Like many bloggers, I started out with dreams of creating a money making blog and generating a significant online income.
And, like many other bloggers, I ended up realizing this process takes an insane amount of time…like, multiple years sort of time (unless you’re some sort of marketing guru or SEO god).
Now, as I’ve shared in many of my blogging income reports before, This Online World was stuck at around $500 of monthly income for quite a while. I found it incredibly hard to scale my website, and I could never afford to outsource that much work or to pump money back into growth.
All of that changed the second I got approved for Mediavine.
Withing a month, I doubled my blog’s monthly income from display advertising and surpassed $1,000 per month!
If you want to learn more about why Mediavine is my favorite ad platform, Mediavine’s requirements to join their network, and my tips for getting approved, be sure to read this Mediavine review until the end!
Let’s get to it!
What Is Mediavine?
Mediavine is a full service ad management platform that aims to “build sustainable businesses for content creators.”
In a nutshell, Mediavine acts as a website’s ad manager, allowing the website owner to focus on content. Once you’re approved for Mediavine, you simply have to install their script and let their tech team handle the ads on your website. It’s as simple as that.
In return for this service, Mediavine splits advertisement revenue with their publishers. This symbiotic relationship is what has enabled Mediavine to partner with thousands of publishers and become one of the largest ad management services around.
Mediavine has also been in the publishing game since 2004, so they understand where bloggers are coming from. Mediavine brands include The Hollywood Gossip, TV Fanatic, Movie Fanatic, and Food Fanatic.
After Food Fanatic launched in 2013, Mediavine opened the doors for other publishers to come along for the ride.
Mediavine Vs. Adsense – Why I Earn 4* The RPM With Mediavine
I mention the difference between a managed advertising platform and Adsense in my Monumetric review, but I’ll break it down here as well.
If you run Google Adsense on your blog, you will only show ads from companies advertising within the Google ad network.
This has implications for your website’s RPMs, or how much you earn in advertisement revenue per thousand visitors. This is because running with one single ad network is not as competitive.
I mean, just take a look at my all time Adsense earnings from This Online World…it took several months to achieve what Mediavine can produce in 15 days or so (granted I have more traffic now, but my RPM used to be around $7 compared to $28 now).
So, why the difference in RPM?
Well, when publishers opt-in for ads from platforms like Adsense, they’re only opening the door to a single pool of advertisers. Additionally, platforms like Adsense ram ads onto your site almost 100% of the time, and don’t have much of a bidding floor.
In contrast, Mediavine uses a variety of ad exchanges to ensure that the highest paying advertisers across a wider pool of competition are placing their ads on your website.
Plus, Mediavine doesn’t use a 100% fill rate. This means a Mediavine publisher’s website doesn’t always show ads. In fact, Mediavine’s fill rate fluctuates between 70% to 99%, but it’s never 100%.
This is actually a good thing. A 100% fill-rate (which you basically get with Adsense) means that just about anyone can advertise on your website…there’s no price floor advertisers have to cross to compete to show ads on your website.
Mediavine implements a pricing floor to ensure that only premium advertisers who are willing to pay well can show ads on your site.
This increases your average RPM and actually results in a much better user experience than clogging your website with tonnes of lower paying ads absolutely 100% of the time. It’s a win-win!
Mediavine has several requirements in place to ensure only high quality sites are allowed into the program.
However, Mediavine is not just for massive websites, and I believe it is possible for hobby bloggers to get into this ad network with 1-2 years of smart, hard work.
The largest barrier to entry for becoming a Mediavine publisher is their traffic requirement.
Mediavine requires publishers to have a minimum of 25,000 sessions per month to apply. Note, we’re talking about sessions here, not page views! For most publishers, the number is closer to 30,000 pageviews per month to be eligible.
Edit: As of June 15th, 2020, Mediavine has new requirements for publishers looking to join this ad platform.
Mediavine now requires 50,000 sessions per month to apply, which is double the previous amount.
This is for applications moving forwards, so if you’ve already applied and are waiting, you’re not subject to these rules.
Additionally, Mediavine is ending their policy of accepting second or additional websites with lower traffic amounts from existing Mediavine publishers.
Finally, if a website changes ownership, the new owner must re-apply. This is a big deal for anyone considering website acquisition.
According to Mediavine, recent events have accelerated applications to the point where customer support and existing publisher support was slipping, hence the chance.
Mediavine already has 7,000+ publishers and turns town 72% of applicants, so you can only imagine how many applicants they get per month.
Mediavine requirements might seem tough, but they’re fair: this traffic restriction is in place to view how engaged a website’s audience is, as well as monetization potential (Mediavine needs to make money too, after all).
If you’re far-off from these session numbers, I definitely suggest taking a look at my Monumetric review to consider another advertising alternative!
Quality Requirements & Site History
Mediavine considers other metrics besides a simple session count.
Here are some other requirements publishers should make note of:
- Original & Engaging Content – The Mediavine support team analyzes your top-performing and recent posts to analyze engagement.
- Clean Traffic – Potential publishers submit a Google Analytics PDF which outlines user acquisition and behavior. This is to remove sites with heavy bot traffic or fraudulent practices from consideration.
- Good Standing With Google Adsense – Mediavine doesn’t work with Adsense-banned websites.
- Brand Safety – Mediavine has to protect their advertisers. Therefore, if your site contains anything that could tarnish their image, you won’t be accepted. Basically, don’t have radical, hateful, racist, or just generally terrible info on your site a brand wouldn’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole.
Outside of that, having a high level of organic traffic will help your chances of getting in. This is because organic traffic is naturally more engaged than social media traffic. I suspect that having traffic from premium advertising countries (i.e. North America, Europe) will help as well.
Additionally, you site must be compatible for their ads. This won’t be an issue for many WordPress websites or normal themes, but wonky sites might have to make some changes.
Mediavine Onboarding – What To Expect
Here are the general steps that take place for becoming a Mediavine publisher:
- Submit An Application – Use this form to apply for Mediavine. This takes a few minutes.
- Send A Google Analytics Report – You’ll be asked to send over a specific report from your Google Analytics if you pass step one.
- Partner On Google Ad Manager – Submit consent to let Mediavine to manage your ad inventory.
- Wait For Approval – Mediavine’s various ad networks will have to approve your site before you’re allowed in.
- Select A Launch Date – Choose when your Mediavine ads will go live!
If you partner with another ad network, be sure to read their Terms of Service before making the switch. Many networks require 30 days notice before leaving, and you don’t want to jeopardize your earnings by leaving early, even if it is for Mediavine!
This process was incredibly easy to follow. It took roughly a month and a half from application submission to becoming a Mediavine publisher, which isn’t too bad!
Revenue Performance – Mediavine Vs. Monumetric
It wouldn’t be a fair Mediavine review if I didn’t compare Mediavine to some of the other ad networks I’ve partnered with.
Obviously, managed ad networks are a step above platforms like Google Adsense. But, there isn’t a cookie-cutter solution for what’s best for your website.
Personally, Mediavine has emerged as my favorite partner.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like Monumetric. I had a great experience with them, and the earnings from their network helped push This Online World to a new level.
However, from a revenue perspective, Mediavine is performing twice as well:
The revenue is stable, and the ads aren’t clogging my website. Frankly, I’m kind of blown away by how great Mediavine is. Plus, from an onboarding and support standpoint, Mediavine is unmatched.
Granted, Mediavine has some boosted December RPMs, and I am also more aggressive with my ad layout than I was with Monumetric. Ultimately, I think publishers should try both ad networks to see what works best for them.
Besides, Monumetric only has a 10,000 monthly page view requirement, and I think they’re a great company to work with as long as you explain exactly what you want for your site during onboarding.
How Much Does Mediavine Pay Per 1,000 Views?
It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact Mediavine RPM since this number depends on your niche, how long advertisers have to get used to your website, and some on-page RPM optimization tips.
My historical average RPM is around $27. I’ve been with Mediavine for just over a year.
However, seasonality also plays a massive role…just check out my near $60 RPM during Black Friday last year:
Based on my experience and everything I’ve heard, I think any website should see strong RPMs with Mediavine, but again, your niche matters a lot.
Additionally, you can increase your RPM by doing things like:
- Writing longer content.
- Adding images to your articles.
- Embedding ads in videos you place in-article.
- Using a theme that supports high-value ads (like your sidebar).
Mediavine Performance – Website Speed & Dashboard Control
If there’s one thing you should know about Mediavine, it’s that they are obsessed with speed.
In fact, Mediavine has invested into their tech so heavily and focused on speed to the point that they claim to be 200% faster than their competition. Mediavine accomplishes this largely by lazy loading their ads, as well as focusing on optimizing ads for desktop and mobile page speed.
It’s also easy to set ad preferences, limits, and to adjust spacing through the Mediavine Dashboard.
The ability to tweak your display advertising frequency and to play around with various speed settings is why I like Mediavine more than any other ad platform (plus the added revenue is awesome).
With Adsense, you have to figure this out yourself. For Monumetric, you have to email their support team. With Mediavine, you just have to check some boxes.
Plus. the Mediavine Site Health Check feature lets you constantly monitor your website to ensure you’re ‘staying teal:’
The New Mediavine Dashboard Is Game Changing!
I’m editing this post as of 2020-05-07 because the new Mediavine dashboard is absolutely unreal. It would be a fair Mediavine review if I didn’t mention how awesome these new changes are.
First and foremost, the new dashboard now provides a breakdown of RPM by page level:
This is incredibly powerful for boosting your blog revenue and figuring out what’s working and what isn’t.
This can vary for a few reasons. Engagement, content, and what advertisers are specifically bidding on all have an impact.
But, having more granular data is always better. With the new Medivaine dashboard, you can now prioritize backlinks and social media promotion for the posts that bring home the bacon.
The new dashboard looks more sleek overall, and there’s also a handy RPM by country chart as well:
Ultimately, all of these changes to new new dashboard just give publishers more power and control over how they make money. Pretty awesome stuff!
Update – Grow.Me Is Released!
I’m updating this review one more time because Mediavine recently released Grow.me, a new user engagement suite that’s already driving some cool results.
In a nutshell, internet privacy standards are changing. Collecting first-party data, which is data publishers (bloggers) provide to advertisers, is going to become more important to help keep RPMs up and serve relevant ads.
Thankfully, Mediavine’s Grow.me is starting to solve this issue by collecting first-party data as third-party cookies are phased out.
This has two implications.
Firstly, you now make more money today since third-party cookies are being phased out on IOS.
Secondly, it will enable Mediavine publishers to thrive in the future when privacy standards change.
Anyway, Grow.me has other cool features too, including:
- Letting users favorite your site or specific articles.
- Social share icons.
- A search bar for your site.
- Recommended content.
I’ve enabled Grow.me and have seen some promising results so far in Google Analytics:
It’s these sorts of innovations that are why I love being a Mediavine publisher.
The internet is a volatile place, but the tech advancements at Mediavine seem to be one step ahead of the game.
Plus, these sorts of plugins and changes are better for user experience, blogger revenue, and privacy laws. Win, win, win!
Tips For Getting Into Mediavine – How I Reached 50,000 Sessions
Note: I got into Mediavine when the requirement was 25K sessions, but I think the same logic below still applies:
Getting to 50K sessions might seem daunting, and honestly, it is…it took me 2 years to figure out how to do it.
The main tips I can give are similar to ones I have outlined in posts like my Road to $500/Month Blogging:
- Learn SEO – Write content that targets keywords and focus on building backlinks.
- Diversify Traffic – Nail SEO to develop organic traffic, and focus on 1-2 other platforms for additional readers. Personally, I outsourced my Pinterest marketing and used Tailwind.
- Reinvest Your Earnings – If you make solid money from platforms like Monumetric, reinvest the money into more content, outsourcing, better hosting, or something that will benefit your blog. Your website is a business, after all.
And, lastly, if you really want to get into Mediavine, I suggest dedicating a month to absolutely push your website if you’re sitting around 30,000 to 40,000 page views
Last October, I decided to work on This Online World every single night. I published a tonne of content, promoted my posts on Reddit, grinded out Pinterest, link-dropped on Facebook groups/Quora, and did whatever I could to reach the sessions
After a month of long nights, it finally worked. If you’re getting close to Mediavine’s requirements, I say go all-in.
Focus on SEO, great content, and one social media source. The rest comes with time!
If you’re still on the fence about joining this advertisement network, here are some other important facts to know:
Is Mediavine Free?
Yes. There is no setup fee to join Mediavine.
What Is The Revenue Share Agreement?
Publishers start at 75% revenue share and increase by 1% for every year they are a publisher as part of Mediavine’s Loyalty Bonus up to a max of 5%. However, sites with more monthly traffic use the following percentages:
- 5 million ad impressions in 30 days – 80% rev share.
- 10 million ad impressions in 30 days – 82.5% rev share.
- 15 million ad impressions in 30 days – 85% rev share.
So, if you have a massive site and stick with Mediavine for 5 years, you’ll be at 90%, which is nuts. Even 80-85% is pretty high for the display advertising industry.
Does Mediavine Have A Referral Program?
Nope! Mediavine states they don’t want to skew reviews.
Isn’t Mediavine Just For Food & Travel Bloggers?
Mediavine does cater a lot to these two blogging niches through systems like their Create plugin, but this network is not exclusive to these niches. The main Mediavine niches include:
However, Mediavine still accepts and encourages sites outside these niches to apply.
Extra Reading – How To Start A Food Blog.
What Is The Payment Schedule?
Mediavine pays in net 65. Payments are $USD and publishers choose between PayPal, check, wire transfer, or local bank transfer for deposit.
What If I’m Not Exactly At 50K Sessions?
Apply if you’re close. If you have a strong traffic profile, engaged audience, and are trending upwards, you might be let in.
What If My Site Is Brand New & Went Viral?
From my understanding, Mediavine doesn’t really let brand new websites in. Plus, they want to see traffic diversity and to have confidence that you can maintain 50K monthly sessions or more (and aren’t just banking on viral posts once a year).
Note, you won’t get kicked out if you drop below 25K monthly sessions. However, I’m not sure what would happen if your blog just died.
When it comes to making money by blogging, there are a few approaches (or combinations) people use to start generating revenue…affiliate sales, selling products, sponsored posts, and advertisements.
At This Online World, running display ads has always been a core component of my monetization strategy. Whether you love them or hate them, ads are simply a part of the online ecosystem at this point.
Plus, when managed properly, ads should help companies promote their products/services to relevant users without significantly detracting from user experience.
Currently, Mediavine is my absolute favorite managed ad network. I can’t say anything bad about them, in truth. I just feel lucky to be a part of the publisher network.
For anyone pushing towards Mediavine, hang in there. As long as you keep things simple and produce the best content out there, you’ll get there eventually. And, in the meantime, there are other solid options like Monumetric out there that are a great way to make money online with your website.
Hopefully, this Mediavine review has helped clarify why this company rocks, as well as what to expect from the application and onboarding process.
That’s all for now. Catch you guys in the next one!
Tom is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!