17 Optimization Hacks Guaranteed to Boost Your Media.net Earnings

I’ve written quite a bit about Media.net on AuthorityIncome lately. It’s one of my major income sources and it could be one of yours too, if you give it a try.

You can read how, at time of writing this, I’ve made over $90,000 USD $120,000 with Media.net so far over the past two years, and I’m making around $5000 $6,436.78 a month with Media.net alone just from search engine traffic (see my August 2016 income report). I’m working hard to bring this up — it’s my goal to make at least $10,000 a month with media.net within a year.

Media.net is my second biggest earner, with the Amazon affiliate program (called Amazon Associates) my best earner per month (read my 23 Ways How to Drastically Increase Amazon Affiliate Earnings which I tell you some pointers I use to make over 8,000 USD a month with Amazon)

Edit: I’ve updated the increased earnings above for September 2016 as my Media.net income has only gone up now

If you haven’t guessed it already, then I’ll  say it right now: I love Media.net.

Why?

Because it’s the best alternative to Adsense I’ve found so far since having two Adsense accounts banned a couple years ago.

And surprisingly, for some niches, you can even make more than you do with Adsense.

(however, Media.net can really be a hit or miss, depending on your niche)

Having an active media.net account is a good earning tool to have in your tool box. I can’t really see a valid reason why you shouldn’t sign up and at least give this program a try. And at the very least, it’s a good idea absolutely essential to have an Adsense alternative ready at hand as a backup solution, should you find yourself banned from Adsense.

So try it and see what happens.

Read my complete review of Media.net

Which brings me to this article. For those of you who want to earn some serious money with Media.net, I want to give you some specific tips and tricks on how to best optimize your media.net earnings through ad placements, ad customization, and more.

I’ve learned tricks these through trial and error over the two and a half years I’ve been earning with Media.net.

Just some proof so you know I’m not bullshitting you when I say I earn some coin with Media.net. Note that these tips I give you are ALL strategies I myself employ to boost my own media.net earnings. You will see if you look at the image that I’ve been able to increase these earnings over the past couple years:

 

making money with media.net

 

How You Can Significantly Boost Your Media.net Earnings

First thing’s first, improving your search traffic and picking niches that do well with media.net are the biggest factors that will contribute to your overall earnings.

I don’t want you to read this article under the false impression that you can take a bad niche or a site with the wrong type of traffic, or a site that gets a tiny bit of traffic, and start generating a ton of money with Media.net by using these tips.

These tips will help you earn MORE than you are already earning. Sometimes, significantly more. You may be able to increase your earnings by 10, 20, 30, or even 100 percent or more. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to improve your current earnings, at least slightly.

But first of all, you need some sites and some traffic to work with.

I’ve detailed some tips on finding good niches for Media.net somewhere in my media.net income case study. But generally, if your site does well with Adsense, it should do pretty well with Media.net.

And these 17 hard won tips of mine will absolutely help you earn even more money with Media.net, if you are already using it.

(And if not, sign up)

With that out of the way, let’s start.

This post took me about a full day to write and contains everything I’ve learned to do with Media.net the past 2 years, from my initial bumbling around with 10-$15 dollars a day to my $200+ days I earn now. I can truthfully say, you won’t find any other article on the web with this much FREE information about optimizing your Media.net earnings.

1. Use all 3 Media.net ads

This is the first tip I’ll give you. It should be an obvious one, but if it’s not, then here it is: USE  3 Media.net Ads per post / page on your site.

Why just 3? Because Media.net allows you to place a maximum of 3 ads per page. If they allowed 4 or 5, I’d put 4 or 5 on, but they don’t, so don’t. You can get away with illegally putting more than 3 ads on the page (I did this for a year by accident), but then you get a message from your account manager telling you to take down the extra ad because you are breaking the TOS.

The more ads you show on your page, the more money you are going to make.

The trick here is that you’ll need to find a balance between ads AND content, which requires testing on your part and a good amount of content per post.

However, I’ve noticed time and time again that if I earn less money with media.net if I put 1 or 2 ads per page instead of the maximum allowed 3.

2. Long Content Earns More Ad Revenue

I’ve found having longer posts allows you to spread out your ads more, giving more focus to an ad (especially if it’s posted in the content).

It also allows you to combine your media.net with Adsense (and other networks) to better maximize your earnings.

Long content posts also help you avoid problems with looking too spammy or ad-aggressive, which could cause problems with both Adsense and Media.net (more so with Adsense).

Long posts also give your content a better chance of ranking. There was a study that showed a significant portion of top ranking pages on google for keywords had more than [PUT IN HERE] words.

This makes a sort of intuitive sense when you think about it: longer content lets you rank for more potential topics by virtual of having more varied content to rank. Longer content (provided it’s QUALITY CONTENT) is also more likely to attract social shares and potential links because you can provide a deeper information than shorter content.

In my own experience, most of my content that ranks the best is in fact long content. I ALWAYS make a point of creating massive posts — especially for topics I really want to rank for.

How long is long enough? I recommend at least 2000 words, and in many cases, a lot longer than this.

I’ve had a lot of luck with content that’s 4000, 5000 or even 10,000 words long. With content this long, you’re article is often the longest page around on that topic, and provided you’ve done a good job with the writing and research — often the deepest information about that topic.

So to recap, you’ll want long content because:

-you are likely to rank higher in the search engines for that article

-you can better utilize all 3 media.net ads with the given space

-you can stack media.net with Adsense within the content, bringing your total of ads to 6 to 8 ads.

-you offer a better user experience, can give better information, and are less likely to run into problems with ad networks

So, it pays to go long.

3. One (or 2) Ads Visible Ad Per Screen

If you throw too many ads in a single screen, you won’t earn as much as a single, blended ad, I’ve found.

How many is too many? Well, you’ll have to determine that based on your theme template, the type of ads you use, the device viewing the content (mobile, desktop, laptop, tablet), and how long your content is.

I’ve found that trying to aim for only 1 visible ad per screen often earns more money than packing multiple ads close together.

By screen, I don’t mean only 1 or 2 ads on your page, just per ‘visible’ screen, which means you will need to stagger the ads somewhat so they display as the user scrolls down.

Now, I don’t want to say this is a RULE. Rather, it’s just a rule of thumb.

Yes, it’s possible to carefully integrate multiple ads per single screen (i.e. you can see two ads on your computer screen at the same time on a page without scrolling down) — provided you are careful — but you don’t want the ads TOO close together or they will start to cannibalize earnings from each other.

Here’s an example of three ads on the same screen, which is too much:

three ads in screen

I’m not going to say you won’t earn more or less with so many ads, but you may find that only a single initial ad earn s you more.

For example:

single_ad

Also note that I usually break this rule of one ad per visible screen, at least near the top of the site which always receives the most reader attention and as a result, ad clicks.

I usually go with 2 ads visible on the screen near the top:

one_option

 

Another ad layout with 2 ads on the top of the screen that works without being too ad aggressive is this:

 

two_ads

If you want to have 2 ads on the screen at the same time, my recommendation is to:

  1. insert a half banner ad or a full banner ad below the menu OR above the title section of your post.
  2. Then insert a double ad bar in the first or second paragraph of your content.

I can’t give you an exact layout recommendation here because it will depend on the ad network you use, the theme, how much content you have, your niche, and a lot more.

The best way is to TEST different ad positions with different ad sizes.

Tip: split testing can be a pain in the ass if you do it yourself. If you want to split test Adsense, I recommend Ezoic, which has the best automatic split system testing available for adsense or Sortable. Regrettably, I know of now split testing platform that integrates with Media.net just yet. If you contact your Media.net account manger, he or she can help you automatize your ads by enabling some basic split testing on your ads, which will change the colors of the ads — but there are no broad layout switches they do.

4. In-Content Ads Are Your Best Friend

Some of the best performing ads I have are in-content ads. These often integrate very well into your site and have the advantage that they look very good in both mobile (depending on the ad you use) and desktop views.

Quite often, media.net ads placed in the content look like Navigation menus, which drastically increase CTR. It also helps that the reader is often ‘forced’ to pay attention to the in-content ads (it’s harder to skip over them with your eye).

Here’s an example of an In Content Ad:

in_content_ad

As for what in-content ads to use with media.net, I have found the following very effective. In fact, one of these ad sizes is my top performing ad on every site I place it on:

  • 300×250
  • 336×280
  • 600×250 (double ad bar)
  •  728×90 (if the content body size allows this width)
  •  468×60 (if 728×90 doesn’t fit, I use this)

Which is the best ad size for revenue? You’ll have to test this specifically. But on every single site I own, I find the 600×250 (double ad bar) 336×280 size seems to do the best. I’ve had the Media.net guys tell me this ad size does the best earnings wise and I can confirm this is true when I switched from 600×250 to a single 336×280. The ad stretches out to fill any extra space and becomes the same size (or longer) as the 600×250, but with a single set of ads.

It does better in my experience, so opt forthe 336×280.

It’s my standard ad that I use in the content now.

4. Put an Ad between 1st and 2nd Paragraph for Higher CTR

Did you know one single paragraph position change of my main ad increased my earnings by 24%?

I specifically tested after which paragraph of content and inserted ad does best.

Here’s is a made up visual comparison between an ad after first paragraph and an ad after the second paragraph:

first paragraph vs second paragraph for ad insertion

 

Which one of these earns more money?

Well, fortunately, I tested this out.

I did a small case study to test this. I took the same site tested for 3 weeks (each test which started on the same day and ended on the same day of the week) how the same ad does after the second paragraph vs after the 1st paragraph.

What were the results

I’ve found it’s between paragraph 1 and 2 of your content that does the best.

My revenue jumped when placing it after paragraph one.

Here is the earnings on one of my sites for a double ad bar inserted AFTER paragraph 2 in the body content:

ad_after_second_paragraph

The total earnings were $639.99 for that one ad when placed after the second paragraph

Now here’s the same ad moved UP one paragraph in all page/post content on the site:

ad_after_first_paragraph

This time, the total earnings were $796.14 when the ad was placed after the second paragraph

So in a 20 day period, starting and ending on the same days of the week, putting the ad AFTER the FIRST paragraph made $156.45 MORE money (with 30,441 impressions) than putting the same ad after the second paragraph (with 31,988 impressions).

That’s 24% MORE money made by just moving the ad up by one paragraph, and with 1500 LESS overall ad impressions too.

Now look, there may be some other factors. The data set may be too small to draw a complete conclusion. The month of may may have had a higher CPC than the previous month. Media.net also does NOT give you the CTR of ad clicks, which would help me give a more accurate result here.

Regardless, I think it’s a pretty good evidenced based indication that putting the ad after the first paragraph can earn you more money then putting it after the second paragraph. I have not tested it after the third paragraph with a case study, though I had sites where I did place ads after the third paragraph (I’ve moved them to after the first now).

What About Before the First Paragraph?

(i.e. under the title or under the image — if your site has an image under the title).

‘If you really want to get aggressive, you can put the double ad bar below the title. This is something I used to do with my old Adsense snipers, and my CTR was sometimes 10 – 14 percent for some niches.

I haven’t done a case study test to compare it yet, but it’s probably gives a higher CTR than after the first paragraph.

However, I feel this is too aggressive with ad placement and hurts the user experience and the overall aesthetics of your site. Nothing screams  ‘Made For Ad Clicks’ (aka the old ‘Made For Adsense’ sites that sprung up like weeks from 2008 to 2012) louder than when you have a big ad right under the title.

I’ve found the best earning, user experience, and visual design intersection is to integrate your ad directly into the text and NOT under the title, even if it means leaving a few dollars on the table.

What About Left or Right Aligned Ads vs Center Aligned?

Note that my ads are always Centered. I don’t left or right align them. I also use the Double Ad Bar (600×250) size, so you can’t really left or right align them with the content floating beside them anyways, because the double ad bar usually takes up the full content body size.

If you opt for a 300×250 or a 336×300 ad size, you can optionally do a left float or right float integration where the ad floats beside the content.

Here’s a right aligned example:

right_aligned

Here’s a left aligned example:

left_aligned_ad

 

I don’t have a case study to compare against here (it would make an interesting case study to test all these out for a month or for a given amount of impressions).

However, I feel the double ad bar works better for earnings — it’s something I have noticed anecdotally when I’ve tested them. But you’ll have to test it yourself to determine if this is the case for your sites.  Edit: See the section below.

4. Use the 336×280 Ad Size for In-Content Ad Units

This is a new tip that I came back to add in here 4 months after writing this article, based on some recent optimization tests I’ve been running over the past few months. This one increased my total earnings between 15 to 20 percent!

I used to use the double ad bar size (600×250) for the in-content ad positions on the site (that is between first and second paragraph and after the 11th paragraph / or before the last paragraph). However, Media.net has changed their code around to make it more responsive — at least with the 336 x 280 size. The 336×280 size expands to the full length of your theme’s post/page width and shows a nice targeted single colume full-width sized ads. In comparison, the double ad bar size takes up the same expanded space, but shows two columns of ads vs the once column of the 336×280.

It seems the single column ads (maybe because there are ‘less choices’ does better — 15 to 20 percent better!

So by changing all my in-content ads from the 600×250 to the 336×280 size, I increased my earnings by about 15 percent!

So do the same. You can always split test with other sizes (which I recommend you do) to be ‘sure’. I’ll write a post on how to do this in the future.

5. Insert the Second Ad in the Middle Ad Position of your site

Across all my sites, my top earning media.net net ads are always:

#1: in-post double ad bar (600×250) ad, inserted after paragraph 1

#2: in-post double ad bar (600×250) , inserted after paragraph 11

UPDATE 2016: I used to use the 600×250. However, Media.net recently updated their 336×280 (single ad) unit so that, given enough space, it fills the entire horizontal width of your content area. Basically, it occupies the same space as the double ad size but ONLY shows a single column of ads, rather than the two column of ads that the double ad bar does. 

My account manager suggested I switch all 600×250 ads to 336×280 ads, which I did. This resulted in a broad 15-20 percent increase in earnings across the board. So don’t use the 600×250 size, but the 336×280 instead. It looks like the double ad bar in ‘size’ but it seems to do better earnings wise!

#1 in-post 336 x 280, inserted after paragraph 1

#2 in post, 336 x 280, inserted after paragraph 11

#3: sticky sidebar 300×600 ad (sometimes does the same or better as in-post)

I always have the in-post ad after paragraph 1 and  a sticky ad. This leaves me with one more ad spot free to put an ad.

Typically, I always have an internal debate at this point whether I should use the in-post middle ad, an above-the-fold ad right above the title, or a third in-content ad, at the end of the content. I often switch them up at this point.

My gut feeling is that the middle ad (after 11 or 15 paragraph) is the best as it typically earns MORE than a below the fold, after content ad.

Here is an example:

in_content_ads_guide

I can’t tell you for certain which ad position is the best, but I suggest you do at least try the middle in-post ad and see how it goes. You may find it your second best earning ad.

I wish media.net gave you 4 ads instead of 3. I recently was contacted by media.net about one of my sites having 4 ads instead of the allowed 3. I had to remove one of the ads (in this case, I choose the middle ad) and my earning did fall by about 10 percent for that site.

6. Place One Ad Above the Fold

You have to be careful with this one, especially if you are primarily working with Adsense.

Above the fold ads tend to earn the most, but they are also a negative point towards user experience. And too may above the fold ads can even penalize your site in google search.

You also don’t ONLY want an Above the Fold ad placement. You can actually earn LESS in some cases like this..

Above the fold refers to content ABOVE the content and is typically what the reader sees FIRST when they load your page / post. You can read a good post by Sortable.com that suggests a layout that includes a balance of Above the Fold Ads with Below the Fold ads can generally earn more than an Above the Fold ad-heavy website (read it here).

Personally, I go with a mix of ATF (above the fold) and BTF (below the fold) and will usually place one  728×90 (leaderboard) OR 468×60 (banner ad) in the area above the post title OR between the top menu and the start of the body area — depending on the theme layout.

Here’s a good example of an above the fold ad layout that’s aggressive, yet still friendly. The ads are Adsense ads on this site.

above_fold_ad_layout

With Adsense, I don’t recommend you have too many above the fold — a standard leader-board or half leader-board seems to be acceptable, but if it’s too near the nav menu, you may end up in trouble. Media.net works VERY well in this above-the-fold position since the ads often imitate nav menus.

However, if you use media.net, you can aggressively put the leader board ad right below the main menu (so it looks like a sub nav menu) or in the sidebar so it looks like a sidebar nav menu. Media.net does not seem to have an issue with this, probably because it takes 2 clicks before you get paid rather than 1 click like adsense (I’ll talk more about this later in the article).

7. Optimize for Mobile Traffic

Mobile is a big deal for traffic now. Stats say that mobile traffic now makes up over half of all online traffic. In regards to revenues from Media.net and Adsense, I’m mostly convinced that mobile traffic is just extra money. Whatever you make from it is just icing on the cake. For most of my sites, desktop + tablet traffic seems to make up the majority of my earnings while mobile is just a bonus.

Now this does come down to the niche. For example, my brother has a niche site where mobile traffic does make up 70 percent of his traffic — so he has to focus MORE on optimizing for mobile traffic.

But not every niche and site is like this. To find out, you’ll need to look at your traffic analytics and determiner what percentage of your traffic is mobile. If it’s a significant percentage (like more than half), you may need to focus specifically on mobile friendly ads.

If you are using Media.net, this means:

  • Don’t use ads bigger than the standard mobile phone screen size
  • 300×250 ads
  • 468×90 ads

You’ll also need to think about your sidebar and ad placement. Sidebars are typically shown after the content on mobile phones, so you will probably want to focus on above the fold ads and in-content ads primarly.

  • Media.net’s 600×250 (double ad bar) ads don’t work well for mobile I’ve found as they push out of the layout (they don’t seem to be mobile responsive) (note, I no longer use the 600×205 adbar size)
  • 300×600 skyscraper ads are not really mobile friendly.

You’ll need to make sure your theme is responsive — an even more so, it’s mobile friendly. There is a big difference between themes that are responsive and themes that actually LOOK good on mobile.

You’ll want a theme with a mobile-friendly nav menu too — not all themes offer this and it makes a huge difference with your theme’s usability. Better navigation in mobile can mean more page views which may mean more ad earnings (more impressions).

And finally, make sure you TEST your theme in mobile. You can’t optimize for mobile UNTIL you actually load up your site (homepage and the content pages) and see HOW it looks.

8. Use a 300×600  Sidebar Sticky Ad

One of the better performing ads I’ve found with Media.net is the half page sidebar ad, which is sized at 300×600. This allows advertisers to put in media-heavy images. It’s a very brand friendly advertising spot, and I’ve noticed that on all of my sites, it’s the second highest earning ad (the 600×250 double ad bar inserted after paragraph one is my highest earning ad spot).

Even better, Media.net allows you to make your ads ‘sticky’ on the sidebar, somthing that Adsense expressly forbids, unless you are in a special program like Ezoic.

Here is an example:

sticky_widget

Now, remember that part where you can only put on 3 ad units per page with media.net? One way you can ‘maximize’ your earnings is to take advantage this. I’ve found adding a 600×300 add in the sidebar and making it sticky performs very, very well.

In fact, the ‘sticky’ + 300×600 combo is almost always my second highest earning ad.

I suggest you try this out and see how it does for you. It works very well for me. The only note here is that this won’t really work for mobile traffic as it’s not an ad that will show up on phones. So only use if your site earns mostly from desktop/tablet.

Hint: use the free Q2W3 Sticky Widget WordPress Plugin to get a floating sidebar ad

9. Blend your Ad Page Background with your Site Design

I’ve almost always found my ads do better when you integrate them with your site design. That means the background of the ad should be set to the same as your post page background / site background.

You can customize the look of your ads easily from the media.net ad customizer.

10. Make Your Ad Links Look like the Nav Menu Links  OR the Body Content Links

One other trick I’ve found effective is to make my Media.net ads look exactly like my main nav menu. This is something the media.net might do automatically, if you leave your ads on long enough. However, when I first put my ads up, I immediately blend them into the design of the site, aiming to get the background of the ads, the ad text color, and the ad link color to be as close as possible to the top nav menu.

This seems to give the highest CTR.

This idea of blending your ad link text with your theme has some scientific, evidence based support in fact.

A good blog post by Sortable.com gives a good breakdown on how colors affect ad clicks and what colors seem to work best. The overall conclusion seems to be that you should pick colors at are complementary  to each (opposite colors on the color wheel, as explained by the post) other or analogous to each other (colors beside each other on the color wheel). This is basically fancy terms for colors that either contrast with each other or blend together.

Another trick is to make your ad links be the same color as links in your body post. Sometimes this may be the same as your nav menu, but sometimes not.

Realistically you’ll have to test some different color schemes yourself or sign up for Ezoic or Sortable and run these for a few weeks to a month on your site to see what color scheme gives the highest CTR.

What do I do? Generally, I aim to either have the ads look like the top nav menu or look like links from the post body. However, I often  get the Media.net team to run some color optimization tests on my ads. I’m hoping that media.net will be added to Ezoic or Sortable though as those companies take care of all that ad color / layout testing for you. It’s a lot of work and tracking on your own part to do this yourself.

Some more tips about customizing the ad colors / look

  • Red, surprisingly, seems to be a good color for ad links
  • Black (the same color as your text body) also seems to do surprisingly well. In fact, my second highest earning site has black ad links that are the same color as the body font with the links turning blue (the same color as links in the post) when you mouse over.

11. Ask Your Media.net Ad Manager to Split Test Ad Designs

Your account manger (everyone who signs up for media.net gets a personal account manager you can email) can help split test your ads for you. They activate an automatic split testing system which will try out different color combos and pick the best performing one.

This takes a few weeks of testing before you ad earnings stabilize, but I’ve found this may increase earnings. It’s worth asking your ad manager to do and seeing how your ad performance does after 2 weeks. Don’t activate it for a couple days though then give up — it take a few weeks to find the best performing ads.

Also note this does not test ad positions or ad types, only Ad Color Combos.

12. Make the Popup Media.net Ad Page Look like Part of Your Site

If you are confused, let me explain what I mean.

Media.net works a bit different than Adsense, which is probably why it’s easier to make money with adsense AND it’s also easier to land yourself in hot water from invalid or non-converting clicks with adsense.

You only get paid out by Media.net for an ad click when a person clicks on an ad twice. The reason is that Media.net’s ads that are displayed bring you to a second ad page with ads. When the user clicks on one of these ads, you are then paid for the click.

media.net_process

 

This has the effect of lowering invalid ad clicks because the user has to click TWICE before the advertiser pays for the click. This means it’s more likely people who click on the second ad ACTUALLY want to click on it, as opposed to accidentally clicking on an ad, which happens a lot on Adsense ads.

However, this also lowers your click CTR (the number of second clicks — the one that actually matters — is always going to be less than the number of clicks on the first ad). If media.net paid out for first clicks, you would make a lot more money with it.

Anyways, you increase your CTR and earnings by ensuring the new page that loads after the first click looks like it’s part of your site.

This means:

  • make sure the background of the new page is the same as the background of your site
  •  make sure the logo is the same as your site
  • other tweaks to better blend the page

The problem here is that media.net’s default page that loads from the first ad click often does not look like it’s part of your site.

I’m sure this lowers the clicks on ads on that page because the readers are left a bit confused.

Here’s what I mean. I looked up a site with media.net ads that does not have the media.net ad popup page optimized to look like the source site.

 

Here is the source site that has the media.net ads

first_ad_page

 

Here is the default media.net ad page that pops up when you click on the ads — user must click on one of these ads for the click to be counted as paid

ad_second_page

 

Notice how the second page full of the media.net ads that looks NOTHING like the original site? You don’t get paid anything unless the reader clicks on the new ads in the window — and when the second page looks VERY different than the first page, you are loosing clicks, likely.

You can ‘fix this’ by emailing your account manager and asking them to make the ad page background identical to your site background. They have to do this by hand, but they will do it if they ask. And it will likely increase your earnings.

Here is an example of the fix:

 

The source page (site itself with the media.net ads)

 

site_

The customized media.net ad popup page

media.net_popup

Notice how much more similar the background and ad page looks to the source site design over the first example?

13. Use a Different Ad Code for each ad that’s the same size

If you use the same ad size multiple times on the same page, you need to generate a brand new ad code for each ad. This gives each ad unit a better chance of filling with unique ads, rather than reusing the exact same ad set in each ad. This helps to keep each ad section ‘fresh’ which can increase your over clicks to all your ads. I was told this by an account manager and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Hint: using different ad codes (and naming them) allows you to TRACK each ad performance individually. This means if you have a different ad code for every ad position, you can easily figure out which ad positions do the best every day/momth, and if you use a plugin like Ad Inserter (which includes the ability to rotate ads units), split test those ads with different ad sizes or even with adsense, so you can test to see what does the best.

14. Combine Media.net with Adsense

Media.net can do very well if you combine it with Adsense. You’ll have to do a lot of testing to wring the most money based on your specific ad placements.

Update: I’ve been doing a lot of ‘testing’ with this the past few months as I just got my Adsense account back. And on ALL sites that I can, I have both Media.net and Adsense on at the same time. It increases your earnings (if you test it out carefully to make sure you don’t cannibalize) over just showing Adsense or Media.net. The key is to have long, long content so you can stagger the different ads between media.net and adsense. Media.net also seems to do best at the very top — above the fold or right in the second paragraph — those places that adsense does not like you to put their ads.

Stacking media.net with adsense gives you 3 media.net ads and 3 adsense ads.

Even better, if you sign up for Ezoic, you can show 5 Adsense ads because they are an Adsense Partner and are allowed to show that many ads on each site. So with Ezoic, you can potentially show up to 8 ads (5 adsense and 3 media.net) rather than the 6 you can show if you put on Media.net and Adsense yourself.

Now if you are going to show this many ads on a page or post, it’s imperative that you have LONG, LONG posts so as not to have too high of a ad to content ratio. You can sprinkle an ad in your content every 10 or 15 paragraphs, 4 to 6 times, as long as your posts are 3000+ words long.

I also suggest you put your most aggressive above the fold ads with media.net with your Adsense ads a bit below the fold. This will keep you in good graces with the Adsense team (they don’t like above the fold ad placements).

Keep in mind that there may be some leeway with one above the fold adsense ad in the area between the nav menu and the start of the post — I see a lot of sites do put ads there.

15. Keep Element Noise on Page to a Minimum

You should look at your overall page layout and all the elements on the page and make sure there is not too much that’s distracting the reader from the ads. Pretty sites, I find, tend to do far worse than more minimally, functional looking sites. The reason is that the more elements on the screen that prevent the ad from standing out, the lower yourt CTR.

To maximize CTR ensure the following:

  • No social sharing button above the fold (i.e. at the top of the post content)
  • No floating social sharing button visible on the side UNTIL a 20 or so percent of the post is scrolled down (I recommend the Easy Social Share Buttons plugin, which lets you set this up)
  • Minimal Widgets in the sidebar
  • A more basic looking theme design (Avada or a MyThemeShop theme work well here)

Basically, try to have a basic design that’s not too flashy with too many colors and elements that distract the readers attention. The post layout should be basic with the attention focused ON the text.

Here’s an example of my site with a fake ad inserted, but with distracting elements on the page:

distraction

 

Look how distracting it is by the time the reader gets to the ad. There’s a colorful image above the title, there’s a floating social bar, there’s another social bar above the first content paragraph. This itself is not too bad. You can easily find other sites with even MORE distraction going on (say colorful pictures in the sidebar that function as menus)

Now here’s a version of the page where I removed the distracting elements:

  • no feature page above the title
  • no floating social sharing bar present at the start
  • no above the fold social sharing bar

page_without_extra

 

Look how much more the ad stands out? Note, this is just a dummy media.net ad. If I was making this into an actual ad for the site, I would blend the ad so the ad title text was the same color as links on the page OR as the H2 title color. The ad body text would be the same color, size, and style as the post font.

For an even more simplistic design, here is the same page WITHOUT the sidebar:

minimal

 

Now, you’ll need to find a balance between site usability, aesthetics, and ad visibility in your design. I’m NOT saying you should sacrifice a good looking site with easy navigation just to get a higher CTR.

But it’s something to think about. If you are trying to earn money with Media.net, the difference between a pretty magazine theme with lots of beautiful colors, tons of pretty elements and social buttons, and a more functional, basic looking theme can be quite substantial in terms of your ad ctr and earnings.

So keep this in mind. Try to find the RIGHT balance that gives you a high CTR (or high enough ctr) with a good looking design.

And to do so, you’ll have to test different ads, different page elements, and different themes to see what works.

16. Reduce Page Load Speeds to Increase Ad Earnings

Reducing your page load speeds is one of the most important things you can do for your site. Page load speeds are a google ranking signal and can affect your search rankings (as to how much, I’m not sure to be honest).

However, page load speeds can effect your conversions. There’s a famous study done by amazon that shows every 1 second of page loading speed effects their conversions by 7%. And there are a lot more studies with a data-driven conclusion that faster page loading speeds basically mean people stay on your page longer (which can increase conversions, click through’s, page views, and so on).

The takeaway here is that decreasing page load speeds may also increase your earnings.

I’ve done some tests where I’ve tried to optimize my top earning sites from 5 or so seconds to 1-2 seconds. And the earnings did go up, which I feel was caused by the speed increase to the sites, though I don’t have any solid data to prove it at this time.

It’s some interesting case study fodder I may look at in a future study.

Either way, you can increase page speeds by:

  • putting a cache plugin on your wordpress plug (I recommend WP Rocket for the absolute fastest cache plugin and the one I use on all my sites. For a free plugin, W3 Cache or Super Cache will do)
  • Using the FREE CloudFlare plan with all speed optimizations turned on (rocket loader, css, javascript, html minimized turned to ON)
  • Using a fast Content Delivery Network such as MaxCDN
  • Stacking CloudFlare with MaxCND
  • Optimize Image sizes via WP Smush It or like
  • Use a wordpress theme optimized for speed

I’ll be creating a full guide on how to optimize your wordpress for speeds in the future.

17. Use a Theme Optimized for Adsense / Media.net

Look, there’s a tremendous amount of premium themes and free themes out there that you can choose for your site. You’ll have to choose a theme that fits your niche, and your personal sense of aesthetics.

But.

You’ll also need to make sure the theme is:

  • mobile responsive (so you can maximize mobile ad earnings)
  • optimized for faster  page loading speed
  • wide enough to allow leaderboard / double ad bar ads in content
  • a plainer design so the ads stand out

Theme Recommendations?

Personally, I’ve found a couple themes that do this. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are for sure a lot of other themes out there that will work just fine with Media.net. These specific themes I recommend because I use them quite often with Media.net and recommend them because they personal have earned me good money with media.net.

So I can verify myself they do work.

1. MyThemeShop Themes

My personal favorite themeshop when it comes to making awesome looking themes that load FAST. In fact, mythemeshop themes are the fastest loading premium wordpress themes you can find on the wordpress marketplace — and even better, many of the themes have a lot of extra features built into the themes.

Hint: I’m using a MyThemeShop heme on AuthorityIncome.com right now!

So I highly recommend their themes for your niche blogs if you want to use Media.net or Adsense. There’s a ton of themes available (over 100) that target pretty much any kind of niche or blog you want a theme for.

However, I personally find the newest themes are the best of the bunch and would advice you skip over the older themes, unless you are looking for a specific niche theme.

I have a handful of favorite MyThemeShop themes that stand out from the pack, with several of them on my sites that do very well with Media.net

  • MoneyFlow Theme (the theme I’ve have on authorityincome.com right now)
  • SteadyIncome Theme (a good looking theme that stands out with your ads if you modify some of the colors and elements)
  • WordX Theme — a great magazine style homepage with awesome minimal design post layout which has wicked ad CTR
  • Socially Viral — one of the best looking viral-style themes I’ve seen online. It’s beautiful and it’s famous because some guy used it on a viral blog he sold for 100 million
  • Blogging — a flexible blogging theme. You can use this one for any niche and it works very well for review-style blogs
  • Schema — the fastest loading theme on MyThemeShop and in the running for the fastest premium theme you can find on the wordpress marketplace

So yea, I’m a huge fan of the mythemeshop themes right now.

The biggest pro about them and why I recommend them is they are highly optimized for SEO, they are some of the fastest loading themes I’ve seen so far, and some of the themes have a clean yet elegant visual design which works great for media.net.

You want ‘fast’ if using Media.net or Adsense because quicker loading themes can mean more money. The theme loads right away and the ads load right away. If it takes seconds and seconds for your theme to load, people will fuck off or they will scroll down the loading theme and by the time your ads load, they won’t see them.

So yes, speed pretty important and can affect your bottom line.

Besides being pretty blazing fast, many of the themes  include some combination of extra functionality usually offered by a single plugin like:

  • a mega menu
  • a built in reviews system,
  • built in floating social sharing buttons
  • a newsletter plugin box
  • built in support for lazy load images (some themes)
  • special notifications plugin
  • multiple layout choices to choose from inside the theme
  • ability to customize background and font styles
  • built in support for (aggressive) ads within the theme
  • css customization from within theme
  • related posts
  • native support for putting stat tracking code in footer
  • and more

Having this these features built in is awesome because it saves you from having to install a plugin to do many of these features, which helps keep your theme light with fast page loading times.

2. Avada

GREAT for websites where you want an awesome looking custom homepage (and other pages), but a nice minimal looking post page that does well with media.net. I have Avada on one of my sites that generate close to $100 USD a day from Media.net. SO I can verify, it can work like a charm for Media.net, especially if you opt for a more minimal color scheme design.

3. Divi

I bought the DIVI theme during the BlackFriday special ElegantThemes was throwing at the end of 2016. It’s currently my favorite theme hands down, due to the flexibility it offers, the general look, and the easy customizability. I’ve been testing it out with Media.net and it performs great — better than Avada and with fewer problems.

I’m currently switching my main media.net sites from Avada to DIVI now, as of 2017.

The Final Word

And that folks is about everything I know regarding Media.net. Take it, use it, abuse it, and earn more money. I’ll update this article with any new tips I find out or any important news or updates I have regarding media.net

If you found my article useful and you don’t yet have media.net, please consider using my affiliate link to sign up for media.net. If you sign up with it, Media.net will throw in a 10% earning bonus for you for your first 3 months.

Please let me know in the comments if these strategies have worked for you and / or if you have any of your own tips that are effective with Media.net (and Adsense too)

Comments 5

  1. david December 15, 2016
    • BenK December 15, 2016
  2. Basit Omeiza December 19, 2016
    • BenK December 20, 2016
  3. Anna May 1, 2017

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