Best online ad networks for blogs?
August 21, 2008 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend quality online ad networks for a website with about 300,000 page views per month?

I'm keen to earn a little bit of cash off a website I run which receives about 300,000 pages views per month and growing. The site is about WordPress themes, if that's relevant.

I've checked out a few of the available blog advertising networks (BlogAds etc.) and was just wondering if anyone had positive (or negative) experiences with any of them?

What's the best option for earning money from a blog/website with this number of visitors?

FWIW, I'm already experimenting with Google Adsense but am only earning about $30 a month, which seems low for the number of visits I'm getting.
posted by puffl to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been using Google Adsense and see an average of $0.16 cpm over my various web creations. The days of high cpm for banner ads are long over, but if your ads are well targeted and your content focused on a valuable topic, I think cpm of $0.25 plus is definitely realistic.

Try experimenting with changing the size and placement of ads. Also, make sure that some prominent keywords appear that will help Google figure out what ads are relevant.
posted by justkevin at 5:47 PM on August 21, 2008

You have to consider more than the number of visitors you're getting. You have to consider how well your content can monetize. I know that sounds like a lame buzzword, so let me elaborate. What kind of Asense ads are coming up on your WordPress theme site? Do any of them closely relate to the content of your site? Are there lots of people out there buying ads for terms like "wordpress theme"? And how much are they paying for those terms? If your site is about something that by its very nature is far from anything that makes money, you will find the most relevant Adsense ads for your site don't earn you much. That's not wrong, it's just a bummer.

To improve your take, I would start to think... hmm... what is out there that DOES have something to do with revenue but is somehow related to my site's content? Perhaps you'll find that ads for micro-sized laptops or web hosts do great on your site, because people who are interested in blogging are also interested in small laptops and good web hosts.

There are a lot of ad networks out there and I don't think your number of visitors is a particularly useful guide to which will work best for you. I'd look at other WordPress theme sites and do a survey of who is serving their ads. There are probably a lot of seekers out there like yourself who have not found the perfect answer yet, but if you survey quite a number of sites like yours and see a clear pattern, that should answer your question very well.

I just think you should be spending more time considering "what's a good ad network for a WordPress theme site" and less time considering "what's good for a 300K visitor site."

Best of luck! Post your results!
posted by scarabic at 5:50 PM on August 21, 2008

I haven't used them yet, but you might consider trying Project Wonderful. The idea seems like a good one and might allow people who are particularly interested in your niche to connect with you directly.
posted by systematic at 8:20 PM on August 21, 2008

Have you tried hosting referral schemes (e.g. the ubiquitous Dreamhost one)? That might work for your target audience and a single referral would outstrip your current ad income.

As scarabic says, it's all about trying to find the right way to "monetize" your particular content. In some cases it's pretty much impossible to get above the base level of CPM (which, as you're finding, is very low), in others you can hit upon a lucrative niche.
posted by malevolent at 12:14 AM on August 22, 2008

I'm running ads from Blogher on my blog. For me, it pays far, far better than Google did -- which makes sense, because people aren't coming to my blog because they want to buy a product Google's advertisers are selling. (I have ads from Google on another website, one where people who are looking for a particular type of product might wander to, and that one pays a bit more.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:36 AM on August 24, 2008

Thanks to all for the advice.

I hadn't heard of Project Wonderful but it seems like a really neat idea. It's not what I want for this project but definitely something I'll keep an eye on. Same goes for Blogher.

As well as Adsense, I've also been experimenting with affiliate sales, and I seem to be having more success in that department than with the ads.

Scarabic's post has me thinking I might be better to focus on improving those affiliate channels, which are showing some promise, rather than spending time on further tweaking Adsense or looking for a new ad network.
posted by puffl at 8:41 PM on August 28, 2008

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