Advertising is one of the most popular ways to make money with a blog.
People have mixed opinions about advertising, and I get their reasoning. However, usually the people against advertising are working with lower traffic numbers. Once you get to a million uniques and above, advertising is THE MOST popular form of monetization for a blog.
In fact, 99% of the blogs I work with all rely on advertising as their #1 source of revenue.
How much traffic do you need to make $1000/month through advertising?
Let’s talk about the lower end of the spectrum. What is the absolute minimum required traffic to hit $1K/month in earnings with ads?
For me, my initial goal with this blog is to hit $1K/month. Advertising won’t be my only monetization method, but I estimate that it will make up for at least 30% of my total monthly income, at least in the first year.
To get to $1000/month with ads, the amount of traffic you need will change as you grow. You will require less traffic as you grow and change ad networks.
Better ad networks that pay more have minimum traffic requirements to get accepted. You can’t get accepted into the best ones right away.
So let’s go through the different ad networks in order and estimate the traffic levels required to make your $1000/month in income.
#1 – Google Adsense
With Google Adsense, I’ll estimate I’ll make about $1 per click in this niche – blogging and personal finance.
Divide that by $1000 and I’ll need 1000 clicks. Divide that by 30 days and you get 33 clicks per day.
So I need 33 clicks per day.
I won’t be aggressive with my ad placements and plaster ads all over the site for the sake of user experience, so I’ll probably get around a 2% click through rate.
That means that I need…
X x 0.02 = 33
X = 1650 pageviews per day.
I need 1650 pageviews per day. That’s about 49,500 pageviews per month.
Most blogs will usually get around 1.5 to 2 pageviews per visit, so I need to get about 25,000 unique visitors per month to the blog.
Not a low number by any means, it takes time for a new blog to grow to that level of traffic. However, it’s not an unattainable goal either that will take too much time.
#2 – MediaVine
MediaVine is an ad network that I strongly, strongly recommend you switch to once you hit their minimum requirement for approval into their network.
What’s the minimum requirement for MediaVine approval?
25,000 pageviews per month.
That’s actually lower than the required traffic I calculated I’ll need from Adsense. So it would actually make more sense to me to not be too ambitious/hopeful with Google Adsense, and then just straight apply to MediaVine once I have the traffic.
Why use MediaVine?
The RPM, income you receive per 1000 pageviews is close to double that of Adsense.
So if you’re making $1000/month with AdSense, simply changing your network to MediaVine could potentially double your monthly income overnight.
From my experience, the increase is usually a multiple between 1.5 and 2.5.
So you may see more or less than a 2x increase. Either way, you should definitely be testing out MediaVine.
How come MediaVine pays so much more?
MediaVine uses Google’s adsense network in their inventory of ads. However, they also have their own advertising partners. And the highest bidding advertiser for your ad placement will take the spot.
That is why you’ll see a higher earning from them than using adsense on its own.
#3 – AdThrive
AdThrive is like the final frontier of managed ad networks.
It works pretty much the same as MediaVine but they have a larger network of higher paying advertisers.
As a result, AdThrive has the highest minimum requirement to get accepted.
What is the minimum requirement to get accepted into AdThrive?
100,000 pageviews per month. Once you hit 100,000 pageviews, you can get accepted into their network.
Keep in mind though, that some niches page higher through MediaVine. So it’s all a matter of testing.
Typically though, you can see about a 1.2 to 1.5 increase when switching from MediaVine to AdThrive.
What about other ad networks?
AdThrive pays the highest out of the three, but it’s not the highest paying ad network in the world.
There are so many different options out there that are more exclusive.
However, these three are the most popular amongst bloggers, and fairly simple to get into.
You also have the option to sell ad placements direct to advertisers. You can do the selling/pitching yourself and be able to charge much higher fees to people who are willing to pay them.
This is how most big players make the big bucks in advertising – selling directly to big brands.
But of course, this takes a ton of work to find, close, and manage ad inventory. You also need to constantly be selling so that you are filling all your inventory every month.
Most big blogs have a dedicated sales team just for closing direct advertising deals.
So that’s definitely an option if you choose that route. I can write more about that process in the future if anybody is interested.
How much would you make with one million pageviews on your website/blog?
Here’s a fun scenario, and something that many people are interested.
With one million pageviews, you can expect to make anywhere from $2,000 on the low end to $30,000 on the high end. That’s consider a low $2 CPM from a lower paying ad network like Adsense and $30 CPM with a higher paying network like AdThrive or Mediavine.
In the end, the CPM you get really depends on your niche, how many advertisers there are at the time, and what they’re willing to pay. Competitive niches like finance can have 10-15x the CPM as a broader, more uncompetitive niche like home cooking.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone should build a finance blog. Higher competition for advertisers also means higher competition for you the publisher. It can be much more difficult to get the same level of traffic in a crowded niche than an uncrowded niche.