So I wanted to do personal income case study on my earnings so far with media.net (one of my absolute favorite advertising platforms) and give some specific strategies on how to earn decent money with media.net.
I’ve seen various blogs posting about how you can’t earn anything decent with media.net. The problem is it’s always the people who are earning a few dollars with it and then assuming that media.net is NOT a good advertising platform.
But actually, media.net IS a completely viable alternative to Adsense. In fact, it’s the BEST earning alternative if you are looking for a similar monetization to what Adsense offers (the Cost Per Click Ad model).
Now I use to make a lot of money with Adsense years ago, but my accounts were banned back in 2013 and all my sites blacklisted from the program.
Since my ousting from the Adsense program, media.net has replaced a significant chunk of what I used to make with Adsense. In fact, I feel there is a very good chance, if things go well this year, that I can nearly equal with my media.net earnings what I used to earn with Adsense.
Note that, my passive income strategies are completely different than they were years ago, and in fact most of the sites I’ve use media.net with are DIFFERENT websites than I had back in the Adsense days.
IS Media.net or Adsense the BEST Way to Make Money Online?
There are, arguably, better ways to earn money over media.net and Adense, such as creating & selling a digital product, creating & selling a physical product, or affiliate marketing.
Without a doubt, you should aim to create a REAL business online rather than passively earning with Media.net or Adsense. Monetization via these methods often leaves money on the table. If you are earning with one of those platforms, it’s a pretty big sign that IF you come up with the right product yourself, you can make MORE than you do through these programs.
But man, earning passive income with media.net is easy.
If you know what to do, that is.
Why Use Media.net
Because, you always need a backup plan.
Media.net is the best earning alternative to Adsense out there. From what I’ve seen, it earns anywhere from 40 percent to 70 percent of Adsense. But in some niches, it does just as well — or evem better than — Adsense.
Media.net also a lot less restrictive with their ad policies. You can get more aggressive with your ad placements. And every media.net account comes with a personal account manger you can email, should you need something looked into. You can even email them and ask them to help optimize your ads with split testing.
With Adsense, you are talking to the wall if you email them.
And then there’s the part where Adsense may ban your account for reasons unknown. If you earn with Adsense, it’s not IF but WHEN you have your account banned.
Don’t get me wrong — I love Adsense (back when I had it, twice). But it’s a dangerous way to earn your income, if it makes up the majority of your income.
First off, if you get banned from Adsense, any site you had on your Adsense account is also banned from having adsense back on. You get one and ONLY one appeal, and there’s about a 90% chance it will be rejected.
Second, Adsense makes you lazy. The money can come in so easy that people often fail to diversify into new revenue streams, leaving themselves vulnerable to the vagaries of the Adsense Quality control team.
Imagine making a six figure income one day, then suddenly losing it overnight.
Well, it happened to me.
But as it turned out, this was the best thing possible for my development. It forced me to seek out new earning opportunities, and ultimately, become a better marketer.
Media.net is an easy choice if you are already earning money with Adsense; you are likely to earn a significant portion of what your Adsense already earns. And while media.net may not, click per click, pay out the same as Adsense, they are far less restrictive in how and where you place your ads, which means you can push your CTR higher than Adsense which helps make up the earning gap between Adsense and media.net.
Should you lose your Adsense account tomorrow, if you’ve set up media.net and already tested it out on your sites, you at least have a backup source of income you can replace your Adsense ads with.
You should absolutely focus on expanding your earnings into other areas, such as Affiliate Marketing (amazon affiliates or affiliate products), or better yet, creating your own digital or physical product. The same dangers apply to ONLY making money from Media.net — if you are banned from Media.net, well, you’re fucked, especially if you can’t get Adsense.
So it’s good to have another trick up your sleeve. And media.net is a very good trick indeed.
The Joys of Media.net
I want to discuss HOW I made almost $90,000 in two and a half years ONLY with media.net.
First off, a bit of proof that I’ve made $90k (ok, technically I’m 170 short here, but if I wait one day, it would show 90k):
So given I’ve made a total of 90,000 in 32 months, that’s roughly $2800 a month in Media.net earnings when you divide this out by month over the 32 months in total. Keep in mind the first year, I was only earning between 20 to 30 dollars a day, mostly, so this tanks the total earnings.
However, even at $2800, this is arguably a full time income (though, barely). You can certainly live on that as a single person anywhere in the United States or Canada. In the smaller areas, that’s a pretty decent amount for one person. For a family, you can survive. If you live in a place like New York, you”ll obviously have to cut expenses to live on that.
But the point is, you CAN live on that money, so it is a full time income.
And of the $90,000, I’ve made nearly $22,000 of that just in the past 5 months alone:
I also want to note that if I was counting specifically my recent earnings with Media.net, they are WAY higher. Going back 2 and a half years means adding in the first year when I was earning between 20 to 40 dollars per day, on average. After the first year, media.net jumped up to around 70 – 90 dollars a day.
The next year saw the earnings rise to about 130 a day.
And finally, this year, earnings are hovering between 150 to 180 a day, with the account breaching 200’s a couple times a week.
I’ve also recently deployed some new sites to my account, so I expect the earnings may in fact jump from about 150 to 200 or 300 a day, depending on how the new sites work out (or don’t work out) with Media.net. It may take a few months for those new sites to start really pulling in the earnings, so we’ll have to track this over the next couple months in my passive income reports section.
I may be on track for anywhere from $6000 to $10,000 a day, depending on the new sites and how they do over the next six months.
So how did I make money with media.net?
How to Make Money with Media.net
Let’s talk about what I did and give some specific strategies / observations on how YOU can also make thousands with media.net too.
It’s possible to make a lot of money with Media.net if you have oodles of traffic. I’ve seen reports where some guys make a thousands per month from media.net by leveraging paid facebook traffic and making more than it costs to advertise.
However, you can still make a surprising amount of money with just a few impressions IF you niche is well-suited to media.net.
Ultimately, this comes down to testing your niche. If you use Adsense already, it’s likely there is a lot of overlap between what sites do well on Adsense and what sites will do will with Media.net. But this is certainly not set in stone.
In my case, I have been able to leverage some niches that historically did very well with Adsense with media.net to earn nearly as much as I did before. I can’t do a 1-1 comparision now, because those sites are now banned from Adsense. It could be they would make the same .
However, based on my old data with a couple sites that USED to have adsense on them and now only have media.net ads, I feel media.net earns about 60-70 percent of what Adsense did for those sites, given the same amount of traffic.
So finding the RIGHT niche is vital to finding success with media.net.
What Niches are Good with Media.net?
Honestly, you’ll have to test a lot of niches. Maybe you’ll get lucky the first time around.
I typically find product related niches, entertainment niches, health niches don’t usually do well with Media.net. With product related niches, you are best off using something like Amazon’s Native Product Ads. With Health Niches, affiliate products or a digital product, and for entertainment niches, Adsense.
Media.net is very good for:
make money online / internet marketing
Media.net is (typically) bad for:
entertainment (movies, books, games, tv shows)
super segmented / odd niches
I don’t want to say there are exceptions to this — there are. I just point this out as a rule of thumb, based on trying over a dozen (maybe two dozen) different sites in different niches out.
2. Aim for CPC’s between 3-6 dollars
The CPC means ‘cost per click’. In this context, it refers to what the average keyword bids for the Google Adwords are for a given keyword. Google provides you with a keyword tool that lets you see what the CPC is for a keyword; that is, what the average cost per click payout is, should a google ad be clicked.
I don’t specifically look at one exact keyword, but look at an entire niche (a set of keywords) and guesstimate and average.
For example, if you are looking at ‘coffee makers’, I would look at how all the the average CPC of the more traffic-heavy long tails in that niche as well as the root keyword (‘coffee makers’). It’s not an exact science and I don’t have a formula to give you.
But if the CPC tends to fall in around 3 to 6 dollars, there is a good chance you can make good money with media.net, even with less traffic than you might expect you need.
I’ve put a lot of sites on media.net and almost all of the sites that really earn decent money (15-100+ a day) all have an average CPC of about 3-4 dollars. Sites that have a low CPC of 1-2 dollars tend to do pretty badly in my experience, at least when it comes to search engine traffic.
It is possible to leverage a large amount of traffic and make good money with media.net, but if you can’t pull in that sort of traffic, then you’ll need to go after higher CPC terms which can make you more money with less traffic.
My Own Experience with CPC and Media.net
I’ve tested it out on some websites (3 or 4) that get 800 to 2500 visitors a day. Earnings were something like .70 to 1 dollar a day for a couple of these sites. However, those same sites, using Amazon Native Ads, can easily generate $10 to $20. I’m not sure how Adsense would have done on those sites, but I’m willing to bet, not too much better.
On another site, in a different niche, Adsense used to do me 15-20 USD a day with about 7000 impressions a day. Media.net does 2-5 dollars a day.
So, you’ll have to test your site to see how it does.
Typically, sites that do well with Adsense will likely to with Media.net, though there are exceptions.
How to find ‘the right niche’ by CPC? Generally, you can use the Adwords Keyword Tool and search for niches / keywords which have a higher CPC value. Finance, loans, hosting, and travel are a good bet.
As for how high, it depends. It’s not a 1-1 relationship between high CPC and earnings with Media.net.
I’ve found my best site actually sits in the range of 3 to 4 dollar CPC range for the terms, if you look at the niche via google keyword tool.
The site in this niche brings in about 3000 to 3500 ad impressions (about 1400 uniques) and makes roughly $90 a day, though it can jump to the mid 100’s on a good day.
See the earnings for the site here:
However, while this is my top earning site with media.net due to a combination of high RMP (earnings per 1000 visitors) and a decent amount of traffic, it’s not my actual highest earning site when you look at the RMP.
My highest converting media.net site has a CPC around 4-5 dollars, given impressions to earnings. The site may only get 30 to 50 ad impressions a day (about 10-20 unique visitors a day), but it can earn a solid 2 to 8 dollars a day just from this!
See this site’s earning’s below:
So sites with a higher RMP value mean you can earn far more money with far less traffic. This site above has an Adwords CPC of about 4-7 dollars, roughly.
Sites that sit in the $1.50 to $2.50 don’t tend to earn that much in my experience.
Sites around $1 and lower make peanuts unless you have a lot of impressions.
3. Niches With a Bit of Desperation Do Well with Media.net
While looking at things like the Adwords CPC is important and the amount of potential traffic a niche (the set of keywords that form a niche) have, one other aspect you need to consider is the ‘desperation‘ factor.
That is, how badly are people in need of a solution. I call this the ‘searcher desperation factor’ and this is the single most important criteria to consider. Some people call this the ‘keyword commercial intent’, which is related but I feel, not the same. Commercial intent typically refers to keywords that indicate the searcher has the intention to spend money.
I.e. ‘buy nike shoes’ is a pretty good sign that someone is looking to buy something. Or ‘best coffee makers’ indicates the searcher is looking for a coffee maker recommendation and may click on a link or ad if you can provide such and your content is compelling enough to convince the reader.
But ‘desperation‘ is a bit different than commercial intent. Desperation is when the searcher is ‘desperately’ looking for a solution to a problem but NOT specifically a product to buy.
Examples of Desperation
Something like ‘Cheap Divorce Lawyers in Brooklyn‘ or ‘bankruptcy help‘ or ‘how to default on your student loan‘ or ‘how to get a credit card with horrible credit‘ would have that ‘desperation’ factor if someone typed those phrases into google.
These are terms that IF you rank for, the searcher is really in need of a solution.
And if you can point them to a viable solution — your own solution or a solution that’s visible in the ad that’s displayed — you stand a very good chance of getting a positive action out of the searcher — in this case, an ad click that will pay you money.
Desperation in your searcher is the difference between having a site that generates high CTR ads and a site with low CTR ads.
SO this is really the formula for media.net:
Adwords CPC of $3-$6 + Searcher Desperation + 1000 visitors a day = full time income.
4. Focus on Authority Sites, Not Small Sites
If you look at my earnings report here by sites, you’ll see that out of 10 actives sites I have on Media.net, 2 of the sites earn about 90 percent of the month’s Media.net.
Most of my media.net earning sites are BIGGER sites now that get decent amounts of traffic (1500+ visitors a day). Small little sites with trickle traffic don’t do it for me at this point.
My entire model of earning income online is to ONLY focus on a handful of quality sites, focusing on building up social authority and search authority.
It takes a lot of time and effort, but the rewards are ultimately much greater, revenue-wise, if you build an authority site rather than earning a little bit of money from a lot of sites, which was my old method of making money online.
5. Focus on Search Traffic for Maximum Earnings
If you didn’t know this before, know this now: The Type of Traffic Matters
Your traffic type makes a big difference to how much money you will earn with media.net.
I’ve found that search traffic, by far, converts the best with media.net.
There’s a lot of craziness right now with experts recommending you seek out social media channels to generate traffic. And yes, social media is a very important part of your marketing strategy. It can help build traffic, generate links and buzz, and ultimately, increase your search engine rankings.
But social traffic does piss poor for passive income revenue streams like media.net — not without a highly optimized strategy on how to convert social traffic into conversions.
I’ve run some tests where I’ve sent social Facebook traffic to my site — either through my Facebook page or by buying that traffic — and the revenues for Media.net earnings barely spike.
Now, this is highly dependent on your niche, your site layout, the ad placement, and the content of your site. But as a rule of thumb, social traffic usually does not convert as well as search traffic — in some cases, only a fraction as well as search traffic converts
I’ve read some reports from guys who are killing it with Media.net by buying lots of Facebook traffic – – and I admit that certain niches and for a certain style of articles you write, you may be able to make more with media.net than you spend in Facebook advertising.
But you’ll make way more money, and make it much easier, if your traffic source is mainly from the search-engine.
For earning an easy passive income, search traffic is the best.
So if you want to make real money with Media.net (like thousands a month) without having to spend lots of money on advertising, you need search traffic. And preferably a lot of specific long tail traffic in niches where there is a lot desperation and the Adwords CPC is between 3 to 6 dollars (or more).
Traffic Still Matters
Of course, you need a lot of traffic if you want to make a decent amount of coin. You can get this from a few big authority sites (recommended) or a lot of small little sites.
But either way, the more traffic you have, the more money you will make.
And if the niche is right, you’ll make more money with less traffic and even more money with much traffic.
6. Optimize for the 20% That Works, Minimize the 80% That Does
The Pareto Principle (also known as the ‘80-20 rule‘) is a brutally effective marketing strategy to follow. This rule, as applied to your niche websites, basically means that if you put 80 percent of your time into the 20 percent of your sites that show the most potential (or are earning you the most), you’ll make more money, given your effort.
Look at my last month’s media.net earnings. You’ll notice that out of 11 sites that have media.net, 2 of those sites earned MOST of the month. This falls in roughly with the 80-20 rule.
The 80-20 rule is one of the best ways to organize how to approach what you should focus on.
In my case, I looked at the top sites that were making money and I devoted a significant amount of my resources into furthering those sites.
*I spent thousands of dollars over the past year on new, awesome content for those sites
*I focused on building up a social presence, which included Facebook Advertising to build up a Facebook Page
*I optimized the site design and ad layouts for maximum earning
*I regularly test out ad optimization strategies and look for new ways to earn money
Now, I’m not saying you should abandon smaller sites or new projects in favor of your established money-making sites. Some of my best earning sites new started out as small side projects a year or two ago. But don’t abandon your best earning sites in favor of new projects. Keep the momentum up.
7. Outsource Your Content
If you want to spend all day writing gloriously awesome content for your sites, then by all means, go for it. But you can save a lot of time and jump start your productivity by just outsourcing your content.
By having other people write your content, you can put most of your efforts into a) promoting your content, b) building NEW websites or c) optimize your existing sites.
This will earn you far more money than if you whittle away your time writing content.
I understand that for some people, outsourcing costs may be an issue — but if you can afford to invest into your business, you should.
Making money with Media.net relies on a CONTENT heavy strategy. You need lots of content to rank for lots of terms. You need great content to attract social shares and links, and you need long, deep content to help boost your search rankings (long content tends to do better, ranking wise).
I see a lot of people who want to get into content marketing but refuse to invest any money into it. Look, a business of any sort requires an investment on your part.
The same goes for developing a business with content-based websites. You need frequent content. A lot of it. If you refuse to invest any money into producing content and you can’t (or won’t) put in the time yourself to develop that content, then don’t expect to make any serious money.
Ultimately, you will need to find a way to SCALE your content production when you start earning a certain amount of money. And the time commitment required for you to produce that content will be too much.
I firmly believe that you should invest first into content, earlier rather than later. Why wait 2 years for your site to gain a bit of traction with 50 articles on your site, when you can kick start your site with 100 or 200 or 300 articles, and give your site a much better chance to grow traffic and attract links.
8. You Can Make Money Without Spending Money, but You can Make MORE Money By Spending Money
One of the best things you can do for your online business is to actually spend money in areas where you need to spend money.
One thing that I’ve learned can really add to your bottom line is to throw money into the following channels:
outsourcing content to increase content marketing
paid advertising to build a Facebook page to leverage for traffic referrals
paying social influencers to recommend your site / brand for social and search authority
investing in quality themes & plugins
tools & services to help optimize your time and productivity
I see a lot of newbie internet marketers refusing to invest money into their business. While it’s nice to imagine that you can site there with your websites and only pay your hosting & domain fees while ranking in thousands of dollars, the truth is that like any good business, you have to invest good money to see a good return.
You may find that investing $1000 into your business (content and advertising) may bring you a $3000 return.
So don’t be afraid to spend money to make money. Just make sure you are spending that money in the right areas — not $5000 Web Courses that promises to teach you an easy strategy to make money online.
9. Regularly Optimize & Test Ad Placements
Your ad positions and ad size choices matter — a lot.
This should be pretty obvious with media.net ads, just as it is with Adsense: your ad positions are crucial to maximizing your revenues with media.net.
Make sure you read my article ‘How to Optimize Media.net for More Money‘ post where I give a serious breakdown on media.net ad placements, and more tips to generate as much money as possible from Media.net.
I’ve talked about how to SPLIT Test Amazon Links & Affiliate Content to Earn more money, but the same basic principal of split testing a post with different versions can be applied to testing out Media.net ad sizes, colors, and styles. You can split test at the ad level using a plugin like Ad Inserter or split test at the post content level (i.e. split testing how a page does with both Adsense and media.net vs just as single one) using a plugin like Simple Page Tester.
The more ads you show on your page, the more money you are going to make with Media.net. Now, you’ll need to find a balance between ads AND content, which requires testing on your part. However, I’ve noticed time and time again that if I earn less if I put 1 or 2 ads per page instead of the maximum allowed 3.
When Can You Make $100 per Day with Media.net?
Following those strategies above, over time, will go a long way to helping your earn money with Media.net.
Three things come into play when it comes to earning via the CPC ad model:
Ad CTR (how many people click on your ads)
CPC (how much you are paid per click)
Let’s talk about the relationship between these 3 with a couple made up examples.
Think about this. Say 1000 people come to Site A and you have an Ad CTR of 10%.
That means you get 100 clicks per 1000 ad views (assuming 1 visitor = 1 view, which is not exactly accurate, but we’ll go with it for simplicity sake).
Now say your CPC is $1. That means each click pays you a dollar.
So Site A will generate about $100 from that 1000 visitors.
Site B has an Ad CTR of 1% and a CPC of 1$.
If 1000 visitors come to Site B, 10 people will click on an ad with a total payout of $10.
Site C has an Ad CTR of 1% but a CPC of $10.
If 1000 visitors come to Site C, 10 people will click with a total payout of $100.
So I think you get the point here. CTR and CPC are vital. If you have a lower CTR, you’ll need a higher CPC to make up for it. If you have a higher CPC, you can get by with a lower CTR.
Ideally, if both CTR and CPC are high and you have good traffic, you can kill it with Media.net.
So What About Making $100 a day
In my experience, it’s possible to to pull in about $100 a day with only about 1000 unique visitors a day coming from a site — or even less traffic than this — but you’ll need the right niche with a lot of desperation in it and a good CPC, and you’ll need about 1000-1500 page views/impressions to pull this off.
If your niche lacks a good CPC and searcher desperation, then you’ll need a lot more impressions to make up for these if you want to make a $100 a day.
Here’s an example of 3 of my sites on Media.net that made about $100 in a day.
Unfortunately, Media.net does NOT give out the CTR of your site or your ads on a site, nor do they report from what page ads are clicked on. So you can’t determine the Ad CTR nor the average CPC of your ads. You can kind of guesstimate based on how much money you make given your total Ad impressions, but this does not tell you CTR or CPC specifically.
Site 1 (my best earning site which regularly makes 100+ a day and sometimes even 150)
This site had about 1800 page impressions or about 1100 unique visitors that day.
Site 2 (usually does about 50-70 a day, though reaches 120 somes)
This site had about 1700 visitors that day.
Site 3 (rarely makes it to $100 – this was a traffic spike)
This site had something like 15,000 visitors that day.
Now the important takeaway here with those three examples of 3 different sites making around $100 a day with Media.net is to note the number of Ad impressions and the RMP values each site generates.
Good niches always have a higher RMP, which means the CTR of the ads on your is higher (and the payout per click may be higher too). This allows you to make more money with less ad impressions.
The ad impressions as given by Media.net’s stats are the number of views all your ads on a site have. So by having 3 ads per page, you can increase the number of ad impressions.
For one of my sites, it took something like 11,000 visitors in a day to generate $93 while one site did $108 with about 1700 visitors and the other site did $100 with about 1100 visitors.
So you want niches / sites that generate a high RMP (click earnings per 1000 visitors).
So I can’t tell you exactly how long it will be before you make $100 a day. It could require 10,000 to 20,000 visitors a day to your site, if your RMP is low (about 1-2 dollars).
However, if you have a site with a good CPC and a higher CTR (5-10 percent), you could earn $100 a day with as little as 800-1000 visitors.
Again, here is the little formula that seems to work very well when trying to find out what sites might do well with media.net nd make roughly $100 a day:
Adwords CPC of $3-$6 + Searcher Desperation + 1000 visitors a day = full time income.
The Final Word
Media.net should be an in important part of your passive income revenue streams. Chances are, if you are already earning with Adsense, you can replace a significant part of those earnings with media.net. Even if the earnings are less, I highly recommend you spend a month testing out media.net on your sites to see how they do. If you do lose your Adsense account, you’ll have an immediate backup revenue stream that you can implement.
And if you’ve already signed up for media.net and spent time testing out the ads, you can generate money with media.net immediately should you suffer from an Adsense ban, rather than scrambling around for days, weeks, or months trying to figure things out while losing money.
You may also find that you earn just as much or more with media.net, which is yet another reason why you should sign up and try out the program.
I can’t promise you that you’ll earn more than Adsense — you probably won’t for most sites. But having a viable backup to Adsense is always a good thing to have.
I hope with this article, you’ve seen that it is possible to do very well with Media.net. I honestly feel it’s a good supplement to Adsense if you have an active Adsense account already.
If I had to ONLY choose between Media.net and Adsense, I would still go with Adsense because it’s still easier to make more money with that program. But Media.net is a viable alternative to Adsense and can earn most of what you earn with Adsense, click per click.
Even better, you can combine Adsense and Media.net to maximize earnings. This works very well if you have a content-heavy website with very long posts, and you are likely to earn MORE money by combining Media.net & Adsense than to use one OR the other alone.
I talk about how to optimize media.net earnings in THIS POST, which gives some specific tips for how to squeeze more money out of your existing traffic, by fiddling with the ad placements, what ad spots are the best, and so on.
Tip: Media.net can be picky now with what sites they accept into the program (you submit a site and the media.net site quality control team will check it out). If your site is rejected, it’s very hard to get it accepted back into the program. So ONLY submit sites that are full of quality content and look visually appealing.
BenK has been around blogging in the SEO/Internet Marketing sphere since 2010 when he quit his job to pursue a self employed career of making a crazy online income with the dream of doing absolutely nothing to make good money.
However, he soon found that dream was a lie; making an online living took a lot of hard work — more work than he spent at his 9 to 5.
In the 5 years he’s been an Internet Marketer, he’s:
*made a full time income at nearly 20k a month, lost it, then work his way back up *been banned from adsense twice, regained it, then banned again *had hundreds of sites deindexed *rebuilt everything from scratch in two years *moved to Thailand where he now lives on a beach, living off of websites and blogging about internet marketing the RIGHT way.
AuthorityIncome.com is his new blog where he shares his strategies, thoughts, and opinions on making a LONG TERM income through websites.