Two years ago I partnered with Mediavine – one of the best ad networks offering full-service ad management. I’m pretty happy with the earnings I’m seeing and what the people from the company are doing for me and my site.
In this article, I’ll share what I did to optimize my blog in order to increase ad revenue. After all, that’s passive income earned through blogging.
This is one of the 4 best passive income streams that can be made through your blog. I covered them all in my latest free online course, The Passive Income Boss.
You can enroll for free here.
So, how do you start earning ad revenue from your site?
Of course, the first step is to have a blog and be patient for some time until you build initial traffic.
All it takes is to create a site and start blogging to build an audience and monetize it. If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I created a quick tutorial showing you the right steps. Check out How to Start a Profitable Blog. As long as you set up your site soon (takes less than 20 minutes), you’ll be able to start creating content and monetizing it.
The good thing about working with ad networks like Mediavine is that you don’t need 100K visitors per month but can make hundreds of dollars with just 25K.
Before I dive into optimizing your site to maximize ad profits, let me share how you can get started with making money from ads if you’re a new blogger.
How to Make Money with Ads on Your Blog
There are a few ways you can do this.
Sign up with Google AdSense.
This method used to be pretty popular back in the days, but now bloggers realized the earnings aren’t worth the effort.
If ads on your site aren’t going to make you enough money on a monthly basis, it’s better to keep the clean and minimalist design and remove them.
If you’re interested in checking out if Google AdSense would be a good way to monetize your traffic, you can start with it here.
Contact brands and businesses and work without an ad network.
You might simply sell advertising space on your website in the form of a banner.
Even if your audience isn’t big yet, advertisers will be interested in placing a banner in the sidebar, header or in-content and reach these people if they are their target audience.
You can have a fixed monthly price for placement, or you can get paid a certain amount depending on how many visitors clicked the ad (which means engagement is a more important metric than the number of visitors).
This also involves some commitment as you won’t be able to remove the ad whenever you feel like. Because of that, you might not be able to increase ad revenue easily.
Sign up with a professional ad network.
That’s the option I went for, as you will see below.
The tricky thing here is that you already need to have some traffic on a monthly basis.
But that’s okay. You can research the ad network you’d like to sign up with and apply immediately once you reach their targets in terms of monthly views and visitors on your website.
The benefits of such networks include earning more even with fewer clicks, knowing your ads are handled by specialists who personalize them after experimenting for a month or so on your platform and then give your visitors what they are most likely to engage with and click.
It also means there’s always someone you can email or call who will assist you with any tech or design element related to displaying the ads on your site.
Together with that, and which is the purpose of this post, you can optimize your site to increase ad revenue.
As for how much money you can earn with ad networks, that depends on your traffic again.
Bloggers starting out but who have some initial traffic (a few thousand views per month), can earn $10-$20 per month. While those who hit 20,000, can earn $50 or even $100 depending on the engagement level of their audience.
Of course, bloggers whose websites receive hundreds of thousands of views can make thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars passively.
Some notable ad networks for bloggers include:
BlogHer Publishing Network
I chose Mediavine for many reasons and am happy with the results. It was just an experiment for me but I’m definitely staying with them.
The very first reason is that they are one of the best ad networks and allowed bloggers with 25K views per month back when I applied (now, that’s 50K page views).
Also, some other big names in the blogging world that I’ve been following for some time are partnering with them. So I decided to give it a shot and see if it’s possible to increase ad revenue with them.
The people working there are helpful and truly invested in finding out the potential of my blog to make passive income through ads.
They also easily added a pop-up to my site that asks people if they accept cookies, which makes me GDPR-compliant.
The RPM – page revenue per thousand impressions – is fantastic as compared to other networks.
Here are my very first earnings with Mediavine:
For that, I simply installed the plugin to connect the dashboard. The rest was done by the employees of the company.
They placed the ads in the way they saw fit and are constantly optimizing them to find what performs best.
The earnings in my second month with Mediavine are significantly higher, probably because the ads are customized and thus reaching more visitors.
Mediavine is famous for having enough resources for site owners to help them increase ad revenue and make more money from their blogs.
As Let’s Reach Success has a lot of content and new posts are published every day, I’m now focused on making the most of it.
The articles must be optimized Mediavine-style, which also means a better user experience and looking great in the eyes of search engines like Google.
Mediavine also has a great feature called Site Health Check. With that, they make sure your ads are all visible and working well and contact you in case there’s something you can do to improve their performance or if there’s an error.
It also uses lazy load ads to make your site faster and improve viewability. Here’s how that works:
Here’s what I did and what I’m about to do in order to increase ad revenue by optimizing my site for Mediavine (and ads in general):
How to Increase Ad Revenue with Mediavine
1. Write longer content.
I’m not a fan of 500-word blog posts. While in some niches that’s okay, for sites like Let’s Reach Success it doesn’t make sense.
That’s because not much can be said in 500 words. I recently updated the Guest Post Guidelines and now accept articles that are a minimum of 1000 words.
Also, the blog posts that perform best and rank for certain keywords are those that contain 2000 or 3000 words.
To increase ad revenue, write more but also focus on longer content. Google loves it.
2. Use shorter paragraphs.
You might have noticed that more and more bloggers are breaking up their content into shorter and more frequent paragraphs. That’s a must for optimizing your site for ads and wanting to make money with them.
It’s also one of the things Mediavine suggests you do first once you partner with them and start making money.
While I did begin doing this a long time ago as it improves the reading experience, I focus on it much more now.
Each paragraph should have 1-3 sentences and share just one idea.
The reason why you can increase ad revenue with that technique is that the more paragraphs you have, the longer the page and the more ads can be placed in the text.
And of course, with more ad units you give people more chances to click on something that interests them and increase ad revenue.
3. Add visuals.
Another thing every blogger should be doing is including more than just text in the content.
That means adding images, embedding a video, inserting an infographic (these are long and good for ad revenue), a gif, or else.
All that makes the reader enjoy the text more.
Visitors are more likely to scroll all the way to the bottom, and this gives you the chance to see more money from ads too.
4. Have a sidebar.
Something unusual about my case is that I didn’t have a sidebar when I signed up with Mediavine, but still began making money with them with no extra efforts.
However, they strongly recommend having a sidebar as this increases ad revenue with nearly 30%.
Mediavine says The Sticky Sidebar Ad is one of their best-paying units. It’s the last thing that shows up in your sidebar and it remains even when the visitor scrolls down the page.
5. Your site must be mobile-friendly.
Now, that’s something every site owner should have taken care of, but for ad profits it’s even more important.
As quite a big number of visitors come to your site from their phones, you must ensure the text and the buttons are big enough so that they don’t need to zoom in. In addition, the menu should be optimized together with other design elements.
Here’s how my add traffic looks like based on the device people used to click on ads:
In fact, I believe Mediavine won’t publish their ads on your platform unless you’re already optimized for mobile. Which can easily happen with a WordPress plugin like WPtouch.
I’m using a premium theme from ThemeForest called Mag, and its mobile version is great too.
6. Update old blog posts.
If you’ve been blogging for a while like me, you must have thought about updating your old blog posts.
There are many reasons to do that. For a start, you have more experience and knowledge now and might need to update some paragraphs.
Adding more text is almost always a good idea. You might also update images, add a Pinnable one, break the text down into shorter paragraphs, improve the formatting, and more.
I’m doing that these weeks and it will be a long process. Posts published years ago have a lot that could be improved.
I shared what you can do when updating your old blog posts in this article.
7. Increase text size
A simple thing you can do to optimize your site for Mediavine and increase ad revenue is increasing your body copy size.
Here’s what Mediavine says about it:
“Increasing your text size and/or line height by just 1-2 pixels could make all the difference in adding more in-content ads. Consult your theme developer or a graphic designer for help on how to adjust this.”
Additional Tips to Increase Ad Revenue on Your Blog
Work with more ad networks.
While I’m not planning on doing that, it makes sense.
Signing up with one publishing network will allow you to make a certain amount of money per month. Signing up with a second one might double that.
Of course, it also means cluttering your site.
Another thing you can do to increase ad revenue with Mediavine or any other network you work with is to do your own A/B testing and see what performs best.
That means learning more about split testing, your audience, the times of the day and week when there are more clicks, what banner size performs best and what placement seems to earn more revenue, and so on.
This will take time, research and a lot of experimenting, but it can help you make more money with ads.
So, that’s how you begin earning money with ads on your blog and can increase ad revenue over time. Maybe you too want to work with Mediavine or are willing to explore other options first.
Best of luck on your journey to earning passive income from your blog. Make sure you enroll in the free course The Passive Income Boss to learn about more ways to make money through blogging.