Whenever someone talks about monetization, invariably, the first thing that pops up into the mind is Google AdSense. And while there’s nothing particularly wrong with that—it is, after all, the world’s largest ad network, but to sit on an assumption that AdSense can’t be outdone by anyone else isn’t wise.
The ad tech industry is highly disruptive and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Google has competitors who give them a good run for their money.
It may take a lot of hit and trial to figure out which ad network, or even combination of ad networks, generate the highest revenue for you, but when you finally do figure it out—it would have been well worth the effort.
Here are a few networks that you must check out in 2015.
AdBlade is a premium, brand-safe ad network with a focus on quality over quantity. Fox News, Hearst Corporation, Yahoo!, and ABC are among the 1,000 or so publishers that comprise the network. AdBlade supports standard IAB units, as well as proprietary NewsBullets® units that claim to deliver up to 3x better performance.
AdCash is one of the foremost advertising networks and provides high-quality ads from leading brands and exclusive pricing models designed to effectively monetize their online content and increase revenue. AdCash supports all industry standard as well as exclusive display formats such as site under, footer, interstitial, slide-in, background, and more. It has over 1,000 ad campaigns running on its platform—the big inventory means better ad targeting.
Advertising.com, is the technology, data and insights arm of AOL Advertising. It has relationships with 70+ of comScore’s Top 100 ad-supported sites, with a publisher network spanning 30+ content verticals and monetizes nearly 2 billion ad impressions per day on average. If you’re looking for a specific set of advertisers, Advertising.com offers ad blocks by advertiser, industry, media, and category to ensure the best fit for your site.
Though your mileage may vary, Bidvertiser is an ad network with an interesting monetization model: In addition to earning money for each ad that is clicked, the publisher also earns additional revenue when the click leads to a conversion (i.e. sale) for the advertiser. BidVertiser supports multiple ad formats including banners, skyscrapers, rectangles, and mobile. You can use the provided point-and-click tool to customize the layout of these units to match your website’s look. A bidding system ensures that publishers always get the highest possible revenue from each unit. Using the reporting interface, you can easily monitor your ads performance, clicks, click-through rate, and the total amount you’ve earned.
An ad network that specifically caters to bloggers, BlogAds represents thousands of premier blogs such as PerezHilton, DailyKos, Wonkette and Cute Overload. Set up is easy and you can manage multiple sites from one account. BlogAds offers a high level of control over your advertising by letting you determine which ad sizes to offer, set your own prices, customize the appearance of ads, and accept or reject ads. There are no monthly fees; instead, BlogAds keep 14% of sales made to your readers. Most common IAB ad sizes are supported. It’s worth a try if you’re a blogger who wants to try an alternative to AdSense.
A popular alternative to AdSense, Chitika has over 350,000 publishers on its network and serves over four billion ads per month, making it one of the largest ad networks in the world if you were to go by those metrics. Its proprietary targeting and optimization technology uses programmatic buying to serve precisely the right ad, at the right time. The approval process for new publishers is usually pretty straightforward and takes little time.
Clicksor serves over 900 million ad impressions on over 100,000 specialized websites that comprise its publisher network. In addition to regular banner ads, Clicksor also offers in-text ads, rich media, interstitials, and pop-unders as alternative ad formats. Under the hood, Clicksor scans the text on your website and serves ads using the latest contextual technology, resulting in a higher click-through rate. Installation is a breeze with Clicksor’s plugin for Blogger, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla that you just need to download and activate to get going.
Conversant runs campaigns for 5,000+ brands every month, increasing the chances of finding an ideal fit for all content verticals. A real-time publisher interface offers fully transparent campaign reporting along with activity and revenue data. Their cross-platform advertising solutions ensure that publishers are able to maximize their revenue from mobile devices. In addition to standard display, they offer ads in multiple other formats such as in-text rollovers, static, rich media, banners, over the page and more.
Creafi Online Media serves over 300 million ad impressions daily and hinges its USP on advanced audience targeting methodologies such as behavioral targeting, retargeting, and semantic targeting. When advertisers can customize who sees their ads based on behavior and context using these tools, ad performance shoots up and it’s a win-win for both them and the publishers. To publishers, Creafi offers multiple ad formats and revenue streams and a greater degree of control over ad inventory.
Epom Market is a cross-platform ad network associated with leading advertisers and publishers in over 40 countries across 15 verticals. The network serves 13 billion ad impressions reaches an audience of 320 million unique monthly visitors per month. It offers category-targeted, mobile, and local ads to ensure better user targeting, which lead to higher eCPM rates. In addition to standard banner ads, Epom also supports footer, in-text, and mobile-specific ad units.
Haxhax is a premium, brand-safe private marketplace with over 100 handpicked premium publishers serving video, rich media, mobile and traditional display. Haxhax provides comprehensive reporting, multi-screen ad servicing, and an auto-invoicing system to get your payouts on time.
Traditional banner ads have one big problem that results in big revenue losses: A lot of users either consciously or subconsciously ignore them because ads are usually viewed as an intrusion. Infolinks is an ad network that gets around this problem by offering an innovative set of ad formats called InFold (overlay ads), InText (text links ads), InTag (tag cloud ads), and InFrame (banner ads in margins and frames) that result in better SEO, less intrusion, increased relevance, and better space utilization.
Media Nexus is an ad network that works with fortune 500 and global brands, with some being exclusive to their network. This means that ads served by the network are usually of high quality and add to a user’s experience (instead of taking away from it). The network serves six distinct verticals and offers publishers monthly payments, a dedicated account manager, high eCPMs, and 100% fill rates.
Media.net serves ads from the Yahoo! Bing contextual ad network, which comprises of a large pool of national and local advertisers, ensuring a 100% fill rate across all verticals and ad formats. Some of Media.net’s publishers include Forbes, Elle, Reuters, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and more. The network supports standard IAB sizes and has access to high quality ads from all major DSPs. In addition to display units, Media.net also supports desktop interstitial, in-content native, and mobile docked ads.
PropellerAds support banner ads in all standard sizes such as 728×90, 300×250, 160×600, 120×600, and more apart from onclick and in-banner video ad formats. If the ads are positioned strategically, you can expect CPMs as much as 1-2$ for US and UK inventory. They have 3,000 active campaigns worldwide and perform manual checks to remove all unsafe and suspicious advertisers—ensuring high ad quality. Publishers get the benefit of a 100% monetized inventory, in-time payouts, a personal account manager, and detailed real-time reporting.
PulsePoint is an ad network that processes 110 billion ad transactions each month across its platform. They’re big on data-driven ad optimization—crunching about 20TB of it every day. Their proprietary contextual ensures better ad targeting and increase relevance, giving publishers the opportunity to monetize impressions buyers would normally overlook. There are no sign up fees or hidden costs.
Revenue Hits uses contextual and geo-targeted ad serving technology to deliver better revenue for their publishers across different types of properties such as websites, mobile sites, add-ons, widgets, toolbar, and many more. It serves over two billion ad impressions each day with a promise of 100% fill rate across all geographic regions. Other than display ads, Revenue Hits also lets publishers monetize their website using text ads, pop ups, apps, widgets, XML feeds, and other custom formats.
The CPM rates of Tribal Fusion is amongst the highest in the industry and they offer reliable payments, dedicated account manager, real-time reporting, and free ad-serving technology. You can control the content of ads by blocking ad categories (i.e. gambling, religious, political, alcohol, flashing, warning, etc.) or by specific advertiser domain names. Based on content of the website, Tribal Fusion’s server finds the best advertiser-audience fit in real-time, benefitting both the advertiser and the publisher.
Undertone specializes in providing several high-impact ad formats in addition to standard IAB—including IAB rising stars, several video formats, and its own range of flagship display formats designed for higher user engagement. This coupled with the fact that many of Undertone’s proprietary ad units use your ad inventory in non-traditional ways, ensuring there’s no cannibalization of existing ad products, means that Undertone can offer CPMs 100%-1500% higher than traditional display ads.
Vibrant Media is another ad network that offers specialty ad formats such as in-text, in-image, lightbox, storyboard, mosaic, and brand canvas in addition to the standard IAB display ad units. Depending on your needs, you can choose to use Vibrant Media as your primary display ad network or you can employ their native ad solutions to increase revenue without changing your existing ad configuration. Ads are responsive so they can be delivered across multiple platforms seamlessly.
WWW Promoter offers publishers high fill rates, competitive CPMs, advanced targeting, and efficient ad serving using its proprietary ad serving technology. They focus on building a network that comprises of trusted brands and advertisers, eliminating the possibility of low-quality ads being served. The inhouse ad platform has a reporting tool that helps publishers track their CPMs in real-time.
Over 40 Google AdSense Alternatives To Make Money Blogging
Google AdSense is undoubtedly the best advertising network out there that follows a pay-per-click advertising model. When Google AdSense was first launched they were accepting almost all websites with over 100 content rich pages and that comply with their basic program policies. So almost anyone was able to get an AdSense account (even with scraped content) in less than a week or two.
But today, your website must not only comply with Google AdSense Program Policies but must also comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines. It means that you they can deny your AdSense application if your website is selling text links or is hosting copyrighted content, etc. Even if your website complies with these program policies and guidelines they may still reject the application based on the content quality.
Is It Possible To Make Money Blogging Without Google AdSense?
In a word, Yes. But what you should know is that Google AdSense is almost unassailable when it comes to monetization simply because they have the largest ad inventory. Since pay-per-click ad networks determines the cost per click based on bidding, when more and more advertisers are bidding for the same ad position the cost per click increases naturally. That exactly is the reason why AdSense outperforms any other ad networks out there.
And that doesn’t mean that you can’t make more money that you used to make with AdSense from other networks. For instance, if you use the right affiliate program then its earnings may be more than all your ad revenues combined. But the problem with affiliate programs is that they’re not so reliable. For example, if your organic rankings drop then it will impact your earnings directly or if those affiliate programs reduce commissions or change their business model then it may affect your earnings. So it’s not a good idea to rely on affiliate programs alone in the long term.
So what are the options and alternatives to Google AdSense?
Luckily there are a lot of websites to monetize our content in several ways without using AdSense. Some of them are: banner ad networks (for CPM ads), affiliate networks (for CPA ads), alternate pay-per-click ad networks (for CPC ads), text links, sponsored posts, paid guest posts, in-text ads, in-image ads, etc.
You can consider these AdSense alternatives if Google – banned your account for whatever reason, denied your application, or if you want to try something else or if you don’t want to depend upon AdSense income alone.
Sell PPC Ads: The 7 Best Google AdSense Alternatives
I have reviewed few pay-per-click ad networks, in-text ad networks, CPM ad networks, and other ways to monetize your content. If you’re looking for Cost Per Action (CPA) or Pay Per Lead (PPL) networks then check out the Top 10 Affiliate Networks for affiliate marketing which is again an alternative to Google AdSense. You can place ads from almost all the below mentioned networks along with your Google AdSense ads.
Media.net is probably the best alternative to AdSense as it’s powered by Yahoo Bing Network. Bing has a search market share of around 18% and they also have a good ad inventory. I’ve tried Media.net few months back and the average CPM was better than any other AdSense alternatives. Also, if you’re from Russia or your targeted visitors live in Russia then then you can tryYandex Advertising Network instead of Media.net.
Clicksor is one of the best Google AdSense alternative which allows publishers to display advertisements related to their website content by using their contextual technology. You can place Clicksor ads along with Google AdSense ads and can even set minimum prices for CPV, CPC, CPM and CPI ads. The ad formats include Inline Text Links, Text banners, Graphical banners, Pop-unders and Interstitial ads. You receive up to 85% of the ad income and can earn extra income by referring other publishers. Clicksor pays 10% additional income every time you refer a publisher or advertiser to Clicksor network.
Superlinks is an ad network that offers a variety of products like — premium banner ads, full page ads, footer ads, tower ads, exit links, etc. You can create multiple ad units on a single page (up to 5 ad units per page). Superlinks has partnered with DoubleClick Ad Exchange, OpenX and other premium ad networks so that it can offer higher CPM than Google AdSense (because of higher ad inventory). It’s worth a try when your traffic quality is high and the AdSense earnings is low.
BidVertiser is another top alternative to Google AdSense which pays you for valid clicks on ads placed on your website as well as for conversions generated from those clicks. You display ads on your website or blog and advertisers bid against each other so that you earn the maximum cost per click.
Chitika is an online advertising network that allows publishers to display ads on their website, blog, app or mobile site. They offers publishers and advertisers user targeted, search targeted, mobile and local ads for websites, blogs, apps and mobile sites. As a publisher you can also refer other publishers to them and earn 10% of their CPC revenue for up to 10 months from their approval date.
Lijit offers many advertising options like remnant banner ads, homepage takeovers, rich media ads, contextual ads, image ads, social engagement ads, etc. They say they have direct partnership with major ad agencies and networks to maximize your CPMs.
Yllix is an ad network that supports CPM, CPC, CPA and even Pop Up ads. You can earn additional income by referring new advertisers and publishers. When you refer an advertiser, you get $100 bonus plus 1% of lifetime ad spend. And when you refer a publisher, you get $50 bonus plus 2% of lifetime publisher earnings.
If your website is in a competitive niche and is getting good traffic then you can sell direct ads. It works the best when you have banner ad spots on your website so that potential advertisers can contact you to buy those ad spots. For some big publishers, selling direct advertising is their only way of monetization because they can control the CPM and thereby their income. All you need to do is to create an “Advertise” page on your blog or website with your Google PageRank, Alexa Traffic Rank, Traffic Statistics (by Google Analytics) and the available ad formats with their rates per month. Or you can try the following networks to make selling easier.
BuySellAds is an online advertising network where publishers can list their ad inventory. You get access to thousands of advertisers through their market place. The BuySellAds network supports web, mobile web, RSS, Tweets, apps (desktop, iOS, Android) and e-mail. BuySellAds is a good alternative to AdSense and is used by most professional bloggers.
BlogAds specializes in blog advertising and it’s comparable to BuySellAds. You can sell ads directly to advertisers, and can set the prices by yourself. You can earn an additional 15% revenue by referring new advertisers (they take 30% commission for all ad sales).
DoubleClick by Google offers publishers a complete ad revenue engine and it helps you to manage your ads so effectively that you can capture the most value for every page view that your website receives. If you are unable to find advertisers by yourself then BuySellAds may be a better choice but they do charge 25% commission. DoubleClick is a self-serve ad platform that is so flexible that you can control your entire ad inventory using only this platform. If your website is popular then you get inquiries from potential advertisers and in that case DoubleClick gets you the best value for every page view.
If you have a good quality website then it’s super easy to make money selling text links because advertisers are willing to spend thousands of dollars to improve their organic ranking. But wait, selling text links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and they may even ban your website from its search results unless the links are rel=”nofollow”.
12. Matomy SEO
Matomy SEO (formerly Text-Link-Ads.com) connects you to high quality advertisers who are looking for relevant websites to buy text links. They place text link ads on your website so that your earnings don’t depend upon the clicks or page views of your website – you get a flat rate for a 30-day period.
Alexa Rank: 11,337
Minimum Payment Amount: No Minimum (PayPal, Payoneer); $25 (Check)
LinkWorth is another popular text link ad network and it’s alternative to Matomy SEO. With LinkWorth, you can monetize your website using text link ads, paid blog reviews, in-text ads, in-content pay per click ads, rotating text ads, hosted content pages and many more.
Text Link Brokers makes selling links easy because they find link buyers related to your website that you actually want to link to. They also have a Hosted Marketing Pages program similar to a sponsored review in which you host a new page on your website with unique content and embedded links.
Alexa Rank: 10,595
Minimum Payment Amount: N/A
Payment Method(s): PayPal, Check
Programs Offered: Text Link Ads, Sponsored Reviews
Adbeans is a text link ad network that works with publishers who want to sell text links on their website or blogs. When you sign up for Adbeans you will get text link ad offers in your account so that you can accept or deny it. When you accept an offer they pay you a fixed rate for each text link that you place on your website.
TNX.net is a text link marketplace that connects advertisers and publishers. You can sell links on your website and get payments every month in advance by adding their codes on your webpages. The pricing of text links are based on your website’s Google PageRank, topic, link profile, etc.
Alexa Rank: 29,581
Minimum Payment Amount: Unknown
Payment Method(s): PayPal, Webmoney, Check, Wire Transfer
Once again, selling sponsored articles without rel=”nofollow” is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. But it’s the easiest way to make money blogging as you can earn at least $50 per sponsored review if you have a good quality blog.
17. Sponsored Reviews
Sponsored Reviews is a blog advertising network that allows you to build backlinks, increase traffic and improve search engine rankings of your website. If you’re a blogger then you can make money by reviewing advertiser’s websites.
PayU2Blog is a a blog network that pays you to blog. When you become their member you will get writing assignments. Basically you will be asked to review a product or a service. And you have to write only your honest opinion about a product or a service and don’t have to endorse it.
Blogsvertise allows you to monetize your blog in several ways. You can make money by displaying banner ads, selling text link ads, or sponsored posts. The ad rates depend upon the pricing set by you and the demand for that ad spot.
Alexa Rank: 10,029
Minimum Payment Amount: N/A
Payment Method(s): PayPal
Programs Offered: Fixed Rate Sponsored Reviews, Banner Ads, Text Link Ads
ReviewMe allows you to make money by reviewing products you find interesting. Price is determined by the reach of your blog. Reviews can range from $40 to $500 per review and it will be a one time fee.
Alexa Rank: 62,596
Minimum Payment Amount: No Minimum (PayPal); $25 (Check, Prepaid Card)
I’m not a fan of pop up or pop under ads and I never tried those on any of my websites. But I feel that it’s a good advertising option for traffic heavy websites like downloads, image hosting, file sharing, etc. Why? For those kind of websites showing a couple of pop-under or pop-up ads won’t affect the user experience in a big way but if you place these kind of ads on your blog then it will affect user experience and your visitors may never return.
PopAds appears to be the best advertising popunder ad network as the average revenue of their publishers for 1,000 U.S. visitors was never below $4. If it’s true then I think it can deliver better results than AdSense itself. You can request payment anytime you want or may use that money to buy advertising for your own websites.
Alexa Rank: 207
Minimum Payment Amount: $5 (PayPal and AlertPay); $500 (Wire Transfer)
Payment Method(s): PayPal, AlertPay, Wire Transfer
InfinityAds (or Paypopup) is another Pop Underand Pop Up ad network that pays you for every thousand impressions shown on your website. The average payment rate according to their website is $1.80 per 1,000 impressions. All the websites gets auto approval and the minimum payout is just $5.
CPMoz is a pop under advertising network that shares up to 70% revenue. Your earnings depends upon the traffic quality of your website, and you can also earn additional revenue by referring other advertisers (10% of their ad spending) or publishers (10% of their earnings).
In-Text advertising can’t be considered as an alternative to Google AdSense but you can use it along with AdSense or any other contextual ad networks like BidVertiser or Clicksor.
Infolinks is the leader in in-text advertising which offers 70% revenue share even if you’re a newbie blogger. Infolinks follows a pay-per-click advertising model. Whenever a visitor hovers over one of these double-underlined words, an ad related to what they’re reading appears and you get paid every time a reader clicks on one of those ads. They offer advertising options like: insearch ads, intext ads, intag ads, inframe ads.
Kontera discovers the best editorial content and dynamically delivers brands’ advertising, content and social assets for optimal results. Their In Text ads are a highly effective and profitable online advertising solution for websites and blogs.
If your website or blog is image heavy then you can turn your images into ad inventory with the following in-image advertising networks. They place targeted ads over images so that you’ll make money on a cost per view or cost per click basis.
GumGum is one of the largest in-image advertising (In-image advertising is a term used to describe targeted ads overlaid on images) platform, reaching over 150 million unique users worldwide. GumGum doesn’t require any minimum number of visitors but they require at least 500,000 monthly page views targeting U.S. based audience.
Luminate makes images interactive. They offer an Image App Platform, which enables consumers to conduct their favorite online activities such as shopping, sharing, commenting and navigating directly from a picture. Luminate publishers can offer innovative consumer features that increase audience engagement, website traffic and drive incremental revenue.
Alexa Rank: 30,969
Minimum Payment Amount: $10
Payment Method(s): Check, PayPal
Programs Offered: Cost Per Impression, Cost Per Click
CPM (Cost Per Mille) stands for Cost Per 1,000 Impressions. A high paying CPM advertising network is actually the best alternative to Google AdSense. As you probably know, Google AdSense (or any other pay per click network) pays for only clicks so it means that your monthly income varies a lot as AdSense CPC/CPM is very volatile. A CPM network pays you for every 1,000 page views you generate. So it means that if the CPM set by your CPM Network is $1 then you will earn $30 per month (if you generate 1,000 page views daily or 30,000 page views per month). High traffic websites and blogs rely on CPM networks than CPC networks since it generates guaranteed income.
28. Technorati Media
Technorati Media is one of largest social media advertising network which accepts sites with great original content and deliver targeted campaigns from top brands at high CPMs.
PulsePoint (formerly ContextWeb) is one of the top CPM (Cost Per Mille) Network that exists today. With PulsePoint you can set your own prices. Set your current eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions) so that the advertisers compete to beat your current eCPM. If they don’t beat your current eCPM then it will show backup ads from other networks like Google AdSense. So, you’ll always make the maximum money when you work with PulsePoint.
Alexa Rank: 15,863
Minimum Payment Amount: $50
Payment Method(s): PayPal, Check, Electronic Funds Transfer (US Only)
Vibrant Media have over 6,000 premium publishers, reaching over 250 million unique users per month. Some of the products are Vibrant Image, Vibrant In-Text Ads, Vibrant Display, Vibrant Related Content and Vibrant Lightbox.
Alexa Rank: 24,228
Programs Offered: Cost Per Impression, Cost Per Click
Forget pay-per-click ads, banner ads, affiliate programs, and everything else as there are even more ways to monetize your website. The earnings from the following content platforms primarily depends upon your website’s authority and not necessarily page views (unless it’s CPM).
Taboola helps advertisers to acquire traffic to their website using content recommendation service. So if you’re a publisher then you can monetize your content by recommending content people may like, using Taboola personalized recommendations. Taboola monetizes your website with a premium CPM by inviting your users to discover high-quality articles and videos from Taboola’s marketplace.
PostJoint is a content blogger network that connects marketers and bloggers. You can mention the topics you blog about and can even set a minimum budget spent so that they will send you notifications when an advertiser is interested in buying an article on your blog. You will be paid $10 – $500 (or even more) depending upon your monthly unique visitors.
Content.ad as the name suggests monetizes your website with premium ads that look and feel like content. Ads by Content.ad links to a variety of high-quality sponsored content with user friendly images and headlines. And they offer high CPM guarantees for top publishers.
Content BLVD is another content platform that connects brands and publishers. Advertisers submit quality sponsored posts or guest posts to a relevant blog and if it’s accepted then they will get paid. You will be paid $50 – $425 per sponsored blog post depending upon your website’s Moz Domain Authority. There’s no payment for guest posts but you will get a placement fee based on your domain authority.
Written helps brands to increase their visibility and also helps bloggers to monetize their best content. Written.com licenses your content to other brands for a specific period of time and you’ll be making money on a monthly basis. It’s like you’re renting your content to someone else on a monthly basis so as long as they’re using your content you will make money.
Yes, the list is not over yet and the next list is for the women bloggers out there. If you’re a woman blogger then you can try the following ad networks as they’re looking for blogs written by women or blogs with female audience.
39. BlogHer Publishing Network
BlogHer Publishing Network is an ad network for women bloggers. They accept only high quality bloggers and are accepting new applications periodically so you may be on a waiting list when you apply. With BlogHer, you can make money by showing CPM ads and also by accepting their sponsored posts and reviews.
Alexa Rank: 4,154
Minimum Payment Amount: $25
Payment Method(s): PayPal, Check
Programs Offered: Cost Per Impression, Sponsored Posts
BlogHer Publishing Network: Sign Up | FAQ(unofficial)
40. Foodie Blogroll Ad Network
Foodie Blogroll Ad Network is for the food bloggers or blogs with 75% food related content. You can make money from your blog by showing CPM banner ads and also by using your social media influence. If you’re an active social media user then you can accept sponsored posts and other sponsored content to make more money.
Alexa Rank: 83,203
Minimum Payment Amount: No Minimum
Payment Method(s): PayPal
Programs Offered: Cost Per Impression, Sponsored Posts