Welcome to MediaVine – one year since I quit MediaVine. Today I am talking to you about food blogging income stats and whether or not you are better off with or without a service like MediaVine or AdThrive.
I have put this post together for those of you that read my food blogging posts and are regularly emailing me asking me why I am not with AdThrive now that I have 100,000 page views a month or why I don’t have MediaVine in my income reports.
First of all, if you have not heard of MediaVine yet for your food blog, then they are basically an alternative to Adsense. Another place where you stick advert code on your site and then you get paid whenever someone clicks on one of the ads.
There are many alternatives to both Adsense and Mediavine and they all vary with how much you can get paid. Or what the experience is like to the visitor.
I notice more and more of my fellow food bloggers are now joining MediaVine.com and I wanted to share with you my experience and what else is out there so that you can make your own decision.
I even remember when I first heard about MediaVine and how high the income could be, I was super excited and as soon as we hit 30,000 page views a month to join, then we joined that same month.
MediaVine – My History With MediaVine
If you have read this, or our income reports, then you will know that I asked to leave MediaVine as soon as the 90 days was up. You see you are locked in with a minimum of 90 days contract and I got out as soon as I could. But I am also intrigued why so many of my fellow food bloggers are joining the Ad network and wanted to talk about it some more.
MediaVine – The Pros
You don’t have to seek multiple income streams – When you have a brand new blog with beginner traffic, then you don’t want to think beyond blogging and promoting your content. So if you are not promoting affiliate products, don’t have ebooks yet to sell, then it is a great start out option.
You also don’t have to worry about signing up for different advertising networks as you have a company doing it all for you. They will do your back fill, when you don’t even know what back fill is and most importantly, you can just focus on your blog content.
Great if you’re struggling with backfill – one of the worst things, well if you don’t know what you’re doing, is trying to understand backfill. In a nutshell it means filling your ad space with something else if your ad isn’t showing up. Sometimes your ads from ad networks are only showing 75% of the time and this can then help for the 25% when you are not earning.
If your site is hard to monetise – there are a lot of people that fall into high traffic sites. They have a site that they passionately write about. But the subject area is no good for affiliate sales, no good for selling ebooks and they don’t want to invest much time into it. For example I had a funeral poem site once and there was really not much I could do with it, I just wish MediaVine had been about at the time and if I still had it I would use MediaVine with it as it would be ideal. I would highly recommend sites like this to use MediaVine as it’s the perfect fit.
If you have non-American traffic you have it tough – it’s very difficult if you have non-American traffic. Many advertising networks are going to pay you peanuts if this is you. You’re better off with a site like MediaVine as they can offer you a solution for this.
I even have a fellow food blogger that has a high Asian readership. As such as the ad networks only pay her for her American traffic meaning that she is only getting paid about 25% of the time. She also has no other income streams on her site and would thrive with MediaVine.
MediaVine – The Cons
It doesn’t offer a very nice experience for the reader – if you are a reader for a blog run on MediaVine then you are going to see a lot of ads compared to something not on MediaVine. For example when I checked on a few blogs that I know that run on it I found that they averaged 10 ads on one page. Yes really? 10 ads. Plus all the ads had the exact same thing on and was based on my cookies was a product that I had previously visited and bought on Amazon. The thing is I had already bought it, so I was not interested it as I already owned it!
The same amount of ads applied to mobile. This means that on that tiny mobile space 10 ads would show on the screen as I scrolled down the recipe post.
Ads should be discreet to a certain extent and if you want returning visitors to your site then the last thing you want is to be overrun with ads.
I used to have some favourite food blogs that I used to read and I have stopped reading them now because along with the MediaVine ads and their own list building pop ups, ads for following them on social media, its so hard to actually read the proper text.
Slower Sites – I find that in the food blogging arena that the sites are much slower. This is a combination of bloggers using images that are too big for the site and it slows it down. Then add to this the code and backfill used on sites like MediaVine and it is so slow.
When a backfill is involved you are adding extra code with each backfill. So for example if an ad network fills a banner space 4 times, then this in 4 lots of code and it causes a site to run slower.
It looks worse on short blog posts – I tend to write in excess of 1000 words which is great for me, but for others you might just write 400 words. In which case it just looks odd with so many ads coming up on one post. Or if like many you have a lot of recipe images then it can also look out of balance. Add to this that many of these short posts that I visit on the internet also have their own adverts added to this too and its like advert overload.
Only PayPal – this was a huge problem for us and felt like we were money laundering. We don’t accept money into Paypal because as our PayPal account is in Euros we would end up losing 15% of every Euro we made by the time the money hit the bank. Plus once you start earning more than $1000 a month from someone PayPal tends to investigate you and shut you down. Simply put I don’t trust PayPal. So my PayPal payment was sent to my virtual assistant and was used as a down payment of her salary. It was really annoying and felt unprofessional.
You have no control – Mediavine controls exactly where you have ads on your site. This means that you could have some text that you want to keep together and then they could split it up.
We like to have this area together:
It keeps all the calls of action for our readers in one place. They get to sign up to our mailing list, search the site, read a little about us and follow us on social media.
But when we originally had MediaVine running on our site we were upset that it got split up.
Can damage your other income – the worst thing of all is that if you have 10 ads running on your site and you’re trying to promote your latest ebook, then your ebook is NOT going to get the click throughs. As in order to compete your ebook would need to have 10 ads on the page too.
I mean come on….you can’t have 10 ads on one page can you? And then another 10 for your ebook? Or what if you are also an affiliate on amazon?
You could end up with 30 ads and that really will annoy your readers.
Brands Are Put Off – I have many brands come to me and tell me the reason they emailed me is because we are not on MediaVine. That they are put off by the ads as they feel it will reduce their sales rate. This opinion is given by 1 in every 4 brands that we work with. It’s not all, but you could be missing out on a $2000 sponsored order a month because of those ads.
MediaVine – The Stats
So that is the main reasons to go with it or without – but why not let the money do the talking?
When I was with MediaVine the income worked out at $392.52 and this was based upon 137,043 page views. Add to this our other income during this time from passive income (i.e. ebook sales, other ad networks etc) then the income was $1034.03 in total.
This works out at $7.54 RPM (revenue per mile).
If you want to work out if it is working for you, then I suggest you do the following:
Place MediaVine of your site for 90 days, then place Adsense on your site for 90 days and check the figures. As you are getting a lot more ads with MediaVine divide the MediaVine income by 2 and if MediaVine still pays more, then you know where your higher income lies.
[clickToTweet tweet=”#MediaVine – One Year Since I QUIT Media Vine via recipe_this” quote=”#MediaVine – One Year Since I QUIT Media Vine via recipe_this”]
High Fill Rate vs Low Fill Rate
However, if I use Adsense for example which only fills us 67% of the time and compare to MediaVine that fills you nearly 100% of the time and shows 10 ads instead of 3 then it works out at:
- MediaVine would pay out $85.92 for 100,000 page views
- Adsense would pay out $300 for 100,000 page views
- Amazon CPM would pay out $84.83 for 100,000 page views
PLUS the best thing is that you can run Adsense and Amazon together and in total the $384.83 would be from a total of 5 ads running on your site instead of more than 10.
Plus we don’t have many Amazon ads at all. Its just like a bonus ad in our opinion.
Throughout our site we have the following ad network placements:
- 1 next to the blog title on all posts
- 1 in ad post or if Adsense deems the content long enough it will add extra
- 2 in the right side bar
- 1 in the side bar for suggested content
- 1 right at the bottom of our blog
- 1 at the bottom of the view on mobile and tablets
This is not intrusive and it will not damage the experience of the reader and the reader at the end of the day is the most important person.
Though of course you could add another one. For example one more ad network wouldn’t hurt. Plus you can then play it with which one works the best and pays you the most.
Our Monthly RPM at RecipeThis.com:
To make things interesting I thought I would share with you our RPM to see what we made in 2017 (so far) without MediaVine in case you feel that on your own you will make peanuts.
- January 2017 = $6.65 RPM
- February 2017 = $15.17 RPM
- March 2017 = $16.87 RPM
- April 2017 = $17.59 RPM
- May 2017 = $11.94 RPM
- June 2017 = $19.25 RPM
- July 2017 = $14.57 RPM
- August 2017 = $27.72 RPM
This gives me a monthly average of $16.22 RPM each month which I am rather happy with. My site is not flooded with ads, it is building a great mailing list on the backfill, plus we are doing very well with orders for sponsored content. So overall I can’t complain and I am really happy with the results.
Other ad networks that you could try out could include:
List Builder Backfill
Another great option with Adsense (or other ad networks) is that you have a mailing list subscribe option as a backfill. Like I mentioned my Adsense only shows up 67% of the time, that means that there is 33% of the time there is nothing showing up. So why not use that spare time to build up your mailing list?
Then for every 100,000 page views your list building option is displayed 33,000 times. Just imagine that and how quickly you can build a list without much effort!
If you want to make money then sell ebooks
I started selling ebooks back in 2005. Back then it was very different to what it is today. Then the going rate for an ebook was often $47. I know. I know. You would expect the earth for that amount of money today wouldn’t you?
Well even though they sell for less nowadays you would still expect to sell an ebook for at least $9. On the basic traffic that you have you could expect to see quite a few of them.
What if as well as ad networks you sold 100 ebooks a month at $9 with your 100,000 a month page views?
You can actually make nearly triple in ebook sales as you can from advertising networks. Therefore as soon as you can get writing those ebooks. Then market it to the audience you already have.
One of my biggest tips is to take a high traffic old recipe that you have and then promote that recipe within that post.
For example this is a screenshot from one of our popular recipes where people can buy a recipe book that features the recipe:
This post has had more than 15,000 social shares and gets a lot of monthly visitors. By having the ebook there for when they have read it, it works as a great way to increase our income.
MediaVine – In Conclusion
I think what is often forgotten when you sign up with MediaVine is that you are putting on your site at least 10 ads from the same person. This means that if they suddenly start giving you a bad CPM then you have to accept it. However if you are on a mixture of providers and one goes down, then you know you can rely on the others for the month.
Plus on average you are working with 60% of the ads for more money. This is just from investigating and testing the waters with the advertising networks yourself. Plus you have to appreciate that MediaVine are probably taking a cut for themselves as I doubt they are doing all that work for free!
In the old days many bloggers wouldn’t even have Adsense (or any other ad network) on their site. They believed that the pay was rubbish for how much traffic they needed in order to live off it. They compared it to ebook sales and the amount per sale for this and you can understand why they feel like this.
I would also add to that argument affiliate commissions.
Aim to have multiple streams of income and to run the site yourself. Spend a little time setting up advertising networks yourself, get some good affiliate links set up and work on those ebooks. You won’t regret it and it’s amazing what you can achieve if you put some effort into it.