makes Monumetric unique is that it has different levels of programmes depending on your traffic.
The programme that suits smaller publishers is their Propel programme, which is for anyone who receives between 10 – 80k monthly pageviews.
This means that Monumetric has one of the lowest thresholds out there, making them accessible for far more creators than AdThrive and SHE Media.
The caveat with this, is that if you do fall into this range (10 – 80k), you will need to pay a $99 setup cost, which the other ad networks don’t have.
You have the option to either pay this upfront, or have it deducted from your earnings if you prefer.
While I will say that this is certainly off-putting, you’ll probably make this back within your first 2 weeks with Monumetric (assuming an RPM of $7, which is likely lower than what your actual RPM will be), so it’s not really that big of a deal.
Beyond that, you can expect video ads, higher earnings, and control over ad placement.
Speaking personally, I’ve been very happy with Monumetric, and as soon as this website hits the 10k mark, I’ll be paying the setup fee and monetising with Monumetric right away.
Who is Monumetric for?
Small to medium publishers who want to monetise their site quickly, easily, and with lots of support.
Who is Monumetric not for?
People who prefer the amount of tools and data offered by Ezoic.
Pros of Monumetric
- No annual contract
- Great customer service
- Easy to set up
- Low barrier to entry
- No site speed or performance issues
- Control over ad numbers and placements
Cons of Monumetric
- $99 signup fee under 80,000 pageviews
- Lower earnings than MediaVine and AdThrive
- Simple dashboard
AdSense is by far the longest running ad platform that still exists, and there is no minimum traffic requirement, so this is the ad network that most people start with.
AdSense is fairly simple to set up, and once you have it running, there isn’t really anything else you need to do.
However, you will not make much money with AdSense, and even if you have a huge amount of traffic, you will likely not make more than a dollar or so per day.
For sites receiving less than 10,000 pageviews, the amount of money you’ll make in a month is genuinely not worth having ads plastered all over your site.
I recommend just working hard to get your site to the 10,000 mark and then monetising with either Ezoic or Monumetric.
Mediavine Alternatives | Final Thoughts
I hope that this post has provided you with some solid Mediavine alternatives and shown you that the big MV is not the be all and end all.
While Mediavine is great once you hit a certain point, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be making money from your blog long before you hit those huge numbers.
My overall recommendation for everyone looking to monetise their site would be to go with Monumetric, see how you get on, and then switching to Mediavine or AdThrive further down the line.
That’s about it for my Mediavine alternative recommendations but as always, if you have any questions then please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you!
Until next time,
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