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Mediavine Review: The Best Ad Network for Bloggers?

12 Mins read

Many people dream of starting a successful blog and generating passive income by writing about topics they love. However, monetising a website is easier said than done. It often takes quite a lot of time (as in a few years) unless you’re really good at marketing and SEO, and you have a lot of cash to spend!

One of the best ways to monetise a website is by placing ads on your website. If you have a lot of traffic, ads can help you cover all the expenses of running a website and keep some money for yourself!

When it comes to displaying ads on a website, people often go for Google Adsense. However, ad networks have become more sophisticated over the past few years, and there are other ad platforms to monetise your blog, such as Mediavine.

Mediavine is a premium display ad network that can dramatically boost the amount of money you earn from ad revenue on your blog or website compared to other ad platforms. This is an excellent incentive, but there’s a lot to consider here – for one thing, your site needs to have a minimum of 50K sessions per month (equal to about 60K pageviews).

In our Mediavine review, we’ll teach you everything there is to know about the ad network, as well as the requirements to join it!

What Is Mediavine?


Before we cover the features, pros, and cons of this ad network in our Mediavine review, we wanted to familiarize you with the company first.

Mediavine has been around since 2004 and has worked with brands such as The Hollywood Gossip, TV Fanatic, Movie Fanatic, and Food Fanatic. Mediavine started welcoming other publishers in 2013, shortly after Food Fanatic launched.

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of Mediavine

Mediavine is a full-service ad management platform designed to “build sustainable businesses for content creators.” In other words, Mediavine performs as a website’s ad manager, allowing the website owner to focus on content solely. Once accepted by Mediavine, website owners only have to install the company’s script on the site, and Mediavine’s tech team will handle all the rest.

What sets Mediavine apart from all the other ad networks is the excellent revenue. Many bloggers, such as Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits and Karly from Buns in My Oven, reported up to an 80% increase in revenue after switching to Mediavine.

Now you may assume that this fantastic service probably comes at a high price. Well, that is where you are wrong. Mediavine doesn’t charge a penny for its services; instead, it splits advertisement revenue with its publishers. This unique offer has enabled Mediavine to partner with thousands of publishers and become one of the largest ad management services around.

Are you interested in increasing your website revenue? Make sure to give Mediavine a try!

Getting Started with Mediavine


Mediavine offers excellent services, but it is not a suitable choice for everyone. The company wants to ensure only promising and high-quality sites are a part of their network, so they have certain requirements for joining the program.

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of Mediavine

But don’t let this discourage you! The good news is, Mediavine is not made only for websites with a massive following, and even hobby bloggers can become a part of this ad network if they put in enough time and effort.

In this part of our Mediavine review, we’ll cover all the requirements needed for joining the program.

Traffic Requirements

The largest barrier to joining Mediavine is their traffic requirement. Until June 2020, Mediavine required publishers to have 25,000 sessions per month, and then they increased the number of sessions to 50,000. Keep in mind that sessions are not the same as “page views.” According to Mediavine’s explanation, 50,000 sessions equals about 60,000 page views.

The reason behind this was because Mediavine noticed that their existing customer and publisher support was slipping due to accelerated applications, so they had to do something about that. Even though these requirements seem tough, they are actually quite fair. The traffic restriction allows the company to get an insight into a website’s audience engagement and monetisation potential. After all, Mediavine needs to make money as well, in order to keep providing quality services.

In addition, Mediavine ended their policy of accepting second or additional websites with lower traffic amounts from existing Mediavine publishers. And, if a website changes ownership, the new owner must re-apply.

Even with these stringent guidelines, you should apply for Mediavine even if you don’t quite have 60,000 monthly pageviews, as long as you’re close to that total and have a strong traffic profile with an engaged audience.

However, if you’re far off the 50k sessions right now, you should take a look at some Mediavine alternatives, such as Ezoic.

Other Requirements

In addition to session counts, Mediavine takes other metrics into consideration as well. Here are some other requirements to keep in mind.

  • Content quality. Mediavine support also analyses your most recent and top-performing posts. It is important that your website has quality, original, and engaging content.
  • Clean traffic. To join Mediavine, you’ll have to submit a Google Analytics PDF that outlines user acquisition and behavior. This ensures that sites with heavy bot traffic or fraudulent practices can’t join Mediavine.
  • Approved by Google Adsense. Mediavine rejects all websites that are banned by Adsense.
  • A safe brand. Mediavine has to take care of their advertisers as well. If your website content includes something that could tarnish the advertisers’ image, you will be rejected. As long as you don’t have any racist, hateful, or radical content, you have nothing to worry about here.

Besides these, your site has to be compatible with Mediavine ads. If you have a WordPress website or any website with a normal theme, that shouldn’t be an issue. However, wonky sites might have to make some changes.

Also, organic traffic is much more likely to increase your chances of being accepted, since organic traffic is naturally more engaged than social media traffic.

Does your website fulfill all these requirements? Feel fee to apply to Mediavine today!

How to Apply to Mediavine


Now that you know the requirements to join Mediavine, it’s time find out how to apply for the program.

  1. Submit an application. The first step is to fill out this form by Mediavine. It takes only a few minutes.
  2. Send a Google Analytics report. If you pass the first step and Mediavine approves your application, then you’ll be asked to send over a specific report from your Google Analytics.
  3. Partner on Google Ad Manager. You will have to submit a consent form to let Mediavine manage your ad inventory.
  4. Wait for approval. Once you complete the first three steps, you will have to wait for some time for Mediavine’s various ad networks to approve your site.
  5. Choose a launch date. Once your website is approved, choose a date when your Mediavine ads will go live!

And that’s it! The application process is quite simple and straightforward if your website fulfills all the requirements. In general, users pointed out that it took about a month for their websites to get approved by Mediavine, which is not too long at all!

If you’ve already partnered with another ad network and you want to make a switch, don’t forget to read their Terms of Service. Many ad networks require 30 days notice before leaving, and you don’t want to jeopardize your earnings by breaking the Terms of Service.

Tips for Getting into Mediavine

Would you like to switch to Mediavine, but you don’t fulfill all the requirements? Nothing to worry about! Getting to 50,000 sessions might seem daunting, but it is possible. It may take you some time (up to a year or two), but it will be worth it in the end.

In this part of our Mediavine review, we’ll share some tips that can help you speed up the process!

  • Focus on SEO. Write content with relevant keywords that can help your site rank on search engines. For more information on improving your SEO and keyword research, make sure to read our guide on the best keyword tools.
  • Diversify traffic sources. SEO is excellent for increasing organic traffic. However, you should also try to use at least one other platform to attract additional readers. Read our Tailwind review to learn how to attract visitors from Pinterest.
  • Invest into your website. If your website is earning you some money, make sure to reinvest that money into keyword research tools, more content, better hosting, or anything else that will improve your website’s overall performance.

And that’s pretty much it! Running a website is just like running any other business. You need to work on it constantly and make improvements and investments into it regularly. If your website is near 30,000 to 40,000 page views, dedicate a month or two to absolutely push your website and get into Mediavine!

Mediavine Review: Features


Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of Mediavine

Website Speed

Mediavine is obsessed with speed and fast loading times. The company has invested a lot into their tech and focused so much on speed that they claim to be 200% faster than their competition. How do they do this?

Well, Mediavine relies on lazy loading their ads, meaning that ads are configured to display only when viewers scroll down. This strategy optimises the page load time, reduces latency, increases the ad viewability score, and ultimately improves page and ad performance. In addition, all of Mediavine’s ads are optimized for desktop and mobile page speed.

Dashboard Control

Mediavine has a cool dashboard that is easy to use and updates daily. Users can easily adjust ad preferences, limits, and spacing through the Mediavine Dashboard.

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of This Online World

What sets Mediavine aside from all the other ad platforms (in addition to more revenue) is the ability to tweak the display advertising frequency and to play around with various speed settings. If you use AdSense, you’ll have to figure these settings on your own. But with Mediavine, you just have to check a few boxes.

In addition, Mediavine dashboard also provides a breakdown of RPM by page level:

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of This Online World

This feature is incredibly useful, as it allows publishers to figure out what is working and what isn’t, so they can make adjustments and boost their blog revenue!

As you can see in the photo above, there is a huge RPM discrepancy between the first and the last blog post on the list. There may be several reasons behind this, including engagement, quality of content, and what advertisers are specifically bidding on.

The Mediavine dashboard also allows users to prioritise backlinks and social media promotion for the posts that bring home the bacon.

Last but not least, the Mediavine “Site Health Check” feature allows users to constantly monitor their website performance and make sure they are “staying teal.”

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of This Online World

Grow.me

Grow.me is one of the latest updates for Mediavine. It is a user engagement suite that can quickly drive some great results. Grow.me was developed as a result of changing internet privacy standards and the process of phasing out of third-party cookies.

Publishers and bloggers will now have to collect first-party data and provide it to advertisers, as this helps serve relevant ads and keep RPMs up.

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of This Online World

Mediavine’s Grow.me does exactly that, collecting first-party data so that publishers don’t have to rely on third-party cookies anymore. This will help publishers make more money as third-party cookies are being phased out on iOS.

It will also enable Mediavine publishers to thrive in the future when privacy standards change.

Grow.me has some other cool features, such as:

  • Allowing users to mark your site or certain articles as ‘favorite’
  • Social share icons
  • A search bar for your website
  • Recommended content

Internet rules and standards are constantly changing. But if you are a Mediavine publisher, you can always be one step ahead of all these tech advancements.

Mediavine Review: Pros & Cons


Mediavine is a great ad network, but it is not flawless. In this part of our Mediavine review, we list all the pros and cons of this ad network.

Mediavine Pros

  • More money. As many users reported, their ad revenue increased significantly after switching to Mediavine. The company ensures that the highest bidder always gets the ad placement on the user’s website, which results in increased earnings.
  • Cool dashboard. Users receive daily updates and have an insight into important data, such as a breakdown of RPM by page level.
  • Flat revenue share. Everything about Mediavine is transparent, including your revenue. Other ad networks usually provide insight into earnings only a few days after the month settled out. Mediavine shows its users how much money they’re making day by day.
  • Actionable suggestions. Mediavine will provide its users with useful suggestions or “health checks.” The user will notice if something is not performing as well as it could, and Mediavine will guide the user into making proper changes.
  • Fast ads. As we already mentioned, Mediavine is all about speed and super-fast ad loading times.
  • Excellent support. All Mediavine publishers get access to a special Facebook group, which contains lots of useful resources. Also, Mediavine’s support is excellent and very fast. Users usually have their issue resolved in (less than) 24 hours.
  • Multiple contact options. Users can contact the Mediavine team through their dashboard, email, Facebook group, or even a direct phone number.
  • Loyalty bonus. For every year that a user is with Mediavine, they get a percentage of their earnings back.

Mediavine Cons:

  • Strict requirements. In order to become a Mediavine publisher, users have to fulfill a set of requirements, including having at least 50,000 sessions per month.
  • You can only use Mediavine. This is not exactly a con, since Mediavine proved to be much better than other ad networks. But all users should keep in mind that they can’t run ads from any other platform alongside Mediavine.
  • Net65 Payments. Every ad network has a delay in payment because that is just how advertising works. In general, ad networks won’t pay the users for at least 60 days after you’ve earned money. Mediavine’s terms are net65 because they wait until they have the money in-house for publishers before paying their users. Once the initial 65 days of waiting are done, users get paid every 15th of the month.

Mediavine Alternatives


Mediavine vs. Google AdSense

Google AdSense is the ad network that has been around the longest, and the majority of publishers go for AdSense as their first ad network. One great thing about AdSense is that Google is the middle man, so users don’t have to work with advertisers at all.

Users only have to copy and paste a snippet of code and Google will automatically find the relevant ads for their content. Google AdSense is an excellent choice for the first ad network, as it is quite simple to use and a great way to start making some money from a website. Also, Google AdSense has the lowest entry requirements, making it a good choice for bloggers who haven’t been around for a while.

Even though Google AdSense is a good choice, it is no match to Mediavine in terms of earnings, since Mediavine’s RPM is far higher.

Mediavine vs. Ezoic

Image Courtesy of Ezoic

Ezoic is an upgrade from Google AdSense, but it is still a certified Google AdSense Partner. This means that Ezoic gets most of its ads from Google AdSense, with a few key advantages. For example, publishers who use Ezoic are allowed to place more ad units per page. More ads typically results in more earnings.

Ezoic will also carry out additional (automated) optimisations when users join their network to increase their earnings. So, upgrading from Google AdSense to Ezoic is a good choice for most people, especially because Ezoic has less strict requirements. For example, Ezoic will accept bloggers who have 10,000 or more monthly viewers. In some cases, they are also accepting sites that have less than 10,000 visitors.

Mediavine works similarly to Ezoic. They are also a Google AdSense Partner, and many of their ads are from Google’s inventory. However, they also have their own network, meaning a wider range of ad options for your site.

If you would like to upgrade from Google AdSense, but you don’t fulfill requirements for Mediavine, make sure to give Ezoic a try. For more information about this ad network, make sure to read our Ezoic review.

Mediavine vs. AdThrive

Mediavine review
Image Courtesy of AdThrive

AdThrive network is also quite good and it works similarly to Mediavine. The greatest difference is that you need to have at least 100,000 monthly pageviews in order to qualify for AdThrive!

Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits has a site that uses the AdThrive network. When comparing the overall RPM, he noticed that the websites running on Mediavine have higher revenue per thousand visitors.

However, he believes that the difference in RPM is a result of the site and the niche, not the ad network. According to Spencer, the earnings potential for AdThrive and Mediavine are pretty much the same. If you’re in a position to choose between Mediavine and AdThrive, do a little more research before you settle on the one you want to stick with!

Mediavine Review: FAQs


Why is ad revenue higher with Mediavine?

There are several reasons why Mediavine has a much higher RPM than other ad networks. The majority of other networks, especially Google AdSense, rely only on a single pool of advertisers. 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.

Also, unlike Google AdSense, Mediavine doesn’t use a 100% fill rate. This means that your website won’t be showing ads all the time, which isn’t a bad thing. Instead of filling your website with low-paying ads, Mediavine ensures only premium advertisers who pay well are shown on your website. Mediavine’s fill rate usually fluctuates between 70% to 99%, but it is never 100%.

What is the revenue sharing agreement?

When publishers join Mediavine, they start at a 75% revenue share. For every year they are a part of Mediavine’s network, publishers’ revenue share increases by 1% up to a max of 5%. Websites with huge monthly traffic have a higher revenue share.

For example, websites with 5 million ad impressions in 30 days will have an 80% revenue share. Those with 10 million impressions in 30 days will have an 82.5% revenue share. And, websites with 15 million ad impressions in 30 days will get an 85% revenue share.

What does Mediavine look for in an application? 

Before being accepted by Mediavine, all publishers have to fulfill one major requirement: 50,000 monthly sessions (which equals to about 60,000 page views). In addition to this requirement, Mediavine will also explore the website content and audience engagement. All content on the website has to be “clean,” and the website has to be approved by Google AdSense.

Mediavine Review: Wrap Up


Whether you have a company blog or you’re building a niche website, there are multiple options to monetise your site. One of the best ways to generate passive income is by displaying digital ads on your website.

Mediavine is one of the best ad networks currently available. If you have a website that gets 50,000 sessions per month (or more), you should definitely consider giving Mediavine a try. This ad network will undoubtedly improve your RPM and boost your overall earnings from advertising.

If you would like to make a switch from Google AdSense, but you don’t fulfill the requirements for Mediavine, then you should give Ezoic a try. It may have a slightly lower RPM than Mediavine, but it is still a great upgrade from Google AdSense.

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