As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, it isn’t exactly easy to get your publisher account approved by Google AdSense. Even if you’re already approved and has been earning with them for quite a while now, there’s still that nagging feeling that the guys at Google may at one day decide to deem your account unworthy of their service and instantly block your account along with your pending earnings.
And it’s nasty.
Don’t get me wrong here. As hardworking bloggers, we should definitely head straight to Google AdSense when thinking of monetizing our website through contextual ads. C’mon, they’re the largest and most trusted ad network in the whole planet, and it only makes sense to join them first.
So if you’re reading this and it’s your first time at monetizing your website through ads, do me a favor and apply for Google AdSense already. Then read on below, because I’m sure you’ll find this very helpful.
Since I mentioned that it’s not really easy applying to the big guys at Google and since there’s still a chance of them banning your account even if you’re approved, it helps to anticipate and know of other trustworthy ad networks that you can join as an alternative, or even better, together with Google AdSense.
This is where Media.net comes in.
Just like Google AdSense, Media.net is a contextual ad network, that when approved, displays relevant advertisements on your blog. Meaning your readers who are reading about your recent trip to Hawaii will see relevant and gorgeous ads from well-known hotels, airlines, and travel service providers that serve Hawaii.
Media.net is partnered with Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing network, which adds to its credibility (and this helped a lot in my decision making when I was looking for an AdSense alternative for this blog).
Why am I even writing this?
Just so you know, this is not in any way a sponsored post to promote Media.net.
But since I am happy with their service and I’ll tell you about it anyway (along with the other things I don’t like about it for an unbiased review which I always strive for, with commission or without), I decided to apply as an affiliate so I can earn whenever someone joins them through this blog. If you join Media.net from a link in this blog post from now ’til end of Dec 2016, you’ll get 10% more of your earnings for the first three months, and I earn a small commission as well, so it’s a win-win!
As I’ve written in my blog post about the 5 effective ways to make money from your blog, I mentioned that I initially tried serving Media.net ads on this blog back in June 2016 and that I’ve already earned a little ($68) from it come August 2016.
I surpassed the $100 minimum for payout by the end of September 2016, which I found to be quite cool and exciting to be honest. Just like a kid, I was overjoyed by the fact that my blog was actually earning for me!
Fast forward to November 10, 2016 (date as of writing this), I am quite happy with the results. And it seems that with every month, my earnings increase as well to about two dollars each month (I can also attribute it to the steady increase of my blog readership – thanks by the way friends for your continuous readership!). I earn at least $.80 to a few dollars with each passing day – yes it’s a small amount, but I now know what to do to increase that amount, and it’s possible.
I promised them I would write a review about it, so here I am now writing about my Media.net experience and detailing more about it to help my blogger friends (shout out to you when you’re reading this) and also you!
To be honest I was really cautious at first – but since Google won’t ever approve my blog after numerous tries, I decided to try this alternative, which, after countless hours of researching, I find to be the next best thing to Google Adsense. Update: After some serious retries and patience, we are now Adsense approved! Click to find out how we did it.
I still hope this blog gets AdSense approved in the near future (will still try, if time permits). Bitterness aside and moving on…
The best part is, I actually received my earnings
Money earned from your dashboard is nothing if you’re not gonna see it floating in your bank/PayPal account.
For us bloggers, this is one of the main concerns: if the ad network actually pays.
Or, if our blog will ever earn the minimum payment amount in the first place!
Media.net works on a Net-30 basis, and has a $100 minimum earning amount before you get paid.
That means when your blog ad earnings reach $100, your actual pay will be determined by how much your earnings will be at the end of the month where you reached the minimum. Your pay will then be sent to you at the end of next month.
In my case, I reached $100 minimum in September (My birth month, awesome!! It was a great birthday gift being able to finally earn from my blog). My income at the end of September reached $117.93, so I got that amount at the end of October, the Net-30 (thirty days after).
After 6 months of serving Media.net ads, these are the pros and cons based on my observations.
Let’s start with the pros:
- Dedicated account manager – so far, this is the only ad network where you have access to a dedicated account manager that you can email at any time if you have questions. Since you have only one person to talk to, the service is more personalized. Feedback is surprisingly quick as well, with response time not exceeding more than 24 hours.
- Always displays ads – they have a huge ad inventory, meaning it’s guaranteed that ads will be shown each time your page is visited (and your earnings follow suit, too).
- Ads are relevant – the ads shown are related to what I write about. Relevant ads = engaged viewers
- Ads are mostly from trusted brands – for me, seeing beautiful ads from trusted brands gracing the pages of my blog adds to the value of my blog (meaning they trust my blog). And it looks good, too! Some advertisers on my blog include YourSingapore (Singapore Tourism Board), All Nippon Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Paypal, AXA, Victorinox (Swiss Army), and Porsche (yup!).
- You can use it together with Google AdSense – you can use Media.net together with Google AdSense on your blog. Generally, each ad network allows for a maximum of 3 ad units per page on your website. If you have the two combined, that would mean 6 ad units working for you double time. But still, be careful about placing too many ads that ruin the user experience.
- I’ve earned more from it than with any other ad network I’ve tried before. I’ve tried Nuffnang and Infolinks before, however I noticed that most of the time no ads are being shown due to the lack of ad inventory. And also I noticed that my CPM (Cost per mille) earnings with these two are way below (seriously) than what I’m currently getting with Media.net. I think it depends on the niche of the website, though. What is a niche, anyway? I’ve written about this in my blog post on how to pick a profitable niche for your blog.
And yes, there are cons too:
- Dashboard not real time – one important aspect of serving ads is being able to monitor your stats and earnings real time. This is where Media.net falls behind. When I check today, for example, the stats I’ll be seeing are from yesterday (if not from the other day). It will be better if everything can be measured real time (especially important when testing out ads at first).
- Visitor preferences – when your visitors are mostly from North America and Europe (especially US and UK), the CPM (cost per thousand views) is higher. That would mean less if your website visits are mostly from Asia or everywhere else. That was my main concern when I first started. But come to think of it, I am a blogger from Asia and I have a considerably high Asian traffic so…
- Sometimes, ads look too generic –net promises a 100% fill rate on ads, meaning visitors will see an ad with each view (hence more earnings), regardless of the topic or where they are from. I think that in order for them to keep up with their promise, they display generic ads like the one below. Not bad though. Based from my discussion with Komal, the reason why some ads look like this is for the ads to look more native to my site.
Not sure where to put this (if this is an advantage or a disadvantage), but Media.net also serves Google Ads. It’s good that I see premium Google ads on my website, but I can’t help but think that just maybe, Media.net takes a cut on what I should be receiving directly from Google. Oh sh*t, I’m not approved by Google Adsense anyway, so it’s all good to me!
Am I doing this for the long term? Maybe. It really depends if my worthwhile experience with them goes on. All I know is I need to diversify some more on my income streams for this blog to make sure I earn from other sources.
Will you earn more from Media.net than with Google AdSense? I honestly don’t know. Haven’t tried AdSense yet. However after a lot of research, I found that some would argue they’re both levelled when it comes to earnings. If you weren’t approved by Google after too many tries, Media.net is your best bet.
Finally my blog is making money – and it feels so good!
Regardless of whichever ad network or other income streams I’m using, I’m just so glad that finally, alas, after more than four very long and crazy years of blogging and not knowing if I’ll ever be able to earn from it, and after more than three months of serving ads on this blog, my long nights and hard work is finally starting to pay off!
Slowly but surely, never sacrificing on quality!
This may not be enough for now, but I just received real money from something that I myself have created online. Now that I’m able to earn at least $100 from it, I am positive that I can earn more than this through blogging. And I’m positive, this is just the beginning!
It really feels awesome knowing that I am earning at least a few cents as I type this (and as I sleep later tonight). Now I’m inspired to do more. I’m calling it my own success but it definitely isn’t overnight success!
Thanks to my younger self for never giving up (trust me, I almost gave up too many times already) and thanks as well to you – my followers and readers – would’ve given up a long time ago if not for your readership and engagement on my blog.
For those who are wishing to start their own blog, I hope I was able to inspire you with my blog’s journey to earn its first $100. I’ve also written a blog post about finding out if blogging is for you – hope this helps you big time!