When it comes to monetization of blog content, the first option that bloggers consider for good reasons is Google AdSense. Google AdSense is the biggest advertising network in the online world, having advertisers for virtually any niche you can think of. The brand is a global and well respected one, with advertisers very sure that their business would be handled in the most professional manner.
Google AdSense is a great way to earn revenue from your blog, especially if you have quality content with the traffic matching. However, at some point there may be the need to expand your revenue base, diversify your income streams, or even opt out of Google AdSense for some reasons. The search for an alternative then begins – one that can give you similar earning opportunities or even something better than what Google AdSense is offering you.
Since Google AdSense is an ad network that serves contextual ads through numerous publishers, the first consideration is getting an alternative advertising network that serves contextual ads as well. I’d attempt to proffer a description of what contractual ads is all about before we dive into the Google AdSense alternative that we are reviewing in this tutorial.
What are Contextual Ads?
Contextual ads are advertising messages that are directly related to a blog post topic. These ads could be in the form of text, images, or videos strategically positioned on a blog post so they can be viewed by people who have interests in the topic.
Let us illustrate with a simple example so you can understand how contextual ads work. For instance, John is a blogger who writes mainly about gadgets and technology niches. His blog posts are narrowed towards enthusiasts of that niche so the bulk of visitors to his blog are those who may be interested in products like software reviews, computer programming, iPhones, mobile phone accessories, laptops and tablets.
To profit from the massive traffic his blog attracts, John signs up with an ad network that delivers contextual ads on publishers’ platforms. The kind of ads that will be displayed on John’s blog will feature products that are directly related to gadgets and technology. That way, the ads are positioned right in the faces of those who may be interested in the kind of products being offered. This is a very effective advertising model made popular by Google in its AdSense program and adopted by some other advertising networks.
Of all the other advertising networks that adopted the contextual ads business model, Media.net happens to be the second biggest and the focus of today’s review.
What is Media.net?
Media.net is one of the largest contextual ads network founded by Yahoo! and Bing (but now owned by Miteno Communication Technology). In terms of market share, it is only second to Google AdSense and has been steadily gaining popularity among bloggers because of its attractive features.
Media.net is the best alternative to Google AdSense if you are shopping for one, and ads from both companies (Google AdSense and Media.net) can be displayed together on a blog post. Media.net is very particular about the kind of blogs that feature their ads, looking out for blogs with high quality and premium content, while rewarding the publishers with high paying ads.
As a publisher on the Media.net network, you have access to a dedicated account manager whose objective is to help you optimize your efforts and earnings on the network. The sign up process is free, and your blog is scrutinized before you are approved as a publisher on the network. Big, medium and smaller blogs can seek approval on Media.net whose major focus is on high quality content.
Media.net has its set of guidelines that publishers have to meet before getting approval to their network.
Guidelines Required for Joining Media.net
To get approval as a publisher on Media.net, you will have to meet their requirements. Here are some very important guidelines that your blog must meet:
- Sign up is free but not automatic
- Media.net requires that your blog contains high quality content. Your content has to be original
- Your blog posts are of premium content
- The main language of your blog must be English
- Your blog must contain freshly updated content
- Media.net only allows blogs whose major traffic is from United States, United Kingdom or Canada
- Your blog in no way infringes on third party intellectual property rights of others
- Your blog boasts of a reasonably high volume of visitors. There is no known limit in the public domain but monthly visitors of over 20,000 might still have a chance of scaling through these criteria
- Your blog does not contain excessive adverts littered around it
- You should have a reasonable amount of content such that visitors have a great user experience going through your blog
- Your blog has to be navigation friendly for users
- Your application to Media.net is very likely to be rejected if your blog contains parked pages, software piracy, cracking, hacking, illegal downloads, hidden links, is under construction etc. Full details on this can be found on the official Media.net website
- Other reasons for the rejection of your application would be your involvement in black hat SEO for the purpose setting up deceptive and manipulative sites that are intended to improve search engine rankings
- Your blog will be rejected if found guilty of indulging in activities that promote or lead to internet abuse
- A blog or website that contains the following contents will have their application to media.net rejected. The contents include adult pornography, illegal contents, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, violence, and gambling
- Your blog should not contain any form of profanity
- Sites with fake news are prohibited from Media.net
- Sites that are open to public generated content with little or no moderation are not accepted on Media.net. Some of these sites include forums, chat rooms and discussion boards
Advantages and Disadvantages of Media.net
It is important to highlight an unbiased view of Media.net advantages and disadvantages to help you make an objective decision about the ad network.
Advantages of Media.net
- Media.net offers powerful tools for bloggers to use for their reporting and creation of graphs to be used in tracking overall performance of their blogs or sites
- Media.net is considered one of the best in RPM in the ads industry
- The fluidity in the ads management system allows publishers to change ads styles to match the look and feel of their blogs or designs that are appropriate for their blogs
- Media.net does not restrict you from using fixed or sticky sidebars
- Publishers have been recorded to receive returns from Media.net and it’s, in some cases, better than Google AdSense.
- It is the best alternative and a good replacement of Google AdSense
- You are assigned a personal account manager by the company to monitor your account and to offer assistance that will help optimize your usage of the platform.
- With one approved account you can run Media.net ads on multiple blogs and websites, though approval has to be obtained from the site manager.
- With the use of its mobile detection technology, Media.net is able to detect web browsers of mobile phones and deliver mobile ads to the device. This helps to generate more income from mobile browsing and increase earning potentials for publishers.
- The ads displayed on your blog requires a visitor to click on them twice before you can earn
- You have to wait at least 24 hours before your revenue is updated. The earnings are not updated in real-time hence the wait!
- Participating in the ads network is limited to only blogs whose major traffic is from just 3 countries – United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Even if your blog has very high volume traffic but not from any of the 3 countries, you are still not eligible to participate in the Media.net network
- The minimum payout threshold is $100 for Media.net. Although this amount is considerable in comparison to other big ads networks, it is still on the high side if one of your major considerations is minimum payout threshold of a smaller amount
- Payout is only through PayPal or Payoneer
5 Reasons That May Lead to Suspension of Your Account
To ensure that publishers adhere to the standards set at Media.net in order to deliver the best value to advertisers, the company frowns at some activities that may eventually lead to the suspension of a publisher’s account. These are 5 important reasons that you should keep in mind to continuously maintain good standing with Media.net:
- As stated earlier, the ads network only accepts premium web traffic, meaning that the major traffic source for blogs applying to the network must be from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Other countries are viewed as low quality traffic. Your SEO efforts have to be top notch to continually generate traffic from these 3 countries, and anything outside them will lead to a suspension of your blog from the network.
- Not properly placing your ads or putting them in positions that negatively affect their visibility can get you banned. There are a number of ways you can manage this situation, with 2 plugins that you could use on WordPress for this. These plugins are OIO Publisher and AdSanity.
- The maximum allowed number of ads on your blog is 3, and exceeding this limit would get you a warning from the management of Media.net. If you are unable to resolve the issue within 48 to 72 hours, your account could get suspended. Instead of going for too many ads, you can strategically position the 3 allowed ads to get good visibility.
- In keeping with its policy of displaying ads on only selected content, any blog found to violate this policy by adding pieces of content that are not allowed may result in account suspension. You may also have to monitor the content quality of your blog even after approval to keep maintaining your account with Media.net. There are some niches that are very attractive to their advertisers, some of which are fashion, health, and marketing niches. You can build out high quality content in these niches to optimize your usage of the network.
- Avoid the use of tools to illegally improve your traffic in order to earn from the number of impressions made on the ads. If you are caught in that act, Media.net will suspend your account with them.
Applying to Media.net
You now have enough information about Media.net to make an informed decision whether to join the network or not. I know that some readers of this post haven’t yet met the requirements set out here. You have the choice of either working on your blog to meet the requirements or consider some other alternatives aside from Media.net.
Applying to Media.net is a quick and easy process which should get your application reviewed within 2 days or less, after which a mail is sent to you stating the status of your approval.
To begin registration, go to Media.net and click on the “sign up” button from the main navigation menu.
Next, provide your website URL, phone number and email address, and click on “Get Started” button.
Provide all needed information and conclude on the sign up process after which you will receive an automated response email informing you of the receipt of your application.
The review process begins and is completed within a few hours to 2 days.
Once your application has been accepted, you can choose from a number of WordPress plugins to help you easily insert the ads into your posts. Common plugins best suited for Media.net ads insertion are OIO Publisher, Advanced Ads or AdSanity.
In some cases, Media.net offers a very good alternative to Google AdSense especially in niches that it performs very well. If the requirements seem too tedious for you, this is a good time to build up your blog to meet their requirements. It is worthy of note that ads revenue from Media.net may not be as good as Google AdSense earnings, all things being equal.
If the requirements seem complicated for you, then consider other alternatives with smaller criteria for signing up.
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