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I’ve been with Mediavine for just a year now and thought it was time to write a Mediavine review. Before I get started, let me just say that $4000 is not a huge amount for a year – I know that.
The exact numbers are $3913.71. However, over $700 is from February 2021 alone, which means things are going back in the right direction.
When I joined Mediavine back in February 2020, I was expecting different things for the year. My blog had taken off, I was booking a ton of clients, and I thought I would be able to give up my other business and go full-time in travel in 2020.
Unless you’ve been hibernating for quite some time, you know that’s not how the year went.
I got into Mediavine at the right time
I’m honestly quite fortunate that I was accepted into Mediavine in February because March was when everything related to travel started to plummet.
The point is, I still made money by writing about travel during a time when most people weren’t traveling at all.
The industry is still on the road to recovery, but it’s really starting to pick up, and I’m excited to see what comes next.
Keep reading this Mediavine review to find out all about Mediavine and why I’m thankful to be part of the program.
What is Mediavine?
Before we get started, you might wonder, “what is Mediavine?!” Well, Mediavine is a full-service ad representation company that places advertisements on websites.
Do you see those little ads all over my site? Yep. That’s Mediavine. You’ve probably seen Mediavine ads before, even if you didn’t notice the tiny logo.
Mediavine works with bloggers of all kinds, primarily lifestyle, parenting, and food bloggers. However, some travel bloggers (like me!) are also working with Mediavine.
I knew that I wanted to join Mediavine shortly after I started blogging. I just didn’t know how to get there.
Several of my blogging friends ranted and raved about Mediavine, and I knew there had to be a reason for it.
Unlike Google ads (which is a great way to make no money), Mediavine has high standards for their bloggers, but we’ll get to that later.
I used Google ads at the very beginning of my blog, and it took me months to make $100. Yikes. I later switched to Monumetric, which was good, but Mediavine was my long-term goal.
How does Mediavine work?
It’s hard to explain exactly how Mediavine works. Basically, companies bid for ad space, and the highest bidder wins. Mediavine is somewhat of a “go-between” between the various advertisers and bloggers.
Mediavine gets a split of the profits, of course, but they do so much and definitely deserve it. I can’t imagine how much work it would be to try to find advertisers on your own.
I believe you start at 75%, with Mediavine receiving 25%, but it may vary depending on traffic. Higher traffic will earn you a higher percentage.
You never “see” the 25% either, only your portion of the profits.
More ways to make money with Mediavine
Mediavine is always coming up with ways for bloggers to make more money, and they’re always a quick email away.
I recently reached out asking what I could do to improve my ad revenue, and the friendly folks at Mediavine went above and beyond.
They told me about video ads and even sent me a link to where they could create a video ad for me. Once I got my first video ad, I realized that I could easily make them myself.
I made $111 in my first month of having video ads, and it was a short month!
And no, $111 isn’t a lot of money, but I know it will add up over time. Now I am making all kinds of new videos and slideshows, and I know that my ad revenue will improve even more.
You can also see all of the short videos I’ve made on YouTube.
You might be thinking, “Amy, why ads?! UGH.” Trust me; I get it.
My 7-year-old was watching YouTube the other day and said, “ugh, mom, more ads.” I told him that ads pay for our internet so that he can watch YouTube. I don’t think he understood what I meant. 😂
Let me give you the cold, hard facts. Blogging is a ton of work, and it’s a very thankless job 99% of the time. I can put hours and hours into a post that’s extremely informative and helpful, but what do I get in return?
Well, ad revenue, if there are ads on that blog post.
Besides, ads are everywhere. If you go to any major travel website, you will see ads. If you go to almost any major website, you will see ads.
This is why you want to make sure you’re working with a reputable company when it comes to ads.
Fortunately, Mediavine works hard to make sure that your ads don’t interfere with your content. I want you to have a good user experience on my blog and not be bombarded with pop-ups or ads that block my content.
In the year and a half that I’ve had ads (I was using another company before Mediavine), I’ve never had a complaint about ads on my website.
Oh, and by the way, the ads you see are based on your search history. If you see a scandalous ad, don’t get mad at me. 🤣
When it comes down to it, ads allow me to create a ton of free content. If you don’t like the ads, well, you don’t have to be here. But I’m glad you are!
How to join Mediavine
Ah, this is the hard part. Here’s what you need to be accepted on Mediavine
- 50,000 sessions (sessions, not page views)
- High-quality content
- Having a blog on WordPress
- An English speaking audience
- A good host
How many page views do I need to join Mediavine? (Mediavine Review)
Yes, you’ll need 50,000 sessions. Not page views, but sessions. It used to be 25,000. When I joined in February 2020, it was still 25,000. I am very fortunate to have joined when I did.
As you might imagine, my page views took a nosedive further into the year.
Ouch, last year was a bad year for travel blogging!
When I started with Mediavine, it looked like I would easily make $900, $1000+ per month just to start. Well, that didn’t happen in 2020. Unlike some other blog categories, travel blogs did not do well that year.
If I hadn’t been on Mediavine, I might have given up. I made money with Mediavine in the months where I made 0 dollars anywhere else in travel, and for that, I am grateful.
The teal line is traffic, and the purple line is earnings, so you can see how after almost a full year, things are finally picking up again.
Even if I only had a little over $100 from ads – and yes, there were 3 months when that was all I made – it helped to at least cover some of my blog expenses.
Blogging isn’t free
Oh, and yes, having a blog isn’t free or cheap. 😉
Yes, it’s harder to get on Mediavine now, but it’s so worth it once you do. I’ll share more tips for getting to 50,000 sessions later in the post.
You’ll also need high-quality content. Let’s face it, you probably won’t get to 50,000 sessions without high-quality content, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
It would help if you also were on WordPress. If you’re using something like Blogger, make the switch now. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did.
I’ve been blogging for a loooooong time. I had “websites” before blogs were even a thing. My first website was an *NSYNC fan page.
Does that make me sound old? 🤣 I recently learned this emoji also makes you seem old. Oh well, I guess I am old.
So, I’ve been in this for a while. The point I am trying to make is that I’ve used everything, and WordPress is the best.
Ad companies want a primarily English-speaking audience, so that’s also a must.
Which host should I use to join Mediavine?
If you’re just getting started. I recommend Siteground. Siteground is very easy to set up, it’s very easy to install WordPress, and they will literally hold your hand if you need it.
I’ve been with Siteground for years, and I’ve never had one complaint. The customer service is fantastic and always quick to answer any questions.
How to get to 50,000 sessions to join Mediavine
Let me tell you a little secret. I’m still crawling back to 50,000 sessions post-2020, but I’m almost there! That said, if you’re in a niche other than travel, this should be a little easier.
It wouldn’t be much of a Mediavine review if I didn’t give you tips and tricks for how to get to the 50,000 sessions needed to join Mediavine.
Here’s what I am doing right now to boost my traffic and what I would recommend to new or struggling bloggers.
Start with Pinterest
Pinterest is not the end-all-be-all of blogging, even though some bloggers think it is. What Pinterest can do, is help you get traffic to your blog from day 1.
I wrote an article with 7 Pinterest mistakes bloggers make, and I highly recommended checking it out.
If you have limited time (and don’t we all), I recommend using Tailwind to schedule your pins.
I’ve done it all with Pinterest, I’ve used Tailwind, I’ve done manual pinning, I used BoardBooster back when that was a thing. I’ve also managed Pinterest accounts on the side and still have a couple of clients, even though I don’t do much freelancing anymore.
I even started to write a book about Pinterest. And no, I doubt I’ll ever finish it. I decided that Pinterest changes too quickly, and I don’t have time to work on a book that will constantly need updates.
If you have no idea where to start with Pinterest. I would suggest finding a Pinterest Manager to get you set up or even hiring a Pinterest Manager on an ongoing basis.
I’m not taking on any more ongoing Pinterest management clients, but you can always contact me and ask if I have availability to set up an account.
At the very least, you can use my tips to get started on Pinterest and then set up Tailwind. Tailwind has many tutorials that will walk you through everything and then put your Pinterest game on autopilot.
Focus on SEO
Yes, Pinterest is important for getting traffic to your blog right away. Or even getting more traffic to your blog if you aren’t utilizing the platform yet.
However, Pinterest can change and has changed. Your blog’s primary focus should be on SEO because this is something that you can – to some extent – control.
I thought that I understood SEO when I started my blog. I had built a photography business using SEO to acquire 90% of my clients. SEO had been fairly easy for me (even though it took forever) in my photography business.
I found out that’s it’s not the same with a blog.
I’ve been focusing on SEO in the past two months, and my traffic is up over 30%.
I looked into the Stupid Simple SEO course for years (literally) and finally bought it. It’s an expensive investment, but it was worth it.
As a bonus, there’s even a freebie included about how to maximize your Mediavine ads created by Mediavine. This is a Mediavine Review; after all, I had to get back to it somehow!
Even if you don’t purchase the course, the free webinar has a lot of tips that can help you get started.
Write lots of high-quality content.
One of the best ways to get more traffic and eventually get accepted on Mediavine is to write high-quality content.
The more content you have, the more page views you’re likely to get.
That doesn’t mean writing 50, 500-word blog posts. You’d be better off writing 20 2500 blog posts. Did I do that math correctly? I think I did.
Why write longer blog posts?
In short, Google likes longer blog posts. You’re more likely to rank on Google with longer content. You can learn way more about this in the Stupid Simple SEO course.
It’s not just that; longer posts are going to be more informative. It comes back to writing quality content. It isn’t easy to provide a lot of value in 500 words.
Here are some examples; this blog post about Hawaiian fruit is almost 2000 words long. That’s a lot of words about fruit. However, you won’t leave that post with very many questions regarding Hawaiian fruit!
I also have a popular post about the best island to visit in Hawaii. It’s almost 3000 words. This post was originally two posts, but I combined them to create one longer, more informative post.
You also want to make sure your posts are actually helpful and informative. Don’t “stuff” keywords or add a bunch of nonsense. Google will know exactly what you’re up to.
I’m actively working on adding more content to my existing blog posts. Another tip thanks to Stupid Simple SEO. Okay, let’s get back to the Mediavine review.
Stop doing what doesn’t work.
This was a hard one for me, but the best way to get more page views on your blog is to stop doing what doesn’t work.
For me, that was Instagram. I love Instagram, and I was spending a lot of time on the platform.
There are some, not many, bloggers who get traffic from Instagram. Most do not. Like most social media platforms, Instagram is a platform that wants users to stay on the platform.
Furthermore, if you have less than 10,000 followers, you don’t have access to the “swipe up” feature on Instagram stories.
While you can certainly monetize Instagram, particularly by having a large audience and working with sponsors, that doesn’t mean it goes hand in hand with blogging. It typically doesn’t.
If Instagram is getting page views for you, that’s fantastic! Just get rid of anything else where you’re wasting time and not seeing any ROI. Some examples might be:
- Blogging Groups
- Pinterest Group Boards
If you’re able to monetize TikTok or Facebook, that’s great. However, if you’re spending time trying to build an audience to no avail, give it up and do whatever is working.
For me, that was Pinterest and SEO. Pinterest should be a focus for any blogger, in the beginning, combined with a long-term SEO strategy and plenty of content.
Content is king. 👑
What to do once you’re accepted to Mediavine
Once you’re accepted to Mediavine, you might need to change a few things on your blog. After I read the Mediavine blogs and watched the bonus video in Stupid Simple SEO, here’s what I did:
- Made the text on my site larger.
- I started writing in shorter paragraphs. This is hard if you’ve taken a college writing course, but it’s how people like to read on the internet, particularly on cell phones.
- I started writing longer content and adding helpful tips to my existing content.
- Added custom images or more images to break up the text.
- I never had “jump to X content” on my site, but if you do, remove it. You’ll lose ad revenue by having them.
- I started testing video ads such as the one below.
Mediavine helps keep your site “healthy.”
Once you’re accepted to Mediavine, you’ll have health checks on your dashboard. You’ll want everything to be “teal,” meaning that your site is healthy.
Don’t worry; Mediavine can help you if you’re having any problems understanding this.
What the Mediavine “Go for Teal” dashboard looks like.
I hope that this Mediavine review helped you understand what Mediavine is, how to get accepted to Mediavine, and how it can help you make more money blogging.
Are you working hard toward 50,000 sessions? I know you can get there!
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