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When you’re ready to learn how to monetize a blog, one of the first things you will need to do is choose an ad network.

vector graphic showing an illustration of an ad network making a website owner money

What are Ad Networks?

An advertising network connects website and blog owners with businesses or organizations that want to run ads on their sites.

In layman’s terms, ad space is gathered and matched with the needs of an advertiser.

The space on a blog that is available for advertising is called ad inventory.

How Do Ad Networks Work?

Ads are delivered through a central hub that allows publishers to use a variety of different targeting methods.

With ad networks, there are tools for reporting and tracking that aren’t usually available with single advertisers.

A publisher can make more money by selling their ad inventory themselves, but with an ad network, publishers can typically enjoy a 100% fill rate.

The fill rate is the amount of time ad inventory is used.

With ad networks, advertisers can use advanced targeting tools that allow them to target potential consumer groups using specified parameters. Targeting capabilities can include any of these:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geography
  • Income
  • Behavior (Relevant ads can display to users based on ads and content they’ve clicked on when visiting other websites.)

Types of Ad Networks

An ad exchange serves as the marketplace between publishers and advertisers.

Meanwhile, an ad network buys ad impressions in bulk, then the network makes them available to the advertisers for purchase.

1. Marketplaces

Ad exchanges are marketplaces that allow automated selling and buying of advertising media.

An ad marketplace is a part of the ecosystem that is powered by RTB (real-time bidding) technology.

2. Managed Ad Network

In a managed ad network, account managers use their expertise to serve as a consultant and ensure that ad campaigns run optimally.

3. Self-Serve Ad Network

A self-serve ad network enables affiliate marketers, media buyers, website owners, and app developers to reach their marketing goals by maximizing their presence.

How Much Can You Make Using an Ad Network?

Revenue from ad networks is calculated based on the amount you earn per 1,000 page views (RPM).

You need to know these two things to calculate how much you can potentially make using an ad network.

  • The average RPM your ads make
  • Your site traffic

Many blog owners report an average RPM of $20, but this number is fluid and dependent on several different issues.

These averages can give you a good starting place to calculate your potential revenue.

  • Low end: $2-$5 per 1,000 views
  • Medium end: $5-$10 per 1,000 views
  • High end: Up to $50 per 1,000 views

How Easy is it to Integrate Display Advertising Into a Blog?

Integrating display advertising into a blog is surprisingly easy, and there are a few ways you can do it.

When you work with the larger ad networks, they will provide you with a WordPress plugin that you can use to easily insert ads into your ad inventory.

Alternatively, you can manually place the ad code snippets into the places where you would like for them to appear on your blog.

Best Ad Networks to Try

There are several different ad networks for publishers to choose from, but we want to highlight the top four: Google Adsense, Adthrive, Mediavine, and Ezoic.

1. Google Adsense

Most publishers get their monetization started with Google Adsense.

The barrier to entry is small because Adsense doesn’t have a minimum traffic requirement.

The downside is that Adsense pays less than most other ad networks, and the big earners usually ditch it when they can go to Adsense alternatives that pay much better.

Another negative is that Google Adsense doesn’t provide customer support, and troubleshooting can be frustrating.

On a positive note, Google pays out about 21-24 days after the end of the month.

Also, the minimum payment threshold is only $100.

Some publishers may have trouble getting approved for Adsense. In this case, there are some Adsense alternatives to try.

2. Adthrive

As one of the largest and most popular advertising networks, Adthrive is hugely popular with large publishers.

Adthrive delivers high-quality ads and optimized ad placements, so you can earn more money.

Even better, Adthrive will show the ads that pay the highest.

Adthrive pays NET 45, which is standard for the ad industry.

To be approved by Adthrive, you must have at least 100,000 monthly page views.

3. Mediavine

To join Mediavine, you need to have at least 50,000 monthly page views, but once you’ve been approved, you can start earning really good money.

Mediavine delivers high-quality ads, and the company is well-known for excellent customer service.

Publishers who love Mediavine say that the company has the cleanest reporting dashboard and it’s user-friendly.

For payment, you have to wait 65 days for a payout from Mediavine.

4. Ezoic

If you’re a smaller publisher, we recommend that you check out Ezoic.

To get approved with this ad network, you used to need 10,000 monthly page views.

However, they have recently changed that requirement to no minimums, so this is a win for small publishers who have good content but are just getting started.

Earnings with Ezoic aren’t as high as with Adthrive or Mediavine, but the money is better than you earn with Adsense.

Ezoic pays NET 30.

Why are Ad Networks a Great Monetization Method?

There are pros and cons to monetizing with ad networks, but most publishers agree that it’s the best way to ensure that your ad inventory is always being utilized.

Moreover, some ad networks pay nearly as much as a publisher would earn if they sold their ad inventory themselves to individual advertisers.

The primary benefit of working with an ad network is that most can guarantee a fill rate at or close to 100%.